Current Reading: Henning Mankill, more graphic novels

We’re both doing less reading, due to watching a lot of Olympics plus Barbara’s quilting and my current lack of enthusiasm (perhaps due to the fact that our weather has caught up to the rest of the country and it’s gotten quite hot here). I’m getting tired of a steady diet of graphic novels, and after this week will be slowing down some, but here’s what I read through in the past week:

Superman For Tomorrow volumes 1 and 2, Teen Titans – A Kid’s Game, Teen Titans – Beast Boys and Girls, X-Men – The Dark Phoenix Saga and Xtreme X-Men Volume 1. I found the Superman volumes a bit tedious, the Teen Titans fun and the X-Men, well, pretty boring. I used to like X-Men, but I guess I’ve lost the love. Of this lot, I’ll only keep Beast Boys and Girls. I’m clearing a lot of space, and that’s good. There are still stacks to go through, but I’ll need a break.

5th woman

I have an anthology I’m halfway through, an omnibus of James White SF novels I’m two-thirds into, a mystery novel I’m just starting. More on all that next time, probably.

Barbara is still working her way through Henning Mankill’s The Fifth Woman which she’s enjoying. She’ll finish it up in a few days, quilting and Olympics-watching permitting.

How about you?
What are you reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, current reading, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Current Reading: Henning Mankill, more graphic novels

  1. Deb says:

    A low-page-count week as we got the twins packed up for college and now wait on tender hooks to see if LSU will be changing its move-in schedule because of flooding. One of my daughter’s friends drove to Baton Rouge on Saturday and it took him five hours, rather than the standard (from here) 90 minutes. Anyway, I finished a couple more mid-century Elizabeth Cadell novels (my new favorite comfort reading)–one of which, THE GOLDEN COLLAR, was unusual for a romance novel in that it was told from the hero’s p-o-v and he’s the one torn between the rich fiancée and the poorer woman with whom he shares the same outlook on life. Guess which one he ends up with?

    I just started another book from my most recent Friends of the Library book sale haul, Sara Woods’s PROCEED TO JUDGEMENTS, an Antony Maitland novel from 1979 (although it starts in 1971). It’s about a woman and a family doctor on trial for murdering the woman’s husband by replacing his insulin with morphine. Diabetics beware!

    • Deb says:

      That should be PROCEED TO JUDGEMENT. Sorry.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      I keep forgetting to say, in my days of going around England and Scotland (and occasionally Wales) looking for old mystery novels, Cadell was an author whose books (both under that name and as Harriet Ainsworth) I would always pick up whenever I saw one. I never read one, but they always sold pretty well.

  2. I’ll be advising students during Fall Registration next week so Summer Vacation is over for me. I’m working on lectures and hand-outs. My stack of Big Fat Books gets moved back and the stack of slim novels and anthologies moves to the front.

  3. Still reading the Noah Hawley book. See it’s on my kindle which means the title doesn’t shout out whether is is AFTER THE FALL or something like that.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I must admit that for some reason we’ve had virtually no interest in these Olympics, haven’t watched a single event. In the past I can remember travelling through Europe and trying to keep up with what was going on – Montreal in 1976 is one I remember, being disappointed that Frank Shorter didn’t win a second gold in the marathon. Maybe it’s age. More likely the commercialization of so many events – the U.S. men’s basketball team bunking on a cruise ship is particularly egregious to me, and certainly hasn’t helped their performance, has it? Plus, NBC’s coverage (the little I’ve seen) has continued the pattern of recent Olympics – mostly taped events, showing half an hour of something you want to see, then taking a break for an hour or two, incessant annoying commercials.

    Now get off my damn lawn!

    OK, I’ll post this so the reading thing is separate.

    • Jeff we – especially me – enjoy the swimming, and some of the gymnastics, and we watched the road cycling, but that’s about it. I can skip track and field completely, and all they seem to show are the runners anyway. I hate that they save the popular stuff until 11 at night, and the amount of commercials is stunning. Literally.

