Current Reading, October 6 – 12, 2014

The beautiful Fall weather we’ve been having has been a treat. Saturday we had light rain, some fog, light breeze; just about perfect for reading, sitting on the deck watching the geese fly south, enjoying the beginnings of color on the trees.

m after mid
I got the fifth Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis novel by Jeffrey Siger, Mykonos After Midnight. To my thinking, it’s the best one yet. If you’re not reading this series, you should be. Start with the first one, Murder on Mykonos, as there is a lot of character development as the series progresses. We saw Siger on a panel at Left Coast Crime in Monterey last Spring, and were intrigued enough to try the first book. Now it’s one of our favorite series.

Our Jubilee Is DeathAfter that I read Our Jubilee is Death, a new arrival, which was pretty typical of the Carolus Deene series. I enjoy these books, and I’ll have a review of this one soon, either as a mid-week review or a Friday Forgotten. Stay tuned.

Finally, I started The Remains of An Alter,  Phil Rickman’s 8th Merrily Watkins novel. I read a dozen pages the first afternoon, 30 more in the evening and quit. I didn’t like the writing, setting or characters. I guess there would have been a story / plot sometime, but I saw little evidence of it and didn’t want to wait around for it. So the book was a DNF (did not finish) and I doubt I’ll try another by this author.

Next up? Possibly a cozy suggested by Bill Crider that I have on hold at the library. I don’t read a lot of cozies, and especially avoid the cutesy ones, so we’ll see, but at least it’s good weather for one.

Barbara finished Final Notice by Jonathan Valin, second in his Harry Stoner series. This is the second Valin she’s read and she’s enjoying the characters as they develop. She is now reading Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante, another new author recommended to her.

What have you been reading lately?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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19 Responses to Current Reading, October 6 – 12, 2014

  1. Just finished FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE by Robert Bausch(review goes up Wednesday. Also finishing THE HOUSE OF SILK before I start on Horowitz’s new Holmes, MORIARTY.

  2. macavityabc says:

    I’ve been reading an R. A. Lafferty collection. Soon to appear as the subject of an FFB post.

  3. I’m finishing the third book of Jeff Vandermeer’s SOUTHERN REACH trilogy, ACCEPTANCE. And I finished the IRON DRUID series. I’m trying to get caught up on Library books before they’re overdue.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I find I have less patience for books these days and I’m more likely to toss them ealier than I would have in the past. If there are no characters I like or care about (see GONE GIRL), if the book takes forever getting going, if it is 500 pages plus on what should be a 300 page mystery…that’s enough for me. Too many books, too little time.

    I have started the fifth Siger (which would be a good name for a thriller) and if I don’t read it in the next two days I’ll take it to Vegas on Wednesday. This week I read three library books, all short story collections, all more or less straight fiction though the third had some fantasy stuff,. First was THE NEWS OF THE WORLD by Ron Carlson, which I really liked. Next was the odd HERE’S YOUR HAT WHAT’S YOUR HURRY by Elizabeth McCracken. I can’t remember where I read about these but I’m always looking for new short story writers. The first story is about a woman who marries a tattoo artist in Des Moines. Lastly was Karen Joy Fowler’s WHAT I DIDN’T SEE and Other Stories. I really liked her story in the Fantasy & Science Fiction anthology (“The Dark”) but few of the others got me on that level, though there are two stories about the Lincoln assassination.

    Last was a paperback I got from PaperBackSwap, Ed Gorman’s fine western, RIDE INTO YESTERDAY. I’ve really liked all of the westerns I’ve read of his.

    I did get that other book order, mostly books at $2.40 each (there was a 40% off sale) – THEM BONES by Howard Waldrop; MURDER UNSCRIPTED (a “Hollywood Mystery”) by Clive Rosengren;BLOTTO, TWINKS AND THE DEAD DOWAGER DUCHESS by Simon Brett, second in his amusing series; FLASHMAN AND THE MOUNTAIN OF LIGHT, the last one I was missing in George MacDonald Fraser’s great series; SIX MILE CREEK by Richard Helms, first in the Judd Wheeler series recommended by Bill Crider; William Cooper’s SCENES FROM PROVINCIAL LIFE & SCENES FROM METROPOLITAN LIFE, recommended by Nick Hornby; and a book I’d read years ago but wanted to look at again (this one was $3.90), Samuel R. Delany’s HEAVENLY BREAKFAST: An Essay on the Winter of Love, about his time in the East Village in 1967-68.

    None of these was available in the library.

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    Great ss collections, Jeff. I think we need to recruit Barbara to write reviews for us. She is reading writers no one usually writes about. I am reading BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay and am in the air about what to start next.

  6. Haven’t read either of these. I’m reading a couple of old SF collections at the moment.

  7. Richard says:

    Randy, how did you like House of Silk? I’ll be looking forward to you review of that Holmes pastiche.

