What books are we starting 2021 with?
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I've also had Bleeding Hearts, by Ian Rankin, nagging me to continue for the past day or so, so I will likely get back into that today.
I think after those I'm going to take a crack at Brothers Karamazov again. Maybe it's the winter time, but it feels about right for another Russian novel. ;)
I've started Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - very different! but already I'm enjoying the small, gossipy world of English communities in India.
Let me know how you liked A Better Man lamplight.. I'm usualy a big fan of Louise Penny, but this one felt stretched...
I'm finishing up Heat and Dust and have picked up a collection of short stories God's Spies, stories in defiance of oppression. It's an anthology by Alberto Manguel, one of my favourite anthologists (and Canadian!). I picked it up before the 2020 messes, and it seems like the climate is right for this type of read.
>20 lamplight:, I'll bet you were a great teacher.
It’s 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Penny (a woman working at the shipyard – very unusual for the time)’s love (and cousin) has been at war and he’s missing. They all think he’s dead. So, when Angus (much older than Penny) asks her to marry him, she accepts. Only days later, the Halifax Harbour goes up in an explosion.
The book only follows just over one week. It took longer than I liked to get to the explosion. Leading up to it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the explosion itself and the aftermath, but not long after, it concluded mostly with their regular lives again. If there had been more focus on the disaster, I would have enjoyed it more, I’m sure. There was an afterword by another “classic” Canadian author, Alistair Macleod – one of those that analyzes the book; one of the ones that should never be an introduction but often is (because it gives away the story)! Luckily, it was an afterword.
Also, CBC radio released a 1 hour blurb on Bear, and its relevance to today's society. I might have to read it now. I didn't realize it had been reprinted in 2014, with new, less campy cover art.
Pretty soon, anything pre-2020 will feel like a completely different era!
Noah is 79-years old and planning a trip to his home country, France – a country he had to leave at 4-years old due to the war. He has a set of photographs his mother took that had been in possession of his sister, who has since passed away, and Noah is hoping to find out more about them. A few days before the trip, he is contacted by social services. He has a great-nephew with no other family they are able to find/contact who needs a temporary guardian, as his father (Noah’s nephew) died, and his mother is in jail. Michael is 11-years old; he and Noah have never met.
It was good. Kept my interest, though it wasn’t terribly fast-moving. I sure did dislike the kid, though.
I'm continuing my mini-challenge of reading black authors during Black History Month by picking up L'empreinte à Crusoé.
But also starting The Sad Cypress because who doesn't love Agatha Christie in the middle of winter?
Next up, I'll head back in time from Air Bridge by a few years (and forward, and all points in between!) by re-reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse-Five.
Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice (First Nations, apocalypse)
The End of Her, by Shari Lapena (domestic thriller set in the US)
Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountains, by Meredith Erickson (author is a Canadian who spends years hiking, skiing and eating her way through the Alps)
Currently I'm reading:
the Better Mother, Jen Sookfong Lee (Chinese-Canadian character as a child in the 50s and as an adult in Vancouver 1980s AIDs epidemic - this one ticks lots of boxes for "areas of interest")
There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - (Russian short stories)
The Weather Detective, Peter Wohlleben - non-fiction about weather, with connections to how to read weather signs in your garden (well, if your garden resembles his, which is in Germany)
Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - (coming of age in Nigeria in a prosperous family, but with an abusive and pious father )
That was eye-opening for me
To Forgive Design, by Henry Petroski - about failure in the engineering sense, very interesting
Spider-Gwen Vol. 0: Most Wanted?, by Jason Latour - I watched Into the Spider-Verse recently and really liked it, so I'm digging into some of the comics featuring the alternate Spidey-people.
The Inimitable Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse: I've been reading this on Serial Reader for the past few weeks over lunch.
Then today I started Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès, by Maurice Leblanc. I want to watch Lupin on Netflix but wanted to read at least one of the books first. This is one of several available on Faded Page: https://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20180242
I finished this great espionage novel set during the War on terrorism, Katiba by Jean-Christophe Rufin.
In each of the first two chapters, Maggie O'Farrell does have a brush with death. I'm on the first page of Chapter 3, she is a child and has just become lost from her mother. And there are 17 chapters!
