Current Reading, May 11-17, 2015

Station_ElevenWe’re still mining the library. Last week I finished The Wright Brothers by David McCullough, his latest book. It concentrates on their adult lives, especially in pursuit of flying. McCullough is a fine writer and if the subject appeals to you, then I recommend the book.  I then read The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar. Interesting premise and characters, but the writing style put me off. Some will love it, others…not. I’m afraid I was in the “not” group. Still, you might check it out to see if it sounds like something you want to read.

I finally finished, after renewing it a couple of times, Old Mars, the anthology edited by Martin and Dozois of stories about and set upon Mars. Very good, though perhaps slightly weaker than it’s companion volume, Old Venus.

I’m currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The book begins with the death, on stage, of a Shakespearian actor in the role of King Lear. Then comes the world-wide pandemic… It’s good so far. It’s as much a mystery as it is a post-apocalyptic tale. The title comes from a comic book one of the characters has had since she was young.

Next up is Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen, the first volume of a fantasy set.


Barbara is now reading The Devil’s Star, which she is enjoying a lot. She hasn’t decided what to read next.

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

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to Current Reading, May 11-17, 2015

  1. Jerry House says:

    It’s been a mixed bag for me lately, Richard. I read two by John Dickson Carr, THE HUNGRY GOBLIN (his last novel) and MERRIVALE, MARCH AND MURDER (a posthumous collection), two volumes in Robert Silverberg’s ALPHA series (SF anthologies), two juveniles by Lester del Rey, PRISONERS OF SPACE (ghosted by Paul Fairman from del Rey’s outline) and CAVE OF SPEARS (a prehistoric caveman adventure), David Duchovny’s HOLY COW (an animal fantasy; cute but could make some readers believe that there is more there than there really is), Peter David’s graphic novel STEPHEN KING’S THE DRAWING OF THE THREE:: THE PRISONER (the first in a new series giving background stories to King’s novel), Neil Gaiman’s LADY JUSTICE, VOL. 1 (a graphic novel collection based on a concept by Gaiman), Gaiman’s latest children’s book CHU’s DAY AT THE BEACH, and a Marian Babson mystery, THE COMPANY OF CATS (I can’t help it, I find her addictive).

    I’m currently dipping into Neil Gaiman’s latest collection, TRIGGER WARNINGS, and Malcolm Jameson’s BULLARD OF THE SPACE PATROL. Coming up is MURDER WILL OUT, another 1930s mystery by Murray Leinster, and Adrian McKinty’s GUN STREET GIRL. Those should keep me out of trouble for a few days.

    Enjoy the week.

    • Richard says:

      Good week for you, Jerry. Sure seems some authors (King, Gaiman) know how to milk the market. Is there no end to the Silverberg stories? Seems you’ve been reading them for a very long time now. I may have read one of those Del Rey stories, not sure. I’ve read that Babson. Though I don’t like her as much as you do, I do read her books now and then and am never disappointed.

  2. Richard, I plan to read Jo Nesbo soon. I have read many reviews of his novels and mostly good ones too.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    Phil loved STATION ELEVEN. I couldn’t get into it. I seem to have a fractured attention span right now. I am going back to Dick and Jane.

    • Richard says:

      I finished it last night, and though it very good. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and all the jumping around from place to place and flashbacks isn’t my prefer way of storytelling, but I got caught up in the over-all story and the various characters and began to see how it was all coming together – in a way – towards the end. She’s a good writer.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yes, I’ve read STATION ELEVEN and I did like it, though perhaps I wouldn’t go as far as Phil. It is the kind of book I like, anyway. I returned OLD VENUS to the library unread. Frankly, if the metaphor worked I would say I am drowning in library books.

    This week was a killer as I was reading Kate Atkinson’s dense (450 page) A GOD IN RUINS, a book you cannot race through. It is a sequel/companion piece to her excellent LIFE AFTER LIFE, this time centering on the main character of the previous book’s younger brother, Teddy. Where that was (centrally) about the London blitz, this is about the British bombing of German cities. But there are many twists and turns, backs and forths, etc. She is a very good writer but definitely read LIFE AFTER LIFE first.

    The other book read was almost the opposite in that it was short and a very fast read, Dave Barry’s THE WORST CLASS TRIP EVER. As the title suggests this is about a 13 year old Miami boy (and his classmates) and a trip to Washington, D.C. I enjoyed it, naturally.

    Short stories? I’ve been catching up on stories I missed in EQMM and AHMM over the last year or so, including favorites like Brendan DuBois, Terence Faherty, and Doug Allyn.

    My library shelf now has a ridiculous 11 books on it, with the new Longmire book by Craig Johnson jumping to the top of the pile, and I have three more (Neil Gaiman’s latest collection is one) waiting to be picked up.

    I have got to read faster.

    • Richard says:

      After 20-30 pages of I STATION ELEVEN I wast sure I was going to like it, but after another 40 pages I was hooked. See my comment to Patti, above.

      I liked OLD VENUS better than OLD MARS. My review, with a slightly different angle than George’s, which went up today, will be up Wednesday.

      I’ll skip the Atkinson (sounds like a diet), I find her writing hard to slog through, and Barry has limited appeal for me, so we’ll be reading different things this coming week. Eleven books waiting on the library is a lot! I have several books on hold but “suspended” so I keep my place in line but others get the book instead. I think I have about eight of those.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I forgot the New Arrivals. There were a couple this week. One was a surprise from PaperBackSwap: a hardback of one of the later books in the Sector General series by James White, THE GENOCIDAL HEALER. The other was a hardback I bought after Bill Crider reviewed it on his blog: YEARBOOK by David Marlow, set at a Long Island high school in 1959. I think I paid $3.59 for it.

    I have another Simenon coming from PaperbackSwap (THE LATE MONSIEUR GALLET) as well as CENTURY RAIN by Alastair Reynolds.

    • Richard says:

      I must read another Simenon soon! I don’t buy many hardcovers any more, even when reasonably priced. I do prefer hardcovers from the library, though, as the paperbacks seem to get awfully beat up. I stopped reading Reynolds, his books don’t sustain my interest.

  6. A lot of people like STATION ELEVEN. I might have to give it a try. I’m catching up on some library books that are due. Reviews will be up on my blog this week.

  7. Those were all new to me

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The Reynolds appealed to me because of the plot, which might appeal to you..

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