Do you seek out holiday books?

I read a post yesterday on favorite holiday books and I thought: I don’t have any favorite   holiday reads.

That’s not to say I don’t read holiday themed books – I do, if it drops in my lap. Sometimes they do, and they are usually romance books. Maybe mysteries.

But I don’t go looking for them, don’t seek them out. If I see them on library shelves? Okay. Maybe I’ll take one out.

None of the books I love to reread involve the holidays. None. Is that weird?

Maybe it’s because I read mostly fantasy and there aren’t a whole lot of holiday-themed fantasy books.

Teaser Tuesday: Night Broken

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I’m doing a reread of Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

My teaser:

“I only like a little bit mean,” Adam confided in a low-husky voice that made my heartbeat pick up. “Withholding cookies is world-class mean.”

- Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

NOS4A2 by Joey Hill

GoodReads Blurb:

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

NOS4A2 was my first horror book ever. Well, the first horror book that I actually read as horror (I’ve read other books from the horror shelves that felt urban fantasy to me.)

The first interesting thing is the misspelling of nosferatu in the title. Based on the title, I was expecting a Dracula like vampire. That’s not what I got.

Instead, the main character is this creepy, anti-Santa, emotion-sucking nosferatu. There are emotion-sucking vampires in other books, yes, but this particular vampire is not like them.

The best part of NOS4A2 is the epilogue. It is sweet and touching and really beautiful.

I am not sure I know what is the worse part. Maybe the middle. I was really ready to be done halfway through the book. It just seemed to go on and on and on. It was almost an effort to make myself read, until things got good again.

The second annoying/interesting part is the same part: chapter headings. Sometimes a chapter ends, but the sentence continues into the next chapter as the title.

So one chapter ends like so:

There was only her breath and roaring, raging static, that endless waterfall of sound, rising in volume, building to a maddening intensity and then building some more until she wanted to cry out for it to stop, the word coming to her lips, stop, stop it, her lungs gathering air to shout, and that was when the bike thudded back down in

This is an amazingly long sentence, 62 words, but it’s not finished and I will admit, the first time I saw a sentence like this, I thought my copy was damaged. But the next page is the first page of the next chapter and it is entitled:

Haverhill, Massachusetts

This method of chapter titles was confusing the first few times I saw it, but I got used to it.

 

Vic is the main character. She has the power to create a Shorter Way Bridge. This power wrecks her life. If she hadn’t had it, she would never have encountered the evil anti-Santa vampire without it. Perhaps I should say meeting the villain ruined her life. (But villains do that, don’t they? The ruin lives.)

He kidnaps her and she escapes. But she’s haunted by phone calls from the other children he’d kidnapped ever since.

It makes her a bad mate for the hero of the book: Lou. He’s over weight, loves bikes and Vic both. He deserves someone better, someone able to be with him.

But they have a child together and when he’s in danger, Vic is amazing. That’s when the story really gets going. I wish it had happened earlier. I mean, amazing. She finally gets her stuff together.

If it wasn’t for the epilogue, I don’t think I would like the ending. The epilogue saves it.

 

NOS4A2 wasn’t especially scary. It didn’t give me nightmares. Maybe that means it isn’t horror. I don’t know.

Except for the nosferatu, I am not even sure what horror elements are present in NOS4A2. Maybe it is very unusual horror? I don’t know enough about the genre to say.

 

Would I read this again? No.

But it is a decent read. Not great – it needed to be about 200 pages shorter – but decent.

what should i read next?

whatshouldireadnext.com is a website where you type in a book title or author and it gives book recommendations based on it.  

I typed in: Ancillary Justice.

The first ten it gave me:

  1. Jacqueline Carey – Dark Currents: MURDER–INVESTIGATION / POLICE
  2. Ann Aguirre – Perdition: MERCENARY TROOPS / PRISONERS / SURVIVAL / CRIMINALS
  3. Rachel Caine – Working Stiff: ZOMBIES / FUNERAL HOMES / PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY / PARANORMAL FICTION / UNDERTAKERS AND UNDERTAKING / SUPERNATURAL / SUSPENSE FICTION
  4. James Blish – A Case of Conscience (Del Rey Impact): MANICHAEISM / ETHICS / LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS / FAITH AND REASON / RELIGION AND SCIENCE / CONSCIENCE–RELIGIOUS ASPECTS / SCIENCE FICTION, AMERICAN
  5. Ben Aaronovitch – Whispers Under Ground: ENGLAND–LONDON / MAGIC / MURDER / SUBWAYS / WIZARDS / GRANT, PETER (FICTITIOUS CHARACTER) / FICTION / DETECTIVE AND MYSTERY STORIES
  6. William Olaf Stapledon – Odd John and Sirius: SCIENCE FICTION, ENGLISH / EVOLUTION (BIOLOGY) / MUTATION (BIOLOGY) / GIFTED PERSONS
  7. Colette – The Complete Claudine: Claudine at School, Claudine in Paris, Claudine Married, Claudine and Annie: COLETTE, 1873-1954 / AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FICTION, FRENCH / GIRLS / MANNERS AND CUSTOMS / YOUNG WOMEN / FRANCE / SOCIAL LIFE AND CUSTOMS / TRANSLATIONS INTO ENGLISH
  8. Richard Kadrey – Kill City Blues
  9. Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers of London: POLICE / WIZARDS / SUPERNATURAL / PARANORMAL FICTION / FANTASY FICTION
  10.  T A Pratt – Poison Sleep (Marla Mason, Book 2): MAGIC / WIZARDS / PSYCHICS

