Monday, November 13, 2006

A Reading Weekend

What a pleasant weekend. Lana and I decided to stay home and just enjoy our new place, and I found it very relaxing. I finished two books by Jim Sallis. I'm reading them in part because of an article assignment I have, but I also read Jim's stuff just because he's a tremendous writer. The two books were: Gently into the Land of the Meateaters, an essay collection that ended with a real zinger. This was the kind of book that you close the covers and lean back for a while to savor the mood it's created. There's also some great commentary on the writing life in this one as well. I also finished Bluebottle, one of Jim's Lew Griffin mysteries. I'd say this is one of my favorites among the Lew Griffin books, but I remember saying that every time I finish one. Just to make clear, however, I don't think you really read the Lew Griffin books because you desperately want to see how the mystery turns out. You read them because of the characters and the insights.

I also finished reading Red Harvest, a collection of poetry by the late Karl Edward Wagner. I typically don't find Wagner's poetry all that outstanding, but all of these were related to the character he created named Kane, who is one of the most interesting characters in fantasy fiction. Wagner's Kane stories are among my favorite works of fiction.

Next I turn to Cypress Grove, the first in a new series by Jim Sallis. I'm also reading White Oleander, which is beautifully written, although at the moment I'm not particularly fond of the main character.

By the way, if you'd like to learn more about James Sallis, you can find it on his website.


Sidney said...

I've been thinking about writing a piece on Wagner's "Sticks" for my blog, one of his best stories in my opinion. I also like "More Sinned Against." It's hard to believe he's been gone so long.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, those were great stories. "Sticks" is really eerie, and I also liked "22. Swift" and "The River of Night's Dreaming." Wagner was an outstanding talent, for sure.