My eclectic reading selections

Wednesday, December 23. 2009

I read a lot, and especially since retirement, “it keeps me off the streets”. In 2003, my wife set up a database on her computer to record all of our readings. Of the 441 records as of this posting, 343 are books I’ve read. I’ll write about some of the non-fiction titles in another post.
In the science fiction arena, I’ve read and liked the Dave Weber titles including the Honor Harrington series, which do have a formulaic quality to them, but I still find them fun to read. Not of that series, Weber’s The Apocalypse Troll should, I believe, be made into a movie. It, and The Millennium Moon both are written in such a way that you can easily build “mind pictures” of what each scene would look like on screen. Travis Taylor’s Warp Speed and The Quantum Connection were fun books. as well as Stephen CoontsSaucer and Saucer: The Conquest.
I think I’ve read every one of Dick Francis‘ novels, again you know what to expect, but they’re still fun. His protagonists are generally ordinary people, often with some kind of unusual occupation or peculiar handicap or talent. You know in the end the bad guys will lose out; but it will be an interesting tale.
Tony Hillerman’s tales of the southwest lend an interesting bent to the mystery genre, and I think I’ve read all of them. He did write a mystery set in the statehouse of Minnesota, and it does show a pre-internet view of news gathering and the reporter’s job. Worth a look is the summary of Hillerman’s writing at http://www.dancingbadger.com/tony_hillerman.htm.
Recently I discovered (thanks to my sister) the William Kent Krueger novels of the upper Minnesota Boundary Waters area, which again play to the interface between the Native Americans and the Caucasian and other late-comers. I’ve only read three of his titles, Boundary Waters being one of them, but I’ll continue as I can find them.
I also enjoy stories with strong female protagonists, and humor helps. I think I’ve read all of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries, and I’ve liked the Sue Grafton “A is for…” series, though I feel Grafton’s earlier novels had more interesting character development.
I’ve found books by Kat Martin, Linda Howard, Tami Hoig to be quite interesting. And I have a special fondness for the Carl Hiaasen books, which are just marvelous fun; ask the librarian for Strip Tease or Skinny Dip — no, they’re not porn, just funny.
Books by Nelson DeMille, especially Wild Fire, Up Country, and The General’s Daughter I have enjoyed. The Steve Berry novels, such as The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Venetian Betrayal and The Paris Vendetta are very engrossing and interesting.
Fascinating and touching are the tales of Ivan Doig. Ride with Me, Mariah Montana, The Eleventh Man, and Mountain Time and his others are all very good reads.
My Non-Fiction post, when I get around to it, will reflect other interests, but will not duplicate the bibliography in my WhyStudyMoney web site.

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