New Arrivals and Current Reading, June 2 – 8, 2014

New Arrivals
I guess it’s the little surprises in life that spice things up, but I sure didn’t want to buy a new computer when the old one was working just fine. At least it was working fine until the water from a nearby flower vase spilled and a wave of liquid washed across the thing. **FIZZZT**. The end. After a week of hoping it would “dry out” and start working again (yeah, right), we went to the Apple Store and bought a replacement. Instead of the MacBook Pro with 15 inch screen, Barbara wanted the one with the 13 inch retinal screen.

Now for the books. After reading The Saint in Europe, a short story collection, I decided I’d get some more Saint books. Three came this week, along with a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

The First Saint Omnibus by Leslie Charteris [Book League of America 1939 hardcover, used] – mystery omnibus. The contains 13 stories drawn from other Saint collections. Since I have none of those, this should work.

The Saint Wanted For Murder by Leslie Charteris [Triangle Books 1943 hardcover, used] – mystery. This contains 6 long stories/novellas.

The Saint – Five Complete Novels by Leslie Charteris [Avenel Books 1983 hardcover, used] – mystery novel omnibus. This contains all the Saint novels I’ll probably ever want to read, along with The Saint Overboard which I already have. It’s the short stories that are the best Saint reading, but I wanted these too.

The Will of the Dead by George Mann [Titan Books 2013 trade paper, new] – mystery, Holmes pastiche. – I like to try a Sherlock Holmes pastiche every now and then, and read a positive review of this on a couple of blogs I respect.

Current Reading
I decided to make a run at finishing The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. After reading this for nearly a year, I finished it. Alien Emerg cvrIt’s a great anthology, but at nearly 1,100 pages it’s just plain LONG.

I also finished The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert, which I enjoyed. Now I’m reading both The Saint Overboard (1935 novel) by Leslie Charteris and Alien Emergencies, the second omnibus of James White’s Sector General books. White is a favorite author, and the cover art by John Harris is great. However, at just over 600 pages this is another thick book. Hey, I just finished one of those.

Barbara finished Providence Rag by Bruce DeSilva, which she enjoyed, and has started The Tip of A Bone by local Portland author Christine Finlayson, yet another book we got at Left Coast Crime in February.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

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15 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, June 2 – 8, 2014

  1. I have that five novel omnibus.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    That is a bummer about the computer but glad you got a shiny new one. As mentioned previously, I am not a fan of the Saint. I agree with you on James White’s Sector General series. I’ve read the first six and a book of stories. It’s been three years since I read the last one.

    No new books this week. I read three library books. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta I mentioned before. I did like it in the end and will be interested to see how HBO turns it into a series. Next was Ed Gorman’s Hawk Moon, featuring his former FBI profiler/psychologist turned p.i. Robert Payne. I really liked the first in this series (of four books) and thought I’d read the others but recently discovered I’d missed the second one. Frankly, it didn’t grab me the way the first one (Blood Moon) did, though as always Gorman remains readable and interesting.

    Lastly it was non fiction, Dave Itzkoff’s Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, namely writer Paddy Chayefsky.

    I’m still reading those collections of stories previously mentioned and have started the third of Jeffrey Siger’s Kaldis books, while also dipping in Nick Hornby’s complete collection of book review columns, Ten Years in the Tub. I am slowly whittling down my library pile.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    oops – sorry about the excessive bolding.
    Fixed it. – R

  4. Jerry House says:

    I was a big Saint fan in college and read them all until Charteris began farming them out; someday, I’ll get to the later ones. I have a lot of unread books by James White, too. Gotta fix that.

    This was a library inundation week. Many books were held back while my local library updated its computers, then came the deluge. I finally got to one of the few by Bill Crider that I hadn’t read — MURDER IN THE MIST by Willard Scott and you know who. Also three recent books by Max Allan Collins put me in hog heaven: THE WRONG QUARRY, THE KING OF WEEDS (a Mike Hammer from Mickey Spillane’s notes), and ANTIQUES CON (with Barbara Collins as by “Barbara Allan”). And another Pogo, PREHYSTERICAL POGO.

  5. I’m reading THE NOVEL, A BIOGRAPHY (1,000 pages). That should keep me busy for a while. Congratulations on the new computer! Looks sweet!

  6. Richard says:

    The new computer is just the old computer but slightly smaller. I prefer a 22 inch iMac…

  7. Richard says:

    Randy, the Sector general omnibus has three “novels”, though they are so episodic that they’re really story collections. I’m about halfway through Ambulance Ship now.

  8. Richard says:

    Jeff, methinks you started reading the James White Sector General books about the same time I did.

  9. Richard says:

    Jerry, as I recall, the weather mysteries Bill Crider ghosted for Scott were somewhat below par, but any Crider is better than no Crider. Is Prehistorical Pogo the one with the dinosaurs in it?

  10. Richard says:

    George, I doubt I could get through a thousand page non-fiction book.

  11. I’m gonna have to get around to a few of those Saints books.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    As I’m sure Bill Crider would say, Prehistoric Pogo would be a good name for a rock band.

    I agree the Crider/Scott books are not the best but they are still worth a read, especially while waiting for the next Sheriff Rhodes book to come out.

  13. Patti Abbott says:

    Reading LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN and an arc from Rob Kitchin, STUMPED, which was smashing. Also short stories from Lydia Davis.

  14. Jerry House says:

    The Willard Scott books are not up to the standard of much of Bill’s other work but, frankly, I think Bill was somewhat hampered by Scott’s public persona. That said, both are darned good mysteries and second better than the first. And, yes, Richard, the Pogo is the one with the dinosaurs (and the topless girl with the strategically-placed hair); the full title is PREHYSTERICAL POGO (IN PANDEMONIA).* This one really showed off Kelly’s artwork.

    *Note the “Y” and the “E” in the first word.

  15. Richard says:

    Jerry, thinks for reminding me of the spelling, which I knew but forgot to type correctly. I checked the shelf and it is one I have.

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