Reading Retired

One of the nice things about being retired is that I usually have quite a bit of time to read: newspapers and books, primarily.

Unfortunately, my favorite authors seldom write more than a book or two every year or two (or three or four). This means I re-read a number of books every year as well as find new authors to read. It also means that I sometimes am “inundated” with several new books at about the same time — publishers do not go over their schedules with me before releasing their books.

I received my copy of Peter F. Hamilton’s new Commonwealth novel — A Night Without Stars — last Tuesday and dove right in. By Friday I was on page 264 and Ian W. Toll’s The Conquering Tide (in paperback) arrived. The Conquering Tide is the second in Toll’s trilogy of the Pacific war. At 542 pages, not counting Notes and Index, it was a good quick read. Yes, I finished it today while sitting on our exercise bike and watching parts of Day of the Jackal on the room’s Apple TV.

By the way, I give The Conquering Tide 5 Stars.

Now I can resume reading A Night Without Stars and Spoor’s Spheres of Influence. And tomorrow my copy of Flint’s Castaway Odyssey should arrive — even though I saw it already on the shelves of HB’s B&N last Saturday.

Next week Modesitt’s Treachery’s Tools should also be delivered to my front door. I have several other books on order that should be arriving in the next month and a half . . . ahhhhhhh. Now, if I could just get an advance copy of The Gathering Edge before Christmas . . .cats and reading

Reading Humor

On a side note — p. 433 of The Conquering Tide:

Many who worked with Nimitz later recalled his shrewd use of the well-applied joke. While winding down a testy planning session in the spring of 1944, the admiral said he was reminded of history’s “first amphibious operation,” conducted by Noah. “When they were unloading from the Ark, he saw a pair of cats come out followed by six kittens. ‘What’s this?’ he asked. ‘Ha, ha,’ said the tabby cat, ‘and all the time you thought we were fighting.'”

Oh yeah, I went to our new Senior Center last Friday to get my annual flu shot and made the “mistake” of stopping at the library and getting a new card. Found a copy of Sue Grafton’s X. Now I just have to find time to read it. Hmmmmm . . . such a problem.

The Trip — 2016: Part 10 — Shopping and Books

Villa Andonis – Center-Left

July 7 — Well, today was the big shopping day. Di still wanted me to come along; she’d buy me dinner. Let’s see: long taxi ride, a couple of hours of watching Di and her sister shop, dinner, a long taxi ride . . . hmmm. No, I’m still staying at the villa.

Most days . . .

Showed Trish how to fold and unfold Di’s Tzora battery-powered scooter. She and I did it together several times. This to enable Trish to unfold the scooter after leaving the taxi and how to fold it when they got back in.

The taxi arrived around 5 pm, and we loaded Di and the scooter without any problems. The girls were off and a glass of wine for me.

I went for a swim in the pool and read for a couple of hours. Feeling hungry I finished the bread and hard cheese and another glass of wine or two.

At around ten the girls returned, the same taxi having brought them back from Corfu city. Surprise — they hadn’t had dinner but had spent the entire time shopping. It turns out that my staying at the villa was the correct decision — I avoided four hours of following around two women shopping. Of course, they had to show me what they had purchased . . .

They had also stopped at a market on their return, so, fresh food.

Cruise ship sailing between Corfu and Albania
. . . we see a cruise ship . . .

Today, Dora came in to do some cleaning and replace a couple of burnt out light bulbs (she only had one spare of the right size here and will get another replacement next week).

Di and Trish also picked up a HDMI cable on their excursion, and we connected it to Trish’s computer and the LG TV this morning. Excellent picture from the PC but we were unable to get live free Wimbledon for Di to watch. Now, however, I can log into Netflix at any time for her to watch movies and videos as well as our iTunes movies on my Mac PowerBook. And, of course, there is always YouTube on either computer.

Cruise ship sailing between Corfu and Albania
. . . or two or three . . .

I finished another book on my computer today (Gust Front by John Ringo) and started Agent of Change by Miller and Lee both of which I’d read previously. I’m reading free on-line stories from Baen Books’ Free Library as I only have one more unread book remaining in my suitcase and Di’s remaining books do not appeal to me.

