December 2nd, 2012

Wednesday burns a Village

Recent Reads

I haven't chatted about what I'm reading a long while. Part of the reason is that I've been buried head first in my last manuscript. Another reason is that I don't see myself as a reviewer. I'm a writer. It's a conflict of interest for me to review books, but I do like talking about books. I can't help that. So... I'll talk about what I'm reading but not in the sense of a reviewer. More like "these books were fun/interesting/whatever."

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown -- It's piqued my interest since I first heard about it as a kid. This book was huge in changing how American Indians were portrayed. I can see now why it shook up so much attention in 1970 when it first came out. (Seriously, it rattled American culture to its foundation.) I'm still reading it but I had to mention it because it's so powerful. I picked it up largely because of the other series I started writing. I can see now that my characters have been far too kind to one another. I need to step it up if it's to reflect realistically. Prime example of atrocity getting the upper hand. Holy shit. I'm not even half through it, and I've had to stop several times. It's given me nightmares. Just... wow. Seriously.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac -- Started reading because I felt it was a necessary part of my literary education. Since I don't have an English degree, I tend to do that to myself. Sometimes this is a very, very good thing. Sometimes not so much. I had to stop reading. Kerouac is just not my thing. The way that women are discussed and treated by the male characters (and it's obvious that the narrator admires these characters for doing it) just made me too stabby. Too old school macho for me. I get why it was so important at the time, but... [shudder]

The Diviners by Libba Bray -- Late 1920s era YA Urban Fantasy. Flappers, murder, mayhem, and magic. Good stuff. I enjoyed it quite a bit. For the record, Libba is one of my heroes. So, keep that in mind. It's easy to see how much work she did re: research. It pays off, making the setting very realistic. My favorite character was Jericho. This is the first in a series, by the way. So, I can't wait to learn more about Jericho.

Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell -- Read mostly for research. I needed something military that was an easy read.  I don't care for the TV series that much. The Mary Sue/Gary Stu routine is laid on far too thick for me to get past. (This, even though I <3 Sean Bean.) I wanted to see if it's just the TV series or if the books themselves are that way. It seems the books aren't as bad that way as the series was. So I'm sticking. Extra bonus? Cornwell is fabulous with the details you rarely see in other books. Good stuff.

The Apocalyse Codex by Charles Stross -- I'm a big fan of Charlie's work, the Laundry books in particular. Bob must save the world from an evil Colorado MegaChurch and its warped televangelist leader intent on bringing the giant squidly ones from the big bad dark. He has the help of a ninja witch and her ex-British Special Forces side kick. Or rather, they have Bob's help since Bob is a bit out of his league this time around. (When isn't he?) Since I don't care much for megachurches -- chalk it up to years of bad experiences with a judgemental ex-boyfriend and his tyrant mother -- I found the book particularly fun. ;) For the record, I palm off Stross's books on just about everyone who sits still long enough. They're just the right combo of humor and horror.

Most of these are audiobooks. (I make faster progress that way. Did I mention I'm a slow reader? Because yeah... slooooow reader.)