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Books I Love, or Don't

March 22, 2013

GREAT READS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Not my standard fare but I LOVED these books. Lynne brought a bag home from the Community Library’s Book Sale full of great reads. Four novels far a field from the crime thrillers I devour like candy, and one that’s a non-fiction hybrid from a favorite author. Enjoy!

books-pile

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield

This extraordinary book spans six decades as a young biographer is summoned to hear the tale of a famous, reclusive authoress that, in her final days, reveals her private and unknown life always hidden from her legions of fans … and for good reason.

Beautifully written, and I kid you not, it gets better and better and better and better …

HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford

Events in 1986 trigger the story of lost, improbable, and forbidden love, based in Seattle against the backdrop of Japanese and Chinese Americans during World War II.

I loved this book for its history and passion.

THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST by Anna Jean Mayhew

The debut novel of a seventy-one year-old authoress is an impressive and inspiring trip back in time to the South of the early 50’s. This wonderful story touches the heart and makes you think for all the right reasons.

This is simply beautifully written with moving insight into issues of race and love.

SHANGHAI GIRLS by Lisa See

This one is a journey back in time to the years leading up to WWII. From Shanghai to Los Angeles, a brilliant historical novel exploring family, sisterhood and the horrors of immigration during a time when society wasn’t ready or willing.

You’ll enjoy this compelling, fascinating and hard to put down.

THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi

Douglas Preston (often writing with Lincoln Child) is the best-selling author of many thrillers, most notably the Special Agent Alousius Pendergast Series that are favorites of mine. This time, the story isn’t fiction, rather the tale of a serial killer in Florence, Italy that has baffled authorities and terrified the population for decades.

Teaming with Mario Spezi, the Italian journalist that became the de facto authority, the first half of the book is Mario’s story, the second half is Preston’s. The two meet when Preston moves his family to Florence. Extraordinary non-fiction that is hard to put down … especially as Preston and Spezi become suspects in a decades old web of deceit and corruption.

Thanks for reading, and all the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My newest novel, The Do-Over, is a hoot. Different by design from my thrillers, I hope you enjoy it.

If you’re a crime thriller aficionado, Rush to Dawn is the first in the Cups Drayton Series and Part I of The Mirano Trilogy. Like the other books in the series The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, available in paperback and Kindle eBooks.

To get the books click: Get the Books!

To learn about the books click: About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

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Books I Love, or Don't

November 17, 2012

MICHAEL CONNELLY – SIMPLY THE VERY BEST.

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

I’m a reader, a fan and a writer.  My taste is admittedly generously inclusive.  While delighted by all kinds of fiction, nothing is as much fun – or satisfying – as a great thriller.  There are a couple of dozen writers I read religiously, automatically. Many consistently great, but Michael Connelly, is the very best.

For the longest time, years and years, for me nothing beat a new Jack Reacher thriller from Lee Child.  Reacher was hands-down my favorite character.  If Cups Drayton, the hero of my crime thrillers, had a brother, it would be Jack.  But as much as I love the Reacher novels, and Lee Child only missed the mark once, and although his plots are always inventive and page-turning, Harry Bosch has eclipsed him, and every one else along the way.  Connelly simply has no equal.

When The Drop hit the paperback racks, I pounced.  It’s Michael Connelly’s 24th novel and the 15th featuring the incomparably human and fascinating LAPD homicide detective, Harry Bosch. And it’s a great read, I absotively and posilutely loved and admired this bit of crime fiction.

If you’ve never met Harry, make of point of doing and soon.

As Reacher has grown, sadly, a bit more cartoon-ey with time, pushing the faithful true believers like me to the limit, Harry Bosch matures and grows ever more complex and consummately satisfying.

And then there’s this:  I could never imagine Tom Cruise playing Harry Bosch.

And I like Tom Cruise, a lot.  I won’t hold the weirdness against him, instead I’ll ignore/forgive/endure all of his personal idiosyncrasies, because he’s a helluva an actor and had delivered some nice kick-ass performances in many action films.

But something can’t go unsaid:  After reading nearly a dozen and a half Reacher thrillers, Tom ain’t Jack. The movie might be great, I’ll go see it hoping for the best, but Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher.

Aboutthe Drop. TConnelly’s writing is superb, the plotting impeccable, and the characters are richer and more fully developed with every novel.

As a writer, he’s one of those guys that after reading I ask myself why bother?  Except I know the answer:  I’m pretty damn good myself, and getting better with each novel.

If you haven’t, yet, check out Michael Connelly, and then give me a tumble.

I think you’ll enjoy both of us.

