Current Reading: Thanksgiving week

reading-turkeyI don’t know about you, but for me the week of Thanksgiving is either a great time to do some reading, or there doesn’t seem to be time to do any at all. This year it was the latter, and the best I managed for the entire week was a handful of short stories.

There was plenty of housework, cooking, football watching and all the usual Thanksgiving activities, but I rarely found myself with a book in my hand.

Barbara did better. She had finished Gone and Lost Forever last time and was waiting for Henning Mankell’s One Step Behind, which came from the library. She’s about a quarter way in right now, and – of course – enjoying it.

What about you?
What are you reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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26 Responses to Current Reading: Thanksgiving week

  1. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Read both The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry and Coffin Road by Peter May. Liked both but probably the McMurtry better than the May. Right now reading Redemption Flats by Andrew Hunt and enjoying it a lot. Next up Brazen by Loren Estleman and Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson if they get delivered in time. Both supposedly in the mail. Have a couple from the library Rule 34 by Charles Stross, The Fall Guy by James Lasdun and Stettin Station by David Downing.

  2. Jerry House says:

    The holiday and the comings and goings meant this was a graphic novel kind of week for me, Richard. I read nineteen (!) of those suckers, including a number of the ones you had sent me (again, thanks). In no particular order: five from Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch series (CHANGE OR DIE, LIGHTNING STRIKES, FORCE OF NATURE, FINAL ORBIT, and A FINER WORLD, two from Tony Daniel’s The Tenth series (“ABUSE OF HUMANITY” and THE BLACK EMBRACE), Harlan Ellison’s PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES (my FFB this week), Brian Augustyn’s GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT: A TALE OF THE BATMAN, Dennis O’Neil’s BATMAN: THE COMIC ADAPTATION (from the Michael Keaton film), Warren Ellis’ PLANETARY: ALL OVER THE WORLD AND OTHER STORIES, HAWKMAN (a collection of the Gardner Fox/Joe Kubert stories from the early Sixties), TEEN TITANS: BEAST BOYS & GIRLS, X-MEN: THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA, SPIDER-MAN: THE ORIGINAL COMIC ADAPTATION (from the first Toby O’Brien film), Chuck Dixon’s WAY OF THE RAT, VOLUME ONE: THE WALLS OF ZHUMAR,, J. Michael Straczynski’s SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, WITCHBLADE: ORIGINS, and Frank Miller’s SIN CITY: THE HARD GOODBYE. Maybe I’m not discriminating enough or maybe it was my pie-induced coma this week, but I enjoyed every one of those books on one level or another. Most memorable were the Stormwatch, Planetary, and X-Men books with their strong storylines, GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT with its Jack the Ripper Easter eggs, and Frank Miller’s gritty, punch-in-the-gut SIN CITY tale.

    i also read one ‘book” book: the Asimov, Waugh, and Greenberg anthology ISAAC ASIMOV’S WONDERFUL WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION #10: INVASIONS.

    Coming up will be a return to the real world of reading with both a Spenser and a Reacher waiting, as well as another early James Herbert novel and (most likely) a few more Asimov anthologies. And there are a few more graphic novels and collections at hand — I’m hearing the siren call of a couple of Prince Valiant collections and one by Chris Ware as I type these words.

    The great thing about books at this time of year is that they can be a great alternative to facing crowded stores and mindless shopping.

    Enjoy your week, my friend.

    • I face crowded stores and mindless shopping by staying home and sticking my nose in a book (figuratively), though today we will start winterizing the garden by bringing in the hoses, blowing out the sprinklers, moving pots and planters into sheltered spots, etc. I’m footballed out, and have stopped watching the news except for local weather, so there will be no television watching, which means more reading. Glad you enjoyed those graphic novels.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yes, we were busy with Thanksgiving/birthday things but I did read. A WIDOW’S STORY: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates took up a lot of the week, as it wasn’t a fast read and there was only so much of it I could read at a sitting. Basically, after her husband of 47 years died suddenly after a short bout with pneumonia followed by a secondary infection picked up at the hospital, she fell apart. Friends may have thought she’d be writing a book but she was basically curled up, not sleeping, freaking out, as so many “real” people would under the same circumstances. While not a fun read by any means, it was quite good and I’m glad I read it.

