Thursday, December 07, 2017

Bill Crider and What Are You Reading?

This first note is one I hate to share. Bill Crider often posted on Thursday's What Are You Reading blog. Although he had read my blog for years, I didn't meet Bill until Jeffrey Meyerson introduced me to him at Bouchercon in Raleigh. He had already started his cancer treatment when he came to New Orleans Bouchercon, and I know so many of us were glad to see him. Before I ask what you're reading, I'm going to share Bill's message on his blog from Tuesday. I know I spent Tuesday evening and times on Wednesday crying. Here is his message.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Things could change, but I suspect this will be my final post on the blog.  I met with some doctors at M. D. Anderson today, and they suggested that I enter hospice care.  A few weeks, a few months is about all I have left.  The blog has been a tremendous source of pleasure to me over the years, and I've made a lot of friends here.  My only regret is  that I have several unreviewed books, including Lawrence Block' fine new anthology, Alive in Shape and Color, and Max Allan Collins' latest collaboration with Mickey Spillane, The Last Stand,  which is a collection of two novellas, "A Bullet for Satisfaction," an early Spillane manuscript with an interesting history, and "The Last Stand," the last thing that Spillane completed.  It saddens me to think of all the great books by many writers that I'll never read.  But I've had a great life, and my readers have been a big part of it.  Much love to you all.

It almost seems meaningless to ask what you're reading after Bill's post. But, considering that his post was about the books he wouldn't get to finish, I think those who want to share should. I've just started Connie Willis' A Lot Like Christmas, an update of her wonderful collection, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. If you don't know Willis, she's a science fiction author who loves Christmas and has written wonderful stories to celebrate the season. They're in a variety of genres.

But, I'm actually on a train right now heading to Chicago. So, I'll read your comments as I can, picking them up on my cell phone.

If you want to share, what are you reading this week?


Sharon said...

I am so sorry to hear this news about your friend, Lesa. Thoughts and prayers for Mr. Crider and to all those touched by his writing and friendship.

This week I finished The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford. I liked it very much.

Now I am reading Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay.

Safe travels on your trip to Chicago.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I know we were all hoping for better news about Bill, one of the best and nicest people you could ever meet. I've known him (and, of course, his late wife Judy) for 40 years and consider him a close friend. And we just can't afford to lose people like him.

I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed in THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING by Allen Eskens, whose first three books I liked a lot. In this one, Detective Max Rupert discovers that the hit & run that killed his wife four years earlier was not an accident, but a deliberate murder, and most of the book is him seeking vengeance, not justice.

I'm reading THE BEST OF RICHARD MATHESON, a very good short story collection, and the light and amusing (I needed that!) NEARLY NERO: The Adventures of Claudius Lyon, the Man Who Would Be Wolfe. Lyon has tried to emulate his hero Nero Wolfe with his own brownstone on Avenue J in Brooklyn and his own legman-narrator-Archie Goodwin in Arnie Woodbine.

I have at least two other collections waiting when I finish these.

I read a review of Margaret Mizushima's latest book that sounded good, so downloaded her first Timber Creek K-9 mystery, KILLING TRAIL, and I'm enjoying it a lot. I already have two other library books downloaded on the Kindle, so I need to read faster!

Enjoy your trip to Chicago.

Grace Koshida said...

Yes, Lesa, I heard the sad news about Bill via FB yesterday.

I know Bill via these short meetings at conferences, and on-line. I was hoping that he was doing better since Bill came to Bouchercon in Toronto. He was funny and thoughtful on the book collecting panel, and I wish I had more than a brief chat with him then.

Reading-wise, I am enjoying BOOKED IN, which is the 7th book in the Crang series by Canadian author Jack Batten. Crang is a nosy lawyer/amateur sleuth who is helping an antiquarian book seller friend who has "lost" several valuable manuscripts. It is really fun to read a series set in a part of Toronto that I know so well.

I thought I would like DYING FOR STRAWBERRIES by Sharon Farrow. It is a cozy series set in a small Michigan town during berry season but I am having trouble getting through the book.

I then have a dozen ARCs to choose from. Con Lehane's MURDER IN THE MANUSCRIPT ROOM looks tempting to read next. SEEDS OF REVENGE by Wendy Tyson may be another choice this week. i liked the first two books in this Greenhouse series.

