Thursday, February 2, 2017

Winter Hibernation Plans

by Linda

It may not be winter where you are, but it is winter where I am. And even though winter where I am doesn't mean snow and ice and extreme cold, it's still dreary and cold enough that I tend to hibernate through it. Winter is the time I do the most reading so I thought I would share a few of my fave reads with you today.

(slow clap)

I gravitate toward murder/mystery/detective books with an occasional not so dark and dramatic book thrown in. I do like books that are part of a series. I'm one of those people that always wants more from the characters in the book.

I'm not going to start with my personal fave, I'm going to start with what I'm reading now.

The Secret Place by Tana French

Tana French is an American born novelist living in Dublin. The Secret Place is part of her Dublin Murder Squad series. There are currently 6 books in the series, this being #5.

I read this book on my iPad using an app called OverDrive. OverDrive lets me check out books/audio from my local library. Their selection continues to grow but sometimes I have to break down and actually go to the library or even (no! don't say it!) buy a book. An advantage of reading on my iPad is it allows me to look up a word. There are a few Irish slang words in these books I did not know so this feature came in handy.(nothing dirty, get your mind out of the gutter!) 

when you read a book where the characters obviously speak with the accent of the setting, do you read in that accent?
I totally read these books with an Irish accent. Yeah.

A little lighter murder/mystery and a fast read are the Under Suspicion Series by Mary Higgins Clark.
You probably know all about her. She is quite a prolific writer. This series is a fast read mainly because everybody has a motive. You can't put it down till you find out who done it and its usually a surprise.

There are currently 4 books in this series.

Close to #1 on my fave list is the Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith.

Robert Galbraith is a British author (coughjkrowlingcough) living in Scotland. There are currently 3 books in this series and I have read them all and I am anxiously awaiting the next one. I listened to the audio version of one of these books. It was read by Robert Glenister and was quite enjoyable. He has a rich voice and a nice British accent, which he could easily switch between it and a Scottish one. Delightful!

When murder/mystery gets too intense, I switch to something lighter like the Love & Inheritance Trilogy by Faye Weldon.

Faye Weldon is a British author. She has quite a list of other books. I chose this because it was like Downton Abbey. And I chose to check out the audio of the book. It was my first audio book and I truly enjoyed it. It was of course narrated by a British actress so I didn't have to use my imagination for my terrible British accent.

Ready? Drum roll please,

My fave murder/mystery series are the Navajo Tribal Police novels written by Tony Hillerman.

Tony Hillerman is an American author. Most of his books revolve around Native Americans and Southwestern themes. Specifically, the Navajo Nation that covers part of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

His stories tell more than just who did what to who. His stories paint a picture of the beauty that is the Southwestern desert and the Native people that live there on the Navajo Reservation. He describes daily life for these people as well as their beautiful ceremonies. He knows what he is talking about too since he lived in that area and taught at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, before becoming a serious writer. While teaching, he became friends with a fellow instructor and  archeologist and was able to accompany him on "digs". These excursions brought him closer to the Navajo people where he began to understand the customs and habits he so vividly brought to life in the pages of his books. While the story and all characters are fiction, the landscape and ceremonies are real. He will describe a place, call it by name and even sometimes give directions. Ceremonies are richly detailed and explained. Only when he is telling a story that involves sacred land or sacred private ceremonies, he will first disclose that information then describe the area/ceremony without giving the location away and he will change some of the details that would be unknown to the average reader. I guess if you wanted to you could figure it out but you would have to be very familiar with the Navajo Reservation. It is sparsely populated, has few roads and is roughly the size of West Virginia. I think I'll just take his word on it.

There are 18 books in this series. I have not read all of them but I am getting close. I will probably re-read these books, something I never do, as he passed away in 2008. His series had 1 additional book added after his death, written by his daughter. I can only hope she continues.

So there you have it. My list of books to hibernate with.

What's on your must read list?



Dotti said...

Ahh, you're a person after my own heart, Linda! As I mentioned yesterday, I, too, am a mystery junkie. I find them to be engaging but just enough removed from real life to offer the respite I need my recreational reading to provide these days.

My favorite mystery/crime series (hands down) is Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. There are 13 so far with another on the way. They are the best written mysteries I've ever read and her character development is second to none. (Did I mention that I like her?)

I also like the Cormoran Strike series. Another favorite is Donna Leon's Commassario Brunetti series, set in Venice. It's a veritable trip to that lovely city plus engaging plots and likable characters. And there are too many more to list here so I may have to do my own post on this topic one day.

Thanks for sharing yours!

Anonymous said...

I too love murder/mystery/detective novels and Tony Hillerman is a favorite of mine, also. His daughter Anne has written two books in continuation of the series now (I've read both) and a third is coming out in April! Another favorite series are the Mary Russell novels by Laurie R King - Sherlock Holmes stories with a big twist; you must start with the first one, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I also love Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, and many more...oh, so many books, so little time, as the saying goes!

Liz said...

I do love a good murder mystery! There are some great suggestions!

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