Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reading Roundup - Week 1

I'm keeping track of my WIPs with Major Knitter's Finish or Frog It group, and now I need to get a handle on my reading and writing.
One thing I've been wanting to do is write more.
Yes, I understand blogging is writing, but as with any craft, you have to take the time to work at it in order to get the best results.
So I realized that if I want to write, I should at least write something.
Perhaps I should start with reviewing books on Amazon.
Apparently I'll have to think over that for a few days before I actually put it into action, because I had this thought months ago and I still haven't done anything.
Seriously, though, on Amazon the book reviews are free, they are personal opinions, and sometimes others might find value in them.
But how to go about writing a review.
I really think there are different types of reviews: ones that are very scholarly, ones that are essays, ones that are very insightful, ones that detail every bit of the plot, and ones that are just slightly above illiterate, i.e., "this book sux".
I've read some reviews of books I thought were hideous and should have horrible reviews, yet people just gush about how great these books are.
Are you kidding me?
See, personal opinion, can't go wrong, and no one will shoot you.
So here we are on the 6th day of the new year, and I've finished three books, with one more in progress and heading towards completion. (That's the problem with chain reading, sometimes you have two or three books going in the ashtray at any one time, all at various stages of completion.)
What should I do now?
Well first I'll tell you about them, just in case you're interested, and then I'll take the time to write some reviews.
The first was Dead Men Don't Crochet (1).
I picked it up because I thought the premise looked kind of cute, and who doesn't like books that use a craft as part of the plot. Well this book was not so good. Who knew that crocheters hate knitters so much.
And too many characters, more than I could keep track of.
Some things the protagonist said were cute, and spot on, but overall definitely not a five-star rating.
I'd be interested to go back and read the first book in the series, this is number two, and yes, I read them out of order (Horrors!), but I don't know if I can.
There's something forced about the protagonist, and I just don't think I really cared for her that much.
I'm sorry to say I started this book on December 24th, and I never finished it until January 3rd. On December 26th, or one of those days right after Christmas, I picked up Monica Ferris' new book Thai Die. I wasn't feeling the groove on that one either, but for the record, it was better than Dead Men. Now I didn't prolong reading this book because I wanted to keep the fun coming, either. The book only has about 270 pages. Seriously, I can read that in a day.
Which is what I did with a book that has 404 pages - Tom Holt's The Portable Door (2). This book was something I have read before and enjoyed, so I chose to read it again, and then I picked up the second book in the series, In Your Dreams (3), another book I have read before but enjoyed.
I really appreciate Tom Holt's humor; he is quite clever, and he is as close to fantasy as I will get. Although I have read Mercedes Lackey, but not regularly. And if you've ever read any of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books, then the humor in Tom Holt's books is very similar.
Holt's protagonists are always unassuming nebbishes who are forced into becoming unassuming heroes. The underdog does have his day.
So that's my literature roundup for this week.
Stayed tuned for more next week, because I just requested another seven books through inter-library loan, including the third book in the Tom Holt series about Paul Carpenter.
Have I told you how much I love ILL?

(By the way, apologies to Knitted and Purled for being a copycat and borrowing your method of numbering your texts. I hope you don't mind!)

1 comment:

KnittingReader said...

OMG! I can't believe you stole my idea! Just teasing--I'm sure I copied it from somewhere else!

I want to join Major Knitters group, but haven't had a chance to be on Ravelry for a couple of days. I've been too busy when all I want to do is crawl in bed with a good book!

Happy New Year!