Book Obsession

Currently obsessing over Clive Cussler books. Particularly his Dirk Pitt series. Not my “normal” genre. Rarely have I read books like this as I tend to stick to Sci-Fi/Fantasy first and foremost. Then to my legal thrillers, horror, erotica, erotic fantasy and so on. BUT…Cussler has a knack for making this man, one that clearly does everything better than anyone else, an extremely interesting read. I’m on the 15th book of the set and have yet to be bored by any of them.

I find this rather intriguing.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve taken a long enough break from reading.

Beware, the Thesaurus Has Taken Over

One of my biggest pet peeves when I read is feeling like the author has supplanted a dictionary or thesaurus into their book. I don’t mind vivid description, please don’t take my meaning here wrong, but I do mind when I read something that makes me feel like Webster wrote half the book.

I don’t mean I need something “dumbed down” for me. I’m a fairly intelligent person. I just don’t like the feeling sometimes that some people write using words they wouldn’t normally use in normal conversation.

There are some exceptions to this. If an author is writing a genius as their character I expect it. You can usually tell if an author sat there writing his/her book with a dictionary and/or thesaurus open next to them. It has a tendency to turn off my enjoyment of the book fairly early on. And it feels, to me anyway, as if they’re trying to sound smarter. I’m not sure if that’s rude or not, but it’s generally the perception I have. I know some people in the world talk like that, but not the majority of us…

In my opinion anyway………

Disappointment in Reading

We write because we love it. Right? Right! So why do some books feel like zero love was put into them? I’ve only come across a few books like this in my life, but they were major disappointments to me. They seemed to read like the authors rushed through them just to meet a publication deadline. It felt like their hearts and minds weren’t in the story they were trying to tell.

Oh, tears of sorrow and rage. How could I possibly put a book down thinking it had no heart, no life of it’s own? That’s truly how I feel about books. They are a world unto themselves. I want to feel like I’m a part of it, warm in it’s light and cold in it’s dark.

Some books, I feel, are incapable of creating that complete immersion for me. Though they are few and far in between. But when it does happen, I at least try to figure out why I feel that way. Sometimes it has to do with technique, character depth (or lack thereof), plot issues… The list goes on and on. I’ve even found this to be true for authors I’ve read most of my life. When I put my finger on it, I try to learn from it.

Not everyone has the same tastes though. We can always chalk it up to this; it’s only my opinion and I’m sure others would disagree with me. But we could also say…it happens. Nobody is perfect and not everything is going to please everybody.

I only hope that if by some miracle I am published sometime in the future, nobody gets that feeling from my book……….

Going Back Again and Again…..and Again…

What is it about some books, or series of books, that makes us want to go back to them time and again? I don’t think it’s any one factor really, there are many reason and they vary from person to person. But while I couldn’t sleep last night I was thinking about this…right before I picked up my Kindle to read The Gunslinger for (I kid you not) the hundredth time or so. I decided to bore everyone with my reasons for reading some books over and over and over to the point where I know some parts of them practically by heart.

First off let’s start with The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Some of you may think, typical she likes King. I didn’t read any of the DT series until I was in my twenties. (The seven book series also happens to be the first books I bought for my Kindle.) I committed the crime of reading Wizard in Glass before I read the first three. Only because the tiny library I had access to didn’t have the previous books on the shelves, I had to wait, and I was impatient for a new book to read. What the heck, why not?

I loved it. Being able to read the foreword to have a small idea of what came before was helpful. Within the next few days the first three came in and I made sure they had the others on the shelf and grabbed them all. So, I started from the beginning and even read the fourth again. By the time I finished all seven books I knew I would come back to them again. Right off the bat Jake was my favorite character. Loved it when he came back in The Waste Lands. Cried in The Dark Tower. Eddie is a trip, Susannah is bad ass in all her personalities, and of course there’s Roland…..and we must NOT forget Oy! Needless to say they all hold my attention in one way or another. Some of my favorite parts have to do with Roland’s memories/stories that include Cuthbert and Sheemie. There are a few things here and there that I dislike about the individual books, but not many. They keep me coming back because, regardless of the fact that I know how it all turns out, I want to see it happening all over again. There are so many lines that make me smile, giggle, even have goosebumps (the scene in Wolves of the Calla in the woods with Roland and Jake does this every time), when I read them. I love how it ends. King got a lot of grief from his readers for the way he ended the series, but I thought it was the best possible solution. (On a side note I do read many of his books more than once as I own at least twenty outside DT, but these are my favorites.) I don’t think I will ever stop reading this series.

On to the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams. There’s Shadowmarch, Shadowplay, Shadowrise, and Shadowheart (the last two should have been only one but we all know how these things go sometimes). Love this series! I grabbed the first two from the library without even bothering to check if there was another one coming, the covers alone made me want to read them. So I take them home and start reading about Barrick and Briony Eddon. I was sucked in from the beginning. Finally, after a torturous wait, the last two came out and I was able to finish them…..and not long after they were the second set of books I bought for it. I thought then, and sometimes still think, that Briony seems a little too full of herself at times, particularly when she’s thinking about Vansen. But I still adore her. Which leads me to one of my favorite people in this series and I can’t even tell you why. Vansen, there’s just something about him that I’m drawn to. Barrick is my absolute favorite of the whole bunch. I look forward to reading about his parts of the books more than any others. Then there’s also Shaso, Qinnitan, all the Funderlings, Skurn, Yassamez, Ynnir, Sanasu, all the Rooftoppers, all the various Qar…..and let’s not forget the countless Gods and Goddesses in the story (I’m a sucker for those kinds of tales). So many others. The story intrigues me, the characters make me want to step into their shoes and go through these experiences. Even the bad ones.
EDIT: I forgot to mention his Otherland series, as well as Memory, Sarrow, and Thorn series. Tad Williams is definitely in my top five favorites.

Anne Rice: The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Enough said. I am partial to the witch stories, but still love the vamp stories as well. Granted, I don’t like the way Lestat’s character evolved in VC but, it is what it is. I also own and reread 95% of John Grisham’s books. About fifteen or so of Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas is epic) grace my shelves. I adore James Patterson and have many of his books on my shelves and my Kindle as well. I don’t think there’s one book I own that I won’t go back to at some point in my life. I will never stop buying paperbacks, no matter how much I like my ereader. There’s nothing like the feel of a book in your hand.

All in all, for me it’s a combination of the story lines and the people involved, that’s what keeps me coming back again and again. Some people prefer plot over character, or vice versa. I want both. I do enjoy more character driven stories without a ton of action. Just depends on the author, writing technique, many things really. When I delve into these worlds, it can feel like I really know these people, that I’m walking by their sides. To me, that’s the best part of a good book. It’s what makes me keep going back again and again…..and again…