2017 Books Read

That title is a calendar reference, not mathematical. I did not read two thousand and seventeen books – I’ve probably read twice that many in my lifetime – just not all last year.

With the daughter’s power wheel chair missing, the wife’s two knee replacement surgeries, more visits to more doctors, and the discovery of yet another crossword puzzle site, my book reading fell off significantly. From 51 books in last year’s post, I was down to about 25 in 2017.

I also reread a few old sci-fi books that I didn’t count, and a few on the list are 700/800 page – one even 1200 page – super-books, the equivalent of 2 or 3 books each. Here’s what occupied some of my time

Charles E. Gannon -Commander Cantrell In The West Indies

1636 Commander Cantrell in the West Indies

Another in the ‘1632’ series about a modern Tennessee town transported back in time, and how the inhabitants struggle to survive, both politically and literally.  Sadly, it’s all alternate history, and no real action, just a reason to sell another 800-page blah book.

Mark Greany – The Grey Man – On TargetOn Target

The Gray Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the ghost writers for the now-deceased Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Jr. series, this author has one of his own action series about an ex-CIA assassin, forced to go independent.

Tom Clancy’s – Full Force And Effect – On Target

Full Force And EffectUnder Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Clancy’s name is the one that still attracts readers, but Mark Greaney and Grant Blackwood are two of 3 or 4 contract writers who pump them out.

Lee Child – Night School

Night School

After four years, I’m caught up.  It has been a most enjoyable series.  There will be one more Jack Reacher book this year, one more Dan Brown novel, and one more Ilona Andrews ‘Magic’ book in 2018.

Ilona Andrews – Magic Binds

Magic Binds

I got out of ‘Magic’ Sci-Fi about 30 years ago, but this series has lots of diverse character and plot development, thought and planning, and action.

Steve Perry – Patriot Threat

The Patriot Threat

A Dan Brown type of author, with a wide range of plot ideas, very enjoyable, but with just not quite the same OOMPH.

James Rollins – Blood Line – The Eye Of God

Blood Line

The Eye Of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Steve Perry, above, a good, solid action/adventure author.

Clive Cussler – Plague Ship

Plague Ship

While not dead, like Clancy, Cussler is old enough that he is co-writing with his son Dirk, and a couple of other commercial writers, as well as establishing the story arc and parameters, and letting them loose.

Will Adams – The Lost Labyrinth

The Lost Labyrinth

A fresh young writer who isn’t likely to die before I do.  His books (so far) are about action and intrigue around Middle Eastern archeological sites.

E.E. (Doc) Smith – Subspace Encounter

Subspace Encounter

A re-read that I downloaded a cover for.  I also re-read his ‘Skylark’ series, The Skylark of Space, Skylark Three, Skylark of Valeron, and Skylark Duquesne.  This year I hope to re-read all 12 of his ‘Family D’Alembert’ series.  While not as prolific as Isaac Asimov, Doc still pumped out almost 50 novels in four different series.

E.C. Tubb – Earth Is Heaven – Melome – Angado – Symbol Of Terra

Earth Is HeavenMelome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AngadoSymbol of Terra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lost this series about 20 years ago, after reading the first 26 episodes.  I recently thought of it again, and found that there were seven more available on Kindle.  The original author wrote to number 31 before he died.  He left notes for novel number 32, which his estate hired another commercial writer to assemble.  The story arc almost got the hero home to Earth, so he wrote a happily-ever-after finale to this epic tale.  I read four of them in 2017, and plan to finish the other three this year.

James S. A. Corey – Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes

Recommended by BrainRants, this is the first of five books, being made into a television series on SYFY, which I can’t get here in Canada.  The hero ‘acquires’ a slightly outdated destroyer spaceship, and renames it Rocinante, after Don Quixote’s horse, establishing the whole ’tilting at windmills’ flavor of the story.

Robert Asprin/Linda Evans – Tales Of The Time Scouts II

Tales of the Time Scouts II

Another adventure into the paradoxes of time travel.  This is actually 800 pages of two related stories in one (large) book.

