An open discussion on what everyone is currently reading. Make recommendations to others, discuss what is new, hot, bestsellers, anything and everything related to books and the authors.

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I agree that Martin's series is way better than Tolkein's -- though one must take into account Tolkein's lack of a tradition to build on. Tolkein writes with a beautiful rhythm, and in his day it wasn't the author's job to make reading easy for the reader.

I think Martin does a good job of reminding people of what was going on when he picks up a thread again. It might be a bit tough when DANCE WITH DRAGONS comes out, to connect up the threads with what was happening to those characters because that was two books ago. On the other hand, it might not, the way Martin lays his groundwork.
The Ivory Grin by Ross Macdonald. About 50 pages in but great book, I love his writing.
I too love Ross MacDonald's writing. His characters are so emotionally involved. BLACK MONEY sticks out in my memory as an especially good example.

I'm sequestered with a cold, so reading through Robyn Carr's northern California novels. They have a lot more to them than romances usually do. I tracked down the rest once I had read one.
Listening to Thomas Perry's latest Jane Whitfield novel 'Runner', actually halfway through it. I'm not sure what to make of this one. Characters aren't acting like how I think a person would act in real life. Plus he's repeating himself on how cautious a runner has to be, or how clueless this runner is, or maybe he's leading up to a plot twist - since its Perry he probably is. I should just shut up and finish the thing. *G* One nice bit is he revisits characters from other books, like forgers, previous runners, references that are familiar such that you think 'I read that one didn't i?'.

Perry moved on from Jane a number of novels ago. The non-Jane novels are very good, if anyone wonders. BTW he's still the master of getting out of tight places, even in a post 9/11 world.

I started John Harvey's new Charlie Resnick 'Cold in Hand' I thought I'd forget some of the backstory between characters, but they all fall into place. Don't let that stop you. Great style.
At the moment I am reading Dogs by Nancy Kress, having just finished rereading Terry Pratchett's NightWatch. I read Sujata Massey's Shimura Trouble and enjoyed it immensely. She's a cracker of a novelist. My favourite was The Bride's Kimono. What I love about Massey's books is the social and cultural detail provided as backdrop to the tense storytelling. I miss Irene Lin Chandler. She too wrote about a heroine who crossed cultural barriers both in her private life and as an investigator. Next book will likely be by Catherine Coulter.
Having had a couple of months of embarrassing low reading numbers, I'm making an effort to lift my game (plus I've got a heap of local review books to catch up on). So

Punter's Turf by Peter Klein - a new horse-racing based mystery book from a Melbourne author - about a third of a way through this and it's fabulous.

Move to Strike by Sydney Bauer is next up - her fourth book.

But most fabulously, I'm doing a bit of a retrospective of earlier writers from Australia - Pat Flower's 3 terrific final books - thrillers - Vanishing Point, Crisscross and Shadow Show, Force & Fraud by Ellen Davitt - possibly the first ever crime novel from here, Madame Midas by Fergus Hume which is post The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, as well as an Anthology of Colonial Australian Crime Fiction.
I just finished Dog On It by Spencer Quinn. This is a tale about a PI and his dog. The kicker is that the whole book is told in first person by the dog! It's funny, has a decent plot, and this guy really knows dogs. I highly recommend it.

Chip Cox
OK, you convinnced me as I am a dog person as well. I have two Boston terriers, the mom and the kid
My daughter gave me two excellent spy novels: "The Confession" and "36 Yalta Boulevard" both set in an Eastern European police state. I recommend them. The author is American but lives in Budapest.

--Harley L. Sachs www.hu.mtu.edu/~hlsachs where you can read a free, funny mystery story.
Yes, that would be Olen Steinhauer. His new novel THE TOURIST will be released March 3. It will be made into a film starring George Clooney. The new novel is finally attracting the attention Olen deserves.
Thanks to Ruth and Jon Jordon's gift, I read 3 of John Harvey's books and can't wait to let my fingers go walking on Amazon. { Flesh and Blood, Darkness and Light, Ashes and Bones} I am now reading and enjoying James Doss' Three Sisters.
Just finished THE READER by Bernhard Schlink (in the English translation). I wanted to get an idea of it before seeing the movie. Highly personal and visual, and does full justice to the complexity of its ethical dilemmas.

Starting FORTUNE ISLAND BY E.M. Schorb, award-winning poet who experiments with writing styles in his novels. This is an emotional drama, not yet out, so I have the ARC.

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