2016 Reading Challenge: The Burning Room

This won’t contain any spoilers.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time it’s highly likely you’ve read something about Harry Bosch. I’ve written about him more than just about any character, even KATNISS!

He is the epitome of who and what I think a fictional detective should be. This was the 17th book in the series I’ve read, and to me it was the best one yet. No matter the character being written, an author who can keep the reader interested in a single character over two decades is one of those rare jewels in literature. Michael Connelly is right there with the likes of Sue Grafton and Robert B. Parker.

Harry Bosch has never become stagnant or boring. His stories have never escaped the realm of reality. And he’s never forgotten his mantra that “Everybody counts or nobody counts”.

This book satisfied the requirement of my 2016 reading challenge to read a crime novel.

Now TOMORROW I will post an update on my progress! Stay tuned!

Also, the first book in the Harry Bosch series is The Black Echo. Just saying. 😊

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Bosch is Back

Just about every November Michael Connelly delights his readers with a new Harry Bosch novel. This year is no different.

I fully realize that not every avid reader is big on crime fiction. I know some people who read over 100 books a year and not one of them is a crime novel. But I’ll say it until I can’t say it any more that Harry Bosch is simply not your run of the mill fictional detective.

There’s a reason Connelly has been able to continue the series for more than two decades. In my eyes it’s because he created a character who has no match in contemporary fiction.

The first book in the Harry Bosch series is The Black Echo.

Are you excited to get your hands on The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly?

On Completed Series

Have you ever stopped to think about all the series you’ve read? Especially the ones you’ve finished. Well I just did. And guess how many I came up with? Two.

There’s always a chance I’m missing some, but I think I’m pretty spot on. Merci Rayborn and The Hunger Games. Those are the only book series I’ve read from start to finish. It probably sounds crazy, but it really isn’t.

I’ve written on here before about the length of series you’re willing to read, and I remember several people saying that four or five books is just too many for a series. I thought it was garbage back then and I still think so today.

The majority of the series I read are 10+ books. Spenser. Bosch. Alex Cross. Jesse Stone. Elvis Cole. Alex McKnight. And several I started and never finished. Mystery writers tend to write long series, and I have no issue with that as long as the writing stays top notch.

Do you have any idea how many aeries you’ve completed?

Back at it

I last finished reading a book nearly two months ago. And then I started a book I knew nothing about. Bad choice. The book is now my latest DNF.

So last night I was deciding on what to read next. I have books from the Amazon list. I have books for my reading challenge. And I have books that are right in my wheelhouse of crime fiction. I decided to go with what I know. I started the next book in the Elvis Cole series. And only later did I realize that I’d not read in the series since 2014. That’s outrageous. I love Elvis and Joe, and it took the first five pages for me to realize how much I’ve missed them.

Do you have any books you turn to when you’re in the midst of a reading slump?

This Week in Books #7: Bosch

Welcome back to Johnny Reads and This Week in Books. This week I’m talking about Amazon’s Bosch. Bosch is the show adapted from Michael Connelly’s bestselling book series that follows LAPD detective Harry Bosch.

But this is not your typical crime show. Not even close. Bosch is excellent. Now watch so I can tell you exactly why!

Have you watched any of the first two seasons of Bosch? Or are you a reader of the books?

The Importance of Genres

Sometimes people say things that make no sense. Like comparing the work of two authors who have no business being compared. I think it’s a little ridiculous to say that genres limit creativity by placing labels on one’s work.

No one is saying that certain genres need very specific stories or characters. I mean, just look at young adult. Sure we have an expectation of what to expect when starting a new young adult book, but that doesn’t mean every book is the same. Which goes for every genre.

The fact is (to me) that we need genres. Let me make a comparison here. Imagine if we didn’t have genres in music. Then we wouldn’t have radio stations genre-specific. And maybe that’d be interesting to some, but not to me. Imagine a Madonna song followed by Kendrick Lamar and then Blake Shelton. It would be odd.

Now let’s get back to books. Imagine going into a bookstore and there is not a single label or sign anywhere in the store to tell you which section you’re in. Why? No genres. So the entire store is alphabetized by author. The store is one big blob of books. Business books. Young adult. Mystery. History. Art. All shelved together with no “label”.

Think about this. How many times have you read a book, series, or author and immediately wondered what to read next? I haven’t done it much recently, but I have done it. So you play around on Amazon or Google or maybe even on the author’s website trying to find similar works. That’s what genres help with. I once randomly grabbed a book at Barnes and Noble by Robert B. Parker. I’d never read any detective fiction before. In subsequent years I found Spenser, Elvis Cole, Alex McKnight, Charlie Hood, Alex Cross, and Harry Bosch. These characters are not the same and they’re not directly influential of one another, but they do fall under the same umbrella of detective fiction.

There’s nothing limiting about genres. If you want to write something that blends several different genres together in the pages of a single book, then go ahead. But newsflash, it’s already been done plenty before you and those books are all categorized somewhere.

Do you think genres are important? Or are they just stupid labels to you?

On Sherlock Holmes

I’ve been reading crime fiction since at least high school. My memory tells me I started with Jesse Stone, a former LAPD homicide detective who becomes the chief of police in Paradise, Massachusetts after interviewing drunk. I’ve moved on to several more detectives in the years since opening my first Jesse Stone novel.

But there’s a literary giant missing from my shelves and piles of books. Sherlock Holmes. I mean, Sherlock is a pioneer of crime fiction. What am I doing not at least reading the novels? I don’t know. But I do know that his stories are still in fairly high demand because I’m asked for them each week. I could be wrong, but they might even be on a school reading list down here.

This is one of those times I just acknowledge that there are way more books available than I’ll ever be able to read. I imagine at some point I’ll get my hands on a Sherlock Holmes story. Or at least I’ll watch the TV show or movies. One day.

Are there any iconic authors or characters in your favorite genre you haven’t read?