Archive for September, 2008

I’ve Said It Before

Posted September 29, 2008 By Jandy

Vacations are wonderful for reading. Last week I was on vacation with my extended family. We had a great time. I was able to stick my nose in a few books. I took plenty with me. My daughter, though, took 14 books. OK, two were school books, but still! She finished 8 of them. I don’t think she read any of her homework.

The best book I read, When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin, was one I borrowed from her.

Honestly, though, I didn’t read all the time. Here’s me with a starfish.

Literature-Map – the Tourist Map of Literature

Posted September 15, 2008 By Jandy

If you like Nora Roberts’ or Robert B. Parker’s books, it’s easy to find other authors who write the same type of books that you’d probably enjoy. But what if you like Joshilyn Jackson’s books? (My daughter keeps recommending her to me.) Do you know who else may write in a similar style that you’d like to check out? Then check out Literature-Map – a cloud generator.

Put an author’s name into the search box – Joshilyn Jackson. Four other names appear around hers on the screen – Harper Lee, Anne Tyler, Ernest Gaines, and Jodi Picoult. Those people have works similar in style or content to Jackson. I’ve read Lee’s, Tyler’s and Gaines’ work and like them. The odds are good I’ll like Jackson’s work, too.

If you watch the screen closely, you’ll see those names float around some. But now put in an author who has more connections – like Mark Twain. Now lots of names appear and are moving all over the screen. It’s no surprise to see William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Alexandre Dumas, or Edgar Allen Poe listed. But – Ray Bradbury? Tony Hillerman? James Herriott? Maya Angelou? I certainly wouldn’t have thought to connect them. But depending on which book is being compared, I can see some of the links.

Literature Map is another way to look for books – as if I need another one!

Literature Map is part of Gnooks:

Gnooks – Welcome to the World of Literature!
Gnooks is a self-adapting community system based on the gnod engine. Discover new writers you will like, travel the map. of literature and discuss your favorite books and authors.

Paranormal Romances – Angels and Demons

Posted September 8, 2008 By Jandy

Paranormal romances are hot in the book romance world these days. They’ve always had some attraction, but right now they are especially popular. Perhaps it’s because we would like more magic in our lives.

I just finished reading two romances. The newest one, Insatiable Desire, just came out. It’s the demon story. I didn’t like the book. Yet Rita Herron is a good writer. The last demon romance I tried to read was bad and I had no trouble putting it aside. Insatiable Desire caught my interest immediately despite the violence and raw sex scenes. I was bound up in the characters and the descriptions of the Smoky Mountains. The land there is so old that I could imagine something like the Black Forest and the cave made of black rock. (As an aside, if you’ve never visited the Smoky Mountains, they’re well worth the time.)

As an antidote, I looked in Mt. Bookpile and found An Angel for Emily by Jude Deveraux waiting to be read. That was my next obvious choice. Emily is the head librarian in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina – hmmm, it doesn’t say how close to the Smokies, but she delivers books in the rural areas of the Appalachian Mountains in her free time. As she is leaving an awards dinner one night, angry because her fiance missed it, a man is suddenly standing in the road and she hits him. Although he gets knocked off the road, he is OK. He tells her he is Michael and he is her guardian angel. Yeah, right… It’s a fairly predictable, enjoyable Deveraux romance. The reasons Emily’s life is in danger was a surprise, though.

I’ll take the angel paranormal romances rather than demons. That fits my style. I like happily ever after, preferably with characters I can like throughout the book. Obviously, though, there is an audience for all types of romance, whether you prefer your demons or your angels.

War Against Typos

Posted September 5, 2008 By Jandy

Thursday Next (Eyre Affair, etc) is forever fighting against accidental changes in books. I had to chuckle while I was reading the first American hardback edition of First Among Sequels.

Thursday’s portrait is hung between Paddington’s and Harry Pooter‘s.

Book Buzz Meme

Posted September 3, 2008 By Jandy

LazyGal posted this and I had to play along. She found it at So Many Books.

I am going to list three categories of books. 3 MUST Read Books, 3 Keep Your Eyes on These, and 3 Look For These Soon. Keeping with the theme, I am going to tag at least 3 bloggers. They should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. Then they should tag at least 3 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as they go around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing. Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.

Here are my selections
(stars are next to my additions):

3 MUST Read Books:
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
* The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Goldberg: Variations by Gabriel Josipovici

3 Keep Your Eyes on These:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson
* Beginner’s Greek by James Collins

3 Look For These Soon:
* Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb

Private Patient by P.D. James
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This meme started at My Friend Amy, so let her know, too.

Consider yourself tagged.

Creativity of Reading

Posted September 1, 2008 By Jandy

I’m finally getting to First Among Sequels, the latest Thursday Next novel by Jasper Fforde. I hadn’t expected an older (slightly) more sedate Thursday. But we quickly learn she isn’t quite as she appears.

The Thursday Next novels are about books and reading. I found this quote that gives a different perspective on the creativity of the writing and reading process:

“Reading, I had learned, was as creative a process as writing, sometimes more so. When we read of the dying of the setting sun or the boom and swish of the incoming tide, we should reserve as much praise for ourselves as the author. After all, the reader is doing all the work–the writer may have died long ago.”

When reviewing books we tend to see how well it’s written, etc, usually praising the author. But we shouldn’t forget what we, as the reader, brings to the activity. If you’re a reader your mental input is as important as the writer’s words. Don’t say you’re not creative, you are.