Tuesday, November 27, 2018

TCCDM: 7 Favorite Books I Read In 2018

7 Favorite  Books  I  Read  In  2018

Every book is a new book if you haven't read it yet!  
And so, let us begin.

Case Histories - Kate Atkinson (2005)
A detective explores three cold cases that span
over 30 years and finds each intertwines in unusual
and compelling ways.  It's a clever mystery that's
unique in the telling with a tight satisfying payoff.

The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition - Stephen King (1978 /1990)
There are plenty of apocalyptic novels on the bookshelves these days but in 1978...not so many.  In this instance, a doomsday brought on by a government SNAFU.  And just like that..."Whoomp! (There it is.)"  This is the “uncut/unedited” version filled with dozens and dozens of wonderful minutiae scenes that really don't further the story along but does make the telling of this good/evil story all the more compelling. The Stand is widely regarded as the Bob Dylan song of this genre.  And for good reason.

Joe Vitale Backstage Pass - Susie Vitale  (2008)
One of the most entertaining memoirs I've ever read about the crazy rock-n-roll life.  Musician Joe Vitale shares stories of fifty years of rockin' and tourin' both onstage and back.  The book is loaded with plenty of famous namedrops and beaucoup pictures.  All the insane moments and close-call incidents that rock fans and musicians will recognize and appreciate.  Simply a blast to read.

"I, Robot" - Isaac Asimov (1950)
What?  This old-timer?  Yeah, really!  I'm not a sci-fi reader as a rule, but you don't have to be.  "I, Robot" is an entertaining and wickedly smart collection of 6 or 7 short stories that revolve around Asimov's famously clever, "Three Laws of Robotics." (Google it.)  And though it is not a complete novel...(I always assumed it was)...the shorter stories are so tightly woven around that robot premise...it makes very little difference.  "I, Robot" had been collecting dust on my basement shelf for years and I finally pulled the trigger.  I'm glad I did.  I think about this book often.

Sandstorm - James Rollins (2005)
This is a pulse-pounding mystery loaded with quick-hitting action and crazy-wack plot twists.  But Rollins does his homework, adding plenty of interesting facts that further along the story, keeping everything close enough to the plausible to let the boy play.  There is plenty of life-in-jeopardy choices to be made and gruesome fun deaths.  'Fun'...in the creative writing sense of the word, of course.  This is our first introduction to the Sigma Force series. (Each is stand-alone, so not to worry.)  When it comes to clever action that lovingly stretches the boundaries between possible and the absurd, James Rollins scratches the sweet spot.

Jinx - Brian Michael Bendis (2001)
This is a graphic novel that succeeds on many levels.  The great parlay between the two grifters and the bounty hunter named Jinx is a delight.  It's the absurd conversations that flutter around this group of dream-losers with the additional black and white artwork that makes everything appear more bleak and dangerous.  Tarantino's name is often mentioned in comparison, what with the casual, quirky dialogues that mask impending violence...and it's a fair one.  Jinx has a very edgy neo-noirish vibe and your hands feel like they need a good washing after reading it.  Can't ask for much better praise than that.

The Frontiersmen - Allan W. Eckert (1967)
Let's be real here a minute.  This isn't your Walt Disney coonskin cap sing-a-long story.  The Frontiersman is mostly true but reads like historical fiction at its finest.  Taking place in the Ohio, Kentucky, W.Va  areas...Eckert brings a detailed story about Kentucky frontiersman, Simon Kenton and the white man's expansion into the Shawnee territory.  Honestly, this was one of the bloodiest and barbaric novels I've ever read. And Eckert doesn't play.  Ain't nobody's hands clean in this one. My biggest surprise read of the year.

And once again,  "Every book is a new book if you haven't read it!"  Go get you one!.

"I'm Reading A Book"  -  Julian Smith

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers

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