NEW ARRIVALS – not a thing this week. There have been enough lately, and there always seems to be something in the pipeline, so this week is more of a relief than a disappointment.
CURRENT READING – lots to say here.
Short Stories – To begin, In early January 2013 I said:
“What I’ve quickly discovered is that I’m not especially good at limiting my reading to only short stories. My solution? Read a novel and, after a chapter or two take a break and read a short story. Then go back to the novel. Between novels read a bunch of short stories My plan to plow through lots of short story collections is going to have to be modified. Less stories, but a novel gets read too.”
That plan sounded great, but it’s not what happened. Instead of cutting back on the number of collections I was reading, while reading a novel here and there, I started reading even more collections. Suddenly it seemed every interesting book I saw reviewed or looked at was short stories, so instead of reading one or two sets of stories the number has increased. I am now reading these short story collections (in title alpha order):
- 50 in 50 – Harry Harrison – 50 stories
- A Killing Climate – Eric Wright – 16 stories
- The Black Lizard Book of Black Mask Stories – various authors – 53 stories
- The Cobra – Richard Sale – 8 stories
- Complete Casebook of Cardigan vol 1 – Frederick Nebel – 11 novelettes
- Complete Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton – 54 stories
- Complete John Thunstone – Many Wade Wellman – 18 stories
- Gibbsville, PA – John O’Hara – 52 stories
- More Than Honor – various authors – 4 long stories
- Playgrounds of the Mind – Larry Niven – 49 stories
I’ll save you the math, that’s 315 short stories in ten – count ’em, ten – books of short stories I’m working my way through, plus the novels I’m trying to intersperse between. Yikes! No wonder it’s taking me forever to get through these books, and that some have gotten set aside temporarily. I’m trying to read at least two stories every day but it’s still going to take a long time.
Here’s what is most frightening, or delightful, depending on how you look at it: I have several hundred more books of short stories – many of them that I’ve read but could read again – on the shelves. All the pulp reprints, all the Crippen & Landru collections, mystery and science fiction collections and general fiction collections plus non-fiction collections of travel writings, essays, letters, and the like. I could probably read nothing but short stories and other short works for years!
Novels – I finished another Perry Mason novel. I picked The Gift of Rain back up from the bottom of a pile but have read only a few pages. It’s a book that needs to be read straight through, without frequent interruptions. I’m currently a third of the way through The Chinese Parrot, a Charlie Chan novel by Earl Der Biggers and almost halfway through Robin Slone’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore which came from the library two days ago. Both books are a lot of fun.