June has just retired, but with her and Randy’s three adult children still living at home (though they’ve been trying to get rid of them for a while!), there’s not much time to relax. When she is trying to get her kids to help her clean the basement, her youngest son, Derek, gets a phone call. He needs to go to the hospital because Marissa is having her baby. Who is Marissa, June wonders, but they pile in the car to be there with Derek. Soon, Derek is home with a baby he’d only found out a week or so earlier that he was the father of. Daughter Vanessa seems to have a much older girlfriend – who new Vanessa was a lesbian!? Not June, nor Randy. Both June and Randy also have their own family issues going on at the same time…
This was a whirlwind! I liked it, but I’m sure happy to live alone. All that activity was crazy and would drive me insane! I like my quiet life. There was humour mixed in here and there, as well. This is a local author to me, so it’s always fun to read about places I know in my city.
Dian Fossey was chosen by Louis Leakey (the same man who sent Jane Goodall to study chimpanzees) to study gorillas. Dian did not have a degree in a related field, though she loved animals. She started in the 1960s until she was murdered in her cabin in 1986. She fell hard for some men (though she never married), but she also did not get along with a lot of people, including some of the students who came to work with her. There was a lot of friction as different people had different ideas about how Karisoke (where she ultimately ended up studying the gorillas in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda) should run.
The gorillas (and other animals there) were often targeted by poachers and the area also had farmers who allowed their cows into what was supposed to be a protected park area. Dian took it upon herself, in order to save the gorillas, to do (and train others to help… plus she used her own money to pay people since the park rangers didn’t appear to do anything to help) what she called “active conservation”. That is, destroying the snares/traps, rescuing as many animals caught in those traps and by poachers as possible, and catching the poachers. She didn’t agree with bringing tourists to visit the habituated gorillas, though she later relented as long as they were small groups, but she still wasn’t overly happy about it.
Farley Mowat took much of this book from Dian’s own journals/writings, and changes the font in the book to indicate when/where he is using Dian’s words. He fills in the rest. I read “Gorillas in the Mist” years ago. It focuses more on the gorillas themselves, whereas this (though it includes some of the gorillas) focuses more on Dian and the politics and relations with the various people involved. I also read a book by two of Dian’s former students who she didn’t get along with, but I don’t recall all the animosity (but it was so long ago, I may not be remembering, or maybe they left out some of the political issues). In any case, it would be a dream for me to study wild animals in the wild! So, I really enjoyed this. Frustrating at the people who weren’t helping Dian more with her “active” conservation, though I’m not sure I would be brave enough to confront poachers with guns and machetes, either!
I've also finished Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. While clearly preaching for a vegetarian (and preferably vegan) diet, I appreciated his willingness to give a voice to all perspectives.
Bride of New France, historical fiction by Suzanne Desrochers. I used to love historical fiction and my tastes have changed so this has sat on my TBR for years. But so far it's pretty good and I'm happy to read it.
Beyond the Pale:Folklore, Family & the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes, by Emily Urquhart - Urquhart was teaching folklore at Memorial University in Newfoundland when she gave birth to a daughter with albinism. Her husband is a biologist. I'm really looking forward to this book about raising a daughter with physical challenges; challenges that are treated as angelic, demonic, or strangely in other parts of the world. The author is the daughter of novelist Jane Urquhart and painter Tony Urquhart.
Feminist City, by Leslie Kern. I heard her interviewed on CBC recently and it was fascinating. It's about how how cities are run is largely based on the needs of able-bodied men and not others. Haven't gone very far, but my daughter is studying urban planning at university so I thought we could both read it.
Chad Hobbes went to law school in England, but never wrote the bar exam. In 1868, he has come to British Columbia, a British colony, but not yet part of Canada (which was just recently formed in the east), but without having written the bar, he cannot practice as a lawyer, so he gets a job as a constable in Victoria. When an American “alienist” (psychiatrist - I had to look it up!) is found murdered in a very gruesome way, everyone assumes it’s the First Nations people who are closeby who killed him. One is arrested and it is assumed he will soon hang for it. Hobbes, though, doesn’t think he (nor any of the other natives) did it, and he sets out to find who really did it. In the meantime, Hobbes finds himself attracted to the sister of the man who was arrested.