Thanks for reading, and all the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My new novel, The Do-Over, is now available.  You can download a Free, No-Strings Test-Read – the first seven chapters.  I hope you’ll give it a taste.

If you enjoy crime thrillers, please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available in paperback and eBook; PDF, Kindle and ePub.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

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Books I Love, or Don't

August 8, 2012

RECENT READS … TWO LONG ONES GET “PRETTY GOODS”

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Neither of these is brand new or hot-off-the-presses.  I generally prefer paperbacks and will get around to stuff later, rather than sooner.  I like long books, especially when they’re good ones, but didn’t love either of these, but I almost did … both were intriguing, and for different reasons.

11-22-63 by Stephen King

I’ve always had a love-hate thing with SK.  He’s brilliant, except when he’s not, but look up prolific in the dictionary and you’ll see his face.

Seriously, does this dude sleep?   Or does he write while he sleeps???

The Shining may be the greatest haunted house yarn that has ever been spun, and The Stand was simply brilliant, inventive and compelling.  He lost me with It, but over the years I’ve dabbled now and again.

 

He’s not flawless, isn’t always great, but – call it a personal confession – at times he’s a wonder.



And in this case, I was curious, interested in this novel for three reasons:

First, the hardback mysteriously appeared at our house without me having to buy it.  Second, the JFK What-if thing is personally tough to resist.  And finally, the time travel component of the story piqued my curiosity because I dabbled with that myself in The Do-Over, my new novel.

Long, a little slow ramping-up, but it hooked me after a while and I liked the ending.

Stephen King is inventive, is a master of contemporary dialogue, usually entertaining, and while this novel wasn’t mind-blowing, I’m glad I read it.

GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin

Caught a few episodes of the HBO Series but couldn’t commit.  Balked at the books because I feared the multi-thousand pages commitment.  But a friend insisted, he gave me no choice, and months after he handed me the first installment, I guess I felt obligated, and a little guilty

Despite the fact that I harbored serious reservations about anyone with two middle initials.

But this is a very good friend, a trusted book-buddy, and the guy that introduced me to Diana Gabaldon.  I joyously committed to her Outlander Series; nearly 10,000 pages that thrilled me.

I guess Game of Thrones is what’s termed “high fantasy”.  I’m out of my comfort zone.  Fantasy doesn’t ordinarily wow me, but I like dabbling in all kinds of fiction.  Call me proud to be an open-minded reader of literature, although a crime thriller junkie in my heart of hearts.

At first, I thought I was drowning in a sea of people, places and events without context.  It took a while, but I got into it, finished it, enjoyed it, but all the while telling myself that I was one-and-done.  It was a reading date, not a long-term relationship or marriage.

But the ending surprised me, delighted me and had me wondering … now what?

I came to my senses, however.  I remembered what my friend had ended an email with when I wrote him about halfway through, telling him I’d gained traction and was enjoying it.

But will the story ever end???  He asked.

And that was enough for me.  Glad I read it, but I’m one-and-done.

I think.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My new novel, The Do-Over, is now available.  You can download a Free, No-Strings Test-Read – the first seven chapters.  I hope you’ll give it a taste.

If you enjoy crime thrillers, please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available in paperback and eBook; PDF, Kindle and ePub.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

 http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.hessel

Books I Love, or Don't

June 29, 2012

ANOTHER HITLER TAKE from ERIK LARSON

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

 

When I read The Devil in the White City, I marveled at non-fiction coming alive in a compelling and inventive read: Chicago preparing for the 1893 World’s Fair and a monstrous serial killer.  In the Garden of Beasts, it’s pre-WWII Germany, 1933-35, and the ugliest of monsters.

I’m not a World War II, or Hitler junkie, so I didn’t read the book because I can’t get enough.

But Larson’s research, and how he blends public record, letters, diaries, news accounts and more, places him in a unique narrative niche.  I’d read it not for Adolph but for Erik.

Hoping, however unrealistically, that there might be a new take.  He as much as promised that in the first sentence:

Once, at the dawn of a very dark time, and American father and daughter found themselves from their snug home in Chicago to the heart of Hitler’s Berlin.

What they saw, what they felt and experienced, what they believed and what they feared, was more than enough to lure me in.

And while I liked it and found it hard to put down once I’d gained traction, I didn’t love it.  I wondered why.

For the perspective from new the eyeballs (William Dodd, the new American Ambassador and his daughter, Martha), there really wasn’t a new take.  Still, it was what we knew.

Some people saw Hitler as the devil incarnate; others were long in denial and defended him until his actions left no doubt and ended the discussion.  Governments were predictably conflicted by their political correctness.

