New Arrivals, Current Reading, February 11 – 17, 2013

NEW ARRIVALS – I’m cutting back, I really am. I got several old Perry Mason books from John and George (the other two Beatles didn’t send any) which I won’t list here for reasons of space and laziness. Otherwise, just one book this time, the result of a George Kelley post. The guy is killing me.

P.G. Wodehouse life in lettersA Life in Letters by P.G. Wodehouse, edited by Sophie Ratcliffe. [Norton 2011 hardcover, 542 pages plus references, bibliography and index, new] – autobiographical work of writer told through letters – as I said above, the review by George, and the one he linked to in it, were too tempting for me to ignore.

As I said last week about the John O’Hara collection of Gibbsville stories, I have a hunch it will take me a goodly while to get through this. Books of letters generally take me longer to read than a novel or short story collection. I’ve also been eyeing the Everyman’s Library and various omnibus collections of Wodehouse work, as I don’t have a lot of it on the shelves. I’ll probably wind up getting some of the books from the library and adding just one or two things.

CURRENT READING – I finished the The Night the God’s Smiled which is the first in Eric Wright’s Inspector Salter series. Not as good as the third in the series but enjoyable, and I’ll be picking up the 2nd soon. I’m continuing my reading of Perry Mason novels, with The Case of the Stuttering Bishop up next. I also continue to read short stories, with three more by Eric Wright in A Killing Climate, two more in the Black Mask collection including the first Race Williams story, one more Father Brown story and one more by Harry Harrison. I’m also planning on reading Erle Der Biggers’ The Chinese Parrot which some will notice develops a theme, considering last Friday’s Friday Forgotten book.

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15 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading, February 11 – 17, 2013

  1. macavityabc says:

    I picked up a good many Wodehouse books in the Blandings Castle series recently at Half-Price Books for a buck apiece.

  2. Richard says:

    I’ll be keeping an eye out. I believe there’s an omnibus of those books.

  3. Art Scott has an endless supply of Wodehouse books, Rick. You should mention what you need to Art and maybe you’ll get a bag of books from him similar to the Perry Mason one I sent you. I’m happy to stimulate the economy by proxy by blogging about wonderful books you all should buy!

  4. cgramlich says:

    I’d probably enjoy that Wodehouse book

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    Picked up a bunch in CA at a library: A FAITHFUL PLACE (French), BULLDOG DRUMMOND and a book about a Van Gogh painting-can’t remember the title nor the others. Mailed them.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yes, George is a very bad influence. There is a local bookstore here run as a hobby by a realtor who gives the money to a local dog shelter. It is closing at the end of the month (may reopen elsewhere) and all books are $1. George would probably clean the place out. I just got four books last week including Bill Crider’s Sheriff Rhodes/Bigfoot book, A MAMMOTH MURDER (which I’ve read and probably already have but you can’t be too careful), Bryan Gruley’s STARVATION LAKE, Richard Russo’s EMPIRE FALLS and a MWA short story collection, SHOW BUSINESS IS MURDER.

    Reading? Two more ebooks, THE PRECINCT PUERTO RICO FILES by Steven Torres (short stories; now I’ll have to read the novels) and TRACTOR GIRL by James Reasoner. One 127 page (granted, small print) Gold Medal paperback, Philip Atlee’s THE IRISH BEAUTY CONTRACT, with Joe Gall in Peru. I’m also reading the short story collection BOTH BARRELS.

  7. John says:

    I think you mean Biggers’ The Chinese Parrot. I see the theme going all the same. Took up your own idea about the parrot post, eh? ; ^ )

    note: corrected. — the editor

  8. Richard says:

    John, yes, I’ll correct that mistake, thanks for catching it. Patti Abbot is going to post the parrot question some time soon, she told me.

  9. It’s my policy to always pick up copies of books I’m not sure I own like Jeff does. You can’t be too careful. I’m a big fan of Philip Atlee’s Joe Gall spy series, especially the early titles. I’m always saddened when I hear of a bookstore closing. Yes, if I were there, I’d probably clear the shelves.

  10. Richard says:

    It must be great to have so much room, George. (right) Dave Lewis and I are going used book hunting this week, but I don’t expect to find much, if anything, with a fairly narrow list of things I’m after.

  11. Evan Lewis says:

    Have you read the Jeeves & Wooster books? Someone I know (I’m pretty sure it’s me) believes the characters of Archie and Wolfe were inspired by Bertie and Jeeves.

  12. Richard says:

    Evan, I have read a few of them – no idea what happened to that book – but a long while ago. While that’s an interesting theory, I’m pretty sure Rex Stout would disagree.

  13. Evan Lewis says:

    If the internal evidence weren’t enough – The breezy, slangy narration, the names Bertie/Archie & Wooster/Goodwin, and the eccentric geniuses Jeeves and Wolfe – there’s the fact that Stout was a huge fan (and friend) of Wodehouse before he started the series.

  14. Richard says:

    I wonder what Art Scott has to say about this?

  15. I still have a few Wodehouse books to read from my wife’s impressive collection. One of his books I read in ebook format was A WODEHOUSE MISCELLANY: ARTICLES & STORIES where one of the essays is titled “My Battle with Drink” and opens thus—”I could tell my story in two words—the two words “I drank.” But I was not always a drinker. This is the story of my downfall—and of my rise—for through the influence of a good woman, I have, thank Heaven, risen from the depths.” His writing isn’t as humourous as it is in his novels. Archive.org and Manybooks.net have several of his ebooks including “NOT GEORGE WASHINGTON: An Autobiographical Novel that I still have to read.

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