I’ve been reading a LOT lately. Last week I read An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg, Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love, War, and the Birth of America by Beverly Swerling, and Up Island by Anne Rivers Siddons.
The one by Spragg was very good. I like his style of writing: precise, clean; it was a quick read. Definitely going to look for more books by this author.
Beverly’s Shadowbrook was a bit of a monster at 512 pages, but it was full of interesting (and factual!) historical information about the French and Indian War–with perspectives from both sides of the battle. The native perspective kept me hooked, and I learned that a lot of the information they gave us in elementary school about Native Americans was WRONG! Maybe I should become an elementary school social studies teacher…
Up Island was a total waste of time, and I skimmed at least half of it. A horribly written novel about a group of middle aged people who eventually die; I think she was trying to make it romantic, but that attempt was highly unsuccessful if you ask me. The sense of connectedness that lovers have is absolutely lacking in all the examples she uses! And as if that wasn’t bad enough she writes with 95% description and 5% action, so it’s really extra-uber-boring. BORING. Capital B for don’t Bother.
I also re-read two books from The Song of the Lioness Quartet (by Tamora Pierce), which is only the best J Fic series ever written! I’ve read all four books about ten times each, and can probably recite them by heart, but still thoroughly enjoy them every time, even though I know exactly what’s going to happen! Do you have any books that are like this for you?
I recently finished Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. I love the classics! I wish I could continuously take college level literature classes and just read and think about and analyze every classic ever written. Since I can’t afford to do that, I’m just reading/thinking/analyzing on my own, which is almost as good.
I’m trying to get into adult fantasy literature, but haven’t had much luck so far. Fantasy was probably my favorite genre in high school, but the adult versions are all so convoluted! In my opinion, you shouldn’t need a six page list of characters at the beginning of a book in order to be able to understand who is who and what’s going on. Hello, I didn’t pick up this book to read a list, I want character development!! Is that too much to ask for? No. Also, why do fantasy writers give everyone names like Mkychfil and Syrtindia? Having to stumble over names like those is a major deterrent, and when you’re already extending your imaginiation to believe a story about an underwater warrior culture that worships eggs and can traverse time by eating sea anemones, you want to avoid unnecessary distractions like thirteen consonant first names. Have any of you read any decent fantasy books lately?