Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hard to believe that it's almost Valentines Day, 2013. Time truly does fly. I've been remiss about posting book reviews here of late, but will try to be more consistent. My science fiction / fantasy reviews can be found at the review site for now, though I'll  link them on here after their initial postings there. The fantasy literature folks are a great group and they do a yeoman's job on keeping up with the current fantasy / speculative fiction scene. I suggest you check them out regularly to see what's up with the state of all things fantasy.
 My own reviews on the site can be found at
 I'm currently reading The Complete John Thunstone by Manly Wade Wellman, a wonderful compilation of all the stories and novels featuring Wellman's occult detective John Thunstone. The stories were published initially in Weird Tales magazine in the 1940's and the novels were published in the 1980's, making it clear that the late, great Wellman never lost his touch. The book is printed by Haffner Press and they do their usual excellent job in both the quality of the book itself and the quality of the content. I'll post a review soon.
In addition to reading the Thunstone stories I've been on a kind of a Jack Vance tear of late, reading and reviewing both The Languages of Pao, and The Dragon Masters. Both reviews can be found on the FantasyLiterature site. Currently reading Big Planet and The Jack Vance Treasury. With the exception of some of the stories in the latter all of these Vance titles are re-reads. Vance has probably been one of my favorite writers since I first read his Tschai or Planet of Adventure novels featuring marooned spaceman Adam Reith back around the late 60's or early 70's. Every time I go back and re-read one of his books I'm just as enthralled as the first time, meaning every few years or so I have to immerse myself in his work again. Some other authors whose work affects me similarly are Donald Westlake, and P. G. Wodehouse. I think it's something about the light touch that each of them have, an ability to convey irony and subtle humor with a phrase, even when dealing with subjects that don't lend themselves to humor.
On the non fiction side of things I'm reading bits and pieces of several works, but the main ones right now are Thomas Jefferson: the Art of Power by Jon Meacham which I'm reading for a group discussion on Goodreads for the GR group "The History Book Club," and John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America which I'm reading for my local library's book club. Last night however my ADD kicked in while browsing at the local Barnes and Noble while waiting for The Saint (aka as my dear sweet long suffering spouse) to get off work I picked up a copy of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne and immediately became interested in it, so I stopped off at the library on the way home and picked up a copy, along with a copy of The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by
There are times I wish I could do nothing but read and try to catch up on my "to be read" list, but I know it'll be unfinished when I eventually go to that great library in the sky...sigh.