New Arrivals, Current Reading April 29 – May 5, 2013

I’m finding more and more things at the library lately, between our Multnomah County system and the neighboring Clackimas County one. With two county systems to draw from, plus inter-loan should it become necessary, we’re finding quite a lot of the books I once might have bought. I haven’t been including library books in New Arrivals, only in Current Reading. For now, I’ll continue doing that.

Two books published by  Ed Hulse’s Murania Press which is now doing classic pulp reprints. I ordered them at the same time I resubscribed to Blood ‘N’ Thunder, the quarterly periodical I showed here last week. I just couldn’t resist.

Pirates of the Pines by A.M. Chisholm [Murania Press July 2012, new] – pulp fiction reprint. From the publisher’s website:
“This rousing adventure yarn was originally published in the October 20, 1915 issue of Street & Smith’s THE POPULAR MAGAZINE as “Fur Pirates.” Set in the wilderness fringing northwestern Canada’s great Carcajou River, its protagonist and narrator is 18-year-old Bob Cory, who lives with his sister Peggy on their uncle’s modest homestead. While out one day with recovering invalid Jim Dunleath, Bob unearths a long-lost letter written by notorious fur thief Angus McNab to his brother, revealing the location of a fortune in stolen pelts cached on an island in the nearby Burntwood Lakes. Dunleath believes that the treasure must still be there and persuades a wealthy Eastern sportsman to bankroll an expedition to find the cache. Chisholm deliberately patterned his tale on TREASURE ISLAND as an homage to Robert Louis Stevenson. Nearly every element  corresponds to something in Stevenson’s novel. And yet Chisholm’s work is not a slavish imitation, it’s a brilliantly executed tour de force. The characters have personalities all their own, the settings are vividly described, and the yarn is suffused with verisimilitude. PIRATES OF THE PINES succeeds on its own terms; you needn’t be familiar with Stevenson’s classic to appreciate Chisholm’s accomplishment.”

Wilderness Trail by H. Bedford-Jones [ [Murania Press March 2013, new] – pulp fiction reprint. H. Bedford-Jones is one of my favorites. From the publisher’s website:
“In 1810, the still-young United States of America continues its westward expansion as a national economy begins to flourish. But the country’s commerce is seriously disrupted in Kentucky, at the juncture of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, by daring pirates who strike from nowhere and then disappear into the wilderness. Captain John Norton, a young military officer working undercover, mounts a secret campaign against the buckskinned brigands, who are led by a mystery man known as Blacknose. Along the way Norton receives aid from such legendary figures of early American history as rugged pioneer Daniel Boone, future President Zachary Taylor, prominent naturalist John J. Audubon, and Shawnee Indian chief Tecumseh. Yet the clever Blacknose and his followers continue to evade their would-be captors. The Wilderness Trail originally appeared in the February 1915 issue of Blue Book and was the first of more than 370 fictional works—novels, novelettes, and short stories—H. Bedford-Jones wrote for that distinguished pulp magazine over a period of 33 years. It was also his first historical novel with an American setting. Issued in hard covers many decades ago by the British firm of Hurst & Blackett, The Wilderness Trail has never been published in the United States as a book—until now.”

As I mentioned at the top, I have a goodly number of library books on hand: six just now. I’ve finished one of them, New Wave a graphic novel with a somewhat sloppy mix of plot lines with Batman, Doc Savage and The Spirit (sort of) working together on different threads of the same problem. I’ve read better stories about each of the characters, but none that had all three so this is – barely – remarkable for that. The rest of the library books are nagging at me, but I’ll get to them. I have started Hammett Unwritten.

I also read and greatly enjoyed that latest issue of Blood ‘N’ Thunder that I mentioned last week. Lots of great articles this time, and a double issue. Only problem is the long wait until the next one shows up. That’s the problem with quarterly mags. I may get less reading done now that the weather has warmed and the garden is calling me outside. That would be fine, but I often need to have shovel, trowel, snippers and a bucket for clippings in hand. We went to a big garden show and sale today (Sunday) and brought home a few things to be put in later today or tomorrow.

Hopefully, I should soon be able to do some peaceful reading on the patio surrounded by roses and snapdragons, conifers and ferns, maples, lavender and dahlias. Also hopefully we get a break from the very high temperatures (89 today) which have come too soon in the year.

What did you get, new, used or from the library, and
what have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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19 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading April 29 – May 5, 2013

  1. Evan Lewis says:

    Historical fiction. And frontier historical fiction at that. My compliments on your fine taste, sir.
    I’m reading two library books at the moment: John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood and Weird Science (The EC Archives) Vol. 1.

  2. Two fine stories for summer reading. I have not read any books by Chisholm and Bedford Jones before. A few of their copyright-free works are available online. I finished reading THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT by Agatha Christie and am halfway through THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton. I’m not sure who should take Christie’s place: it’s a toss-up between Ed McBain, Lawrence Block, JDM, and any one of three Ross Macdonalds I picked up over the weekend.

  3. Richard says:

    Evan, I saw the review of that Carter & Gods of Hollywood in the current issue of Ed Hulse’s Blood ‘N’ Thunder. Is Weird Science from the library?

