Quality over quantity. That’s my excuse for reading fewer books in March. Quality over quantity. Not yard work, longer hours at work, edits on my book, or even being sick for a few weeks. I read some outstanding stuff this month. Nearly every book this month deserved a Book of the Month marker.
Book of the Month: The Marauders by Tom Cooper. Set in a Louisiana shrimping community devastated by an oil disaster, fishermen are worried about how they’ll get by, an oil company representative is offering residents a pittance to settle, a one-armed man is hunting for lost treasures, and two brothers are making money the old-fashioned way- by dealing drugs. Despair and greed all rolled into one. More than a crime novel, The Marauders is the story of a community and a way of life slowly dying away.
Some other good reads:
- Adrian McKinty has added another fine addition to his crime novels revolving around Detective Sean Duffy during the Troubles era. Gun Street Girl is worth the time.
- Worm by Anthony Neil Smith is an novel set in the Bakkens, the wild west, where anything seems to go with where oil money and drugs come together. Add a Yugoslavian war criminal and the story gets even more interesting.
- Fast One by Paul Cain takes a bit of time and effort in the beginning, but it’s worth the effort. Written in the 1930’s, Fast One is a hardcore pulp novel to the nth degree. Mayhem and murder come one after another as the main character, Kells, stumbles into an opportunity for one last big score. Fast-paced and superb. Note: The life of Paul Cain is worth a google as well.
- The Blind Alley by Jake Hinkson is an overview of noir films of yesterday. More known for his novels, Hinkson has provided a great introduction and history to noir films. I have a list of movies I want to see.
- The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills tells of the year and a half Mills lived next door to Harper Lee and her sister. This is a fascinating look at a woman who published one book and retreated into her life in a small town.
- Salt, Sweat, and Tears: The Men Who Rowed the Oceans by Adam Racily. My first thought, what would posses a man to want to row across the Atlantic Ocean? In addition to chronicling the author’s own attempt, he tells the story of the men who succeeded and failed before him.
Most of the time, if I don’t like a book, I’ll mention the title and say nothing about it or leave it off my list altogether. While in Austin, I saw a book, Austin Breakfast Tacos, and my interest was piqued. Among many things, Austin is known for breakfast tacos and a book on the the subject of one of my favorite foods- I was all in. The book is the collection of interviews from people in Austin about breakfast tacos. Every interview is exactly the same. It’s as if the authors sent a questionnaire out to people and slapped those responses into a book. Very disappointing.
TV & FILM
All the usuals here: Better Call Saul, Justified, and The Americans. I believe they all finish in April, so maybe I’ll have more to say then.
On Netflix, I stumbled across a show called The Red Road, a show from Sundance TV. A college student goes missing, a woman has a psychotic break and can’t remember if she hit someone with her car, her policeman husband tries to cover it up, and his only ally is a man recently released from prison for drug trafficking. Season one only contains six episodes and I found myself surprised at how much I liked it.
I finished my hand-written edits of Taken For Granted, which is always the hardest. I’ve sent a draft off to a reader, am reading it again myself and making a few revisions. This one is close to being done.