So many books -- 06/08/11

I have so many books to read...

Some bloggers list books that they have read recently, sometimes with a little review for each one. At the start of each month I get a vague thought that I should write about the books I read during the previous month, but I never seem to find time to do it. Too busy reading, I guess...

Well, first let's look at what I am actually reading...

  • Sarah Vowell -- The Wordy Shipmates -- Sort of a history of the Puritan settlers in New England. Interesting. Funny. Sarcastic. I'm in the middle of it. I would be finished by now if not for all the other books at hand...
  • Mira Grant -- Deadline -- Book 2 in her Newsflesh trilogy -- Suppose a deadly new virus (an accidental mix of an engineered virus that cures the common cold and another engineered virus that cures cancer) makes zombies, just like in The Living Dead movies. Now jump forward a couple of decades to a brother and sister team of blogging journalists... I read the first book in the trilogy -- Feed -- on my kindle and immediately had to check online and discovered book 2 was being published in a few days (pub date was May 31st) so I ordered it and am about 3/4 of the way through. This also means I have found a new writer I like. Mira Grant is a pen name forSeanan McGuire, author of several urban fantasy novels. I started this book on Sunday and I find that it is absorbing most of my reading time this week.
  • Naomi Kritzer -- Gift of the Winter King and Other Stories -- A collection of short stories by fantasy novelist Kritzer (Freedom's Gate, Freedom's Apprentice, Freedom's Sister, Fires of the Faithful, Turning the Storm). Some writers have taken to putting their out-of-print novels out as ebooks. Kritzer made an ebook out of various short stories she had written over the years. I like having a collection of short stories available on my kindle. I'm not sitting down and trying to read through the book in one session; I'm picking out one story at a time to read when I have just enough free time to read through and enjoy one story.
  • Christian Cantrell -- Containment -- This is another novel I have on my kindle. It is a science fiction novel about human settlement on Venus. I find the science parts are meticulously designed and engineered (Cantrell is an application developer and project manager with Adobe) but I haven't been as strongly gripped by the story and the characters and Deadline has been stealing time that I would otherwise be spending on Containment. I'm sure I will get back to it once I finish Deadline.
I had also been reading (on my kindle) How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud by Ken Fisher and Lara Hoffman. Fisher is a gazillionaire businessman and stock market analyst (and the son of a very successful businessman and stock market analyst) and this is one of his several best-selling books. It has some interesting stuff but is not all that well-written (I wanted to scream when he used the phrase "casting dispersions" when he meant "casting aspersions" -- where are the copyeditors?) and much of it is repetitive. I have a weakness for puns, so I could excuse the first time he punned on the name of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff by saying that some swindler "Madoff" with a victim's money -- but he kept using that line again and again. I stopped reading it several days ago and don't think I am likely to return to finish it.

Yesterday Amazon delivered Mark Terry's The Valley of Shadows, the latest (#4) novel in his Derek Stillwater series. I had read the third (The Fallen) -- and recently got the first two in kindle editions. I've now read the first (The Devil's Pitchfork) and have yet to get to the second (The Serpent's Kiss). So now there is The Valley of Shadows, sitting right on top of a stack of books here in my den/office, just waiting to be read... but first I have to read The Serpent's Kiss. And books keep leaping from Amazon's servers to my kindle. It is too easy to buy books that way. (Yesterday John Scalzi made me download a copy of You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop.Yes. He did. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And around July 5th, Amazon will be sending me Diana Rowland's My Life as a White Trash Zombie. (And in January they will send me her Sins of the Demon, the 4th in her Demon series.)

And a week after I get Diana's zombie book, I will be receiving George R.R. Martin's long (long long) awaited A Dance with Dragons (the 5th book in his Song of Ice and Fire series... yes, the marvelous Game of Thrones on HBO is based on the 1st book in that series).

Oh, have I mentioned magazines? I subscribe to Consumer Reports, Analog, Reason, Forbes, New England Runner, Running Times, Runner's World, and Men's Health. Oh, and also T+D (Training + Development magazine from ASTD -- American Society for Training & Development). I dropped all of the computer magazines I used to get -- just look them up online if I want to read something they've written.

Oh, and then there's the daily newspaper (Providence Journal) and the local weekly (South County Independent). And to answer Kate & Jim's question raised by a recent photograph here -- yes, that was our morning paper in the driveway. It is usually in a clear plastic bag, but that day it was in a blue-tinted bag. It's not always there... sometimes it is on the lawn and often it is underneath Jeremy's Honda Civic (which is fun in rain or snow when I have to kneel on the ground to look underneath his very low car) and in winter it is sometimes on the other side of the driveway snow piles. I assume the question was asked because you guys have a newspaper box next to your mail box. Nope. No such thing here. The papers are delivered by being tossed out the window of a car zig-zagging down the street. Our local weekly does get put in the mailbox, but that is because they pay the post office to deliver it.

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