Current Reading: Czerski, Doyle, Vaughn, Lafferty, Mankell

I put requests in for books at the library, and they all seem to become available in bunches.  The first was Storm In A Teacup, by Helen Czerski, which I learned about from George Kelley’s blog. It’s non-fiction, about physics in every day life, and I found it interesting and skimmed through it with pleasure.

Next was Martin Marten by Brian Doyle, a coming of age story about two characters, a young Pine Marten and a fourteen year-old boy, both living in the forest below Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Local setting and author. Well written.

Then Carrie Vaughn’s Martians Abroad, a science fiction story of a girl from Mars who is sent by her mother to attend Earth’s Galileo Academy, a highly prestigious school prep school for young adults who are going on to careers in business or space. Polly wants to be a starship captain but she needs the classwork. Being from Mars, when almost all of the other students are “Earthers” causes problems, but she and her brother Charles manage. I enjoyed the book a lot and am hoping for a sequel.

Now I’m reading Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty, a science fiction novel that’s also a murder mystery. Automatic systems awaken clones of the six-person crew of the Dormire where they find the original crew floating, dead, in null gravity. How is obvious, but why and by whom is a mystery. It’s a locked room mystery on a ship which has somehow veered off course with potentially disastrous results. Good so far.

Barbara finished Night School by Lee Child, and is now reading The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell. It’s the 12th (and last, due to his death) in the Wallander series.

She’s reading the series in order, but has skipped over The Grave the 11th book, as it has yet to be translated.

So how about you?
What have you been reading?

note: replies to your comments will be delayed due to the usual weekday reason.

About Rick Robinson

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

30 Responses to Current Reading: Czerski, Doyle, Vaughn, Lafferty, Mankell

  1. tracybham says:

    Six Wakes sounds good, I like science fiction or fantasy mixed with mystery. I look forward to hearing how you liked it overall. I am reading Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block. I read some of those books when I was younger and don’t know if I read this one before, but I am enjoying it.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Finished Ask For Me Tomorrow by Margaret Millar which I enjoyed a lot although the end seemed a bit rushed. Also reread Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Holds up very well for it’s age. Just finished Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr. The 12th of his Bernie Gunther books. Not a clinker in the bunch.
    I liked Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty and am glad you are enjoying it.
    Not sure what I will read next. I have plenty to choose from.Probably Children of Time by Adam Tchaikovsky which won the Arthur C. Clarke award a couple of years ago.I usually like the Clarke winners.

    • I think I was in high school when I read Day of the Triffids, and liked it a lot. I’m glad to hear it holds up. I’ve seen the film a couple of times, but it’s not as good as the book. I’m unfamiliar with Children of Time, and will be glad to read your opinion of it.

  3. Deb says:

    I read Kate Thompson’s THIN AIR, one of the free downloads from Amazon last December. It’s about the impact of a young woman’s disappearance on her family who run a farm and train horses in Ireland. The book has beautiful descriptions of the rural Irish landscape and interweaves stories of pre-Christian Gaelic myths and legends with the ways each family member chooses to express their grief. Be forewarned (mild spoiler) this is not a book about what happened to the missing girl, but how the family deals with her disappearance. The mystery remains a mystery, and for some readers that may diminish their interest in the book.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I like the sound of the two space titles and put both on my list. I now have 9 books and 5 ebooks on hold (though one book – MARTIANS ABROAD – is on both lists).

    Hope your treatments are not taking too much out of you.

    I put aside the Saki & Fitzgerald collections to read Joe R. Lansdale’s excellent new collection, HAP AND LEONARD: BLOOD AND LEMONADE. While some of the stories are reprints, a number are published here for the first time. Great stuff from a master.

    I finally had a decent week of reading, as our belated Spring finally seems to be kicking in. I liked (but didn’t love) Ragnar Jonasson’s SNOWBLIND, first in his Ari Thor series to be translated and published here. He’s the young Icelandic cop who comes across murder in his first job, in the far north of Iceland close to the Arctic Circle.

    I read a slight but amusing book by Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel, and Adam Mansbach, FOR THIS WE LEFT EGYPT?: A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them. Also the short PULP FICTION by Robert Turner, after reading a review on James Reasoner’s blog. This was published the year I was born, 1948, and man, have things changed since then. It was a heyday for the pulps and his advice may well have been helpful to aspiring writers.

    The latest Insp. Sean Duffy book by Adrian McKinty, POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY, is as good as ever, and really gains momentum as you get close to the finish. There are definite hints that the series is coming to an end soon. This one is set in 1988 Belfast, by the way.

    Currently reading a book Deb and others have recommended, the Australian first novel THE DRY, by Janes Harpur. So far, so good.

    • Keep in mind Martians Abroad is YA. Feels like a Heinlein juvenile in many ways. I hope for a sequel, though I see nothing hinting at one on the author’s website. I’ll skip the McKinty books, as good as you make them sound, I had my fill of “the troubles” in Rankin’s Mortal Causes. Everyone seems to like The Dry.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        It sounded like YA – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        I read 1/3 of THE DRY this morning. I like it so far.

