New Arrivals, Current Reading September 30 – October 6, 2013

After my good behavior of one book a week or less for a while, then a batch of mysteries last week, I’ve gone a bit overboard. Bad me. Here’s the arrivals:

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller [Minotaur Books 2013 trade paper, new] – mystery. This was shortlisted for the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and sounded good. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Nova by Samuel R. Delany [Bantam Science Fiction 1968 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction. Algys Budrys called this the best science fiction novel of 1968 and one of the best he’d ever read. The author is greatly underrated and supremely skilled (says Budrys). I had to get a copy.

Star Soldiers by Andre Norton [Baen SF 2001 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction. This book contains two Norton novels: Star Guard and Star Rangers. Norton is a dependable author with a good sense of timing and plot who is always fun to read. I got this after a recent comment Jerry House made here about his own new arrivals and current reading.

The 9th Annual Edition of The Year’s Best S-F edited by Judith Merril [Dell 1964 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction short story collection. Another book recommended by Budrys, with reservations about Merril’s introductions, but the lineup of stories and authors tempted me enough to seek out an inexpensive copy.

The Blank Wall and The Innocent Mrs. Duff by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding [Academy Chicago 1991 trade paper, new] – mystery novels. Printed back-to-back like the old Ace doublesI read something on Friday Forgotten Books about this author, and her mystery novels sound really good. I had no books by Holding nor had I read any. I remedied that with this double novel book and the next one:

The Strange Crime in Bermuda and Too Many Bottles by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding [Stark House 2005 trade paper, new] – mystery novels. A Stark House two-novel volume.

The Big Book of Western Action Stories edited by John Tuska [Castle Books 2000 hardcover, new] – western story collection. I wish sometimes I kept better track of where on the internet I see things. This time I believe it was Walker Martin who made a comment on James Reasoner’s blog, mentioning collections edited by Tuska. I looked into that and found this one and ordered up a copy. There is a wide range of original copyright dates on the contents, from the early 1930s into the 1990s, but many of these made their first appearance in western pulps.

Ghost of the Hardy Boys by Leslie McFarlane [Methuen Publications 1976 hardcover, used] – non-fiction, autobiography. McFarlane was the ghost writer for the majority of the Hardy Boys books which were published as by Franklin W. Dixon. Already read, review soon.

Gerald and Elizabeth by D. E. Stevenson [Holt, Rinehart, Winston 1969 hardcover, used] – fiction novel. Scottish author Stevenson has written upwards of fifty novels and has been vastly popular in Great Britain over the years with her generational novels. This got a descriptive review on the Captive Reader blog and I was tempted enough to find a copy.

I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It! by Mike Royko [Henry Regnery Co. 1968 hardcover, used] – Chicago themed columns from The Chicago Daily News. Good newspaper columnists are worth reading anytime, whether the contents are current or not. Such is the case with Royko’s columns.

As if that wasn’t enough – and it is enough, but that’s not the point – I enjoyed reading The Lost City that I got a few weeks back so much that looked on eBay and found these. They’re just fair copies with fair dust jackets, but they were reasonably priced.

I read The Ghost of the Hardy Boys which came this last week, and The Rocket’s Shadow as well as about half of a mystery by the recently deceased Robert Barnard. I’m not quite finished with the SF collection I’ve been reading, the pulp collection is still far from finished. I have several books on hold from the library which may pop up at any time including one by the also recently deceased Tom Clancy, whom I have not read.

Beautiful Fall weather and a modest amount of yard work have resulted in afternoons spent away from reading, but that’s fine as I love this time of year. Rain coming next week.

So, any comments on these books? What did YOU get,
new, used or from the library, and

what have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in biography - autobiography, Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals, Non-fiction, Pulp, science fiction, short stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading September 30 – October 6, 2013

  1. cgramlich says:

    Nova is Delany’s best, I think. a very fine work.

  2. I’ve read GHOST OF THE HARDY BOYS and remember liking it. Read some of the stories in THE BIG BOOK OF WESTERN ACTION STORIES and of course I like them. I’ll work my way through the rest of the anthology eventually. And those are some excellent Rick Brant books you got.

  3. I have that Nova bought new and read, lo, those many years ago. I remember enjoying it a lot.

    That Ghost of The Hardy Boys I may have to get.

    Oh, I posted a new list of stuff that I paid for. You might like the first one anyway.

  4. Richard, I’m looking forward to reading your review of “Ghost of the Hardy Boys” as I read nearly all the books in the original series. I knew FWD was a pseudonym but I didn’t know Leslie McFarlane had written most of the blue-spined hardbacks that I read some three decades ago.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice haul. I also got that first Holding double book a while back but haven’t read either of them. The Delany you want to read (if you haven’t) is the non fiction HEAVENLY BREAKFAST, about his year in a commune in the East Village in 1967-68. I read a borrowed copy years ago and I’m waiting for another to reread it. I think you’d enjoy it, and it’s short.

    No new arrivals here again.