The book I finished reading yesterday, A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey, was quite good. Di loves Mercedes Lackey stories and this one showed up on our doorstep the day it came out — she saved, wonder of wonders, it for the trip rather than devouring it immediately.

It’s a fantasy “Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson” story with Holmes and Watson as minor characters. But part of the story occurs in the village/town of Sevenoaks in Kent southeast England. Di was raised in that area and we were married there. When I first visited England (December 1987- January 1988), her parents were living just a block and up a hill from the Sevenoaks train station. I spent many hours walking Sevenoaks’ streets and the grounds of Knole House during the three weeks I was there (wet and rainy as it was).

. . . ply the strait between Corfu and Albania/mainland Greece.
. . . ply the strait between Corfu and Albania/mainland Greece.

As an aside, I was teaching in Orange at the time and had two weeks off at Christmas. We needed an extra week. I requested an unpaid week off specifically so I could get married in England. The district refused. I took the week off. When I returned, I was informed that I was going to be docked a week’s pay because I took an unauthorized leave. Duhhhhhh . . . I mean get real folks . . .

(to be continued)

Read 3 (2015) — Books, books and more books

2016 Reading List

On my To Be Read shelf:

Spheres of Influence by Ryk E.Spoor

Read -- Thunderbird by Jack McDevitt
Thunderbird by Jack McDevitt

The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell

A Little Rebellion: Crimson Worlds III by Jay Allen

An Ancient Peace (Peacekeeper #1) by Tanya Huff

Currently being read:

Grand Central Arena by Ryk E. Spoor

Thunderbird (Sequel to Ancient Shores) by Jack McDevitt

Unrelenting (Kris Lingknife #13) by Mike Shepherd


2015 Reading List

In reverse order these are the books I’ve read this year. Some of them have been reviewed on my Book Reviews page and most of those, If not all of them, have also been posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

  1. No More Heroes (In the Wake of the Templars #3) by Loren Rhoades
  2. Kill by Numbers (In the Wake of the Templars #2) by Loren Rhoades
  3. The Dangerous Type (In the Wake of the Templars #1) by Loren Rhoades
  4. Raising Caine (Tales of the Terran Republic #3) by Charles E. Gannon
  5. Trial by Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic #2) by Charles E. Gannon
  6. Fire With Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic #1) by Charles E. Gannon
  7. Tenacious (Kris Lingknife #12) by Mike Shepherd
  8. Defender (Kris Longknife #11) by Mike Shepherd
  9. Furious (Kris Longknife #10) by Mike Shepherd
  10. Cost of Victory by Jay Allen
  11. Daring (Kris Longknife #9) by Mike Shepherd
  12. The Cost of Victory by Jay Allen: 3 of 5 stars
  13. Liaden Universe Constellation III by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 4 of 5 stars
  14. Phoenix in Shadow by Ryk E. Spoor: 4 of 5 stars
  15. W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton: 4 of 5 stars
  16. The Spellsong War by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  17. The Elysium Commission by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  18. Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt: 4 of 5 stars
  19. Monsters of the Earth (The Books of the Elements #3) by David Drake: 3 of 5 stars
  20. The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child: 4 of 5 stars
  21. Steadfast by Jack Campbell: 4 of 5 stars
  22. Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 5 of 5 stars
  23. Balance Point by Robert Buettner: 3 of 5 stars
  24. Shadow of Freedom by David Weber: 3 of 5 stars
  25. Survivor by Mike Shepherd: 4 1/2 of 5 stars
  26. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough: 4 of 5 stars
  27. Paradigms Lost by Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  28. The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn: 2 of 5 stars
  29. The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  30. Valor’s Choice (Confederation #1) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  31. The Clone Apocalypse by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #10): 2 of 5 stars
  32. The Clone Assassin by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #9): 4 of 5 stars
  33. The Clone Sedition by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #8): 4 of 5 stars
  34. The Clone Redemption by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #7): 4 of 5 stars
  35. Madness in Solidar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #9): 4.5 of 5 stars
  36. Castaway Planet by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  37. Undercity by Catherine Asaro: 4 of 5 stars
  38. The Clone Empire by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #6): 4 of 5 stars
  39. The Clone Betrayal by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #5): 4 of 5 stars
  40. The Clone Elite by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #4): 4 of 5 stars
  41. Antiagon Fire  (The Imager Portfolio #7) by L.E. Modesitt Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  42. Imager’s Battalion by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #6): 4 of 5 stars
  43. Princeps by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #5): 4 of 5 stars
  44. Carousel Seas by Sharon Lee (Archer’s Beach #3): 4 of 5 stars
  45. Scholar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #4): 4 of 5 stars
  46. The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower: A Biography of C. S. Forester’s Famous Naval Hero by C. Northcote Parkinson: 4 of 5 stars
  47. The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton (A Commonwealth Novel): 3 of 5 stars

