Current Reading: Czerneda, Stout, Lori Rader-Day

C43riderssI finished Riders Of The Storm, the second Clan Chronicles book (second in the first trilogy) by Julie Czerneda. It was a lot slower than the first book, and at the mid-point I even considered giving it up, but with a book and a half invested, I kept on, and the last part of the book rewarded me with more action and introduced characters and plot elements that carry the book straight into the third book, which will be on the way from the library soon.

black horWhile I’m waiting, I’m reading Curtains For Three by Rex Stout, which contains three novellas, the first of which is Gun With Wings. I’m about halfway through that now.

Barbara finished  The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day, and liked it a lot. She liked the characters, and though she thought she could see where the story was going the author fooled her each time. The book won an Edgar for first best novel. Barbara plans on reading the author’s second book, Pretty Little Things, which won a Simon & Schuster Award. 

How about you?
What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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29 Responses to Current Reading: Czerneda, Stout, Lori Rader-Day

  1. Julie Czerneda’s books are stacked up in a corner here. When you were wavering on finishing the RIDERS OF THE STORM, Czerneda was going to be demoted to the READ LATER stack. But, now that you’re heading toward reading the third book in the series, Czerneda might get read here in July. I finished the 544 page THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS by Neil Gaiman. On to more Big Fat Books!

    • George, I’m looking forward to the next Czerneda book. I know this trilogy was written after the next one, and so must dovetail into it, and that the next one has some of the characters I now know in very different (off planet) circumstances, so I have some idea of where it’s headed. The fourth book, (2nd trilogy book 1) is the one that got a lot of praise initially when she started writing the Clans books. So I’ll probably go on to that eventually, but not right away as I have too much else on the reading plate.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Once I actually got going reading, it was a good week. First was Adrian McKinty’s latest Insp. Sean Duffy book, RAIN DOGS, set in Belfast in 1987. It involves a seemingly locked room-type murder or suicide, as well as the sexual abuse scandal involving Jimmy Savile and others that was not fully revealed until after Saville’s death 25+ years later. Next was the second of Linda Castillo’s Amish mysteries set in northeast Ohio, PRAY FOR SILENCE. In a way this is as dark as the serial killer murders of the first book, as Kate Burkholder must investigate the deaths of an entire Amish family of seven, down to an infant, and the torture and sexual abuse of the two teenage daughters. Let’s just say, if I were Amish and living in Painters Mill, I’d move!

    Next was Patricia Abbott’s long-awaited second novel, the excellent SHOT IN DETROIT, about photographer Violet Hart. I hope Patti gets the success she so richly deserves. Very good book.

    I finished this yesterday so decided to start a downloaded library book, Castillo’s BREAKING SILENCE, and raced through it by evening. It is, despite the murders, not as dark as the first two in the series, and it was obviously a very fast read for me.

    I’m about 3/4 of the way through MONTALBANO’S FIRST CASE, Andrea Camilleri’s 530 page short story (and novella) collection about Insp. Salvo Montalbano. This is great stuff. Lastly, I’m reading WendyWelch’s memoir, THE LITTLE BOOKSTORE OF BIG STONE GAP.

    I haven’t decided what to read next, probably a downloaded mystery.

    • Jeff, the Duffy book sounds too rough for me, as does the Amish one. I’m getting soft in my dotage, I guess. I haven’t got Patti’s book yet, but am looking forward to it. I sure liked the last one. I agree that I hope she gets recognition for her weighting!

      As you know, I loved MONTALBANO’S FIRST CASE, and I’m not at all surprised you like it, as it was you who first recommended Camilleri to me. I have the second or third on the way from the library, I think.

      I look forward to you opinion on the Welch bio.

  3. Deb says:

    I’m reading Greg Bear’s vintage sf novel, BLOOD MUSIC, first published in 1985. (I don’t know about anyone else, but the idea that something published in 1985 qualifies as vintage makes me feel very old.) The book is about what happens when a scientist injects himself with a virus that has developed independent intelligence–and the consequences as the virus mutates and discovers it can spread through plumbing and water systems. In one way, I can almost see this book as bring prescient about the AIDS crisis, which was just emerging into the cultural consciousness in 1985, but there’s also an ANDROMEDA STRAIN quality to it, as scientists around the world race against time to try to figure out how to stop the virus. There are also several references to the World Trade Center which now seem very poignant.

    • I admit a weakness for SF with a pandemic plot. I like seeing how the author handles the changes resulting from a mass change in the population and infrastructure, and the race to find a cure. I read the Bear in 1987 but don’t remember thinking it was anything special. That just may have been my mindset or mood at the time, as my life was in somewhat of an upheaval. (in 1988 I moved, bought a condo and established peace in my life). I really liked ANDROMEDA STRAIN and have reread it a couple of times. I agree with you, mid-Eighties feels much more recent to me than “vintage”, which I define as Fifties or maybe Sixties.

      • Redhead says:

        Bear’s BLOOD MUSIC is fantastic! I read it a few years ago and really liked it, and I recently read his excellent DARWIN’S RADIO. You mentioned that you felt BLOOD MUSIC was prescient about the AIDS crisis, DARWIN’S RADIO was published in the 80s and if I hadn’t checked the pub date I’d have guessed it was a novel written in response to the Zika Virus scare.

  4. Jerry House says:

    Richard, I’m getting close to the end of my reading of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. This week I read WRATH OF ANGELS, which pits Charlie against the serial killer known as The Collector in the search for a downed airplane in the Maine woods. A mob boss is among those also interested in the plane so it’s a race to see who gets there first. The supernatural factor in this one is strong. Like the rest of the series, this one moves along at a fast clip. Parker has run into The Collector several times in the past and I also read “The Reflecting Eye,” a book-length novella written nearly a decade before in which Parker first encounters The Collector. Great stuff but more your wife’s cup of tea than yours.

