Home > Uncategorized > What I’m Reading (July 2014)

What I’m Reading (July 2014)

After a slowing down in June, I picked up the reading pace in July. I found some new authors and even found a few books by some of my favorites.

Book of the Month: I don’t often highlight a history book as the best book of the month, but Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb tops my list this month. Hunting Eichmann reads like a spy novel. Bascomb summarizes the career of Adolf Eichmann, one of the German leaders responsible for the Holocaust, before getting into the meat of the story- his escape from Europe after the war, his settlement in Argentina, his family rejoining him, and the team of Israeli spies who searched for, eventually captured, and then snuck him out of the country in 1960. Wright Thompson recommended this book on Twitter, describing it as a book he couldn’t put down, and I found that to be the case for me as well.

Fiction books:

Sam Hawken has staked his ground writing noir novels rooted in Texas and Mexico, and of the three I read this month, I enjoyed them all. Even though he writes about crime and violence, his stories move at a slower pace, allowing his characters to develop, and the texture of the surroundings to sink in. If you’re looking to start out, I’d recommend Tequila Sunset, which proved to be my favorite. I also enjoyed The Dead Women of Juarez, and La Frontera.

For fast-paced noir, look no further than the collaborative novels of Jason Starr and Ken Bruen. I will always read a Ken Bruen book, and he’s yet to disappoint. These three works- Bust, Slide, and The MAX– were a pleasure to read. Two characters, Max and Angela, are the thread that run through all three books. In their own way, these are two ordinary people with grand ambitions, looking for the easy way to fulfill those desires, but although their ineptitude helps them most of the time, it ends up getting them in the end. Highly entertaining.

Ben H. Winters released the final book of The Last Policeman Trilogy, entitled World of Troubles. It’s hard to say much about the book without giving away too much of the plot. In short, an asteroid is headed towards Earth, and former Detective Palace is on the search for his missing sister before the world ends.

I also read Easy Money by Jens Lapidus, the first of a trilogy, and A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride, another noir writer of the South.

Non-Fiction

Roland Lazenby has written one of the most well-researched biographies on Michael Jordan, called Michael Jordan: The Life. He reveals a great deal about Jordan’s childhood, and he spends time taking apart many of the myths that have built up around Jordan.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore cycling books, I finished two more this month in conjunction with the Tour de France. Etape by Richard Moore provides a revealing look at various stages of interest of past Tours. After interviewing Moore last year, and hearing him talk about the book, I was excited to get a chance to read the book. I particularly enjoyed the chapters dealing with the lesser known infamous stages. I also read A Clean Break by Christophe Bassons, which is his autobiography of being a professional cyclist during the highly-doped era of the late 1990’s and the constant pressure from other cyclists and team management to take performance enhancing drugs. I’ll spoil the ending, although tempted, he does not give in. Fascinating tale.

******

Other than watching every stage of the Tour de France, I only found time to watch two documentaries: One, Slaying the Badger, dealt with the 1986 Tour de France won by Greg Lemond when he was challenged by his own teammate, Bernard Hinault.

The other was Mistaken For Strangers, a documentary that began as one about the band, The National, and ended up being the documentary of two brothers, one who has achieved fame as the lead singer in the band and the other who is trying to find his way in life. Well worth the 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*******

Writing update: There’s been a dearth of blog posts, and I’m not sure when that’ll change. Between working on draft number four of my book- still don’t have a title- and slow-go editing-, and my day job as a technical writer for a software company, I’m a little worded out. I’ve started a few posts, but haven’t finished anything, and I’m not sure when I’ll get back to them.

As for the book, it’s coming along quite nicely. I’m very pleased with the progress. I only wish I could speed it up.

 

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