New Arrivals, Current Reading September 16 – 22, 2013

It’s been good reading weather. There are several books on the way, here’s what showed up this last week, including one at the very last moment. 

H. B. Fyfe Resurrected, The Works of Horace Brown Fyfe edited by Greg Fowlkes [Resurrected Press Science Fiction 2010 trade paper, new] – science fiction story collection. This collection contains 15 stories, all of them otherwise long out of print. I’ve enjoyed Fyfe’s stories in science fiction digests over the years and hope to enjoy this too.

The Lost City by John Blaine [Grosset & Dunlap 1947 hardcover (later printing, pre-re-edit), used] – Rick Brandt boys’ science adventure series #2. While I was able to read nearly all of the Hardy Boys series and many of the Tom Swift Jr. adventures, the Rick Brant books weren’t available from the library nor the department stores where the others were sold. I have no idea why. So I’ve only read one or two of them, and remember them fondly. I got this for a song and enjoyed it a lot. Now I want more.

The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace [Oxford University Press 1995 mass market paperback, used] – mystery novel. After reading the Friday Forgotten Books review of this by Sergio Angelini, HERE, I had to get my hands on a copy, and found a nice one on PaperBack Swap. Sergio’s fine review (you really should click over and read it) is so thorough there’s really nothing to add, other than I’ll be reading it soon.

The Enemy by Lee Child [Delacorte 2005 mass market paperback, used] – mystery/thriller. This is #8 in the series.
One Shot by Lee Child [Delacorte 2006 mass market paperback, used] – mystery/thriller. This is #9 in the series. Barbara is reading this series through in order.

and just in at the last possible moment…

The Miracle Menace by Kenneth Robeson [Altus Press 2013 trade paper, new] – adventure / science fiction. This is the newest, latest volume in Altus Press’ series of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, written by Will Murray and Lester Dent as Kenneth Robeson. These are a lot of fun. A big “thank you” to Randy Johnson for this one!

I was sorry to hear Robert Barnard passed away this last week. Though I own several of his books, I’ve only read a couple of them. I’ll pick one to read this coming week. 

I read The Lost City, the Rick Brant book shown above, and it was a lot of fun. I’m about a third way into The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus, the SF short story collection I picked up recently and shown in last weeks’ New Arrivals. Also read, for Friday Forgotten Books, Eleven by Patricia Highsmith. I’m continuing to really enjoy the book of SF reviews by Algis Budrys, I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. Unfortunately, it’s caused me to go looking for several older SF books, but that’s okay. As I look about, there’s so much to read here, it’s hard to know what to start next, once I finish the things that have bookmarks in them now. It’s a good problem to have.

So, 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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20 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading September 16 – 22, 2013

  1. Thanks for the nice words Richard – and like you, really want to go and read some Robert Barnard again now.

  2. I read THE LOST CITY a few years ago, as well as the next several in the series. Somehow I missed them in my younger years. As a big Tom Swift fan back then, these would have been perfect companions.

    Never been a huge Lee Child fan. Not sure why. I read the first Reacher novel and enjoyed it well enough, but just never felt the need to try another one(and I have four or five others).

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    A couple of weeks ago Bill Crider reviewed NIGHTMARE AGE (ed. F. Pohl) which sounded interesting so I got a (very, very nice) copy from PaperBackSwap and may have it finished by next week.

    Two library books read this week: the aofrementioned Dr. Crider’s latest, COMPOUND MURDER, in which all those Blacklin County residents who think Sheriff Rhodes is the model for “Sage Barton” get some evidence to support their beliefs, and a first mystery recommended in Deadly Pleasures, ALOHA, LADY BLUE by Charley Memminger. This one is set on Oahu (which helps it a lot) and features former crime reporter turned (sort of) amateur sleuth Stryker McBride. It was a fast enjoyable read for the most part (I am not a fan of protagonists setting themselves up as bait to trap the killer, but otherwise…) – Memminger lives in the same area as his character and clearly knows Hawaii very well – and I would read any sequels.

