Tag Archives: noir

2013 Literary Exploration challenge, part four

Whew! It’s time for part four of my Literary Exploration challenge reading list for 2013. Nine (that’s nine!) genres today means nine new books. Some of my favourites in here, so let’s get rolling!

19. Literary Fiction

Richard Ford. Canada.

The best way to introduce this novel is with the opening lines: “First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later.” I read quite a lot of literary fiction (though I’m still quite hard pressed to define it), but nothing of Richard Ford’s yet. He’s considered a master author, and I’m very excited about Canada.



20. Magical Realism

Erin Morgenstern. The Night Circus.

Magical Realism archetype One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favourite novels of all time, not least because of its style. While stumbling around trying to find something with the same magic as Solitude, I came across this review, and my mind was made up. Another one I’m very much looking forward to.


21. Mystery

Dennis Lehane. A Drink Before the War.

This was an easy choice, actually. My mother is a big mystery/thriller fan, and gave me Lehane’s Sacred to read early last year. I really enjoyed it, but there was a lot of backstory for detectives Kenzie and Gennaro which I didn’t have. A Drink Before the War is the first Kenzie and Gennaro novel, so it made sense to start there.



22. Noir

James M Cain. Double Indemnity.

Boy, this list has a few huge/vague genres (that’s you, fantasy) and a bunch of overlapping small ones. To me, noir, hard-boiled, and mystery share a lot of titles. For my noir outing, I chose the best (or, at least, most famous) pulp noir I could find. That fantastic cover simply sealed the deal.



23. Non-Fiction

Stephen D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner. Freakonomics.

What did I just say about gigantic genre categories? Counting non-fiction as a genre indicates that ‘fiction’ should be one too, which the 35 other entries on this list suggest is a bit general. Anyway. I’ve been meaning to read Freakonomics for some time, and so… now I will. Honestly, though, this is the genre I’m most open to suggestions on – I don’t read much non-fiction. Drop me a comment!


24. Paranormal

Cassandra Clare. City of Bones.

About 90% of books filed under ‘paranormal’ on Goodreads have a suitably intriguing/mystic/magical looking late-teen girl on the cover, which is a great way to make sure I never pick up a  book. But we’re here to explore! I chose the one with the coolest-sounding series name (“The Mortal Instruments”) and some kind of buff tattooed guy on the cover. Can’t lose!


25. Philosophical

James Gleick. The Information.

As mentioned above, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. None, really. So, I don’t have a lot to base my decisions on, here in Nonfic Land. This book, though – about why information is so important to civilisation, and how it came to be so – sounds interesting. And, I like the cover.



26. Poetry

Stacie Cassarino. Zero  at the Bone.

One of my goals for 2013 is to learn to appreciate poetry. But I know nothing – nothing – about it. I’m basically afraid of it. Zero at the Bone comes on the recommendation of a few friends who are much more poetic than me. So… I’ll keep you posted!



27. Post-Apocalyptic

Hugh Howey. Wool #1-5.

Well. You can have a dystopia without an apocalypse, but you can’t have an apocalypse without a dystopia! I’ve read so, so many of the “best” books from both of these genres that it’s hard to find something I know about but haven’t already read. This basically limits me to something old or something brand new. I’ve got a lot of classics and older books on the list, so it’s time for a new release. This is another genre which is heavy on the mystic-girl cover, which I managed to avoid by choosing Wool (the first five stories, collected).




Whew! Big list today. Come back tomorrow for the last lot – there’s some big names, with things like Thriller, Romance, and Science Fiction.

For the rest of the list, here’s part one, part two, and part three.

As always, if you have any suggestions, drop a comment. Have I missed something? Am I really handsome? Let me know!



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