Not this year, thanks

From Electric Lit: 7 Books About People Having a Worse Day Than You

I don’t know what books are on this list. I’m not, at the moment, remotely interested in books that would be placed on this list. I’m reading a Benjamin January novel right now and frankly that is more than tense enough for me this year. In fact, last night I did something I almost never do — jumped to the end and read the final chapter. It’s not like I don’t trust Hambly to give me a satisfactory ending, but I just felt like making SURE.

Last year I was specifically avoiding novels with too much tension or too many grim events. This year, I wouldn’t have said I was going to the same trouble to look for books in which nothing too awful happens, but my instant reaction to the title of the above post suggests that, yeah, I am.

I suppose I haven’t been reading much new-to-me fiction this year, which has disguised a preference that’s actually ongoing. I’ve been re-reading a lot, and when I do pick up a new-to-me book, it’s a series novel, so not that new to me.

Recent reading for me:

The Sequoyah trilogy by Sabrina Chase. I mentioned it recently in some post or other, I believe. Here’s my original review. I liked it a lot this time through as well. I’ll just add that I do forgive wildly unbelievable coincidences in space opera, as long as they don’t happen TOO often. I can’t remember if the coincidences struck me as so wildly unbelievable the first time through, but yep, wildly unbelievable. I think twice.

Sword Dance and Saffron Alley by AJ Demas. I like these a lot, re-read them not long ago, and the third book is out, on my Kindle, and will be the next thing I read. After the Benjamin January one, I’ll want something … I don’t exactly want to say light and sweet, because that’s going overboard. But let’s say that on a spectrum from sweet to grim, this series is much closer to one end and the January mysteries are a lot closer to the the other.

New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs.

I know, right? Actually the first large section is all these very technical, very specialized papers on newly discovered fossils. I didn’t even skim those. I don’t have anything remotely like the necessary background. I’m reading the papers that argue, say, that Psittacosaurus may have been semiaquatic or Protoceratops may have been nocturnal or whatever. Those are interesting. Both of those papers make quite persuasive arguments, by the way.

A Valentine for One, the newest book in the Wisteria Tearoom mystery series by Patrice Greenwood. I wasn’t very happy with the preceding installment of the series and read reviews of this one before buying it. I agree with many reviewers that this one was better. I enjoyed it. These aren’t exactly cozy mysteries — not quite — but they’re very much on the cozy end of the mystery spectrum.

Paladin’s Strength, the second book in this series by Ursula Vernon. I mean T Kingfisher; I had to check just now to see what name she’s writing these under. I don’t think these are my favorites of hers. I don’t really take them too seriously — I guess I should say, they seem a bit tongue-in-cheek to me. But I do like them. In fact, since the third is out, sure, I’ll pick that up now and add it to my read-it-pretty-soon list.

I made it 30% of the way through Great North Road, and I do like it and will probably go back to it, but when Hamilton started moving from one pov to other various points of view, my engagement decreased noticeably. At least one, maybe more than one, pov is from the viewpoint of a guy who may not be a villain … exactly … quite … but he is far from an admirable person, and he’s flawed in ways I dislike.

I mean, Nicholas Valiarde, for example, is flawed in GREAT ways that I LOVE. This guy is not like that. I don’t think he understands himself very well and I think he has done, and will do, bad things by excusing them to himself rather than by deliberately making the choice to do them. Ugh.

If I do finish the book, I’ll write a more comprehensive review.

Meanwhile, I’m going to finish this January mystery and then read the third book the Sword Dance series and then maybe the third Paladin one. In other words, series titles, by authors I trust.

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11 thoughts on “Not this year, thanks”

  1. My new reading has been very limited also – even books I’d been looking forward to from favorite authors are difficult to get into right now. It a disconcerting feeling sometimes, to know that something so fundamental to my self identity is stunted right now, but it’s been a really rough year or two.

  2. SarahZ, I’m right there with you. There are so many books I really want to read … yet I don’t want to read them right now. It’s an odd situation and not entirely welcome, even though not-reading does mean I’m writing more.

    Wow, is my TBR pile teetering.

  3. Me three. My reading range is substantially narrower than in prior decades. If it doesn’t have a guaranteed happy ending, it’s getting TBRed (or DNFed if I have any reason to think it’s going to go grimdark on me).

  4. Ditto here.
    I did enjoy the new AJ Demas, Strong wine. A strong ending to a good series.

    The second of Kingfisher’s Paladin series gave me nightmares about those first two books, so I was thinking of not reading the third Paladin book. But that went in a whole new direction, so over the top game-like peril that it didn’t have the same visceral emotional impact for me, and I could read it as a good addition to her books. She does draw me in, even though I know she writes horror and I hate horror.

  5. I also read the Sequoia trilogy (because of your recommendation) and liked it, even though I find the timeline quite unbelievable.
    In 80 years the world went from sending exploratory probes with not-quite reliable drives out to uncertain destinations in the hope of finding habitable planets; to a star-spanning multi-world civilization with a lot of those worlds and multiple space-stations both long-settled and well-established, with large populations managing quite well on their own but still almost completely tied to the economy of the homeworld through the power of the bad military-industrial corporation.

    Still, her writing is engaging enough that I bought some more of her books and put them on my TBR pile.

  6. Yes, I also felt that a longer timespan would have been more believable. Although eighty years can be a long time, under the right circumstances.

  7. Ditto here too. There aren’t even that many books I want to read. Though The Game of Kings seems to be finding a chink in my reading ennui, this time re-reading with the Ramsey companion book in hand for all the (very very many) references I don’t get.

    I didn’t know the third Paladin book was out. I will have to look it up. Sabrina Chase as well, whom I had not heard of.

  8. R Morgan, thanks for pointing to the Ramsey companion book to The Game of Kings! I didn’t know that existed, and I’m adding it to my wish list at once.

  9. I got pressured into reading the Isaacson book on Leonardo. Did you know that he was ‘the first to do a systematic study on the origins of fissures in walls’???????? But—Tehre!!!!!

  10. Alison, neat! I had no idea! But he does seem like the sort of person who would think about questions like that.

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