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 . . .