Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Paper paper (backs) everywhere

I'm just waiting for one more box of paperback books, then I'll have them all ready and stacked by the wall to be taken to the Christmas sales. Of course, I'm beginning to panic now - will I make back anything close to what I've spent from all this effort? The answer's probably no, and it's just as well I read something this week that reminds us garret artists:
  • as hobbies go, writing's relatively cheap
  • as businesses go, writing's pretty unlikely to be successful
  • but as vocations go, you're doing what you love, what you were made to do, so what are you complaining about.
Okay, I'll not complain (and I'll hope my generous spouse who earned all the money I spent doesn't say too much either).

Of course, it's hard to sell ebooks at a Christmas bazaar, so those boxes all contain real paper paperbacks, hence my heading. And I've been reading real paper books too, so here are some reviews:

Darkness Brewing, by The Coffee House Writers Group, is a compilation much like our own beloved Writers' Mill Journal, produced by a different local writers' group, and geared specifically toward horror and darkness. Most definitely not for the squeamish, it's an interesting (dark coffee) blend with some touches of humor in among the horrors. Enjoy with some seriously dark intense 5-star coffee.

Wayzata, by Ted Korsmo, is a short, noirish mystery with literary overtones. Set in midwestern 1930s suburbia, it combines truly evocative description, a laconically noir voice, and a mystery behind the mystery, together with lots of drinking and its side-effects. Dark and intense, enjoy it with some more dark intense 5-star coffee, but keep some elegant 4-star coffee on the side.

Palm Beach Nasty, by Tom Turner, continues the downbeat, noirish feel of these books. It may well be the start of a series, in which case it will be a series to follow. New York City cop flees the dark life for Palm Beach's glorious shores, but people die in sunny places too, and he's actually quite pleased to be on the case again. There's a pleasing mix of dark and light, humor and grim reality, in this evocative mystery, with great characters, convincing relationships, and plenty of plot. Enjoy with a richly elegant, complex 4-star coffee.

My final print book from the batch is the second of Ali B.'s Soul Jumpers series, The Sixteen. The 12-year-old protagonist's voice and impatience with restrictions are suitably convincing, but she'll have a lot to learn. Not least of her problems is the fact that in book 1 she learned her dead father was alive and well in the body of a teenager. It's a fascinating premise - that some people get to live again to complete their tasks on earth - and I'm not sure yet where the author will take it. For now, The Sixteen moves fast and furiously as it tells the next episode in a much longer tale. Enjoy, or let your middle-grader enjoy, with some lively, easy-drinking 2-star coffee. (Do middle-graders drink coffee?)

I'll post reviews of a collection of ebooks tomorrow, thus saving paper, or something...





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