Books Read: November 2014

Nine books on this month’s reading list, and another nine books that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Some of them I’d read before, others were completely new to me, but I would recommend all of them to you lovely readers. 🙂

Danuta Reah’s crime thriller Night Angels was a bit of a strange read, not because of the story or the style, but entirely because much of it takes place in and around my home town of Sheffield, and as a result I kept getting a weird inrush of my own personal memories attached to the places mentioned. That said, it was a good read, and even managed to surprise me a few times with the twists and turns the plot takes.

Nymphomation is the fourth and final part of Jeff Noon’s Vurtverse books, and in some ways tells the story of the beginning of that same Vurtverse. Unlike the previous three books by Noon I hadn’t read this one before, and though I did enjoy it I didn’t get the same thrill reading it as I did from the others. If you’re a fan of Noon’s and have read the other three (Vurt, Pollen and Automated Alice) then I would certainly recommend it, even if it’s only to complete the set.

Naked Heat was yet more Castlesque fun, and once again I found myself picturing the characters as looking like the fictitious writer and New York cop from the TV show. In this second outing for Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook the writing definitely seems to have improved, and this time we get a more omniscient view on the proceedings, which I found to be more engaging as a reader. A good, quick read for crime thriller fans.

The third and final part of Hugh Howey’s Silo Trilogy, Dust, nicely wraps up the story started in Wool and expanded on in Shift. To be honest I did feel that the ending felt to be a bit on the rushed side, though not entirely unsatisfactory. I’m planning on adding more of Howey’s work to my to-be-read pile over the next few months, and hope he continues to deliver good, engaging reads.

Chandler’s second Philip Marlowe book, Farewell, My Lovely is one of those books that I’ve read before, and in my opinion has weathered a second reading well. As was the case with The Big Sleep, the last time I read this one was when I was too young to fully appreciate it, and as a result I found a lot in it this time around that I truly appreciated. Sinking my teeth into some classic hardboiled pulp fiction is certainly making me want to try and turn my hand to the style myself…

The second reread on this month’s list was Tarka The Otter, and sadly I wasn’t as enamoured of it as I remember being as a kid. It still manages to evoke a strong emotional response, but I found this to be tempered maybe a little too much by the writing style. I know a lot of the book’s fans cite this as part of the book’s appeal, and much of that style is a result of the book’s vintage, but for me it just made the story harder to absorb and therefore reduced my enjoyment just a little.

Finally there are two entries from Joe Konrath on this month’s list, and as far as I can tell they’re the last two of his works that I haven’t read (though I may be wrong about that). Draculas is an all-out, balls-to-the-wall horror thriller that doesn’t even try to pull any punches, while Wild Night Is Calling is a short, two-part story of murder and depravity. Both of these works were co-written with other authors (three others in the case of the former), so it’s difficult to filter out Konrath’s own input into the writing, but as with most of the other works he’s been involved with I enjoyed them both immensely.

Night Angels; Danuta Reah (2001)
Nymphomation; Jeff Noon (1997)
Naked Heat: Nikki Heat Book 2; Richard Castle (2010)
Dawn (Lilith’s Brood – Book One); Octavia E. Butler (1987)
Dust: (Wool Trilogy 3); Hugh Howey (2013)
Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe Series Book 2); Raymond Chandler (1940)
Tarka the Otter (Penguin Modern Classics); Henry Williamson (1927)
DRACULAS (A Novel of Terror); J. A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson and Jeff Strand (2010)
Wild Night Is Calling; J. A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson (2011)

And that’s it, my nine books for this month. Next month I plan on adding a few more books by some of the authors listed above, and also have a couple of wildcards to throw into the mix. Until then feel free to try out any and all of the titles I’ve listed here, and if you want to recommend any titles in return please feel free to leave a comment or two.

Bye for now.


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