21 February 2011

I Want To Read a BOOK!!!

It's reading Monday and I have a very sad confession... I have not read a single published book this year... *tosses water on Leanne*

I agree, it's a very sorry state of things... I've read HALF a book... But I am in my fourth run of editing my OWN books... and to EDIT them, I have to READ them (usually twice per edit round) to see what works, and reading them takes... you know... my reading time! I've ALSO (in addition to reading my own books some 7 or 8 times) critiqued... I think 3 books...It's what one DOES when one asks people to read THEIR stuff over and over again (which I do)...

So instead of talking about what I've READ, I thought I'd share a little of what I'd really LIKE to read! Some of these are recently out, some are coming soon.

CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh

I want to read this as the descriptions and reviews show that in spite of the Sci-fi label, this is a character driven story... a talented guy having to win over a superior holding power over him, but more than that, get over HIMSELF as he's his own worst enemy. That sounds like the kind of character growth that I really love to see in a novel. Here is the official blurb:

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Labeled a problem youth with a poor attitude, few options exist for Byron. His only chance for success resides in an opportunity to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot. Enlisting in the fleet, he sets off for the moon base of Guaard to begin a new life and prove his worth.

To his chagrin, Byron catches the eye of Bassa, the toughest instructor in the fleet. Troubled by the memory of a fallen pilot, Bassa at first sees only a talented but insolent young man in need of an attitude adjustment. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

However, time is running short. War brews on the edge of space and Byron will require a talented navigator to survive. The shadows of the past loom large and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Does he feel strongly enough to follow the young man on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

The Hating Game by Talli Roland

This is off genre for me... romantic comedy, what? But this is a definite twist... the WOMAN is the one with a past as a PLAYA and her past is coming back to haunt her. And I love that Talli is setting her books in the MIDDLE of modern media reality... this one? The characters are on a reality TV show... What really won me over though, was a review on character voice I read just recently at East for Green Eyes that talked about how distinct and true Talli was with her different PoVs, which sounds like a good writer's book. Here is the official blurb:

When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy.

After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £200,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes.

Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end.

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Pollisner (releases in May 2011)

I am a more reliable lover of YA, anyway, but this story promises adventure and heartstrings. It is from the PoV of a boy whose best friend was born with a condition that now (at 17) is finally killing him, and he wants (as a last wish) to get a signed copy of 'Of Mice and Men' to his absentee dad who left because he couldn't handle the whole child with a fatal illness thing. BFF and a spunky girl (whose idea this was) decide to make this last wish come true... do you SEE all the angles here? Horrible hard family stuff. Deep abiding friendship. Classic road trip antics (and potential for romance)... but this has a LITERARY twist—like I seriously think this may one day be on high school reading lists... because it not only includes “Of Mice and Men” outwardly, but also parallels the story in a number of ways... Cool, eh? Here is the official blurb:

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.
Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

Finger Lickin' Dead by Riley Adams (aka: Elizabeth Spann Craig) (releases June 2011)

Elizabeth is fabulous at the zany-character, wild ride cozy and I was excited that this one would go deeper into one of the 'Graces', so I am definitely looking forward to reading!

When an anonymous food critic blasts several local restaurants- including Aunt Pat's-Lulu Taylor and her customers are biting mad, especially when they learn that Eppie Currian is the pen name of their friend Evelyn's cheating boyfriend. When "Eppie" gets his own fatal review, the list of suspects is longer than the list of specials at the best BBQ place in Memphis.

Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan (release July 2011)

I loved Harry's debut, Bad Things Happen--in fact it was probably in my top 3 of the 40 or so books I read last year, and have heard this one gets into more depth with Elizabeth Waishkey, who I really liked as an MC. I also love that Harry's books (and Harry) share my hometown—it's fun to have a familiar setting... nothing like adding a new place to get creeped out in my my daily routine. And the darned blurb is hard to come by... Here is the blurb (sent to me by Harry himself, because he's cool that way): 

Anthony Lark has drawn up a list of names—Terry Dawtrey, Sutton Bell, Henry Kormoran. To his eyes, the names glow red on the page. They move. They breathe. Dawtrey is in prison; Bell has a wife and daughter and a good job; Kormoran lives alone. They have little in common except that seventeen years ago they were involved in a notorious crime: the attempted robbery of the Great Lakes Bank. And now Anthony Lark is hunting them down, and he won’t stop until every one of them is dead.

