Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - November 2021 edition

Bless you, @Mahaloth, I thought I was the only person who didn’t like Neil Gaiman. I liked Neverwhere, Coraline, and Good Omens and that’s it. I gave up on him forever after the bitter & crushing disappointment that was Norse Mythology.

Finished Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte, which was okay.

Now I’m reading BOBOs in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, by David Brooks. (BOBOs stands for Bourgeois Bohemians.)

Heh. I find him pretty uneven, especially his endings. But I recently reread The Graveyard Book to my daughter, and it’s an amazing read-aloud.

Finished Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. A background look at the transition period following last November’s election, the January 6 insurrection and the first six months or so of the Biden presidency, with side trips to Chump’s deranged railings. The title is taken from a line in Biden’s inaugural address: “We have much to do in this winter of peril.” Very good. Should be required reading for every American.

Next up is The Dark Hours, the latest LA noir from Michael Connelly, just out. A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch novel. Again, I am very busy these days, barely have time to log in to the Board even once a week, but I always squeeze in a few pages of reading a day.

I just finished reading the audiobook of this. I agree that this is an important book.

YES. The man cannot end a book satisfactorily to save his life. The only reason Good Omens ended well is because of Pterry.

I know that Gaiman always says that we’d be surprised at what he wrote and what Terry wrote, but it feels like the concept is Neil’s, but the best writing is from Terry. I just don’t think Neil is all that funny and the book is a hoot.

I know it has been analyzed by a computer to determine who wrote what and I think Neil has said it is somewhat accurate, but I still feel like the overall tone and narratives style screams Terry and the “angel-demon-baby-swap” story is kind of a Neil thing.

Started today on the last book of the Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft, The Fall of Babel. This series is what I want for Christmas. I sure wish we didn’t have houseguests and holidays going on right now, because I just need to sit down somewhere and read!

I finished The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I enjoyed it, but I did figure out who the killer was long before the identity was revealed. But I will certainly read more of Ware’s novels.

Finished BOBOs in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, by David Brooks. (BOBOs stands for Bourgeois Bohemians.) Meh.

Now I’m reading Stop the Presses! A Nero Wolfe Mystery, by Robert Goldsborough. (I’ve read all the ones Rex Stout wrote.)

Just started One By One by Ruth Ware.

Robert Goldsborough wrote two different series of Nero Wolfe novels. His first set continued the stories in Rex Stout’s intriguing habit of setting all the stories in the present day, with Archie in his 30s and Wolfe in his 50s, regardless of hen he actually wrote and published the story. He kept it up from the 1930s through the 1970s, which is pretty impressive. Goldsborough carried it on into the 1980s and 1990s with seven books, then stopped with one story that seemed self-referential, The Missing Chapter in 1993

He picked up the Nero Wolfe stories many years later in 2012, this time telling the stories set in earlier time periods. His first new one told how Archie and Wolfe had first teamed up, back in the 1930s. I haven’t read any of the others from then. There are nine so far

If you’ve read all the Nero Wolfe stories, have you tried the Nero Wolfe Cookbook? It’s by Rex Stout, too, and is worth a look.

I wonder if it bothers Goldsborough that he has the same name as sappy songwriter Bobby Goldsborough.

I enjoy Gaiman’s writing very much, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane is my very favorite of the ten or so books I’ve read by him. Having said that, I seem to have very different tastes in books than the other Dopers in this thread. I disliked The Space Between Worlds so much that I abandoned it partway through, ditto for Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door, and while I finished Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, I was underwhelmed by the book.

Finished a book called The Dare by Lesley Kara. Very enjoyable psychological thriller. It’s quite well written in the sense that when I was finished I realized the twists and big reveal was more sinister that I imagined and yet looking back there were clues and indications that through the book that didn’t seem at all significant yet really they were big pieces to the puzzle.

Also earlier this week finished a book called The Deep: The Hidden Wonders of Our Oceans and How We Can Protect Them by Alex Rogers, marine biologist and professor at Oxford University. This is a book I have been reading slowly over the last three months. There is a lot of technical detail that is well written to understand for a layman but something that I felt required taking in as small chunks and sometimes re-reading chapters to let the information sink in. It’s an excellent piece of work that is also quite personal in telling his own history in working in this field as well as an entertaining and eye-opening account of how little our oceans are known and explored yet how much damage our conduct and lack of action to remedy this is causing to them and the marine life that we barely know anything of yet.

Ooh, that sounds good.

I’m about halfway done with both Hans Hellmut Kirst’s Officer Factory , a WWII satire set in a German military academy, and Jeff Shesol’s Mercury Rising, nonfiction about JFK, John Glenn and the early NASA manned space program. Both are OK but not great. I can’t say I’m eager to get back to them when I haven’t read them on any given day, which to me is a sure sign of a non-compelling read. I’m sure I’ll finish them, but there are several other books on my stack that I’m looking forward to reading instead.

Finished Stop the Presses! A Nero Wolfe Mystery , by Robert Goldsborough. Meh. This is one of the later books, CalMeacham, and I didn’t care for it. It was much too long, although it might have worked as a novella.

Another thing that bothered me: In one scene, Archie refers to a character as a “loose cannon” and Wolfe doesn’t understand the term, which I think he would have. He’d probably know its etymology, too.

Now I’m reading Mysterion 2: Stories from the Online Magazine, 2018-2019, edited by Donald S. Crankshaw and Kristin Janz. It’s an anthology of SF and fantasy.

I’m reading Michael Connelly’s “The Dark Hours”, which is the newest in the Bosch/Ballard series. It takes place during the pandemic and is another typically engaging novel.

As mentioned above, I’m on that now too. Just a little over halfway through. Besides the fact that my reading time is even more limited than usual these days, I always read a Connelly novel slowly so as to savor it, to draw it out, make it last longer, because it will be awhile before the next one comes out. Glad you’re enjoying this one too. Detective Renee Ballard has proved to be a fantastic addition to the cast of characters.

Luckily, my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I can probably just start the whole Bosch series over again and enjoy it anew.