Monday, July 12, 2010

Time For a Break

The news of the moving front is too depressing for words, so I'm not going to talk about that tonight.  Instead I want to talk about books.

Books, glorious books!  They're my happy place all the time, but especially when someone else's fictional world is a better place to be than my real one.

Over the weekend I started Naked Dragon by Annette Blair.  I was really looking forward to this one because 1) the premise sounded cool, and 2) I liked the cover.  (Forgive me, I'm shallow.)  Major disappointment.  There are some authors whose style I just don't like, and it looks like Blair is one of them.  I read something else of hers a couple years ago, and that one didn't do it for me, either.  I got about 60 pages in on this one and quit.  Weird, silly stuff was happening, and I'm just not into that.  I like silly sometimes, but not random, unmotivated silly.  There has to be a point to the joke, some motivation to the action, no matter how obscure, or it's a waste of story space.  (Like when the hero crash lands into modern Salem, and he's laying on the ground, stunned and blinking, and a skunk climbs up on his chest and sprays him in the  face.  Really?  Why was that necessary?  It wasn't even funny!)

My second problem with the book is harder to explain.  Every once in a while I come across an author whose writing doesn't connect with my brain.  It's like I'm looking through a window smeared with vaseline.  Everything is distorted and out of focus, and nothing makes sense.  It's all unclear.  Other people seem to like these authors, even though I find myself scratching my head and wondering why.  If I spent some time dissecting these books when they come along I could probably figure out why they don't work for me, but the truth is I don't care that much.  I just throw them back and move on.

So, moving on.  The next book I started was Stranded With a Spy by Merline Lovelace.  This was one of the first freebies I grabbed for my Kindle, and a year later I'm finally getting around to it.  It's all a little glam for my tastes, but otherwise an unobjectionable way to spend a few hours.  (At least, so far.  I haven't finished it yet.)  I have come across one problem, though.  The hero is telling the heroine about his time in the army, and he mentions IEDs.  When she doesn't know what that is (which is a pretty serious stretch for anyone these days, let alone someone who worked for a senator and ought to be plugged in to current events), the hero explains that it's an Individual Explosive Device.  Whoops.  That boing! sound you heard was me getting bounced out of the story.  I went back later and read a little more, and I'm still... well, enjoying might be too strong a word, but I'm still interested enough to see what happens next.  I can't guarantee this one won't get thrown back too, though, if any more egregious mistakes pop up.

I'm also reading The Vorkosigan Companion, which is quite entertaining so far.  But I'm a Bujold geek, and a writing geek, and a behind-the-scenes geek, so this hits a lot of buttons for me.  Also, completely unrelated to the quality of the material, this is one of the books I'm considering sending in for the Amazon trade-in program (I've already made a pretty penny in gift certificates sending off all the books I'm not going to have room for in another month), and the trade-in price keeps ping ponging back and forth between something in the $4 range and $.25.  I'll send it to them for $4, once I'm done reading it.  But if all they want to give me is $.25 for it, I'll take my chances at Half Price Books.  At least with them you're getting cash, so I can spend my $.25 anywhere I want.  (Although I'm hoarding these gift certificates like a dragon hoards gold.  It's the only way I'm going to be able to buy the new Crusie coming out at the end of August, and the new Raybourn coming out in October, and the new Bujold coming out in November!)

And because that's just not enough books, and because I've been reading about Miles (my literary boyfriend) in the Companion anyway, I'm also listening to the audio version of A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold, read by Grover Gardner.  He does such a great job with this series.

So, that's how I'm dealing with reality right now.  One book at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally, completely, and unreasonably biased against audiobooks read by American authors. Even so, I must admit that Grove Gardner did a good job with this book.


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