Recent reading

So, recently I lost a three-week-old puppy that I thought was going to make it, the only living puppy in his litter and a puppy for whom I had great hopes.  I probably don’t need to explain that this was a depressing and upsetting event.  My response, of course, was to reach for a Really Good Book I’d been looking forward to reading and some Extremely Good Very Dark Chocolate to go with it.

The Chocolate was Callebaut, which I mail order in large quantities, and the book was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Obviously the chocolate was outstanding, but even more important, the book was absolutely perfect for me right then.  This is one time I really agree with the idea of ‘escapism’ and ‘escapist literature.’

I’m not a huge big fan of dystopias generally because who needs to read about unhappy people living miserable, depressing lives?  Please, just spare me.

But the fact is, in The Hunger Games,you can tell that the good guys are going to win eventually.  I mean, in the first book, the happy ending will obviously be restricted and short-term, but still, you know right from the beginning that there *will* be at least a moderately happy ending.

And it was just as good as I’d hoped, too.  I mean, in the YA world recently, it’s seemed like everybody has been talking about this book; that’s why I reached for it when I needed a really good book.  And everybody was right!  It was great!  A very well written book about wonderful characters caught in a horrible situation that was MUCH MUCH WORSE than anything in my life, which was exactly what I needed.

Luckily I had the second book (Catching Fire) on hand.  I’d planned to wait to read any of them until the third book was out, but hey, it’s coming out in August, so close enough.  I’ve got it preordered.  Can’t wait to see the bad guys go down!

I’ve read a couple other books recently, too.  CJ Cherryh’s latest installment in her NEVERending Foreigner series (this one is called Deceiver).  I have to say, you’d think she’d manage to not end on a cliffhanger, yes?  But no.  Heck, we all know the series is not complete.  Just FINISH THIS BOOK before you publish it, is that too much to ask?  This one just ended smack in the middle of unrolling events.

Well, well . . . eventually the next book will be out and we can see Bren Cameron finesse the tense diplomatic situation he’s in and rescue Barb and so on.

Oh!  And I read the latest Beka Cooper book!  By Tamara Pierce.  You know, if you’ve read anything by Tamara Pierce and liked it but it was a little young for you?  The Beka Cooper books are a pretty huge step up in sophistication.  Really, really good characters and fantastic world building, substantially more depth than usual.  Amazing use of slang.  Love ’em.  I think anybody who enjoyed the Paksennarian books by Elizabeth Moon would love these.  Can’t wait for the third book.

What a great pity that not every publisher brings out all three books of a trilogy in the same year! (!!!)  I get that usually the author needs time to write the sequels, but still, having to wait and wait for a sequel makes me REALLY APPRECIATE Orbit’s emphasis on bringing out trilogies fast.

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