Recommended reads:

TerrorA Terror by Jeffrey Ford

The latest release by author Jeffrey Ford is a nightmarish novelette that offers a supernaturally speculative take on the inspiration for one of Emily Dickinson’s most famous poems, “Because I could not stop for Death”.  Emily Dickinson, awakens to an empty house, her parents and sister inexplicably gone.  She ventures outside to investigate and accepts a  carriage ride from a seemingly noble stranger.  But there’s more to the mysterious Mr. Quill than meets the eye and soon, a dark bargain is struck.  It’s a deal of a lifetime – in this case, 25 years – but in order to collect, she must do some collecting of her own.  It’s macabre tale involving necromancy, a mother’s love, and most obstinate child. Craftily creepy.

Ford is a breathtakingly inventive storyteller, comfortable and captivating in a variety of genres: science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and horror.    Check out his other work here: or read A Terror by following this link: A Terror

Hall of FameScience Fiction Hall of Fame (Volume One 1929-1964) edited by Robert Silverberg

Ah, natsukashii, as the Japanese would say.  This collection of SF classics, assembled and edited by the great Robert Silverberg (Lord Valentine’s CastleDying Inside), is comprised of 26 of the greatest Golden Age SF tales ever written as selected by the Science Fiction Writers of America.  Among the memorable entries: Ray Bradbury’s Mars is Heaven (which I believe, uh, inspired an episode of Space 1999), Arthur C. Clarke’s The Nine Billion Names of God, and Tom Godwin’s much discussed and still debated The Cold Equations.

I’m presently trying to track down volume II (parts A and B).

Difficult MenDifficult Men by Brett Martin

Weird, insecure, ego-maniacal, and vindictive.  No, I’m not talking about the colorful characters in those award-winning cable shows.  I’m referring to the creators of those colorful characters in those award-winning cable shows.  This book offers us insight into the creative heavy-weights who ran game-changing productions like The Sopranos, Deadwood, Mad Men, and The Wire.   Clearly, there’s a very fine line between genius and, well, if not insanity then surely eccentricity and arrogance.

Wise GuyWise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi

The quintessential mobster biography and the inspiration for the movie Goodfellas,  Wise Guy is a riveting read that chronicles the life of wiseguy Henry Hill, from his modest working-class beginnings through his career in organized crime to, perhaps most challenging of all, his entry into the witness protection program.  Impossible to put down.

Ice ManThe Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer by Philip Carlo

Keeping with the organized crime theme, The Ice Man is the deeply disturbing, unflinching account of the violent life of Richard “The Ice Man” Kulinski, a mob enforcer and hit man.  Not quite as engaging as Wiseguy for the simply reason that, unlike Hill, Kulinski elicits very little in the way of sympathy or compassion.  Shocking stuff.

SuperiorThe Superior Foes of Spiderman by Nick Spencer

My favorite ongoing title focuses on the flip side of superheroes – their occasionally evil, often devious, usually frustrated adversaries: the supervillians.  A well-written, character-driven series.  And a hell of a lot of fun.

11 thoughts on “August 22, 2013: Recent Recommended Reads!

  1. Those look like some great books, Joe. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame one, in particular.

    Here’s a few pics from my hike in NH yesterday:

    Are these trails getting rougher or am I just getting older?

    Almost to tree line!

    The payoff!

  2. The Ice Man is on my list. I can’t pass up the opportunity to read about a borderline (?) serial killer from my own state.

  3. baterista9: Sending prayers and positive thoughts!

    Interesting list you have there Mr. M. I’ll check them out!

  4. Thanks for the book recommendations,
    i need to find more time to read. There is already a pile of unread books on my table and it’s getting bigger by the time.

  5. Jeffery Ford’s A Terror cover picture has been creeping me out ever since you put it up on the side of your blog.

  6. I’m a little behind – just read baterista9s post: sending positive thoughts to you and the pathologist reading your biopsy! I hope all is well.

  7. That newest Amazing Race Canada ep was pretty good, just goes to say if anyone ever wants to apply for the show, you need to know French, it’ll help if you ever get sent to Quebec lol.

    6 weeks running and still pulling fantastic numbers, the show is pretty much hugging the 3 million viewer mark so far. Beating the numbers the American edition gets even.

  8. The husband loves all things mob related, especially as it relates to stories of the real-time mob life. I’ll let him know about those two books.

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