Monday, April 01, 2024

Reading Roundup: March 2024

Over the past few years I abandoned using notebooks to keep track of the books I read in favor of Goodreads. A practice that came about out of laziness more than anything else, but this year, I’m back with pen and paper. Along with the change, I decided to try—at least this month—sharing my reading list.
     I track the books—fiction and non-fiction—and individual short stories I finish. Those I don’t finish don’t get recorded. In March there were two novels I chose not to finish, which is more than normal for a single month. My DNF’s were Free Fall, by Robert Crais (1993)—I was simply bored with it at the halfway mark—and Night Detectives, by Jon Talton (2013), because I felt grouchy and it didn’t catch my interest in the first few dozen pages.
     The books I read—seven in total—were all fiction and six were squarely within the mystery genre. I read an astonishing three Rushmore McKenzie novels by David Housewright: Pretty Girl Gone (2006), Madman on a Drum (2008), and The Taking of Libbie, SD (2010). All three were terrific, my favorite being Madman on a Drum. You can expect to see reviews of these three in coming weeks. My favorite book was Rusty Barnes’s Half Crime (2024), which is an excellent collection of dark tales that I reviewed here, and my least favorite was The Bastard, by John Jakes (1974). A word about The Bastard. The first half, or about 300 pages was marvelous, but the narrative dulled in the second half. It would have been a better book if it had been strategically but aggressively cut.

As for short stories, I read two—“One Eye Open”, by Jeremiah Healy (EQMM, Jul. 1989), and “I Bring Fresh Flowers”, by Robert F. Young (Amazing Stories, Feb. 1964)—and enjoyed both; however, I was a tad disappointed with the Healy story because it didn’t have the grab and thoughtful conclusion I expected from a John Francis Cuddy tale. Not to mention, I purchased the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, where it appeared, for no other reason than it had a Healy story inside. Well, that cover image of Lawrence Block didn’t hurt, either.
     So, without further ado, here is my reading list, from first to last in chronological order in my own hand, for March 2024:


So, dear reader, what do you think? Is this worth doing each month? 

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