New Arrivals, Current Reading November 4 – 10, 2013

Something new, something used and a pre-order arrived. Here they are:

Spectrum 20 edited by Cathy & Arnie Fenner [Underwood Books November 2013 oversized paperbound, new] – art. The 20th volume in the Spectrum series delineating the entrants and award winners of the annual juried show for science fiction and fantasy artwork.

This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman [DAW 1998 mass market paperback, new] – science fiction. I got this as a result of reading a mini-review on Carl Anderson’s blog Stainless Steel Droppings.

Without Fail by Lee Child [Jove 2003 mass market paperback, used] – mystery / thriller. This is the 6th in the Jack Reacher series which Barbara is reading through. We had all of them through # 10 except this, which for some reason is harder to find, a long list at the library and a long time coming on BookSwap.

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

I finished Michael Gilbert’s The Danger Within which I found to be just okay. I think I like his short fiction better. I also finished Robert Barnard’s Out of the Blackout a well written novel in which very little seems to happen. I may read another by him for the December single-author FFB. I read Spectrum 20 which is mostly looking more than reading. I usually go through it several times before it goes onto the shelf.

In anticipation of the results of the (sort of) reader’s poll I read four more stories in the Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories: Cleve F. Adams’ “The Key”, William Campbell Gault’s “The Bloody Bokhara”, Brett Halliday’s “A Taste for Cognac” (really enjoyed that one) and by Day Keene, “Sauce for the Gander”. I’m about two-thirds though the very fat book.

novels of RMThen from the library came The Novels of Ross Macdonald by Michael Kreyling, an 2005 examination of Macdonald’s eighteen detective novels. More correctly an examination of the author’s opinions of the symbolism in the books and influences on the author; most notably Coleridge, Freud, James Fenimore Cooper, and southern California itself. Pretty heavy lit crit with what I believe are some tenuous, even fanciful connections drawn between events, opinions, classical literature and paradise gone wrong. Some interesting insights, lots of surmise. Quick read, though.

Another quick read was the 2013 graphic novel March Book One by John Lewis. Beginning with Lewis growing upon Alabama, his boyhood and high school days, Brown vs. Board of Education, and his involvement in the civil rights movement. The book ends in May 1960. Very well done, but I wish Book Two was available.

Maisey Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, which she said “wasn’t my kind of book”. Oregon Hill by Howard Owen.  Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman, which she liked a lot. After hearing an interview with the author on Oregon Public Radio, she got A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout from the library. She liked it a lot too.

So, what have YOU been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading November 4 – 10, 2013

  1. I can’t explain why I never warmed to Jack Reacher. I enjoy several series in the same vein and have a half dozen of the Child books, though only have read the first. I enjoyed it but never have felt the desire to pick up another. May do it some day.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Randy, you might try the prequel when Reacher was still in the Army. Or not…

    A quiet reading week here (lots going on) as the only book I finished was The Zebra-Striped Hearse for FFB. I am reading three library books (two are story collections) at the moment. The only book I got in was L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt’s Tales From Gavagan’s Bar from PaperbackSwap. I mailed you that spaceport bar collection so you’ll probably have it in a couple of days. Hope you enjoy it.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    THE COOK by Harry Kessing, which someone recommended on FFB. A very unusual book. And the newest book from Larry Watson, who I always like.

  4. Jerry House says:

    INTO THE WILD BLUE WONDER, the first volume (of a projected twelve) of the collected Pogo newspaper strips by Walt Kelly; this one covers 1948-1950 and also has some interesting background material. I’ve also been reading Kelly’s first Pogo and Albert appearances in ANIMAL COMICS. I scooped up JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS as soon as I saw it; this is a “homage to P. G. Wodehouse” by Sebastian Faulks with the blessings of the Wodehouse estate. My review of the book should be up Thursday, I also read DIMENSION 4, a collection of SF novelettes edited by Groff Conklin — good, not outstanding.

    I’m about to dip into BATTLE ON MERCURY, one of the old Winston “Adventures in SF” books by Lester del Rey (this time writing as “Erik van Lhin”). I’m still working my way through REALMS OF DARKNESS.

  5. Finished a nonfiction work called Bright-Sided, about the over reliance on positive thinking in our culture. In fiction I’m about to finish the “Tin Roof Blow down,” a mystery set in the post Katrina period here in New Orleans.

  6. Richard says:

    Randy, I haven’t read any of he Reacher books, though I had Killing Floor on the shelf to try someday. Barbara read it, liked it and has been reading her way into the rest of the series between other books.

  7. I’m breaking my rule not to read Big Fat Books during the semester. Stephen King’s rave review of Donna Tartt’s THE GOLDFINCH motivated me to start reading this 771-page doorstop. Fortunately, because of the goofiness of the Deans at my College, Tuesday (tomorrow) is a Monday schedule. The College is closed today for Veterans Day. And I don’t have classes on Wednesday so I figured I could polish off THE GOLDFINCH in three days. We’ll see.

  8. Richard says:

    Jeff, thanks! I have Gavagan’s Bar and have enjoyed reading it a couple of times. The spaceport bar scenario lends itself to fun stories.

  9. Richard says:

    Patti, I think you’ll enjoy the Kessing.

  10. Richard says:

    Jerry, I love Pogo, and have many of the old, original-ish books as well as that volume you just read. As I commented on your blog Friday, the second volume lurks here, probably in a closet where Barbara keeps future gifts.

    I decided to steer clear of that Wodehouse “tribute” / homage. There’s so much of the real thing available, why bother, I thought. I’d thought it would be great to have a complete set of those Winston books, in fine shape. I doubt such a think exists.

  11. Richard says:

    Charles, I liked Tin Roof Blowdown quite a lot.

  12. Richard says:

    George, The Goldfinch seems to be on everyone’s hot list just now.

  13. Jeff Meyerson says:

    After reading a bunch of rave reviews I tried MAISIE DOBBS but it wasn’t for me either.

  14. Richard says:

    Jeff, a friend of Barbara’s, a mystery reader as well as quilt maker, recommended it highly. Since I’d recommended the Louise Penny and Kent Krueger books to her, and she’d really liked them, we thought it might work the other way round, but no.

  15. Evan Lewis says:

    I thought I’d listened to the whole Black Mask Big Book on CD, but don’t remember the Adams or Gault stories. And those are two guys I like. I must have missed a volume.

  16. Richard says:

    Evan, would page numbers, a TOC or anything like that help you figure it out? Or maybe the stories just weren’t that memorable.

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