Things to Read

The other thing that happened over the last few weeks has been: I’m utterly in love with my Kindle. Now, this is the first e-reader I’ve ever had, so it may very well be that I don’t love Kindle itself so much as e-readers in general. I’ll admit, I was something of a book snob. Paper! Print! Physical books, yay! And really, I still do prefer them, in theory . . . except, I travel mostly by walking or public transportation, which means I carry my books with me that I’m reading, and some of the books I read are huge. We have a small apartment and I have a tendency toward minimalism when it comes to material possessions, so I go back and forth between wanting to purchase the books my favorite writers write, to help support them, and not wanting to acquire every book I read to own and keep. And then there’s the paper and print and use of resources issue that comes up, and there’s all this back and forth and pressure in my mind. Mostly, though, I made the purchase because there are a number of authors I read who mostly only publish e-books, and the device allows me more freedom with reading them.

So, in October, I bought the Kindle, bought a few books for it, and then put it away because expensive gadgets are intimidating, and I had this inner struggle to go through.

But, I discovered that I love the thing. Its portablity, its weight, its ability to hold more than one book. I really loved the “oh I’m stuck at work and I still have the whole trip home to go and I finished this book . . . oh, look, I’ve got another one to read,” experience.

To celebrate the purchase of the device, I bought Urban Shaman, Forever Freed, Spirit of the Mountain, and Gods of the Ashpalt. You all already know what I thought of that particular book (summary: go buy, go read!), but the can’t-think of the last few weeks allowed me to read. A lot.

Urban Shaman was awesome. I’m weird in that I have a hard time with gods-as-bad-guys, except, stories are stories, and at least in this series it made sense. Yay for having backstory that one can believe! Some writers have done some horrible things to the Hellenic gods, but this was done well. I have the second book awaiting my pleasure.

Forever Freed was part market research part “squee vampire!!”, and it didn’t disappoint. I don’t love the “tortured vampire” angle, though the writer doesn’t really go that route exactly. More of the “I never asked for this, but hey, it is what it is,” route, and the tortured bit is more about what happened to his family at the moment of his Making than the fact that he’s a vampire, so it’s okay. Typical romance in that most of the bad stuff that happens happens because the hero and heroine don’t talk about what’s important, but in fairness, this sort of big dark secret must be terribly hard to confess. Laura Kaye has an elemental series in the process of being released, and my next book acquisition will be going to the first in that series.

I’ve only started Spirit of the Mountain. I set it aside to read library books that will be due back in the coming week, most notably, finally, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. Valente’s work has been hit or miss with me — her Orphan Tales, as you may know, are on my Perfect Book list, her short stories make me happy to be a writer, and this book is falling into that category, too. Writing is magical and full of wonder and our boundaries are only the ones we agree to having, and extensive vocabulary is sexy on everyone. I did not read Deathless although Beth did, but mostly because people who get involved with not-human beings and make choices and then say no I take it back why did you let me make that choice, if you loved me you never would have, you took my life from me piss me off on principle, so the folklore that inspired the book turned me off before I cracked open the book, and Beth’s views on it as she read didn’t help. The writing, I’m sure, is top-notch. The Prestor John books I need to give another go — we tried the first as a read outloud book, but I think that makes it too slow moving for me and I lost interest. Likely, I have to be in the correct mood to read her stuff. Apparently, I currently am.

Another book I haven’t bought yet, but will be, is Dark Things II, an anthology of cat stories whose proceeds go to various cat sanctuaries all over the US. My good friend Juli has a story in the collection, and if that story is any indication of the rest of them, it’s gonna be an awesome book. Juli also has a story up at Eternal Haunted Summer which you should go check out (and the whole fabulous issue, and the back issues, too! EHS is pretty great, actually, and I’m so glad it’s there.)

And now I’m updated out. Back to work!


One thought on “Things to Read

  1. Beth

    The writing *was* top-notch in Deathless, for all that the story and its heroine both pissed me off immeasurably. I do have to be in the mood for Valente, much as I need to be in the mood for, say, smoked oysters (and even then my response is iffy), but I will give her this: Deathless is what made me start contemplating writing again.And I am looking forward to reading Fairyland.


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