Thursday, December 04, 2008

From a whisper to a meme

Just when I thought memes had gone the way of non-Blu-Ray discs, here comes a new one that is easy, fun and almost painless: Brian Lindenmuth, of the you-should-read-it Observations from the Balcony blog, tagged me with one that asks readers to:

1) List the authors that were new to you this year, regardless of year of publication.
2) Bold-face the ones that were debuts (first novel, published in 2008).
3) Impose these conditions on others.

I like that. It's simple, and it brings back memories of some of the year's exciting crime-fiction discoveries. I'm not sure which were published in 2008, but here's the list of authors I've read for the first time this year:

Matt Rees
Giles Blunt
Steve Hockensmith
Jasper Fforde
Michael Pearce
Arthur Morrison
Michael Gilbert
Scott Phillips
Duane Swierczynski
Christa Faust
Vicki Hendricks
Leighton Gage
Timothy Hallinan
Sandra Ruttan
Robert Bloch
Mehmet Murat Somer
Megan Abbott
Brian McGilloway
Frank Gruber
Ian Sansom
J.F. Englert
Howard Engel
John McFetridge
Adrian McKinty
E.W. Hornung
Garbhan Downey
Flann O'Brien
Linda L. Richards
Henry Chang
John Lawton
Jason Aaron
Alan Moore
Deon Meyer
Amara Lakhous
Carlo Emilio Gadda
Jacques Chessex


I'll tag Whose role is it anyway?, Linda L. Richards, Past Continuous, Crime Scraps, and the polyblogal seanag, all of whose blogs you ought to read. If you're not on that list, feel free to reply anyway and let me know which authors you have read for the first time this year.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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51 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Peter. I am a bit anti-meme as I think bloggers are free spirits and don't want conditions imposed on them. Also I am too lazy most of the time, but this is an interesting meme and as it is you I will do this one.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter I quite enjoyed doing that meme but only because I had a list prepared of all the novels I have read this year. ;O)

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Every time we use that word Richard Dawkins gets a little bit richer.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Every time we use that word Richard Dawkins gets a little bit richer."

As long as he didn't copyright the word, I don't mind using it.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Uriah. I share something of your misgivings. In fact, I should have done with this meme what I once did with another: Instead of tagging a number other bloggers, proclaim, "Let's blow this meme to the stars," then invite everyone to reply. In fact, maybe I'll do that.

To his credit, Brian, who tagged me, did not dictate that his respondents ask five (or six or three or any other number) more people to come up with lists. He just wrote, "Tag some people."

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Like you, too, I thought it an enjoyable list to compile. I had not thought of my reading in those terms before.

December 04, 2008  
Anonymous marco said...

Criminy Peter,did you read any book at all before 2008?
What a list!

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was a feral child, subsisting by foraging for roots, wild plants and the occasional small animal and innocent of culture or civilization in any form until 2008.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter,

Of course Richard Dawkins could do with the money, he has to keep Dr. Who assistant and Time Lord Lady Romana in furs.

Marco

We dont all have the luxury of your Tuscan idyll, whiling away your days reading books and writing lyric poetry and your nights in beery symposia. Some of us have to work for a living mate.

December 04, 2008  
Anonymous marco said...

Peter has read 36 new authors this year-you yourself accounting for an entire trilogy of books -it's me who should envy his Philadelphian idyll and days wasted away in idle reading-the local boy scouts have asked me to lend them my tbr pile to use as the site for their annual mountain expedition.

And you,with all your books and kangaroos...working for a living?
That's what they call reading all day From Krakow to Krypton while scarfing biscuits now?

My v-word is clara,the name of my mother.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mario probably has a workshop full of assistants to mix his colors for him.

Re Tuscan idlers, I recently read an interesting observations that the Florentines did not begin celebratnig their traditional civic freedoms until said freedoms were on their way to extinction. &(*&&^%! Lorenzo de' Medici. What did he ever give this world?

Did she marry Dawkins because she thinks he's fab? Did he marry her so he could lord it over his colleagues at scientific meetings?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I confess to idle hours spent reading when I should be looking for a job with a non-failing company not run by desperate liars. What do you think my chances are?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I f---in' hate it when a kangaroo interrupts my reading.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I dont know. She's from real and fictional aristocracy - the reason she's called Lalla is because when she was a child she couldn't say Lady Ward when people asked her her name. I dont find that story creepy rather than cute. Her parents made her call herself Lady Ward? Apparently, the best Dr. Who, Tom Baker, still holds a candle for her which is a bit sad.

