And that’s a wrap for Short Story February. All told, including the few more stories I read in the last two days of the month, I read 74 stories during the month, which is pretty darn good, I think.
Certainly, my goal to read a lot of great short stories was accomplished. I finished two books, and I plan to keep reading some of the other collections until I finish them.
Thanks to everyone who read a short story, or some extra ones, over the month, for SSF. We’ll do it again next year!
Current Reading – Now back to novels, I’m reading Ian Rankin’s 9th Rebus novel, Let It Bleed. Rebus is a hard character to like, but the plot is growing increasingly interesting as I reach the halfway point. Summary of my opinion next time.
Barbara started Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Good-Bye but it came due and she had to return it to the library. While waiting for it to come around again, she read The Magnolia Story by JoAnna Gaines, The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Cammilleri, which is the fourth in the Inspector Mantalbano mysteries, and Make Me by Lee Child.
Now the Connelly book is back and she’ll be finishing it up this week. Next up is Black Lands by Belinda Bauer, suggested by the article in the current issue of Mystery Scene.
I loved reading short stories in February and I will be eager to do it again next year. I calculated that I read 58 short stories in February, give of take a few. I am currently reading Fear Itself, by Andrew Rosenheim, a historical mystery set in the years leading up to the US involvement in WWII. Also Over My Dead Body by Rex Stout, probably for the fifth time, since it is one of my favorites. Also the Blitz: The British Under Attack, by Juliet Gardiner (non-fiction). I don’t usually read multiple books at the same time.
I think 58 is great, good job. Sounds like you’re reading about the WWII period, which I also find o be interesting. Like you, I don’t usually read more than one book at a time, unless it’s a novel and a book of short stories.
Congrats on a successful month of short story reading!
As it will happen sometimes, life interfered with my reading this week. Nonetheless, I did read two books: Lester del Rey’s THE WORLD OF SCIENCE FICTION 9126-1976: THE HISTORY OF A SUBCULTURE and Robert B. Parker’s STONE COLD. The del Rey should have been titled “A HISTORY…” instead of “THE HISTORY…” A good read that tried to cover too much ground. The Parker was another Jesse Stone mystery; again, an interesting and fast read This time, Stone manages to sleep with a character from the Spenser series; other Stone books have him sleeping with Sunny Randall, the main character from Parker’s other PI series. Stone, like Spencer, is an irritating character and is somewhat redeemed by my mental picture of Tom Selleck as I read.
I also read two graphic novels this week. Todd Livingstone and Robert Tinell’s THE BLACK FOREST takes place during the first World War and pits cocky young air ace against werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster, Nosferatu, and an evil sorcerer in the haunted Black Forest of western Europe. The artwork by Neil Vokes is suitably dark. Brian Michael Bendis’ DAREDEVIL: GOLDEN AGE attempts to trace the history of the Kingpin, with mixed results.
Another fine day in paradise here, despite my failed attempts to thwart an incipient cold. Enjoy your week, Richard.
Hope all is well on your home front, Jerry. Take Patti’s advice, zinc. Plus I take Airborne when I feel a cold coming on.
Your reading is a mixed bag, sir. I’ll skip the GN involving werewolves etc. I’m so sick of such. I’ve read that Daredevil, like you I thought it was just okay. It’s snowing as I type this.
I am starting MY BEAUTIFUL WORLD by Sonia Sotomayor for my book group. Just finished THE ICE BENEATH HER FEET (Grebe) and SISTERLAND (SIttenfeld) and then read a short story by her in the New Yorker. Take zinc, Jerry. We held one off with it.
Nice, Patti, nice selection of books. How many are in your book group? Did you like SISTERLAND?
It was a mini-Mars week for me last week. I read ARABELLA OF MARS by David D. Levine and MARTIANS ABOARD by Carrie Vaughn. Both fun reads.
I expect we’ll see mention of those books on your blog… I haven’t read either of them.
I finished Susan Steiner’s mystery, MISSING, PRESUMED, about the search for a missing woman and the lives of her family, friends, and the police searching for her. I thought it was quite good–good enough to help me overcome my usual aversion to books written in the present tense.
