Monday, June 13, 2016

The Last Best Book

Sue loves her books in audio form. For the past three years, she has subscribed to audible.com, where for a monthly fee, she is able to download one book per month at somewhat reduced rates. She has built up quite a library, For the most part, I prefer to read in the old fashioned way — although sometimes in the newfangled digital sort of variation.

In the past few months, I have borrowed quite a few online books from the library. It has been quite nice to download a book from the comfort of my armchair. Sometimes, they are available instantly, but, at other times, I can put them on hold. The library then sends me an email when a book becomes available, and then I have another instant download.

I do prefer reading at my own pace, which does go faster than listening, but there is something to be said for occasionally sitting back and having someone read to you, especially when that someone is usually a pretty accomplished narrator.

Last fall, Sue obtained Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith, who is really JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame. I am here to tell you that she writes a good mystery too.

Her protagonist, Cormoron Strike, is a disabled (as in missing part of one leg) Afghanistan vet who has his own struggling detective agency in London and who manages to solve cases that the police fumble. This third Strike novel begins with his assistant and partner, Robin Ellacott, receiving a severed hand in the mail.

Sue actually obtained the book last fall, and I put it on my winter reading (listening) list. I thought that I would savour it during one my winter colds or flues: except that I didn't get one, so I kept putting it off. Finally, back in April, I had had enough of waiting and decided to listen in full good health. I am here to declare that I was well rewarded with an absorbing, well narrated story.

I read mysteries mostly. I find that whether the book is top notch or more mediocre, I can at least trust it as, for one thing, good will triumph over evil. In a series, I get to know and like heroes such Thomas Lynley (Elizabeth George), Inspector Banks (Peter Robinson) or Superintendent Gamache (Louise Penny), and their stories keep going. I like the sustained relationship. Of course, there are scads of other series, but these seem to be the big 3 in my mind, although I suppose that I now add Galbraith/Rowling to that list.

So, I am choosing Career of Evil by Galbraith (Rowling) as my favourite recent book. Your choice: read or listen, but I do recommend that you stop and listen to a good story every now and then. This book will stand on its own, but one might as well start with The Cuckoo's Calling followed by The Silkworm.

16 comments:

ADRIAN said...

I agree I enjoyed all the Cormoron Strike stories.

Marie Smith said...

I have gotten away from mysteries which I read during my working career. I love the auhors you mentioned however. I think Louise is my favourite. Must pick up Rowling's series for the summer. Thanks for the tip.

Marcia Armstrong said...

Have you read Deception by Dan Brown? It is more of a thriller, I suppose, but gripping to the last page.

altar ego said...

Glad to know about the Rowling mysteries. That genre is my preference when I'm doing audio books while driving. I loved Elizabeth George's early works, but her later novels felt cumbersome to me, so I quit reading her. I did enjoy Inspector Lynley!

Donna said...

I think I've already downloaded the latest Rowling...Thanks for the reminder!
hughugs

Hena Tayeb said...

I have never listened to an audio back.. i feel like I would get distracted to easily if it wasn't I who was doing the reading.. I'd miss out on part due to my wandering mind.
I have read a few digital books but I almost always find myself going back to the good old fashion books.

Mage said...

Don't forget the Longmire mysteries. They are excellent. I don't listen to much these days because of Tinnitus, but I still read.

Hena Tayeb said...

You should check out Karin Slaughter..I discovered her this year and I have already read two of her books and a third waiting to be read.

KGMom said...

I read every Harry Potter as they came out, but have not read any of Rowling's "adult" books.
Will have to look up this one.

As for mysteries--I agree. I enjoy them. Something challenging and intellectual about trying to solve the mystery. I have enjoyed P.D. James, Tony Hillerman, and recently William Kent Krueger. They share what I think of as good mystery ingredients--a strong sense of place (frequently using similar settings over and over), a compelling hero (whoever solves the case), and a plausible mystery. What I don't like is an author who plays puppeteer and jerks his/her characters from place to place.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We have similar taste in mystery writers, John. I read Career of Evil several months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it as I also did the previous Cormorant Strike novels by Galbraith aka Rowling.

Im Downtown said...

I've heard great things about the Rowling mysteries. I have never tried audible books, but I don't believe that I would like them. I must prefer to read. Now, talk radio, that is another story!

Vicki Lane said...

I haven't read any of her non Harry Potter books but that is a strong recommendation. I love listening to audio books, especially when I'm driving.

Haddock said...

Ha ha .... like that.....kept putting off reading a book because you did not have a flu.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I like listening to This American LIfe on podcast. Usually, I prefer a good book, in the hand, not in the bush!
I bought hubby a Kindle, but but it OK. THing is, I have so many books sent to me, that I don't need to download any.
cheers!

Kay said...

My favorite book that I read recently is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. It reminds me of The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Congratulations to your sister-in-law!

Ruth said...

I couldn't get into the Harry Potter books but I liked this one. I like audiobooks on a long trip but other than that prefer to read.