Some got it, some didn’t, but in the end everyone was horrified.  Okay, we knew that.

Still, I kept reading and I’m glad I did.

Why? Larson’s style: “any material between quotation marks comes from a letter, diary, memoir or other historical document.”  In the end, his style forgives all shortcomings.  Through that lens the insights into a world on the precipice of madness nearly eighty years ago, is simply fascinating.

I didn’t love it, but I liked it a lot and recommend it.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

My new novel, The Do-Over, is now available.  You can download a Free, No-Strings Test-Read – the first seven chapters.  I hope you’ll give it a taste.

If you enjoy crime thrillers, please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available in paperback and eBook; PDF, Kindle and ePub.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

 http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.hessel

 

Books I Love, or Don't,Rants and Rambles

March 28, 2012

OPENING DAY REDO – THE BEST BASEBALL NOVEL YOU MAY NEVER HAVE HEARD OF.

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

I originally posted about If I Never Get Back last year to celebrate the return of baseball season and offer it again with some edits.  Opening Day is today – Mariners-A’s in Japan, and next Wednesday – Cardinals-Marlins in Miami.

Since I was a small boy – many, many seasons ago – baseball has been a huge part of my life.  To put this in context, after Christmas Day and the last day of school, for me the two most joyful days of the year have always been the day pitchers and catchers report for spring training in February, and Opening Day of the regular season.

For all life hurls at us – forgive the pun – baseball is a precious cultural lynchpin, part of our national comfort zone.  Hope springs eternal, and all that.  I’m convinced that life is better, even during hard times, with baseball, maybe because of baseball.

Newspapers are infinitely more appealing with box scores every morning.

Growing up in St. Louis, baseball is part of my DNA.

I love the game that to me is the very greatest of all games, following it passionately 24/7/365.  Played as a kid, coached as a dad, and just recently having been lured out of ‘retirement’ to help with my grandson’s T-Ball team.

There have been many great baseball books, a few ranking fairly as national treasures.

Two novels, The Natural and Field of Dreams spring immediately to mind, both are wonderful, moving reads.  I devoured the Chip Hilton Series as a kid, some of the first books I read voluntarily.

Another personal favorite is presidential scholar Doris Kearns Goodwin’s remarkable memoir, Wait Till Next Year, and  there have been many other great baseball books.

A couple of years ago my wife surprised me when she brought home a used paperback she knew I’d love, from Powell’s, Portland’s legendary City of Books.  Powell’s is another national treasure, and luckily for us, it’s local.

If I Never Get Back, by Darryl Brock, is a terrific read, joyous, celebratory, even.  First published in 1990, I was amazed that in all the years since, I’d never heard of it.

This is a remarkable book in so many ways; it’s part baseball, part time-travel, part love story, and part historical novel, with richly portrayed insights into another time, when life, and baseball, scarcely resembled what they are today.

Brock pulls it all off.  I loved this book and if you’re a baseball fan, just a little or even not at all, you’ll have fun with this and I encourage you to look for it.

Darryl Brock has also written Havana Heat and Two in the Field, the sequel to If I Never Get Back.

I’d love to hear about baseball books I might not be aware of.

One last thing … this post, last year, led to an unexpected friendship with a Cardinal fan living across the river from St. Louis in Illinois.  He suffers from an disease that makes reading impossible … together we’ve implored the publisher to produce an audio version of If I Never Get Back,  one of his favorites, so he can enjoy it.  I’m hopeful to receive an email one of these days and look forward sharing good news on that score.

Until then, Play Ball!

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

My new novel The Do-Over, will be available May 1st.

To get the Free Rush Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

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Books I Love, or Don't

February 13, 2012

THIS BOOK DROVE ME CRAZY

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

South African Wilbur Smith has lots of fans and deservedly so.  Washington Post Book World calls him “One of the world’s most popular adventure writers,” and, again, deservedly so.  I’m a huge fan, I’ve read and loved dozens of his novels, but I’m having trouble with his new one.

Smith has sold over a hundred million books and writes four series:  The Courtneys, The Courtneys of Africa, The Ballantyne Novels and The Egyptian Novels comprise 21 novels.  Additionally, there are 12 stand-alone novels. Those in Peril is the newest.

His stories are big stories, set throughout Africa over the past five centuries.

Epic adventure yarns, with action, suspense, romance, powerful good guys, powerful bad guys, and a fair amount of sex.  For a dude who will be eighty next January, it’s pretty steamy, too.  Maybe more than is necessary, and I’m surprised to say that ‘cuz I’m no prude, and Mira Mirano, the villain-ess in The Old Dog’s New Trick, was a sexual predator amongst her other less admirable qualities.  My readers know she has many.  Characters like Mira Mirano are not soon forgotten.