      I read that the basketball team staying on the decommissioned cruise boat (it’s a small one) was for security reasons, they didn’t trust the precautions in the village and on the ship they can drink the water. And no, the full-of-themselves US basketball players are not dominating, for sure.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I agree with you. I like the swimming too, and I used to like the track & field events. Jackie usually watches the women’s gymnastics, but for some reason she hasn’t seemed at all interested this year. She is obsessed with politics lately, but we’ve also been watching Netflix most nights.

        By the way, I spoke too soon earlier. No sooner did I go to the library to return 5 books that I found 4 short story collections waiting for me: Charles Beaumont, Arthur C. Clarke, Barry Hannah, Michael Swanwick. We’ll see how many of them I get read.

        • “obsessed with politics” doesn’t sound good in the current climate. That’s one thing the Olympic Games is helping with, I guess. In this hot weather, we’re trying to make dinners that don’t require the oven, so lots of salads and fruit and cold cuts and such.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Deb: tenterhooks.
    Patti: BEFORE THE FALL.

    We were in D.C. last weekend, which cut down on reading time, though amazingly it was cooler and more pleasant there (even though it was 90 a couple of the days) than it has been since we returned. We’re at 95 with a “real feel” of 110. Yet, I know we’re fortunate compared to the people in Louisiana who have had 30+ inches of rain. That is Biblical.

    Also, it’s been a down period for short stories, largely because I don’t have many collections other than ones with long stories, so I’m reading one a day rather than several. Current reading: the crazy (in a positive, fun way) THE MYSTERIOUS SECRET OF THE VALUABLE TREASURE, the first collection by Jack Pendarvis. I did read CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER by William Hope Hodgson, about the “occult detective,” originally published in 1913. These are all atmosphere, from a time where police are only too willing to do the bidding of an amateur sleuth.

    Two more read since our return: P. J. Tracy’s THE SIXTH IDEA, bringing back Minneapolis cops Leo Rolseth & Gino Magozzi and the Monkeewrench people after a four year break, and Stewart O’Nan’s excellent CITY OF SECRETS. a very atmospheric thriller (of sorts) set in the Jerusalem of 1945-46, with Haganah, Irgun (under Begin), and the Stern Gang joining together against the British occupation. O’Nan really gives you the feel of the time and place, the weather, the situation, etc. I liked it.

    Up next: Bill Crider’s SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN.

    • My reading is also way down, I don’t don’t have much energy for it, which I’m realizing happens once or twice a year. I have four books with bookmarks in them, but I’m not making much progress on them. I thought I’d try an historical spy novel, A GAME OF LIES by Rebecca Cantrell, but quit it after 20 pages, it will go back to the library. lt wasn’t working for me.

      It’s due to reach or surpass 100 (I ignore that “feels like” stuff) here Friday, has been in 90s for a few days, will be 88 today. All that’s too damn hot (to quote the song) for me.

      I’m so far behind on short story reading, I’m considering one of those short story only periods, but there is much else to get through first. The O’Nan sounds good.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I read the first Rebecca Cantrell book, A TRACE OF SMOKE, and liked it well enough to try the second, but I could not get into that one and haven’t gone back since.

        I think you might like the O’Nan. I found the Jerusalem (a place I’ve never been) stuff fascinating – the Gates, the walls, the different sectors, the rest of it, especially knowing (well, guessing) that the finale would probably (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT) be the King David Hotel bombing (END WARNING). After all, it was set in 1945-46.

  6. Yes, I find I have to mix up different kinds of reading.

  7. Today’s WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that the ratings for the Olympics are down. NBC (and their advertisers) are disappointed. They blame the ratings slide on people watching events “on their devices” instead of watching TV. Ryan Lochte having a gun pressed against his head during a robbery doesn’t look good for Rio tourism.

    • I’m not convinced it’s the watching on devices. I got the NBC app for streaming, but it’s picture only, no announcing to say what is being shown. Ridiculous. Plus there are commercials in it and other streaming feeds. Rio has done a good job of making it all look pretty and clean, but the crime goes on, apparently. The Lockte thing is a smudge on their face. I think the main reason for the drop in ratings is the way the events are edited and presented.

