Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Recommended Reads

Books make wonderful gifts. What are your recommendations this year?

by Dietrich

They’re not all new releases and not all crime or mysteries, but here are twelve of my favorite reads from this year’s stack: 

Juliet, Naked is a well-written romantic comedy — it’s classic Nick Hornby. 

The Way We Die Now is Charles Willeford’s fourth and last in the amazing Hoke Mosely series. Willeford’s is one of the best voices in crime fiction — ever.

Exterminator! is just a great short story collection from the mind of William S. Burroughs. 

Stephen King’s supernatural crime thriller The Outsider is right up there with his best.

James Lee Burke’s Pegasus Descending is the fifteenth in the outstanding Dave Robicheaux crime series.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes is one of the best anti-war stories out there and shouldn’t be missed. 

Split Image by Robert B. Parker. Another unique voice in crime fiction, Parker spins a straight-on tale as he sends his protagonist Jesse Stone investigating a couple of mob hits. 

The Comedy is Finished by Donald E. Westlake, a posthumously released crime novel that focuses on the kidnapping of a famous comedian. I think this is one of Westlake’s best.

Slayground by Richard Stark is the fourteenth in the series, and one of my favorites. The premise is simple enough, Parker is boxed in an amusement park by gangsters out to kill him.

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young has the songwriter taking readers through the past, showing many aspects of himself outside of the music.  

Janis is a landmark biography about Janis Joplin by Holly George-Warren. It’s intimate, gripping — part of the soundtrack of my life — and celebrates the life of one of the greatest rock singers of our time. 

Me, the mob and the Music by Tommy James, co-written with Martin Fitzpatrick. It’s a look at the years James spent under contract at Roulette Records, and his sometimes terrifying, often humorous relationship with the label’s boss, Morris Levy, the godfather of the music business.

This is the last post of the year, and I’d like to thank my fellow authors here, along with the many readers for dropping in, and I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday. Here’s to a great New Year.


Brenda Chapman said...

You're an eclectic reader, Dietrich! Have a wonderful holiday season and let's hope for a happy 2021.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

All the best to you for the holidays, Brenda.

Catriona McPherson said...

I loved Juliet, Naked. Did you watch the film adaptation too? it's pretty good. And I think I'll take the plunge with my first ever Donald Westlake and read that one.

Susan C Shea said...

I love Donald Westlake's caper crimes - one of the few that make me laugh out loud. Haven't read this, but with your recommendation, Dietrich, I will. Happy holidays!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

I did watch the film adaptation, Catriona, and I thought it was pretty good too.

And I hope you and Susan both like the Westlake novel.

vina laurence said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.