On the teetering book pile


It’s my habit to read several things concurrently, depending on input
stream.. audio book, e-books on the Palm, the old fashioned bound kind. This is what is currently on the pile:

I’m currently reading Jack McDevitt’s POLARIS (his latest, but not
best, novel). Jack tends to write “space archeology/mystery” stories,
and ALL of them (except MOONFALL) are good, addictive, reads. His
best is A TALENT FOR WAR (about debunking a ‘hero of the galazy’ myth
through detective work… excellent.. and POLARIS is set in the same
setting). (bound, h/c)

I’m also reading McSWEENEY’S ENCHANGED CHAMER OF ASTONISHING STORIES
(short stories, Ed. Michael Chabon). I picked it because of the
editor, Michael Chabon, who wrote THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND KLAY.
Hit or miss, but some great stories so far– I like Joyce Carol Oates
a lot, and she wrote the first story in the collection. (bound, trade)

Also, LOST IN A GOOD BOOK by Jasper Fforde. This is vol. 2 in the
“Thursday Next” series.. a very odd little group of books about a
literary detective that can actually insert herself in book plots to
prevent history from changing. Quirky and excellent. (bound, trade)

If you like horror/mystery/historical fiction:

I have these in from the library: THE NARROWS by Michael Connelly
(starring one of my favorite hard-case detectives, Harry Bosch…
Bosch novels are like literary crack for me). THE VIRTUES OF WAR by
Stephen Pressfield (whose Thermoplyae novel GATES OF FIRE is being
made into a movie right now). VoW is about the tutelage of Alexander
the Great.

I just re-upped at the Science Fiction Book Club, and received:

Rincewind the Wizzard (the first four books of the Discworld series, I
have only read the first one)
Gods in Darkness (the Karl Wagner short story collection)
the Crown of Conan (the new Robert Howard Conan anthology)
the Second SFBC Barsoom collection (books 4-6 I think)
Fevre Dream, a book about Riverboats and vampires by George Martin.

I also ordered another book (the h/c vol. 1 of League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen)
, but they didn’t have it. I’ll have to select another book,
which will probably be the FIRST volume in their Barsoom anthology…
I have all of them already in paperback, but these are so handy,
especially when I’m working on Barsoomia.

Oh… and I have a bunch of Robert E. Howard, Dashiel Hammett and
Clark Ashton Smith short stories loaded on my PDA in e-book format, as
well as the much longer DEED OF PAKSANARION trilogy by Elizabeth Moon.
The latter is quite enjoyable so far!

I’m listening to THE SAGA OF THE SEVEN SUNS by Kevin J. Anderson in
the truck. It’s mid-level space opera, not great, but nicely detailed
and enjoyable. Nothing that will garner him a nebula award. He’s not
a great, or even consistently good writer, but he really hit the mark
this time.


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