Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Suggestions

All right people, I find myself in a situation where I have a large amount of money to spend on books. If I don't spend this money, I lose it for insurance reasons, and I'm turning to you, the Internet, to help me. I have money to spend on 250 paperbacks and 150 large paperbacks. It will be reimbursed by my insurance company up to a point. What I"m asking you to do is make comments on what you think I should buy. I have an opportunity here to build a new library from the ground up, so I just don't want crime fiction suggestions (although I do want crime fiction suggestions). I want to know what you think I should own. If you had 400 books to order off Amazon, or buy at your local bookstore, what would they be? Let me know. I need some help here. I'm a little overwhelmed.

16 comments:

Victor Gischler said...

James Crumley.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith

Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

Michelle said...

I would suggest The Legacy by D. W. Buffa, and maybe Breach of Trust (more political) by the same author.

Eric said...

All for a Few Perfect Waves: bio of surfer Miki Dora

Alan Furst novels

The Forever War - Dexter Filkins

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper - Phillip Sugden

A Bright & Guilty Place - Richard Raynor

All Ken Bruen tho I assume you've read most of them but some are hard to find - like The White Trilogy

Peter Rozovsky said...

You could start with the first nineteen books of Bill James' Harpur and Iles series.
================
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"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
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Stephen D. Rogers said...

Hey Nathan,

Good luck.

What I'd do is spread my purchases over the various decades, as in books written in the 30s (even if reprinted recently), the 40s, the 50s, etc. That way I'd have a history of how mysteries (and the other genres) have developed.

Stephen

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Naturally, if you’re going to rebuild your crime-fiction library, you ought to start with the greats still in print: Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye and Farewell, My Lovely; Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key; Ross Macdonald’s The Underground Man, The Instant Enemy, and The Galton Case; and Robert B. Parker’s Looking for Rachel Wallace and Early Autumn. To those, I would add Peter Robinson’s In a Dry Season, Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy (plus his later three Bernie Gunther novels), Rennie Airth’s River of Darkness, Megan Abbott’s Bury Me Deep, Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress, Robert Crais’ L.A. Requiem, Kris Nelscott’s A Dangerous Road, Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue, Stephen Hunter’s Havana, Tom Bradby’s The Master of Rain, Loren D. Estleman’s Motor City Blue, Sara Paretsky’s Burn Marks, Martin Cruz Smith’s Wolves Eat Dogs , Michael Malone’s Uncivil Seasons, and Arthur Lyons’ Castles Burning. Then get your hands on whatever used copies you can find of William Campbell Gault’s Brock Callahan novels, Thomas B. Dewey’s Mac novels, and Erle Stanley Gardner’s Bertha Cool/Donald Lam books.

But you aren’t only looking for crime novels, right? So don’t forget Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, Kevin Baker’s Dreamland, Oscar Hijuelos’ The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Tom Robbins’ Skinny Legs and All, Ron Hansen’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Gore Vidal’s Lincoln, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Rafael Sabatini’s Captain Blood, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind, Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Thomas Mallon’s Henry and Clara, Richard Russo’s Mohawk and Bridge of Sighs, Steven Millhauser’s Martin Dressler, E.L. Doctorow’s Homer and Langley, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain ... and, well, I could list 100 other titles here, but that would be far too many. And I haven’t even touched on the rich field of non-fiction yet ...

Good luck with the library rebuilding! It sounds like a challenge ... and a delight.

Cheers,
Jeff

Naomi Johnson said...

A complete works of Shakespeare, one volume, nothing too fancy. And you also need some poetry, whoever it is you like, something relatively modern (nothing older than say, 1950). I'd go crazy buying new copies of Bruen's work. Craig McDonald & Dave Zeltserman have become "must own" for me. Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hammett, Chandler, Cain, Jim Thompson. Some sentimental favorites of yours, whoever that might be, but whatever books that are ones you return to time and again for relief from reality. In your shoes, I'd have to replace my CS Forester and Dudley Pope books, too.

Also something to make you laugh, but is still informative and not too lightweight, like Richard Feynman's lectures.