Be warned: this was quite gruesome in the details. Also, there was a lot of investigation into sexual things. There is definite racism here, primarily against native people. Overall, I’m rating this ok. There were parts that just didn’t interest me, so I kind of tuned out, but other parts were fine and I followed without an issue. I’m thinking maybe the writing style? The odd thing is that I love historical fiction, I also like mysteries (though some types more than others), but oddly, more often than not, historical mysteries don’t interest me as much. I have no idea why.
I did like the Canadian background in this, though. I’ve been to Victoria a couple of times, so I could picture some of the places mentioned. There was an odd (I thought) twist and I felt like the end was a bit too much all tied up – except for one thing. That one thing wasn’t a happy one (and it was apparently a real event). The brief afterword also explained that many of the people were real people.
The Izzy Doll is a small knitted/crocheted doll that Canadian peacekeepers have been giving out to kids in war-torn countries, or just poor kids in countries where they are posted. It started with Mark Isfeld, who died in Croatia in 1994 while serving a peacekeeping mission there. He was trying to clear landmines at the time. Previous to his death, though, he told his mom back in Canada how much he wanted to give these kids something to call their own. She started making these little dolls and shipping them to her son to hand out. This has since grown into a much much larger project, where people all over the country (and some in the US) help knit/crochet these little dolls to bring smiles to those kids’ faces.
The book is also a biography of Mark, and both his parents, and it also looks at peacekeeping and peacekeepers, as well as landmines and the attempt to rid the world of them, as they are so dangerous long after conflicts end. There is also some memoir added in as Phyllis travels and talks to various people she focuses on in the book (the Isfelds and others).
I had never heard of the Izzy Doll before Phyllis, the author of the book (and an acquaintance of mine!) gifted a copy of the book to me. As sad as it was for the soldier whose idea it was to have died not long after he started handing them out (and both his parents died within months of each other in 2007), it is absolutely an uplifting book. The book is also peppered with photos of the Isfelds and more.
Noemi has gone to see her recently-married cousin, Catalina, who married suddenly and is now living in a remote large house with her new husband’s family. Noemi’s father is worried about some letters Catalina has written, as it sounds like she is very ill, so he wanted Noemi to go see how Catalina is doing and see if she can help. Catalina’s husband, Virgil, and his entire family is very odd, to say the least… and it seems quite apparent that they don’t want Noemi there.
The book is slow moving. I listened to the audio, which was fine, but not a whole lot happened until about the last quarter of the book. It did pick up, but not enough for me to raise my rating very much (the extra .25 is for when it finally picked up). I’ve seen this compared to “Rebecca” as a Mexican Rebecca, and Rebecca also started very slow, but there was something about the atmosphere in Rebecca and the story that had me like it better, overall. The atmosphere was done well in this one, too, but one thing I didn’t like were the odd, kind of psychedelic, dreams Noemi was having. Those were just...weird. That did put me off some. Overall, 3 stars for me is ok, and I added the little extra for the pick up at the end.
A book of short stories… I’ve said it before – I’m not usually a fan of short stories, and I wasn’t here, either. There was one that I liked; there were a few more that were ok – I wouldn’t say I liked them, but at least they held my attention; the others, I just wasn’t interested in and didn’t even manage to follow.
I hate writing a bad review about a book by a Canadian author, but I’ve actually also met this author a couple of times (and my book is a signed copy). I did like that some of the stories were set, not only in Canada, but in my city (Calgary – where the author lives, or did the last I knew), and in another city I’ve visited a couple of times (Victoria), so it’s always nice to recognize the places mentioned/described.
Grown Ups by Marian Keyes which I ended up enjoying after finding it rather stereotypical
Sweetland by Canadian Michael Crummely, an excellent piece of fiction but much too glum for pandemic life
N'oublier jamais by Michel Bussi an over-the-top but enjoyable thriller
On to something much more serious Les oiseaux vont au Pérou pour mourir by Romain Gary; curiously reads a bit like a play.
