Saturday, December 31, 2005

More books

My reading has slowed to a crawl lately, mostly because I tend to go all narcoleptic instead of reading whenever a free moment presents itself, thanks to the newborn who likes to party at midnight, and 1 am, and 3 am, and 3:30 am....

But I have managed to read a little bit. I was so impressed with Karen Rose's HAVE YOU SEEN HER? that I picked up another one--her Rita-winning I'M WATCHING YOU. I am over the moon about this book--loved the characters, and I especially loved the villain, a vigilante killer who targets remorseless rapists and child moleste rs who somehow beat the justice system. You couldn't help but feel some sympathy for what he was doing, even if it was illegal and intrinsically wrong. This book was an original, first-rate thriller that I highly recommend to anyone.

I still haven't started Diana Gabaldon's A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, because I'm gravitating toward lightweight paperbacks I can read with one hand while feeding the baby. You know, I would really love it if someone would give me a book stand with a robotic page-turning arm so I can multitask without aggravating my carpal tunnel. Why don't they sell these in stores?

So given my regrettable lack of a bookstand with a robotic page-turning arm, the latest lightweight paperback I've started Meg Cabot's SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT, a chick lit mystery centering on a has-been 80s rock star who works in a college dorm and apparently tries to solve the murder of one of her students. I say apparently because I haven't gotten very far. I love Cabot's sense of humor and her writing, but I think I prefer her straight chick lit or young adult books. Probably because I have no sense of humor when it comes to mysteries/thrillers and not through any fault of Meg Cabot's.

I've also started Joan Didion's A YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. I tend to get quite morbid after having a baby and can worry myself into a complete frenzy considering my own mortality, my husband's, and the precious little lives of my daughters. So why not read a memoir about a woman trying to cope with the sudden death of her husband and her daughter's long-term hospitalization to cheer myself up? Sometimes, even I don't understand myself. Maybe I'm indulging in my own kind of magical thinking, and figuring that if I read Didion's painful journey through what to me is unimaginable grief, it will somehow grant me immunity from going through anything like that in my own life. Or maybe I'm just weird. But difficult as the subject matter is, Didion's writing and her observations of what we go through when coping with the unimaginable are amazing, beautiful, and very, very sad....

Abruptly shifting gears, because I'm too tired to think of a proper segue, I also still have Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's book on deck (it being a large hardcover that can't be read with one hand), as well as a chick lit/women's fiction paperback featuring Indian characters by Anjali Banerjee called IMAGINARY MEN. I met Anjali a few years ago--she's incredibly nice, so it's great to see her succeed. Her book was in Target's "handpicked recommendation" section as of yesterday. And, because I have a book-buying disease that causes me to purchase books to read at at least four times the rate at which I can read them, I also have Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES, which is reputed to be amazing. The reviews pretty much say that it blows other suspense novels out of the water with its original premise and beautiful prose, so I'm looking forward to getting to it in the next decade.

At the speed I'm going, this will probably be the last books blog for awhile. Which is probably fine, given my nearly legendary inability to write a decent book blurb, even if someone were dangling millions of dollars in front of me, or a box of really high-quality chocolate, for that matter....

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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