Current Reading February 29 – March 6, 2016

ink and boneI’ve had some trouble concentrating lately, and having decided to get back to reading novels after a lot of short story reading in February, I’ve had a couple of starts and stops. Now I’m a few chapters into Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, first in a fantasy series in which the Great Library of Alexandria has survived and become The Great Library, which controls knowledge and information with a ruthless hand. The populace can only know and have access to that which the Library approves, all else is heresy. Private ownership of books is strictly prohibited. Into this young Jess Brightwell goes to begin training, but his father has been a book smuggler, which bodes ill and influences Jess’ thoughts and decisions. I’m enjoying it so far.

I’m also reading a short story here and there, but not at the pace I did last month.

IreneBarbara is working her way through Irene by Pierre Lemaitre, the first in the series. She also has, from the library, a Henning Mankill novel sitting here.

An early Spring, among other things, has both of us distracted. It’s still wet, but the Forsythia are in bloom and the Crocuses are up and blooming, both sure signs of Spring. We’re gardeners, so our eyes are turned outside as we begin planning changes, additions and early maintenance. I’m ready to be sitting out on the deck with a book and a glass of iced tea, but that’s a ways off yet.

Have you read any of these stories or authors?
What are you reading? Any short stories?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Fiction, Short Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Current Reading February 29 – March 6, 2016

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    That library book does sound interesting. I’ll be curious as to how it turns out,

    The collection I read this week was apparently some tie-in with a video game (not one of my fields of expertise), and all the stories are supposed to have a ‘noir” feel and be set in 1947 Los Angeles. It is L. A. NOIRE: The Collected Stories (ed. Jonathan Santlofer), and some of the authors are Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe R. Lansdale, and Duane Swierczynski. It was another free download. Current reading is in DISCOUNT NOIR (ed. Patricia Abbott & Steve Weddle), in which the stories have to be no longer than 800 words. Authors include Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, and Patti Abbott.

    I also read Robert Silverberg’s pulpish tale of counterfeiters from the late 1950s, BLOOD ON THE MINK. The prices in 1958 Philadelphia were more interesting to me than the rather silly story. The book, reprinted by Hard Case Crime, also includes a couple of similar stories he wrote in that era, “Dangerous Doll” and “One Night of Violence.”

    Current reading is the third in Tanya Huff’s Confederation series, a military space opera centered on tough Marine Sgt Torin Kerr, as she tries to keep coalition Marines alive, I’ve enjoyed the first two and I’m halfway through this one.

    • I’ll let you know how the book is, I’m halfway through now. I’ve managed to avoid game-related fiction, though I do like some game related music, especially Japanese, such as that from Final Fantasy. All those noir collections…so many of them seem tossed together. Add that to the apparent need for a theme, (Nebraska noir, Noir in the Garden, etc.) and the result can be all over the place. I’ve read a few good ones, but have given up on more and now usually don’t bother.

      You will recall I’m not a Silverberg fan, and also that I’ve read the first two Huff books in that series, liking the first better than the second. Since I had an omnibus paperback of the first two, that’s where I stopped.

  2. macavityabc says:

    Just got a hefty volume of Rachel Caine’s short stories, offshoots of her Morganville Vampires series of novels.

    • A coincidence. I’m not much for vampire stories (or films) but I have enjoyed her “writing voice” so her stories may be good too. She seems to have many series.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        True. I’ve read a number of her vampire series until I hit the “diminishing returns” vs. the length of the books. One of these days I’ll go back to them. I did read a two-book series she wrote under a different name, but I don’t have the database on the laptop.

        The Noir collection doesn’t have anything to do with the game other than the common time and place, and the authors are above average, though I know you don’t like Block.

  3. I’m reading a bunch of SF anthologies recommenced by John O’Neill at BLACK GATE. I think you purchased one of O’Neill’s recommendations, too. I bought them all: the Dozois and Silverberg anthologies I didn’t own.

    • Yep, I bought a couple of them, but in spite of reading short stories for a solid month, I have yet to crack them. I think I could read nothing but short stories for a YEAR and not get through what I have here.

