FF: Old Friends, New Year

Mei-Ling: Exhausted From Chasing The Moving Finger

We drove to the Phoenix, Arizona, area over the Christmas holiday, so a bit more fiction time.

The Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

And I really enjoy hearing about what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

The Making of The African Queen or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall, and Huston and almost lost my mind by Katharine Hepburn.  Extremely chatty, reads as if it was narrated rather than written, with numerous asides.    I wish this was available as an audiobook with the same reader who read Me.  As Hepburn might say “Great fun!”

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers, Audiobook.  This is an old favorite of mine, especially as read by Ian Carmichael, but Jim didn’t know it, so it was our audiobook on the drive.  Magnificent in many ways, and as it starts during the winter holidays, perfect.

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  A dear friend gave me a copy of this old favorite, and I couldn’t resist re-listening!

In Progress:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I’ve been reading more than a few stories a day.  We’ve finished Polynesia, Australia and are now into Sub-Saharan Africa.  (The book is arranged roughly geographically, which is rather fascinating.)

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Having finished off the Roman Empire, Durant has swirled back to focus on other prominent civilizations of the time.  We did the Persian Empire, and are now looking at the rise of Islam within the context of Arab culture.


A few more issues of Grimjack. Holding up pretty well, but more episodic than I remembered.  Oddly, the Munden’s Bar “filler” tends to have more continuity.


8 Responses to “FF: Old Friends, New Year”

  1. the6thjm Says:

    I always figured “Grimjack” was basically designed to allow the writers to tell whatever story they wanted. Horror. SF. Fantasy. Murder mystery. Humor. At its best, “Munden’s Bar” sometimes exceeded the main stories. Of course, it began in the 80s when fantastical bars were all over the place: Callahan’s, Cowboy Feng’s, Ten-Forward on ST:TNG, etc.

    I’m in the middle of two books right now:

    Witchmark, by Polk – just a few chapters in, so far so good but it’s still early.

    Lord Demon, by some authors I’ve forgotten the names of.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Be interested in your reaction to Witchmark.

      Hope Lord Demon works for you. I re-read it a few years ago and was pretty happy with it.

      • the6thjm Says:

        It works for me. That’s why I’m rereading it.

        The older I get, the more I start to see HOW books are constructed and the less I can let myself slide into the story and just enjoy the ride. Part of it is being unable to identify with the characters (they’re too different so I’m always on the outside looking in), part of it is the passage of time and finding some species of “suck fairy” has invaded the text, and part of it is knowing more about writing and seeing the tool marks.

        “Lord Demon” is still in the “enjoy the ride” category for me. Some day, that might change, but not yet.

        Oh, if you haven’t run across the suck fairy yet, here’s Jo Walton’s explanation: https://www.tor.com/2010/09/28/the-suck-fairy/ .

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    Happy 2020! I finished Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten, a book I won in a Goodreads Giveaway. This was an uncorrected bound manuscript, so there were lots of typos. Overlooking those, it was a fairly well written story with lots of intrigue. It made me very glad to be a woman in the present day rather than the past!

    I also read Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell (Spellslinger #3). I really enjoy the books he writes. He has excellent characters, including a squirrel cat with attitude who is the partner of the main character. I recommend the series.

    Now I am reading Broken Homes (Rivers of London #4) by Ben Aaronovitch. These are crime/police mysteries with a supernatural twist. Fun to read.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I’m going to need to try Spellslinger. (scribbles note)

      Our library has a real resistance to getting Ben Aaronwitch’s. Time to check again.

      What I really need are more audios. I’m enjoying my historical venture with Will Durant, but that queue is shorter than my print one! I can always put the Durant aside because 1) I own it 2) it’s unlikely that anything about the Dark Ages is going to change. (And I’ve read this once before, although MANY years ago.)

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