Current Reading – Bryson, Horowitz, Goldman

Note: while Patti Abbott’s blog Pattinaise is on hiatus,
she may not be doing her Monday “Things That Are Making Me Happy” post.
Please f
eel free to make a comment here on whatever is making you happy.

If the author list looks familiar, it should. I’ve read these same authors recently, all of them as follow-ups to an earlier book.

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson – non-fiction, travel. This is a sequel to Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island, which I wrote about just last week. This one is, in a way, an update  of that earlier book, twenty years later. It doesn’t cover exactly the same ground (oops), but has a lot in common with the firs book. If you read and liked Notes, you may like this one too, though I confess for me it’s wasn’t as fresh or interesting.

Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz – YA spy fiction. Same thing here, I posted on the first book in the series just last week, and here is the second. Alex Rider is again sent to spy out a criminal who’s running a “corrective” school, this time in the Alps, and has many close calls before escaping with the information he needs to foil the plot. This was okay, but I’ll not continue with this series. There is better Horowitz to be read.

Broken Ice by Matt Goldman – mystery. This is the second in the author’s private detective Nils Shapiro series. This time, Nils Shapiro has been hired to find missing Linnea Engstrom, a teenager from the small northern hockey town of Warroad, Minnesota. Most of Warroad is in Minneapolis for the state high school hockey tournament, and Linnea never returned from a quarter-final game. Linnea’s friend Haley Housch is also missing—and soon found dead.

At the crime scene, while talking to police officers, Nils is shot through the shoulder with an arrow and starts to bleed out. Only the quick work of the medical examiner, who is on hand to examine the dead girl, saves Nil’s life. Where is the other missing girl, Linnea? She could be anywhere, but as Nils continues to search, it becomes obvious someone doesn’t want her found. I liked the first book (see my July 22 post) and I liked this one even better. Recommended.

How about you?
What have you been reading lately?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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18 Responses to Current Reading – Bryson, Horowitz, Goldman

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I guess I wasn’t aware of the Bryson book. May check that one out.

    This week reading was down and I’m having a tough time deciding what to read next. I did read Marcia Muller’s latest Sharon McCone, THE BREAKERS. It was as fast and easy a read as ever, but it was not one of her best IMHO. Completists (like me) will enjoy it, but she’s done better.

    UNWIND was mentioned last week, the first in Neal Shusterman’s five book YA dystopian series. I liked it and will be getting to the second one soon.

    I’m finishing up O. Henry’s 1910 collection, STRICTLY BUSINESS. I particularly enjoyed the amusing “A Ramble in Aphasia” this week. Up next will be the final Ed Hoch/Dr. Sam Hawthorne collection from Crippen & Landru, CHALLENGE THE IMPOSSIBLE. The library website has been done all weekend, so I can’t download the waiting collection by Mary Robinette Kowal, WORD PUPPETS, or TEN YEAR STRETCH, the new collection edited by Martin Edwards.

    George Kelley recommended a couple of books by David Hambling. I decided to try him, so got THE DULWICH HORROR OF 1927 because it was a cheap novella. I hope George’s choices are better, because this one goes nowhere with me.

    I usually give a book a chance, 50 pages being traditional, but in recent years have quit books much farther along if they aren’t getting the job done. I got through 24% of Deon Meyer’s post-Apocalypse FEVER, but unlike other similar themed books, where most of the world’s population has been wiped out, this one did not have a single character in it that I cared about in the least, so I returned it. He made the mistake, in my opinion, of having the narrator be a middle aged man narrating as his 13 year old self (if that is clear), and he could not make the end of the world any less interesting if he did it on purpose. Skip it. Reread THE STAND instead.

    • Thankfully I’m not having the “what to read next” problem, but not every book I started got finished. GATE CRASHERS, an SF novel by Patrick S. Tomlinson I gave up on after less than 30 pages, as the author’s constant attempts at inserting humor (his day job is stand up comic) were too cutesy and irritating. We won’t tell George, but I find less than a third of his reviewed books to be of sufficient interest to try.

      I haven’t tried Kowal yet, when (if) I do it will be with her SF novel ANCILLARY JUSTICE.

