Once again, my reading is all over the map. I have a couple of library books I’ve just gotten, including When Books Went To War, and I have a Rex Stout that hasn’t grabbed me yet, and another Heinlein juvenile, Rocket Ship Galileo that I’m sort of stumbling along in.
Thus, this week I have nothing to feature for you, faithful reader. I’m hopeful I’ll finish something, and like it, in the next week, and I’ll tell you about it when that happens.
Meanwhile, what are you reading?
Currently rereading The Best of R.A. Lafferty. Most of which I read in their original magazine/book appearances. And rereading an old Thomas Berger novel -Sneaky People. Just finished a book recommended by George Kelley-Bestsellers. I found it interesting but full of errors and bad editing. Books are synopsized than two pages later synopsized again.
I couldn’t read Rocket Ship Galileo. Seemed geared towards third and fourth graders. Too juvenile for me.
A lot of the Rafferty is humorous, which for me is okay in small doses. I have a Lafferty collection, Baen, I think, but it remains unread. I’m having that problem with the Heinlein, but figured since I’m reading a bunch of his juveniles I would read it, the first of them. He geared the later ones to a slightly older audience, I think. Lousy editing, or lack of editing at all, drives me nuts too.
I liked WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR. Very interesting.
I have been having a tough time reading lately too. Mostly short stories, as usual – in fact, the only book I finished was THE EDGE OF TOMORROW, a so so collection of SF stories by Howard Fast, Also reading AT HOME IN THE DARK, a new collection edited by Lawrence Block, of noirish stories, and James Grady’s CONDOR: THE SHORT TAKES (library book; the other two were mine). I’ve also started Dan Stout’s TITANSHADE, a sort of future SF/cop story set in an oil boomtown at a time where 8-tracks are the latest thing, and humans co-exist with other species. When one of those, a Squib (human-size amphibian) is murdered, Carter investigates. (It’s a library book.) I also have two or three other things going, including FAT MAN BLUES, a Tobby Dubonnet mystery by Tony Dunbar (on the Kindle).
I have, or had, Edge of Tomorrow, but remember nothing of it beside the title. Certainly not a classic. There seems to be no end to Block. Titanshade might be interesting, I’ll see if my library system has it.
Just the Kate Mulgrew book. I finished WHEN CRAWDADS SING and I did like it but don’t quite understand why people are so enthralled with it. A lot of the action was pretty unbelievable but the descriptions of nature were terrific.
Interesting, Patti. I’ve been wondering about that book.
Like Steve, I have a copy of THE BEST OF R. A. LAFFERTY but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. And, like Jeff, I have a copy of TITANSHADE that’s near the top of my READ REAL SOON stack of Library books. I just finished a 1,088-page Big Fat Book. I’m in the mood to read something light and fluffy now.
I’ll bet it the same one I have, but I haven’t checked. With a page count of over a thousand pages, I hope that book was good.
With my computer down for an extended time I was able to get a bit of reading done. From Hard Case Crime, I red Lawrence Block’s first mystery novel, SINNER MAN (originally published in 1960 as STRANGE LOVER by “Sheldon Lord” and then basically lost for over half a century), Erle Stanley Gardner’s “lost” A.A. Fair novel about Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, THE KNIFE SLIPPED (meant to be the second in the series but rejected; the series then took a different turn from what it could have if this book had been published), and Max Allan Collin’s QUARRY’s WAR, a Hard Case Crime Graphic novel about everybody’s favorite hitman.
I also read two more collections from Bill Willingham’s FABLES series of graphic novels and Ed Brubaker’s KILL OR BE KILLED, Volume One (about a killer who believes he must kill once a month or be damned by the devil) Also, two quick ones from Shaun Tan: CICADA, a juvenile art book, and THE SINGING BONES, a collection of fairy tale art along with extracts from the tales that inspired them. Tan is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s CAPTAIN MARVEL, VOLUME 2: STAY FLY was an enjoyable romp with a certain raccoon guest star.
J. D. Rhoades’ stand-alone BREAKING COVER was a fast-paced crime novel of revenge and was as good as all the other Rhoades’ books I have read. William F. Nolan’s SEVEN FOR SPACE collected four short stories and two novels (SPACE FOR HIRE and LOOK OUT FOR SPACE) about futuristic P.I. Sam Space — humorous riffs on P.I. tropes.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s SO FAR, SO GOOD: FINAL POEMS, 2014-2018 was just another reminder of how great a writer we lost last year.
Christopher Golden’s THE SHELL COLLECTOR was an effective horror novella about a New England fishing community. Elly Griffiths STRANGER DIARIES was a literary suspense mystery employing a ghost story within another possible ghost story. Lisa Morton and Leslie A. Klinger’s anthology GHOST STORIES collected a bunch of stories from the turn of the twentieth century, most of which were familiar to me and, most likely, anyone who has read a few collections from that time. Charlaine Harris’ SMALL KINGDOMS collects four stories from EQMM about a trained killer relocated as a North Carolina high school principal; the tales are readable but I found them to be a bit schizophrenic, teetering uncomfortably between the cozy and the hard-boiled.
Finally, an old non-fiction book from Lester del Rey, THE MYSTERIOUS SKY, a companion to his THE MYSTERIOUS SEA and THE MYSTERIOUS EARTH. For del Rey, “sky” indicates anything above ground level, so after a brief discussion of Earth’s atmosphere, del Rey ascends to cover astronomy and cosmology — all from a 1964 scientific view point. Despite being terribly dated, the book was entertaining, readable, and as factual as it could be considering when it was published. (On Mount TBR I have del Rey’s 1951 nonfiction book IT’S YOUR ATOMIC AGE!; it should be interesting to see how much we knew and thought we know about atomic energy back then.)
I’m currently reading one of Henry Kuttner’s Michael Gray mysteries. Up ahead are Megan Abbott’s QUEENPIN, and possibly a Shirley Jackson bio.
Stay happy and healthy, my friend.
Wow, Jerry, a lot of reading and a nice long comment. Thanks!
Again with Block, maybe I wish I liked his writing better? Nah. I wasn’t enamored with the one Cool and Lam I read, so I stick to the Mason books. Fables is great, isn’t it? The J. D. Rhodes, on the other hand, sounds like fun. The Griffiths sounds too contrived for me, thanks. I have QUEENPIN but have yet to read it.
I just finished another post-apocalyptic book last night, STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. Now I am reading OUT OF THE DEEP I CRY by Julia Spencer-Fleming. Only a few chapters in but I can tell I am going to enjoy it. Of course.
I liked STATION ELEVEN when I read it last year, though I wished it had a longer ending to wrap things up more.
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