Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reading and Dependent

I remember when they said my oldest son was at last an "independent reader." I was so proud, and now he's grown up. I'm still proud of him of course--proud of them all--though he reads the sort of book I'd never understand and has no interest in fiction. Still, Independence Day, and independent reading got me wondering--if all my reading is done at the request of publishers, writers, publicists, etc, does that make me a "dependent reader"? So, I pondered, then I rebelled. I read lots of books for review last weekend, and added one "just for me." Then one turned into three, but it was an Ursula Le Guin series, so I have a good excuse. And that got me wondering, which writer would I most like to be. I wish I could write half as well as Ursula Le Guin!

Anyway, here are my most recent reads, with links to book reviews on gather, and suggested coffee strengths. For more about coffee, see the left hand sidebar. They're not ratings (I hate ratings), but they are flavors (and I love the taste of coffee)!

Starting in outer space:
Paradise 21, by Aubrie Dionne doesn't come out till August, but it's one well worth looking out for if you enjoy science fiction. There's a great blend of action, adventure, alien creatures, dystopian mystery and personal relationships, all bound up with some pretty neat questions about love and morality. When you finally get your copy, read with a cup of 3-star well-balanced coffee.

Fast Forward into the Future, by Kelvin O’Ralph
, is a youthful time-travel romance starring a wannabe writer who learns, through time travel, that he's going to succeed. Set in England, it's a story of self-doubt despite time-travel's sureties. Fairly short, and certainly written with a feeling of youth and speed, drink a 1-star light crisp coffee while reading this one.

Land of Nod: The Artifact, by Gary Hoover is another young-adult novel, this time with a mysterious machine providing the impetus for adventure, while the young protagonist searches for his missing super-scientist father. Drink a 2-star lively coffee (decaf perhaps) with this one.

Then there was that Ursula Le Guin trilogy: Gifts, Voices and Powers, by Ursula Le Guin--irresistable, lyrical, thought-provoking, imaginative... what other adjectives can I come up with. A really enjoyable series, to be enjoyed with whatever coffee or other drink you choose, but I'll recommend a 4-star rich, elegant, complex one to match the imaginary world.

And now, for variety, heading into the past:
A Kingdom’s Cost, by J.R Tomlin, takes the reader back to Scotland in the time of Robert de Bruce and the English King Edward Longshanks. I loved historical fiction as a teen, and this book takes me back to that enjoyment--all the fierce, fearsome beauty of country, freedom, love and war. Enjoy the elegant complex flavors of a 4-star coffee with this one.

To finish, there are some great poetic short story treats for the end of your reading meal, like chocolates to go with a bold dark 5-star coffee: Inklings, by Aparna Warrier. Fun, strange, thought-provoking, or just lingering on the inner ear, a perfect end to a perfect read.

1 comment:

Denise Bartlett said...

Hi Sheila, I agree it is often difficult to distinguish ourselves as independent readers when we read 'on assignment' the way world traveling journalists write 'on assignment' rather than writing and traveling just for themselves!

I applaud the time you have taken to read something you like by a great author. I've always loved to sink into those special worlds lurking in the pages of books by Ursula Le Guin, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Andre Norton and so many others.

So I'll toast you with a bit of the coffee bean and dwell for a moment on all the authors who have made a difference in my life.