Saturday, March 2, 2013

Who Is Reading What

Who Is Reading What

It seems as if I’ve spent the last two weeks doing nothing but driving. That of course isn’t entirely true but for various reasons I’ve had to make two or three round trips into downtown each day for the last fortnight, and while it has been interesting in some ways it has been mind-numbingly boring in others. I don’t have any witty advice (even of the half variety) wry observations, or heartfelt descriptions, sappy or otherwise, of what has occurred recently, at least that I care to recount right now. Maybe next time.

So...I thought I would just cut to the chase and ask a question: what book are you currently reading? I’ll go first. I am reading two books, actually. One is THE BOYFRIEND by Thomas Perry. It may be his best work so far. It concerns a private investigator in pursuit of a man who is killing high-priced escorts of a certain type, though never more than one in any specific city. The other is an extremely sure-footed debut novel by Becky Masterman and which is titled RAGE AGAINST THE DYING. It is narrated by its protagonist, a fifty-nine year old ex- FBI agent named Brigid Quinn. The book will go on sale on March 12; read the first sentence in the book and you will want to read the rest. That first sentence does everything it is supposed to do and more: it draws you in, makes you curious, scares the hell out of you and leads to even better things.

That’s me. My wife is reading ONE DAY AT A TIME by Danielle Steel and  listening to another Steel book. MISERY by Stephen King is being read in fits and starts by my younger daughter (how in heaven’s name do you read MISERY in fits and starts? I read it once a year on a day which I set aside for that express purpose). My older son, for his part, is juggling a couple of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport novels, as he works his way through the canon with the kind and occasional permission of my six year-old granddaughter, who in turn is reading an issue of Highlights for Children.

And you? And yours?

41 comments:

  1. Joe, have I told you lately that I'm your number one fan?

    Right now I'm re-reading Rebecca (hi, Kathryn). I love the movie (primarily for Joan Fontaine v. Judith Anderson, and because it's Hitch) and have a thriller idea in mind that has a Rebecca vibe. I think Daphne du Maurier was one of our best storytellers.

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    1. THanks, Jim. It's kind of you to tell me that. I wish some other people around here started to appreciate me more, because I have to tell you that I am SICK OF BEING TAKEN FOR GRANTED!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME, MR. MAN?!!!
      ...

      Gee, I'm sorry...I don't know what came over me..

      Good choice of books, Jim. I think Rebecca is sadly all too neglected. Thanks

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  2. I just finished Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior" and have just started Louise Erdriche's "The Round House". Next up: "My Detachment" by Tracy Kidder. So many books crowded in so little time! I love hearing what others are reading-- great topic.

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    1. You hit on a topic, Julie, that I was considering for a blog...that being so many books, so little time. Erdrich is always interesting; I need to read her more regularly.

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  3. For non fiction I am re-reading the second edition of "Revision and Self Editing" by James Scott Bell in preparation for a monster revision in front of me.

    For fiction I am reading White Horse by Alex Adams. She pitches it as "The Road with boobs" and it's pretty accurate (boobs meaning the main character is a woman).

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    1. Thank you for clarifying that, Elizabeth! After I finished cleaning up the coffee that I choked all over my keyboard I realized that White Horse, based on that pitch, was not about Kanye West's last world tour!BTW, if I were an editor, I'D buy a book based on that pitch!!!

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    2. And I can recommend White Horse hugely and whole-heartedly. My friend Alex hit it out of the park.

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    3. LOL Joe, yes I laughed the first time Alex pitched WHITE HORSE as that as well.

      And Terri, I am loving the book. So much. She really did hit it out of the park.

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  4. I'm re-reading through Louis L'Amour's Sakett novels, in order. I'm on "The Warriors Path", book number three. Amazing writer, amazing stories.

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    1. Dave, you're the man. I love westerns. When you get through that L'Amour catalog you might want to take a look at any of Michael Stotter's e-books or his Piccadilly Publishing imprint. Thanks!

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    2. I just finished the first four in that series myself. Loved them, the Sacketts were my heroes as a kid.

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  5. Just finished STRONG VENGEANCE by Jon Land and am now reading SHIVER by Karen Robards. Next up, THE OTHER WOMAN by hank Phillippi Ryan and THE BLACK BOX by Michael Connelly.

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    1. Now there's an organized man! Joe, generally the next book I read is the one I trip over when I get out of bed. Thanks for a great list. I've only read THE BLACK BOX; I'll have to check the others out.

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    2. I LOVED The Other Woman! Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the top of her game.

      My next read just happens to be The Blade by Joe Moore and Lynn Shoals, right after I finish And Then There Were Nuns by James Scott Bell.

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    3. Hi Victoria! We're all looking forward to reading your next book as well! Thanks!

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  6. I am alternating.

    First is the debut novel by my friend Jamie Mason, The Graves Full from S&S. A guy is uneasy because he has buried a body in his backyard. However, when he finally lets the gardeners in, they find two more bodies . . . not his.

    Next up is Shotgun Lullaby by Steve Ulfelder. This one drops in May. Steve gave me an autographed ARC for my birthday.

    Finally, something called The Blade by some guy Joe Moore.

    I took a day off and cheated with another book. I work in the basement of the courthouse. The jail keeps its stuff down there as well. On top of the jail bookcart was a Stephen King I had never read. I looked both ways and borrowed it. When I came back to work on Monday, I tucked it back in the cart. Full Dark, No Stars.

    Terri

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    1. Terri, I loved THREE GRAVES FULL. And any book titled SHOTGUN LULLABY has to be worth a look.

      Be careful of that Joe Moore guy. I hear that his books are addictive.

