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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three Bookish Women

Hi, Everyone - Welcome to "Three Bookish Women" where Lesa Holstine of Lesa's Book Critiques and Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts and I are going to chat about books.


If you're a mystery reader you probably know all three of us through our blogs or through the mystery community in general.  We thank you for joining us for this little gab fest and hope you'll enjoy it.  Make yourselves comfy and please feel free to jump right in.


Mornin' Lesa and Jen!  Sending a virtual hugs, my friends!


It's always fun to chat about what we're reading.  You, Lesa, as I've told you so often, are one of the people who can take credit for this huge "to be read" stack that keeps my side of the bedroom cluttered and messy.  I LOVE those monthly peeks into your closet at Lesa's Book Critiques - keep 'em coming, please!


Today was one of those fun days when our mail lady came to the door with a couple of packages.  Books - Yay!  One of them was one I tore into immediately.   An Advance Reading Copy of Felix J. Palma's THE MAP OF TIME.  It's being touted as a "phenomenal international bestseller."  It's an historical fantasy novel set in Victorian London filled with both real and fictional characters.  H.G. Wells is asked to investigate some rumors of time travel and the question throughout the story is "what happens if we change history?"  I'm loving it!


What's on your nightstand, Lesa?  Are you one of the people I envy who is able to read more than one book at a time?  And if you are - tell me, please, all about them.


   *****
FROM LESA:


Thanks, Kaye! I get the pleasure of passing this on to Jen Forbus of Jen's  Book Thoughts. Good morning, Jen. And, I can't wait to see your answers to the questions.


If you haven't met Jen, you're missing out. I had the chance to meet her last summer in Ohio. I'm originally from there, and Jen and I had the chance to get together for lunch when I went home to visit. Needless to say, we spent most of that time talking about books and authors! And, that's exactly what she and Kaye Barley and I will do now.


I'm so glad I can take responsiblity for some of the books on Kaye's enormous TBR pile. And, I know Jen introduced me to Craig Johnson's books. In the last year, he's become one of my favorite authors.


But, to answer Kaye's question, I'm sorry. I am one of those people who read a couple books at a time, usually one mystery and something else. Right now, I have two books going.


I do tend to read mysteries that are a little more traditional than Jen &  Kaye read. I'm reading a cozy right now, Miranda James' new Cat in the Stacks mystery, Classified as Murder. It's set in Athens, Mississippi, and it features a librarian and his Maine coon cat, Diesel. Charlie Harris uses Diesel in his visits to discuss crime, in this case, the murder of a man who had asked Charlie to inventory his collection of rare books.


I'm also reading Sandra Dallas' new book, The Bride's House, the story of  three generations of women who love a house in Georgetown, Colorado. I ALWAYS read Sandra Dallas' new books. My favorite though, is one with a murder in it, The Persian Pickle Club. When it originally came out, it was sold saying, if you can tell us who did it, you'll get your money back. I've read it 3 or 4 times. I still don't know who did it.


So, I've answered Kaye's first question. Jen, it's your turn. What's on your nightstand right now? What are you reading?


***


FROM JEN:


Thanks Lesa! I'm so excited to be part of this chat, seeing as I've been in the mystery community the shortest amount of time and still always feel like the newbie. I was honored to be asked to participate with Lesa and Kaye who I admire greatly.


As Lesa mentioned, we were able to meet this past year. What a highlight for me.  Lesa is the person who introduced me to both Chris Grabenstein and Louise Penny.  I can't wait until I can see her again. And Kaye was around to hold my hand for my very first Bouchercon. Of the three of us, I probably favor the most hard boiled books.


As far as what's on my nightstand. I, too, usually have two books going at once, but instead of two print books, like Lesa, I have a print book and an audiobook going. Today I'll be finishing up one of each. I have about 30 pages left of Alafair Burke's upcoming LONG GONE. I love Alafair's work and it's been so fun to see her progress as a writer. LONG GONE is fantastic and I hope a lot of people pick it up and discover how wonderful Alafair is. Going from an ARC to an oldie but goodie. On my iTouch, I'm finishing up THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr. It took me awhile to get to this one, but I finally have and just adore it.


Since those two will both be done today, I'll tell you that tomorrow my nightstand will hold a book called GOOD NEIGHBORS by Ryan David Jahn and my iTouch will load up THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X by Keigo Higashino.


I'll pass this question back to Kaye to see if she has any final thoughts and then I believe we'll get a question from Lesa! By the way, Kaye, I'll be interested to hear what you think about THE MAP OF TIME. I'm always fascinated by how people perceive changes in history if we fumbled with small details. Do you think we could go back and alter something so that I wouldn't have been born and raised in a cold climate?


****


FROM KAYE:


Jen, you may be the newbie, but honey - you are a star!  You've been welcomed into this community with much love and much respect.  Every bit of it earned and deserved and I'm proud to know you.  You're doing great things.  Keep it up, please!


Lesa, you too are a star and there's not a writer I know who doesn't say "oh, don't you love Lesa Holstine?"  To which I say, "Yes.  Yes, I do."


You guys, I envy your ability to read more than one book at a time. I want to do that!  I try and I try and my mind has characters jumping back and forth between stories.  Not pretty.  Its kinda like a very badly written take-off on a Jasper Fflorde novel.  Jasper Fforde does it brilliantly; but my versions are nothing short of frightening.


