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May 23, 2009



Well, I don't know about the beach, by my sweetie and I are off for Door County this weekend. And the sun is beginning to poke out from behind the clouds.


I'm a HUGE fan of the beachfront rental house vacation in conjunction with trashy books.

Last year we saw a pirate...but no snipers.

And a shark...


PD, have you had any morel/mushrooms this year?


PD Bring back the name and addy of the place that sells online the best Door County cherry products.
I've never been (as you know, when I lived in Wis it was "restricted" ) but I understand it is an absolutely gorgeous place.

Danube of Thought

I read all the Reacher novels in order, beginning with Killing Floor. Obviously I got hooked, but at the end of every one of them I always said, "hell, this thing is preposterous." Reacher sure seems to be able to break guys' arms easily. But hell...

As I've said more than once, the Harry Bosch novels of Michael Connelly are just great. Google him and be sure to read them in order. And I loved all of the Mitch Rapp tales of Vince Flynn--the bad guys are often actual Muslim terrorists, and Mitch is a CIA guy who hunts them down and kills them. Very un-PC, which is a real attraction.

When beach season arrives here, it means the town will be crawling with 'Zonies--the folks from Arizona who like having it 72 degrees with a sea breeze every day. But we tolerate them well.


Door County is spectacular. Enjoy, PD!

Making oatmeal streusel bars as we speak with dried sour cherries (probably from Michigan).


Got all my yard work done before the day heats up and came in to read the most wonderful piece by James Delingpole:

Torture: Obama's Oratory

I suppose all of you have read it already. I read it twice!!! Need something to salve my odious ODS. And, boy, James really did the trick.


I just read the Reacher novel "Nothing to Lose," just out in paperback, and I'm disgusted. It's an anti-iraq war diatribe. It turns out (in the book) that there's a massive disgust for the iraq war in the military, and so an underground railroad has sprung up with a base set in rural Colorado, helping the poor oppressed military men to a new life in Canada. Who knew? Reacher fully sympathizes as we come to understand when he lays out his beliefs in an impassioned screed against the military because they have risked the lives of young enlistees all for no good reason. Anyone who wants to read tripe like this can go immerse themselves in the fetid waters of the fever swamps. You can get it for free on the web, save your money at the bookstore.


PS if you don't believe me, Reacher's cri de coeur is on p. 459-460.


I am with Dot. Detective Hieronymus "Harry Bosch novels are great.

So are James Lee Burke, Dave Robicheaux novels.

Randy Wayne White, Doc Ford novels

and Robert Crais, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novels.

Have you read those Dot?



Don't the SEAL's keep the zonies under control?

Danube of Thought

Thanks Ann. I've read a lot of the JL Burke books. He's a beautiful writer, but after a while his liberal politics began to intrude and I shined him on.

I have not read any of the Doc Ford or Joe Pike novels. Are they about crime (I seem to be hooked on crime these days)?

I don't recall any anti-Iraq-war screeds in the Reacher novels--It sounds like I didn't read Nothing to Lose, because I don't recall that plot line.

Everybody I know has been raving about Harlan Coben, so I just downloaded Drop Shot onto my Kindle. I will start it and a fine cigar within minutes.

Because of retinal issues I have had real difficulty reading normal print size for the past ten years or so. Kindle is just a life-saver: you can vary the font size, so I put it on the largest size and have been reading more in the past couple months than I had been able to read in a long time. To make up for all the lost time I have elected to read delightful trashy crime stuff. Why the hell not?


Dittos re Connelly, Flynn, Burke, Crais and Child. John Sandford's "Prey" books are also on my list.

I've been "saving" Child's "Nothing to Lose" for future trip. Thanks for the warning - be a bummer to meet the real Reacher two hours into a ten hour flight. Much as I enjoy Burke's books, he's acquired the annoying habit of making sure readers know his low opinion of George Bush. Fortunately, this view is always cut short by some violent act involving Robicheaux or his charming pal, Clete.

I highly recommend "Child 44", a first novel by Tom Rob Smith, recently released in paperback. Set in the old USSR we loved to hate so much. Impossible to read without reflecting on changing relationship between the state and individual right here in the USA.


Has anyone here read any of CJ Sansome's Matthew Shardlake historical thrillers set in Tudor England?

Sansome is an English lawyer who knows his history and spins a good yarn. The first 3 books are Dissolution, Dark Fire, and Sovereign. The newest is Revelation.

Both men and women seem to enjoy them.

There's also Iain Pears' classic An Instance at the Fingerpost. It will keep you enthralled for days but it's big. Best to bring a towel to rest it on in your lap.

 Les jardins les plus jolies de Litterature.

'Tender is the Night'.


Franko is, unfortunately, correct. Child kept his political beliefs out of the storyline for a long time and, because of that, it was easy to enjoy the escapism, depite the occasional bizarre lack of knowledge about America by the main character (one of the problems of creating an American character when you are British-born and have only spent a bit of time on the east coast).

For me, I'm done with that series.