    Prashant, I’ve read the Christie, but not the Wharton. If it were me, I’d pick Ross Macdonald. Which are the three RM books you’d choose from?

  4. cgramlich says:

    The only library stuff I’m currently reading is the Walking Dead Graphic novel series.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Evan, I’m reading that John Carter book on the Kindle, sporadically. I seem to have a bunch of short story collections at the moment. This week I read Rick Hautala’s collection Glimpses on the Kindle. I thought the (mostly) horror stories were good but not great, though a few stood out. The big disappointment was Ron Goulart’s sf collection from the early 1970’s, Odd Job #101, which seemed as dated as 1971 fashions. He’s done better. Lastly I read Heinlein’s entertaining juvenile title Have Space Suit – Will Travel, yet another I didn’t read when I was a kid. I’m in the middle of a very entertaining collection of sf stories by Allen M. Steele, and My Bookstore, among others.

    I mentioned my ABE order last week. I’ve had to give up on ever getting some of these from and decided at this price I could afford to just buy them. First, Jackie’s order came in but one of the three books was missing. We got a credit. I got my order – nine books @ $4 each (on average):

    Bill Crider & Clyde Wilson, Mississippi Vivian 2nd of 2 in series
    Mary Logue, Frozen Stiff Claire Watkins
    Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Kill My Darling Bill Slider (I’m now 4 books behind)
    Jon Talton, Cactus Heart (David Mapstone – there is a new one just out)
    Gerry Boyle, Port City Shakedown first in a new series
    Elizabeth Gunn, McCafferty’s Nine and Ten-Mile Trials both Jake Hines
    Gunn, Kissing Arizona Sarah Burke
    Susan Rogers Cooper, Romanced to Death E. J. Pugh

    These are mostly ex-library hardbacks. I am buying them to read, not collect.

  6. Richard says:

    Charles, I’ve had bad luck with graphic novels recently, mostly New 52 stuff from DC and also that New Wave I mention in this post.

    Jeff, sometimes your reading makes my head spin. I’ve read that Heinlein, good but not his best juvenile. That ABE order has mostly stuff I’m not familiar with. Which Steele collection is it you’re reading?

  7. I just finished correcting 100 student research papers. No pleasure reading in the past week (work before pleasure). But now, except for correcting 100 FINAL EXAMS next week, I’m a free man. The stack of library books needs to be whittled down.

  8. John says:

    A few weeks ago we went on one of our book buying safaris and I came home with several bags filled with vintage goodies. Among the prizes: A 1st edition w/ DJ of Dover One, Joyce Porter’s first mystery novel; a 1st ed in DJ of the ever elusive Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (the first Amelia Peabody mystery); a hard to find title by offbeat mystery writer Paul Haggard; and a variety of vintage paperbacks, a mix of mystery, fantasy and supernatural. Nothing cost more than $1.25 and all the paperbacks were 50 cents a pop. I love the library fundraising sales around Chicago.

    I picked up some more vintage paperbacks last week, almost all women writers I discovered last year and titles that are very hard to find: The Balcony and The Golden Swan Murder (a mapback!) by Dorothy Cameron Disney, The Clay Hand by Dorothy Salisbury Davis, and a odd one chosen for the title alone Murder in a Nunnery by Eric Shepherd.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Shepherd also wrote More Murder in a Nunnery, John. The first was 1940, the second 1954.

  10. Richard says:

    George, this is a grueling time for teachers. Charles is going through the same routine. What do you have lined up for fun reading?

  11. Richard says:

    John, I have the Porter and Peters, in paperback. I’m not familiar with the others, but at those prices, you did great! The Porter books are entertaining, but I can only take them a bit at a time, as Porter drives me nuts.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’m reading Steele’s All-American Alien Boy, the only one my library had. The stories are from the mid-90’s.

  13. Patti Abbott says:


  14. Richard says:

    Patti, I recommended it to Barbara, she finished it about an hour ago and said she thought it was really good.

  15. Richard, I actually picked up two, and not three, books by Ross Macdonald titled THE CHILL and BLACK MONEY, both Lew Archer stories. I confused one of his books with JDM. I found out on Wiki that Ross Macdonald also wrote as John Macdonald, clearly, “not to be confused with John D. MacDonald.” I hope to buy all of the Lew Archer series in coming weeks and months.

  16. Once I correct and grade next week’s FINAL EXAMS, Diane and I will be on the road to Pittsburgh for watch Patrick graduate with his PhD. Once we return, I’ll have to check out the stack of library books that keeps growing.

  17. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Prashant, you’re right – some of the early books were published as by John Macdonald and John Ross Macdonald before Millar settled on Ross. THE CHILL is definitely one of the best in the series.

  18. Last week I read The Great Gatsby and Jess Walter’s new short story collection, We Live in Water (which was excellent). Now I’m reading Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I think I’ll follow up with a couple Pathfinder Tales books from Paizo that recently came in the mail.

  19. Thanks, Jeff. I’ll start with THE CHILL then. I forget Ross Macdonald is the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar. It reminds me of Harry Patterson whose famous assumed name, Jack Higgins, became more well-known than the author’s real name..

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