Right now I’m reading Yellow Dog by Georges Simenon, which I should finish today.
A year or two ago I posted my reading plans for the coming year, with titles, covers and all. I’m not doing that this time, just mentioning some “like to do” things.
Looking at my favorite books of last year (see previous post), I realize I have authors I’d like to read more of: Ross Macdonald, Bill Pronzini, Earl Derr Biggers, Jodi Taylor and of course Maigret. There are also authors I’m way behind on, in terms of series I enjoy, Shell Scott, The Saint, Mike Shayne, Perry Mason, Edward Marston’s The Railway Detective and others. I’ll try to work in a few of those.
I’ll continue reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches, as I have a lot of them on hand. Related to that is a book I’ve been meaning to read for years: Ten Years After Baker Street by Cay Van Ash. I want to try some brand new-to-me authors too, though right now I’m not sure which ones.
One thing is certain, I’ll be reading mostly what’s on hand, not buying new things to read. My reading goals remain the same: 104 books or better, which averages a couple of books a week.
Do you have any reading plans for 2016? Specific authors or books?
Richard, this year, I plan to read more novels by Ross Macdonald, John D. MacDonald, Donald E. Westlake, Dan Marlowe, Mickey Spillane, Elmore Leonard, and John Ball. I have many of their books. I also intend to read Bill Pronzini, for the first time.
That’s a great list, Prashant! You have many excellent books before you.
I tend to just drift in the waters of what comes up next on my library hold list or what treasures I find at various used book sales. Over the weekend, I finished Michel Faber’s fantastic THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS, about an attempt to evangelize to a population of extraterrestrials. I also finished John Lahr’s TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH, which covers Williams’s life and work from 1945 until his death in 1983. I just started a book of interconnected short stories by Katherine Heiny called SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW.
Deb, Barbara tends to drift in those same waters, though her reading is purely mystery fiction. She’s always alert for new books by her favorite authors, but in the dry times she experiments, sometimes finding a new favorite.
Nothing specific, other than spend more time reading and less time a-wasting online. But that didn’t work out this year. While still reading the short stories, maybe I’ll cut back a little to get more novels read.
Current reading: I read a couple of good reviews in Deadly Pleasures of Lou Berney’s THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE, and since my library had an ebook I downloaded it. Two events in Oklahoma City in 1986 seem to be coming together in 2012. First, 6 workers at a movie theater were executed after a robbery, with a seventh worker surviving. Then, a teenager left her 12 year old sister alone at the fair for a short while, but vanished, never to be seen again. The perspectives are those of the surviving clerk, now a PI in Las Vegas, and the younger sister, now a nurse. Good book.
Also read the latest Crippen & Landru book to review for CADS, Marilyn Todd’s SWORDS, SANDALS AND SIRENS, a lot of which is set in Ancient Rome. I like it.
Before that, I’d started the first book in The Expanse series, LEVIATHAN WAKES, which I am finding a lot easier to follow than the TV series so far.
I’ll be taking the Kindle to Florida, of course. Also plan to take the two newest books by Andrea Camilleri (the new one came on Saturday), A BEAM OF LIGHT, and CAPTAIN’S SHARE and OWNER’S SHARE by Nathan Lowell. (I know you gave up on this series.) Also NIGHT ROAD by Brendan DuBois, an ARC he gave me at Bouchercon. The book is coming out in February.
I will take the next in series by Tanya Huff (The Confederation) and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Retrieval Artist), maybe Horace McCoy’s Hollywood novel I SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME, short story collections by Roger Torrey and Ben Fountain, and whatever else strikes my fancy.
Jeff, yes, more reading, and in my case less time both online and in front of the TV set. Though I mostly only watch football, it seems I’ve sacrificed reading nearly every weekend since September began, to the detriment of reading. December was my weakest reading month of the year. I enjoyed reading a lot of short stories, and plan to continue doing so this year, though I doubt I’ll pass the 2015 number.
THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE does sound good, I may see if the library has it. I liked LEVIATHAN WAKES a lot, but have struggled with the second book. I reread LW to get back up to speed but then didn’t move on right away. I do plan to read the second book soon.
Hard to believe it’s time for the Florida trip already. When do you leave? Sounds like you’re taking lots of good things. Barbara and both read the first Andrea Camilleri book and she has read the second, which she liked better of the two. She plans on going on with the series, I may, or may not.
I haven’t read that series by Huff, but have read others. I like her better than Andre Norton. I just started reading the third Retrieval Artist novel. I also have her Anniversary Day novel in ebook, but decided to read up to that point first. It will take a while.
Right. I read the first Solar Queen book by Norton and really should read the second. I have it so will put it on the pile. Jackie’s pile is much bigger, by the way, but I rely more on the Kindle, even though she reads hers in bed at night.
