Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What entices you to a Little Serious Reading ?

So many books... So little time to read... and write... and review. It's a serious issue!

And now it's summer so the sunshine (aka yard work) is calling. One of my friends said this morning that he knows when summer comes - his wife disappears into the fruit and flower beds. Not that I've had any success growing fruit, and my flowers are struggling to survive. My friend's wife has green thumbs, while mine are stained with messy virtual ink. So I'm trying to discover if my laptop will function outside; then I might enjoy the sun, ignore the weeds, and read and write all at the same time.

Ignore the weeds... ignore the weeds... It's a serious issue! And why does grass grow so much more effectively where it's not wanted than where it is?

Meanwhile my serious second novel, Infinite Sum, might, I hope, be both a serious and an enjoyable, uplifting read. It should come out soon with Second Wind Publishing. I keep wondering what the cover will look like. Would something like this entice you to read it, d'you think?



She paints in red and black, as if the colors might define her mood, or else declare it. She pictures beauty, turns her back, and finds her wandering paintbrush pares the colors into night. She lives, enjoys, an ordinary life. And yet that red keeps bleeding; that black keeps intervening over light.

Anyway, here are some reviews of some serious pieces of fiction that I've enjoyed reading recently:

First is The Bottom by Howard Owen. I enjoyed the earlier Willie Black novels tremendously, but this one's the best yet. Strong clear narration, an authentic sense of decay as jobs are lost, news is replaced by sound-bites, and life's distractions take over from life's aims. Meanwhile a serial killer's on the loose. Guilt and innocence are shrouded in the same smoke as past and future, all wrapped up in the potential fate of an area known at the Bottom. Wonderful evocative, told with pitch-perfect narration, and totally un-put-down-able, the Bottom is one to enjoy with a bold, dark, intense five-star coffee.

My Impending Death by Michael Laser is one I wasn't so sure about reading. Bleak humor. Suicidal narrator... Hmmm...  Bear in mind, I hated the Elegance of the Hedgehog. But I love this book! The humor sets just the right pace, and is perfectly balanced by irony, determination and folly. Then fate takes a hand rendering it all so evocative, mythical, perfectly grounded, and... well... making for a really good enthralling page-turning read. Meet overweight, miserable Angus and enjoy his countdown, breakdown, and more with a rich, elegant, four-star coffee.

Next is a children's book, Countryside: The Book of the Wise, by J. T. Cope IV, with a serious feel to it. It's the first in a series, slightly heavy-weight perhaps, with lots of ground to cover in the creation of new worlds, just a gateway away from our own. There's a nice blend of middle-ages and present day in the way that Countryside works, and a good blend of fantasy and real life in the youngsters portrayed there. A little confusing at times, it's one you might need several fairly intense five-star cups of coffee for. But the series promises more of a four-star elegant complex coffee feel.

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