Current Reading, April 27 – May 3, 2015

old marsI’m still reading Old Mars the collection of “old style” science fiction, and fantasy stories about Mars, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois. It’s good, or most of the stories are, I’m entertained, yet I’m making slow progress. I’ve just had a lot of distractions, including outdoor activities since the weather here has been very nice.

I started, then set aside The Dragons of Ordinary Farm. The library books piled up and I decided to read them first. I’m just about to start The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein, a YA novel about a twelve-year-old boy. He discovers that an island in the middle of the lake where he is spending the summer is the testing grounds of the mysterious Dr. Libris, who may have invented a way to make the characters in books come alive. The idea seems reminiscent of the Inkheart books, but we’ll see.

faceless-killersBarbara finished Wrongful Death by L.J. Sellers, which we got at LCC, and also finished H.S. Clark’s Secret Thoughts, which she thought was just so-so.

She is now reading Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell, which may be the first Kurt Wallander novel, not counting the later-written prequel short story collection, Pyramid. She’s trying to read the series in written chronological order (instead of translated order).

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

note: replys may be late, as today (Monday) is a dentist day…ouch.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to Current Reading, April 27 – May 3, 2015

  1. Richard, I’m currently reading short stories from MASTERS OF NOIR: VOLUME ONE as part of my own challenge to read 31 short stories in May, one for each day of the month. I expect it to put me back in the reading mood.

    • Richard says:

      Prashant, from what I hear that’s a pretty good collection, hope you enjoy it, and that it gets you reading again after your layoff with the work on the house.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    I’m a big fan of Mankell and have read all his Wallender books.Right now I am reading The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman and Days of Rage by Bryan Burroughs. Next up will probably be the new Dan Simmons The Fifth Heart.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Faceless Killers is indeed the first Mankell book. I’ve read that and the short story collection (Pyramid) as well as Old Mars.

    I finished April with another 68 stories completed, making 253 total for the first four months of the year, more than 20 ahead of last year’s total at that time, and 16 collections finished. Current short story reading is Tar Heel Dead, with Old Venus to follow.

    Last week I also read Adrian McKinty’s latest, GUN STREET GIRL, plus the Hard Case Crime reprint of Lawrence Block’s dark BORDERLINES, originally published in 1962 as BORDER LUST (by Don Holliday). It’s set in El Paso and Juarez. You might feel like a shower after reading it.

    New arrivals: from PaperbackSwap, there was ZOO by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, as it is going to be a CBS series this summer; and THE ALTERED CASE, a procedural by Peter Turnbull (I have another on the way), whose books I’ve enjoyed over the years. We also got an ARC of a first mystery courtesy of a friend (thanks, Beth), SECOND STREET STATION by Lawrence H. Levy, described as “A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first female detective in Brooklyn.” It’s set in 1888 and involves Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

    Current reading: Max Allan Collins, QUARRY’s CHOICE, set in 1972 Biloxi and involving the Dixie Mafia. I’m down to “only” nine library books, including Eddie Joyce’s highly touted SMALL MERCIES.

    • Richard says:

      So far I’m not enjoying Old Mars as much as Old Venus, but I still have a third of the book to read. Barbara reads Patterson, I haven’t done so. I had a copy of Second StreetStation, read about 50 pages and ga e it up. Didn’t work for me. Lately I haven’t been mush in the mood for reading and jump from book to book hoping something will catch my fancy. Slogging along in Old Mars seems to be the best I can do.

  4. While you’re reading OLD MARS, I’m reading OLD VENUS.

  5. Weather has been good here as well, and since I’ve got most of my grades turned in I’ve been able to get out with Lana and enjoy it.

  6. Jerry House says:

    The only novel I read last week was Robert Ames Bennet’s THE BOWL OF BAAL, a “lost civilization” novel written in 1916 and published by Donald M. Grant in the 70s. Dated, but interesting, with a hero who is a complete dunderhead. I also read Mike Carey’s graphic novel NEIL GAIMAN’S NEVERWHERE, an adaptation that suffers only when compared to Gaiman’s original novel. I went through three anthologies this week: Peter Haining’s horror antho THE HELL OF MIRRORS (a revised edition), and Groff Conklin’s SCIENCE FICTION ODDITIES and SEVEN COME INFINITY. Finally, I read two YA science books edited by Isaac Asimov, CITIES 2000 and HEALTH 2000.

    In the queue are two Robert Silverberg anthologies, John Dickson Carr’s last novel, and a Joan Aiken fantasy. And I’ll be continuing to work my way through OLD VENUS.

    Warm weather means the start of yard work. I began raking the front yard this morning. Ten minutes in, the rake broke. I guess the universe is trying to tell me something. Like, go inside, you fool, and read a book.

    • Richard says:

      I wonder why no one writes lost civilization novels these days? I guess no one would publish them, even as fantasy, which I guess is what they were then, too. If I came across one that was well written, and not full of preachy crap, I’d read it.

      Jerry, we often like and read the same kind of books, though you read more and much more widely, but this week we’re really on opposite sides of the page, other than the Conklin and Old Venus.

      I just came in from riffing out a large Daylily, which I will divide. After lunch, I’ll be planting some Salvia and one of the divisions (the rest go to gardening friends. Hey, now you have a chance to go to a hardware store! Cool. Buying tools is fun!

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