New Arrivals, Current Reading October 28 – November 3, 2013

I’m so ashamed. Sorta. You see, this last week I bought a book. The dratted Friday Forgotten Books thingie made me do it. Also two things came in from PaperbackSwap, as well as Part 2 of my Fables birthday present. So I slid a little bit, but I’m still feeling okay  about the Plan: buy less, start less, finish more. However, it’s the finish more part that’s not coming along too well. I still have a big stack of books I need to tackle.

Here are the new arrivals:

Fables Encyclopedia by Jess Nevins [DC Comics 2013 oversized hardcover, new] – reference, with comments by Bill Willingham (Fables writer) and Mark Buckingham (Fables artist). Willingham’s Fables graphic novels and the spin-off story arcs are complicated and contain a huge number of characters. Here’s the reference to who’s who.

The Warrior Lives by Joel Rosenberg [original (c) 1988. This edition: ROC 1990 mass market paperback, used] – fantasy. The fifth book in the Guardians of the Flame series. I read the first couple of books decades ago and liked them a lot, but never bought any more or got back to them. It’s an enjoyable series I never finished. To remedy that, I’ve decided to pick up used copies and give it another go.

Skirmish – Great Short Fiction of Clifford D. Smiak by Clifford D. Simak [Berkeley Medallion 1977 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction short story collection. Yet another book acquisition resulting from my reading of the Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf columns by Algis Budrys (review soon). Ten stories in this one. I’ve read some of them before, but most will be new to me.

Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street by Al Palmer [Vehicule Press 2013 mass market paperback, new] – mystery fiction. On October 21 of this year Brian Busby posted about this book and it’s author for Friday Forgotten Books. (If you missed that review, it’s here) It motivated me to buy a copy.

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

I finished a couple of things. I really enjoyed The Zebra-Striped Hearse by Ross Macdonald (I’ll post my review of it on November 8th). An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson is excellent. At nearly 800 pages of small print and narrow margins it’s a long book filled with facts and insight. If you have any interest in WWII I recommend it highly.

I’m reading Robert Barnard’s Out of the Blackout which may be my December single-author FFB. If not, I’ll have to read something else by him. Not sure about that yet. I’m also reading one from the library, The Danger Within by Michael Gilbert.

So, what have YOU been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading October 28 – November 3, 2013

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’m just not a big fan of fantasy in general so those don’t tempt me, thankfully. The Simak does.

    I did get one book this week, a short story collection from Dan Simmons I’ve been waiting for from PaperbackSwap for a while, Prayers to Broken Stones. Only one library book at hand (!) though a couple are in transit

    I finished three books this week and two were mine, the eighth book in Lee Goldberg’s series of adaptations of the Monk series, Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, and a collection of (mostly) sf short stories mentioned previously, Tales From the Spaceport Bar, edited by George Scithers & Darrell Schweitzer, which I will send you when I get a chance. I’d say good but not great, or maybe just variable in quality.

    The library book was the latest Jack Taylor book by Ken Bruen (after two years), Purgatory, as dark as ever but still as readable as Bruen always is.

    I’m not sure what I’m going to read next other than more short stories. As of the end of October I was at 588 read for the year, on pace to (possibly) surpass last year’s total of 727.

  2. Jeff has me beat on the short story front. I just read one a day, an activity that Jeff inspired me to do decades ago. I’m a big Clifford Simak fan. Love his short stories especially “Big Front Yard.” I wish I had time to read that Big Fat Rick Atkinson book, but I don’t have any time for that until Winter Break. I’m almost done with Michael Gruber’s THE RETURN. The review will be up on my blog on Wednesday.

  3. I like the idea of the Fables Encyclopedia. I’m working on a collection that contains some new ones and this might be a handy reference.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    I am going back to reading one ss a day in January. I really liked doing it last year and missed it this year. I have to read the entire KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST for my reading group next TUESDAY so that is what I will be doing. Why do I always procrastinate with books for this group? In general I do not procrastinate but something about these earnest books puts me off.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I think you answered your own question, Patti.

  6. Richard says:

    Jeff, thanks in advance and good for you on the library list pare-down. I have a half dozen things on hold and another inter loan out there, but nothing seems to be popping up, which is good, honestly. I never watched the MONK show, so would not have had an interest in the books, I guess.

  7. Richard says:

    George, I remember the Kelly Freas cover for “The Big Front Yard”, in Astounding. It was a favorite when I had all those issues. I always thought the paint salesman looked a lot like Bing Crosby. As fast a reader as you are, I bet you whip right through the Atkinson book. I’m a slow reader and it took me just over a week. I look forward to your review of the Gruber book.

  8. Richard says:

    David, I’m pretty sure you find the Fables Encyclopedia helpful in that task.

  9. Richard says:

    Patti, Jeff beat me to it. The reason I’m not in a reading group is I have more than enough I want to read already without adding another must read into the mix. I think sometimes it might be interesting to discuss a book with such a group, but the mechanics of it, the timing and the deadline all work against my doing so.

  10. I’m with Patti. I read a short story a day last year, or for most of last year, and got through a lot of collections. I need to revisit that this coming year. It’s been a down year for me book total-wise. The stacks just don’t get any shorter.

  11. Jerry House says:

    This week I finished ONE STEP BEYOND, Lenore Bredeson’s adaptation of five episodes from the 60’s television series and my contribution to last Friday’s FFB — verdict: meh. I also read the latest Longmire from Craig Johnson, THE SPIRIT OF STEAMBOAT; this one was actually a Christmas novella with no mystery but plenty of action and a fine tribute to those who flew planes in WWII. I read three Joe Lansdale collections (THE KING, THE LONG ONES, and FOR A FEW STORIES MORE) with one more (A FIST FULL OF STORIES) coming up. After several days of anxious waiting, I finally pried Max Allan Collins’ ASK NOT from my wife’s hands. I’ve got about a quarter of the book to go and it’s one of the most engaging novels Collins has ever written — very high praise from a self-admitted MAC junkie.

    The only definite thing coming up is a large instant remainder anthology of 72 horror stories, REALM OF DARKNESS edited by Mary Danby. After that, I may dip into some Lester del Rey SF, or a Groff Conklin collection, or some older Stephen King — definitely more Pogo. A few by Ed Gorman and Bill Crider are also nearing the top of Mount TBR.

    Among the books I’m waiting for from my local library are Block’s CATCH AND RELEASE, Hammett’s THE HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES, Wilson’s DARK CITY, Bruen’s PURGATORY, and Gaiman’s FORTUNATELY, THE MILK.

  12. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Rick, I was not a fan of the Monk series either but Bill Crider’s reviews convinced me to try the books and in the right mood I find them enjoyable.

  13. Richard says:

    Chris, I’m having a good reading year – for me – at just over 100 books so far. My goal is always 104, two a week, and I’ll certainly pass that this year. I do need to read more short stories, though.

  14. No need to feel ashamed, when you snag books you inveritably get good stuff. Love the old school cover on the Palmer book, and the Rosenberg cover reminds me of books that attracted me to fantasy even from a very young age.

    I’m currently reading This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman and am being swept right up in it, though I’m not getting as much time to read as I would like.

  15. Richard says:

    Carl, work, work, work. I’m not familiar with the Friedman book, but I have a feeling I should be.

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