Current Reading, May 18- 24, 2015

here-there-be-dragonsHappy Memorial Day! A busy week, a holiday weekend. The year is flying by. I finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The post-apocalyptic tale begins with the death, on stage, of a Shakespearian actor in the role of King Lear. Then comes the world-wide pandemic… Lots of POV and flashbacks, but I enjoyed it. I then read Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen, the first volume of a fantasy set trilogy. While I enjoyed the story and characters, it just didn’t quite grab my imagination as I had hoped it would. I probably won’t read the others. Also read was A Nun In The Closet by Dorothy Gillian, author of the Mrs. Pollifax books. All the above came from the library.

cold-brokenUp next? I’m thinking of reading The Cards on the Table by Agatha Christe. I’ve been in the mood for one of her books.

Barbara finished The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbø and liked it very much. She’s now reading A Cold and Broken Hallelujah by Tyler Dilts which she bought at LCC after hearing him on a panel. After that, no idea.

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

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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19 Responses to Current Reading, May 18- 24, 2015

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’m glad you liked STATION ELEVEN.

    Only a couple of books finished this week. First was Lawrence Block’s self-published THE CRIME OF OUR LIVES, a collection of introductions and essays about various other (mostly, but not strictly, dead) authors, including Charles Willeford, Ed Gorman, Hammett and Chardler, Ed McBain, Ross Thomas and Mary Higgins Clark, among others. I know you’re not a fan of Block but this one might pique your interest.

    The second was DRY BONES (library), the latest Sheriff Walt Longmire book by Craig Johnson. If you’re reading this series you don’t need me to tell you to read this one, and if you’re not, you should be.

    Current reading: I should finish Anne Hillerman’s second book in her father’s universe, ROCK WITH WINGS, today, featuring Navaho Police Officers Jim Chee and his wife Bernie Manuelito. I’m also reading Neil Gaiman’s collection, TRIGGER WARNING. Newest library arrivals are the new collection by David Gates, A HAND REACHED DOWN TO GUIDE ME, and (yay!) the newest in one of my favorite series, Colin Cotterill’s SIX AND A HALF DEADLY SINS, with Dr. Siri Paiboun in 1978 Laos. I also have interesting sounding library books by Mick Herron (SLOW HORSES) and Alice McDermott (AFTER THIS) on the pile.

    One new arrival (PaperbackSwap): CENTURY RAIN by Alastair Reynolds.

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, I did like STATION ELEVEN, more, even, in retrospect. Some books strike me that way.

      I read, years ago now, some other book of essays by Block, and it was okay, but the ol’ reading plate is piled high at present, so I won’t seek THE CRIME OF OUR LIVES.

      We enjoyed seeing Craig Johnson on a panel at Monterey LCC, but still haven’t tried his books. Not sure why. I should check the library and get the first one, maybe. Right now I’m kind of in a mood for a classic mystery and am, as mentioned above, thinking about reading some Christie. I’m going to stay away from those Hillerman books, but I may reread some of my favorites, such as DANCE HALL OF THE DEAD, again one of these days.

      My problem with Neil Gaiman is twofold: I didn’t like SANDMAN and he is so hyped. The more hype, the less inclined I am to read him, and that’s true of almost any author or film. Unless I “got on board” before the hype began, as with Louise Penny, who has a new book coming in August, I believe.

      I read the first two Cotterill books and liked them, have another couple here on the shelf. Another author I want to get back to. *SIGH*

  2. I’m in Summer Reading mode which means you’ll be reading posts about BIG FAT BOOKS soon. I’m down to three library books (a dozen had stacked up). On Wednesday, the University Women’s Book Sale begins. It’s a four day event with easily 100,000 books for sale. I’ve done very well there over the years.

    • Richard says:

      So, papers graded, finals finished, all that? Good for you. There are many good thin books out there too, you know, and you could read even more of those. I’m looking forward to whatever reviews you post. Hope you have a great Memorial Day.