David Loogan, editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets, is living a quiet life in Ann Arbor with Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her daughter, Sarah. But soon both David and Elizabeth are drawn into Lark’s violent world. As Elizabeth works to find Lark and uncover his motives, David befriends Lucy Navarro, a tabloid reporter whose theories about the case threaten to implicate some very powerful people. And when Lucy disappears without a trace, David vows to find her, whatever it takes.

So there we have it... I REALLY want to read the fabulous books of the people have met or am getting to know, but I need TIME! If anyone finds a time turner, it is a very short list of what I wouldn't do in trade...


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

More books to add to my Kindle!

I'm going to show off now, because I'm reading a LOT so far this year. This is because I was completely embarrassed at how little I read last year. I wrote 3 books last year, but probably didn't *read* more than 5 or 6. This year I've already read that many and I'm just determined to fit it in...I've missed it!

gae polisner said...

I feel like one of those people at the Academy Awards who say (and mean it!) that it's just an honor to appear on a list with these other great sounding reads!

And, Hart, man you can be my PR girl any time!!!:)).

Er, and by "man," I mean sexy, girly woman. :)

xo Gae

Ciara said...

Great choices! Cassastar is at the top of my list.

LTM said...

I want to read Cassastar, too! And I did read THG, remember my review/interview? That YA book looks good also...

You haven't been reading, but you've been working hard. No worries~ :o) <3

Hart Johnson said...

Elizabeth-I manage to read when I'm WRITING, but when I'm EDITING not so much, as I can do that at times I can't just write--I hear you though, on sometimes fitting a lot in, and sometimes, just being too busy.

Gae--I'm just WAY excited about your book! I was anyway, but the literary layer is so smart and groovy, rather than just entertainment... I have a friend who teaches high school English in Portland I am going to recommend this to, too. He's always looking for new YA reads that are smarter than... you know... Twilight...

Ciara-no kidding, right? Tax money coming back soon!

Leigh-you know, I know I read it (the interview), but I will have to look again. And yes, working hard! I haven't stopped... in fact the idea of stopping is causing me to hyperventilate...

ViolaNut said...

*splutters incoherently*

Right. Anyway. I looked up the lot at work today, despite few of them being out yet. I liked Elizabeth's last BBQ mystery, so I'm sure I'll read the second one, and Pull of Gravity sounds like it would make a good companion to Going Bovine (which won the Prinz last year, so hey...), CassaStar is actually in stock at one of the stores near here (although other than that only in NC and WA - got connections there?), and errrrm... yeah. Now Tami, dearie, GO READ. *stinkeye*

Jan Morrison said...

Er...thanks. I could not, would not give up my reading time for nothing. I will give up my sleeping time, my paperwork time, my dusting under the bed time, however so I get lots of books read.
the guilt is unreal

Colene Murphy said...

You have quite a few I have been needing to read myself! I hope you can get to some books soon. If nothing else than to just give yourself a little break.

Natasha said...

You have a whole bunch which are on my waiting list too. Only, for me, it is not time (like Jan, I will not dust under the bed, but I will read), but the fact that many of the books are not available in India:-(

Belle Wong said...

I've been reading a lot too this year - I spent most of the past three months under a deluge of deadlines, and as soon as I popped back out, first thing I did was grab a book. And then another. And another!

I also did a reread of my current WIP, too, and I know what you mean. It really does take up my reading time. I'll be doing it again tomorrow because I have to figure out what scenes I'm missing.

Unknown said...

I have two of the books listed on my Kindle (CassaStar and The Hating Game) but haven't read them yet. Life just keeps interfering! Am looking forward to reading the exploits of Lulu Taylor.

Excellent list. Good luck on the revisions. Let me know if you need me.