New Arrivals, Current Reading October 21 – 27, 2013

I didn’t buy any books. I didn’t have any pre-orders arrive. So, good for me on my buy less, start less, finish more plan.

However, I had a birthday. For a reader that means at least one book; in this case three books and a CD.

Pirate King by Laurie R. King [Bantam 2012 trade paper, new] – mystery fiction. This series has gotten somewhat uneven in recent volumes, but I wanted this in spite of some weak reviews. I’m a couple of books behind on these Russell-Holmes books, and after I’ve caught up I’ll decide if I want to continue past this one.

Fairest Volume 2: The Hidden Kingdom by Bill Willingham and Lauren Beukes, writers, Inaki Miranda and Barry Kitson, artists [Vertigo comic-sized 2013 trade paper, new] –  I’m a great fan of Fables graphic novels by Willingham, and have just about all of them. This is the second volume in one of the spin-off series. Entertaining, and not as sexy as the cover makes it look.

The Green Lama – Complete Pulp Adventures Volume 3 by Kendell Foster Crossen [Altus Press 2012 trade paperback, new] – pulp fiction reprint. I have the first two volumes (unread) and this is the thrid. I’ll get to these one of these days, meanwhile they grace the pulp shelves.

Gravity original motion picture soundtrack music by Steven Price [Warner Brothers Watertower Music, 2013 CD, new] – motion picture sountrack. Much of the music on this, as you know if you’ve seen the film, is electronic / synthesized / studio effect. Interesting, moody, but I’d call it more background than foreground.

What did YOU get, new, used or from the library?

I finished and enjoyed The Zebra-Striped Hearse by Ross Macdonald. I’ll post my review of it on November 8th for the single-author Friday Forgotten Books post.

It’s been a long time since I read any Ross Macdonald and I enjoyed it a lot. I realized there are several more I haven’t read, so I’ll be reading another. Before that, I have several other things to read, including finishing Robert Barnard’s Out of the Blackout which is for a December single-author FFB.

From the library just came An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for History. At 768 pages it will take me a while to get through, and it’s dense in fact and physically, with narrow margins and small print. Because it’s a library book, all else gets put on hold. I’m trying to get a little ahead on the Friday Forgotten book write-ups, but it’s a tough slog for this slower reader.

So, what have YOU been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Current Reading, graphic novel, mystery, New Arrivals, Pulp, Saturday Soundtrack and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading October 21 – 27, 2013

  1. Jerry House says:

    Your birthday books look great, Rich. I’m behind on the Mary Russell series, am a great fan of Willingham’s fables, and really want to read Crossen’s GREEN LAMA stories.

    I’ve been on a Walt Kelly kick and read five early POGO collections from the 1950s. I also read Ed Gorman’s FLASHPOINT, Alfred Hitchcock’s anthology ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S FIRESIDE BOOK OF SUSPENSE, and the Martin Greenberg Gnome Press anthologies TRAVELERS OF SPACE and FIVE SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS. On deck are Lenore Bredeson’s ONE STEP BEYOND (five episodes of the 60’s television series rewritten as short stories), Craig Johnson’s THE SPIRIT OF STEAMBOAT (the latest Walt Longmire book), and Max Allan Collins’ ASK NOT (if I can ever pry it from my wife’s hands, that is — she grabbed it as soon as it came in).

  2. Richard says:

    Thanks, Jerry. (Um, I don’t go by Rich… either Rick or Richard) Which Pogo collections? I have just about all of them and have read them each many times. Kelly was a genius. I also want to know which five novels are in that anthology. I haven’t read Gorman’s Flashpoint yet, and will get to that Collins eventually. He’s another author I’m behind on, though I have most of the books on the shelf.

  3. Like Jerry, I want to read those GREEN LAMA stories! And I might just order that FAIREST book just for the great cover. I have all three of Rick Atkinson’s WWII books but they will have to wait until summer because they are all Big Fat Books that I don’t have time to read while I’m working. I finished reading THE FAR SIDE OF THE DOLLAR for FFB.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    I just got the Antonia Fraser book about her marriage to Harold Pinter on a rec. from a friend. Reading THE CHILL still, which I have no memory of despite reading it before. It would be interesting to compare it to SNOW WHITE MUST DIE, a German mystery I almost finished. In a really fat book if you figure it out midway through, the temptation to put it aside is great. RM is totally able to stick to the plot and not get side-tracked with a million subplots like too many writers today.

