October Ends, Forerunner Begins

The Friday Fragments feature lists of what I’ve read over the past week.  They are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive list, you can look on my website.

This is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a few opinions tossed in.

Usagi Contemplates the End of October

Usagi Contemplates the End of October

I’d love to hear what you’re reading!  It’s fun to book chat…

Recently Completed:

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny. Finished/will finish today – depending on when you check this list!  I’m sorry not to need to hold myself back…  I want more pages!

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix.  Audiobook. I liked this.  It’s very different from the “Old Kingdom” novels, but shows a similar enthusiasm for vivid characters in a well delineated universe – in this case SF, rather than Fantasy.

Coming Home by Jack McDevitt.  The latest Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath.  McDevitt does a good job juggling two separate but equal plotlines.  Many authors would feel a need to force one of the two to provide a solution to the other, but McDevitt doesn’t and, consequently, makes each seem that much more real.  McDevitt is also a master of the sequel that doesn’t require a new reader to read a long list of novels before getting to the most current one.  But I bet more than one reader will be going back to read the earlier works, either for the first time or over again.

In Progress:

Forerunner by Andre Norton.  Future archeology and cool characters.  This one would make a great anime.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones.  Charley Davidson is the Grim Reaper…  While these books share a lot of similarities with other paranormal romances, I find that the author’s attention to consequences keeps me interested in these.


I’ve now re-read several more of my short stories and written afterpieces for them: “Jeff’s Best Joke,” “Keep the Dog Hence,” “Beneath the Eye of the Hawk,” and others…

5 Responses to “October Ends, Forerunner Begins”

  1. Chad Merkley Says:

    I read Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” books. Fun to read, a little deeper and darker than I remember the original Percy Jackson books being, but still fun.

    And since I know there’s at least one archaeologist lurking on this site, I’ll mention a book in progress: Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton edited by Owsley and Jantz. “Kennewick Man” is a 9000 year old skeleton found eroding from the banks of the Columbia River in 1996–about 7 miles from where I was living at the time, and about 9 miles from where currently live. The book covers every aspect of the research done on the skeleton, and also includes discussion about the various lawsuits and countersuits that had to happen before the study was allowed to proceed. Mostly, I’ve been reading the beginning and end of every chapter (they’re structured like standard scientific journal articles, and the methodologies and raw data mean very little to me in most cases), but I’m finding it fascinating. The legal issues involved are also important and interesting.

    • Jim Says:

      There is at least one archaeologist lurking, and he has read a recent article on the subject and the book in SMITHSONIAN and is very interested in the book. I hope that you’ll post what you think about this book when you’re done with it. I would love to hear your opinion. I have been thinking about finding a copy of it myself. And just FYI, the details of research on skeletons are often way over my head as well. Fortunately, I have a colleague that I commute with who is a bioarchaeologist and can usually explain that stuff to me!

      • Chad Merkley Says:

        I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in American archaeology. It is extremely detailed, but with clear and concise conclusion and discussion sections. I found the information about the ecology of the Columbia Basin especially interesting (warmer, drier weather = higher tree-line = warmer, more silty rivers = no salmon! Historically, this region is highly dependent on salmon). I was also intrigued by the description of Kennewick Man’s history of injuries and his physical condition (he had a stone spearpoint stuck in his hip, with healed bone all around it and no sigh of chronic infection, and repetitive strain injury in his right shoulder from throwing things).

        I skipped the descriptions of each individual bone, and the processes used to get the C14 dates, and other methodological details. I did read the legal summaries, which have important implications about how NAGPRA is applied and enforced, for example.

        Mainly, I wanted to read this book because of the local connection. I’ve met the anthropologist who did the initial evaluation (I went to high school with his daughter, actually). I’ve been to the site many times. But I was really impressed with the entire publication. There are a few things that I might question (the ecology chapter called Glaucous-winged gulls the most abundant in the area–I’d ask a about California or Ring-billed gulls. Also, I don’t know that the hair-style and beard on the facial reconstruction actually help anything).

        I don’t know that I’d recommend purchasing this book. But it’s definitely worth getting a copy from the library, even if you have to pay an inter-library loan fee.

  2. Paul Says:

    I’m currently reading “Damned If You Don’t,” the latest Jesse Stone novel by Robert Brandman. It’s not Robert Parker but it’s not bad. It looks like some new author will be taking over the series with the next book.

  3. janelindskold Says:

    Appreciate the book chat… Never liked Jesse Stone as much as Parker.

    Chad, I agree that the second Percy Jackson series is a little deeper and darker — and I was glad. The same story again wouldn’t have held me. I haven’t read the last one yet. Am hoping to find on audio since my print reading shelf has at least three novels ahead of it.

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