Thursday, December 13, 2007

Can You Read Me Now?

During my so-called free time between writing books, penning magazine articles, and blogging, I do some part-time work at an independent bookstore in my Seattle neighborhood. I’d always wanted to work at a bookshop (if only for the deep discounts on new titles), so when the proprietor of this fine little establishment was looking for extra help, I stepped up. Working there has been a delightful experience, for the most part, though every once in a while some inquisitive soul reminds me of my human limitations.

“Have you read this?” he or she will ask, holding up a novel or non-fiction work that I’ve only ever had time to shelve, not devour. After I meekly admit my ignorance of the contents therein, the odds are that this same person will embarrass me again by asking about another obscure title that I also have not had time to enjoy. Once, a regular patron of the shop went through this exercise, and after I’d conceded an abject lack of knowledge about three books in a row, he looked at me and quipped, “Gee, for someone who works in a bookstore, you sure don’t read much, do you?”

Not true, I wanted to protest. I’ve read thousands of books--just not the two or three you’re asking me about today. But, as a good employee, I resisted the urge.

The fact is that, even though I’m a rather voracious consumer of the written word, I miss reading a lot of books every year--even works that at one time or another looked destined to crest my teetering TBR stack. Or I’ll start several books around the same time, get through some, and still have others unfinished by the end of the twelvemonth in which they were published. Heck, I’m only one person; I cannot read everything, even though some publicity-oriented authors think I should.

Last December, I tallied up the “unlucky 13” books I hadn’t found time to read in 2006. And, after receiving so many compliments (along with a modicum of sympathy) for that post, I have decided to repeat the performance. Below, then, are the 13 crime-fiction works, published during 2007, that I most wanted to read, but either never started or still haven’t finished as 2008 approaches:
Bloodshot, by Stuart MacBride (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
The Cruel Stars of the Night, by Kjell Eriksson (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Mintour)
The Dead Don’t Lie, by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Forge)
Eternal, by Craig Russell (Hutchinson)
Hidden Moon, by James Church (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur)
Kill Now, Pay Later, by Robert Terrall (Hard Case Crime)
The Last Striptease, by Michael Wiley (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur)
Magic City, by James W. Hall (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
The Secret Servant, by Daniel Silva (Putnam)
The Snow Empress, by Laura Joh Rowland (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur)
The Strangler, by William Landay (Delacorte)
The Verdict of Us All: Stories by the Detection Club for H.R.F. Keating, edited by Peter Lovesey (Crippen & Landru)
Who Is Conrad Hirst? by Kevin Wignall (Simon & Schuster)
It’s rather embarrassing to admit that these fine works haven’t yet passed before my reading glasses. But then, a few of them I assigned out to others for review, so I didn’t feel much pressure to read them myself; and the rest ... well, assorted commitments got in the way. I figure these books are on hand for those drippy Pacific Northwest weekend days, when nobody with a home bothers to leave it.

So ’fess up, folks: Which crime novels from 2007 did you never find the time to read? Tell us in the Comments section.

READ MORE: “Authors I Wanted to Review,” Part I and Part II, by Oline H. Cogdill (South Florida Sun-Sentinel).


Scott D. Parker said...

Here's my deal. I buy a book and have high hopes of reading. I really do. But then, other things and books get in the way. Eventually, I'll end up checking the *audio* version of the book out from the library and listen to it. For me, 2007 saw me do this very thing for Chabon's "The Yiddish Policeman's Union." But, I have the audio in the car as I type...

Uriah Robinson said...

I too have a pretty powerful list of "not had the time yet to reads."

Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland, a Ned Kelly winner

The Big O by Declan Burke, definitely one to cheer me up on a wet Devon day. The Pacific North West and the South West of England have a lot of weather in common.

In The Woods by Tana French, a much heralded debut novel

No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman and
The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

I had better get back to my reading.....

Spy Scribbler said...

No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman and The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen. Oh, gosh, that's not all. I could list fifty of them, no problem.

Gosh, it drives me crazy. I want more time to read.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to say that I have read Bloodshot and The Cruel Stars of the Night and enjoyed them. Definitely worth reading! I am now going back to read The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson. I have read everything by Stuart MacBride: Cold Granite and Dying Light. May want to read in order.