Current Reading, April 13 – 19, 2015

POOR, POOR OPHELIAMarie Brennan’s third memoir of Lady Trent, The Voyage of the Basilisk, was the best book in the series so far. I enjoyed it a lot and am now eager for the next installment, which is no doubt a year away.

Next I read Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston, which I also enjoyed. Published in 1971, the rights to this book were bought and it was turned into the Quinn Martin production The Streets of San Francisco. (The book takes place in Santa Monica and L.A.). My review is forthcoming.

After enjoying Old Venus, I now have Old Mars, the other ‘old planet’ collection edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois. I’m looking forward to reading it.

girlontrainBarbara finished XO by Jeffrey Deaver, which she liked very much indeed. She also finished, just a few hours ago, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. She raced through it, really liked the writing, and won’t tell me anything about the plot because she says I should read it.

Next up for her is The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted by Andrew E. Kaufman. She saw Kaufman on a panel at Portland Left Coast Crime, and decided to try this, his first one.

Have you read these books or authors?
What are you reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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20 Responses to Current Reading, April 13 – 19, 2015

  1. I read Poor Poor Ophelia, liked it, and picked up the other two books with the same characters. Haven’t had a chance to get to them yet.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I remember when POOR, POOR OPHELIA was first out but no, I haven’t read it. But then, I didn’t watch the television adaptation either. I will get OLD VENUS from the library now that I finally finished OLD MARS, a pretty good collection. Like George Kelley, I think the Mike Resnick story was the best. Other short story reading: I’m approaching the home stretch on the Jacques Futrelle THINKING MACHINE collection. I also read (library) the short, fast FATHERHOOD AND OTHER STORIES by Thomas R. Cook, impreccably written as is everything he writes.

    The other two books read were also from the library. First was Robert Silverberg’s interesting 1972 THE BOOK OF SKULLS, now a period piece. Four college roommates set out on a cross-country road trip to Arizona in search of immortality. The other was Val McDermid’s THE SKELETON ROAD, bringing back cold case Insp. Karen Pirie fromA DARKER DOMAIN (which I read in 2009). Instead of the earlier book’s 1980s coal strike, this one involves the early 1990s Balkans war. Again, there is a dead body which must be identified and its murder solved. I liked the cold case aspects of both books, but I did have a problem with them. In both I found myself skimming the “past” sections more and more as the book went on. The character is dead, and has been for a long time. What he was doing back then just did not hold my attention the way the current investigation did.

    I’m currently reading Andre Norton’s SARGASSO OF SPACE (from PaperbackSwamp) and Louis Auchincloss’s THE MAN BEHIND THE BOOK: Literary Profiles (library) while I decide what to read next. I’ll be picking up that Mary Norris library book today. I also have the new Adrian McKinty book about Sean Duffy, that Gores CONS book and a few others.

    I am slowly (as they become available on PaperBackSwap) replacing my old Maigret paperbacks with the new Penguin trade reprints. This week I got A CRIME IN HOLLAND and NIGHT AT THE CROSSROADS.

  3. Jerry House says:

    A very quiet week on the reading front. We drove up to Massachusetts for my granddaughter’s 17th birthday. We split the 500-mile trip over two days just because we are getting to be old farts., On the plus side, we got to spend three days with my daughter and her girls and I did pick up a few books (see the Incoming post on my blog). On the negative side, not enought time to see everyone we wanted to see, sketchy internet service, the seafood restaurant we went to was out of clams (we were really looking forward to real fried clams — not clam strips), and we are facing another two day road trip headed home this morning.

    For the trip, I’ve been reading some of the stories in OLD VENUS, some of them good, some very good, and one entertaining but misguided so far. Pre-trip I read Murray Leinster’s early mystery novel SCALPS (my Forgotten Book this past Friday) and Volume 17 of Chester Gould’s THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY DAILIES AND SUNDAYS (which carried the comic strip into 1957,so there are many more volumes to come in the series). I’m still enjoying the Dick Tracy books, the positives outweighing the negatives, and I hope to read some more of Leinster’s non-SF work.

