Tuesday, January 26, 2010

RIP Robert B. Parker

I can’t think of many books that've meant as much to me as “Mortal Stakes” did the summer I read and re-read it, when I was 11 or 12 years old.

Same goes for “A Catskill Eagle,” read a decade or so later, during three days in bed with the flu.

I’ve only read half a dozen of the Spenser books, so I can’t say I’ve kept up with Robert B. Parker. But, Christ, who did?

And I was never as fond of Spenser as Parker kept nudging me to be -- but I can say the same thing about John D. MacDonald and Travis McGee, and I’ve never let Travis McGee stand in the way of my enjoyment in reading John D. MacDonald.

I started reading “The Judas Goat” last night. I’ve got to cut this short, so I can get back to it. You know that feeling.

Godspeed, man.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reread/Reading (Auld Lang Syne Edition)

I used to like to start a new year with a doorstop.

It’s comforting, during a cold snap, to know there’s 600 pages of story remaining, and I’ve spent some fine Januarys in the company of Nazis, Cold War spies, and vampires.

Currently, though, I have less time to read than ever before, and I’m trying to put a bad year, during which I wrote nothing whatsoever, behind me.

Reading a doorstop makes me want to keep reading that doorstop; reading a potboiler makes me want to write a potboiler.

And so, even though the likes of Mason & Dixon and The Count of Monte Cristo glare at me from the shelf, their still-uncreased spines a reproach, I said goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010 like so:

Split Images, Elmore Leonard
Cat Chaser, Elmore Leonard
Out On The Rim, Ross Thomas

The Bounty Hunters, Elmore Leonard


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Favorites of 2009

Bury Me Deep, by Megan Abbott;
Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers;
Honey In His Mouth, by Lester Dent

Inglorious Basterds,
The House of the Devil,
A Perfect Getaway

Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! -- Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears;
Brain Cycles -- Radio Moscow;
This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 -- Henry Threadgill & Zooid

Cliff Lee, in Game 1 of the World Series;
Tilda Swinton, in the movie Julia;
Dick Cheney, ongoing