  3. Jerry House says:

    Richard, this week I read the four books I mentioned last week. Neil Gaiman’s collection TRIGGER WARNINGS was a satisfying assortment of stories and poems; included were two stories that have seen separate publication and a Doctor Who story. I covered Murray Leinster’s MURDER WILL OUT as my Forgotten Book last Friday — not, alas, his shining hour. Malcolm Jameson’s BULLARD OF THE SPACE PATROL was a collection of SF tales from ASTOUNDING in the 40s and cover the rise of the title character without getting into specifics and, for that reason, seemed somehow misguided. Andre Norton edited this one. Adrian McKinty’s GUN STREET GIRL was a Sean Duffy crime novel. In this one Duffy, a weary Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC, gets tangled up in murder and international terrorism in late 1985. A good book; I’ll be sure to read more of McKinty’s work in the future. Just for good measure, I also read Marian Babson’s MURDER ON A MYSTERY TOUR (also published as WEEKEND FOR MURDER). An isolated English country house, a fierce winter storm, a murder mystery weekend, a busload of quirky mystery fans, a blurring of what is real and what is a play, the inevitable cat, a dollop of comedy, and some very real murders made this one a dizzying concoction. Good, but I felt it was a little below the author’s standard.

    Coming up this week are several collections from John W. Campbell’s ANALOG, Peter Haining’s WEIRD TALES anthology, another Marian Babson, and (with luck) Agatha Christie’s MRS. MCGINTY’S DEAD (which I had just started when my wife took it for her own reading pleasure — ah, the things we do for love!).

    Enjoy the holiday, Richard. It’s a beautiful day here in Southern Maryland.

    • Richard says:

      Jerry, I’m always impressed with the amount you read, and you incoming posts. It does seem sometimes your incoming exceeds your books read, can that be so?

      See my comment to Jeff re: Gaiman, above.

      Yes, I saw that review of the Leinster. I like his SF, but his mystery fiction leaves me wishing he’d tried harder. BULLARD OF THE SPACE PATROL sounds like it should be a lot of fun, but, apparently, was not. Too bad.

      I think Jeff has also been reading Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy books, but I may be getting them confused with some other series, by some other author, and I’m too lazy to go check. Okay, he made a comment below, so yes, he is/has read that book.

      I believe I commented last week on Babson, and my feeling that her books are a step below Aird, Christie and others. I was a subscriber to ANALOG and so probably read those stories as they were published, but there was much good SF in those – and the ASTOUNDING – days, so those collections might be worth rereading.

      I’ve just started CARDS ON THE TABLE by Christie. Since Barbara doesn’t read her books, I don’t have to worry about it being confiscated. Cloudy here, will get to low 60s. Good reading weather.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    I am trying to read GET CARTER by Ted Lewis and THE COUNTRY GIRLS TRILOGY by Edna O’Brien. Still distracted. Maybe it’s the new me.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    As mentioned above, I am reading the Gaiman collection now. I really like McKinty’s Sean Duffy series (GUN STREET GIRL is the fourth) and I’m thinking of going back and looking for his earlier books if I get the time.

    George, I have a dozen library books on hand, including the Gaiman and Hillerman.

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, I have ZERO library books on hand, though one is about to pop up from a hold list, something I saw on the Black Gate blog. It may be a “meh” book: one I read 40 pages of and return, or I may like it and go on to the second of the (inevitable) trilogy. I trust you saw Jerry’s comment, he too liked that McKinty book.

      I was looking over my books read list yesterday (51 so far) and I see I’ve been reading more SFF than mystery this year.

  6. Station eleven sounds interesting.

  7. Rick, I save the thin books for the months that I’m working. Summer affords me the time to read long books so I concentrate on them until I go back to work. I remember enjoying CARDS ON THE TABLE.

    Jeff, a dozen library books is too much for me. Once I was done with the Spring Semester, I dove right in and read nine library books in a row. Now I’m down to a more manageable number: three.

    • Richard says:

      George, the thing is, I read so many Christie books in a small time frame I can barely recall if I read any particular one; only a few stand out. I don’t think I read CARDS ON THE TABLE before, though.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    CARDS ON THE TABLE was one of the more memorable Christies to me. I believe she had several of her detectives in that one. It has been over 40 years since I read it.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It was the first appearance of Mrs. Oliver.

  10. I remember a great Teason cover on a DELL paperback edition of CARDS ON THE TABLE.

  11. Richard says:

    George, I’m not sure who did the cover of the edition I read, but it will be coming up in a review.

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