Sunday Salon 2009-10-11: Week in Review

I have yet to draw the winners of the Aussie Author Give Away. It should have closed last night local time but as I won’t get around to it until tomorrow now you should stop by and enter if you’d like a good shot at winning some crime fiction by an Aussie author.

In non book-review posts this week I ranted week about people who continue the series of other authors (usually deceased) which is not a practice I’m in favour of. As part of Weekly Geeks I’ve asked for audio book recommendations. Head over and tell me about your favourite audio books if you are a listener.

Books Then and Now

I finally reviewed Donna Moore’s Go to Helena Handbasket this week and highly recommend it to mystery fans with a liking for screwball comedy. And, after a mishap with my first copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (bath + heavy book + fear of spiders = pulp-like mess) I finished. There should be a name for the feeling that is the particular blend of satisfaction and melancholy that accompanies the closing of the last book in a series you thoroughly enjoyed. Sigh.

I’ve also had some DNFs of late but the last time I mentioned a DNF here all kinds of hell broke so I’ll not name them. Having read a bunch of fine examples of how it’s possible to do something different, even unique, with this genre I get increasingly bored with the formulaic stuff that used to be my bread and butter reading before I discovered book blogs and realised I didn’t have to rely on the staff at the local chain store for my recommended reading.

But the benefits of a 100+ TBR pile is that there’s always something else to try. I expect to finish listening to Ann Cleeves’ White Nights this week and am currently reading a 22-year-old book called The Unorthodox Murder of Rabbi Wahl by Joseph Telushkin. It was a book I mooched after seeing it discussed somewhere online (note to self, keep a record of who recommended the books I read) and I’m finding it a quite interesting depiction of the Jewish religion intertwined with a classic whodunnit.

tn_frozen tracks

Arrivals and Departures

I blame Maxine for this week’s sole purchase of Ake Edwardsson’s Frozen Tracks. She had recommended it some weeks ago and I spied it on a specials table so, being very (very) weak I snapped it up.

In the interests of full disclosure I can’t blame Maxine for me being in the bookstore near the specials table where I really had no need to be and in all likelihood if it hadn’t been that book it would have been something else because, as I mentioned, I’m very (very) weak.

However, I sent two books off to fellow bookmoochers so I’m in front this week, if only by one.

Link Fest

  • Am I the last book blogger on the planet who hadn’t discovered the Book Blog Search Engine? Probably. In case I’m the penultimate discoverer I thought I would mention it and its general awesomeness. It’s a customised search engine created by Fyrefly and allows you to search for mentions of a book only on book blogs (i.e. it cuts out all the pesky mainstream media and amazon links that often clutter up search results).
  • Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise has a similar customised search that only searches crime fiction blogs (go to her site and scroll down to the 9th box on the right hand side-bar).
  • The possible lifting of parallel import bans for Australian booksellers again raised its head in the news this week. I am increasingly of the opinion that lifting the ban won’t do anything for writers or readers. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it would help big business get bigger. Which is not the best of all possible outcomes in a market the size of Australia’s.
  • I honestly don’t know what to make of this opinion piece that looks positively at the growing phenomenon of self-publishing. The independent thinking part of my brain says “sure, go for it…the technology makes it possible and why should mega-corporations have all the say?”. The part of me that doesn’t believe the old saying ‘everyone has a book in them’ worries that even more trees will die in the pursuit of vanity than is currently the case.

…and one more thing

My almost least favourite people on the planet are a The Offended. They’re the folks who actively seek out opportunities to be affronted by a movie, TV show, book or work of art, are often members of groups with the word Family in the title and can reliably be guaranteed to have An Opinion about all the things causing Offence throughout the land. Although I despise these people, my absolute least favourite humans are the ones who call themselves ‘journalists’ and report the Opinions of The Offended at length in our so-called news media, often without offering any alternate point of view whatsoever. STOP REPORTING THEM AS REPRESENTATIVE. These people don’t speak for me.

Do you think a lobby group called ‘people who don’t really care what others are doing as long as no one is forced to watch/see/read/participate in anything they don’t want to’ would get as much air time?

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4 Responses to Sunday Salon 2009-10-11: Week in Review

  1. Maxine says:

    Ha ha, my mesmeric influence has extended half-way round the globe to force you, screaming, into your bookstore and the special offer table, I see my evil plot for world euro crime domination is succeeding 😉 (I realise you would never have gone into that bookstore otherwise.)

    On The Offended – can you add “people being offended by whoever has won the Nobel Prize” to that list?

    I don’t think I know about that book blog search engine – I have enough trouble with Kerrie’s great crime fiction journey’s source. Sigh.

    I hope you enjoy Frozen Tracks….will try to cut down on my recommendations in future to save you from those siren songs of the booksellers…


  2. Maxine says:

    Sorry – I meant to type “Kerrie’s great crime-fiction journeys resource” but my fingers got ahead of me and my internal autopilot grammar check.


  3. Tomer Guez says:

    > my internal autopilot grammar check.

    A good program that look at is Spell Check Anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com). It adds spell checking to all programs.


  4. Fyrefly says:

    I always appreciate people spreading the word about the Book Blog Search Engine… and at the rate new sites are being suggested, you’re definitely not the last one to know! I”m glad people find it useful!


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