I didn't consider it to be the "real Reacher" just that an author was too arrogant and used the character to reflect his views. The "real Reacher" wouldn't have reacted that way and it's one of the problems with the book -- outside of a bizarre, tinfoil-hat plot.

Mark from Houston

"Turn Coat" Jim Butcher newest Dresden Files book came out in April. That if your into wise cracking Detective who is a wizard.

hit and run

Well. We're heading to the beach on Monday, rather than spending the weekend there like everyone else, elbow to elbow (unemployment has its privileges).

I'd be lying if I said they were absolutely giving away rooms post-holiday, but at $45/night for a beachfront condo, I wouldn't be that far off (the recession has its privileges).

I eat green shoots for breakfast.


"I've never been (as you know, when I lived in Wis it was "restricted" )"

clarice, I've never heard about that. What was that about?

We got here a few minutes ago, and lo and behold, there is wi-fi in the lobby, and it even reaches to our room! I don't know whether that's good or bad. :-)


I highly recommend John Birmingham's Without Warning.

Ignore the F-16 on the cover; the cover art on Birmo's U.S. editions is totally irrelevant to the story.

Many wish for a kinder, gentler world...without America. Birmo's latest (in a series!) takes a look at what might have happened if America had suddenly gone "poof!" during the busy month of March, 2003.

And if you haven't read Birmingham's Axis of Time trilogy, well, what are you waiting for, beach weather?

Too many books, not enough time!


I have not read any of the Doc Ford or Joe Pike novels. Are they about crime (I seem to be hooked on crime these days)?


Yes they are all crime thrillers.

The ones I would recommend are pre-Katrina. It seems like JL Burke and others really went off the deep end after Bush caused the levies to break.

Stephen Hunter, who never wobbles left, has two terrific sniper novels "Point of Impact" and "Time to Hunt".

The insufferable left even ruin their own great works of fiction.

Jim Miller

If you want detective stories with a twist, you might try Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy collection.

"Welcome to an alternate world where Richard the Lion-Heart did not die in the year 1199...where magic is a science and science is an art...where the great detective Lord Darcy and the sorcerer Sean O'Lochlainn combine occult skills and brilliant deductions to bring criminals to the King's Justice and thwart those who plot against the Realm."

Good mysteries set in a fascinating alternate universe.


Ann, I'm a big Bob Lee Swagger fan ever since Point of Impact, but Hunter's been mailing it in (and cashing the checks!) ever since a rapper/underwear model got cast in the movie - also, the two most recent books have been...off.

R. Lee Ermey would have been a perfect movie-version Bob Lee Swagger. Right age, right experience, right voice, right attitude... and of course, right middle name!


I love Sanford's "prey series, Sue Grafton's alphabet series and Mary Higgins Clark's books.Janet Evanovich is always good for laughs and for heavier fare; Ludlum. Thanks for all your other suggestions.


LOL, Mustang0302. I agree with you on his other books. Mark Wahlberg is ok. The movie rarely measures up to the book, does it?

R. Lee Ermey of "Full Metal Jacket"..yep. Of course, I always picture the hero as really handsome for some silly reason. :)

Danube of Thought

Ann, having checked them out on the web I think I'll start with the first Elvis Cole book, The Monkey's Raincoat, as soon as I finish the Coben one I just started.

R. Lee was a career Marine and was a drill instructor at one point. For Full Metal Jacket they mostly just got him warmed up by sitting around telling sea stories, and when he got going he'd go into his D.I. routine while the camera rolled--mostly ad lib. There is no other species like a D.I.


Agreed, Ann. I can't think of a single example of a movie-version that has done justice to any book I've ever read.

That includes some awful books, too.

Movies usually disappoint.


Child was a writer for Grenada TV, so of course, his moonbat perspective would bleed through. Crais was also a TV writer foR American TV, but he's rather sensible



Good Choice. You will enjoy Joe Pike. Just took it off the shelf and I think I will read it again, too.


"Agreed, Ann. I can't think of a single example of a movie-version that has done justice to any book I've ever read."

Surely if you watch "The Fountainhead" you'll change your mind.


Thanks, PD, I'll take a look.


Does anyone read Daniel Silva? I just finished "Moscow Rules" and am delighted to find that he has a new book out later this summer. He is one of a few authors that my husband and I both read.

Ludlum was one of my favorites. I just wish the "new" books were really written by him. Now if you want to talk about science fiction or fantasy, there are quite a few others that I read. I have read the first two Dresden books and intend to read more.

Melinda Romanoff


I personally can't stand the cherry/fruit derivative game they play up there. Gimme fresh, ripe, white cherries and I'll match you pit for pit. I'll bring the paper towels. Tart and crisp. I call them lunch.

However, I might share the name of the best picklers I have ever encountered.

What's your bid? 3 X 5 cards, covered with recipes, are accepted.

Or, you could check out the LUN.

Melinda Romanoff

And the last decent book I had the chance to read was Six Frigates by Ian Toll. That was over a year ago. I now read 10-K's & Q's.


