Saturday, 4 October 2014

Bookspotting... A New Approach

Previously when I've wanted to do a spot of Bookspotting, I've set out in a morning to spot books and not seen ANY at all. But when I don't have time for a lengthy bookspotting post I see loads. So now I've got an Amazon 'wishlist' just for bookspotting so whenever I spot a book I go on my phone and add to the list straight away. I just hope no one looks on this list when buying me Christmas presents because not all are to my taste. Anyway, I've been doing this for a bit now and have enough for at least a couple of decent posts. So I'll start at the beginning...

Oh and if you're new to Bookspotting, here's my first bookspotting post which describes what it's all about.

'The Lives of Stella Bain' by Anita Shreve. I've not heard of the book before, but I have heard of the author. She used to be one of my mum's favourite authors (and my wife's as has just been pointed out), and I've bought more than one of her books as birthday or Christmas presents. I've asked my wife, Kate, and she describes Anita Shreve's books as 'evocative' and categorises them as women's fiction. They tend to either be set in the present or in a recent historical (i.e. 20th century) setting. The Lives of Stella Bain, published last year, is her first book since 2010. It features the title character Stella Bain, who has lost her memory after the trauma of surviving WW1 battlefields in northern France. A quote on the front cover describes the book as "Part Downton Abbey, part Atonement and part something else altogether."

'Never Let Me Go' by Kazuo Ishiguro was next up. A hardback copy interestingly, despite having been out many years. I've only read one book by Ishiguro (Remains of the Day), but am keen to read more. This book is set in alternative present day (well, 1990s) England, part science ficiton but written by a master of literary fiction. This book was - deservedly by all accounts - shortlisted for the Booker Prize but is very readable and has received popular acclaim.

'Mercy' by Jussi Adler-Olsen is next, a book until now I'd never heard of. From the name of the author I guessed it was one of a growing crowd of Scandinavian imports and I was right as it is straight out of the Danish bestseller lists. 'Mercy' is the first in a series of 'Department Q' novels, following Detective Carl Morck (there should be a sort of accent thingy, but not sure if Blogger supports Danish letters...). He's been taken off homicide to run a newly created unsolved crimes unit (it's amazing how many literary detectives this happens to isn't it?). The book gets really good reviews and ratings on Amazon, and if you like police procedurals and Scandinavian crime this is definitely one to check out.

Clive Cussler is a name that has been on the bookshelves in your local bookshop/library for decades already, and appears to be still going strong. He is an American author who writes adventure novels and thrillers, while at the same time being a marine archeologist responsible for helping find over 60 shipwreck sites worldwide. Many of his books are maritime adventures which use his knowledge and experience of marine archeology, while also being considered techno thrillers with some alternate history elements. The book of his I spotted was 'The Thief' which is the fifth book in the 'Isaac Bell' series, featuring an early 20th century private investigator. While historical, it apparently features its fair share of cutting edge gadgets including telegraph, telephone and airplanes! 'The Thief' was co-written by Justin Scott, a prolific author in his own right.

Lastly for now is 'First Daughter' by Eric Van Lustbader. I first remember Eric Van Lastbader from my days of reading mostly fantasy fiction, but these days he's firmly in the thriller category, particularly known for taking over from the late Robert Ludlum and writing new Jason Bourne novels. In 'First Daughter' Jack McClure is a federal agent grieving after his daughter was killed in a tragic accident. When his daughter's best friend is kidnapped he is asked to help find her by the girls father... who is just weeks away from becoming President of the United States. This is the first in a series of political thrillers featuring Jack McClure. If you like books by David Baldacci, you'll probably like these books. And this book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited, in the UK at least, so I may just check it out.