Friday, March 2, 2012

Hand-eye coordination and book reviews

My computer's having problems with its monitor. It seems the pins must have come loose in the connector, so now my screen goes periodically black and changes its resolution. I'm amazed how discombobulating this turns out to be. All those automatic mouse movements to select things from the screen, glide to the bottom of the page, switch from reading in acrobat to writing in word... they're all going wrong. Nothing's where my fingers and mouse expects it to be, and though my eyes can see the difference, getting the hands to coordinate is driving me crazy! It's kind of nice to retreat into a book and let the world and computer fade away. But it's probably time to post some book reviews, so I'll try to run the mouse along the tabs and pick the right windows to copy them into. This one's blogger, next one's gather, next one's goodreads, etc... A nice cup of coffee should help me concentrate.

I've read two paperback books this week, the first of which is Kathleen Rollins' Misfits and Heroes. The title really didn't inspire me, but the story's great and these misfits just might be the heroes who changed history. Well-researched and smoothly told, with some great ancient story-telling techniques woven in, this reads a bit like a cross between Jean Auel and YannMartel's Life of Pi and is truly un-put-down-able. Enjoy a 4-star elegant complex coffee with this elegant complex novel.

I joined a goodreads group challenging book reviewers to read one book for themselves each month this year. For February I chose a book I got for my last birthday and hadn't got around to yet, Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater. It's a lovely novel with a beautiful cover and teens who ring pleasingly true--not too introspective, not too gullible, not prone to boring conversation and certainly not living boring lives. For a slightly different take on werewolves with a slightly more convincing depth and storyline, this one's great to enjoy with a perfectly balanced, smooth, full-flavored 3-star cup of coffee.

Another teen fantasy, perhaps aimed at slightly younger teens, is Through the Portal, by Justin Dennis. Two friends living near Seattle find themselves in a strange new world where magic is governed by science and politics and The Regime has altogether too much power. Drink a 2-star easy-drinking coffee with this fast-flowing tale.

Next comes a real-world--well, rich-world--romantic thriller, Shadows over Paradise by Anne K. Edwards. The protagonist intends to be a writer, which makes this a richly observed tale of life and love gone wrong on an island paradise. Enjoy a 2-star lively easy-drinking coffee as the pages fly by.

I reviewed Resurrected Love, the third in K.M. Daughters' Gospa Journeys Christian romantic series, for Nights and Weekends this week too, an enjoyable tale where love means learning to forgive and accept forgiveness. I love the Croatian setting and unique characters in each short book of this series. Enjoy with a 1-star light crisp coffee.

Another Christian novel is Teric Darken's Kill FM 100, a fascinating tale with a soundtrack of hits as Cart-man Carter Jackson spins the music in his own radio station. The Killer Queen's visit leaves him struggling to survive and stay live on the air-waves, but the novel's second half has a tale of conversion and forgiveness earnestly told, with nice avoidance of the "just believe and all will be well" trap of so many books. Drink a 5-star bold dark intense coffee with this one.

... and finally, a book about marketing your novel--since my beloved Divide by Zero will come out in summer this year, Angela Smith's No Money Marketing seemed like an appropriate book for me to read and review. I need a 1-star mild crisp coffee while reading this.

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