My book journal lists 70 books read in 2013. Here are my favorites from January to June. The second half of the year will appear in the next post.
January: The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje was quirky and nostalgic and beautifully written. I recommended it to the library Friday book group where feelings were decidedly mixed about this semi-autobiographical novel by the author of The English Patient. If you liked Ondaatje's autobiography, Running in the Family, definitely read The Cat's Table. Here is my blog post review of The Cat's Table.
My other January favorite was Safehouse, the first stand-alone novel by Chris Ewan, author of 'The Good Thief's Guide to...' mystery series. Mr. Ewan may feel as though I am stalking him as my posts and tweets and Facebook likes of his work are piling up and he often politely responds. But when you need a diverting, page-turning, entertaining, funny mystery or a good spy yarn to read or to recommend to a patron, you can rely on Chris Ewan's writing. Read my review of the spy thriller Safe House here.
Continuing with the English spy/thriller genre in February, Secret Asset by Stella Rimington about Liz Carlyle, an MI5 agent, is my top pick. I would recommend it to fans of the British spy genre and to fans of the TV show Covert Affairs, which is about a young American woman/CIA agent.
March has two favorites, both falling in the quirky/one-of-a-kind category. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. In fact, I reviewed them together under the heading Two Quirky Books. Both books featured old men who are old enough to defy convention and expectations, a cliche perhaps, but well-done with humor and mysterious plots that move at a good clip.
April's favorite was Dave Barry's Insane City. Laugh out loud funny, of course, and, I should mention, kind of 'course' too in places. Be warned, his descriptions of South Florida thugs are pretty disgusting, but funny, disgustingly funny.
May's choice is When the Devil Drives, by Christopher Brookmyre, a noir thriller set in Glasgow, Scotland. My review of the author's first book in the series, Where the Bodies are Buried , can be read here.
In June, I discovered the Walt Longmire western mysteries by Craig Johnson. Cold Dish was my first read and favorite of the month. Read my review of the series and TV show here.