    I read a couple of library books this week – Robert Crais’ non series SUSPECT, which I thought was really good. The real star is Maggie the German shepherd. The other was one I’d also recommend, though I’m not sure you’d be the target audience: Alan Sepinwall’s THE REVOLUTION WAS TELEVISED: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever. It helps that I’ve watched a lot of the shows he covers, including OZ, THE SOPRANOS, and LOST .

    I’m in the middle of three books – a Crider, a short story volume by Peter Orner, and the Dan J. Marlowe biography (on the Kindle) and I’ll be picking up the new Stephen King (sequel to THE SHINING) and Archer Mayor books at the library today.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    Reading THE LEWIS MAN, the second Peter May book about this fellow. Also Sarah Weinman’s books about mid century female writers of which Holding is one.

  7. I remember reading those Rick Brandt books when I was a kid. Great stuff! I also read those Andre Nortons when I was 9 or 10 years old. Classic! I’m up to my eye-balls in correcting this week so little pleasure reading this time around.

  8. Richard says:

    Charles, that’s what I’ve been led to believe. I’ll work it into my reading schedule soon, I hope.

  9. Richard says:

    James, I had a hard time finding a copy of The Ghost of the Hardy Boys. I finally got one on ABE, but it was more than I wanted to pay, though in good condition. I’d have already started reading The Big Book of Western Action Stories, but I’ve managed to get quite behind on reading that I’ve got a couple dozen books started and I can’t in good conscience start another until I get more caught up. So like you I’ll work my way through it eventually. The Brant books are fun, I’ve read two of them already (The Rocket’s Shadow and The Lost City).

  10. Richard says:

    Randy, I’m out of the loop, I don’t remember the Delany book at all. Good to know it’s a good one. If you like I will send you the Ghost of Hardy Boys book. I read that second post and saw things I want.

  11. Richard says:

    Prashant, I’ll get that book review up one of these days. I read the books in the late 1950s, so they were the first revision editions, not as streamlined as the later full revisions. Keep those books if they are the earlier editions, they’re getting harder to find. I have a full set of the HB books but it is of the cut down revised ones. Still fun, but not nearly as well written, as McFarlane states in the book.

  12. Richard says:

    Jeff, we must both have seen the Holding in the same review or FFB posting. I’ll keep that Delaney in mind, if I come across a copy or find one at the library. Sounds like one I might enjoy.
    I’m so far behind on Crais, it seems hopeless to catch up. No, I doubt I’m the target for that TV book. I seen none of the shows you list. I’ve not read The Shining, nor seen the film.

  13. Richard says:

    Patti, that sounds interesting, I may have to look into it.

  14. Richard says:

    George, seems I’m having a second (third?) childhood with my reading!

  15. Stan Burns says:

    There are lots of free Norton eBooks floating around the web – both this one and also the Time Traders novels (the second, Galactic Derelict, is my favorite Norton), Storm over Warlock, etc. I just started re-reading the first 5 Witch World paperback novels that I bought back in the 60s. I still find the early Norton very readable but around the 70s her writing style changed and I really don’t like anything she did the last 20 odd years of her career.

  16. I’m with Stan on the later works of Andre Norton. Unreadable is too mild a word. But the early stuff is great! I like her work as “Andrew North.”

  17. Richard says:

    Stan, the problem I have with the electronic stuff is I have trouble reading on a screen for more than a few minutes. Yes, I’ve noticed that drop off in her later work. I wonder what happened? I have gotten rid of most of the later Norton paperbacks I had but still have a few Ace Double Nortons, Witchworld books, I think.

    George, I don’t think I’ve read any of the Andrew North books.

  18. Sounds like a plan to me.

  19. Richard says:

    OK, let me make sure I have the address etc.

  20. Evan Lewis says:

    Pulp Westerns. I’m proud of you. Those’ll feed your inner cowboy.

  21. Richard says:

    Evan, right you are, podnah. It’s the cayuse train for me. (or something like that…)

  22. Stan Burns says:

    I think the Star Soldier books were originally published under the Andrew North name, or maybe it was the first few Free Trader books.

    I had some trouble with the Kindle Fire until I turned down the brightness level to about 1/3rd. My biggest problem now is that I have horrible big floaters in my left eye which makes doing anything close up difficult. Thank God they focus out when I am driving or watching TV.

    George: when Norton was ‘discovered’ by the feminists she started writing only about female characters and more than doubling the length of the stories. I find her lean first works hold up a lot better than the later ones.

    I discovered Norton in Junior High when I went into the library one day and they had the covers to Storm Over Warlock and Galactic Derelict pinned up on the bulletin board. I still think the cover for Derelict is one of the best ones ever. Emsh, of course . . .

  23. Richard says:

    Stan, sorry to hear of those floaters, they can be really crazy-making. Even with my quite large iMac screen I have trouble reading any amount of text for more than a few minutes. It’s okay, I have lots of (real) books here to read. I never thought of that angle about her “discovery” by feminists. Interesting. Yes, that Derelict cover is a good one.

  24. Those John Blaine books look great. Love all the covers.

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