This story revolves around people who work at a radio station in the mid-1970s in Yellowknife, NWT. Dido and Gina are fairly new to Yellowknife and the radio station. All the men seem to be attracted to Dido.
Wow, this was boring. There were a couple of mildly interesting things that happened – thee was debate on a new pipeline that a company wanted to put in and a woman disappeared in winter. But, overall, pretty slow and boring. And I didn’t see one likable thing about Dido, who seemed to just go back and forth between the men. In fact, I don’t think I really liked very many of the characters… maybe Gwen, but then I skimmed so much of the book in the end, so hard to say if she really was likable.
I’m not sure why I added it to the tbr… looking now, I see it was either nominated for or won the Giller Prize, which should have been a red flag waving me away, but if the story initially sounds interesting, I will still often try them. I see the GR description also says “Written in gorgeous prose…”, which should also be a warning to me.
I really liked Late Nights on Air, but I spent 6 summers of my earlier life in the North -- in my case Whitehorse and far-northern BC. I thought she really captured the mood of the North, and the wide variety of people who find themselves there. I also thought it was great that when they got seriously lost on their hiking trip, they were saved by a lone Japanese tourist. I read it a couple of years after it was published, and it has stuck with me.
Different strokes and all, but I thought I'd speak up and say why one reader liked it.
I did mention the Giller Prize and the "gorgeous prose"... which are appealing to many people. Just not so much to me. :-)
I liked the sparsely written style of the book. I was interested in the characters and how they turned out, but wasn't deeply affected by any of them -- even deaths and lost love lacked a sense of poignancy. I think the inordinate amount of overt foreshadowing dulled any sense of shock or surprise I might otherwise have felt. The background story of the real-life Berger Inquiry into northern development was well done and added a lot of context about attachments to place and to wanting to control your way of life.
This book looks at twelve small towns on the Canadian Prairies, four towns in each of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. These are towns that have reinvented themselves to come back from dying out completely. One chapter for each town tells us the history of the town and what they’ve done to keep the town alive.
I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, so I found this really interesting. It might have helped that I know some of the towns (and I know about Rosebud, AB and Vulcan, AB and their “claims to fame,” so to speak); however, I really do think the stories of these towns could be interesting to anyone. The author really does write the stories of the towns very well. The book reminded me a bit of CBC’s “Still Standing”, except the book includes more town history, in addition to the current situations in the towns.
Favourites of mine were Craik, SK (now an eco-village) and Neubergthal, MB (done up as a historical Mennonite village). My Dad’s background is Mennonite, so that might also have helped with the interest there. Other towns (you can guess what Vulcan is famous for): Rosebud is for the dinner theatre in town; Warner, AB for a world-class women’s hockey program; Elbow, SK for their marina, Beacham, SK for the artists in town; Inglis, MB for their “elevator row” (historical grain elevators). The title really drew me to the book, as I have family in Herbert, SK. The author did not include Herbert as one of the essays, but she mentioned a bit about it (and the title) in the epilogue.
I've finished: Les oiseaux vont au Pérou pour mourir by Roman Gary
Un peu de soleil dans l'eau froide by Françoise Sagan
F-bomb: dispatches from the war against feminism by Lauren McKeon
Nous les dieux by Bernard Werber
One Summer by David Baldacci
My main criticism is that she doesn't actually advance the conversation to include men and the role of men in feminism. There's a passage where she quotes Friedan and Beauvoir where the two didn't understand each other. Friedan was pushing women's equality based on men's standards; Beauvoir was hinting - hey! maybe we should have an altogether different standard where women and men are equal. McKeon's framework is outdated and - for me - frustrating.
My parents did watch the series and then my mum read the book, and she really liked both. Not sure if they made any changes when adapting it to the screen.
Beatrice wants to spend her life learning magic, doing magic, and becoming a mage. With this, she wants to help her merchant father. Unfortunately, society (and her father) have other plans for her: marriage and children. And as soon as a woman is married, on goes the collar to stifle all magic because it might hurt any forthcoming children. So, women don’t get to do magic (only men) until they are beyond childbearing years.
