First Fragment

Welcome to the Friday Fragments, a new and possibly continuing feature on this site.

The Friday Fragments owes its existence to a question I was asked at Bubonicon 46 in 2014.  I was chatting with some folks at the Afternoon Tea when one lady asked: “Do you read?”

Ready to Read

Ready to Read

I expect I looked blank.   For a moment, I thought she might be asking me if I could read, but that didn’t make any sense.  Then I thought she might be asking if I was willing to continue or repeat the reading from Artemis Invaded I’d given on the previous Friday afternoon.

Then it sunk in that she’d really asked if I read.  Fumbling a little, I replied: “I do.  Voraciously.  Enthusiastically.  All the time.”

She nodded.  “I wondered.  Sometimes I have the impression that professional writers don’t have time to read or that they avoid reading, except for research, or that they avoid certain sorts of books when they’re writing.”

This took us off into a lively discussion. It also made me decide that it might be fun to share every week what I was reading.  This list is not to be taken as recommendations.  If you want recommendations, you can find a not-at-all-inclusive list on my website.

I plan to limit myself to listing the title and author of what I read the previous week, maybe with a few comments.  I’m going to include audiobooks, because there are times when the majority of my reading takes place in audio form.  (I listen to audiobooks when doing chores, crafts, and the like, so the more I’m doing these, the more I’m listening.)

 If I’m in the middle of a book, I’ll list that, since sometimes, especially with a very long novel, the reading may spread out over several weeks.  Unless I spend a lot of time on them, I’m going to skip magazines and short articles.

For the first few weeks, I’m going to include a few titles from previous weeks, just because.

Here goes!

Recently Completed:

Abadon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey.  This is the third of their (the author’s name is a pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franke) “Expanse” novels.   Keeps the close focus on characters that won me over to the series.  This one got dark enough that I couldn’t read it before bed, so it took me a while to finish.

Black Butler by Yana Toboso, issues 12 and 13.  I’ve been reading this manga for some weeks now.   I like it enough to keep reading.

Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh.  Audiobook.  Mystery by one of the classic greats.  This novel is one of the rare ones set in New Zealand.  (Another is Died in the Wool, which I listened to a few weeks ago.)

Scales of Justice by Ngaio Marsh.  Audiobook.

In Progress:

Aria of Omens by  Patrice Greenwood.  The third of her “Wisteria Tearoom” mysteries.  These are light, but not shallow.  The mysteries serve as a window into the complicated culture of contemporary Santa Fe, so “whydunnit” is as crucial than “who.”

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich.   Audiobook.  Snappy dialogue, excellently presented by reader Lorelei King made me decide to re-listen to some of these.  I listened to numbers nine, ten, and eleven a few weeks ago.

Within the Last Couple Months:

Mr. Lazarus and Other Stories by Paul Dellinger. This collection spans stories dating from January 1962 to February 2013. The stories are fun, often drawing on the author’s fondness for old westerns and movie serials.  His introduction, within which he comments from a very personal perspective on the evolution of short-form SF/F publishing over the past fifty years, is a gem.

Don’t forget to check out the Wednesday Wanderings and Thursday Tangents!

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7 Responses to “First Fragment”

  1. Alan Robson Says:

    Do I read? Of course I do — I always have. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading…

    For the last twenty years or so, I’ve been writing a regular column that discusses the books I’ve read during the month. Looking back on the colums, I’m astonished at not only the number of books that I’ve read but also the breadth of them.

    I call myself an SF fan and an SF reader and certainly it’s my first love. But I read voraciously outside the field as well, for fun, for intellectual stimulation, to relieve boredom, to tickle my brain…

    So what have I read recently?

    William Patterson’s Biography of Robert Heinlein (don’t bother with it, it’s rubbish). Stephen King’s new novel, “Mr Mercedes” — utterly wonderful, go and read it immediately. “Fashionable Nonsense” by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont which is a hilarious piss-take on post-modernist theory, Robert Galbraith’s new detective novel, “The Silkworm” — Galbraith is J. K. Rowling in a skin and he is proof, if proof were needed (which it isn’t) that J. K. Rowling is one hell of a good writer.

    Oh gosh, there are so many good books out there.


    -Alan

  2. Paul Dellinger Says:

    What a nice surprise ( in several ways). I hope this series continues. I’m another long-time and voracious reader so I love this idea.

  3. dnprice01 Says:

    Ha! This was a nice surprise this morning! I hope Friday Frgments stays around 🙂

  4. janelindskold Says:

    Thanks… I hope people will feel free to share their own recent readings. As we’ve discussed before, word of mouth is the best way to learn about great things to read — or what to avoid!

  5. Chris Says:

    DRAGON’S EYE by James A. Hetley (2013). In progress.

  6. Tori Says:

    Just finished: “The Blinding Knife” – second in Brent Weeks’s Lightbringer series, and I think it was even better than the first.

    Currently reading: “First Grave on the Right” – Darynda Jones’s first Charley Davidson novel.

    Both Brent Weeks and Darynda Jones are authors that I met and liked at Bubonicon, which is what inspired me to start reading their works!

  7. Peter Says:

    I’ve certainly heard a few writers say that they try to avoid reading anything in the same genre they’re currently working in, just to avoid cross-contamination.

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this series continue – already spotted a couple of titles that look interesting.

    Recently finished: Dead Things and Broken Souls, by Stephen Blackmoore (actually got turned onto these by a recommendation on Kevin Hearne’s blog). Modern fantasy noir – think James Ellroy if the viewpoint character were a necromancer. Also recently read – and loved – The Girl With All The Gifts, by M.R. Carey, which I can’t describe without getting into deep spoiler territory, but is wonderful.

    Currently (re)-reading: The King’s Blood by Daniel Abraham (the fourth in the series, The Widow’s House was just released, and I’m refreshing my memory). Solid secondary-world fantasy. Dark, but leavened with lighter moments.

    Next up in the queue once I finish The Widow’s House: probably Other Worlds, Better Lives, because Howard Waldrop.

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