Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Reading Stack

I've been trying to read more prose fiction lately, and to that end, I've recently picked up a fair number of new books. Most of them have been in the crime/mystery genre, but there's been some sci-fi and spy-fi stuff in there, too.

I already mentioned Into The Volcano, a 60's spy novel by Forrest DeVoe Jr (Max Phillips), which I finished last week, and really enjoyed. I'll definitely be ordering the sequel novel as soon as I can.

In the past month, I also finally read Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. I knew the story so well through comics and reading the later novels in the series that I was sure I'd read it before, but upon getting a new hardcover omnibus of the first three Barsoom novels, I discovered that I'd never actually sat down and read the original book before. That was kinda embarrassing, but at least I got to finally experience it firsthand at age 42 – almost 30 years after I discovered the series on the bookmobile with with Swords of Mars.

After that, I read two "historical mysteries" – Robert J. Randisi's Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime, the first of two mystery novels set in early-60's Vegas and featuring Sinatra's Rat Pack as supporting characters, and Max Allan Collins' A Killing In Comics, set during the Golden Age of comics, right after WW II. I loved the Randisi book, and even re-watched the original Ocean's 11, after I finished it. I'll definitely be ordering the sequel. Killing was a lot of fun, too.

Still to be read are two Hard Case Crime paperbacks – Christa Faust's Money Shot and Lawrence Block's A Diet of Treacle, Greg Rucka's latest (and long-awaited) Atticus Kodiak novel, Patriot Acts, and the new space opera by Gary Wolfe and his pal, the Archbishop John Myers, Space Vulture. Looks promising.

And I still have some more Burroughs to get to, too. It should keep me busy for another month or so... and of course, I've got a bunch of graphic novels to catch up on, including a couple of 70's Justice Society reprint collections that Joe Staton sent me, and the spy comic Left On Mission, a copy of which I just won in a contest over on the Double 0 Section blog! How cool is that?

So... what are you reading?


Anonymous said...

I am currently reading:

Horse Under Water by Len Deighton, The Big Country by Donald Hamilton, and I'll probably follow those two with Strangers on the Heights by Manly Wade Wellman.

NoelCT said...

I first read A PRINCESS OF MARS last year when I discovered a small local theatre troupe was putting on a stage adaptation. It was great read (my first from Burroughs) and a really fun and clever play.

I'm currently working through the amazing PRINCE OF NOTHING trilogy by R. Scott Bakker and plan to follow them with the complete back-issues of Tekno Comix/Big Entertainment. (I discovered your blog while looking up info on the creative talent)

El Vox said...

Joe R. Lansdale's The Bottoms--so far so good. If you haven't read anything by him it's a good place to start, unless you pick up a book of short stories by him. I heard there are a couple of new books by him as well. He's pretty broad in what he likes to write: westerns, horror, and detective fiction.

Also reading some Conan stories in the collected format, and I need to order the Savage Sword of Conan collected novel. Also the Grim Jack online comic :)

Andy said...

I just finished the "Ms. Tree" novel "Deadly Beloved" from Hard Case Crime. A great read.

Currently I'm reading "Northwest Smith" by C. L. Moore and "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" by Jules Verne. Both are simply fantastic.

"A Princess of Mars" was the first book that I signed out of the "adult section" at the library when I was 10 years old. For me, nothing will ever surpass the adventures of John Carter, a gentleman from Virginia - the greatest warrior on Barsoom.

Charles Gramlich said...

The first three Barsoom books make a great trilogy. I very much enjoyed them.

I'm reading "Guilty Pleasures" by Laurell Hamilton, the first in her Anita Blake series, a nonfiction book on the Evolution/creationism debate, and the manuscript for Steve Malley's thriller. I just finished "All the Pretty Horses" by McCarthy and really enjoyed it.

Bill Spangler said...

I backed into "A Princess Of Mars" too. I had met John Carter in a Gold Key comic and in the DC series before I read the books. In fact, now that I think I think about it, I had read Gardner Fox's "Thief Of Llarn" too.
But, speaking of books, I just purchased two Honey West novels from a mail order service we like to use. These are novels, not novwelizations. The titles are "This Girl For Hire" and "Kiss For a Killer." The company is, BTW. Prices are good and they usually have some interesting things in stock.