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Friday, March 12, 2010

Books Read and Stories Written

I know you're all dying to know what I've been reading since I started keeping track for the first time ever, this year. It isn't anything all that exciting or unexpected, I think, but I promised I'd update, so I'm updating!

January:
Terry Pratchett: Small Gods
        I wasn't in love with Small Gods, to be honest with you, and I hated that it had no chapter breaks. It made it very inconvenient to find a good place to put the book down, and I'm kind of a compulsive reader, so that was problematic for me. The story itself was good, I think it was just a slow build up, and the stuff I was REALLY interested in was all at the end, and then the book was over, so that was kind of sad. It had some awesome moments, for sure, and it was necessary for me to read it, all things considered.

Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
        I loved Percy Jackson. I think my feelings on that have already been made clear.

Diana Gabaldon: A Breath of Snow and Ashes
        As for the Outlander series, the first three I could not put down. The latter three I still loved, but my interest in devouring the books waned a bit. I think because of the shift into American History. As a citizen of the United States, I really don't have a lot of interest in American history. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I'd rather read something about Canadian or Australian history than American, if I'm going to read something colonial, and I was fascinated by the settings of Scotland and France, earlier in the series, though my passion is really for much much earlier history. I wouldn't have even picked these books up if my sister hadn't literally forced the first book into my hands at the bookstore. She so rarely reads fiction at all that when she does get into a series, it's a better than good chance it's good. I'm definitely anxious to get my hands on the latest, but I'm going to wait for the paperback because I'm cheap.

I also Beta-ed a book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I love the dialogue of revision-work, and really any excuse to discuss good books and good characters, which Beta-ing provides!

February:
Books 2-4 of Percy Jackson.
      I'm waiting for the fifth to come out in paperback, again, because I'm cheap. Also, I like all the books in a series to line up neatly on my bookshelf, and hardcovers do not fit well among paperbacks! I can't be the only one who feels this way?


It may seem kind of an awkward time for this, but since I'm apparently incapable of doing a monthly round-up, I figured I might as well put it out there while I'm percolating on some other more interesting blogposts for your entertainment. March  books will come to you in the next one of these posts I put together. Probably in April or May, unless I get my act together before then.

March has seen me take a break from novels and start playing with some short stories. Mostly because getting into Theseus's head, and figuring out how I want to revise Helen is driving me somewhat demented, so I needed a procrastination tool. I've also been struck by some Shiny New Ideas which are distracting me from the focus required and resulted in my spending a lot of time researching unrelated topics (Sigurd and Brynhild, Samson and Delilah) that I otherwise would have spent rewriting and editing.

Part of my problem with Helen, I think, is that I'm lacking that critical first response to the book. I like to get a feel for the interests, and know if I'm boring people. Usually, as I'm writing, I send chapter by completed chapter off to my loyal fan club president, but since it was NaNoWriMo, and he was participating, it didn't seem fair, and then we've both been busy with other things, and I wasn't as confident in the writing as I usually am, especially toward the end of this book. I should really take my own advice and start writing it all again from scratch without looking at what I already have, but this is easier to do when I don't have the full document staring me in the face on my hard drive.

Be on the look out for posts on these hot topics in the near future, if not here, elsewhere:
  • Samson and Delilah: Samson the Fool
  • Plutarch's Heresy (Yeah, I may be stretching the meaning of that word, but I like it.)
  • Being a Hero Sucks: Female Edition
  • Superman's Fine Emotional Control
 One of these, I'm pretty sure is going to be written and posted on GeekaChicas, and a second will be a guest post for another blog. I can promise you that I will confine my ruminations on Superman to this blog, for better or worse.

Also, I will be participating in the Drunk at First Sight blogfest coming to us in time for you all to enjoy on March 17th. It's hosted by Jon Paul at Where Sky Meets Ground. Check it out and sign up! Join the fun with your own drunken characters. At least having something to read will keep your mind off of how terrible your green beer tastes.

8 comments:

  1. Busy girl! Those are some great titles. :-)

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  2. Well, it's definitely no 100 books a year. I'm impressed that people are taking on that challenge!

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  3. That's exactly the way I feel about the Gabaldon series. American history holds little interest for me, and Gabaldon's latest, An Echo in the Bone, is set almost exclusively in Colonial America. Plus, the writing is weaker, or I'm getting more discriminating.

    Can't wait to dig into the Lightning Thief!

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  4. VR: I wonder if she moved it because she wanted to amp up the conflict to continue the series? But I think the most compelling aspect of the series is the relationships! I wish Dougal had lasted longer...

    I find that as a series goes on, there's usually a peak in the writing, and then a gradual drop off. I kind of HATE that I'm becoming more discerning though, as I write more and more. It takes the fun out of books I used to love.

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  5. I'm so with you on history. I love European history and ancient history, but it's only been recently that I've gotten interested in American history. I used to feel guilty too. Haha!

    Small Gods does sound kind of annoying... No chapter breaks?! As a mom, I NEED those. lol

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  6. It's funny how large a role formatting like that really plays. I couldn't figure out what the problem was for pages and pages and then all of sudden I realized it was chapter breaks missing!

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  7. My mum is crazy about Terry Pratchett even though I never got into reading those. But I really like Percy Jackson and its sequels. You should try another series also written by Rick Riordan but this time it only about Egyptian Gods. It is called The Kane Chronicles. I love reading about different cultures' gods, it is just so interesting. Now I am personally a sci-fi fan and just can't get enough of the Star Wars novels. Especially the trilogy written by Timothy Zahn!

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    1. I did read the first book in the Kane Chronicles, but I just didn't fall in love with it. I'm not sure why. I've pretty much given up on the Star Wars books now -- I used to be big into the EU, but I just don't enjoy them the way I used to. Every new reference to things from the prequels makes me twitch.

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