What I've Been Reading (for a while now, it seems)
Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
Erotica. And very effective at that, although the timeline (even the author admits) is very compressed.
The Martin by Andy Weir
A re-read. I loved the book the first time and continued to love it the second time. The second time my opinion of the author went up. I think his sense of pace and plotting was spot-on. I'm looking forward to the movie next month.
Blood Infernal by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
The third book in this series (it may just be a trilogy) about the Sanguinists Order. What's the Sanguinists Order? Why, it's a part of the Catholic Church made up of vampires who have devoted their lives to Christianity. First book was great, second one was so-so and this one was better. They're good writers, but there was some pretty weird crap in these books.
The End of All Things #1: The Life of the Mind by John Scalzi (novella)
The End of All Things #2: This Hollow Union by John Scalzi (novella)
Scalzi wrote 4 interconnected novellas, continuing his stories in The Old Man's War universe. They were then released as a novel, but I got them as they came out individually. I enjoyed them a lot, but feel that, had this been written as a single novel instead of four separate novellas, with the four story lines interweaving, it would have worked better as a whole. All four were excellent and the overall arc of the story is terrific, but there you have it.
The Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan (short story)
Teaming up Percy and Annabeth from the Greek demigods with the two main characters from the Kane Chronicles, Egyptian demigods books. A very enjoyable story, but I've never been nearly as big a fan of the Kane Chronicles as the Percy Jackson stories.
The End of All Things #3: Can Long Endure by John Scalzi (novella)
The Con Man by Ed McBain
Something like the 3rd or 4th 87th Precinct novel written in the last 1950s. Carella really emerges as the main character here and it's very well done, albeit dated.
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
I was a big fan of the movie and I've listened to the abridged audiobook a couple times (which I bought for a couple bucks at a library sales a long time back). Overall, you might be better off with the movie or the abridged version. The book feels a little padded and perhaps a bit self-indulgent, although there's certainly some beautiful language.
The Opium-Eater by David Morrell (short story)
An historical featuring Thomas De Quincy, who has been in two novels by Morrell.
The End of All Things #4: To Stand or Fall by John Scalzi
1000 Yards by Mark Dawson (novella)
An espionage novel about a British MI6 agent in South Korea. I bought it as part of an omnibus of 4 books and I'll definitely be reading the others eventually.
Nemesis Games by James SA Corey
A continuation of The Expanse SF series (to be a Syfy TV series starting in December). This one is a particular game changer in that it really, REALLY escalates the conflicts/war between Earth and the separatists. Perhaps overly long (all of the books feel that way to me), but gripping.
The Right Thing To Do by Jonathan Kellerman (short story)
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. I assume it's some sort of prequel to his latest standalone (or new series, I don't know, I haven't read it yet) novel. It's very good in its way, but it's very much a period piece about two brothers, one who's a western film star in Hollywood of the 50s or 60s, and his younger brother.
The English Spy by Daniel Silva
Yet another terrific outing with Gabriel Allon, this one involving tracking down a former IRA assassin.
Hot Money by Mark Terry
What can I tell you? Yes, I read my own novel through. With good reason. News to follow soon, hopefully.
Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler
I bought this years ago when it first came out (hard to resist the title) and never read it. I'd been in a big of a blue mood when I started reading it and it's got a sort of downer beginning, and just never got back to it. So I read it finally. It's 9 years after a sequence of horrible things turned the world into a wasteland and the main character had been holed up in a cave for the duration until he finally ventures out to see if there's anything left of the world. Not a lot, as it turns out, with the bulk of civilization made up of a series of strip club/trading posts where the power is supplied by indentured servants on exercise bicycles called Joey Armageddon's Sassy A-Go-Go. Eventually Mortimer Tate goes in search of his wife (whom he abandoned) along with a young stripper named Sheila and a cowboy calling himself Buffalo Bill, to the lost city of Atlanta. It's about what you'd expect, with one sequence that seemed lifted out of Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog and a finale that seems to be all Road Warrior. Fun. Weird. Odd
Throws for Strikes: The forgotten throws of Karate, Boxing & Taekwondo by Iain Abernethy
Obviously a martial arts book and what struck me most about it was how Sanchin-Ryu, the karate I study, has many, if not most of them, built into its forms and katas, some obvious, some more a matter of application and angles.
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
The Lightning Stones by Jack DeBrul
Very Clive Cussler-ish and enjoyable, although I would have liked it better with the main character's right-wing POV regarding Global Warming.