Saturday, May 15, 2010

3 books

Just Read: Robin Hood: The Story Behind the Legend, novelization of screenplay by David B. Coe, mass market

Why I picked it up: A friend wants me to go see the movie because he's crazy about Ridley Scott films. I didn't like the last movie I saw by Ridley so I thought I'd at least see what the story is like first. Generally I enjoy most Robin Hood books because I like Robin Hood, period, but if anyone can ruin it for me, Ridley can.

What I liked: Russell Crowe on the cover certainly doesn't hurt. Some great fight scenes in this one. Novelizing a screenplay isn't a walk in the park; I think the author did a decent job of it

What I didn't like: The first four chapters, which were overwritten; I'd have cut them and started with chapter five. The characterization of Robin missed the mark for me, and I felt there were a lot of great story opportunities with the characters that were bypassed. The book often reads more like an epic fantasy than historical fiction; subconsciously I kept waiting for the dragons and orcs to show up.

Reading: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris, hardcover

Why I picked it up: I enjoy Charlaine's writing style so I usually buy her vampire fiction. Also, it's not difficult to pickup and follow the story even if I do miss a book or two, kind of a rare quality in a lengthy novel series (this one is book ten; last one I read was seven, I think.)

What I like: The writing, which is easy and fun and effortless. The protagonist continues to evolve in subtle ways. Eric is finally regrowing a heart, I think, and it seems Bill got his ass kicked again, which always cheers me up immensely (not a Bill fan.)

What I don't like: The cover art for this series has never worked for me; it's childish, annoying and it never suits the books. The first thirty-seven pages are mostly backstory or the protag's recovery from/reconciliation with the backstory, which is a bit more than Charlaine usually does (yet this is book ten, so I know she's hauling around a boatload of series backstory now.)

Will Read:The True Love Quilting Club by Lori Wilde, mass market

Why I picked this up: This was a random/new-to-me purchase to expand my reading horizons. Every now and then I make myself buy a book by an author I've never read so that I can try something different and not get into a reading rut.

What I expect to like: The quilting bits. It's kind of impossible to write a bad book featuring quilters and quilting.

What I expect not to like: The true love. Any time that phrase is invoked it sets off certain internal intelligence alarm systems. But nothing ventured, etc.

So what books have you guys read, are reading or plan to read in the near future, and why? Let us know in comments.

26 comments:

  1. I'm reading "The Ice House" by Minette Walters. I don't like the gruelling aspects of other Walter's books, but I saw the BBC video of this in and I liked it. (Also I was doing some scene analysis for my blog, so now I want to check the original.)

    Also reading an indie author YA ebook called The Pocket Watch by Ronnel Porter, but I'm not far enough into it to say anything about it.

    And next up is Pretty is as Pretty Dies, by Elizabeth Spann Craig, because I will need something light and fun soon.

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  2. I am wading through David Weber's Storm From The Shadows. Space Opera doesn't cover it. You really need to concentrate on the political machinations and have read the previous books.

    I just wish he'd edit properly; I think I've found enough to delete a hundred pages from one thousand, and I'm not half way through!

    Still... I find myself strangely riveted.

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  3. Ha! Finally someone else who isn't a Bill fan. This has caused serious arguments with my reading buddies in the past... ; )

    You're right about the cover art, the british paperback reprints (or the spanish ones, for that matter) do much better on that count. I've always wondered - as an author, do you have much input on what goes on the cover?

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  4. Last night I finished Faerie Fate by Silver James. It's a historical romance mixed with time travel and fae. A modern-day woman who's life is filled with physical pain gets pulled out of her 50-yr old body and sent back to the body of a 25-yr old girl in medieval Ireland in order to fulfill a faerie covenant and find the love she was always meant to have.

    Next up: Feed by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). It's a zombie apocalypse novel that sounds like it'll be a fun change. If it's half as good as her October Daye novels, I'll be happy. =o)

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  5. Have just begun Under Heaven, Guy Gavariel Kay's latest - an epic set in China's Tang Dynasty. Remember the Tang horses?
    They are there.
    I have all of Kay's backlist because I admire him tremendously.
    He has an extraordinary capacity to turn a character or a plot point ass-over-kettle in unexpected ways.
    Lynn, just noticed you have me on your Thought For The Month.
    You are also an extraordinary writer whose books I also treasure-and, as well, you are extraordinarily kind.

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  6. I just read The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (for my June book club). Yes, it has the romance factor (which I don't like), but until the end it's not too heavy-handed with it. I really like the woman's story, though. It resonated with me.

    Now I'm reading research books for a play I'm planning, but I'm fitting in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, listening to it on CD while commuting to my classes. Can you tell I like YA lit?+å

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  7. I am currently re-reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I love this trilogy for so many reasons, and forget that it is supposed to be geared towards YA...there are conversations to be had surrounding the message about our world and government and power, etc. that are appropriate for ALL levels.

