Harper Lee!

Guys I know. I know. I promised I’d do better and I’ve already failed you. I’m not done though. I’m just reworking some ideas. Doing a post for all the #readharder tasks wasn’t really working for me. I am not a book review site and it was starting to feel that way. I’m rethinking how I want to do that. I also am toying with branching out from just writing about books to other awesome geeky stuff I like. Still working the angles.

In better news, I’m sure you’ve already heard the squee worthy Harper Lee news. I’m optimistic with reservations (which is coincidently my new band name). I’ll read it, of course. I am just scared of what kind of expectations comes from such an epic announcement.

2015 is setting up to be pretty great in books. We get a new Millennium (which I can never spell right the first time) book, a Harper Lee, and a Toni Morrison. I like saying it like that. It sounds like instead of their books, we’re all actually going to get the authors themselves. There are some genre authors who put a book out around the same time each year that I’m also looking forward to, but it’s not really the same, right? We take those for granted. It’s these authors who write sparingly so we must savor each bite. No matter the quality of the Harper Lee book, it’s doubtful we’re going to get any more after that. Toni Morrison is older so we probably don’t have many more from her in the future and Stieg Larsson is no longer with us so the rest of the Millennium books in theory aren’t even what he would have given us.

Are you going to reread To Kill a Mockingbird to get ready? Who would you like to see a new book from right now?

 

Task 13: A Romance: The Siren

Wow. Let me start there. So for task thirteen we were supposed to read a romance. I had a Sarah MacLean all picked out on Oyster, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord. I’d read MacLean last year for the first time and her books convinced me not all romance novels were the stuff of my early twenties, silly names for genitals and rapey scenes. You know the ones I’m talking about. And if not her, then one by Tessa Dare, another historical romance author who MacLean herself had recommended.

Then I started thinking. The whole reason for me to do this challenge was to widen my horizons. Why not jump into a romance category that was new to me. So I jumped off the deep end right into BDSM. Whoa. From the title of the post you know I didn’t pick up that one EVERYBODY can name. That one was problematic from what people I actually trust in books were saying. So I listened to those same people I trust and found The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. I am not sure this is a genre or category that I’m going to jump into regularly, but I’m glad I did it. Not all romance is created equal. Not all relationships are either. The word “consent” is crucial here. This is a complex book. For that reason I absolutely adored it. I read a lot of romances back in the day and they were pretty boring. This book isn’t just one thing. It’s going to probably make you uncomfortable. I know there were scenes that made me cringe, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. Nora was pretty great. Wesley. Oh I adored Wesley. Zach? Zach had shades of every romance novel hero ever, but I think Nora rattled him pretty well. And that made it better. He wasn’t as alpha as the trope calls for. Søren? I don’t like him. I’m sorry. But I did think he was interesting. Which I think is more important than liking a character.

This book is not going to be for everyone. It’s not the type of romance novel I’m going to recommend to my mom, but I know a few people who would see the brilliance of it. It was about a range of other emotions just as it was about sexual encounters or even romantic notions. A reviewer on Goodreads said she was “completely not okay with just about everything in it [the book]. And I still loved it.”  I’m not sure I loved it, but she’s pretty close to exactly how I felt. A good way for me to like a book is for it to make me think (or not think, perversely enough) and The Siren did that. I’m still debating on reading the second book to find out what happens to Nora. I’m probably going to wait until I get a little more traction in the #readharder challenge.

Have you read outside your comfort zone before? What happened?

Checking Out

Instead of lumping my library borrows with my bought gems, I decided to make a new column, Checking Out. This edition of Checking Out is one of an accidental nature. I had the second and third books of the Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch on hold. The third book had come in and the second was on its way. I went in to pick it up hoping that maybe the mail would come in while I was there. This didn’t happen. But the librarians are crafty and clever at our library and put the holds shelf pretty damn close to the New Books and Lucky Chance shelves. The Lucky Chance program is a way for people to get those high demand books without having to put a hold on it. There are no renewals on them and it’s pretty much first come first serve. I’ve gotten a few great books this way. And this visit was no different. 

 

  • The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. The book I originally went in to pick up
  • The Red Lily Crown by Elizabeth Loupas
  • Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady by Sally O’Reilly
  • I Don’t know What You know Me From by Judy Greer. I actually took this one back the next day and bought the audio. I love listening celebrity bios read by the authors
  • The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

 

In case you were wondering, the second book did show up, about an hour after I got back home… 

Has this happened to you? Gone in for a specific book and walked out with more?

Literary Loot: August 29, 2014

This is a good week for Literary Loot! I got my Quarterly Box from Book Riot! Apparently really fast from what Rebecca, the program organizer (or as I say Queen) tells me. So yay! I am already rocking the button. I think I’m going to have to hide it from my husband who is a huge Princess Bride fan.

Antici….pation

Okay, I know. That title is terrible. I couldn’t help it. I have it though. I am highly anticipating a few books in the coming months.

September 

  • Festive in Death by J.D. Robb. I have been a fan of this series forever. A futuristic cop procedural with tough as nails cop Eve Dallas, it’s a fun bit of mystery. The series isn’t perfect (I have issues with how Dallas’s hubby continually inserts himself into all her cases), but all in all it’s a ride I look forward to taking. Sep 1.
  • The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire. Again, a series I have an obsession with. This time it is an Urban Fantasy with a changeling named Toby Daye jumping through hoops to have to deal with the always scheming fae living among us, specifically in the San Francisco area. I have a weakness for violence and snark and Toby delivers both effortlessly and joyfully. Sep 2.
  • The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison. I hate to get all genre on you all at once, but I couldn’t help it. This is the last in Harrison’s much loved Hollows series so I’m definitely in it to win it. More snark (much of it from a pixie who uses Tinkerbell’s name in vain), more violence, and probably tears as we say goodbye to the Hollows crew. Sep 9.

October

  • Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity by David Friedman.  I’ve been convinced for awhile that Wilde would kill at Twitter. Remember that weakness I had for snark? He was a master of it. Go read The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Importance of Being Earnest if you don’t believe me. And if he were alive today we’d be seeing his shenanigans all over People magazine and E! News. I also really love biographies of authors. Some of them lived lives that were worthy being as interesting as the novels they wrote. Oct 9.
  • The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney. I have this one on its way to me as an ARC and I cannot wait. I have loved Ancient Egypt since I was a kid, but mostly I got stuck in Cleopatra’s reign. Lately I’ve branched out and picked up a few historical fictions of others. yYes, I know not the same as nonfiction, but that’s where I start. I have a process. Cooney writes of the longest reigning female pharoah, Hatshepsut and her  struggles of ruling in a time when men were the status quo. Oct 14.
  • Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. I have a confession I don’t watch Parks and Rec, but I did watch SNL and I read Bossypants earlier this summer. Tina Fey had a great anecdote involving Poehler that basically resulted in Poehler saying “I don’t fucking care if you like it.” I immediately wanted two things. One, a tshirt with this proclamation and two an Amy Poehler biography. To my family’s relief, I’m willing to settle for the book. I’m probably going audio since Poehler is narrating. Oct 28

 

What books are you anticipating in September and October?