    Another slow read for me was the latest Crippen & Landru Lost Classics title, THE PURPLE FLAME and Other Detective Stories by Frederick Irving Anderson. This grew on me as I went along, though mostly I read only one story per day. Most were written in the 1920s and 1930s and set in New York, and most featured Deputy Police Commissioner Parr and his amateur friend and occasional helper Oliver Armiston. I expected a typical tale of the period, with the cops calling in the gifted amateur and deferring humbly to their genius, but this was nothing like that, more like a police tale with Parr and his assistants taking most of the action. I have the newly arrived MOTIVES FOR MURDER, a Crippen & Landru collection edited by Martin Edwards as a Detection Club collection in honor of Peter Lovesey’s 80th birthday coming up next, as well as a Joe Lansdale library collection I’ve downloaded.

    Last was (library download, as was the Oates) the latest Max Freeman mystery by Jonathon King, DON’T LOSE HER. Diane Manchester, the eight-months-pregnant Federal judge and wife of Max’s best friend Billy Manchester, is kidnapped off the streets of West Palm Beach on her lunch hour, presuming because of the Colombian drug lord she had in her court. But there is no trace and no ransom. I must admit I was disappointed after the superior earlier books in the series, as the chapters from the points of view of the victim and one of the kidnappers took away too much from Max’s investigation. The book did pick up in the last third, but I’d recommend the early books in the series.

    Also have a George Kelley recommendation started, ANATOMY OF A SONG, plus SEINFELDIA waiting.

    • One of our very good friend’s husband went into the hospital with pneumonia yesterday, so that line in your comment hit hard. I don’t think I’ll tell Barbara. I’d heard the Oates book was very sad. I finished ANATOMY OF A SONG in a day, and must admit I’d not heard or heard of some of the newer songs. I’d classify it as a very light book.

  4. I did quite a bit of reading over Thanksgiving break myself. Finished three books. Love having time to get into some reading.

  5. macavityabc says:

    Just finished IN CALABRIA, an ARC of a new novella by Peter Beagle. I loved it, and I’ll review it on my blog closer to the pub date in February.

  6. I finished correcting and grading 100 research papers (for the LAST TIME!). Final Exams loom in a couple of weeks and then I’m headed for Retirement. My last Official Day of work is December 30. Stacks of books accumulate as I finish up my 40-year teaching career.

  7. tracybham says:

    I finished up Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves, read Murder Goes Mumming by Alisa Craig (Charlotte MacLeod) and the graphic novel, RED, which was very short. Currently reading Inner City Blues by Paula L. Wood.

    I will have to check out all those graphic novels that Jerry read. The only one of those I have read is Warren Ellis’ PLANETARY.

  8. Deb says:

    I finished all of my library books last week and, despite shelves full of unread books that I own, went on an ordering binge from my library list. So far, I have ROBOT UPRISINGS, short stories edited by Daniel Wilson and John Joseph Adams; SOUL AT THE WHITE HEAT (highly recommended by George), essays by Joyce Carol Oates; ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR, a murder-mystery about a college professor in a rapidly-regentrifying area, by Elizabeth Brundage; and a volume of fantasy and horror short stories (edited by Datlow and Windling) which I checked out primarily for Don Tumasonis’s “The Prospect Cards” (highly recommended on The Little Professor blog).

    • I do that library order thing too, especially after a new issue of Mystery Scene comes out (like now). I just got a book form the library today that I discovered, when looking at it, that I had already read a couple of years ago. Good grief! Interesting stuff you have there. I need to read more blogs.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        For me it is George Easter’s Deadly Pleasures that gives me the biggest list of titles to look for. That ROBOT book looks interesting, Deb, but I have too many other things. Let us know if you recommend it.

        Lately my library has been getting more and more ebooks and I’ve had more of them on the Kindle the last couple of weeks (3-4) than actual library books (currently 2), not necessarily by choice as much as by what was available at the time. Currently reading two on the Kindle (Joe Lansdale collection and the first Vinyl Detective book) and one hardback (ANATOMY OF A SONG, which I’m really enjoying).

        • I took Deadly Pleasures for years, but let it go (along with Mystery News, CADS and some other things) as I had little time to read them or respond by buying, or at least reading, the many books reviewed therein.

  9. Sorry you didn’t get more reading done. I was in the same boat. I did some reading, but not as much as I thought I would. Was a wonderful four day weekend, however.

    I’m currently reading (or re-reading, I think for the third or fourth time), Cordwainer Smith’s excellent collection of shorts, Space Lords. Whenever I go back to him I am impressed with the way that he tells stories, as well as the stories he tells.

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