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    Bad Intentions by Karen Fossum after a dozen false starts. Still not a great Fossum though. Phil is also in a reading slump. Read the short story in the NEW YORKER and it could have been any short story in the New Yorker.

  6. Jerry House says:

    I finished Lawrence Bloch’s Edward Hopper anthology. Very enjoyable. Then I went on to the very thin JACK REACHER’S RULES by Lee Child. This was basically an assemblage of extracts/quotes from various books in the series and neither adds to nor takes away from the series. I read two by Robert B. Parker this week: SPLIT IMAGE, the last Jesse Stone novel Parker wrote and my FFB this week, and SPARE CHANGE, the last Sunny Randall he wrote (although Sunny had a major part in the Jesse Stone book). Both series have been continued by other writers; I’ll probably get to those soon.

    I also read four graphic novels. BATMAN DETECTIVE STORIES, VOL. 1: RISE OF THE BATMEN, in which Batman assembles assembles a squad (Red Robin, Spoiler, The Orphan, and Clayface) as a new generation of Gotham’s heroes; CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON, VOL.3: CIVIL WAR II, in which Sam, formerly the Falcon and now the new Captain America, goes through an angst-y time when the original Captain America returns;DOCTOR STRANGE: VOL. 1: THE WAY OF THE WEIRD has Strange facing a force that has been eliminating magic throughout the dimensions; and Joss Whedon’s ASTONISHING X-MEN, VOL. 1: GIFTED, in which a cure has been discovered for the mutant gene. All four were okay, but incomplete, with the plot to continue in the next volumes.

    Cutting into my reading time was our ongoing Hercule Poirot marathon on Netflix. Kitty and I watched ten or so of the movies. Part of the fun was finding actors who later appeared on other BBC fare. We finished last night with CURTAIN, the somewhat flawed final case for Poirot, and will watch MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS today to cleanse our palate.

    It’s been a bit of a crazy week: fierce storms, heavy rains, alternating with blue skies and tornado warnings…ah, #floridaliving. Hope all is going well for you this week, Richard.

    • Deb says:

      Jerry–we do that whenever we watch “Midsommer Murders”–and since there’s over 100 episodes, there are lots of British actors who show up on various other episodes and other shows. So we play “spot the actor”. Almost every actor who shows up on a Poirot or Miss Marple shows up on Midsommer or other British mystery show.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        Deb, we just started Series 1, Episode 1 of MIDSOMER over the weekend. (We’d seen the odd episode over the years.) I wouldn’t want to be driving on one of those roads with Troy at the wheel!

      • Jerry House says:

        Deb, I’m beginning to believe that Edward Fox. Toby Jones, and Indira Varma have appeared on every British television show ever made.

    • How do you watch a Netflix marathon? We get a DVD, watch it, send it back, get another one in a couple of days, watch that when we get around to it, etc. Slow process.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        Streaming. We find it a lot better than sending the discs back and forth. And if you get the urge to watch a different show or a movie, you can.

        When we did it your way, we’d watch the three or four episodes on the disc, send it back, and wait for the next one. But sometimes there would be something on “regular” TV we needed to watch in between.

  7. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Hell while reading the Urban Fantasy series Sandman Slim. I just wrote up a post for this week’s FFB “Small Town Sheriff” theme. The sequel to THE THREE MUSKETEERS just arrived. It’s nearly a 1000 pages. Glad you enjoyed MARTIANS ABROAD. Carl recommended it on his blog and it reminded me of Heinlein’s juvenile SF novels. Loved them as a kid!

  8. Redhead says:

    Happy to hear you’re enjoying SIX WAKES. I’d read some mixed reviews of it, but now I’m interested in picking it up.

    I finished Stina Leight’s COLD IRON yesterday, and started reading GODS AND PAWNS by Kage Baker. I’ve also got Kim Stanley Robinson’s THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT sitting here wanting to be read.

    • What a shame Kage Baker is gone, I loved many of her books. I’m wishy-washy on Robinson, I like some of his books, others bore me to tears.

    • Deb says:

      I loved THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT, with its intriguing premise and amazing execution. It was the first Robinson I’d read. But every other book by him that I’ve tried to read since I’ve had to give up on. Perhaps TYORAS just hit all the right buttons for me.

      • Steve Oerkfitz says:

        I didn’t read Years of Rice & Salt but I liked the Mars Trilogy, Aurora and NY 2140 and his earlier short fiction. Didn’t care much for 2312.

    • Ah, so you did finish COLD IRON. Good.

  9. I’m reading a book recommended by Lee Child right now but it’s a bit slow, if well written. Shadow Man

  10. Glad you enjoyed the Carrie Vaughan book, I did too. I’m also hoping for a sequel as I really liked these characters.

    Mur Lafferty is a author Neil Gaiman has talked favorably about but I have yet to read her fiction.

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