15 June 2011

Multiple recommendations

Dan Conrad dropped me an e-mail with an interesting list attached.

I thought you might find this of a tiny bit of interest.

What follows is my "request" list at Hennepin County Library.

The interest, I think, is not what I happen to have on order but as a check of the relative popularity of several books, which we might have a common interest in. Check, for instance, the long list for The Ice Princess. This will be my first Camilla Läckberg book. Have you read anything by her in your perusal of Scandinavian crime fiction? Also, note that Masie Dobbs beats out her "clone" Bess Crawford, 7+ to 1. That seems just.

Anyway, all in all a totally  frivolous FYI. Any here you have on your "to read" radar?
TitleAuthorPosition (Place in Line)
Bad IntentionsFossum, Karin15 of 45 (on order)
A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford MysteryTodd, Charles15 of 32 (on order)
The Devotion of Suspect XHigashino, Keigo21 of 23
The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens, and
the Search for the Good Life
Hughes, Bettany15 of 32
The Ice PrincessLäckberg, Camilla463 of 485
A Lesson in Secrets: a Maisie Dobbs novelWinspear, Jacqueline17 of 228
Naughty in Nice: a Royal Spyness MysteryBowen, Rhys35 of 112 (on order)
A Red Herring without Mustard: a
Flavia de Luce Mystery
Bradley, C. Alan87 of 92
A Singular Woman: the Untold Story of
Barack Obama's Mother
Scott, Janny102 of 136
So Much Pretty: a NovelHoffman, Cara27 of 67
Started Early, Took my Dog: a NovelAtkinson, Kate5 of 214

It's going to be awhile until Dan gets to read The Ice Princess. On my mental to-read list are the Maisie Dobbs mystery and Janny Scott's bio of Obama's mother. However, I'll have to investigate the others on this list as well. Except maybe the Soctates book. I might add Socrates to my fairly short list of things I'm unwilling to spend much time on anymore. Go ahead, call me a philistine.

Dan also wrote with a note that could only come from someone who identifies himself closely with his Swedish immigrant ancestors. But maybe you'll find some recommendations that will fit your reading mood even if you're not Swedish, Swedish-American, or Scandinavian. (I don't think there are any "important" books on this list.)

Two years ago, Dan sent me the same list. That time he'd found it in The Guardian. If you go to that blog entry, "Vem hade kunnat gissa?" you can see links to reviews of the books on the list besides Dan's. If he's read 6 of these books in the past two years, he's made great progress, especially if he's waited for library copies.

"I get a magazine called Swedish Press. In the current issue there is an interview with a current "hot thing" in Swedish crime fiction, Camilla Låckberg (Ice Princess, e.g.--not read it myself, but have it on my library request list, see above). Anyway, they asked her what she thought were the "Top Ten Swedish Crime Novels." Here is her list.

"I put an asterisk by ones I have read and also what I rated it on a scale of 1-5. [Note: I do have a "6" but that's for books I would like to read a second time]. Which have you read?"

  1. Mind’s Eye, Håken Nesser (Read his Borkman’s Point and didn’t care for it)
  2. * Blackwater, Kerstin Ekman (4.5)
  3. * Missing, Karin Alvtegen (4)
  4. * Sun Storm, Åsa Larsson (4)
  5. * The Fifth Woman, Henning Mankell (3)
  6. * Unseen, Mari Jungstedt (2)
  7. Shame, Karin Alvtegen
  8. Echoes from the Dead, Johan Theorin
  9. * Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larsson (5)
  10. Midvinterblod, Mons Kallentoft (Not translated yet)
If you look at the ReadingBlog entry, you'll find that my reaction to Nesser's Borkman's Point was much like Dan's. I read Mari Jungstedt's Unspoken and liked it. I've read all three of Stieg Larsson's books and I liked them all, although The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the best. Netflix delivered the third Swedish movie based on the books, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and we watched it last weekend. It was really good -- maybe as good as the first film. I have no interest in seeing the American versions which are currently in production.

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