We leave the 17th, a week from Sunday. The trip will be 9 weeks including travel time. You definitely need a car there, so driving is the way to go for us.
I’m up to the third Retrieval Artist book too. I’ve liked everything of hers I’ve read, including the short stories.
No specific plans this year. I’m reading a couple of huge books at the moment.
Sometimes, having no plans is a good thing, Charles. Sometimes it seems the more structured I try to become, the more I feel tethered.
The Maigret books a quick, enjoyable reads. I went through a Simenon kick a number of years ago and read most of the Maigrets. (I think I missed five books in the series, but it was hard to tell with so many translations and editions out there with differing titles.) If I remember correctly, THE YELLOW DOG was one of the better in the series. I gather Simenon himself was not a nice man, although his lengthy autobiography evaded much detail for both personal and legal reasons. I wept, however, for his daughter’s tortured soul when I read of her suicide.
Again this week, I did not finish a single book. A few scattered short stories and a couple of chapters of Martin Edwards’ THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER each night. Hopefully, I’ll get back in the reading saddle this week.
Coming up are Ed McBain’s last novel and a collection of Ross MacDonald stories. I also pulled out one of the few Richard S. Prather novels I hadn’t read before and there’s a Jack Finney novel in Mount TBR that’s beginning to shine and twinkle in an effort to catch my attention.
We’ve had two weeks of unusually heavy rain, wind, cold, and flood and tornado warnings. This morning, however, it is warm and sunny. Does that mean winter is over here?
Your wanta read list is a good one, Richard. I hope you read and enjoy every one during 2016.
Jerry, the title in the previous edition was Maigret and the Yellow Dog. Most of the books were named with “Maigret and” at the beginning to identify that they were books featuring that character. I have a lot to read, which I consider a good thing. I go on less of those single author binges in the last decade or more than I did when I was in my younger years. I typically stay away from author biographies, and make every effort to separate person from works. Not always easy, but I try.
I liked THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER, but found it slow going. Which Ross MacDonald story collection is that?
“We’ve had two weeks of unusually heavy rain, wind, cold, and flood and tornado warnings. This morning, however, it is warm and sunny. Does that mean winter is over here?”
Plan to read more and keep track of them I found an online place to keep track of my movies. Need to find one for books.
Patti, I keep a list in Word, but any word processing program will do. I use a table, so I can sort it, I believe Jeff uses a database program for his lists. I look forward to your reviews.
I do keep a database for fiction, for non fiction, one for Jackie’s books, for theater, for concerts, for restaurants we eat at, and a database of most read authors.
Of course, I read plenty of books before I started these lists ca. 1971 and fully in May 1973, when I started the first of my annual week-at-a-glance books. Even so I have 5738 titles on the fiction list and 1241 on the non fiction, and 637 on the theater list. I won’t mention the restaurant total, other than to mention that since Jackie retired 11 years ago we’ve averaged more than one meal in a restaurant per day.
my answer at bottom. I’m setting up the 2016 files right now.
I hope you have all those lists backed up and/or photocopied, Jeff. It would be a shame to lose a record that complete covering that much time.
I bet he does. I know I have all mine backed up and also saved as I go with the Time Machine program,
Right now I’m reading Big Fat Books. You’ll be seeing their reviews on my blog soon. Like you, I’m fond of the newly translated Maigrets that Penguins is publishing. I may read more of those in the weeks ahead. I’m working on weeding my collection for another donation this Summer to SUNY at Buffalo.
George, I’m not really a fan or non-fan of the new translations because I can’t tell a difference, not having the same book side by side. I liked the old covers better. But any Maigret is good, and I plan to read more in 2016.
Oh, yes, I want to read the same Simenon (and many more)! My reading choices are a day-to-day impulse; I wish I could be more organized, but such is the plight of an over-the-hill curmudgeon who takes everything in life one-day-at-a-time. BTW, Happy New Years from Crime Classics and Beyond Eastrod.
RT, sometimes I think just browsing the shelves and pulling down what strikes your fancy at that moment is the best, most pleasurable way to decide what to read next. And thanks for the New a Year wishes.
Jeff: WOW. I wish I’d started my records that far back. Cataloging my books was the primary motivation in getting my first computer, though it didn’t work on that machine. Not until I got a Dell with Windows was I able to do it, as tables in Word. I still do it that way.
My budget to buy books will be much less this year, so I’m pretty excited to read just about everything that’s accumulated on my shelf. I’m just hoping to stick to my plan to focus primarily on the things I already have. The struggle is real….
I understand, Chris, believe me. The other side of the coin is to keep, after reading, or not to keep? Many’s the time I’ve gotten rid of a book and later, sometimes many years later, wish I still had it in hand.
I’m totally the same way. I just bought one this weekend in fact that I’d had before, culled, and then had a need for. Ugh.