Danube of Thought

Well I love the movie No Country for Old Men, and though I didn't read the book several who did told me they preferred the flick.

I assume that's a joke about The Fountainhead, sort of a consensus choice as the worst film ever made until Ishtar, then Bonfire of the Vanities and then Waterworld.

I think we kicked this around here a bit a while back.

Great Soctt--you people been watching these playoffs? How 'bout them Lakers tonight?


Ah Daniel Silva, he's one that has advanced a great deal since his early start as a lefty conspiracist author, a dozen years ago. The Gabriel Allon series, with the latest 'the Defector' coming up, always is a great read


I will admit to trying almost any author at least once. It has been said by certain family members that someone will buy a book before buying food. That is not quite true. There is always the library, it just is not open here on Sunday.


Another author to check out is Chuck Logan. Somewhere between Lee Child and John Sanford.


For good escapist alt-history fare with a twist, I'd recommend the Destroyermen series by Taylor Anderson. They're about the U.S.S. Walker, a WWI-era 4-stacker, fleeing from the Japanese after the battle of the Java Sea, which passes through a strange storm and emerges in a world very different from the one they left. It turns out they are in the middle of another war, this one between two different species now inhabiting Earth. It's listed as a trilogy (Into the Storm, Crusade, and Maelstrom), but I'd say there's more to come. Lots of action, and Anderson certainly knows his Navy.

Soylent Red

There is no other species like a D.I.

I was out at Ft. Irwin last week, having dinner in the little restaurant/bar on post, when lo and behold, there sitting at the bar, was my primary D.I. from back in the day.

I anonymously bought him a beer for all he did for me.

hit and run

Speaking of . . . in terms of pure literary genius, I highly recommend the "Bald Man" series.


DoT- I have elected to read delightful trashy crime stuff. Why the hell not?
Me too! And have been since Silence of the Lambs era. Which BTW was the movie most faithful to the book in my recollection. Hopkins and Foster were perfect. Most of the authors mentioned I ditto. Will try the ones I haven't yet. Patterson's early Cross and Murder Club series are v v good, then jump the shark somewhere along the way. I do have one of each in my reading stack--it's like an addiction. Keller man's Alex Delaware novels are uniformly good. Cornwell's Scarpetta's are good. I read Tami Hoagand and Brown. Can't remember who the forensic anthropologist and the cadaver dog woman are written by, but they're good too.


Hoagand and Brown* Hoag and Sandra Brown


Tami Hoagand and Brown* Tami Hoag and Sandra Brown



Very cool about the D.I. Sorry you didn't say "Hey", but you know better. Never saw mine after BootCamp, but even when I think his name I have to mentally bark it out at full volume and a mile a minute in an unbroken string of syllables---GunnerySergeantDaggsUnitedStatesMarineCorps!

An outstanding American.



You're about the 5th person I've heard really recommending that "Six Frigates" book. Sounds like it deserves a read.


"Thanks, PD, I'll take a look."

mustang, I was kidding. But by all means watch it to see how far you can get before switching it off in disgust.


I liked Waterworld, actually. Maybe I shouldn't admit that.


bad, have had no morels. I've seen a few of the stands advertising them, though.

clarice, it doesn't seem a lot of the cherry producers are online. But the oldest roadside stand is The Cherry Hut, and they do have a web site.

This place is just south of Fish Creek. It's been there as long as I can remember having gone to Door County.


Thanks, PD. Were the blossoms fabulous?


bad: Yes, the blossoms are everywhere. We were pleasantly surprised by this because in Madison everything has already blossomed a while back. Guess it's enough cooler here to delay the blossoming until our arrival.

Very nice of nature to do that for us. :-)

Dining tip: For dinner tonight, we went to a place called Pasta Vino. A relatively new Italian place in Sister Back, out on the back of the Crosswalk Shops (a little mall at the top of the hiil). Very good food, six tables, reasonable prices, the chef comes out and asks how you liked it.

Caveat: Remember that you're getting a dining tip from someone who things hot dogs, SPAM, and frozen pizza counts as good food.


er, Sister *Bay*


I realize now that this thread is mainly about works of Fiction, therefore I nominate any Non-Fiction Memoir from Oprah's Book Club.

Jack is Back!

I may be too late to this discussion but here are my two cents:

Forget the politics - Clive Cussler is Al Gore in literary drag - and just read for the pure escapism. Yes, Lee Child is an unrepentant leftist hiding behind an ex-MP tough guy so that he has legitimacy for his POV. If you want your escapism mixed with your own POV then W.E.B. Griffin (Bill Butterworth) and Vince Flynn are your ticket.

Me? I am a big Scandinavian mystery/police procedural kind of guy ever since I read Henning Mankells "Dogs of Riga" in 2000 when I was living in London. They had this big posters on the walls of the Tube escalators and you could help but notice. Since then I have read all his Kurt Wallender books. You also have Jo Nesbo, Karen Fossum, and my favorites - the retro Martin Beck series by the late husband and wife team of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. You can get the whole series in paperback at Amazon or Abe books. They will take up a whole summer at the beach:)

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