Excellent time to be looking for a job BTW!

And let me unhijack this thread by saying yes it's a great idea of Brian's.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dead industry, dead economy. Just great!

Lalla sounds like a delightfully kicky name for a member of the aristocracy. I never caught the Dr. Who bug off the time or two that I've watched the show over the years.

Yep, Brian appears to have manufactured this mem– this electronic chain letter out of a list that someone posted. I appreciate anything that inspires a bit of thought, and his mem– his tag game did so.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I meant to say that I DO find it creepy when kids go around calling themselves Lady Ward or Lord Fauntleroy or whatever. I knew several of this type at college and that in-breeding program known as Burke's Peerage has done them few favours. BTW she illustrates Dawkins' books with little charcoal sketches. Isnt that adorable?

Marco

You might be right. I've spent the whole of the day so far reading The Natural which is VERY different from the film

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hey, Adrian: Nice way of subtly working into the conversation that you went to college with peers.

Gee, what were they like???

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Wait you told us that you spent many an afternoon swanning around Harvard Yard.

What were they like? Imagine the rowing eights from Harvard & Yale in a bar drinking pitchers of Bud Light and showing each other how their new workout has improved their abs. Yeah, that bad.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was furthering my education, dear boy, furthering my education.

Your modern-day peers don't seem all that different from any group of smug frat boys -- not a good-natured Lord Emsworth in the bunch.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

Peter, my wife suggests you put, "a job with a non-failing company not run by desperate liars" in the objectives section of your resume.

Oh wait, no, she says you should NOT put that on your resume. Business baffles me.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should NOT put that on my resume?

Damn, I should have listened more carefully.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Yes, if only they could more like Oxford alumn Count Gotfried von Bismarck who died last year and whose obituary in the Telegraph was a joy to read.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

cept maybe for that stuff about people constantly dying at his parties. The current Tory Pary leader was also in the Bullingdon Club at the same time as Count Bismarck.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"... a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

" ... led an exotic life of gilded aimlessness ... hosted a dinner at which the severed heads of two pigs were placed at either end of the table.

"When not clad in the lederhosen of his homeland, he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women's clothes."


Did this cause, as Wodehouse would -- and did -- say, a raised eyebrow and a sharp intake of breath?

The sun never sets on the British newspaper obituary.

So, tell me: Were there really two severed pig's heads at that dinner?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Those inconvenient deaths do so much to ruin a good party, wouldn't you agree?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Before my time. You have to be asked to join the Bullingdon and I was never asked. I think I would have joined though - think of the material...

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

They wouldn't accept anyone vulgar enough to even think about writing about the members, would they?

Ah, sometimes I think we in American take this respect for the dead stuff too far.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

Well.

I was posting to check out your list, Peter, but it turns out that I have come late to the Bacchanalian revelry. Not unusually. Severed pigs heads?

Memes, which I'm really ignorant of except as a vague concept (but no problem, ignorance is only so much fodder to me) seem like tame things when compared to chain letters. Where are the curses and dire warnings? Where is the seven years bad luck that failure to pass on results in? I am certainly going to add a few imprecations and foul chants to my 'taggees'. They will not be sleeping the sleep of the blessed when I'm done with them, believe you me. You guys are lucky that Peter apparently already got to you. If I find out that any of you just randomly happened to check in here, watch out.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

After reading von Bismarck's obituary, I must just post to add 'gilded aimlessness'. This is precisely the life that I have constantly been seeking to live, and one which I think I would be pretty good at, but which I sadly somehow have never gotten. Gilded. Aimlessness. Hmmm.

Oops, I just remembered that I have some sort of reading list to post forward. Back to the grindstone.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seanag, I forgot to mention that if you don't reply to my meme, the Banana Slugs will shrivel and die.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I liked gilded aimlessness, yes, for the quiet times. But when one wants a bit of excitment, one can't beat a hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

Peter, do you think I am actually going to lift a finger, let alone ten, to save a banana slug? Let them type, or at least slime trail, their own lists. I bet they've been, well, sluggish about applying themselves to new authors.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

One can beat a hellraising alcoholic, flamboyant waster, though. They would probably be too drunk to even notice.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I dunno, I'd have thought Santa Cruzeros and Cruzeras would get excited about slugs. Isn't that city home to the UC branch that has a major in the history of consciousness?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

One can beat a hellraising alcoholic, flamboyant waster, though. They would probably be too drunk to even notice.

And if he noticed, would he mind?

