Here we are in a new year, and I do hope it will be a better one than the last.
In reading, I finished up 2016 with the (oft mentioned recently) MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part V: Christmas Adventures. If you enjoy Holmes patiches, those set in the original time and place, with the feel of the one written by Conan Doyle himself, you couldn’t go far wrong with these MX anthologies. I also read Lucky Bastard, an autobiography by sports announcer Joe Buck.
I started 2017 by re-reading Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous. Not as good as I remembered from my youth. Also, I’m still dipping into the collection Jo Gar by Roul Whitefield.
Barbara has finished Those We Left Behind Stuart Neville, a stand alone novel. She said the book was well written, but the subject matter was tough, with children both victims and perps. The outcome was predictable. She might read another by Neville, but she’s not in a hurry to do so.
She has begun reading The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaître. It’s a stand-alone by the author of the Murder Squad books that she’s been enjoying very much.
So how about you?
What have you been reading?
I dislike Joe Buck and wouldn’t read his book.
I read THE TOURIST (library download) by Olen Steinhauer, the first in his trilogy about CIA spy Milo Weaver. I liked it enough to plan on reading the others (don’t know when). I wouldn’t normally read two spy novels in succession, but Mick Herron’s SLOW HORSES came through from the library e-verse as well. This is the first in his series about Jackson Lamb and his disgraced (for one reason or another) spies housed in “Slough House” in London. I’d definitely recommend it. There are a couple more plus a novella to read. Lastly (#150) was the P. D. James collection you recommended last time, THE MISTLETOE MURDER & Other Stories, a short fast read with four stories, two about Adam Dalgleish. I found her later novels too long but these were perfect.
I got the ebook of John Scalzi’s collection of very short stories, MINIATURES, as a download and I’m reading that, as well as Ray Garton’s horror collection that was one of those free downloads a couple of weeks ago, METHODS OF MADNESS.
Yesterday I read my last library download (there is one more on hold), QUARRY IN THE BLACK by Max Allan Collins. This one takes place in 1972, with the hitman hired to kill a black minister. It’s a nasty little tale but, as always, worth reading.
Not sure which of the library pile I will read next. Two weeks from now we will be on the road to Florida.
Looks like you’re starting off with a busy reading year, both physical and ebooks. Taking only ebooks to Fla will cut down on the ones unread. I want to read that new Scalzi, but I haven’t asked for a hold yet.
The library here doesn’t list Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi as on hand or on order, in any format, which surprises me a lot. Pfui.
I am a big fan of Steinhauer and have read all his novels. Neville;s first 3 or 4 books are pretty good. Have not read his last 2. Lately I have read One or the Other by John McFeteridge, Dead On the Bones: Pulp On Fire by Joe Lansdale, Night’s Master by Tanith Lee and dipping into the newest Jonathan Strahan anthology Bridging Inifinity. Just started Incensed by Ed Lin. It is a sequel to Ghost Month which I liked a lot.
I have Bridging Infinity but haven’t cracked it yet. I’m hoping to read more short stories this year!
I bought the ebook for $5.99.
Probably because its from a small press. Pretty cheap on Kindle.
Still reading TONY AND SUSAN, which is very so-so for me to finish. But I am going to. Phil is reading a dual biography of Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, which he says is good. He liked BRIGHTON by Michael Harvey a lot.
I’m interested in reading Brighton too.
Brighton is pretty good. Read it last summer.
Now that the Holidays are over and my Retirement has begin it’s time to dive into some Big Fat Books. With the weather projected to be very cold next weekend, I see a lot of reading time ahead! January traditionally is our coldest month…and the month I usually get a lot of books read!
Sometimes I wonder at your obsession with big fat books. All book sizes are good. You have plenty of time for them all, George.
I’ve given it more thought and decided I am happy with 150 books read. I’m not in a competition.
Nope, or at least certainly not with me.
I did a rough count of books I read in 2016 and came up with an astonishing 308! Perhaps not that astonishing; there were some pretty quick reads in there — short books, juveniles, some graphic novels, etc, still it added up to a lot of reading. I also counted several omnibuses as one book each, rather than list the individual volumes they contained, which is why it was a rough count
I finished Roald Dahl’s COLLECTED STORIES and it knocked my socks off. It also made me want to try some of his juveniles. With the exception of THE GREMLINS — his very first published book — I had never sampled that side of him. I picked up a fistful of them at the library: THE MAGIC FINGER, THE GIRAFFE AND THE PELLY AND ME, GEORGE’S MARVELOUS MEDICINE, THE VICAR OF NIBBLESWICKE, and REVOLTING RHYMES. All very short and all inventive and wondrous and deliciously malevolent. There will be more of Dahl’s juveniles in my not too distant future.
I also finished ESSENTIAL DAREDEVIL, VOLUME 4, which collected 27 issues of the comic book from the early 70s. Great stuff, but, I fear, much greater to my early 1970s self than to my 2016 self. Other GNs read were Frank Miller’s SIN CITY: THE HARD GOODBYE, and Gerry conway’s THE TOMB OF DRACULA, VOLUME 1.
My FFB this week was ERB’s THE MUCKER, a great pulpish read. I read Robert B. Parker’s BAD BUSINESS (basically Spencer v. Wall Street and we know who’s going to win), Lee Child’s GoneTomorrow (basically Reacher v. terrorists and we now who’s going to win), and Warren Ellis’ new novel NORMAL, a possibly futuristic, absurdist, locked room mystery.
