2015 Book List
1. Isolation Ward Joshua Spanogle Josh is a dermatological surgeon and a new friend of mine. He’s carved a few skin cancers off my Frankenface. His book is an excellent medical thriller. I recommend it not because I know the author, but because it is a damned good read.
2. The Boys at Twilight Glyn Maxwell Some poems too obscure for my tastes mixed in with what I consider real gems.
3. Gangsterland Tod Goldberg Mafia contract killer building new life in Las Vegas as a rabbi. Turns out his new life is not much different than his old.
4. Barkeep William Lashner A good thriller with a cast of interesting characters each with a unique “voice.”
5. Gone Girl Gillian Flyn Unlikeable protagonists who deserve each other tell this grim tale in alternating chapters. The book is worthy of its best seller status. It’s a gripping read. Hard to put down.
6. Don’t Think of an Elephant – know your values and frame the debate. George Lakoff George explains why it is necessary for Liberals to create their own frames of reference and not use the Conservative’s which has dominated since Reagan.
7. Songs of Unreason Jim Harrison Manly yet sensitive poetry. One critic called it “gentle testosterone”…that critic being me. Harrison is my favorite poet and among my top five favorite novelists.
8. Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. Roland Sheppard The author is an old high school chum of mine who is a a strong anti-capitalist activist. He was present at the murder of Malcom X and witnessed the shooting. This book describes why he believes the government is responsible for both murders.
9. Flawless Joshua Spanogle Josh follows up his excellent debut novel with one that is even better. Illegal cosmetic treatments that cause horrible facial cancers and the consequences of that. Good, fast read.
10. Slow Getting Up Nate Jackson Former Denver Bronco writes about his life in the NFL; the agony and the ecstasy of it. Well written.
11. Songs of Unreason Jim Harrison The second reading was as good as the first.
12. Into Daylight Jeffrey Harrison (No relation to Jim that I know of.) Good poetry. Emotionally moving.
13. Selected and New Poems Jim Harrison More brilliance. There is a selection of poems called “Letters to Yesenin” that is mind blowing.
14. Stargazey Martha Grimes Inspector Jury, Melrose Plant and friends solve a mystery, but the killer, a woman, eludes them in the end.
15. The Drop Dennis Lehane Fast, entertaining read with interesting characters.
16. La Brujo de Portobello Paulo Coelho (Read in Spanish) Abandoned ¾ of the way in. I don’t care how it ends.
17. The Fine Art of Fucking Up Cate Dicharry Academics and artists clash during a flood. Good characters, good read.
18. The Woman Who Lost Her Soul Bob Shacochis Pulitzer runner up that I had to push through to finish. The prose was too dense for my tastes.
19. Vertigo 42 Martha Grimes Always satisfying mysteries from Martha.
20. The Case Has Altered Martha Grimes Ditto above
21. The Pleasures of the Damned Charles Bukowski A tome – 548 pages – of Bukowski’s poems. What can I say? The man was a genius. I loved ever line.
22. The Private Dining Room Ogden Nash Clever poems all. A treat to read.
23. The Five Bells and Bladebone Martha Grimes Inspector Jury solves another mystery.
24. Refusal Felix Francis Felix has his father’s (Dick Francis) flair for plot but lacks his ability to develop character and produce better prose.
25. Star Island Karl Hiaasen Fun read. Not his best, but still entertaining.
26. Help the Poor Struggler Martha Grimes Closing in on the last of unread Martha’s.
27. Calico Joe John Grisham Baseball story. Okay, I suppose, but I prefer his legal thrillers.
28. The Horse You Came In On Martha Grimes The last Richard Jury mystery I hadn’t read…I think. There may be one more.