I try to read wide, so at any given time I’m usually in the midst of one romance, a science fiction or fantasy novel, maybe a thriller or literary whatsit, and always of course a nonfiction something.
In my own little region of the cosmos, science fiction romance, I just started reading Sherry Thomas’s SFR novella, The Heart Is a Universe, which showcases her signature crazy-awesome wordsmithing and complicated characters, only this time in, you know, outer space. The story begins with a dance on an alien world, which I think might be a metaphor for my reader experience so far: all these disparate stylistic elements moving together beautifully. In fact, it was really hard to yank my eyeballs away from reading so I could write this blog post.
In the fantasy genre, the book I most recently enjoyed was the first of Scott Meyer’s Magic 2.0 books, Off to Be the Wizard, which offers a fresh take on the “we are all just players in a mega-realistic video game” concept. The story is fun and fast-moving, a series of situational puzzles that the protagonist solves in increasingly clever ways. I especially appreciated the character of Gwen, who, despite being the only named female other than the protagonist’s mother, is portrayed as both independent and clever, and her subplot wraps up in an unexpected but satisfying way.
We’re talking favorite books though, right, not just recently read and enjoyable ones. For me, the all-time-faves are rare, but it just so happens I read one a few months ago: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’m not typically a crier, but there was one scene kind of toward the beginning that made me completely lose it. I was seriously sitting in the pick-up line at my kid’s school, waiting for dismissal and snuffling back tears. This book is especially illuminating in the context of literally everything we’re seeing in the cultural and political news cycle in the U.S. If you haven’t read it, get thee to a library or book store.
Although it’s less likely to inspire sweeping cultural change—which is a pity, because we could all probably use some better understanding of the BDSM culture—another recent read will be sitting on my keeper shelf: For Real by Alexis Hall. My book club chose this one, and I’m so thankful they did. I used to read a lot of erotic romance, and this book brought back every good thing I loved about the subgenre. The writing is exquisite and the characters so easy to worry over and root for. Sometimes I skip sex scenes in books that have loads of them, but I was never tempted to skip even a word of this book.
So that’s about it for … oh wait! There’s also the nonfiction. I always have one of those in process, and right now I’m reading Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I can already tell this is going to be an important craft book for me, right up there with Save the Cat (Blake Snyder) and GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (Debra Dixon). Like Dixon, Cron focuses on character arc and theme more than plot points, which are totally the things that make me as a reader love books.
I mean, apart from that tasty new-book smell, the sense of wonder and wow and the tingle in the top of my throat when I read back-cover story description that is all my catnip. What about you? What’s the thing you read on a back cover and know you can’t live without reading?
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Second in a snarky, sexy sci-fi romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heart, and heat.
Kellen Hockley usually keeps quiet about his past, but once upon a time he loved a girl named Angela. He hasn’t seen her in a decade, but now he has to break the news to her that his team of rogue treasure hunters accidentally killed her husband. He’s had better days…
It’s not the news that’s delivered to Angela Neko that breaks her apart—it’s the rumbly, Texas drawl delivering it. She can’t believe she’s hearing Kellen’s voice again. But there’s no time for distractions. When Angela’s own life is threatened, yielding up all of her lies and secrets, she and Kellen must figure out how to reverse the geopolitical firestorm she lit to save the world, to save Kellen’s cat…and just maybe to save each other.
VIVIEN JACKSON is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter. In the meantime, she writes, mostly fantastical or futuristic or kissing-related stories. When she isn’t writing, she’s performing a sacred duty nurturing the next generation of Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamers, and their little dogs too. With her similarly geeky partner, she lives in Austin, Texas, and watches a lot of football.