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May 09, 2010

API Heritage Month Reading Update

It's May, API Heritage Month, and I'm drowning in books. Lessee ... I read:

Ed Lin This is a Bust

Ed Lin Snakes Can't Run

Robin McKinley The Hero and the Crown

The McKinley is an early one, and fairly standard fantasy, except with a female hero. Entertaining.

The Ed Lins I read because I finally found This is a Bust (I lost it after I bought it at his reading about two years ago at Eastwind books. But after buying Snakes Can't Run at our recent reading, I really had to find it so I could read both.) Two very different books in the mystery novel vein, using the same detective. This is a Bust is much more indie, develops slowly and is much more interested in the milieu it's depicting than in the nominal mystery. It felt very much like a New York version of Chan is Missing, with the mystery being merely an excuse to follow a dysfunctional, alcoholic police officer around on his beat. Loved it! Loved being in that place and time, and could feel the seventies film grit on my skin. (I actually had to stop reading at one point and go watch Serpico, which made the whole experience better. (I also went and watched Chan is Missing again. Both are watchable online at Netflix.

Snakes Can't Run, on the other hand, is much more standard genre mystery, although it still focuses a lot on the milieu, and the mystery, although meatier, was still not as muscular as the genre would generally demand. I still didn't want to leave that world after I finished, though. I hope this becomes a series.

I binged at various bookstores and now have a small stack of Asian American fiction to plough through. I think I'll try to focus on that this month.


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