Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Couple Months of Books

Lately, I read so many books, I forget what I've read and what did and didn't work for me. So this self-indulgent (self-indulgent and blogging = redundant) post is just a listing of this year's books to date. (This way, later I can try to search for this posting using Blogger's crappy search engine and blister the air with pretty words when it doesn't work.)

The summary: I actually enjoyed all the books below and there was no damage to sheetrock due to books hitting the wall at a high velocity.

Endangered Species by Nevada Barr (Mystery) -- Barr's personal experience as a Park Service ranger gives the novel a terrific sense of authenticity, especially to anyone who has worked for the Federal Government (Me, raising hand). Proof that some degree of Mary-Sue-ism in a novel (or in this case, series) is a good thing. Endangered turtles, cute fawns, and murder.

The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman
(Mystery) -- Yes, Mom, I finally read a Hillerman. Like Nevada Barr's novels, it's obvious Hillerman knows his settings (desert southwest) and characters (Native Americans, cattle inspectors and ranchers). Really refreshing after my recent spate of romance novels (which seemed to be written by talented sixteen-year-olds who know nothing about life.)

Killer Cocktail by Sheryl J. Anderson (Mystery) -- I gotta love a book where the protagonist uses the term "McGuffin" and assumes the reader knows what she's talking about. The comparisons to "Sex and the City" and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series are apt. Smart, snappy humor and a strong sense of setting (New York City and the Hamptons.) Liked it enough to put Killer Heels, the previous novel, on my TBR list.

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
(Humor/Horror) -- Though not Moore's strongest book, still a heck of a lot of fun. One chapter title, "Undead and Somewhat Slightly Dazed" might call to mind another "girl copes with sudden vampirism" novel, but Bloodsucking Fiends is much more entertaining. It's a romance but not a traditional romance. The hero is a ordinary guy from the Midwest who says, "Gee whiz" during sex. The heroine just needs someone who can go out in the daylight.

Valiant by Holly Black (YA/Contemporary fantasy) -- The follow up to Tithe. Black's teenage characters aren't sugar and spice and it's very nice. In Valiant, seventeen-year old Val comes home to find her boyfriend and her mother having a Jerry Springer moment. Horrified, she runs away to the city, New York City, where she meets a couple of street kids who live in the subways. Before long, she finds that other things live in the subways. The romantic element takes a somewhat unusual route by featuring a hero who isn't the classic pretty boy.

Sorcerers & Secretaries by Amy Kim Ganter (Graphic novel/teen) -- I purchased this one because I love Ganter's art. Though the narrative is a little loose at times, Ganter's charming drawings are worth the read. Not as strong as Svetlana Chmakova's Dramacon, but the sequel still gets put on the auto-buy list.

Girls Poker Night by Jill A. Davis (chick lit) -- Ruby Capote is insane. Insane in that peculiar way of New Yorkers, over-analyzing everything and spending too much money on shrinks. But at times I can totally relate to her neuroses. In the manner of most chick-lit, the protagonist is emotionally damaged and can only have her happy ending (with her cute boss) by getting her psychiatric shit together. Fun, although the protagonist isn't very likeable.

Current read...
The Monsters of Gramercy Park by Danny Leigh (thriller/mystery?).

Wednesday and the weekend slowly approaches.



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