    One quibble, however: this is the second book I’ve read recently that was almost sabotaged by a stupid or meaningless title. (The other was worse – Lachlan Smith’s BEAR IS BROKEN.)

    I have Joe Lansdale’s THE THICKET up next.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Robert Barnard:

    Out of the Blackout
    The Skeleton in the Grass
    The Masters of the House

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    Just finished BREWSTER (SLOUKA),which was terribly depressing but well done and relevant to the issue of parenting. Reading stories by Tom Perotta, essays by Anna Quinlein for my book group. Phil bought a book on The Trojan Wars. Read THE MAID’S VERSION (Woodrell) and although the writing was gorgeous I am not sure the way he told the story worked for me. I might need to read it again.

  6. Richard says:

    The words are well deserved, Sergio. I suggested to Patti that we do a one-author FFB on Barnard, and she has agreed. It will be in December. I’m going to read one this week, or at least start one. I have SO MANY books partially read just now, I need to finish a lot of things.

  7. Richard says:

    Randy, I’m going to pick up some used copies of the Brant books as I find cheap ones. I haven’t read any Reacher books, but Barbara is enjoying them. She likes books with “a high body count” sometimes.

  8. I need to order that new faux-Doc Savage! I’m a big Rick Brandt fan! The later books in the series are very pricey (the same situation as the later Ken Holt books). I’ve read a few Jack Reacher novels with a stack waiting. I just finished Thomas Pynchon’s BLEEDING EDGE. Report on my blog later this week. And all these BOUCHERCON books to organize!!!

  9. Richard says:

    Jeff, reading a lot, as always. I’ve gotten a few really sweet copies from PaperBackSwap, but lately I’ve had books that couldn’t be sent because of my restrictions, which are no mold, water damaged or torn covers. Seems reasonable to me, but apparently there are a lot of people who think a torn cover book is okay to post there. Do you have restrictions?

    Sometimes I wonder if the author or publisher comes up with those off center titles.

    I have started Death in A Cold Climate.

  10. Richard says:

    Patti, The Maid’s Version got very good reviews and seems to be highly regarded. Naturally, I have not read it, being so bogged down in the stuff I usually read.

  11. Richard says:

    George, I trust you’ll get those B’con sorted out in no time. The later books in series like Brant and Holt are more costly because there are less of them around. Seems when people started reading the series they usually began at or near the beginning and worked their way through, so less people were still buying by the later books. It’s a theory, at least. I assume we’ll see a review of the Pynchon soon.

    This one is the 7th in the series of new Doc Savage books.

  12. Richard says:

    Jeff, from the cover, I thought The Thicket was a western, but the info I saw suggests not.

  13. THE LOST CITY is my favorite of the entire Rick Brant series. I still vividly remember sitting in my aunt’s house in Goldsmith, Texas, reading it as a kid and being almost breathless with excitement. I’ve reread it a couple of times since, and it holds up. All of the first dozen or so books in that series are excellent, and the others are enjoyable and worth reading. I have the new Doc Savage coming up shortly. Like Randy, I read the first Lee Child book, liked it okay, but never got around to reading any of the others. I tried one again last year, didn’t care for it, and probably won’t try another.

  14. Richard says:

    James, sounds like I hit the jackpot on that Brant book, just by accident. Still, I’ll try any of the first dozen or so I come across. I’m not a high body count guy, though I like Hammett, but I’ll try Killing Floor, the first in the series, one of these days.

  15. Jeff Meyerson says:

    For anyone not sure about Lee Child I’d recommend either the prequel (THE AFFAIR) or the new one (NEVER GO BACK). If you don’t like them I’d give up.

  16. Evan Lewis says:

    I’m halfway through The Miracle Menace. Another winner from Will Murray.

