Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reading with coffee

Someone asked how many books I read in a week. I think it's about six--less if they're long (think Stephen King), more if they're short (like my own Flower Child).
Do I speed-read, my friend asked next. But I'm not sure what speed-reading means. I skip bits sometimes, then check back and work out what parts to cut from my novel.Some books grab me so I know I can't miss a word (think Stephen King again). Those are the ones I put on the outside of my bookshelves (two deep, two high... you get the picture), but they're not always the ones that take longest to read. Short books can grab me just the same.
Do I read ebooks? Yes, definitely.
And what have I read this week?

Read books. Drink coffee. (At six books a week, I need a lot of coffee!)

The Depressed Guy's Book of Wisdom, by Doug Westberg, might seem a strange choice for me, but I really enjoyed it. A book full of humor, written about depression, laugh out loud funny and deeply touching and intriguing, it's great to dip into (like Readers Digest) and full of amazing factoids, musical poetry and fascinating tales. Enjoy this beautifully balanced book with a 3-star well-balanced cup of coffee.

I met the author of The Depressed Guy's Book of Wisdom on Gather, and this next one's by another author I first met there. Aaron Paul Lazar's For the Birds tells the story of a happily married woman traveling in the Adirondacks to a hotel where she, her husband and her mother hope their pet parakeet might win an award. The author creates a very enjoyable female protagonist in this book and promises more mysteries to come. With amusing hints of paranormal strangeness, scary villains, and a truly surprising twist, this is a perfectly balanced mystery to enjoy on a cold afternoon (remember sunshine) with a 3-star well-balanced coffee. (When you've finished it, look out for some of Aaron Lazar's other great series.)

Roses are Red, by Carrie Green, is an enjoyable set of short stories introducing a horror/suspense author whose first novel comes out next year. The situations are very deftly set up with economical and very effective description and explanation, and each story comes with a trademark intriguing twist. Enjoy these with a 5-star bold intense coffee, but the suspense might keep you from drinking.

Continuing in a sci-fi direction, Karen A. Wyle's Twin Bred is what my husband would call "hard" science fiction, a novel where the science makes sense, isn't overly (and therefore implausably) explained, but contains just enough of the known to be enjoyably and convincingly unknown. Enjoy a 4-star rich, elegant, complex coffee with this science fiction epic.

Now for two young adult novels. The Jinx, by D.F. Lamont, is a fun short novel about an eight-grade boy who seems singularly accident prone till he realizes everyone else is actually suffering from the accidents. Drawn into a battle to save the world, young Stephen's not sure which side he's meant to be on. But his irrepressible good humor and youthful outlook might save the day. Read this one with a 5-star bold intense coffee and give the kid a soda.

The Magi, by Kevin M. Turner, is the first book of a new teen fantasy series, telling the story of a young boy suddenly orphaned and whisked off to a rather scary boarding school. When the only teacher Elijah likes disappears he's almost ready to give up, but that's when his adventures really begin. Imagined and told in intricate detail, the plot and world are fun, the lessons learned are wise, and the series promises to intrigue. Drink a bold dark 5-star coffee with this dark tale of wise Magi, control of the elements, and the use and misuse of power.




2 comments:

Harvee said...

For the Birds is a book for me - a mystery with an interesting cast of characters and plot. On my wish list!

Laura Eno said...

Wow... I manage to read one to two books a week between writing - and many of them are repeats to let my mind relax from my own stories. My hat is off to you!