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

I guess you haven't quite figured out that my home is really with the rebel angels.
(Thanks, Robertson D.) Living with a vegetarian household in college only incited me to visit the neighborhood Burger King.

As for banana slugs, I like the little creatures, but I am not going to work for them. As I said before, if they want salvation they better start frequenting our libraries. I know they haven't, because the texts at my local are singularly lacking in slug trails.

I have just been thinking about my task and I must take a page out of Mr. McKinty's book and say that the year isn't actually over. So, off the hook! I'll post and tag in January...

v word=cander. Which might be about honesty, or it might be about the lack thereof.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

And if he noticed, would he mind?

I suppose this is up to the individual waster. It's a prejudice to think that all alcoholic, flamboyant wasters are alike. In fact, I'm a bit surprised that in Santa Cruz, at least, there isn't some sort of society for them. We advocate for pretty much everyone else. Isuppose this means that their rights have been even more abrogated than the norm.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, that there cander is what we talk here, not like them slick city fellers.

I wouldn't know a banana slug if it walked up and said hello. "Slug Trails." Yet another good title for a mystery.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think the obituary said he received a third at Oxford. I believe I have read that the only practical requirement for receiving a third is to maintain consciousness, but I'm not sure our waster was able to do that.

December 04, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

You would know a banana slug if you ever saw/stepped on one. I'm not against them as our mascot. I'm just against blackmail.

Though I do realize that the whole noir enterprise would founder without it.

December 05, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

We sports fans, and especially those of us who work at newspapers, delight in weird names of college sports teams. The Banana Slugs were always in a select group of the best, along with the Lord Jeffs (Amherst), the Gentlemen (Centenary -- I always imagined the Gentlemen getting into a bench-clearing brawl with the Lord Jeffs) and others.

But I have no desire ever to encounter a banana slug.

December 05, 2008  
Anonymous Timothy Hallinan said...

Great list, Peter and thanks for two things: first, for not tagging me, and second, for bringing Sandra Ruttan to my shelves. What a writer.

Nice to know someone who actually reads more than I do.

December 05, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And nice to know someone who writes more than I do ... er, that's just about everybody.

Don't suggest in public that you're relieved not to be tagged, or someone will tag you. I'm pleased to hear you enjoy Sandra's work. I shall let her know if you have not done so already. She's coming to Philadelphia for my next Noir at the Bar reading this Sunday. Show up, and I'll buy you a drink and a mahi-mahi burger.

December 05, 2008  
Anonymous Timothy Hallinan said...

Wish I could show up, but I'm trapped out here in the sunshine of Los Angeles.

Please tell Ms. Ruttan how much I liked it, and also that I've ordered both THE FRAILTY OF FLESH and SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES. And if there were more, I'd order more.

I was actually surprised to see that WHAT BURNS WITHIN was the first in a series because so much in the relationships among the main characters seemed to have been formed (or warped) by a prior case. Did she write another book in the series first?

Okay, you can go back to banana slugs and the Obits of the Depraved now.

December 05, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think I'll read me some Obits of the Depraved once I've posted this comment.

You ought to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. You should think: "California is a lot closer to Philadelphia that are those other places where I spend my time. By God, I will show up."

I've relayed your comments to Sandra. She was pleased to hear them, as I'm sure she'll also be when she hears what you say here.

What Burns Within is indeed the first in the series. She explores that previous case in subsequent books. (She's working on the third in the series now.)

December 05, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

Peter, I don't think tagging people was a bad idea. Except maybe for the viability of banana slugs as a species. The whole meme effect is to get others to consider what they've been reading in 2008.

But there is no reason that you can't also send an open invitational for others to post their lists here. I'd be happy to do both. Also more than happy to read anyone else's list.

December 05, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It had been so long since I'd encountered a meme that I'd forgotten I sometimes worried that tagging was an imposition. So, consider this an open invitation, all, and submit your lists.

December 05, 2008  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Mine is at http://paradise-mysteries.blogspot.com/2008/12/crime-fiction-discoveries-in-2008.html Peter

December 06, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've said before that I notice how each respondent to this meme has added his or her own wrinkle. Yours were ratings and reviews for each book. The variety makes this meme all the more interesting and probably useful as well. Already it has given me at least one idea for a new post, which I'll let you know about if it appears.

December 06, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

Peter, I've finally fulfilled my tagging obligation, at least to a degree.

Results are here.

January 04, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Aha, it's been a while. I'll take a look now. Thanks.

January 05, 2009  

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