Current Reading May 2 – 8, 2016

Nimisha's ShipI came across a book by a favorite author, Anne McCaffrey, that I hadn’t read or even heard of, Nimisha’s Ship. So I found a copy on BookSwap and just finished reading it. I’ve read everything she’s written, and this is easily her weakest novel.

Nimisha is a bright girl from a highly placed family, and she grows up to be the owner of an off-planet shipyard and designer of advanced spacecraft. Taking one of these craft for a shakedown cruise, she encounters a wormhole and is spit out in an unknown area of space. There she finds an M-type (habitable by humans) planet and, with some other stranded humans from a previous wormhole capture, begins a colony. It reads like McCaffrey, but the whole affair is rather boring.

I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but it will be a mystery.

dark of the moonBarbara read John Sandford’s Dark of the Moon which she liked a lot, and has started A Wanted Man by Lee Child, a Reacher novel. She’s been reading more than I have, as well as gardening, working out and keeping really busy.

How about you? What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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22 Responses to Current Reading May 2 – 8, 2016

  1. Jerry House says:

    I haven’t read enough McCaffrey as I should, at least not enough to decide whehter I like her work or realy like it. I have met her several times many moons ago; she was a warm, nice person with a quick wit and a determination that my name was Paul. Ah, well…

    This week I read Thorne Smith’s BILTMORE OSWALD for my Forgotten First Book –a collection of humorous sketches about a hapless naval recruit in 1917. The sequel, OUT O’ LUCK, is near the top of Mount TBR as I type this. Also this week was SNOWBLIND by Christopher Golden, a horror novel about “ice demons” attacking a New England town during a blizzard. Golden lives about twenty miles from where I grew up in the Merrimack Valley and often uses the setting in his books; the familiar location was enough for me to overcome the few plot holes. All in all, an intersting read. I also read NIGHTKILL, a medical thriller by F. Paul Wilson and Steve Lyon. (Lyon is a pseudonym for Steven G.Spruill and later editions of this book drop the Lyon by-line in favor of the author’s real name.) In this one, the mob tries to take out a hit man and fails, leaaving him with a severed spine and no movement below the neck. An expimental operation gives him back his motility and a desire for revenge. As for graphic novels, I finished another ASTERIX omnibus and four Avengers GNs.

    Take it easy and keep healing, my friend

    • Lots of reading for you this week, Paul, er, Jerry. I’m interested in the titles of the GNs you read, as I have a bookcase of ones I bought back when and you may be reading something I have. I read your FFB and it sounded like fun, though not something I’d pursue. I’m doing the best I can with healing, but my body has its own timeline which is frustratingly slow.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It’s been mostly short stories around here, even more so than usual, as the novels I’ve started either haven’t held my attention or just weren’t what I was in the mood for at the time. First was MURDER AT THE MANOR: Country House Mysteries, the latest collection edited by Martin Edwards, which was a pretty good collection. I also read the latest Crippen & Landru Lost Classocs edition, Patrick Quentin’s THE PUZZLES OF PETER DULUTH. This has a couple of novellas and two short stories about Broadway producer and amateur sleuth Duluth and his actress-wife Iris. I liked the first novella but though the second was too ridiculous. The first has Duluth walking down a snowy street in Manhattan at 3 am when a woman, a stranger, rushes up to him and hands him a note in an envelope and a hot dog in a bun! Then a car drives by and she is shot to death. The momentum of that opening carries the reader through to the finale on a ski slope on the Vermont-Canada border, The book also has an interesting discussion of.who exactly was behind the Quentin pseudonym, plus a reminiscence of Hugh Wheeler by his great-niece.

    Current reading is even more atmospheric than the country house mysteries in the Edwards book, DETROIT IS OUR BEAT by Loren D. Estleman. The stories about the Detroit Racket Squad – popularly known as The Four Horsemen – are set in the World War II era and have atmosphere to spare. I thought I’d read most of these in AHMM but so far only a couple were really familiar. I’d highly recommend this one. Clearly, Estleman misses the old days.

