Current Reading, February 23 – March 1, 2015

Five cvrThe library has supplied a bounty of things to read, and I started reading them in the order received.

Five by Ursula Archer, a German author writing her first adult novel after several children’s books. It’s of a type I don’t read much of: a twisted serial killer vs. police. However a strong review tempted me to read it. Unfortunately, I found the main character’s actions unconvincing, the killer’s motivations questionable, the murders unlikely given the situations presented, and then the book pretty much just…stops.

very best of Elliot

Next I started The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley, but it didn’t grab me. Nothing wrong with it, I just wasn’t in the mood for a contemporary English village cozy. Again, a review led me astray. If it had been a Christie, I would have read it anyway. So I quit part way in and have now moved on to The Very Best of Kate Elliot. No short stories read last week, so I’m falling behind on that, too.

snowman, nesboBarbara finished Mark Billingham’s Death Message, which she said was “typical Billingham”, which since she likes his books I think is praise. After that she started The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, one of her favorite authors. Unfortunately, it was due back to the library (she had gotten several things at once) when she was about a third of the way in. So back it went, she’s back on the wait list for it, and now she’s reading Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman.

What are you reading?


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to Current Reading, February 23 – March 1, 2015

  1. I’m all caught up on reading library books (a rare event). My focus now is on the toppling stack of paperbacks that AMAZON delivered last week. I’m also trying to catch up on watching some of the MARVEL and DC DVDs that I’ve accumulated.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’m not sure why but my reading has been down so far this trip compared with last (past?) year. The one exception is short stories. I read 66 stories and finished 6 collections of stories in February, bring me to the exact same totals I had at the end of February last year – 107 stories read and 8 collections finished,

    Everything I read this week was on the Kindle Paperwhite (outside) or the tablet. First, I’ve really liked all the books I’ve read by Brett Battles in his “Cleaner”/Jonathan Quinn series so wanted to read some of his other stuff. I got a few things cheap (or free) and the one that sounded interesting was SICK, the first in what I thought was a trilogy but just ended after seven books. “Project Eden” is yet another “conspiracy by rogue government agents” sort of thing this one turns nasty quickly. (PARTIAL SPOILER ALERT) Army Captain Daniel Ash wakes up when he hears his young daughter crying. She is burning up with fever and when he goes to wake his wife, she is dead and cold. (HERE IS THE REAL SPOILER) Turns out a group is “testing” a virus meant to wipe out 99+% of humanity to “start over” and Ash – and his son – is among the few immune to the disease. It does become an escape story, helped by a group who knows what is going on and wants to stop it. (END SPOILER) As always I liked this a lot and will be reading book two soon.

    When I first got the Kindle I downloaded almost anything that was:
    1. free
    2. in a genre that appealed to me
    3. a short story collection

    I also downloaded books by friends or favorite authors that weren’t avilable elsewhere, at a price from free to $3.99 (in most cases).

    Some of these turned out dull or poorly written and I deleted them, others were readable but not special, a few were keepers. This leads to the latest collection I read by an author I’d never heard of, Scott Zavoda’s ALONE AT MIDNIGHT: SEVEN TALES OF HORROR. It peters out towards the end but there are a few good stories there that I would recommend to any horror reader.

    I am currently reading that BEST OF CHARLES DE LINT collection of fantasy stories and THICKER THAN WATER by G. M. Ford. I read his six Leo Waterman books between 1995 and 2000, but when he moved on to other stuff I didn’t care for it. Now a dozen years later he has brought Leo back in at least two new books and I had to get them. So far, so good.

  3. Gotta bunch of books going right now. The Jungle, You’re now less dumb, The Hours, How the West was Written, vol 2

  4. RTD says:

    My reading this last month has been limited but eclectic. Beginning this month, I am challenging myself to do something a bit different. Please drop by Beyond Eastrod and offer your suggestions:
    BTW, I like your snapshot reviews, and you’ve given me plenty of great ideas for my future reading. Bravo!

  5. Jerry House says:

    I onlly book I’ve completed this week was Hugh B. Cave’s MURGUNSTRUMM, which I have been dipping into for the past few weeks. I’ve been dipping into other collections and anthologies this week, but haven’t finished any ot them.

    We’ve been iced in for the past two days and that’s allowed us to watch a HOUSE OF CARDS marathon on Netflix. Bad ice. Great show.

  6. Richard says:

    George, I used to get stacks of books from Amazon, but these days I get everything I can from the library (all three local counties), then check BookSwap, then ask myself if I really need to own the book before I buy it. A lot less incoming tees days, and when something does come, it’d often used. I bet you’ll enjoy those DVDs.

  7. Richard says:

    Jeff, I have a bunch of things on the Kindle for Mac app, most of them meet those same criteria:
    1. free
    2. in a genre that appealed to me
    3. a short story collection
    …except not so many short story collections unless free. So far the most expensive book I’ve gotten was $5.99, I think.

    I expect some of these, including those that are the first book in a series, may be dull or poorly written, and if so I’ll give up on them and delete, as you do. Seems like your vacation this year is distracting you more than usual, plays, before you remind me, the new devices.

  8. Richard says:

    Charles, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? I read that one in college, or maybe high school. Been a long time. I enjoyed How the West Was Written, didn’t realize there was a second volume.

  9. Richard says:

    RTD, I did drop by, but with a question instead of a suggestion. More later. Thanks for the compliment. Oh – just thought of one… back over to your blog.

  10. Like Jeff, I downloaded a lot of free ebooks when I first got my iPad. I’m much more picky now. I have purchased a few ebooks on AMAZON. But, like you, I’m much more comfortable reading Real Books.

  11. Patti Abbott says:

    Finally finished THE BOYS IN THE BOAT which was excellent. Now reading some short stories by Russell Banks and Alex: The Commandant Camille Verhoeven Trilogy by Pierre Lemaitre and Frank Wynne

  12. Richard says:

    Patti, you read fascinating stuff. Back home now, I assume?

  13. Richard, I just finished reading Richard Prosch’s “Branham’s Due,” a tautly written western short story. I’m trying to finish a couple of half-read books after which I’ll decide what to read in March. No dearth of choices there.

  14. My ebook purchases are way down, and I’ve been trying to get through all the ones I have accumulated over the last couple years. It’s slow going, as the only ereading I do is on my phone during “fill in” time; either in the middle of the night when I wake up, or if I am stuck somewhere without a book, etc. That said, I just finished a nice little horror novel from an accomplished local writer named Neil McMahon called The Shadow Kind. I enjoyed it. Having just listened to a biography of Jack London, I read his boxing novella The Game on the plane Monday, then launched into Naomi Klein’s book on climate change, This Changes Everything. I intend to cleanse my palate and cool my outrage after that with David Oppegaard’s And the Hills Opened Up which I’ve heard nothing but rollicking good things about.

  15. Richard says:

    Prashant, like most of us, you have more books than time to read them, I assume.

  16. Richard says:

    Chris, I can’t imagine how you can read a book on a tiny phone screen! Get a tablet, man! I very much prefer print books, but do have ebooks as noted in a previous post. A biography of Jack London? I seem to remember reading something like that many years ago, but which one (assuming there are several) I have no idea.

    Pugilism and stories about same hold no interest for me. I’ve tried a story or two by R.E. Howard with no joy and I’d guess the same would hold for the London, though he’s no doubt a better writer.

    I’ll have to check out the Oppegaard, as I’ve missed it completely. Subject?

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