WWW Wednesday – Oct 22, 2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

• What are you currently reading?

As usual, I’m juggling several books in-progress, including advance copies for fellow authors. My husband Thor wonders if my multitasking has finally fried my brain, and he’s probably not far off.  But I’m actually reading a novel this time that’s outside my usual interests, since I met the author at a recent local event, “Books by the Bay” here in Bellingham, WA. Michael Hurley was here to accept an award from Chanticleer Book Reviews for his novel The Prodigal, so I got a signed copy. It’s a lovely, leisurely, and surprising collage of several characters who circle around events on Ocracoke Island on the East Coast of the U.S. Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly liked it, too.

• What did you recently finish reading?

This is what I originally signed up to write about — the way the Romance genre has transformed from the cliches everyone used to be so fond of mocking. (I seem to be in good company — Entertainment Weekly just ran a big feature on the way Romance has become mainstream.)

Not a usual reader of Romance novels, I had my eyes opened a few months ago when, as a volunteer task for Book View Cafe, I was doing format checks for pre-release ebooks. Intending to zip through Mindy Klasky’s novels in the Diamond Brides series, I found myself repeatedly getting hooked into reading the novels. Damn, she is one fine writer! Her romances, including today’s new release Center Stage, involve complex characters who are dealing not just with relationship conflicts, but such mainstream issues as adult illiteracy and neglected children. One thing I really enjoy about her writing is the sense of fun–as in Center Stage, when a rather repressed gal is urged by a new potential love interest to TP the house of the man who just left her at the altar. And Mindy doesn’t shy from spicy sex scenes that allow her characters to revel in their sensuality. I loved a scene in which one of her heroines, attracted to a new man but not yet connected, fantasizes about him in the shower while giving herself a frankly pleasurable sexual release. Yes, self-empowerment! Go, Mindy!

A novel I just finished is by another author I met at the Books by the Bay event: Seattle novelist Sharon Lynn Fisher. Her Ghost Planet is romantic science fiction, one of the fairly new subgenres. The first part of the novel introduces some element of attraction between the two main players, but the main focus is on some very interesting speculations about a planet where colonists are shadowed by “ghosts” of people from their former lives. I’m going to keep an eye on this emerging writer.

And, finally, I just finished a new YA novel by one of my favorite writers (and people), William Dietrich, The Murder of Adam and Eve. I believe this is his first YA novel, but develops his perennial interest in environmental themes as he sends two young characters back to prehistoric Africa in an attempt to prevent aliens from “resetting” a polluted earth by killing our distant ancestors. Lots of adventure and a cheap trip to wild Africa!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

In addition to the never-ending pile of student papers, next up is The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.  All I know is lots of people have recommended it….

What about you? What are you reading, have you been reading, wanting to read next?

 

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WWW Wednesday – Oct 22, 2014 — 6 Comments

  1. Mindy’s books–going back to the Jane Madison series–have enlightened me into what the romance genre should be. I love her Diamond Brides series for a fast paced romp with likable and engaging characters who have to examine the pros and cons of a relationship.

    I gave up reading romance for a long time because of the cliched tropes that were mere stalls. Like: if the characters just sat down and talked, you’d have about 20 pages of plot. Wallowing in misunderstanding and hurt pride occupies the rest of the book. NOT Mindy, or Pat Rice, or Sherwood Smith. Real stories with real conflicts.

  2. I’m reading Building the Japanese House Today by Peggy Landers Rao & Len Brackett, and Bushido, Spirit of the Samurai, by Inazo Nitobe. Also reading along as Ilona Andrews works on Sweep in Peace.

    Turns out my ancient wizard who looks about twenty-five once built Japanese homes, and still does as part of his cover life. He was also a samurai. So, doing homework. You gotta know their origins.

    Sweep in Peace is one of those fun fantasy/SF melds you wish you’d written. Clean Sweep, the first, is available in ebook or paper, and may actually be up still on their site (bu the coda chapter is only in the paid version, I believe.)

    I can recommend all of these for various reasons!

  3. Read:
    Celestial Matters by Richard Garfinkle
    The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Reading
    Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
    To Read:
    Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smith