In a bookstore, as Beatrice hunts for grimoires (textbooks) to help her learn magic, she runs into a brother and sister from a wealthy family who could have an influence on her father’s business. The sister, Ysbeta, wants the same grimoire Beatirce has her hands on. Playing peacemaker, Ysbeta’s brother suggests Beatrice and Ysbeta learn together, but Ysbeta buys the book and walks out without providing an invitation/calling card for Beatrice to meet her to study. In the meantime, it is bargaining season when the eligible men come to woo the eligible daughters and/or bargain with their fathers.
This was good. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, depending on the type of fantasy. This was urban fantasy, so more my “thing”. There is also a romance mixed in, but not too much romance for my liking, either. Overall, I liked it.
In 1982, Viv arrives in Fell, New York, and starts working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. It’s not long before she learns of the visitors (some alive, some not) to the motel. As she learns more about the murders (and deaths) that happened in the previous few years, she does some investigating and comes up with a theory about what happened. But, not long after, Viv herself disappears.
In 2017, Viv’s niece Carly arrives in Fell. Carly has a fascination with true crime, and with her mother (Viv’s sister) recently passed away, Carly feels like she can investigate what happened to Viv. Following in her aunt’s footsteps, Carly also starts working at the Sun Down Motel… only to discover some of those same visitors to the motel.
I listened to the audio. There were two different voices for each of the main characters. It didn’t hold my attention 100%, but I was interested enough that plenty of times, I “rewound” to hear what I’d missed. There was some good atmosphere, with some creepy happenings.
It’s sometime in the future, and Indigenous people are being hunted by non-Indigenous for their bone marrow, as there is something in it that helps people dream, and Indigenous are the only ones who are now able to dream. Frenchie, a 16-year old(?) Metis boy, has lost both his parents and his older brother, so he’s on his own until he comes across a group of Indigenous people travelling north.
This was good. I had a bit of trouble getting into it at the very start, but it only took a couple of chapters. I didn’t like one of the decisions Frenchie made near the end of the book, but that ended up working out better than I’d expected. I also thought the very end was unrealistic, but it was good up to that point. It’s a pretty fast read.
Nina is an East Indian girl, growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is mostly vignettes of her life, starting in grade 9 in the 1990s and continuing through high school and beyond, as she becomes a teacher and navigates online dating.
I thought this was good. I liked Nina’s parents, and I liked many of the pop culture references. I was a bit confused that there was something at the beginning that never seemed to be tied up, though. I kept wondering if it would resurface later in the book, but it didn’t – unless I missed it.
It has some structure traits that I don't particularly like. Namely, jumping between time periods every chapter, but that seems to be the current trend in literature, so it's hard to find a book without that gimmick.
Not sure what I'll settle on next... I am of course drawn by all the library books that DON'T have looming due dates. I might go with The Decagon House Murders, by Yukito Ayatsuji, translated by Ho-Ling Wong.
This is set near the Sand Hills in Saskatchewan near the Alberta border. It starts in 1909, but quickly moves on to the next generation. I wouldn’t have known it from the story, but the majority of the farmers living nearby are German immigrants, (I think) via Russia.
All these things should have been more interesting to me with a German (via Russia) family background, and I grew up in Southern Sask and have been to the Sand Hills.
I feel like 2.5 might even be a bit generous. There was one storyline that was (somewhat) interesting, but mostly this was boring. I wasn’t all that interested, and I was confused by who some of the characters were and how they related to the story. Well, they were all in the same town/area, but otherwise… Drove me nuts the one character was simply called “the boy”. Seriously? He doesn’t have a name? Come on!
Samra Habib was still a girl when her entire family came to Canada from Pakistan. They were a part of a minority group of Muslims who were discriminated against in their own country. As she grew up, she knew she didn’t see things the same as her parents and she did not want to marry her cousin in the arranged marriage that had been planned. In fact, she wasn’t interested in men at all, and thought she may be asexual. As an adult, she came to realize that she was, in fact, queer. And she learned how to reconcile that with her Muslim faith.
This was good. It did move quickly and it felt like it skipped forward fast in some cases. It was interesting to read about, though. Have to admit (though that wasn’t the entire purpose of the book!), I found the first half more interesting - the parts that focused on her trying to fit in after she immigrated.