  8. Richard says:

    Bill, which R. A. Lafferty collection is it?

  9. Richard says:

    George, lots of people seem to like those Vandermeer books. I’ll look for your review. Can’t you just renew those library books?

  10. Richard says:

    Jeff, I agree, obviously. That 40 (or 50 as Marv would have it) Page Rule doesn’t even keep me going that far if I’m just not enjoying the book.Barbara saw the Gone Girl movie and really liked it. Thank good ness she has a friend to go to movies with, because I wouldn’t have gone.

    That Siger is a pretty quick one to read. When you’re done we’ll chat about it. I just can’t sustain reading the short stories at the one a day pace, let alone yours. I haven’t read any of Ed Gorman’s westerns, but then I rarely read westerns by anyone.

    I saw a review of William Cooper’s SCENES FROM PROVINCIAL LIFE & SCENES FROM METROPOLITAN LIFE, and it did sound interesting. Maybe I’ll try it. I find more and more things are unavailable in the library these days. I guess they dump a lot more books in the book sale tables and leave less in circulation. A pity.

    Have a good trip to Vegas. Which shows are you going to see?

  11. Richard says:

    Patti, Barbara refuses to write reviews, I can rarely even get her to give a book a grade of 1 to 5. It’s all I can do to get her to include her reading in these posts, though she seems to enjoy doing so now. She’s been reading a lot of things on my recommendation: Krueger, Pronzini, Valin, John Harvey. I haven’t gotten her to try either of the McDonalds, nor Chandler, Rex Stout or some others I enjoy, but I do keep my eye out for things I think she’ll like, the dark stuff by the likes of Val McDermid, John Connelly, Deaver.

    I often get up in the air about what to read next. Either that, or there are so many things I want to read It’s hard to choose, which may be the same thing.

  12. Richard says:

    Charles, which ones? Details, man, details!

  13. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve read 100 pages of the book so should finish it by tomorrow. If you’re interested in the Gorman westerns I have three paperbacks you are welcome to have. They are all fairly short and quick reads.

    My problem with the Cooper is that it has both books in a single paperback and the print looks very, very small.

    We’ve been going to Vegas every October for our anniversary (though this year it will be after our return) and to see Jimmy Buffett in concert at the MGM Grand. Other than that, we’ll see. Jackie likes video poker and we go to a couple of buffets. Maggie Mason will be meeting us next Monday (as she did last year) for a day and we’ll go to the outlets for retail therapy, or as George would have it, stimulating the economy.

  14. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I finished the second volume of the Fantasy & Science Fiction collection this morning – OK but I prefered the first volume and the older stories – and should have the Siger done by the morning. As you said it’s a fast read. Mykonos sounds nice but the more I read the more I know it’s not for me. A place where the action starts after midnight is no longer in the cards for this geezer.

    And stay off my lawn!

  15. Richard says:

    Jeff, small print is no longer my friend. I don’t need large print editions, but some of my older paperbacks can be slightly difficult. I read them all right, but wish the print was just a little larger. Thanks very much for the offer, but I’ll pass on those westerns.

    I knew you went for an annual trip, but didn’t realize it was always Buffet, I thought you saw other shows too.

  16. Richard says:

    Jeff, BTW, you may have noticed the way I worded my sentence on the Siger. I’m trying to stop using the word “read” as a noun, since to my mind it is and should only be a verb, and I’ve been guilty of the noun usage for some years, even though it grates on my mental ears.

  17. Jeff Meyerson says:

    OK, just finished the book and it was indeed a good one. My library doesn’t have the sixth book as yet.

  18. Richard says:

    Mine either, but I have it on hold.

  19. Jerry House says:

    Richard, so you don’t think I read nothing but creaking oldies, I just finished Grady Hendrix’s HORRORSTOR, about a haunted IKEA wanna-be. I also read John D. Harvey’s THE CLEANSING, about an American Indian wolf-god tries to eliminate most of the human race. I finished two Robert E. Howard collections, LORD OF SARMACAND AND OTHER ADVENTURE TALES OF THE ORIENT and BRAN MAK MORN: THE LAST KING — each book included drafts and unfinished manuscripts as well as more familiar stories. In the creaky old books department, I read Gertrude Atherton’s 1934 fantasy collection THE FOGHORN and began dipping into a 1929 anthology of sea stories, Martin Armstrong’s GENERAL BUNTOP’S MIRACLE, and F. Britten Austin’s ON THE BORDERLAND, and finished a few more stories from M. P. Shiel’s XELUCHA AND OTHERS. I also read Book I in Queenie Chan’s manga series THE DREAMING, but I probably shouldn’t count that since it took less than an hour to read.

    This coming week I’ll be finishing those short story collections and perhaps I’ll find a microfilm reader to read those two books I carped about last week.

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