    I am also reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and I am in love with her characters. It is written from three different perspectives, and the voices to each are clear and different and wonderful.

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  8. I haven't read any of Charlaine Harris's books because the cover art is so silly. I'll have to give her a try.

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  9. I just finished For All the Tea in China, which is about how the British stole tea plants and tea-making expertise from China and brought them over to India. Fascinating story about industrial espionage.

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  10. I didn't know Lori Wilde had a women's fic out. I've enjoyed her romances. Love to know what you think of this one!

    Most recently finished Cressida Cowell's How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse. Pure fun for the whole family. Currently reading Pro Drupal Development.

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  11. I'm taking a short break from paranormal/fantasy to read the third book in the Nora Roberts "Bride Quartet," SAVOR THE MOMENT, and I'm enjoying it.

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  12. I am so grateful that you once blogged about Barbara O'Neal's The Secret of Everything. I loved that book and then picked up her Lost Recipe for Happiness and will undoubtedly read more of her work. Fabulous books!

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  13. Ooh, these look really interesting! Especially that movie. And I agree, the cover of the book doesn't really suit my tastes either...it kind of scares me actually. >_<

    Great reviews!

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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  14. I'm reading (for review) Laurell K. Hamilton's newest installment in the Anita Blake series. Bullet is due out next month and more than 100 pages into it, I'm liking it more than the last 3 or 4 books she's added to the series. This one's more back to basics, with characters that started the series. But honestly, I don't know how much farther she can really go with this series, nearly 20 books in.

    I'm kind of hoping that Anita's life become more simplified because keeping up with all the different characters is getting tough.

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  15. Just finished and loved an UF called Master of None-was a lot of fun, new author Sonya Bateman. Also reading Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas. I don't think the other things i'm reading count-reading two of my things because I'm also writing next in series books... O.O

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  16. I've decided to go back and clear off my TBR pile. It hasn't exactly stopped me from buying other books, but it has slowed me down. I just finished reading Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan, Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley, and Trick of Light by Rob Thurman. I'm getting ready to re-read Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. (Loved it!!!) I'm also reading Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill, Tithe by Holly Black, Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton, and Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep.

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  17. Just finished Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Winstead Jones. Good read. Also finished Allyson James' Stormwalker - first of a new series. I really liked it. Currently reading Shiloh Walker's Broken. Next up is London by Edward Rutherfurd. The novel expands 2000 years of history. Sounds like a James Michner type of book.

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  18. I've decided to make this summer a Canadiana fiction summer, so I just read Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner. It just won the 'Canada Reads' prize that the CBC puts on each year. I read the English translation, and it was fantastic. I was honestly excited to know what happened next, and how he would weave the 4 separate stories together.

    And there were pirates - who doesn't like French-Canadian or Acadian pirates?

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  19. Just read: One Night For Love, Mary Balogh

    Reading: nothing ATM, have a costuming/sewing project that I really, really need to get out the door.

    Readng next: By the time I pull my head out of the sewing project, my copy of Dreamveil should be arriving. It will be my reward!

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  20. Tessa wrote: I've always wondered - as an author, do you have much input on what goes on the cover?

    It really depends on the editor and how interested they are in having me involved in the process. Some do, some don't. I'm always grateful to be allowed to give my opinion, and often my input has resulted in certain details being used on my covers (I chose the designs for the tattoos used on the Kyndred series covers, for example.)

    That said, I should point out that I'm different from most authors in that I'm also an amateur artist and create most of my own free e-book covers, including one for an e-book my publisher sold (Master of Shadows.) The editors who do allow me to particip[ate are probably more willing to do that because of my experience.

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  21. Bernita wrote: Lynn, just noticed you have me on your Thought For The Month.

    You caught me -- I was lurking at your blog, and I loved that post. I still don't know what to call myself -- writer, author, hey you . . . :)

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  22. Deb wrote: I haven't read any of Charlaine Harris's books because the cover art is so silly. I'll have to give her a try.

    I really think she's worth a try, Deb. Also, regarding the ugly art, I just take the hardcover book jacket off and throw it away, or cover the paperback with an elastic-edged cloth book cover so I don't have to look at it.

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  23. Mary wrote: I am so grateful that you once blogged about Barbara O'Neal's The Secret of Everything. I loved that book and then picked up her Lost Recipe for Happiness and will undoubtedly read more of her work. Fabulous books!

    I must agree with you there. :) I'm currently working my way through her backlist and really enjoying every title I find, so she's consistently fabulous, too.

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  24. Robin wrote: I'm kind of hoping that Anita's life become more simplified because keeping up with all the different characters is getting tough.

    You're a better woman than me, Robin. I had to stop at Anita book six or seven because things (and not just the sex) got overcomplicated. I tried the Gentry books but that didn't work for me, so now I'm holding out until she writers something completely new.

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  25. That last writers should be a writes, btw. I am Queen of Planet Typo today. :)

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  26. I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates the covers of Charlaine Harris' books!

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