That said, I found the book a little dull. The author is a trained journalist and I think she has written about her life more as an observer than as the main character in her own story. I don't feel I know her even after learning about her struggles with faith and sexuality. It wasn't a bad book....just not nearly as interesting as I'd expected.
I did add a bit more to my paltry review just now (on the book page), so I'm going to edit it here, too >215 LibraryCin:. I just wanted to add that I did find the first half more interesting with her trying to fit in as a teenager when she first moved to Canada.
Good point - it was a bit detached, as well.
The Donnelly family was an Irish family who immigrated to Canada in the mid-1800s. They set up in the township of Biddulph, Ontario. They were rough – they got into fights, they drank, they vandalized neighbours’ barns (including arson), sabotaged competing business… The father, James, was even convicted of murder and spent time in jail. But the entire area was rough and others did these things, too. James and Johanna had seven sons and one daughter. After decades of the violence, locals got tired of it and took things into their own hands. In the end, four of the family were murdered and burned in one house, and one of the sons murdered in another.
I’ve read a couple other books on the Donnellys, so the entire story was not new to me, but I think this book had a lot more detail and more episodes of things happening. There was a LOT of detail. In addition, there were photos – of the people, the places, letters and other primary documents that the author used in his research. There was a LOT of research that went into this, but it was also a bit dry to read at times. I wanted to give it 4 stars for the extensive research, but I’ve kept my rating just under that. 3.5 stars is still good for me.
Ann Hui grew up in Vancouver, and later moved to Toronto where she became a journalist. In 2016, she decided to do a cross-Canada road trip with her partner while stopping at Western Chinese (aka “Chop Suey Chinese”) restaurants and talking to and learning about their owners and the history of the Chop Suey Chinese restaurants in Canada and North America. This is as she learns that her parents had run a Chinese food restaurant before she was born that she never knew about. She weaves in her father’s story, as he immigrated from China (years after his father and sisters came to Canada), grew up, married, worked in and ran restaurants, and had children.
I listened to the audio, read by the author herself, and quite enjoyed this. I was particularly interested in the chat with the owner of the Silver Inn Restaurant in Calgary (where I live), as I was only there for the first time a couple of years ago. This s where “ginger beef” was invented. (I also hadn’t realized that ginger beef is specifically a Western Canadian dish!) But, there were other interesting stories, too. I have to admit it took a while to get “into” her father’s story – I found it more interesting after he arrived in Canada. Ann Hui did a good job of reading the book. She did stumble over words occasionally, but it didn’t detract from the story,
When Kate is only 7-years old, tragedy hits her family in Northern Ontario. She and her baby sister, Bo, end up being raised by their older brothers, Luke (19-years old) and Matt (17-years old). Luke gives up his future so they can stay together, and also so Matt can finish school and continue to university (he was always the smarter one, anyway – the one expected to go to university). Kate and Matt have a bond.
Grown-up Kate, a professor in Toronto, never thought she’d fall in love, but she has. But she also has a hard time opening up to Daniel about her past and her family, even though they’ve been together for more than a year. Daniel still hasn’t even met her family.
I really liked this. It was slow-moving, but I found even the biology bits interesting. There was tension in Kate’s family, though she didn’t understand much of it when she was a kid. And the neighbours had some drama (this may be putting it lightly) going on at their place, as well. I actually read this over a decade ago, but only remembered siblings and a lake (actually it was a pond). I really didn’t remember much at all, but it was chosen as a book club book, and I’m really glad I reread it.
I've been away for a bit, which means I've caught up in my reading!
Rien ne s'oppose à la nuit by Delphine de Vigan, an almost stream of consciousness memoir about her bipolar mother.
Help Me! by Marianne Power, a memoir into the world of self-help which brings out the author's vulnerabilities in an almost painful way
Love your Life by Sophie Kinsella, a novel that has all the Kinsella charm and humour
Le mystère des dieux by Bernard Werber, the final of a trilogy about Greek mythology, which disappointed me: it finishes with an unsatisfying slight-of-hand
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a collection of short stories, each of which is an absolute gem
1. Skinner's Rules by Quintin Jardine
2. The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh (true crime and quite interesting)
3. Salt Lane by William Shaw
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