Saturday, February 18, 2012

Computer reading

Reasons to read on a computer:
  1. It's easier to write the review if I can make notes while I'm reading.
  2. It's easier to stay awake if I'm sitting in a computer chair (though I've still been known to fall asleep over the keyboard).
  3. Some pdf files look really awful on my kindle.
  4. I can't read epub files anywhere else. 
  5. I can't read docs (or blogs) anywhere else.
  6. And it's easier to search for files on my computer.
So here are reviews and coffee recommendations for four books read recently on my computer, plus one real hardback, just to be different: 

Starting with the hardback, we read Annie Proulx's Bird Cloud for our book group this month.It felt a bit like a cross between Bill Bryson's At Home (which we read in December) and Jane Kirkpatrick's Homestead (which they read before I joined up). The memoir is nicely framed with the parallel migrations of family and nature, but it's a slow read with lots of detail and a rather down-beat ending. Enjoy a complex 4-star coffee to keep yourself observant and awake.

And so to the computer. (I suspect my computer chair may not be ideal... Number one reason for not reading at the computer; it makes my back ache!)

Opening Day by Joe Perrone Jr is the second in the author's Matt Davis mysteries, read on the computer because I couldn't find it on my Kindle. (I think I'm having a bad effect on technology at the moment. I've had the book on there for ages, but if I ask my kindle to do a search, for any book title, it always succeeds then promptly dies and needs restarting, making the search function not terribly helpful.) The protagonist has left New York's grit and grime for the countryside and fly-fishing, but he's still a cop. Without the high-tech tools and speed of the city, will Matt find the murderer before he/she strikes again? Combining the gorgeous scenery and pleasing characters of a cozy mystery with hard-boiled detective work, this one makes for a nice change of pace, best enjoyed with a 3-star well-balanced coffee.

Dellani Oakes' Take a Bite Outta Crime is one you'll have to read on the computer too, since it's being released in installments on the Second Wind Publishing blog. It's well worth searching for (or waiting for in book form), a cozy mystery that quietly sneaks off in paranormal directions with gentle hints, persuasive characters and a bitingly gourmet restaurant. Enjoy some 5-star bold dark intense coffee with this.

Heading further afield in the real world, I read an epub edition of India was One, by An Indian. It's a novel with such a convincing voice you'll think the Indian in question is talking to you, side-tracking into explanation, describing cricket, traveling from India to America to Europe... An interesting what-if of recent history with a reminder to look deeper at who we are. Enjoy this surprisingly well-balanced book with a 3-star well-balanced coffee.

Little 15 by Stephanie Saye is one I could have read on my kindle. But remember that bad effect on technology thing? Last time I connected my kindle to the computer to copy a file across it got all upset with me, so I decided not to risk it. Like India was One, this story's told in a convincing voice, just as if the main character is sitting across the table from me. This time the narrator is an American girl, describing the struggles of her 15th year when attempts to be perfect come face to face with a world (school and family) that clearly is not perfect. Easy-reading, but not an easy read, this one begs readers to listen instead of leaping onto the tabloid judgement bandwagon. Highly recommended. Read with a 5-star intense cup of coffee. Read with a teen. Read with sorrow and hope. (I got a review copy from World Literary Cafe.)

And finally, one last book I had to read by computer because the pdf wouldn't work on my kindle. The God King by James West is a fascinating fantasy with a well-drawn imaginary world where convincing powers of good and evil collide in the lives of regular, imperfect people. Well-written with plenty of depth and fascinating characters, this fantasy was one I couldn't put down. Enjoy with an elegant complex 4-star coffee. And come back on the 27th  for my interview with the author.

Now it's time to relax on a comfortable chair, perhaps with a coffee, and enjoy some books not on a computer. Or maybe I should write, but, like I said, my back's aching...



1 comment:

Stephanie Saye said...

Sheila, thank you so much for reading my novel, LITTLE 15, and posting your insightful review. You really do "get" what LITTLE 15 is all about ... a disturbing, yet tender tale of passion and heartbreak; temptation and loss of innocence; of shame and guilt. Lastly, I just LOVE your rating system - and the fact that you think my novel is BOLD. Wow, thank you!