But back to Wilbur Smith.

I can live with the sex … a friend at the gym asked if was re-reading those parts.

I told him I’d get back to him on that one.

What I’m having even more trouble with is more disconcerting.

Some of the dialogue is corny, muchof the language stiff, stilted and dated.  I don’t think his age or South African heritage explains it.

Perhaps I’m reading more critically than in the past. Maybe I didn’t notice it before, or care.  Or as a writer of now four novels, I may have become more sensitive and less tolerant of what I used accept but am unwilling or is harder to accept now.

Still, I finished the book.  Warts and all, it was hard to put down.

The action is great, the story is big, it’s Wilbur Smith and another African-International epic yarn.

One more thing … his names are getting weirder

Hector and Hazel?

The first Wilbur Smith I read was The Falcon Flies and remember loving a Yentl-like tale of a woman in 19th Century Europe drawn into the heart of deepest, darkest Africa, duped by her estranged brother who had his own agenda.

I became a fan for life … I may reread it now, many years later, to see if I still feel as strongly about it.

Can’t imagine I’ll ever do that with Those in Peril.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Books I Love, or Don't

January 26, 2012

RECENT READS, SOME FUN STUFF & SOME GREAT STUFF

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

It’s been too long since I posted one of these.  With publishing Imperfect Resolution, my new novel, The Do-Over, Holidays and keeping body and soul together, life is busy.  But I’ve read some great stuff.  Entries from lesser-known series and two novels that could each be called a tour de force.

First, four series from writers I always enjoy:

Ian Rankin is the top crime writer in the U.K., and if you haven’t yet read an Inspector Rebus novel, do yourself a favor and check him out.  Just read Resurrection Boys. Great stuff, he never disappoints and it’s like a free trip to Scotland.  He’s since launched a new series.

CJ Box is a best-selling, award-winning novelist that never disappoints.  His character, Joe Pickett, is a Wyoming Game Warden.  I recently read Open Season, the first in this series, it’s about ten years old, and loved it.

Jeff Abbott writes the Whit Mosley books, about a Justice of the Peace, in a small Texas town on the Gulf Coast.  A few weeks ago I read Black Jack Point, and it was a lot of fun.

James Swain writes the Tony Valentine thrillers, and they’ve got a gambling motif.  The hero is a gambling expert-security consultant hired by casinos to catch cheats.  Along the way, he gets caught up in all kinds of stuff.  You’ll also enjoy the glossary of gambling jargon.  My last James Swain was Deadman’s Bluff and it’s a hoot.

Now, two extraordinary novels that are simply jaw-droppingly brilliant fiction:

The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Some of the most beautiful prose you’ll ever read.  Also, some of the longest paragraphs I’ve ever seen.  A while I back I posted about another of his novels, The Nautical Chart, marveling at the rich and flawless translation.  This is not an easy read, dense and artistic language usually isn’t, but it’s worth it.  Loved this book.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

This amazing novel has received a ton of awards and acclaim and it’s well deserved.  A modern mystery of the murder of polygamist in modern day Utah, with a parallel story from 1875, about the Mormons, the Firsts, and Ann Eliza Young, Brigham’s 19th wife, who was expelled and crusaded to end polygamy.  Two things:  It’s a beautifully written page-turner and, believe it or not, at times has moments when it’s funnier than hell.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

Thanks for reading, and may the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Books I Love, or Don't

November 9, 2011

RECENT READS … LITTLE IS LOST IN TRANSLATION

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

A few words about four books that are truly worth your time.

A few years ago, I stumbled across The Shadow of the Wind (2004), the acclaimed international bestseller by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  The story takes place is Barcelona, shortly after World War II, and is nothing short of a remarkable piece of fiction from a truly gifted writer.

Amazon summarized Shadow as:

The international literary sensation-a runaway bestseller in Spain, rights sold in more than 20 countries-about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget.

What also hit me at the time was that the translation was simply flawless.  A few years later, I felt similarly about the Stieg Larsson translations, reminding me how gifted the translator must be to achieve such superb quality.

After reading Shadow, I passed it along to a friend that in recent weeks has returned the favor threefold.

First, he presented me with a copy of The Angel’s Game (2009), which is actually a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind.  Again, Zafón delivers an extraordinary piece of literature, an astounding ending, and a great read I couldn’t recommend more enthusiastically.

