Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Waking Up

Where am I?

This blog post might be a little self indulgent. I’m trying to find my feet and focus my thoughts on reading and reviewing for 2010 and this could be a good way to do it.

First off, there’s a new review site in town. Well, in the city, actually. The Big Apple to be precise. The New York Journal of Books can be found here. The site is a bit rough round the edges right now but the editor-in-chief, Ted Sturtz, has big plans (in terms of aesthetics and content), so bookmark it now. Have a look today and you’ll notice a handful of reviews penned (or tapped) by me. There should be more to come. We’ll see how it works out.

In the post-Crimbo melee of determining ambitions, hopes and dreams and the subsequent reality checks, I’ve neglected to mention some items of interest. Allow me to make up for this in the following scrabble of info.

Tony Black’s Loss was launched the week before last. I have a copy and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I had planned on reading Paying For It before this one came out. I read Gutted last year and loved it to bits. Unfortunately, time (and money) is like sand. The more you grasp for it, the more it slips through your fingers.

Anyway, his short story titled Last Orders, featured on The Rap Sheet, whet my appetite for Black’s work again and I might just go on a two book Black binge when I’m finished my current reads.

I’m also itching to read Ian Sansom’s latest. Sansom was featured on Crime Always Pays this week. The Bad Book Affair is the fourth in a series featuring Israel Armstrong. Grab any of these books and get reading. Like any good series, I think they can be enjoyed as standalones (though where possible, I still try to read any series chronologically).

There are other books I intend to review for CSNI and/or NYJB but I don’t want to list them here. I have a bit of a system for choosing which book to review next but it’s fluid. I don’t want to put myself or my reading routine under pressure by making any promises I may not keep. A list of intended reading would create this pressure. Self-imposed, I know, but I am what I am.

Before, during and after Christmas I had a little bit of a graphic novel kick. I think I’m going to build on this. Garth Ennis’s The Punisher: In The Beginning impressed the hell out of me. I’ve a sketchy memory of reading and really enjoying Preacher in school (it wasn’t on the syllabus, before you ask). I never realised back then that Ennis was Norn Iron born and bred. Ten(ish) years later and the same friend who lent me his copy of Preacher gave me In The Beginning (I’ll return it soon, mate). I’ll have to pick up Kitchen Irish when I get the chance. Might even buy it...

So, plenty of reading to look forward to this year.

Writing? I’ll talk about that in more detail another time, but I’ll be pushing myself harder than I ever have this year. I got a bit lazy in 2009, I think. Pudgier too. That’s unacceptable.

1 comment:

seana graham said...

Nice round up.

I don't think you're going to have much chance to be lazy with a new baby coming, even if you were to try.

Good luck with the writing projects and I'll check out that New York Journal.