Charlotte said...

I am sad to read about Bill. I don't know him except by the comments he has written here. I trust something changes for him right away so he will be able to share with us again. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

I finished reading Kindness Goes Unpublished by Craig Johnson

Back to reading A Treasure to Die For by Richard Houston
Just got The Ex by Alafair Burke that I should read right away since it is from the library.

Lesa, enjoy your trip to Chicago.

My all your reading bring you great pleasure.

Diane said...

I have been working my way though Bill Crider's engaging books since you introduced me to them some few years ago. I really feel like I know the people and places around Blacklin County TX, more so since I visit TX at least once a year. Coincidentally the daughter I visit there is an employee of MD Anderson, a truly wonderful cancer research center.

Best wishes and my prayers are with you Bill.

SandyG265 said...

I only finished one book this week and I mostly finished it because I’d already gotten two thirds of the way through it. It was BECAUSE OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE by Ruth Emile Long.

I’m not sure what I’m going to read next.

Enjoy your trip Lessa.

Lesa said...

Thank you everyone, for your book comments, your kind words about Bill, and the wishes for this trip. We’re taking the train up, meeting a friend for dinner & going to a concert tonight. Tomorrow it’s an exhibit at the Art Institute before heading back.

Charlotte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlotte said...

It went right over my head. I missed knowing Bill was an author of so many books.
I am checking them out right now.

Which book of Bill's should I start with?

Lesa or Jeff, does Bill have children?

Glen Davis said...

I am deeply saddened by the news about Bill Crider. I never met him in real life, but we corresponded from time to time. Just a nice man all the way around.

I've been reading eclectic stuff:

Coercion by Tim Tigner. This guys is advertised all over Amazon and goodreads, so when I saw one of his books at Dimple's, I picked it up. Fairly good Glastnost era spy story.

The Danger Zone, a collection of stories from Erle Stanley Gardner. The intros to these books always mention Speed Dash the Human Fly, but then don't include the character anywhere, blast it!

The Girl in the Spider's Web. It's getting to the point I can't believe people read these.

Tahoe Night by Todd Borg, a PI story based in Tahoe about art and forgery.

Reptilian by John J. Rust, a creature feature book about the Lizard Man of the Carolinas.

Blackout, a disaster novel where all the power goes out in Europe.

Super Sales on Super Heroes by William D. Arand, which was just strange. It isn't every day you read books supporting slavery and corporatism.

Black Friday, a "shifter" novel. "Nuff said.

Gumshoe On The Loose, which I think is a parody.

Going to start on Way of The Shadow Wolves, a novel putatively by Steven Seagal. Yes, martial artist, movie star, Buddhist Lama, part time law man, and blues artist Seagal wrote a book.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Charlotte, yes. Bill has a daughter (who is married) and a son, both in their 40s. His daughter is in Northern California and his son lives in Austin. I believe both are there now.

Any of the Sheriff Rhodes books are worth reading.

Charlotte said...

Jeff, thank you for answering me. I had hoped he had children. I didn’t won’t him to be alone at this time.
We lost our daughter on December 1 last year to cancer. She was in hospice also. We only had her 27 days after
she was told. She was 56 years old. His children will be great comfort for him.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I'm one of many who share your sorrow at Bill Crider's news. He posted something similar on Facebook. He has been such an important part of many lives through his books and reviews and his VBKs photos.

Carol N Wong said...

So very sorry to read the news about Bill Crider. There is a picture of him with his catson Facebook,

Hope that you can see it here:

I have a friend who I am helping a little bit with her chemo bills and another friend who contacted me this morning about her test results. She is being evaluated to see if she needs to start cancer treatment. Next week, I go for blood tests to see where I am on my pre cacer.

As for books, I finished listening to The Japanese Love by Isabel Allende and after I review it I will start Island Beneath the Sea by the same other.

Also finishing White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht. I love that book. Great writing. Then will be starting Falling Together by Marisa de Los Santos.

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words about Bill. I keep praying for him.

Carol, I have a friend who likes the same type of books you do. She loves Isabel Allende, and has White Chrysanthemum at home. She hasn't read it yet, so I'll tell her what you said.