  8. steve oerkfitz says:

    Reading the newest Earl Emerson right now called Two Miles of Darkness. Emerson is a very underrated writer and a favorite of mine. Up next since its a library book is Ace Atkins The Lost Ones. Just finished The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman. Still have a couple short stories in Michael Swanwicks collection Not Now Said the Cat. Next short story collection will be the new Jeffrey Ford.
    Haven’t watch any of the Olympics. The only sports I watch are the Detroit Tigers right now.

    • Good morning, Steve. My gosh, I have the first three Emerson paperbacks but after all these years haven’t read them. I think maybe YELLOW DOG PARTY was the first? I had no idea he was still writing, but I admit I haven’t been paying attention. I need to survey my shelves more.

      I’m not familiar with Fesperman. In non-Olympic years I watch men’s college basketball (mostly just the NCAA tournament) and pro football (Seahawks fan). I watch the swimming and some of the gymnastics during the Olympics, but that’s about done and I’ll not be staying up to midnight any more.

      • steve oerkfitz says:

        Yellow Dog Party is I believe the 6th. The Rainy City is the first. The one I’m reading now is the 14th in the Thomas Black series. He’s also written some fine books from the viewpoint of the Fire Dept.
        Fesperman has won the Crime writer assoc of Britains award for best first crime novel and the Dashiell Hammett award. I have only read 3 or 4 of his books but have liked them all. Especially liked Lie in the Dark and The Small Boat of Great Sorrows.

        • Jeff Meyerson says:

          I know I read Fesperman’s LIE IN THE DARK, but other than a vague memory that I liked it, I really have no recall of it at all 15 years later.

        • Thanks, Steve. I’ll have to see what’s on that shelf. I thought Yellow Dog Party was a fireman novel. I appreciate the info on Fesperman’s books.

  9. Jerry House says:

    Reading has also taken a back seat here, Richard, but so has the Olympics. It’s been toooo hot (or too wet) here on the Gulf Coast — although we didn’t get the flooding that Louisiana did. This morning, all five grandchildren started the school year, all with less anxiety than I thought would take place. Also we spent much of the week looking at houses with our eldest daughter (a bid was put on one today; we’ll see if that pans out).

    My FFB was Will F. Jenkins’ SON OF THE FLYING ‘Y’, a pretty good western. I also finished the new Stephen King, END OF WATCH, which capped off his Bill Hodges trilogy. All three books are good reads. For a change of pace, I picked up Mickey Spillane’s THE BODY LOVERS, a Mike Hammer novel. It wasn’t the best Hammer (for my money, the book has Mike grinning a bit too much and saying he’s going to do things his way a bit too much), but it was pretty good.

    I’ve also been reading a number of short stories from ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION during John W. Campbell’s early years (1937-1941). There’s a lot of great stories from the Thirties and Forties that I missed.

    Only two graphic novels this week: Geoff Johns’ GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN and Peter J. Tomisi’s GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS. The first covered fairly familiar territory and the second covered the first of what appears to be a longish arc and incorporated overly confusing fight scenes. Hmmm.

    Busy day. More busyness to come. Think I’ll take a nap.

    Stay cool, my friend.

    • Stay cool, yourself, Jerry. House hunting this time of year in your neck of the pines sounds like it would be a pain in the tush. Good luck with finding something that’s perfect. Barbara really liked those King books. I’ve read a couple of Hammer novels, and that was enough. I think I’ve read all of the ASF collections that are out there. Wish I still had my collection of them starting with Jan 1950 – Dec 1975. Where did they go? Long story.

      I’m getting through a lot of graphic novels, which is a good thing as they will be leaving, making room for other things, someday. If I were to pick a favorite green hero, it would be Green Hornet, I think.

      A nap sounds good. It’ll be 90 today, 100 Friday. Sheesh. Thank goodness we have central air.

  10. Jerry House says:

    Richard, an awful lot of ASFs from the 30s, 40s, and 50s are available online at Internet Archive.

  11. Cap'n Bob says:

    I just finished THAT DARKNESS, by Lisa Black. Highly recommended. The story concerns a Cleveland forensic lab worker and a vigilante cop. Lots of smart writing and starkly real characters.

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