I imagine the things in capital letters are what these books have in common with Ancillary Justice. Some of them anyway. Ancillary Justice cannot be AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FICTION. Kill City Blues apparently has nothing in common with Ancillary Justice . . .

There are several books here I’ve never heard of: A Case of Conscience, Odd John and Sirius and Colette – The Complete Claudine.

I don’t think Colette – The Complete Claudine is even science fiction or fantasy or paranormal in any way. It probably doesn’t include ships and AI. I am not at all it is interesting. Why did whatshouldireadnext.com cough up this title?

A lot of the others look like fantasy and look at least a little interesting.

The best thing about it – the reason why it works! – is that I’ve never read any of them before.

What’s the most terrifying book you ever read?

This is a question that a BookEnds asked: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/books/review/whats-the-most-terrifying-book-youve-ever-read.html

The writers chose books for various reasons, including how real the book felt.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

For me, the scariest book I ever read is Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s dystopian, not horror, but the way they changed the newspapers after publication? Yeah. Not taking it back, not apologizing for a print error, but changing it altogether.

That kind of thing wasn’t possible when it was written, it wasn’t possible in 1984, but it is possible now. And that’s scary.

I love ebooks and reading online in general, but that kind of thing is possible and it scares me. It really does.

National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month

NaBloPoMo_November

Nationalnanowrimo-logo Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month start today. 

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. The current WiP doesn’t have another 50,000 words in it. I’m still slightly stuck, so the word count isn’t moving very fast. And I really don’t want to start something new.

If I were on schedule, I could have and it would have been so much fun! (I actually have ideas for several novel -length ideas!) But I’m not so . . . No.

But I thought maybe I could do National Blog Posting Month. You have to post something each day of the month. The closest I’ve come to that is the A-Z Challenge, where you post every day but the weekends. Me, I barely managed it this year. I used the weekends to write some of the week’s posts.

I’ve been blogging for 4 years how and I’ve never managed to blog everyday for a month, weekends and all. I may, however, have gone for a whole month without blogging.

So I’m not really very confident about my ability to do so now. But I suppose it will be an interesting challenge.

Sunday Stealing Meme

I’ve discovered a new meme: Sunday Stealing! http://sundaystealing.blogspot.com does this meme.

I don’t know how often I will do this meme, but today’s topic is about books so I did it!!!

You answer these questions. I copied and pasted the list.

1. Favorite childhood book?

Charlotte’s Web by  E.B. White

2. What are you reading right now? 

I want to start The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, but still have to get the book.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

LOL I’ll probably request The Rook by Daniel O’Malley!

4. Bad book habit?

Um . . . reading the ending first.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing!!!

6. Do you have an e-reader? 

Yes, a Nook simple touch. I love it.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? 

Several, that way way I always got something.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Not a lot, not.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)? 

This is a hard one. There have been hardly any bad ones this year. I have no idea.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Hands down, Ancillary Justice by  Ann Leckie is the best thing I’ve read all year.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? 

Not very. Maybe once a quarter.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? 

Reading in the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, romance, mystery.

13. Can you read on the bus? 

No.

14. Favorite place to read? 

Bed!!!

15. What is your policy on book lending? 

I’ve got no issues with it.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? 

Sometimes, but only if I know I will never, ever sell it.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Rarely and only if I know I will never, ever sell it.

18. Not even with text books? 

I usually sell text books, so no.

19. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? 

The last book like that was Drown by Junot Diaz.

20. What makes you love a book?

Good world building and characters and plot. Decent writing.

Forgotten Baby: Things that Bother me in Books

So, a couple weeks ago, I was reading a book. A fantasy. Not an epic fantasy, not urban fantasy, more sword and sorcery.

