Those arcane few of us who still read are always looking for a good book. But imagine my astonishment when the noted Talpa, Texas scholar, writer, and humanitarian Mike Rush recently asked me to recommend a novel. Being from Santa Anna, Texas (derisively referred to as Santy Anna by the Swells of Talpa) I was both shocked and humbled by his request.
I suggested that Mr. Rush might enjoy HEADHUNTERS by Norwegian novelist Joe Nesbo. He did, so I shall now attempt to duplicate my success. Please note, I primarily read noirish (is that a word?) mysteries, historical fiction and some non-fiction.
Phillip Kerr’s BERLIN NOIR is a must for fans of hard-boiled detectives. It’s difficult to imagine any other sort of detective in the heart of Nazi Germany. And John Burdett’s Buddhist detective in BANGKOK 8 is an irresistible invention.
I just read THE SYMPATHIZER by Viet Thanh Nguyen. This Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a double agent at the fall of Saigon, is remarkable. And anytime Steve Harrigan releases a novel it is cause for celebration. A FRIEND OF MR. LINCOLN is no exception.
Recent non-fiction reads that held my attention and stuck with me include EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Tribe in American History. I thought I knew a bit about Native American and Texas history until I read S.C. Gwynne’s captivating tale. Also, I was thoroughly entertained by, and learned a lot from, Jesse Sublett’s revealing 1960’s AUSTIN GANGSTERS.
James BigBoy Medlin © 2016
James BigBoy Medlin is a writer who lives in Silver City, New Mexico.
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Illustration / Dan Hubig © 2016