Saturday, March 28, 2015

Honestly, a person can only sit so long.....

And alternating between sitting with this foot elevated and lying on the couch with my foot elevated is not much better. Only about four weeks to go before I graduate from cast to crutches and walking boot.

Only four weeks!

However, I’m using my sitting/reclining time wisely--reading a lot, working on blog posts, preparing for the move from old website and blog to a new website/blog combo, and….yes….writing. We’ll talk more about the novels in progress later.

For this post, I want to talk about the stuff I’ve read lately.

Currently I’m enjoying Charlie’s Angle by John Paul McKinney. This novel is a good combination of family drama, high school principal/school board politics, and mystery. John Paul is a good writer and he successfully chose a challenging multiple point-of-view format that lets us get closer to each interesting character in the novel. I’m getting into the second half of the story now, and I think something bad is going to happen. I just feel it….and that’s what keeps me turning the pages.

Working backwards, I recently finished Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) by Claire Cook. This is nonfiction intended to inspire and motivate those who want to change their lives, whether that change involves quitting a bad job to buy a food truck or finally taking steps to realize a long-held dream to become a writer. Reading all those stories about other women who’ve reinvented their lives is like a breath of fresh air. And for those of you who don’t recognize the author’s name, she’s the lady who wrote Must Love Dogs, which was turned into a very successful film. Learning how that all came about is alone worth the price of the book.

Let’s see, oh yes, before that I read The Poacher’s Daughter by Michael Zimmer. I haven’t read a western in a long time, but when I saw this book on my own publisher’s list and heard it had received an award, I decided to give it a try. Honestly, I could hardly put the book down. I loved the main character who’s a strong female, loved the things she did to survive in a tough man’s world, and loved the story. I’d give this one ten stars out of five if that were possible.

Other recent reads:

Without Warning (The Disappearance book 1) by John Birmingham. This is sort of an alternate history post-apocalyptic thriller and it has sequels. Another multiple-point-of-view novel that has a bunch of interesting characters, Without Warning introduces a huge disaster that wipes out most of the U.S. and then follows the resulting events across the world. I have the second book in the series on my TBR list.

Knower Girl by Maggie d’Amato Goins (one of our wonderful local authors),  is a YA thriller that is very well written, fast-paced, and could be a series if Maggie decides to write more novels about teen Bonnie Cannelli and her special skills. I enjoyed Maggie's writing enough to immediately buy her second book, The Con Man of Sweet Orchard. It’s moving up in the TBR pile.

Nancy Reed’s memoir, Words Left Behind: tales from a life gladly lived, is a delightful read. Nan is another of our local authors who have revealed fascinating stories about their lives to those of us who thought we knew them well but discovered upon reading that there are many, many layers to a person’s life and rarely do we get to the heart unless they share in memoir.

If you prefer your mysteries be in the traditional style, you would like Who Buries the Dead by C. S. Harris. Any mystery that starts with young lovers discovering a body that’s missing its head is sure to hook you, especially when the sleuth is one Sebastian St. Cyr and the story revolves around historical figures (in 1813 London) whose body parts occasionally end up as trophies for bizarre collectors.

Finally, if you’re the sort of reader who samples all genres and occasionally goes for a shocker—like horror that does not pull punches--you might want to read Colorado author Kenneth Harmon’s The Amazing Mr. Howard. Mr. Howard is a vampire. He’s pure evil. There’s a cop in the novel who is, in my opinion, even more depraved than Mr. Howard. The novel is horror, and it’s mystery, and it’s thriller. There are scenes that are explicit. It’s well written and will please anyone who enjoys the genre as I do from time to time, but don’t read it unless you’re tough enough to take it. Seriously.

In case you wonder why I give everything I read these days four or five stars on Goodreads and online bookseller sites, it’s because I don’t finish books if the writing is bad or the characters and story don’t grab me…and I won’t slam an author who has worked hard to produce a book just because it’s not my cup of tea.

What about you? Read anything lately you'd like to recommend? I read in most genres, so all suggestions are appreciated.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot of books.
Sorry you still have four weeks to go. Just give it the healing time it needs!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pat - gosh I know that wait! I hid many of my books with get well and birthday cards!! So forgot about ones I'd been given to read while I was laid up ... also took me a good 4 weeks to feel straightish in my head, though my hip was fine - so reading didn't get too much of a look in -

Good luck and well done on concentrating on what you need to do .. cheers Hilary

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, I'm sorry you're having such a long convalescence, Pat. I hope you're not in too much pain. You've got such a nice variety of books you've read, though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them.

Dean K Miller said...

Locally there are many good books out by NCW and other local authors. Missed you at the conference. Heal quickly and well.

M. K. Theodoratus said...

Hey, Pat.

Glad to hear you're getting a lot done. Hope the wip comment means your own writing is progressing.

Karen Walker said...

Ah, Pat, sounds like you're making good use of your forced "down" time. Love hearing what others are reading. I just started a book called When The Spirit Catches You, You Fall Down. It's about the clash of cultures of a Mong woman and western medicine. Can't say anything about it cause I've only read a few pages.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks for sympathy and good wishes,everyone! Specifics:

Very little pain, Margot, so that's a blessing.

Didn't have too much anesthetic or pain meds, Hilary, so my brain started working pretty fast (thank goodness).

I missed being at the conference, Dean. First time in many years.

Kay, I've even been thinking about doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April to jump start a new project....while continuing revisions on the wips.

Hi Karen! I also love getting book recommendations from others. I had an old gift card to use for a bookstore in Colorado, so I just ordered the teen novel Mosquitoland and Warren Hammond's Tides of Mauritania. I do love books!

Arlee Bird said...

I sit around way too much but fortunately not under the circumstances you're dealing with. Sorry you have to go through that. Reading all those books is a bonus I guess.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Eileen Goudge said...

I loved Claire Cook's NEVER TOO LATE. In fact, I contacted her after I read it, and she and I emailed each other, reminiscing about the "old days" when we were both at the same publishing house and shared the same editor. Great book. Everyone should read it. Her novels are wonderful, too. Glad you enjoyed it, too, Pat. Even happier to hear you're on the mend. Amen to that.