Current Reading: November 9 – 15

Weather continues wet and blustery. Much of the Fall color has blown away, but it’s still pretty here; this is a nice time of year. We’ve been busy with various projects: a new raised planting area, removal of a large, old, sick tree and replacing it with a Japanese Maple, small now but sure to grow.

The thing about reading thick short story collections is that it takes a while to get through them at the pace of only a few stories a day, which is what I’ve been reading. I finished In the Company of Sherlock Holmes [reviewed last Wednesday]. Now I’m continuing with the two books pictured: The Omnibus of Science Fiction edited by Groff Conklin, and The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Vol. 1 – 1881-1889 edited by David Marcum. They’re same books as listed in last week’s current reading post.

I’m enjoying the stories, I haven’t found a dud among them, and will keep on with them. I got a novel from the library, but it was disappointing and so will remain unnamed here. I’ll probably start a novel soon, but which one I have no idea.

Barbara continues with The Girl In the Spider’s Web. She’s enjoying it, and will likely finish it this coming week.

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

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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18 Responses to Current Reading: November 9 – 15

  1. Richard, I’m currently reading my first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child and I’m enjoying it. In fact, I picked up my second novel, 15th in the series, only yesterday.

  2. Jerry House says:

    Books read this week include SF collection THE BEST OF LESTER DEL REY, one of Evan Hunter’s last novels, THE MOMENT WHEN SHE WAS GONE, THE FROSTED DEATH by “Kenneth Robeson (Paul Ernst), a pulp novel about The Avenger and my FFB this Friday, Philip Wylie’s cold war thriller THE SMUGGLED ATOM BOMB, David Hagberg’s anonymously written Flash Gordon novel THE WAR OF THE CITADELS, and R. R. Winterbotham’s Captain Midnight novel JOYCE OF THE SECRET SQUADRON. The first three books are highly recommended. The Wylie was a pleasant and predictable read about late 1940’s espionage. The Flash Gordon novel was the second (of sixth) that Hagberg wrote anonymously; I found this one plodding. Also plodding was the Captain Minight book, a juvenile published during WWII; Joyce is a scrappy teen-aged aviatrix and her “boyfriend” is a dim bulb who should have been tossed out at ten thousand feet, IMHO.

    Hope your Japanese maple grows to be as luxurious as George’s.

    • Richard says:

      How did you like the Lester Del Rey? I’ve found his stuff to be uneven, some great, some ho-hum. I see you say, the book is highly recommended, but… well, okay. Sorry to see the Flash and Captain books were less than good, but it happens with books of that vintage aimed at that audience, I guess. The Maple is a different variety than George’s, it’s a Coral Bark Maple, and will grow more narrow but slightly taller, and Fall color is bright yellow instead of his orange-red. We have the same kind in front of the house and like it a lot.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    My library shelf is getting out of control again, and in part that’s with books recommended here and elsewhere online.


    First up was the latest Archer Mayor book about Vermont cop Joe Gunther, THE COMPANY SHE KEPT. I’ve read this series since day one – OPEN SEASON in 1990 – and have read all 26 books in the series. I liked the last one a lot but found this more more of a slog to get through. A State Senator and very close associate of the Governor is murdered and strung up with “DYKE” carved into her chest and Gunther needs to find out who and why.

    I’ve read several of Sarah Vowell’s quirky books before and enjoyed her latest, LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES. I am far from an expert on the Revolutionary War and this was a painless way of learning more. Lafayette was still a teenager when he defied the French King and government and (basically) ran away to join his soon-to-be-surrogate father, George Washington.

    One of mine was next, Lawrence Block’s collection of stories, CATCH AND RELEASE. I know, you’re not a fan.

    I hope to finish Jeffrey Siger’s THE DEVIL OF DELPHI soon (enjoying it so far) and move on to Michael Connelly and the others piling up here. I started a short story collection, Joseph Heywood’s HARD GROUND: Woods Cops Stories, set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, it seems the library provides either feast or famine. I had one book last week (as mentioned) and have nothing else in sight.

      I read one of Archer Mayor’s book ages ago, I think, and was fairly unimpressed. It wasn’t that cop, though, or maybe I’m thinking of someone else.

      I’m still reading short stories, and have enough to keep me going for the rest of the year, and the year to come and further. I got so ramped up during Sherlock Holmes month here that I bought a bunch of new anthologies and am making slow headway. Then there are the many dozens of other collections/anthologies. When it comes to reading, I need your speed.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    Just read QUEEN’S GAMBIT (Tevis) about a female chess prodigy, which I found strangely compelling. Just started THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN since Phil enjoyed it a lot. Read four Walt Longmire stories for the holiday themed Friday. Phil is reading MAGICIAN by Maugham after finishing a mystery he liked a lot WOMAN OF THE DEAD (Aichner).

    • Richard says:

      So QUEEN’S GAMBIT is a mystery, I assume. Interesting. Is there a lot of chess in the book, or is that just the background of the character? Barbara liked GOTT and is looking forward to the film. I’ve read some Maugham, but not THE MAGICIAN.

  5. I’m reading a little SF myself

  6. Jerry House says:

    The magician in Maugham’s book is based on Alistair Crowley.

  7. I’m reading essays and short stories. Next week I’ll collect about 100 research papers that will get corrected over Thanksgiving Break. After that, it’s Review for the FINAL EXAMS. Then, the FINAL EXAMS. Then figuring out FINAL GRADES. I won’t be a free man (and pleasure reader) until Christmas.

  8. Yvette says:

    I’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, Richard, and just last night I began a reread of an old pastiche, THE GIANT RAT OF SUMATRA by Richard Boyer. John was talking about this on his blog a few weeks ago and I realized I needed a reread. 🙂 Also just finished WARRANT FOR X by Philip MacDonald which I’ll be talking about on a Friday post this week. I’ve also discovered the books of Cyril Hare – do you know his work? Very vintage but kind of wonderful in their own slowish way.

    • Richard says:

      Hi! The only Cyril Hare I’ve read is THE WIND BLOWS DEATH, and that was a while ago. As I recall it was good, but a little slow going. This three volume set of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is – I’m 2/3 through the first volume – really excellent. I was also reading the canon at the same time, and I really couldn’t tell the difference in tone or plot, except for one tale told from the Moriarity viewpoint. I also hand a review of the Boyer book, a couple years ago over on Broken Bullhorn, and liked it as well as John.

      My FFB for this coming week is a Wycliff book by W. J. Burley, Wycliff and the Quiet Virgin. It takes place at Christmastime, though there is a minimum of holiday activity invloved. I thought it a good one to try since this is Winter / Holiday FFB week. Have you read any of those books?

      • Yvette says:

        I’ve recently read THE WIND BLOWS DEATH and am planning a review. I liked it very much despite the leisurely pace. I’m going to get my hands on these new Sherlock Holmes stories since you praise them so much. For me the ‘newer’ stuff has to give me the feeling that I’m dealing with the ‘real’ Holmes and, of course, the writing has to be top notch. (When I said I’d read all the Holmes stories, I was talking about the canon.)

        I’ve never read any Wycliff books. Maybe in the coming year.

        Oops, didn’t realize that Friday is Winter/Holiday FFB week. Does that mean tomorrow or next Friday?

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