  5. Richard says:

    Patti, I agree with your assertion about Ross Macdonald, but on your other point, if I thinkI have it figured out halfway through, I begin to doubt that I’m that clever and expect some sort of twist coming.

  6. Richard says:

    George, Altus Press has all three of the Green Lama volumes just waiting for you. Am I right that Far Side of the Dollar is a non-Archer? As fast as you read, George, I’d think the Atkinson books would only take you a few days each.

  7. Jerry House says:

    Rick (not Rich), that was my fumblefingers and lack of proofing before I post. Mea super lazy culpa. The Pogo books I read this week were POGO, UNCLE POGO SO-SO STORIES, THE POGO PAPERS, THE POGO STEPMOTHER GOOSE, and THE INCOMPLEAT POGO. I’m not over my Walt Kelly kick yet, so there will be more over the coming weeks. The Greenberg book FIVE SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS actually contains novellas (but who counts wordage?): “But Without Horns” by Norvell Page (from Unknown), “Destiny Times Three” by Fritz Leiber (an Astounding 2-part serial), “Crisis in Utopia” by Norman Knight (another Astounding 2-part serial), “The Chronicler” by A. E. van Vogt (yet another Astounding 2-part serial), and “The Crucible of Power” by Jack Williamson (also from Astounding).

  8. THE FAR SIDE OF THE DOLLAR is a Lew Archer, but not one of the great ones. I hope to read that Atkinson WWII trilogy next summer. Reading time is sparse right now with the second series of exams looming and a 100 research papers to correct over Thanksgiving Break.

  9. Richard says:

    Jerry, thanks for the additional info. Interesting that most of those novellas came from Astounding.

  10. Richard says:

    George, you give a lot of tests and papers. You one tough teacher-guy!

  11. Green Lama looks tres cool.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Add my vote to those approving of the GREEN LAMA, which looks great.

    Only one new book last week, one recommended on John Scalzi’s blog that sounded interesting – ONE JUMP AHEAD by Mark L. Van Name. We’ll see.

    It was a good reading week. First I finished CACTUS HEART by Jon Talton, a “prequel” in his History Shamus series about Phoenix historian-deputy David Mapstone. For me the best parts of this series are the discussions of what Phoenix was like in the “old days” but this one was only soso. Next was a book I thought I’d take a chance on even though I was wary, SPIDER WOMAN’S DAUGHTER by Anne Hillerman, Tony’s daughter. Even though the cover calls it a “Leaphorn and Chee book” Joe Leaphorn is off-stage for nearly all of it. I think she made a wise decision by shifting the main viewpoint character to Jim Chee’s wife and fellow deputy, Bernadette (Bernie) Manuelito. Except for a HIBK scene where the murderer kidnaps them and explains the plot (and to be honest, Tony Hillerman did the same more than once) I thought she did a nice job.

    Next was the latest in one of my favorite regional series, Steven F. Havill’s Posadas County, New Mexico series. Interestingly, when the series started it featured long time Undersheriff (and later Sheriff) Bill Gastner. After Gastner retired (he still appeared) the viewpoint switched from his first person narration to a third person style featuring Gastner’s protege Estelle Reyes-Guzman. In the last two books, however, Havill has returned to Gastner and first person. This one is NIGHTZONE and was a fast read for me.

    Over the weekend in Vegas I finished Volume 5 of Robert Silverberg’s collected stories, THE PALACE AT MIDNIGHT, 1980-82. Also read the latest in one of my favorite series, Andrea Camilleri’s THE DANCE OF THE SEAGULL, featuring Insp. Salvo Montalbano. Great stuff.

  13. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I have the new Ken Bruen waiting at the library and the Craig Johnson in transit.

  14. Richard says:

    Jeff, wow, you sure do plow through a lot of books. I’m at this point just 166 pages into An Army At Dawn, though my excuse is partly small print and narrow margins, but it seems I read constantly and don’t get through man books.

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