Here’s Amazon’s summary:

In this powerful, labyrinthian thriller, David Martín is a pulp fiction writer struggling to stay afloat. Holed up in a haunting abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, he furiously taps out story after story, becoming increasingly desperate and frustrated. Thus, when he is approached by a mysterious publisher offering a book deal that seems almost too good to be real, David leaps at the chance. But as he begins the work, and after a visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he realizes that there is a connection between his book and the shadows that surround his dilapidated home and that the publisher may be hiding a few troubling secrets of his own. Once again, Ruiz Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a breathtaking tale of intrigue, romance, and tragedy.

I loved the book, but luckily, my friend wasn’t finished and had two more treats in store for me.

The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen, is a simply outstanding crime thriller. Adler-Olsen is considered Denmark’s #1 crime fiction writer.  If you’re a fan of Nordic Noir, you’ll have a ball with this one.

Keeper is the first installment of his Department Q series and I intend to devour the rest.

A flawed, admirable detective hero, a terrifying case and a fabulous ending, I was hooked right away and really loved this novel.

The translation was nearly perfect, just a tad under the quality of the two Zafón novels.

Finally, came The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.  Man, but these Spaniards can write!  A mysterious hunt for long lost treasure, an unforgettable love story, adventure on the high seas so real I was tempted to look for some Dramamine, and I loved the ending.

The translation was impeccable, and as my friend assured me when he gave me this book, “Pérez-Reverte can really put words together.”  That he can, the language is simply beautiful.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep.

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Like my Author Page

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Books I Love, or Don't

September 7, 2011

RECENT READS: WHY JOHN GRISHAM (REALLY) IS SO GREAT.

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Have you noticed that when a writer is as successful and prolific as John Grisham, how easy it is to forget and undervalue the reasons why?  As if we penalize success because who could be that good?  Of his 25 books, most are legal thrillers and he owns the genre.  Grisham didn’t invent it, but he’s nearly perfected it, and often goes far beyond it.

His latest, The Confession (2010,) is a terrific legal thriller. A great read, with an inventive plot, unsurpassed courtroom action, crisp dialogue and great writing.

For all of that, the remarkable body of work and consistent quality, I think what I love even more are his books that are the clear departures from his core strength.

While I freely confess to being a life-long pop fiction thriller junkie, I couldn’t live without the regular departures.

I admire when writers step out and reveal another part of themselves that is totally different and unexpected.  Playing for Pizza (2007) and The Bleachers (2003) are unique sports stories.  Skipping Christmas (2001) is a laugh-out-loud classic that shouldn’t be missed, but might be thanks to the regrettable and forgettable Kranks movie.

But it’s A Painted House (2001) that entertained me, thrilled me, and moved me to the point where I almost wrote a fan letter.

This is the story of a seven-year old boy, son of sharecroppers, growing up in 1952 rural Arkansas.  On his website, he calls it “one boy’s journey from innocence to experience.”

As a reader, it was traveling back through time and across the great cultural divides.

And as a reader, it doesn’t get much better than that.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep.

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Like my Author Page

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

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Books I Love, or Don't

August 22, 2011

NOVELS ABOUT FAMOUS AUTHORS

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

I love discovering new authors.  A friend recently gave me a copy of The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl.  I loved this book for many reasons.  When I finished it, I was tempted to circle the date on a calendar and check-out his others.   Inventive, page-turning stuff.

Earlier works were about Dante and Poe.  His next book, due early in 2012, is evidently a departure – not about a novelist – rather a slice of non-literary 19th Century history.

Worth checking out … The review snippet below comes from BookList via Amazon.

Pearl’s latest literary historical mystery aligns perfectly with his two previous works, the widely applauded Dante Club (2002) and the equally esteemed Poe Shadow (2006); like its predecessors, the novel is a brilliant, exciting thriller exactingly set in past times and involving mysterious aspects of the lives of famous writers. This compelling yarn opens with a—yes, mysterious—scene set in 1870 India, in the wilds, when a mounted policeman invokes the name of Dickens while chasing a robber. Zoom off to Boston on the same day, when a clerk at a publishing house, who was sent to take into his own hands, for his boss, the advance sheets of the next installment of the recently deceased Charles Dickens’ novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is run down by an omnibus on his way back to the office, and the pages go missing. This situation necessitates the publisher’s going to England to attempt to ascertain how Dickens intended to end his novel. Just what do the seemingly disparate parts of the story have to do with one another? What the publisher becomes embroiled in, in London, is far more complicated than simply manuscript detection. A whole world of life-and-death nefariousness awaits both him and the reader, who will be well rewarded.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep.

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Like my Author Page

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049