Review: Nothing and Everything

The last book I read all the way through was Poul Anderson’s David Falkayn: Star Trader. I’d had another book I meant to review today, a modern one, by an author I’ll be meeting at a con in a month, but I choked on it. I’m still not sure I am going to finish it. I keep having this pro/con discussion in my head about the merits of forcing myself to read a bad book. I hate making reading feel like work. But on the other hand, if I am paying attention and analyzing what isn’t working, and why, then I might learn something from it. Sort of like learning that Hills Like White Elephants is not a story, it’s a vignette well written describing a moment in time, which literary students everywhere are forced to read meaning into.

Ahem, where was I? Oh, yes, making myself read.

I think I’ve mentioned before that the downside of becoming a professional in this industry, not only writer, but editor (not my own work, other people), and publisher, is that reading is now a chore. Oh, there are books that are a pure delight to read, or re-read. I just put the first seven Jim Butcher Dresden Files books on the kindle, since they were on sale, and my First Reader and I are happily re-reading them. The Poul Anderson was a re-read for me, although it’s probably been ten years since I read it last, and it was a joy to read.

Flipping through my Kindle app library, I see a half-dozen books in progress. One or two are short-story or non-fiction that I am nibbling at slowly. I have a fun book on the Secrets of the Cat that a friend gave me, for instance, which is a good short read when I haven’t much time.

I put the Monster Hunter series on the kindle using the Baen Mobile App, so the First Reader can re-read, and because he hasn’t yet read Monster Hunter Legion, which I have in paper, so I will buy it in ebook. We will do a tandem re-read to prepare for the upcoming release of Nemesis. Again, these are books I know, love, and can immerse myself in. Not so easy with other books.

But I can’t just read comfortable books always. For one thing, my favorite authors dont’ write fast enough to keep me in good reads. For another, I really do learn from the bad ones. So I’ll go back to choking down this book, and doing an analysis on it. It’s not so much the writing quality, as it is the heavy-handed message fic, so far. Maybe it will get better?