I’m currently reading a book of short essays by Ray Bradbury, BRADBURY SPEAKS: TOO SOON FROM THE CAVE,TOO FAR FROM THE STARS. Sometimes simplistic, sometimes repetitive, always entertaining. Teetering at the top of Mount TBR are a couple of Mickey Spillanes, the new/old Bertha Cool/Donald Lam from Erle Stanley Gardner/A. A. Fair, Blake Crouch’s new book, John Connolly’s BAD MEN, and a pile of Asimov anthologies. And, as always, there is bound to be something bright and shiny coming along that will make me drop all of the above.
The new year has started off with a couple whomping loud storms. My daughter and her family had planned to go camping over the weekend but cancelled because of the rain, freeing Kitty and me from pet-sitting duty. Huzzah!
Have a great week, Richard.
Love Dahl’s adult stories. Have never read his juveniles. Am also a fan of John Connollys. Have always found Spillane unreadable.
Jerry, you do a ton of reading, and your stats show it, easily more than twice what I read, and I don’t read as many thick books as you. I’ll probably read more short stories this year.
I love that cover for Captain’s Courageous. I actually read this last year and was fairly disappointed in it.
Over the past week, I finished several books:
ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage: I highly recommend this complex and layered novel about the events leading up to and away from the murder of a young wife and mother.
THE PORTRAIT OF MRS. CHARBUQUE by Jeffrey Ford: I felt a little misled by the blurb that described this book as an amalgam of Henry James and Raymond Chandler. Perhaps with hype like that, the book was destined to disappoint. It’s about a society artist in 1890s New York who accepts a commission to paint the portrait of a woman he can talk to but is not permitted to see. Although there are some good descriptive passages of art and the creative process, I found the book a bit of a mish-mash–and Ford, a college professor of literature, should know better than to refer to Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY as THE PORTRAIT OF DORIAN GRAY.
A KIND OF INTIMACY by Jenn Ashworth was my first completed book in 2017 and is highly recommended. Narrated by a woman who is an unreliable narrator to end unreliable narrators, the book starts out almost as a comedy of manners as the woman moves to a new home and seems to misinterpret the social courtesies of her neighbors. But gradually the tension tightens and a sense of foreboding rises as we learn the women is capable of extreme violence.
I also did a reread of one of the best and bleakest noirs, BLACK WINGS HAS MY ANGEL by Elliot Chaze. An ex-con thinks he’s figured out the perfect armored-truck heist. The enigmatic prostitute he picks up at a fleabag hotel may have other ideas.
Right now I’m reading SILENT VOICES, another Vera Stanhope mystery by Ann Cleeves. I like these solid police procedural, but I haven’t read them in order, but I don’t think that has had a negative impact.
I wonder if reading the books after seeing the television adaptations will have an effect.
Try Jeffrey Ford’s short stories, Deb.
I’m trying to finish all of the Vera Stanhope books before I watch the adaptations. Although I imagine that the situation is similar to the Midsomer Murders adaptations: a few early ones were adaptations of the original novels, but subsequent episodes just used the characters and developed their own storylines.
The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, and Hidden Depths – the first three books – were the first three adaptations (though shown in reverse order from the books) in Series 1 (out of 4 shows). Book 4, – Silent Voices – was in Series 2. And Harbour Street (as On Harbour Street), book 6, was in Series 4. The other two books either weren’t done or had a name change. I haven’t read any as yet.
I think you’re right that the rest of the stories are originals using the series characters,
Deb, love your reading, and the way you laid the books out this time. I wish I read faster.
It’s not obsession, it’s timing with Big Fat Books. I could only read them during vacations. When I was working, I read thin books and short story collections. So I was always looking forward to Summer Vacation or Winter Break or Spring Break so I could dive into the 500+ page books stacked up around my home. Now, I can read them anytime!
Does longer books mean less reviews? But then you’re such as fast reader, maybe not. It would for me.
I’m reading Babylon’s Ashes, the new Expanse book by James S.A. Corey, Baseball (the companion book to the TV documentary) by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, and The Complete Terry and the Pirates Vol. 3, and listening to Master and Commander, the first book in Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey series. Next up: Will Murray’s King Kong vs. Tarzan.
You sure zipped through the Expanse books if you’re up to the new one already! I read and liked MASTER AND COMMANDER, but didn’t go on in that series.
It usually takes me two days to read a Big, Fat Book. Most short story collections and anthologies and normal-sized novels can be read in a day.
By you, a Very Fast Reader (VFR), but not for me. Those thick books take a lot longer, even a 200 page paperback takes me a few days.
I’ve got a bunch of books waiting at the library to be picked up probably on Monday – then the reading frenzy begins. In the meantime, I’ve just finished THE MONUMENTS MEN by Robert Edsel and wrote about it on my FFB post. Been reading more of Patricia Wentworth’s vintage Miss Silver mysteries since they are available free to read online and why not? I’m debating beginning CHURCHILL by Roy Jenkins since that would interfere with my library reading – non-fiction taking longer for me to read than fiction. But we’ll see. I’m also waiting for some more vintage stuff ordered through Abe Books so an embarrassment of riches is headed my way.
Speaking of Kipling, I’ve decided to read KIM this year as my first Kipling book.