  4. Now that is an idea. The great Alexandrian library has survived. Cool

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I forgot to mention that, as the title might suggest, all the stories in DISCOUNT NOIR have to be set at “Megamart” stores.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    When I read your remarks above I didn’t even notice the author. Even when Bill mentioned the Caine collection I didn’t notice.

    I just noticed it this minute, in fact.

  7. Jerry House says:

    This week has been devoted to short stories from the old SF magazines at Internet Archive: Startling Stories, Planet, Fantastic Adventures, New Worlds, and others. Good stuff and a lot of it.

    I also read three Batman graphic novels. I’m getting hooked on them, which is surprising because Batman was my least favorite hero when I was a kid.

    And I finally read George R. R. Martin’s A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, a collection of three novellas about Dunk and Egg who roamed Westeros a century before the events recording in A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE.

    Looming on the horizone are more and more short stories, another Charlie Parker novel by John Connoly, a Paul Tremblay thriller, and a collection of Frank Bonham’s westerns.

    May your deck with book and iced tea come sooner than you think.

    • Jerry, I have a hard time reading much from archives like that on screen. I have learned to read in Kindle “format” but the archives are just on-screen text. I like Batman GNs. I always thought it was too easy for Superman, who could do whatever was needed with his super-skills. Bats, on the other hand, has to work harder. The latest Bats stuff is pretty dark, though. I’ll skip the Martin, too long and too much politics, of which I am ***throughly*** sick. Your horizon looms well and beautifully. May it be drenched with sunshine and good fortune.

  8. Deb says:

    I think I would have given up on the non-stop diet of short stories long before you did. I just have too much trouble transitioning between short stories to read too many (especially from different authors in different genres) in a limited timeframe.

    I picked up a historical fiction from the library called GODDESS by Kelly Gardiner. It’s a fictionalization of an actual historical woman from the court of Louis XIV. She was an opera singer who had many, ahem, “affairs of the heart.”

    • Oh my, Deb, sounds a bit racy! I very much enjoyed the short story reading, and am even starting to miss reading them. I could be turning into a real short story reader, like Jeff. Well, maybe not quite that much, but still… I have so many collections and anthologies, I need to read them! But for now, it’s novels. After the one I’m reading now I think I’ll read the first Longmire novel by Craig Johnson. Probably.

  9. Reading a ghost story by an Icelandic author although the atmosphere is not ghostly enough. I may finish it. Also read CIGARETTE LIGHTER by Jack Pendarvis which is part of the series Bloomsbury is publishing on object. Very entertaining for those of use who remember smoking having some allure.

    • I remember when everyone thought smoking was cool, and so many did it. I had a nice Zippo that was my Dad’s, but it got little use. Ghost stories should be ghostly.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        Anyone who thinks don’t take their cues from their parents doesn’t know what he is talking about. Both of my parents smoked and I started early. I learned to smoke by age 13. And since my parents smoked, they never indicated that I had to hide it or sneak around, even as a teen. But I was never really “a smoker” per se and by the time of college I pretty much quit. So did my mother,for that matter, But it was Jackie who prompted my father to quit after 30+ years. She was working for a public health doctor (we were engaged at the time) and brought home a book showing emphysema victims. He stopped smoking overnight (literally) and never went back, living another 40+ years.

        I always liked those lighters too.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    When I posted this morning, Jackie was still asleep so I couldn’t consult my notebook. Indeed, I had forgotten one more from last week: A BEAM OF LIGHT, the latest (translated) Insp. Salvo Montalbano mystery by ndrea Camilleri. There has been better.

  11. I read the first one, Barbara read the first two, we both liked them. One of these days we’ll get to the next one.

  12. Cap'n Bob says:

    I’m reading an old Lawrence Block book from 1958, Cinderella Sims IIRC. Before that I read a Western from The Lawyer series, and before that The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester. Yes, I’m a good half century late, but it beats not reading it at all–although I didn’t care for the ending.

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