I spent most of the day doing yard work, stuff I had let slide while trying to finish the last book. Had to bust up a lot of old boards. We tried to burn some of them but had little luck with that so we wound up bagging up most of them for the garbage. Then did a bunch of mowing. Nothing like manual labor to make you appreciate writing. I'll probably get back to that this weekend.
I finished DEAD MAN'S DANCE by Robert Ferrigno. Took me a while to get into this one, but once I did I enjoyed it very much. Nice tight writing, nice twisty plot. I'll definitely read more by Ferrigno. I'm currently reading EAST OF SINGAPORE by Frederick Nebel, a chapbook reprint of a novella from the July 1926 issue of ACTION STORIES. I've read quite a few of Nebel's hardboiled private eye stories from BLACK MASK and DIME DETECTIVE and enjoyed all of them. This one is a bit different, a South Seas adventure yarn, but a lot of fun so far.
Over the past couple of days we watched the DVDs of a couple of remakes: WALKING TALL with the Rock and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS with Jackie Chan. Both of these movies got bad reviews when they came out, if I remember right, but I enjoyed them quite a bit. I like the Rock, thought THE SCORPION KING and THE RUNDOWN were both very good. WALKING TALL isn't quite as good but still fun. Johnny Knoxville makes a good sidekick. I also like Jackie Chan and thought this movie was really colorful and entertaining. It was silly, even a little dumb at times, but that's okay. And I enjoyed all the cameo appearances. I think I would have really liked this one if I'd seen it as a kid. I remember watching a probably equally unfaithful movie version of Verne's FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON and liking it a lot. Also THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, which is a sort-of sequel to TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Good adventure movies in those days, although I don't know how well they'd hold up if I saw them again now.