Variety is the Spice of Life

Once upon a time I didn’t read literary fiction. I didn’t even know literary fiction was a thing. My drug of choice were romance novels which later turned to romantic suspense then paranormal romance then to urban fantasy. When I was hooked on a specific genre I had a pattern: discover a new author then read EVERY book listed on the bibliography page. Which was fun in the pre-Internet days because sometimes the books would be in a series or trilogy, but the bibliography would be alphabetical so who the hell knew if that book you just got was the first in the set or maybe the last. I can’t tell you how many times I read a book only to get to the next one and find out I should have read it first.

How fast I would go through books back in the day.

These days I find I don’t binge on authors as much. If it’s part of a series and they’re all published I will read them, but to read their entire bibliography back to back? Not so much. Case in point, I read all of Sarah MacLean’s Rules for Scoundrels series, but haven’t dug into her backlist yet. Not because I didn’t like her writing, but because I did. I like having those books to come back to. Same with Octavia Butler. I read Parable of the Sower then immediately snatched up Parable of the Talents, but have yet to read Kindred or the Patternmaster series. I think the only reason I can do it still with a series is because to me a series is one big story broken into chunks. And don’t give me this b.s. about how your book is a standalone but it’s part of a series. Half the time when an author says that, there is so many references to previous books that you need to know about that you can’t enjoy the story. At least in my experience.

Don’t do this. Just tell people to go read the first book(s).

 

I tried to do it with Indu Sundaresan and Chitra Banerjee Divakruni. I loved their books and wanted to read them all, but I found in my old age I have to swap around. Read a little of this and read a little of that, then I can come back to the first author or even type of book. I can’t read a lot of historical fiction in a row these days. If it’s literary fiction I can’t read too many of the same kind, I have to swap the story a bit.

My immediate TBR is a hodgepodge of titles right now. I mentioned a few on the last post. I have everything from satire by Christopher Moore to historical fiction by Eugenia Kim to science fiction by Octavia Butler to a lot of feminist non fiction. I like to see where my mood takes me.

Have you ever binged an author’s backlist back to back? What’s your M.O. to your TBR?

 

The Pull List and Literary Loot Unites!

 

 

IMG_0150I love it when a plan comes together…okay, not so much a plan as when my bookish interests unite. Earlier in the week I had gotten an email that my copy of The Buried Giant by Kazou Ishiguro had come into the library and I planned at some point this week to pick it up, then two of the books I ordered for my oldest spawn were ready to pick up at our local indie bookstore. “What two books?” I hear you asking because who runs a book blog and then doesn’t title drop? That would be mean. The titles were Tuck Everlasting and How to Train Your Dragon. He’s reading above his grade level so it’s been fun to find classic books that will engage him without being too difficult in content. That’s a post in of itself. I also knew it was Rat Queens day which has been on a not so regular schedule as they dealt with new babies and abusive artists. Now there’s a new artist whose work I’ve pretty much fallen for and they’re back on track. I wasn’t going to pick up Rat Queens today except…it is also Saga day. And that felt like too much awesomeness to pass up.

While I was at Bookshop Santa Cruz picking up the spawn’s books, I noticed The Elegance of the Hedgehog in their used bin and I’d promised myself to buy it if I ever saw it in that bin (don’t ask why it had to be on those parameters, probably just to cut down on my spending). Then on the way to the customer service desk I lit upon Kindred by Octavia Butler of which I’d heard nothing but praise and why yes, I’m (mostly) only reading diverse authors this month so of course I’m going to buy it.

Not pictured are the ebooks I bought on Amazon. There were three authors that came out with the latest in their respective ongoing series, Chloe Neill’s Dark Debt in the Chicagoland Vampires, Anne Bishop’s Vision in Silver in the The Others series, and Seanan McGuire’s Pocket Apocalypse in the Incryptid series.

What comics or books did you pick up this week?