    I also fInished Matt Ruff’s LOVECRAFT COUNTY, a tale of two African-American families in 1954 who encounter a Lovecraftian cult, along with assorted monsters. The book is told from various points of view and the central characters are strong, intelligent, and oppressed. (Think Walter Mosley with a woo-woo factor, then squint, and you have an idea of the book.) A well-written book with characters you can cheer for.

    I also finished three anthologies this week. Amabel Williams-Ellis and Mably Owen’s OUT OF THIS WORLD 1 was the first in the series of ten anthologies from Britain. This initial outing had stories taken mainly NEW WORLDS magazine from the Fifties. NOW & BEYOND is a paperback with no editor listed and contained stories from the Columbia group of science fiction magazines. The magazines (again from the Fifties) were edited by R. A. W. Lowndes, but this book was one of more than half a dozen edited by Ivan Howard for Belmont Books. (All but two of these books listed Howard as the editor; I don’t know why his name was dropped for those two.) Columbia was a low-paying market and this anthology reflects that. The stories range from passable to just being good. Rosalind M. Greenberg, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh edited 14 VICIOUS VALENTINES, a collection of –you guessed it — fourteen crime stories with a Valentine’s Day theme. Some solid stories here, but nothing outstanding.

    I also read three graphic novels. Rick Remender’s UNCANNY AVENGERS, VOLUME 4: AVENGE THE EARTH and VOLUME 5: AXIS PRELUDE continue the series I read a couple of weeks ago. Grant Morrison’s SUPERMAN: ACTION COMICS: SUPERMAN AND THE MEN OF STEEL updates and reboots the title character. The Avengers series finally began to gel somewhat but the dark palette used made differentiating the characters difficult. The Superman was fun but nothing special.

    Our house is now in a state of temporary chaos after being expanded to five people, two dogs, two cats, and a snake. One of the cats has taken to hiding behind the water heater; he had previously hidden under a bed but the snake is now using that spot as a temporary home. My daughter had never seen Game of Thrones, so she’s starting to catch up from Season One — which means we had to wait until she was out of the room to watch last night’s season finale. ( I think that counts as a first world problem.)

    Have a great week.

    • Jerry, there’s a new Charlie Parker novel coming out this September, I believe. Just in time for you. I’ll have to tell Barbara about “The Reflecting Eye,” to see if she’s read it.

      I’ll skip LOVECRAFT COUNTY, as I did my Lovecraft phase about 50 years ago and am done with it. Seems you and others have enjoyed this book, though. I think I’ll also skip the anthologies of stories from NEW WORLDS magazine, which, as you say, was a low-paying market and – as you also say – the anthology reflects that.

      I guess I’ll have to pull out some of my graphic novels (I have a bookshelf full of ’em) and reread a few, just so I can have something with which to answer your reading.

      Good luck handling that chaos. Chaos isn’t my friend, so I might have been the one hiding behind that water heater. No, wait, I wouldn’t fit there. It promises to be in the mid to high 80s all week, touching 90 or slightly above on Thursday and Friday. We hates it. Still, except for the neighbor from hell next door, it’s superior to southern California from whence we came.

      Find peace, be well.

  5. Someone dumped their Greg Bear collection at our local Salvation Army Thrift store. I picked up 10 Greg Bear books I didn’t own. Now…to find time to read them. And, like Jerry, I really enjoyed LOVECRAFT COUNTRY. My review will be up on my blog in a couple of weeks (I work ahead).

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      OK, George, you guys sold me. I went on the library website and they had a copy of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY on the shelf in my local branch. But since they also had the ebook edition, why wait? I downloaded a copy to the Kindle.

      • There’s a twist in that logic that baffles me. If it’s on the shelf at the local branch, all you have to do is check it out and take it home to read. So where’s the wait?

        • Jeff Meyerson says:

          It was 9 am. I wasn’t even dressed. The library doesn’t open until 10 and I’d have to drive there.

          That’s as logical as I get in the morning. Also, I like having a library book on the Kindle so I can take it when we go out in case I need something to read.

  6. Thanks, Jeff. I am so happy you liked it,
    I am reading CITIZENS OF LONDON for my book group. About the men who came together to help London win the war. Also still reading BLACK MOUNTAIN by Stout. It may have been the wrong choice for me Maybe have to grab another one.

  7. I’m really liking those SF covers

  8. That is one of my absolutely favourite Stout books by the way, it’s the one that really trend me on to the Nero Wolfe series in fact

  9. Richard, I have read lots of Rex Stout novels but none of the novels and that’s something I’m hoping to correct this year.

  10. Redhead says:

    So happy to hear you’re enjoying the Czerneda! yes, her novels typically take a little bit to get into them, but if you’re continuing in the series you must have enjoyed the first book pretty well!

    after bouncing around on books last week (probably after getting burned finishing a book I really didn’t care for), I tested out a handful of books and then devoured SPELLS OF BLOOD AND KIN by Claire Humphrey, which is sort of lite UF with a lot of witchy mythology and not-quite-human creatures. it was my kind of UF and really good. I liked it so much I started it on Saturday and finished it Monday night! Then I picked up WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO by Joanna Russ, which is about survivors of a spaceship crash. it’s written in a conversational, almost sarcastic voice. feels a little bit like if the main character from Marie Brennan’s DRAGON books landed in Kurt Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.

  11. I saw your 5 books, 50 pages post, which was very good. I got the 3rd Czerneda from the library Monday, but must finish the Rex Stout before I can start it. Combination of Lady Trent and Vonnegut? Whoa.

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