There was a guy; he used magic to sort of nudge a girl to like him. She does, they got together, and in due time, she gets pregnant.

The guy, the hero? He panics and wants out. A normal enough reaction in a boy, I suppose. He is all: I never promised her I would marry her.

So, okay, he didn’t. She thought otherwise, but he never said the words. In this community, the action is sort of a promise, but he never got that.

So than he gets into the trouble for questionable use of magic and gets thrown out of his community and into some other community.

The girl’s pregnancy is the catalyst for a bunch of actions, for the story taking off. She and her baby are never mentioned again. He falls in love with someone else, spends a lot to send letters to her, and never thinks about the unborn child he left behind. He never gives the child another thought.

Okay, yes, so it’s probably a little awkward to ask the girl you’re presently in love about the ex-girlfriend who you left pregnant. Still.

I am still a little bothered by how easily he can forget he left a child behind. I mean, he’s the hero of the book and all. He does a lot of good things, goes through a lot, he grows up. But this one thing? I can’t get over it. I finished the whole book weeks ago and it still bothers me.

I kept waiting for him to think about it. He never does. Not even when the girl he loves gets pregnant, too. It’s like the whole thing never happened.

What about the unborn child he left behind? What about the girl he got pregnant? It was a plot point and nothing more. It doesn’t have to be more – he’s that kind of guy, clearly.

But it bothers me. It really does. Do things like that bother you?

 

Friday Flash: Apologize

My first friday flash in a couple of weeks. Didn’t feel like writing one today either, but thought: I should.

 

The full moon rose above the tree line, big and round and dirty white, like someone had smeared dusty fingers across it.
 
She looked away, not wanting to see it. Terrible thing.
 
Flowers buried their heads in their petals all along the lawn. When she was little, she used to think they slept and sang them a lullaby in the evening.
 
She knew better now, didn’t she?
 
She bent to pick a bloodroot. Its white petals were tightly furled and soft as a newborn’s head. She picked one and let it drop on the dark green grass.
 
I will die.
 
Another petal floated to the ground. He will die.
 
A third petal joined its siblings. I will die.
 
A wolf emerged from the copse of woods and padded closer. His blond fur gleamed in the moonlight.
 
The fourth petal drifted down to rest on her sandaled foot. He will die.
 
His fur wavered and rippled under the full moon.
 
A fifth white petal wafted away in a gust of wind. I will die.
 
A man rose from the grass, tall, naked and skin like brightly polished copper.
 
The sixth petal landed on his black hair. He will die.
 
“We need to talk, babe,” he rumbled.
 
They did not.
 
The seventh petal circled down to land on the ground between them. I will die.
 
She pointed the gun she had taken from our locker. It held silver bullets she had especially commissioned. “There is nothing left to say.”
 
The last petal drifted away, out of sight on the wind. He will die.
 
She fired.
 
The shot missed him, smacked into the ground behind him. He never even flinched. Bastard.
 
He took several steps forward. “Come on, babe. You don’t want to shoot me.”
 
She turned away. “I want you gone.”
 
His arms closed around her waist. “I am sorry. It won’t happen.”
 
His heat seeped through her clothes. “No. It won’t.”
 
“I can make it up to you.” He blew a breath in her ear.
 
“You can’t. My mother’s crystal! You can’t replace it.”
 
“Give me a chance. Please.”
 
She huffed out a breath.

Books I Wish Had a Sequel

Have you ever read a book and wanted more? It ends, but you don’t want to leave the characters?

I’ve had this feeling a few times. I want to know more, about the characters, about the world. The book has ended, but the character’s life is still going on and I want to know what further adventures they have.

I have had this feeling with a few books.

1) Carnival by Elizabeth Bear 

This is first book I read by Elizabeth Bear. It has a fine ending. The heroes get their happy-ever-after, after a fantastic adventure and the genuine possibility that one of them might not make it and the other would be left forever scarred by the loss. Well, they both make it. But I want to know what happens next. Is there a war or something? The next book doesn’t have to use the same main characters as this one, but it would be nice.

2) The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Personally, I think Brandon Sanderson has a lot of space in this world to expand. Maybe with the main character, maybe not. But certainly he could expand on the emperor or one of the other minor characters. I think he should!

3) Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott

This is the first book I read Melissa Scott and the first cyberpunk I ever read, too. It ends on a hopeful note. But the question I want answered: what happens next? Something must happen next. They get out of all that controversy and nothing happens? Do the characters find happiness? Maybe just a short story? I am not asking for a lot.

4) Sunshine by Robin McKinley

In all honesty, this book never felt finished to me. It really, really needs a sequel. It needs to be a series. Seriously.