Then I read Andrew Michael Hurley’s THE LONEY, a beautifully-written and melancholy novel about a devoutly-Catholic family in 1970s London who journey to a shrine in northern England to pray for a “cure” for their mentally-disabled son. The story gradually moves from coming-of-age to a rumination on the nature of God, faith, belief, evil (there are several very ominous happenings), and miracles. I will say an understanding of Catholic doctrine helps but is not necessary to appreciate this book.
Now I’m reading Michael Ferguson’s somewhat fractured biography of Warhol Superstar, Joe Dallesandro, which was one of the free Kindle downloads back in December. I love reading about Warhol and the Factory; but I don’t think I’d like to live that chaotic, drug-fueled life.
Deb, for some reason I always think of them, as well as Sid & Nancy of course, every time I pass the Chelsea Hotel.
Deb, I don’t do present tense books, they irritate me, and these days I try to avoid melancholy as well. At the time, I thought life at The Factory must be very cool, but from present vantage point, it sounds pretty unpleasant. I remember seeing one or two of his avant guard films when I was in college, and they were pretty chaotic.
I finished February with 97 stories read. I am continuing the collected stories of Saki (now 43% complete) and F Scott Fitzgerald. I reread what is certainly one of the latter’s most well-known stories yesterday, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.” I remember the PBS adaptation (it was 1976) with Shelley Duvall perfect in the title role.
I’m also reading David Sedaris’s essay collection, LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS (48% complete), which I’m enjoying. As mentioned, his stories about growing up and especially the interaction with his father, are always my favorites.
I read (library download) the second Slough House/Slow Horses book by Mick Herron, DEAD LIONS, about a backwater of MI5 where those who mess up are stashed. It’s a good series. Jackson Lamb, the annoying head of the place, reminds me somewhat of Andy Dalziel, if that’s a recommendation.
Currently re-reading another library book, this after a mention a couple of weeks ago by Bill Crider: Richard Bradford’s RED SKY AT MORNING. I read it originally after seeing and liking the 1971 film starring Richard Thomas, and so far I am really enjoying it again. I remember the plot quite well but not all the little details. In 1944, 17-year old Josh and his mother (Claire Bloom in the film) go off to New Mexico (from Mobile) when his father is off to the Navy. Check it out if you haven’t read it.
I haven’t read it, saw the mention on Bill’s blog and now with you adding to it, I’ll see if the library has it. I’m afraid the other things you read don’t tempt me, except the short stories.
I finished the Rebus last night, and I’m still not sure if I liked it. I got it from BookSwap, and have another, the sixth, coming.
I’ve read a couple of Rankin’s short story collections and the first few of his Rebus books. (Can’t remember how many without my database, but probably 4-5.) I’m very familiar with Edinburgh, one of my favorite cities, which usually adds to the enjoyment for me, but the books are long and dark and I need time between them. A few years ago I picked up about six more from BookSwap, so they are on my shelf for the next time the urge strikes to read another.
I’ve read all of Rankin’s Rebus books and have enjoyed them all. One of my favorite crime writers along with Michael Connelly, Peter Robinson and Philip Kerr who are actively writing.
Stories I read this month:
Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan-a novella from Tor. Com
From Crime and Music edited by Jim Fusilli
Blackbird by Peter Robinson
Unbalanced by Craig Robinson
Look at me by Reed Farrell Colema
From Complete Stories of JG Ballard
The Drowned Giant
Cage of Sand
The Singing Statue
Cloud Sculptors of of Cloud D
Voices of Time
The Garden of Time
Read 3 novels this week
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Priveval City by Elmore Leonard
The Leonard and theBallad stories are all rereads.
Well done, Steve. I’ve found Ballard to be uneven, as far as my liking his work, like some, not others. But then it’s been a long time since I read any of his stories.
I prefer early Ballard over his later work in both short stories and novels.
I agree with you there, Steve.
Richard, Ian Rankin is an author I must read someday soon. Right now my plate is piled high with other books.
I’m finishing up tomorrow X 4 now, a collection of 4 sf stories, including “The Roads must Roll”