The Queue, it Never Ends

So much great stuff piling up to read on my ever-expanding TBR pile. First up is the Spring 2011 issue of Needle Magazine. This thing just keeps going and going, and is consistently a most excellent product.

Needle – Magazine of Noir is a thrice-yearly publication featuring tales of murder and mayhem. New fiction by Patti Abbott, Cam Ashley, Ray Banks, Mel Clayton, David Cranmer, Steve De Jarnatt, Jason Duke, Matthew C. Funk, Amy Grech, Don Lafferty, Scott Morse, Daniel B. O’shea, Tom Piccirilli, and Todd Robinson.

Some great names in there, and a couple people I consider friends. It’s a labor of love for the people involved in putting it out, so by all means — order a copy!


Next up is the debut collection from another friend of mine (and the first guy to ever publish any of my fiction), David Cranmer, writing as Edward A. Grainger in Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles.

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles is a western noir, short story collection spotlighting the thrilling tales of two deputy U.S. Marshals working in 1880s Wyoming Territory. Cash Laramie, raised by Native Americans, is known as the outlaw marshal for his unorthodox way of dealing with criminals and his cavalier approach to life. Gideon Miles is one of the first African American marshals in the service and has skills with guns, knives, and tracking that are unrivaled. This collection broaches issues like racism, child abuse, and morality.

I’ve read several of these stories already, but downloaded the Kindle version onto my phone so that I can reread them all in one place. At .99, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You may think you don’t like Westerns, but these stories transcend genre (as all good ones do). Get yourself some.


Not only is Steve Weddle the Editor of Needle Magazine, he is also one of the hooligans at one of the best crime writing blogs online, Do Some Damage. That crew has a new collection of stories out as well, this time with Father’s Day as a theme, called Collateral Damage.

Once again the eight authors of bring together eight stories of murder and mayhem in these linked stories.

TERMINAL DAMAGE, a Spinetingler Magazine nominee for best anthology, featured stories linked together by one awful day in an airport.

The brand new COLLATERAL DAMAGE builds on the success of the earlier collection, this time focusing on Father’s Day.

This collection boasts stories from Joelle Charbonneau (SKATING AROUND THE LAW, SKATING OVER THE LINE, the Paige Marshall mysteries), John McFetridge (LET IT RIDE, DIRTY SWEET), Dave White (WHEN ONE MAN DIES, WITNESS TO DEATH), Russel D. McLean (THE LOST SISTER, THE GOOD SON), Sandra Ruttan (THE FRAILTY OF FLESH, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES), Scott D. Parker (HANFORD: A Harry Truman Mystery, ROUND ONE), Jay Stringer (OLD GOLD, SCORCHED EARTH), and Steve Weddle (NEEDLE Magazine).

This one is available for your Kindle, and there is a Nook version as well. Also at a mere .99, I bought a copy for both my device options. So you should get at least one or you’re a slacker.

I’ll be picking my way through all three of these collections. I fully expect to be blown away and inspired.


I had some books on pre-order, and a couple came in right before I left on this recent trip to Oregon. Then while I was gone a bunch more came in. Plus some subscription stuff showed up. So I have some catching up to do — good thing I have more travel coming up (I leave for New Orleans on Monday), because that is when I can really burn through some books.

When Julia and I attended the Bonnie Jo Campbell reading at Powell’s on Hawthorne Thursday night (more on that in my next post), I though I exercised a particular level of restraint in only buying two books. But they are good ones.

Powell’s: Quality over Quantity this time around

But then I arrived home to several packages. And a message from the local bookstore that another order I’d placed was in. This is what that all amounts to:

This is getting ridiculous

This is all great stuff, and I can’t wait to dig in. One book in particular I want to point out, just because aesthetically it is so damn pleasing. That one is the new book from Paul Theroux, a travel author that Julia and I both freakin’ love, called The Tao of Travel. This is what it’s story is:

Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe by collecting the best writing on travel from the books that shaped him, as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel enumerates “The Contents of Some Travelers’ Bags” and exposes “Writers Who Wrote about Places They Never Visited”; tracks extreme journeys in “Travel as an Ordeal” and highlights some of “Travelers’ Favorite Places.” Excerpts from the best of Theroux’s own work are interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected:

Vladimir Nabokov           J.R.R. Tolkien
Samuel Johnson               Eudora Welty
Evelyn Waugh                  Isak Dinesen
Charles Dickens               James Baldwin
Henry David Thoreau       Pico Iyer
Mark Twain                     Anton Chekhov
Bruce Chatwin                  John McPhee
Freya Stark                      Peter Matthiessen
Graham Greene                Ernest Hemingway

The Tao of Travel is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age.

What is so cool about it is its design. It’s modeled after a leather moleskin journal. Check this out:

A beautiful piece of art is what it is. So besides being a book that I want to read, it is also one I love to look at, love to have in my hand, and will love to have on my shelf for future enjoyment. That is one thing that eBooks just cannot compete with. What a fantastic idea. I hope someone in the art department got a big raise for this!

I definitely have my work cut out for me getting through all this stuff. Not to mention the piles of other books that are all “I can’t wait to read this!” material. I’ll be putting my summer reading list together this week, hopefully. These books will all be on that list.

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