    Other current reading is Glen Erik Hamilton’s second Seattle-set Van Shaw book, HARD COLD WINTER, which I’m enjoying so far.

    All but the Quentin are library books.

    • As you recall, I read Murder At The Manor a while back, during that short story splurge in February. I have Serpents In Eden at hand, a follow-up by Edwards, but haven’t cracked it yet. I’m giving McBain one more try now, reading Fuzz, but not finding it very appealing. The “bad guy” in it is The Deaf Man, who apparently was in one or more previous books, so I feel a little behind. Oh well. I picked it for a quick read while waiting for library books to pop. Now one has, Barbarian Days by William Finnegan. Subtitled A Surfing Life, it’s an autobiography of a life spent traveling around the world in the Sixties – Nineties, surfing and observing. I read a review somewhere and it sounded interesting. We’ll see, I’m picking it up this afternoon.

      As usual, in reading Mystery Scene, there were a couple of things that sounded good, so I have those coming from the library too.

      I boxed up and sent off to a SFF friend in Michigan (blog=Little Red Reviewer) a medium sized box of paperbacks, mostly older ones, making some space on those shelves. In the process, I of course saw many books I just have to reread. Sigh.

      I’ll look at the library for that Estleman, thanks for the tip.

      • Jerry House says:

        Richard, the Deaf Man was the bete noir of the 87th Precinct and appeared in half a dozen novels or so. They never caught him.

          • Todd Mason says:

            If you have never found a compelling Evan Hunter book or story, I’m in the same place. There’s just a certain (what I take to be) hostility to the reader in his work, that seems to make him want to reach for something egregiously stupid in nearly everything of his i’ve read.

  3. I’ve never heard of Nimisha’s Ship, either. My online students are taking their FINAL EXAMS today and tomorrow. My students in regular classes take their tests tomorrow. Once the correcting and grading are done, I just have to calculate FINAL GRADES and turn in all the end-of-semester paperwork and then I’m free to read long books again!

    • It’s a surprise when you come across an unknown book by someone you think you’ve read all of. I wish it had been better. I hope you have some old SF and mysteries in your TBR stack to share with us, even if they aren’t long.

  4. macavityabc says:

    Just finished Max Allan Collins’ BETTER DEAD. Don’t know what’s next. Will have to look around.

  5. Reading TOMMY RED by Charlie Stella, BE FRANK WITH ME (Julia Clairborne Johnson) and some short stories by the guy who wrote the story for 45 Years. Gorgeous writer. David Constantine. IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.

  6. Is Sandford still writing of has this become a house name by now?

  7. Deb says:

    I have a copy of Roald Dahl’s KISS, KISS, that I found at a recent used book sale. It’s a collection of short stories, most of which I’ve read before (“The Landlady”, “Edward the Conqueror”, “Royal Jelly”). Macabre, without going into full horror territory. Although I plan to reread the stories, I bought the book mainly for the photograph on the back cover: Dahl and then-wife Patricia Neal, with a photo credit to Eli Wallach.

    • I got a doorstop thick collection of the Complete Stories by Dahl, but have only read the first two. The first story was “The Landlady”. I doubt I’ve read any of the stories, but the book is so huge it’s daunting to pick up and try to read. Now I’m wishing I’d bought a thinner collection, but I’ll get through this eventually, though it may take a year or two.

      • Todd Mason says:

        And “Royal Jelly” is Thoroughly into horror territory. KISS KISS is perhaps the key collection of Dahl’s career…he apparently was an utter bastard to Neal, alas.

  8. Todd Mason says:

    I’ve been rolling around in my not quite completely reunited library, digging back into the magazines, though still bouncing around with other activities enough to make simply sitting and reading less copious than I’d like.

    Hope you are coming along a bit faster, even if more slowly than you’d like (I know how that goes, too).

  9. Redhead says:

    I’m reading Armada by Ernest Cline, it’s not very good.

    luckily, on the book front, it’s been feeling a lot like Christmas at my house lately! 😉

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