More new books!

New_books_June_27I wasn’t expecting them until next week, but I got new books this morning!

I bought American Gods as it was on sale and I don’t own it. I have read it, but I was reminded that I don’t actually have my own copy a few months ago when a friend texted me with “American Gods, should I get it?” I picked up the message about fifteen minutes after he’d sent it and immediately texted back with “YES IT’S AMAZING GET IT” and thankfully caught him just as he was about to leave the shop. He liked it (yay!) and I decided I needed a copy. And so, book!

I also bought Vermillion as it’s been popping up on my Twitter and social media feeds, and it looked interesting. It’s also one that I think a friend will like, and I always like being able to recommend books.

Brave New Girls is an anthology that I’ve been following from behind-the-scenes and did consider writing a story for, but didn’t manage to follow through on that one. It’s edited by Paige Daniels, who is another Grimmie author (disclaimer – I haven’t managed to pick up the Non-Compliance series yet so haven’t got a bias beyond fellow-author), and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

In addition, I picked up some mythology books from work (two Japanese, one Russian and one Chinese) – I’m not sure what they’re for yet but they’re interesting, and it’s all research for future stories. My weekend plans may involve a sofa, a cat and a stack of books…

On serials and waiting

I’ve been reading a story in serial format over the last few months, and it’s getting close to the end, aka. everyone’s about to start throwing fireballs around. It’s been a pretty gripping story so far and I’m really interested to know what does happen – and much to the author’s smug delight, I honestly have no idea how it’s going to end. I didn’t predict any of the previous plot twists or events, and beyond some guesses as to the main character’s likely course of action (there’s going to be explosions and sarcasm) I have no real clue what the ending is going to be. So I really want to read it!

Unfortunately for me, the author’s a) really annoying, and b) a very good writer. They have this irritating habit of ending chapters on a cliffhanger – which is brilliant writing, as it makes the reader want to turn the page, want to keep reading…

…except this is a recipe for swearwords and frustration when the next chapter doesn’t yet exist. And it means an extra dose of frustration and a few new swearwords when the main character’s squaring up for a fight with the main baddie, and then the chapter ends! ARGH!

How on earth do comic book readers cope with the huge delays between issues? I’ve only got to wait until next week and that seems like far too long! I want to know what happens!

My reading pile: June 2015

Reading_list_June_2015So, my reading pile for the month has grown, shrunk and grown again…

I picked up A Slip of the Keyboard and The Gospel of Loki at the airport on my way to Edinburgh, and got through both of them on subsequent flights. I love Pratchett and it’s a nice collection of his speeches, articles and thoughts, so well worth getting if you like thoughts on writing and Pratchett’s sense of humour. Joanne Harris’ writing is very good, but I have to admit Loki didn’t grab me…I like Norse mythology, but it was nothing new. I’d suggest Gaiman’s American Gods as a better option, as that delivers the mythology in a new and more intriguing story.

Atlantis and the Game of Time and Willow, Weep No More are both waiting on reviews from me; I’ve read them but haven’t yet got round to putting my thoughts on the screen! I will do full reviews but I’ll just mention that Willow, Weep would make a beautiful gift for anyone who likes fairy stories, and the illustrations are lovely. Atlantis is a good story but didn’t grab me – however, I’m not sure I’m the right reader for it, if that makes sense. I like my stories a little less epic-and-fate-of-the-world, even though those seem to be the ones that most people do like.

Hounded was recommended by my friend Peter Hornsby, and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever by Jay. He’s been reading those for the past few months and I admit I’m slightly dreading starting the series as it sounds like a bit of a rollercoaster read as well as being long! But I’ve also got the impression that it’s good (aka. he hasn’t shut up about it) so I’m going to give them a try.

The two Butchers are homework for the Dresden RPG; I’m currently two-thirds of the way through Summer Knight and reminding myself of useful bits of information that might be handy in the next few months…

Clariel was a Goodreads win, and is signed (I think I’m excited about that? I’m not sure I own any other author-signed books!) and so that’s on my list to read and review. I’m a little wary of taking it places as it’s currently beautiful and unblemished, but that does mean I need to find time to read it at home *looks around at to-do heaps* so, uh, that might take a while.

And The God Delusion is one off my “I really should read this” list, and that’s in progress!

My reading pile: graphic novels and comics

One of the glorious plus sides of working in a Library is that I get access to their stock. In a health Library that’s not so great, but in a multi-discipline Library – woot! I’ve currently got a few books out (two Roman history, The God Delusion and Jonathan Stroud) and sitting in my TBR pile, but I was shelving yesterday and remembered that my Library does comics too – they’re in the graphic design section so I always forget about them!

I’ve picked up Maus as I’ve been meaning to read it for years. I also picked up Road To Perdition, Blankets, a silly comic about a depressed vampire that I can’t currently remember the name of but looks like fun [edit: it’s Vampire Loves], and Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure, which looks completely silly but is set at the BM so of course I want to read it! I also read Gaiman’s Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch while I was sitting at the desk – beautiful artwork and haunting story, but it didn’t grab me in the same way that some of his others do.

I also glanced at a Sin City and Batman, but I’ve never really got on with Frank Miller’s writing/drawing, and I don’t get on with the ‘traditional’ comics. I loved the Sin City film (although I haven’t yet seen A Dame To Die For) and did like the Batman ones, but…I dunno. The writing in the Sin City books annoys me and the graphics aren’t as clean-cut as the films managed, so I seem to just put them down again every time I consider trying to read them. And Batman, urgh. Between muddled and intricate plots, the fanatic fan-base, the unrealistic caricatures and stereotyping, the lazy artwork and the sheer amount of effort to work out wtf is going on…count me out. I detest the traditional comic world (well, in the forms of DC and Marvel), and I’m so glad that the world has moved into indie comics and webcomics. There’s so many other things that I’d rather read!

I’m going to work my way through the shelves over the summer, and they also have some films I want to see – Cowboy Bebop for a start! I also found Neon Genesis Evangelion. I seem to be going slightly Japanese at the moment.

Wattpad and a recommendation

I’m now on Wattpadfind me if you want to, although I have only just joined! – and I’m enjoying poking around. It seems like a wonderful forum for new and rising authors, and a way to read and comment on writing. Plus I’m loving the idea of releasing free serial stories that don’t require a special format…I’m wondering if I can write anything that would fit the platform!

But what I want to say is, “Go and read this.

Disclaimer: Vicorva is my friend in real-life (it’s always strange when reality and Interwebz cross over!) and is also an occasional editor for my writing. However, I have very little problem with saying what I think about a book, and Paper Dragon is most definitely amazing and well worth a read. I’m signed up for the updates and I will be reading it as soon as it arrives in my inbox on Friday!

I’m also open to suggestions of what else to read on Wattpad, or any stories that you’d like to hear from me…