Wednesday, February 17, 2010

3 Books

This year I considered adding one of those "What I'm reading" sidebar elements to the blog, because I like to see what other writers are reading and I often don't get a chance to write as many recs as I'd like. The main problem is that I go through between fifty and seventy books a month, so all I'd be doing is changing it.

As a compromise I'll be writing a post now and then about three books from my TBR: what I've just finished, what I'm currently reading, and what's next.

Just Read: A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh, hardcover

Why I picked it up: Mary Balogh is one of two historical romance authors I still read, and is the sort of writer who could publish her grocery list and I'd happily buy it.

What I liked: This little jewel is a new spin on what she does best (classic Regency romance), wonderfully structured with great characters. The twist is such that I saw it coming but still found charming anyway; builds to an excellent conclusion.

What I didn't like: The book jacket, which is mainly evil yellow, but I took care of that by removing it.

Reading: Inked anthology featuring Marjorie M. Liu, paperback

Why I picked it up: I needed a Hunter Kiss fix, thank you, Marjorie.

What I like: Marjorie writes short stories as well as she does novels, and so far Armor of Roses is terrific (I'm reading first because I'm a brat that way, and I'm not rushing because I don't want it to end.)

What I don't like: I'm not crazy about anthos for the same reasons I won't ever again write for one: no choice over which authors are included, the quality of the writing is often a mixed bag, and sometimes the editing is just all over the place. That said, I'm pretty sure I haven't read anything by the other three authors in this one, so this is a good opportunity for me to test-drive them.

Will Read: The Daily Reader by Fred White, trade paperback

Why I picked this up: Fred White is the author of guided writing exercise how-to The Daily Writer, which despite all the literary content I liked and found quite useful.

What I expect to like: He manages to talk about writing from a literary perspective without insulting me the genre writer in the process, which I rarely find and greatly appreciate. Although this looks like another great big pile o' lit, I'm hopeful for a repeat experience.

What I expect not to like: I already dislike the cover (why so many evil yellow covers out there this month? I'm about to break out in hives.) And I haven't looked but I'm almost positive there's going to be a reference to Chekhov (Anton, not the Star Trek dude) and then I'll remember being forced to read and analyze The Cherry Orchard in ninth grade and have those inappropriate fantasies about punching out my English teacher again. Do we ever get over the damage done to us in high school? I wonder . . .

12 comments:

  1. "great big pile o' lit" made me laugh out loud. The whole literature-as-higher-calling thing gets old fast, doesn't it?

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  2. Nice! I actually started using Goodreads to track my reading this year (currently reading, to read, read). Like you, updating the blog with that info all the time is too much work. Maybe I oughta blog about it from time to time, though.

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  3. I've been keeping a list of what I read since 07. I've been reading more books because of it - but I still pale! How do you get through that many? Do you sleep?? :D

    (My biggest problem is procuring books at a fast enough rate when there isn't a library I can just pop over to.)

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  4. Oh yeah - and love this new feature! good idea

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  5. Nope, I don't think we ever get over the damage done to us in high school, Lynn. Or I haven't at least.

    Anyway, I like this new idea of yours, though I can't imagine getting through 50-70 books in a month along with writing 1-2 a year. Presently, I'm reading the late Edith Layton's last book 'To Love a Wicked Lord' and I'm dragging my feet. Somehow, I feel like when I get to The End, she will truly be gone.

    Nina

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  6. Love your comment about the inappropriate desire to punch out your English teacher. I had one of those too. I still cringe at Beowulf and the year long assignment to translate the original into 'modern' English. Yeah...

    I'm seeing a lot more yellow too. Maybe it's the new Pink? ;o)

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  7. Mary Balogh is one of the few reasons I'm proud to call myself a Canadian these days! Thanks for reminding the world of her beautiful writing and class.

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  8. I like Karen Chance quite a bit. A friend lent me her first book and I was pleasantly happy with them. I haven't really read very many paranormal romances in the last few years b/c of law school and she helped to break that drought. And of course, Marjorie's stuff is always a pleasure to read.

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  9. For some reason I can never get excited about an anthology either. I want to enjoy them, but they always wind up disappointing.

    And, 50-70 a MONTH?!? When do you find time to write? Are you one of those genius speed readers?

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  10. Thank you--I enjoyed the recommendations for fiture reading.
    http://miriamswell.wordpress.com

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  11. Oh, wow! Fifty to a seventy books a month? I read 60-70 books a year and I'm looking to increase that number. Any tips for getting through books a little faster?

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  12. Anonymous2:47 PM

    I thought you recently mentioned Sarah Donatti a few weeks back, so I'm wondering if she's the other historical author. I just finished "An Echo of the Bone," by Gabaldon, (although I'm not quite sure if the "hitorical" label fits her) and I'm glad to say I liked it better than the previous one. Once upon a time I could read much faster, but I've never made 70 books in a month. I'm a bit jealous. :D
    JulieB

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