  2. Jerry House says:

    Rick, there’s not much for me to report on this week. Most of the time was spend slowly going through Leslie S. Klinger’s THE NEW ANNOTATED FRANKENSTEIN. I know you are not one for annotated books, but I found this one fascinating. A lot of historical, geographical, and literary information about things referenced in the novel, as well as details about both Shelleys and about various critical interpretations about the book.

    Jack Snow’s fantasy/horror collection DARK MUSIC ND OTHER SPECTRAL TALES (my FFB this week) was a book I had been wanting to read for years. Despite some early (and imitative) stories I thought it was a fine collection.

    P. Craig Russell used Neil Gaiman’s own words to adapt/script AMERICAN GODS: SHADOW, the first volume of graphic novels covering Gaiman’s book. Volume 2 was recently published and I hope to get hold of it soon. I am a Gaiman freak.

    I’m currently reading Joseph Koenig’s FALSE NEGATIVE, a Hard Case Crime novel. Coming up is Chandler’s ANNOTATED BIG SLEEP.

    Enjoy your week.

  3. Jeff, I think I read somewhere that Bill Pronzini has “retired” from writing. I’m almost caught up on Library books, which is a Good Thing because AMAZON sent me a bunch of new books. At the top of this stack is Sarah J. Maas’ CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER.

    Hitting .333 in the Majors would get me to the Hall of Fame!

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    Reading EDUCATED by Tara Westover, about her upbringing without education or much else. Phil is reading the new Paul Tremblay book CABIN AT AT THE END OF THE WORLD. I just reread GIVE ME YOUR HAND. I read it a year ago and wanted to read it in book form.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The Brooklyn Public Library website (plus, from what the librarian told me this morning, Manhattan too) has been down for two days now and I am surprised to recognize how much I use it and depend on it. I can’t download the two ebooks that have come in from my hold list, I can’t check the catalog or books on hold or new authors, or anything!

    I hope they get it fixed soon. Good thing I have WIkipedia and Amazon.

  6. tracybham says:

    I finished THE LIMBO LINE by Victor Canning. Loved it, like I have with all his books so far.
    After that, I read another Hercule Poirot novel by Christie, DEATH ON THE NILE, primarily because I wanted to watch the movie (from 1978) …
    Then THE COLD COLD GROUND by Adrian McKinty. Set in Northern Ireland in 1981, during the Troubles (and the Thatcher years). Educational for me.

    Last night I finished A COLD DAY FOR MURDER (1992) by Dan Stabenow. I liked that one a lot more than I thought I would. I have had the book for 12 years.

    I will have to try Matt Goldman. Sounds interesting.

    • I have one Canning here, unread. I read that Stabenow many years ago and don’t remember much of it, but I know I gave up on the series. Barbara read GONE TO DUST and liked it enough to put a library hold on this one, BROKEN ICE.

  7. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Read some pretty good books lately-Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne :a Philip Marlowe Novel. The Sinners by Ace Atkins, the 7th in his Ranger series and I have loved them all. The new Olen Steinhauer The Middleman. Right now I am finishing up The Kings of London by William Shaw. Next up Last Looks by Howard Gould, a first novel and the new David Joy. Interested in the new Max Allan Collins non fiction book about Al Capone but its a doorstop and I think I’ll pass for now.
    Glad you liked Broken Ice, I have liked both his novels. He reminds me of G.M. Ford or Earl Emerson.

    • It always amazes me the amount of books you read, Steve! That would be a month or more for me. Well, there are fast readers and slow readers. I’m afraid I’d have a real problem with a Marlowe story or novel by anyone but the master himself. I’m ready for the next in the Nils Shapiro series, if and when it arrives.

      • Steve Oerkfitz says:

        I don’t read very fast. 30 or 40 pages an hour depending on the book. I just have a lot of time. Living in a apartment doesn’t give me a lot to do other than read or watch movies/tv programs.

  8. davidhambling says:

    So sorry you didn’t like The Dulwich Horror of 1927 – I would be interested to know why, are you an HPL fan?

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