  17. Jerry House says:

    Another interesting haul, Richard. Fyfe was a pretty popular writer for Astounding/Analog but his stories are hard to come by today; I don’t believe his BUREAU OF SLICK TRICKS stories have ever been issued in book form. Like many others, I read Child’s THE KILLING FLOOR (and really enjoyed it) but never got around to reading any of his other books — don’t know why. There are several versions of Wallace’s FOUR JUST MEN, which was the author’s first mystery. To promote the book, Wallace held a competition offering a cash prize to anyone who could figure ouot the solution. The fact that Wallace did not bother to limit the number of winners when spelling out the rules, along with both the popularity of the book and the detective skills of his readers combined to almost ruin his nascent mystery career, Wallace had to borrow money to pay off the many winners of his contest.

    The Rick Brant books tended to get lost among the Hardy Boys, Tom Corbett, Bomba the Jungle Boy, and Chip Hilton series books when I was young. “John Blaine” was Harold L. Goodwin and P. J. Harkins; there were twenty-three novels in the series published from 1947 through 1968. A final novel, THE MAGIC TALISMAN, finally saw publication in 1990. “Blaine” also wrote the associational RICK BRANT’S SCIENCE PROJECTS. Goodwin’s other YA SF book, RIP FOSTER RIDES THE GRAY PLANET (as by “Blake Savage”), was far less successful. Goodwin also wrote the fairly popular THE SCIENCE BOOK OF SPACE TRAVEL. Rick Brant fans will be happy to know that at least eleven of the novels are available on-line: SMUGGLER’S REEF (#7), THE CAVES OF FEAR (#8), THE GOLDEN SKULL (#10), THE WAILING OCTOPUS (#11), THE ELECTRONIC MIND READER (#12), SCARLET LAKE MYSTERY (#13), THE PIRATES OF SHAN (#14), THE BLUE GHOST MYSTERY (#15), THE EGYPTIAN CAT MYSTERY (#16), THE FLAMING MOUNTAIN (#17), and THE FLYNG STINGAREE (#18),

    It’s been another slow reading week for me. This time I can’t point the finger at bad bad dog who was on his best behavior. Friends visited however, bringing their two dogs, one of who discovered the joys of pooping on the living room floor. Said dog was so happy and excited at what she had done, I was tempted to do the same but restrained myself. I did finish the Achmed Abdullah collection of oriental stories and the two volume COMPLETE STRANGE STORIES OF ROBERT AICKMAN.

    On hand are three of Kurt Singer’s horror anthologies, three early Andre Norton anthologies, the new Lansdale [huzzah!], and Karen Joy Fowler’s latest novel.

  18. Richard says:

    Evan, I look forward to reading the new Doc Savage, but I’m a few behind on them, so won’t get to this one for a while.

  19. Richard says:

    Jerry, it’s taken me a while to get back to you here. If you read Sergio’s review of Four Just Men, he went over that part about the prize nearly bankrupting Wallace.

    When I was a tad, the first boy’s adventure book I read was The Hurricane Kids on the Lost Island (or something like that) which was apparently my older brother’s book. But it was the Hardy Boys that first caught my attention. I read The Shore Road Mystery and loved it, then read all the ones at the library (they had 6 or 7 of them) and after that pestered my parents to buy me more of them or let me spend my allowance, after I had an allowance, on them. Those books are gone but I do have a full set (post revision). I also liked the Chip Hilton football books, the basketball and baseball ones not so much. I only came across and read one Brant book, maybe two, and don’t know which ones. I did have access to a few Tom Swift Jr. and liked those pretty much.

    My mother was big on donating books to “needy families”, so all of the childrens’ books from my youth are long gone. It would have been fairly easy to put together a full set, in good condition, of the Brandt books in the 1970s, but now it’s difficult and expensive as eBay and internet book sellers think they can get prime price for fair or sub-fair copies.

  20. Richard says:

    Jerry, your slow reading week is my “got a lot read” week.

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