Friday, October 7, 2011

#FridayReads - October 7th, 2011 Edition

On the Fridays when I'm not dissecting short stories, I will be talking about what I'm currently reading or have recently read. I usually have three-to-five books that I'm reading at any given time, so I expect there should be a lot of different books over time that I'm able to let people know my thoughts about. These aren't going to be full-fledged reviews, but I hope that it's enough to give you an idea of what I thought about a book and whether you might like it or not.

I finished one of the three books I was reading in my last #FridayReads post. That was The Postmortal by Drew Magary. This one surprised me a bit, I had expected it to be less serious than it ended up being. I'd already noted that a couple weeks ago when I was only about 25% of the way through the book, but it got progressively darker throughout. I think it's fair to say that Magary paints pretty much a "worst case scenario" for what could happen after a cure for aging. At the same time, it's hard to really refute his general thesis that this could very easily be the worst thing to happen to humanity.

I'm also still reading Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi. That one continues to be amusing, though I'm not sure exactly where it's going to end up going. I didn't think to talk about the cover last time. I love the cover to the paperback copy I have (it's the same that shows at the Amazon link above). It's got this late-50s/early-60s feel to it that which, even though the story isn't set during that time period, doesn't feel out of character with the story itself.

More (including my two new reads for these two weeks) past the jump...
I haven't read more of The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2011 Edition edited by Paula Guran recently. With it being an anthology, there's no real impetus to just keep going straight through. But with as much as I enjoyed the stories I've read from it so far, I'm sure I'll continue working on it over time. However, I won't keep mentioning it every other week. Just assume I'm still reading it unless I say that I'm done. :)

New Read #1: A Killer's Essence by Dave Zeltserman
Frequent readers of this blog will know that one of Dave Zeltserman's stories published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine was my first entry in the Dissecting the Short Story series. In addition, after that dissection was up, I did an interview with him about both that story and his writing in general. I enjoyed conversing with him and what he told me about his then-upcoming novel A Killer's Essence led me to preorder it. It came recently and I read it in just a few days. It's a mystery/thriller novel set in New York City with a police officer as the main character and one very important supernatural aspect to it. That particular aspect is handled very matter-of-factly and I think that most mystery readers would not find it off-putting. The story moves briskly along and I was interested to see where it was going to end up.

New Read #2: The Night and the Music by Lawrence Block
Mystery Grand Master Block has taken to ePublishing in a major way during the last 12 months or so. In addition to releasing a number of his early pseudonymous works as eBooks he's also been selling many of his short stories as $0.99 individual eBooks. His most recent (unless he's put something else out this week) eBook is a collection of all of his short fiction featuring Matt Scudder with a new story included. I undoubtedly have most of this material in other books, but for the $2.99 price I didn't mind buying it again to get the new story. Since the Matt Scudder series is one of my favorites, having all of the shorts in one easy-to-access place also had appeal, though I probably would have passed without there being any new material.

So, that's what I'm reading as of this Friday. What about you? Anything that you've read recently which you've especially enjoyed?


  1. Boy, do I love the Matt Scudder books! Man, I need to buy an e-reader!

    I didn't know that Lawrence Block had taken to e-publishing! Thanks for mentioning it.

  2. [Reposting to make my links be actual links...]

    Cynthia, yes, he's been very active with it recently. He also has frequently-updated Twitter and Facebook pages which you might want to follow if you don't already do so. That's how I find out about all of his new activity. (Twitter:!/LawrenceBlock and Facebook:!/LawrenceBlockOfficialFanPage)