  4. I’m reading and correcting 100 research papers so I’m out of the loop for awhile. I have OLD VENUS and plan to chip away at that. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was Diane’s Book Club book. Opinions were divided when the Book Club members discussed the book.

  5. Richard says:

    Randy, it was your review of OPHELIA that got me to order it, I think. I’m going to wait for the new Brash editions of the other two.

  6. I used to watch the Streets of San Francisco regularly.

  7. Richard says:

    Jeff, I have OLD MARS but have only read the first story. I’ll share your thoughts with Barbara on the McDermid, but since she likes everything the woman writes, she may not agree. She rarely skims or skips when reading, and she may have had more interest in the character’s past. She did get DARKER DOMAIN from the library, only to discover she had already read it.

    Maybe if you put SARGASSO OF SPACE back on Paperback Swap I’ll get it, as it’s on my wish list, or you could just send it along… The Gores book isn’t his best, but I like Gores, so any book os better than none. Plus I’m the bad guy. Hope you’re whittling down that big stack of library books.

    If the old Maigret books are in good condition, why replace them, is it just for the new translation?

  8. Richard says:

    Jerry, but the time you era this, you may be back home, if so I hope the trip went well. The older I get the less I like long days of driving; a few hours is enough. I try to plan accordingly, though sometimes I get that “horse heading to the barn” thing and just want to drive straight through to get back to my own bed. Which story in OV did you think misguided? I want to see if it’s the same one I thought was off base.

    • Jerry House says:

      Richard,I haven’t read all of the stories in OV but the story that bothered me was Matthew Hughes’ “Greeves and the Evening Star.” The Woodhouse mileau is timeless and eternal; the concept of taking Jeeves into the future and placing him on Venus strikes me as very twee, and adding references to “Darktown Strutter’s Ball” and Agatha Christie and such gives the story a jarring sensation. “Greeves” is a watered-down Jeeves and “Bartie” is a second-rate Bertie. Hughes gets a lot right in this story and I applaud him for it. But…(there’s always a but) Hughes doesn’t have the Wodehousian sense of plotting. As I said the story is entertaining, but (speaking as one who was weaned on the real stuff) misguided.

      • Richard says:

        Yes, that was off. I recognized the effort to “Woodhouse-around” with it, but just decided to read and go on. I’ll be very interested in your opinion of the last story in the book.

  9. Richard says:

    George, those papers will be graded in a tice, then you’ll be back to pleasure reading.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    1. I like trade paperback size
    2. The new translations
    3. I like the look of a uniform edition

    This is about the Simenon question, of course.

    As to the McDermid, it was only short, two page “history lessons” thrown in about the past. I was more interested in the current investigation. But as I said, that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.

    Glad Barbara liked GIRL ON A TRAIN but I won’t be reading it any time soon. Maybe I’ll give it a try when the hype and hysteria dies down and it is easily available on library shelves without a long wait..

  11. Richard, I have been in no mood to read anything because of home renovation for the past three weeks. I should get back to it this week.

  12. Richard says:

    Charles, so did I! I thought it was a good show, now I’d like to see it again.

  13. Richard says:

    Prashant, I can understand that, work on the home messes everything around, doesn’t it?

  14. Richard says:

    Jeff, fair enough. Barbara got the book from the library pretty fast. I’m thinking of starting F. Paul Wilson’s Sex Slaves of The Dragon Tong. Just for fun.

  15. Patti Abbott says:

    Pretty much reading nothing. Pick it up and put it down. Sad.

  16. Richard says:

    Patti, with the move in the works, I’m not surprised.

  17. Cap'n Bob says:

    A cavalry book. I forget the title and author and I’m too lazy to go downstairs and look. How’s that for a lousy answer?

  18. Richard says:

    Bob, that’s a favorite topic of yours, I believe. Hope it’s a good one.

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