I got quite a bit of reading in this past week, including George Mann’s The Spirit Box, which was fine, though not as good as his previous pastiche, The Will of the Dead.
Also finished was the ebook of One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor, a time-travel novel, and I enjoyed it enough to buy the second in the series, A Symphony of Echoes, the Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book Two. I finished that one Saturday afternoon and liked it almost as much as the fist book. I’ll get to the next in the series after reading the following:
From the library came Constellations volume 3, the recently published collection of short stories from the Liaden Universe of Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. The first two collections were great and I’m reading it while waiting for John Scalzi’s latest, The End of All Things, arrives sometime Tuesday.
Barbara finished Twisted by Andrew E. Kaufman and then read Hold the Dark by William Giraldi, which had a slow start for her, but she said it got better and she was glad she read it.
She then read – just finished – The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri, which she liked quite a bit but – and I agree with this as I also recently read it – felt the ending was flat. Still, she liked it well enough that she’s interested in reading another in the series.
How about you? Have you read these books or authors?
What are you reading?
ALEX by Pierre LeMaitre was terrific. French cop solving a case. Part of a trilogy about him. Reading the last Kent Haruff book just now.
I’ve been meaning to read some of George Mann’s books for a while now. I just don’t know when I’ll be able to get to them.
Again, with the exception of the two short Ken Bruen books I read for my FFB, nada.
Our house is now on the market and we’ve many showings — meaning that we have to pack all the animals into the car and hide out for an hour each time. It gets tiring, escecially since the animals do not want to cooperate. **sigh**
This post is up a day early because I had a mental duh moment and published it instead of updating the draft late yesterday afternoon.
I’m not familiar with the Liadin Universe. Am I missing out?
Charles, I’ve read the two previous short story collections and one novel, so I’m not the best person to answer that, but it’s very good straight SF, pretty well written. There are websites devoted to it, so a quick Google should fill you in.
I have that third volume of THE LIADIN CONSTELLATION, too. I just finished reading some essay collections. One of Keith Laumer’s Retief collections is in the on-deck circle.
I’m glad Barbara liked the Camilleri even though you didn’t. It mostly set the scene and the later books move faster and are more fun. I did get the ebook of ONE DAMN THING AFTER ANOTHER on your recommendation but – and here’s a surprise – haven’t started it yet. I’m still reading mostly library books. That said, I did read one of my own books this week.
First was the previously mentioned LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, first in her YA series about what happens after an asteroid hits the Moon and moves it closer to Earth. Short answer: while it is not quite The End of All Life as in many Hollywood versions of the same, it is definitely the end of life as it was, as the title suggests. This is in the form of a diary written by 16 year old Miranda, who lives in northeastern Pennsylvania, and it succeeds in being increasingly downbeat without ever losing the reader’s interest in seeing What Happens Next. I’m looking forward to book two, especially as it is set in harder-hit New York City.
The short story collection of mine I read was Milton Lesser’s JOHNNY MAYHEM: The Complete Series, a reprint of SF pulp stories from the mid-1950s originally published as by C. H. Thames in Amazing Stories. There was a certain sameness, especially the expositionary paragraphs explaining Johnny’s situation in each story, but they were fun to read. I know you recommended Eric Frank Russell’s stories a while back. The only collection I could find at the library was MEN, MARTIANS AND MACHINES, four novellas about the luckless crew of the Marathon as they risk their lives exploring newly discovered “inhabited” planets. I liked this one too.
I’d read Bill Pronzini’s FEMME, a shorter than usual Nameless Detective tale, last December, so I was familiar with the basics in his expanded version, VIXEN. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every Nameless story – novel, short story, collaboration, whatever – and will continue to do so as long as Bill keeps writing them. And if anyone thinks a book needs to be 300-400 pages to be worth reading, check out the 220 taut pages in this one.
We also saw an off-Broadway show and a bunch of recorded movies last week. This coming week or so has a killer schedule of three concerts in a five day period: first, Santana, at the reopened Forest Hills Tennis Stadium; then Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire together, followed two days later by Jimmy Buffett with Huey Lewis & The News. The latter two are at Jones Beach.
Current reading? The sequel to GHOSTMAN by Roger Hobbs, VANISHING GAMES. Also John Varley’s time travel book, MILLENIUM, an expansion of his “Air Raid” short story. I also have Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE in the “Preferred Author’s Text” edition, the new Margaret Maron, LONG UPON THE LAND, etc.
Jeff, I didn’t dislike the Shape of Water enough to keep me from trying the next one, The Terracota Vase (or something like that) which is already on hold at the library. I also have Milton Lesser’s JOHNNY MAYHEM collection, I got it after the Crider reviewed and recommended it. I find that issue with sameness applies in many collections of stories like those. Glad you enjoyed the Russell. The Baen collections are well worthwhile.
I’m on the list for reading Vixen. That’s a hell of a concert schedule, for the time frame but more for the bands. I saw one of Chicago’s first concerts, at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A., they were with Love and Procul Harum and sang the songs off that first album, CTA. Let me know how you like the second Hobbs, please.