What should I read next? — RESULTS

Big Book of Black Mask Stories

the winner!

I know the suspense is killing you, so without further waiting, here’s the winner. This probably comes as no surprise if you read through the comments on the post. I want to say up front that I appreciate the votes and comments. I even got a few by email. By the way, the reason I didn’t use a reader’s poll was that I wanted your comments so I could understand why you promoted the book(s) you did.

I don’t often get into a bind like this, but I’ve had a hell of a time finishing books before I start something new and shiny. I know I’m not alone in this, but I never, ever used to start a book until I’d finished the one in hand, or declared it a Did Not Finish (DNF) because I really didn’t like it enough to continue.

Here’s how you voted: (you can click to enlarge)

book votes

So I’ll get back to reading The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories edited by Otto Penzler. I’m about two-thirds of the way through the book now, and it’s packed with good stuff, but I’m planning to read only a story or maybe two stories a day (every day!) until I finish it. In addition to the short stories I’ll be reading another Robert Barnard novel for the December single author FFB. When I finish that I’ll go to the top voted novel, Caliban’s War or the second rated novel (the much shorter) Uncomplaining Corpses. I want to continue with the daily short story if I can manage it. I tried last year and dropped out. I’ll get the stack of books read, hopefully before the end of the year.

Once again, thanks for all the votes and comments, everyone!

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to What should I read next? — RESULTS

  1. This was a fun idea, and I enjoyed taking part in it and seeing the reasoning and results.

  2. Richard says:

    Wow, you’re quick on this one, Carl. I WILL get to Calaban’s War, but I’ll have to – again – go through the summary of the first book. With a goal of finishing up the pile of books, and with me only being about 20 pages in Caliban, it makes sense to me to get through a few shorter things first. Red Station Drifting makes sense in that light.

  3. Richard, I think it’s a good idea to let someone else decide which books to read considering that I can never make up my mind. I’m glad my choice, Gardner, made it in the top five.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It’s definitely the way to read the Black Mask book – one or two stories a day. As long as you read that first thing every day you won’t forget it and you’ll have any other reading time free to pursue something else.

  5. Good choice I should say

  6. Richard says:

    Prashant, when I first pulled that Gardner out to read, I had just read two other Perry Mason novels, and after a few pages of this one I realized I’d had enough for a while. Now, by the time I get to it at #5 (not counting library books), I’ll be ready for another one.

  7. Richard says:

    Jeff, I’ll have to try reading the daily short story first thing (after coffee, new / newspaper, etc.) in the morning. I usually don’t do a lot of reading until near lunch time. I have four ss collections and may rotate through them. So far this month I’ve read a story a day. So nearly half a month. It’s a start. I’m keeping a list.

  8. Richard says:

    Thanks, Charles. I’m reading the Black Mask collection, one or two a day, and working on the Halliday for a FFB post.

  9. Fence says:

    I always find that it takes much longer to read a collection of stories than a novel. I like to stop after each story, otherwise they get muddled up together, but one a day with maybe a novel at the same time is the way that works best for me.

  10. Richard says:

    Good point, Fence. I will read two or three n a row, but I pause, go do something else for a while, walk outside, whatever, between stories, at least 10 – 20 minutes. Otherwise they run together and I tend not to remember much about any of them.

  11. John says:

    “Verrrrry interesting!”…as Arte Johosn used to purr on Laugh-In. I didn’t realize our opinions were going to lead to your making a decision. I like seeing the ballots being counted in that table. I’m never part of the majority, I’m afraid. All the way the bottom I sit in ignominy with Barnard and Chesterton. ;^) Anyway, happy reading as you dip into the world of the pulps!

  12. Richard says:

    John, but you’re not sitting ignominiously at the bottom, because other factors are influencing my reading list. I need to get another Barnard read for December, I need to rotate SS collections for my 1 a day plan, I need a book for FFB. Right now I’m reading the Halliday, but the Barnard is also being read along with a short story a day. The Chesterton will take the longest to finish, however.

    As for the pulps, I was already two thirds of the way through that one.

  13. I listened to the audio version of this book in the summer of 2012 while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery. I highly recommend the audio CD sets!

  14. Richard says:

    Which book, George? The Black Mask? I have most of the mp3 files, but prefer, if given a choice, to read.

  15. Yes, The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. I like reading over listening, too. But at the time I was under the influence of Lortabs. Reading was a struggle so I listened instead.

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