Tag Archives: Live By Night

My year in books

InfamyWill I ever come to the end of a year without the feeling I haven’t read nearly as much as I should have?

Unlike other years I’ve at least got a clear list in terms of my top five reads for 2013.

Here they are.

Infamy, Lenny Bartulin

Infamy is set in 1830s Tasmania. British mercenary William Burr is hired by the colonial government of Van Diemen’s Land to track down an escaped convict, Brown George Coyne. While Burr may be the hero of the novel, if one exists, Coyne and his Indigenous ‘wife’, Black Betty, steal the story. Coyne is a terrifying creation, a former convict, psychopath and cannibal, also a revolutionary working to unite a motley crew of escaped convicts with what’s left of the island’s Indigenous population, to overthrow the colonial government and rule as a self styled king of Van Diemen’s Land. 

Infamy is a superbly rendered piece of historical fiction, a dark, almost noir crime story, and a unique and unashamedly Australian take on the western. Possibly my best read of 2013.

Generation Loss, Elizabeth Hand

Cass Neary made her name in the seventies as a photographer of what was then the burgeoning New York punk movement. Thirty years later she’s a washed up, semi-alcoholic mess, when out of the blue, an old acquaintance gives her an assignment to track down a famous and reclusive photographer living on a remote island of the coast of Maine.… Read more

My year in books: Benoit Lelievre

Today is the last guest post in the ‘my year in books’ series.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the selections that have featured on my site over the last few weeks as much as I have. There’s one more post to appear in the series, that’s my top reads for 2013, which I’ll be posting in the next day or so.

In the meantime, I’m going out on a strong note with Montreal-based blogger, Benoit Lelievre. Many Pulp Curry readers are probably familiar with Benoit’s cracker of a site, Dead End Follies. If not, check it out, it’s a great repository of writing on all things hard boiled crime and film.

Welcome Benoit.

2013 was a tough year. Tough but positive overall. I faced professional and personal turmoil, had to adapt to several tricky situations and flat out improve as a human being. On the downside, my creative input has dropped bear to nothingness. But thank god for good books. I read several great novels in 2013. Here are the five best books I have read this year, in no particular order:

The Subtle Art of Brutality, Ryan Sayles

Richard Dean Bucker, better known as RDB, is a creation half-way between Lawrence Block’s detective Matthew Scudder and Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller.… Read more

My year in books: Angela Savage

Next up on the ‘my year in books’ series running on this site over December, is crime writer (and my long time partner) Angela Savage.

Angela is the author of three highly acclaimed crime novels based in Thailand and featuring the Australian PI Jayne Keeney. The most recent of these books, The Dying Beach was published in 2013 and is available here.

She’s also got a great website, or “piece of author real estate”, as I’ve heard these things referred to by book marketing people. You can find it here.

Welcome Angela

While Andrew specified that my top five reads for 2013 didn’t have to be crime, I figured crime picks would appeal to regular readers of Pulpcurry. I read a lot of crime in 2013—some 40 books as of early December—but I didn’t realise just how many were recent releases until I sat down to compose this list. The books that made the cut ultimately combine memorable plots and characters with great writing.

After the DarknessHoney Brown

I read three of Honey Brown’s tense, atmospheric and erotic thrillers in 2013. Difficult as it is to pick a favourite, After the Darkness just pips her debut Red Queen and this year’s Dark Horse to make this list because it is one of the few genuinely scary books I’ve ever read.… Read more

Ignore your reading list

The way we die nowWriters and readers are always bitching about the size of our to-be-read (TBR) piles.

I’m not sure if it’s related to the fact that there’s more books available, if they’re easier to access electronically or via on-line bookstores like Booktopia, or whether social media means we just need something to talk about, to look busy, so hell, why not talk about how we’ve just added another book to our TBR list.

Whatever, the upshot is it’s rare for many of us, well, for me anyway, to find ourselves in a situation where we don’t actually have anything on hand to read and we need to find something quickly. A situation that necessitates departing from our planned reading list and taking a chance on whatever book we can find.

This happened to me last week.

I was in Queensland’s Surfers Paradise for several days on personal business. I’d finished the book I was reading, Dennis Lehane’s excellent Live By Night, a lot quicker than I thought I would. I didn’t have my Kindle or any other reading material with me and there was nothing in the house I was staying in.

So I had to go out and find a book. Quickly.

Now Surfers is not exactly book lover’s paradise but it does have one or two okay second hand bookshops.… Read more