No sooner did I whine about having too much to do than do I put the finishing touches on my entry for SIRC. Maybe I ought to complain more often; it seems to get things done.
In between the madness of writing, editing, and beta reading, I managed to get through a number of most excellent books this month:
Bird by Bird Ann Lamott – Lamott’s guide to writing is funny. Very, very funny. Offering tips on every stage of the writing game, from taking notes to publication, it’s liberally peppered with self-deprecation and fun and insightful anecdotes from Lamott’s own experiences with writing, teaching, publishing, and life in general. For a writer, it’s well worth reading. And owning. Because everyone writes shitty first drafts, and getting published won’t make your life any better.
The Strain Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan – I have to confess I actually stopped reading this halfway through. A plane dies just after landing at JFK, and what the CDC finds inside the cabin lets loose a monster of an epidemic on the unsuspecting populace of New York City. While well written and fast paced, my stomach couldn’t handle the disease descriptions that started cropping up closer to the middle. I have a strong stomach, but some of them made my stomach roll like it hasn’t since the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. Ugh. If you’re looking for a fresh take on vampires, though, this is a good bet.
The Kate Daniels series (Magic Burns through Magic Slays) Ilona Andrews – I want Kate to be my new best friend. She’s way more awesome and kicks so much more ass than almost any other ass-kicking female protagonist I’ve read. Over the course of the series, she slowly lets down her guard and allows people to get close to her, all the while wielding a sword, collecting power words, and generally saving the tumbled-down city of Atlanta from destroying itself. A truly awesome example of excellent character development.
Table Manners Mia King – This book sat on my coffee table for several months before I got around to reading it, and when I did, I devoured it in days. Deirdre McIntosh has seemingly recovered from the brink of disaster. After losing her local cable show and her apartment in one fell swoop, she’s back with a vengeance, with a contract with a baked goods company, a new condo, and a sexy boyfriend. Then, of course, her new found luck starts to turn sour. I wish I’d re-read Good Things, the prequel, again before I read Table Manners. This was mostly because while there were enough details about what had happened in the previous book I didn’t feel too lost, I felt like I was racing through it just so I could get it back to my sister, and I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I had in Good Things. Or maybe it was the book’s fault. Who knows.
*images via William Morrow and Berkley Press