Read Again:

These are books I’ve read before and re-read during July and August when I had no new books on hand. It does not include my re-reading of all of the Liaden books to get myself set for Dragon in Exile.

  1. A Rising Thunder – David Weber
  2. Shadow of Freedom – David Weber
  3. The Shadow of Saganami – David Weber
  4. Watch on the Rhine – John Ringo, Tom Kratman
  5. A Cruel Wind (A Shadow of All Night Falling; October’s Baby; All Darkness Met) – Glen Cook
  6. Dread Empire’s Fall: The Sundering – Walter Jon Williams
  7. The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
  8. The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
  9. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
  10. The Dain Curse – Dashiell Hammett
  11. Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
  12. The Truth of Valor – Tanya Huff
  13. Valor’s Trial – Tanya Huff
  14. City on Fire – Walter Jon Williams
  15. The Way to Glory – David Drake
  16. The Far Side of the Stars – David Drake
  17. Ambassador of Progress – Walter Jon Williams
  18. Target (Vicky Peterwald) – Mike Shepherd
  19. The Warmasters – David Drake, David Weber, Eric Flint
  20. Paying the Piper – David Drake
  21. In Fury Born – David Weber
  22. Night’s Master – Tanith Lee
  23. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
  24. The Gods Themselves – Isaac Assimov
  25. Judas Unchained – Peter F. Hamilton
  26. Pandora’s Star – Peter F. Hamilton

Books – Currently Reading

After Di’s dental appointment Thursday, we stopped off at Barnes & Noble, Bella Terra. This is always chancy owing to our tendency to buy “too many” books. Luck was with us as I found an open Handicapped Parking space so she wouldn’t have to walk too far (or drop her off at the B&N and use the parking structure).

We spent a good hour+ in the store, mostly in the science-fiction/fantasy section. We filled one basket, a bit over-filled actually. I got three books: Steadfast (Jack Campbell), Shadow of Freedom (David Weber) and The Wright Brothers (David McCullough).

I know this is a bit ridiculous as I’m already in the midst of reading three other books. But what the heck, I’ve also re-read all but one of the Liaden books–in the last ten weeks–in preparation for getting my copy of Dragon in Exile (in the next week or so, I hope). She also received a package from Amazon UK this week. This brings Di’s current backlog of unread books to about two dozen. She’s saving some of them for our vacation trip this summer.

The Wright Brothers was selling for 40% off, and we combined it with one of our two 20% off cards–a $30.00 book for only the wright brothers$12.00. I just finished Chapter #3 and am finding it to be a good read. Well written with plenty of the details we never learned in school–pitch a tent on the sand, dig your own well, heat and mosquitoes–“in the form of mighty cloud, almost darkening the sun.” (p. 58)

It is not a quick read, and I’ll probably finish one or two of the others before I finish The Wright Brothers.

I’ve got the “boob tube” on in the background with the Indy 500 and the Angel-Red Sox game. I find I really don’t care who wins the race, but, hey, it’s the Indy 500. The Angels are trailing 3 to 1 in the 6th inning–Go Angels! Mist is sleeping in my lap, and I hear the Sunday LA Times crossword puzzle calling my name.

Memorial Day

Remember the real what, who and why for this holiday weekend. To my Uncles Andy, Billy and Charlie (US Army and Air Corps), to my cousin Christian (US Navy), to my brother John (US Air Force), to my mother Gladys (US Navy Waves), to my father-in-law Ferrier (RAF) and to all of the rest of you who have served and are serving, thank you.

Be safe, drive safe.