Category Archives: books

The Bookman’s Wake – John Dunning

Few novels have been as eagerly awaited as John Dunning’s sequel to the award-winning “Booked to Die,” which was hailed by critics and readers for both its powerful writing and its fascinating glimpse into the world of rare book collecting. Now, Denver cop-turned-book-dealer Cliff Janeway is back, lured by an enterprising ex-cop into going to Seattle to bring back a fugitive wanted for assault, burglary, and the possible theft of a priceless edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” The bail jumper turns out to be a young, vulnerable woman who calls herself Eleanor Rigby, and who happens to be a gifted book scout. Janeway finds Eleanor enchanting — and is equally intrigued by the deadly history surrounding the rare volume. Stalked by people willing to kill to get their hands on it, a terrified Eleanor slips from Janeway’s grasp and disappears. To find her, Janeway must unravel the secrets surrounding the book and its mysterious maker, for only this knowledge can stop the cruel hand of death from turning another page….

Notches (The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré Book 4)

The news is bad: five young women—so far—raped, tortured, and left in the Montana wilderness to be devoured by coyotes. It’s not long before Gabriel Du Pré, Métis Indian cattle inspector and occasional deputy, gets the call from Sheriff Benny Klein, summoning him to yet another grisly crime scene—this time in his own backyard. Not far from the victim, he finds two more murdered women, their bodies arranged over each other in a cross. A message from the killer? But what does it mean?

Working alongside a Blackfoot FBI agent and his feisty female partner, Du Pré, a father and grandfather with two daughters of his own, gives his all to the manhunt. But as more victims are found, and a young woman he cares about disappears, he will come to the grim realization that he must learn to think like this monster in order to catch him.

“Like the most memorable creations in detective fiction, [Du Pré’s] moral center is unshakeable” (Booklist).

Notches is the 4th book in The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

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Notches (The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré Book 4)

Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie

First published in 1996, this book’s insight into race and relationships is just as true today as it was then. It’s about colonization and what it does to the colonized. A great book, although it was a slow start for me.


“Part thriller, part magical realism, and part social commentary, Indian Killer . . . lingers long past the final page.”—Seattle Weekly

A national best seller, Indian Killer is arguably Sherman Alexie’s most controversial book to date—a gritty, racially charged literary thriller that, over a decade after its first publication, remains an electrifying tale of alienation and justice. A serial murderer called the Indian Killer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting, scalping, and slaughtering white men. Motivated by rage and seeking retribution for his people’s violent history, his grizzly MO and skillful elusiveness both paralyze the city with fear and prompt an uprising of racial brutality. Out of the chaos emerges John Smith. Born to Indians but raised by white parents, Smith yearns for his lost heritage. As his embitterment with his dual life increases, Smith falls deeper into vengeful madness and quickly surfaces as the prime suspect. Tensions mount, and while Smith battles to allay the anger that engulfs him, the Indian Killer claims another life. With acerbic wit and chilling page-turning intensity, Alexie takes an unflinching look at what nurtures rage within a race both colonized and marginalized by a society that neither values nor understands it.(US) (UK)

Matinicus – Darcy Scott

This was a great mystery story, set on Matinicus, an island off the coast of Maine. Some nice plot twists, a mixed in ghost story, and more made this fine reading. I was impressed. Picked this up used at a local bookstore.


Praised by Kirkus Reviews as “The kind of book readers will tear through, only to find themselves hungry for more,” this century-spanning double mystery steeped in Maine island lore pits a renegade fishing community against an unhappy child-bride of the 1820s, a defiant twenty-first-century teen, and a hard-drinking botanist—Dr. Gil Hodges—who escapes to the island of Matinicus to avoid a crazed ex-lover and verify a rumored 22 species of wild orchid, only to find himself hounded by the ghost of a child some 200 years dead.

If Gil’s hoping for some peace and quiet, he’s clearly come to the wrong place. Generations of infighting among loose-knit lobstering clans have left them openly hostile to outsiders. When a beautiful, bed-hopping stranger sails into the harbor, old resentments re-ignite and people begin to die—murders linked, through centuries of violence, to a diary whose secrets threaten to tear the island apart.(US) (UK)

Mongrels — Stephen Graham Jones

Great book. An interesting take on werewolves. A genre that I don’t normally read, but this book kept me turning pages.


A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy, whose family lives on the fringe of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.
He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.
For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and narrow escapes—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will finally know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast now. Everything is about to change.
A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world. A smart and innovative story— funny, bloody, raw, and real—told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way. (US) (UK)

Letters To A Young Poet

I was told that this translation (by M. D. Herter Norton) is the best, and I couldn’t tell you different, as I quite liked it, and haven’t read any others. I will say, that I think I got more from the Chronicles section, which explained what Rilke was doing during this period, and a bit on his relationship with Rodin. For instance Rodin’s advice “il faut toujours travailler” (you should always be working), which is good advice for any artist.


Tom Sawyer


Today in history, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was copyrighted by Mark Twain.

I haven’t read this since I was a kid, but a lot of it stuck with me.
This is part of my People Who Made America Great series.

The novel has elements of humor, satire and social criticism; features that later made Mark Twain one of the most important authors of American literature. Mark Twain describes some autobiographical events in the book. The novel is set around Twain’s actual boyhood home of Hannibal, near St. Louis, and many of the places in it are real and today support a tourist industry as a result.

Killing Gravity

Great SF book. Quick read.


On Doing Nothing: Finding Inspiration in Idleness By Roman Muradov

Not just about doing nothing, but about how doing stuff other than your art can help with it. I, also, read his graphic story Jacob Bladders, which is interesting, esp. the art.