Current Reading April 18 – 24, 2016

On May 6th there will be a special Friday Forgotten Book post, the theme of which is first novels. After thinking of many possibilities, I settled on Tony Hillerman’s The Blessing Way, a Joe Leaphorn novel. Though I once had all of Hillerman’s early novels in paperback, I traded them in for the omnibus volumes, the first of which (below left) collects The Blessing Way, Dance Hall of the Dead and Listening Woman, so I decided just to go ahead and read all three of them. I’m half way through Listening Woman now.

I’ve liked Hillerman’s books since I first encountered them when a friend handed me one and said I should try it because she thought I’d like it. I did, and got the rest in paperback, and continued buying them in hard cover as they were published. As the series continued, Hillerman introduced Jim Chee, another Navajo policeman, and he and Leaphorn worked together. I’ll admit to liking the Leaphorn books the best. Do you have a favorite Tony Hillerman novel?

another sunBarbara finished The Affair by Lee Child, a Reacher novel. Now she’s reading Another Sun by Timothy Williams, something a little different. Here’s the blurb on it:

“The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life. French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home.”

Have you read these authors? What are YOU reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to Current Reading April 18 – 24, 2016

  1. I like THE BLESSING WAY but you can’t go wrong with any of the early Hillerman books. Not much time about personal reading during the next few weeks as the Spring Semester winds down.

  2. Jerry House says:

    I’m with George in lliking the early Hillerman books. I don’t know why, but I stopped reading him in the early Nineties. I really should try some of his later books.

    Most of this past week was spent with Otto Penzler’s massive THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE STORIES. Great stuff! I also read a collection of Rudyard Kipling’s stories, THE PHANTOM RICKSHAW from 1898, as well as a handful of Batman graphic novels. (I now have exhausted my library’s collection of Batman GNs. Holy dearth of Caped Crusader, Batman!)

    I’m currently reading THE REAPERS, another of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker books. This one focuses on Parker’s deadly friends Angel and Louis.

    I’ll leave you with aconversation I never heard at a literary cocktail party: “Do you like Kipling?” “I don’t know. I’ve never kippled.”

    PS: The flowers in your garden are lovely.

    • I remember thinking the books got less interesting after in the series, and I didn’t care much for the trials and tribulations of Chee, with girlfriends and such. I remember looking at that Penzler anthology and finding I’d read a large number of the stories, so I didn’t buy it.

      I’ve read that Kipling collection, long ago. I like Kipling. Thanks on the garden comment, we put a lot of work into it but the rewards are great.

  3. macavityabc says:

    I like A Fly on the Wall as much or more than the Navajo books.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve read all the Hillerman books – his non fiction THE GREAT TAOS BANK ROBBERY & Other Indian Country Affairs is well worth looking for too – and I’ve even read the continuation of the series by Hillerman’s daughter. I can’t remember one that stands out for me, though as Bill said the non series A FLY ON THE WALL is excellent too.

    Three books this week. From the library website I downloaded Christianna Brand’s BUFFET FOR UNWELCOME GUESTS: The Best Short Stories. There are some rather nasty tales here. My favorites are in section one, the Insp. Cockrill stories. Also read (and thanks for recommending it) was Rachel Caine’s INK AND BONE, first in her new Great Library series. Can’t wait for book two in July. Third was the classic noir (at long last), Elliott Chaze’s BLACK WINGS HAS MY ANGEL, reprinted by New York Review Books in trade paperback. It was originally published in 1953.

    I’ve got a couple more library short story collections, plus I downloaded another to the Kindle. It sounded good but will let you know how it goes. I will either finish John Scalzi’s first novel, the silly but amusing AGENT TO THE STARS, or read Glen Erik Hamilton’s second HARD COLD WINTER, next.

    • I read all the Hillerman books, fiction and nonfiction. I also have the coffee table book Hillerman Country around here somewhere. Glad you liked INK AND BONE, I too am eager for the next book.

  5. I have read most of the Hillerman books. Liked them all very much and sorry I missed a chance to hear him at my library a few years ago. I am reading MY BRILLIANT FRIEND by Elena Ferrante for my second book group. Why do I join these groups which impede reading what I want to read? Phil just read a book by Stuart Neville, (THOSE HE LEFT BEHIND) which he loved.

  6. fence says:

    I still haven’t read a single Lee Child book, I really should give him a go at some point.
    I’m in the middle of a Kate Elliott book, she’s great at epic fantasy

  7. tracybham says:

    I have never read anything by Tony Hillerman but I do have a copy of The Blessing Way. I look forward to your post.

    I have read The Defection of A. J. Lewinter by Robert Littell for the first novel theme at FFB next week. And currently I am reading Moonraker by Ian Fleming.

  8. Wow, it’s been a while since I read Moonraker! My post on Blessing Way depends a lot on the two fine posts Bob Byrne has put up on the Black Gate blog, since he goes into detail beyond what I could have done.

  9. Richard, I have often contemplated buying Tony Hillerman’s novels but for some reason never did. After reading your views I will pick up a book or two and read them. I have read only one novel by Lee Child and liked it because of his informal narrative, if that is the right word.

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