Friday, February 17, 2012

Paper, kindle or pdf?

When people ask me to review a book I usually ask for paper if possible. I know it's bad for the environment and all that, but it sits in real space to guilt me, smiles from its cover to attract me, wanders around the house with me and even to the station in the car, doesn't mind being held over the cooker while I make dinner, doesn't break if I drop it...

Failing paper I'll happily review a kindle copy--never loses its page, small and light to carry, letters grow bigger when the room grows dark so I can read it in any light... but I do tend to lose track of the titles I'm meant to read next; it doesn't guilt me or organize me very well.

And, failing that, I'll take a pdf. I usually try them on the kindle first in hopes the text won't turn pale gray and spider-like. Sometimes some words are big enough to read, but if it isn't most of the words my eyes just can't cope with the confusion. Pdfs glue me to the computer, which glues me to the chair, which makes my back ache... but I still love reading.

One day I might do some kind of analysis to see if I write better reviews for paper, kindle or pdf. But for now I'll grab another coffee and post this week's reading list. The links should lead to longer reviews on gather. The coffee ratings are for style not quality.

Black Purse, by Stephanie M. Sellers, is a slowly-told novel with deep characters, rich history, and wonderful insights into different shades of abuse--personal, racial, or societal--and recovery. Drink a 4-star complex coffee and read slowly.

Black Purse features horses and their healing touch. In Russell Blake's An Angel with Fur, a wonderful dog called Lobo is the impetus for the author to move beyond his earlier life. I'd challenge anyone not to fall in love with this dog, and the story's beautifully told, filled with doggy humor and comfort in sorrow. Drink a 3-star smooth balanced coffee with this.

Moving from real dogs to somewhat imaginary ones, Cynchia and Mike Arsuaga's My Life as a Dog feels like a cross between Time Travellers Wife, Harry Dresden and a paranormal romance. And it really works. Great characters, zany humor, intriguing background, suspenseful mystery, and a gorgeous little Yorkie called Precious. Enjoy with a 2-star bright easy-drinking cup of coffee.

Staying in the world of the paranormal, Vampires Rule by K.C. Blake is a teen novel with vampires who aren't dreamy, dangers that aren't easily resolved, and relationships that aren't simple and predictable. Enjoy a 3-star well-balanced coffee with this one too.

Larissa Hinton's Everblossom is a carefully sculpted set of short stories and poems highlighting ideas from the authors novels. The writing's a little breathless and unpolished but I really enjoyed the twist on high school assumptions in the story Changes. I read the author's novel, Iwishicana/Acanwisha too--a fascinating premise executed with the out-of-this-world anything-goes approach of a later Robert Heinlein novel. Complex plot, lots of teen dialog, and the reader left to figure out what's going on...Drink a 5-star intense cup of coffee with these intensely written pieces.

All read on the kindle, though I'm reading a paper book now and have an epub and a pdf just reaching the top of my queue.

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