This isn’t a review, per se, because I haven’t been reading the ‘right’ books recently. Not the ones I would normally review for my readers. If you’re wondering what that means, it means I haven’t had the time to give full mental capacity to the books I need to review, and I was sick yesterday, so I was reading light and fluffy mysteries. The KU program is really nice for this. Also, paper books and I are having a problem. You see, I do most of my reading either late at night, or early in the morning, or in the moments stolen between classes during the day. For convenience, this means ebooks. Paper, like Brad Torgerson’s The Chaplain’s War, which I am halfway through, are far harder to finish, even when you are enjoying it very much, as I am with Chaplain’s War.
Also, I’m a moody reader, always have been. I read Dave Freer’s Joy Cometh with the Mourning (available now for pre-order) and it got me back in the reading mystery mode, which meant that Laura Montgomery’s Manx Prize went to the back-burner on the Kindle app. I picked up Rachel Abbott’s Only the Innocent, not because it’s anything at all like Dave’s sweet, warming cozy mystery, but the blurb intrigued me. It turned out to be a harrowing tale of a marriage controlled through psychological abuse, and all too accurately portrayed. Well-written, but not easy to read.
Moving on from there, I wound up reading a series of books by Bill Rogers, the DCI Tom Caton tales. Set in Manchester, England, they are… hm, how to put this. Decent mysteries, well-crafted enough to keep me reading, but flawed. Look, you all know I’m going to overlook the occasional stray typo, right? Well, sadly, these books have typos, grammatical errors that make me wince, and weird formatting problems. Didn’t keep me from reading (When I’m sick, I need to read rather than lie there feeling miserable) but when I’m stopping to go ‘wait, what? that word doesn’t mean… oh, nevermind.” that’s an issue. Recommended for the storytelling, if you can stomach bumps in the road.
Over the next week or so, I have some books that I’m waiting for them to come out so I can pounce, read, and review. Hopefully I’ll squeak out the time to do so. I’ll do a formal review of Dave Freer’s mystery on its release day, Nov. 27. I have a double handful of titles on the Kindle app I need to get through. I suppose I should stop jumping around on what I’m reading and settle down to certain books. One in particular… I’m about a third of the way into it, and I just can’t engage with the story. There are too many characters, in too many places, and I read the first book in the series a while back, don’t really feel like re-reading it just to get into this story again, and the story opens pretty much continuous with the last story, so I’m trying to remember what was happening and why I should care… I’ve given up for now. Reading shouldn’t be that much work.
And of course, a lot of the reason I was having trouble reading is that I was writing and editing Farmhand up until the beginning of the week when it was released. When I’m working on something, I back off on reading, unless it’s to work on a certain flavor for the book. Which is why I read L’Amour’s Shalako last week, and was amused to re-discover something I’d forgotten in the years since I last read it. The heroine in that book is named Irina, as well. Shalako was one of my favorites when I was a girl, something about the heroes in his books always got to me. I wanted to be that independent.