Sunday, February 28, 2010

They Said WHAT?

Wow! Where did February go? I can't believe it's gone already. I sure wish the snow would have left with it. But, no such luck. We're still shoveling here in Northeast Ohio.

Very quickly, before I share my favorite lines with you for this month's reading, I want to remind you that today is the last day to put your nominations in for the "World's Favorite Detective" tournament. I will take the nominations up until 8:00 p.m. Eastern time today. Then I will begin tallying them all up. We already have in excess of 1300 nominations. At last count, there were over 200 different detectives and 90 of those detectives had 2 or more nominations. I hope to have the bracket all set up on Wednesday with the contest directions. So check back and enter the tournament.

And one more fun thing. If anyone ever needs a gift for me, I totally want one of these with an L.A. REQUIEM cover. Ha!

So, February's favorite lines are heavily Don Winslow. I have been listening to POWER OF THE DOG and I finished THE GENTLEMEN'S HOUR. Winslow's wit is famous, so this is just a sampling because I could have copied most of the content of the books! So, I hope you enjoy these and they tempt you to read the books.


  • “He looks like he might actually cry, which would violate an important addendum to the rules of the Gentlemen’s Hour: There’s no crying, ever. These guys are old school – they think Oprah’s a mispronunciation of music they’d never listen to. It’s okay to have feelings – like if you’re looking at photos of your grandchildren – but you can never acknowledge them, and showing them is way over the line.”

  • “The small shop is a creepy little place in a strip mall in Mira Mesa, its customer base being a few actual PIs, a lot of wannabes, hard-core paranoids, and not a few of the grassy-knoll, wrap-your-head-in-tin-foil-the-government-is-attacking-you-with-gamma-rays set who won’t buy off the internet because the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and Barbara Bush are all tracking their downloads. The store is usually filled with a lot of browsers who just like electronic gadgets and cool spy shit.”

  • “He already has the camera – it came with the basic Private Investigator Starter Kit along with the cynicism, a manual of one-liners, and a saxophone soundtrack.”

  • “Alan looks at Petra and Boone and says, ‘I’d better get with Mary Lou before Boone helps us anymore and puts Corey on the Grassy Knoll. You don’t have him on the Grassy Knoll, do you? Or anywhere in the vicinity of the Lindbergh baby? You got him nailing Christ up, too, Daniels?”

  • “Go to your thesaurus, look up every synonym for hatred, add them together, multiply them by ten, and you still don’t come up to the level of malice that these two guys hold for each other.”

  • “Motives are like colors – there are really very few basic ones, but they have a thousand subtle shades.

    Your primary motive colors are crazy, sex and money.

    Boone doesn’t linger on the first. Crazy is crazy, so there’s no line of logic you can pursue. It’s too random. Of course there are shades of crazy: You have your basic, organic, Chuck Manson or Mark Chapman crazy. There’s also ‘temporary insanity’ crazy, aka ‘rage’ – a tsunami of anger that washes away normal restraint or inhibition – a person ‘sees red’ and just goes off. A sub-category of rage is drug- or alcohol-induced rage – the booze, pills, meth, ice, steroids, whatever, make a person commit violence they otherwise would never do.”
The lines from POWER OF THE DOG include:

  • “ Scachi stares at him, then says, ‘Keller, you just earned first-ballot entry into the Asshole Hall of Fame.’”

  • “As O-Bop says, ‘if I’m going to hell it’s going to be on a crowded bus.’”
And finally, I'm going to wrap up with a few stunning lines from Pat Conroy's new novel SOUTH OF BROAD. Conroy stands with Burke as the two writers I believe to be the greatest living American writers today. Like Burke, Conroy creates a tone for his novels with his setting. His language is beautiful and his words brilliant. Here are a few examples. As I'm not yet finished with this novel, you can probably count on more to come in March:

  • "I consider it a privilege to be a native of one of the loveliest American cities, not a high-kicking, glossy, or lipsticked city, not a city with bells on its fingers or brightly painted toenails, but a ruffled, low-slung city, understated and tolerant of nothing mismade or ostentatious. Though Charleston feels a seersuckered, tuxedoed view of itself, it approves of restraint far more than vainglory."

  • "It would be many years before I learned that your fate could scuttle up behind you, touch you with its bloody claws, and when you turn to face the worst, you find it disguised in all innocence and camouflaged as a moving van, an orphanage, and a drug bust south of Broad."

  • "Of all the elements of my childhood that rang a false note, I was the only kid the American South whose mother had received a doctorate by writing a perfectly unreadable dissertation on the religious symbolism in James Joyce's equally unreadable ULYSSES, which I considered the worst book ever written by anyone. June 16 was the endless day when Leopold Bloom makes his nervous Nellie way, stopping at bars and consorting with whores and then returning home to horny wife, Molly, who has a final soliloquy that goes on for what seemed like six thousand pages when my mother force-fed me the book in tenth grade."
O.k., I admit. I put that last one in there because I, too, hate ULYSSES, so it struck a chord with me. I also want to point out that there is a magnificent paragraph at the conclusion of Alafair Burke's 212, but I decided not to include it in this post because I think it is too much of a spoiler for the novel. So, just take my word for it, it's wonderful and you need to read it to find out what it is. Once you've read it, feel free to email me and let me know what you think the part is.

Have a great week and happy reading!


le0pard13 February 28, 2010 at 6:28 PM  

Great selections for authors and their quotes, Jen. Those are also some good looking bags, too. Thanks for this.

Naomi Johnson February 28, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

Oh, I need one of those handbags!

Christine March 1, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

Really enjoy Winslow - thanks, Jen! I've not read any Conroy, but if you're comparing him to Burke then I think I need to add him to my TBR list. (If I'd never had a desire to read ULYSSES before, I definitely won't now. ha.)

Those handbags are too cool! Thanks for that link, Jen. Always looking for something unique for gifts...and me. ;-)

Marlyn March 1, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

I feel exactly the same way about ULYSSES, Jen!

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