Of the three of us, I guess I'm more the middle of the road with my reading than Lesa and Jen; more straight up traditional seems to be my cup of tea; not too cozy, not to hard-boiled.  Although the three of us certainly share some favorites, including Craig Johnson and Louise Penny to name just two.  And we all agree that not only do they write great books, they're pretty darn great people.


THE MAP OF TIME is going to take awhile (I'll keep you posted, Jen).  What I'm looking forward to reading next hasn't arrived in my mailbox yet.  It's one of my "auto-buy" forays into the more hard-boiled (but not too)  end of the spectrum.  I'm looking for it any day now, and it'll be a bittersweet read.  Robert B. Parker's SIXKILL, which is the last Spenser.  I know I'll be sad to say good-bye to Parker's Spenser, Hawk, Susan and Pearl and the entire supporting cast of characters, including Parker's much loved Boston.  I'm always going to be a huge Robert Parker fan and think his name will remain at the top of the crime fiction legends forever.  I understand Ace Atkins has been chosen by the Parker Estate to continue writing the Spenser novels.  This will, I think, prove to be  interesting and I wish Mr. Atkins well in his endeavor.  But, in my mind, Robert Parker is going to be sitting pretty heavy on Ace Atkins' shoulder while "they're" writing the next one.


Lesa - What's next for you?

*****
FROM LESA:


Kaye! That's perfect to lead into my next question for both of you. But, then, we know we're all three on the same wavelength (smile).


I have Robert B. Parker's Sixkill sitting on the counter at home to read as soon as I finish these couple. I agree, though. It's with a little sadness that I'm going to pick it up, knowing it's the last Spenser book he wrote. I read every one of the Spenser books. I loved the witty conversations.


I also want to get to Rosemary Harris' Slugfest since she's appearing at my library, Velma Teague, this weekend. I have six mystery authors appearing for Authors @ The Teague in five days - Avery Aames, Kate Carlisle, Rosemary Harris, Jane K. Cleland, Earlene Fowler and Carolyn Hart.


I'm looking forward to reading a few books that aren't out yet. One is S.J.  Bolton's Now You See Me, featuring a female cop dealing with a modern-day Jack the Ripper in London. Then there's Sophie Littlefield's A Bad Day for Scandal.  And, I know Jen already Craig Johnson's Hell is Empty.


But, I guess I'd have to say the book I'm most looking forward to reading is Louise Penny's A Trick of the Light, due out at the end of August.


So, that's my question, Jen. What book are you most looking forward to reading?


****


FROM JEN:


Ohhh, this has been just such a fabulous year for books, Lesa. It seems like I've been excited about new books for months on end. Early in the year I was looking forward to Don Winslow's SATORI, which was wonderful. Then I was looking forward to THE TWO DEATHS OF DANIEL HAYES (Marcus Sakey) which I'm literally recommending to everyone I see - whether I know them or not. As you mentioned, I recently finished Craig Johnson's HELL IS EMPTY, which has now taken over as my favorite Walt Longmire book. Both of those books are due in June.


Of course, I'm finishing up Alafair Burke's LONG GONE, and I ALWAYS look forward to a new Alafair Burke novel. That's due in July. So after that, my next big anticipation is Gregg Hurwitz's YOU'RE NEXT.  I'm also pretty excited about Jo Nesbø's THE SNOWMAN and Andrew Gross' EYES WIDE OPEN. That's just for summer.  There's a whole slew more in the fall!


How about you, Kaye? What would you add to the mix?


*******


"Thanks very much for joining us today.  I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I have.    To continue, please hop over to Lesa's for Part Two and then to Jen's for Part Three.  You might want to grab a fresh cup of coffee . . . "

7 comments:

Lesa said...

Well, I'll be the first one to comment, Kaye, because I enjoyed the round robin conversation. In Ireland, they would say it was great craic. That means it was great fun. Great idea, Kaye! Hugs!

Janet Rudolph said...

Love the conversation. Almost as if you're all here.. my favorite people. thanks for the reminder of the new Sandra Dallas. Need to add that to the list. I've read some of the books you all mentioned already, but more to add. :-)

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa - it was great craic (I love that!), wasn't it.

Hugs back you, sweetie!

Janet - this was fun; we'll do another sometime and perhaps you'll join us. We can be "Four Bookish Women!"

Vicki Lane said...

I can't wait to read some of these books!

Debbie said...

How fun! I enjoyed listening in to all of you.
I noticed that Louise Penny's name keeps popping up. I just read her first book last month and plan on reading them all.
Now off to check the other blogs!

Kay said...

Loved the first part of the chat. I waited until the evening to read these as I wanted to go from one to the next.

OK, I've read Sandra Dallas' PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB and I thought I knew who did it, but I may have to go back and reread. Did I miss something, Lesa?

Let me third or fourth or fifth gushing over Craig Johnson, Chris Grabenstein and the ever lovely Louise Penny. If you haven't read their books, get thee to a library, bookstore or website and get them!!

Kaye, love your blog. Always have. Always will.

Pat Browning said...

Enjoyed the round-robin. Great idea you had, Kaye! As to books discussed, as usual I'm in a minority, but the only 3 authors you mentioned that I'm planning to read are Jo Nesbo, Sandra Dallas and Craig Johnson. The others just aren't for me.

I have 19 books on my TBR stack, which is a LOT for me, since I plan to review them and need to get cracking. But first I have some Kindle books to finish and review, starting with GERONIMO'S SKULL by John Daniel.

The wonderful thing about our genre is that there is something for everyone. We never ever run out of good books to read!

Pat Browning