Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime Reads

It's summertime and I'm looking for both fiction and non-fiction titles to read this week. On the fiction side, I've had my eye on these three for awhile:

The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler

Garnethill - Denise Mina

The Winter King - Bernard Cornwell

I know my friend John will lobby heavily for Cornwell and he may be right. I'm in something of a King Arthur mood (not personally, mind you; just for reading purposes) at the moment.

The Mina novel is a detective/mystery tale set in Scotland, which is not a strike against it, but I've recently read three of Ian Rankin's John Rebus (also a Scottish detective) novels and may need a wee break from the Scots.

And any season is a good time for Chandler.

On the non-fiction side, I've got a couple of intriguing titles on the shelf:

This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind - Ivan Doig, recommended during a recent Readers' Advisory workshop.

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town - Warren St. John, about refugee children from the Congo to Kabul playing on a soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia.

Perhaps the most interesting NF book I've run across lately is one I do not own: Strange Telescopes: Following the Apocalypse from Moscow to Siberia by Daniel Kalder. I ran across this a couple of weeks ago while checking in new books at the library. I read the jacket information and thought it was a sf novel. Here's the description from our library database:

A mind-bending voyage into the underground realms of Russia and beyond by the author of "Lost Cosmonaut," When Daniel Kalder descended into the sewers of Moscow in pursuit of the mythical lost city of tramps, he didn't realize that he was embarking on a bizarre, year-long odyssey that would lead him thousands of miles across Russia to the Arctic Circle via the heart of Asia. After exploring the depths of Moscow's "Underground Planet," Kalder journeyed to the Ukraine to chase down demons and exorcists in the dubious afterglow of the Orange Revolution, before meeting a man called Vissarion Christ-a one-time traffic cop, he is now messiah to thousands of followers in Siberia. Salvation and damnation collide as Daniel Kalder expertly guides us through this unique account of a modern day quest that reveals the astonishing lengths people will go to when they view the world through a "strange telescope."

Can you say wacked-out? It's going to be hard not to read this one first.

So whaddya think? What to read first?

1 comment:

John said...

Actually, I've also heard a lot of good things about Outcasts United. But The Winter King is an all-time favorite. Cornwell shifts the pieces (and their loyalties) from the traditional Arthur legend so convincingly and gives the legendary king real human failings. Impressive.