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    2. Nothing like mentioning your friend's book and getting the title wrong. Joe, thanks for the assist. #yeesh #morecoffee

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    3. Steve Ulfelder rules. His books are straight-up mystery/thriller with an awesome twist.

      Here is my review of the first book in the series, "Purgatory Chasm."

      http://readinrittinrhetoric.blogspot.com/2012/02/purgatory-chasm-by-steve-ulfelder-125.html

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    5. Terri, I knew what you title you meant. You got her name right and that's what counts. It's also helpful that google, amazon, et al. would answer, "Did you mean Three GRAVES Full?"

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  7. Great question! It's always fun to see what great works others have found. I'm definitely checking out The Graves - thanks for mentioning it, Terri Lynn Coop.

    I'm reading The Blade by Joe Moore and Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson. I'm also studying Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. I've got most of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series sitting here waiting for my attention, too, as well as Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane and I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson.

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    1. That's quite an eclectic list, Sonja. That Joe Moore guy and Jordan Dane lady will literally charm sock the socks off of you. You can't read just one from either of them. Elizabeth is one of my favorites as well. Thanks for your recommendations!

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  8. I'm reading Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. It's another compilation of 4 novellas. The theme in all: vengeance.

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    1. Just finished that one. I liked Big Driver and the last tale the best.

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    2. Great title, too. Thanks, Diane.

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  9. Condominium by John D. MacDonald. I bought it a year ago for research on a story I thought I'd write. Never wrote the story but enjoying the book so far, 50 pages into it. Hard to believe a group of old men battling a condo developer could pull me in and make me turn pages. Mr. MacDonald was one of the greats.

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    1. John MacDonald rocks, to this day. The Travis McGee books and CONDOMINIUM collectively document the modern development of Florida, for good or ill. Thanks!

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    2. You're welcome. MacDonalds Cape Fear, Drive hard Drive Fast and Condominium were interesting also in the using of at the time of writing topical existing trend changes in society as themes in the novels. The new superhighways, suburbs and shady land dealings in Florida

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  10. Elizabeth GenoveseMarch 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    I'm reading Jennie Gerherdt by Theodore Dreiser. I've been in classic mode lately--enjoying all the Kindle free stuff. I wish they'd make To Kill A Mockingbird available on Kindle. Hankering to read it again.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth, you bring up an interesting point, namely, how much is NOT available on Kindle. I assume at some point someone will rectify that problem.

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  11. Just finished these gems:
    Ghosts of Babylon' by R.A. Mathis for work (narration). For pleasure working my way through the Song of Fire & Ice series by George R.R. Martin. Also currently reading The First Wave, by James Benn and just put down To The Last Man by Jeff Shaara.

    My wife reads mostly Korean language books and is studying a book accupressure and accupuncture...and trying it out on herself and me.

    My sons though, the high school boy is reading just finished the Eragon series and is jumping into his first intro to Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises" while my youngest is having fun with his brother's former faves in the Artemis Fowl series.

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    1. That sounds like a fun list, Basil. I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin's early work, DYING OF THE LIGHT, "Sandkings," etc. And it's nice to see your son reading Hemingway. A lot of H.S. students don't even know who he is. Thanks.

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  12. Glad to see Thomas Perry has a new book out! Sleeping Dogs was amazing!

    JUST STARTED:
    My Share of the Task - General Stanley McChrystal
    Firebird - Anthony Bellaleigh
    Jet - Russell Blake

    ON-GOING:
    Life - Keith Richards

    JUST FINISHED:
    Adrift in the Sound - Kate Campbell [A SUPER READ]
    Between the Sheets -Kate Campbel and Thomas T. Thomas [Dialogue between writer and editor]
    Writing a Killer Thriller – Jodie Renner
    Resurrected: An Adam Wolf Thriller - Steve Trotter
    HEAVEN'S ON HOLD: An Adam Wolf Thriller - Steve Trotter
    Operator - David Vinjamuri

    ON DECK:
    Chances - Jackie Collins
    The Blade - Joe Moore
    Midnight Sun - Basil Sands
    Karl’s Last Flight - Basil Sands


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    1. Thanks, Jim, I wish I had my list plotted out like that. I've already commented on Joe Moore; watch out for that Sands fella, too.

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  13. I just finished:
    Alan Bradley's lastest Flavia DeLuce, Speaking from Among the Bones (great fun)
    The Empty Chair by Jeffrey Deaver
    The Breach and Ghost Country both by Patrick Lee. (I'm trying to save Lee's third Breach novel, Deep Sky, for our vacation in Hawaii, but that probably isn't going to happen.)

    I'm currently reading The Ice Limit by Preston and Child.

    In my queue are:
    Heartstone by C. J. Sansom
    Dick Francis' Gamble by Felix Francis
    Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
    V is for Vengence by Sue Grafton.

    I'm anxiously awaiting the March 5 release of What Darkness Brings by C. S. Harris, the next in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, and also waiting on the sixth in The Emperor's Edge series by Lindsay Buroker.

    Kathy

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    1. That's another ambitious list to the mix, Kathy. Don't know about you, but saving books for an occasion like a vacation never works for me. I wind up cheating. Can't handle that delayed gratification stuff. Thank you!

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  14. I just finished last night Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. It is science fiction and the latest book in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. My review is on Goodreads. I'll probably start a historical romance next. I like to vary the reads.

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    1. Nancy, thank you for the implicit encouragement to widen literary horizons. Bujold, for whatever it's worth, is from my hometown of Columbus.

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  15. Hardwired, by Walter John Williams. Never read it before, and it was time.

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  16. Jake, I just looked at HARDWIRED and it looks really cool. Thanks! You might want to check out an author named John Ringo, if you haven't already.

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