Thomas Cathcart/Daniel Klein – Plato And A Platypus Walk Into A Bar

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar

Another recommended book, although, with apologies, I can’t remember the nice gentleman’s name.  (Stand up Sign in and take a bow.)  This one explores the philosophy and psychology of jokes and humor.  I can’t find its companion, ‘Aristotle And An Aardvark Go To Washington’ in Canada.  I’ll wait till the next time we order something from Amazon, and add it to the order to get free shipping.

Well, that’s (more than) enough about me.  Besides my output, what did you read last year??

Dead On

Coroner

Three dead bodies turn up at the mortuary, all with very big smiles on their faces. The coroner calls the police to tell them what has happened.

“First body: Frenchman, 60, died of heart failure while making love to his mistress. Hence the enormous smile, Inspector”, says the Coroner.

“Second body: “Scotsman, 25, won a thousand dollars on the lottery, spent it all on whisky. Died of alcohol poisoning, hence the smile.”

The Inspector asked, “What of the third body?”

“Ah,” says the coroner, “this is the most unusual one. Billy-Bob the redneck from Oklahoma, 30, struck by lightning.”

“Why is he smiling then?” inquires the Inspector.

“Thought he was having his picture taken.”

***

A little Jewish boy in New York lives with/near his extended family. Along with his Mom and Dad, his Grandma lives in their apartment, and various aunts and uncles live in the same tenement. Finally, he is old enough to go to school.

When he returns home after the first day, his ‘Moma’ gives his cheek the usual Grandma pinch, and says, “So, bubeleh, and vhat did you learn in school the first day?”

He looked her in the eye and replied, “The first thing I learned is that I am not ‘bubeleh’! My name is Lennie!

***

Speaking of politicians….
A tourist on the East Coast noticed a lobster fisherman with two pails of lobsters. One was covered with a cloth, but the other wasn’t. When he asked why the one was covered, he was told that it contained American lobsters. They would help each other escape.

The other pail was full of Canadian lobsters. Whenever one of them got close to the top, the others would pull him back down.

***

I’m going to open a restaurant named “Peace And Quiet”, where the kids’ meals are $250.00

***

A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic it died.
After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly.
She says, “What’s the story?”
He replies, “Just crap in the carburetor.”
She asks, “How often do I have to do that?

=====*=====
A police officer stops a blonde for speeding and asks her very nicely if he could see her license. She replied in a huff, “I wish you guys would get your act together.  Yesterday you took my license away, and today you expect me to show it to you!”
=====*=====

A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. It was her turn.  She rolled the dice and landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, “If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?”   She thought for a time and then asked,
“Is the vacuum on or off?”
=====*=====

The blonde reports for her university final examination that consists of yes/no type questions.  She takes her seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes and then, in a fit of inspiration, takes out her purse, removes a coin and starts tossing the coin, marking the answer sheet: Yes, for Heads, and No, for Tails.

Within half an hour she is all done, whereas the rest of the class is still sweating it out.  During the last few minute s she is seen desperately throwing the coin, muttering and sweating.

The moderator, alarmed, approaches her and asks what is going on.  “I finished the exam in half an hour, but now I’m rechecking my answers.”
=====*=====
Blonde, it’s not just a hair color, it’s an adventure!
=====*=====

A brunette told her blonde sister that she slept with a Brazilian.

The blonde sister exclaimed, “You slut! How many is a brazilian?”

=====*=====

 

Flash Fiction #96

Flying Saucer

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

YOU, F. O.!

What a great adventure, to get away from our small town and enjoy the sights of the big ci…. Dear Lord, look at that!  Gimme the phone!

911, What is your emergency?

There’s a giant Flying Saucer hovering over the north end of the harbor.

We appreciate your call, but that is not an emergency. That is our new arena.  The designer is hiding out in Honduras.  There is talk of impeaching, or lynching, the city councillors who authorized it.  We have received letters of condolence from both Reno and Las Vegas.  Don’t be alarmed, and have a nice day.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.