A couple of good biographies. And any history by David Howarth is worth owning, either his accounts of WW2 or (I particularly like) his account of the battle of Waterloo.

Sounds like fun shopping, but truth is, I'm glad it's not me. Have fun anyway, and be sure to let us know what you ended up buying.

Michael Malone said...

Oh, what a dilemma. Do you want them to be brand new to you, or do you want a representation of what you had before?

A good idea might be some of those 3 in 1 novel choices. Orion do them here in the UK for the likes of Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, Ian Rankin and James Lee BurkeAnd then in along that lot you might want someonet to give you a laugh like carl Hiaasen.

Or how about a selection thats representative of the different nations (American/ Irish/ Scots/Scaninavian...and then there's genres? OMG I could go on forever.

Sun Singer said...

I would be pleased to send you a copy of "Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire," a comedy/thriller that spoofs everything including comedy/thrillers, journalists, the police, love interests, newspaper editors and, of course, killers.

Malcolm

Deanna said...

Hi,
Two of my favorite books read in 2008: Shaffer, Mary Ann & Barrows Annie – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Kerasote, Ted – Merle’s Door, and of course almost anything by the late Michael Gilbert.

marty said...

I'd jump in with the Univ. of Chicago Press reprints of Richard Stark's Parker novels...and James Ellroy. Lots of stuff by Ellroy.

Fred said...

After the First Death-Robert Cormier
2666-Roberto Balano
Notes from Underground- Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Manchurian Candidate- Richard Condon
Education of a Felon- Edward Bunker
The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps
The Red Badge of Courage-Stephen Crane
Nueromancer- William Gibson
Spook Country- William Gibson
Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card
The Road- Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian- Cormac McCarthy
Schulz and Peanuts- David Michaelis
A Confederacy of Dunces- John Kennedy Toole
Meditations-Marcus Aurelius
Patient Zero- Jonathan Maberry
Public Enemies- Bryan Burrough
Vengeance- George Jonas

Pam said...

Best crimewriter in the world today: Peter Temple.
Try his most recent, The Broken Shore. From Australia - literary, take-your-breath-away audacious, funny.

Roger Douglas said...

First negotiate a generous (to you)timescale with the insurance company if it will not make a lump sum cash settlement.Then relax and enjoy the process. I would love it. Are you a collector or reader, or both?

I would first buy the book of my dreams (for me it would be a 1st ed. Maugham (Ashenden), Greene, Conrad, Le Carre, Ambler, Buchan, Childers, or Fenimore Cooper's The Spy).

Then I would set out to replace with the very best copies I could find (1st editions/PBOs) those titles from the lost collection which I already sorely missed.

Then search for new, exciting authors and new exciting publishers in the genre or sub genre of your choice. I would stick to what you know and love to read.

But as well, I would buy 60s Beat Generation, (Kerouac et al).

I try only to buy Fine copies, preferably first edition/first printings. The classics will cost thousands each. But first edition paperbacks in fine unread condition will be accessible, if you are patient.

My 100 strong author list includes Carlos Ruiz Zafon, William Boyd, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Charles McCarry, Stephen Hunter, Vince Flynn, Ian McEwan, Tom Rob Smith, Ross Thomas, Charles Cumming, Barry Eisler, Henry Porter, Robert Littell, Robert Harris, Nelson de Mille, Len Deighton, Robert Wilson, and my dream book authors above.

I wish I were in your shoes. Very best of luck.

Ade said...

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. I remember when you gave that to me as a birthday present. You said you loved it as a kid. Don't forget to be a little bit sentimental.

DTK Molise said...

Well that is an interesting predicament! I concur with the Ellroy and Stark purchases but here are a few suggestions of my own suggestions:

1. John Fante - The Bandini Quartet.

2. Charles Bukowski - You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense (poetry).

3. Hubert Selby Jr - Last Exit to Brooklyn.

4. David Peace - The Red Riding Quarter.

5. Eric Ambler - The Mask of Dimitrios.

6. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

7. Karl Marx - Capital Volume I

8. Soren Kierkegaard - Fear and trembling

9. Nausea - John Paul Sartre.

10. The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson.