Thursday, September 30, 2010

BTT: Series

Booking Through Thursday logoIt's Thursday, so that means it's time for another Booking Through Thursday prompt. This week, bloggers are asked:

If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?

And, do you keep reading anyway?

I read series. I read lots of series. Right now, I can't think of a series where I've seen a definitive “jump the shark” episode. But if I run into one, I will not have a problem abandoning the series—particularly if I feel the stories are deteriorating, though it will probably take a couple of books for me to come to the decision that I'm not going to continue reading it.

I've said many times that I often decide what to read by what mood I'm in. This means that I will often step away from a series for quite some time before I return to it. Sometimes this is necessitated by the discrepancy between how fast I read and how slowly the publishers bring out books in a series. I read so many series that I have found it necessary to keep a master of list of the series I'm reading and my exact position in the on-going series so that I don't inadvertently buy a book that I've already read.

One other peculiarity is that I don't like to read series books out of order. Where this has become painful is with the free or deeply discounted eBooks that publishers have been giving away for the past year or so. I've got Persuader by Lee Child, the seventh in his Jack Reacher mystery series sitting on my Kindle, waiting until I can read books 2-6 and catch up to this point in the series and continue. Likewise, I picked up The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters, sixth in her Amelia Peabody series, and I still need to read 2-5. And I was happy to take advantage of a “buy one, get one free” offer for Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand and Kitty Raises Hell, numbers 5 and 6 in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series. If I didn't already have so many books on hand which need to be read, I might just stock up on either Kindle editions or used paperbacks. But, I'm trying to be somewhat restrained in my book buying ...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hopping around the Blogoverse

Book Blogger Hop After last Friday's post announcing that I was joining the Book Blogger Hop over the weekend, I needed to do my part to visit the blogs of several fellow participants. I love visiting other bloggers' sites. The downside of that is how much I love reading other people's blogs. I could spend hours and hours reading about reading!

The first site I visited was That Bookish Girl written by Sarah. There, I read several reviews for PUF (Paranormal and Urban Fiction) novels. BAD Sarah! Tempt me to buy even more books! And, Sarah also reviews Young Adult fiction.

At That Bookish Girl, I discovered that there will be a Halloween Read-a-Thon the weekend of 15-17 October. Much as I might enjoy participating, I think my son's wedding will have priority. Maybe next year.

Two paths led to Lesley's Young Adult Books Reviewed site. Not only was she participating in the Book Blogger Hop, she's also the organizer for the Halloween Read-a-Thon. As her site's title says, she reviews YA books. These are a special favorite—particularly since J. K. Rowling revised the genre. YA books are now longer and more complex, making them—for me—much more enjoyable.

The last site I visited this week was The Bookish Snob where Belinda carries on a love affair with romance and paranormal fiction.

One thing that was surprising to me was that all three of these girls are relative newbies on the blogging scene. Belinda's first post was in May 2010, while both Sarah and Lesley started blogging in July. Another thing that they have in common is that they are enthusiastic bloggers and reviewers. They bring a lot of energy to the community and I wish them well.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Return to Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop It's been three and a half months since I last participated in the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books. She's updated the process and now includes a question of the week similar to the Booking Through Thursday weekly meme.

This week's question comes from Elizabeth who blogs at Silver's Reviews.

When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I never write a review before I finish reading a book. Actually, I don't write many reviews. I think it's because I keep flashing back to book reports in the fifth grade and how they ruined the pleasure I had in reading a book with the addition of the chore to write a report. And yet, I really appreciate a well-written review—particularly one which doesn't just reiterate the plot of the book but which also draws you in and makes you really want to read the book. Maybe I should work on this?

An on-going aspect of the Book Blogger Hop is that participants are asked to "hop" over to other blogger's sites and check them out. I will visit at least three other blogs and then post on Monday who I visited and what I saw. Meanwhile, if you're reading my blog because of the Hop, welcome.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BTT: Current

Booking Through Thursday logoLaura is repeating a question from some time ago, but as she points out, for avid readers, the answer is continually changing.

What are you reading right now? What made you choose it? Are you enjoying it? Would you recommend it? (And, by all means, discuss everything, if you’re reading more than one thing!)

I try to keep the home page up to date with the books I'm currently reading. Even when I'm taking a break from blogging, I still update the home page regularly. So, if you take a look today, you'll see this:

Currently Reading

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown Field of Dishonor by David Weber The Warden by Anthony Trollope Reap the Wild Wind by Julie Czerneda

I only have space for four book covers in this section, so even if I'm reading more than four books at once—and yes that occurs from time to time—I'll list the four most "active" reads.

The first book in my list is The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I'm listening to this book on unabridged CDs. Since the only time that I listen to it is when I'm alone in the car, I expect it will take me months and months to finish reading this book. I'm currently on disk 8 of 15, so I guess that means I'm about midway into the book. I'm enjoying it, and even though I have a print copy of the book available, I really like the reader, Paul Michael, so I'm going to stick with the audio book. I originally picked this book when I saw the CDs at the public library. It was taking me so long to read through the book—at most one or two disks on any day—that I returned the audio book to the library and picked up a used copy at the local recycled book store.

I'm an eBook junkie. (After reading any of my posts, does this come as a surprise?) So, on my Blackberry, I have David Weber's Field of Dishonor, fourth book in his Honor Harrington series. I purchased this book from Baen's online Webscriptions store. Reading on the Blackberry isn't something that I'll do for a sustained period of time. Rather, it provides me with very convenient access to a book at times when it might not be easy to pull out a paper or electronic book. It's probably obvious that I picked this book because I'm reading my way through the series and this is how far I've gotten so far.

For at least six months I've had a copy of The Warden by Anthony Trollope loaded on my Kindle. I'm somewhere in chapter 5 (of 21), but it's been quite some time since I read anything in this book, so I'm going to have to back up and do some re-reading to get myself back into the story. Trollope's writing is quite different from contemporary authors and requires me to pay more attention as I'm reading. I set myself a goal of reading at least two of Trollope's novels this year, so I need to buckle down and spend some serious time in Barsetshire. I have to rave about the version of this book that I'm reading. I downloaded it from MobileRead, and it is a very high quality eBook—much more so that some commercially produced books that I've purchased.

And the final book in my active list is Reap the Wild Wind, first in Julie Czerneda's Stratification trilogy. I am a real fan of Czerneda's books and I own a paperback copy of this book as well as a copy I purchased for the Kindle. I'm in the middle of chapter six and since this book is also on my Kindle, I'm going to have to resist the pull of this book on my flight home tonight and keep my focus on making progress through the Trollope novel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twenty-Ten Challenge Update

It's been much too long since I last posted my progress in Bart's Twenty-ten Challenge. Since May 8, I've read 50 books, but very few of them fall into the categories of the Twenty-ten Challenge. By my calculations, I've read 9 of the 20 books which make up this challenge. The first 7 were reported in May 8th's post. Additions to the challenge status are:

Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre, which I'm counting in the New in 2010 category. Published in April 2010, I placed my order for it at the same time that I ordered Mage in Black, the other book in this category and Amazon shipped it as soon as the publication date was reached. Hell Fire is the second book in the paranormal series starring Corrine Solomon. Returning to her home town in Georgia, Corrine is determined to find out exactly what happened the night her mother was murdered. Full of conspiracy and mystery, this was an excellent addition to the genre and I'm looking forward to Aguirre's next book in this series.

Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson The other book which will help me meet this challenge is Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson, which I'm counting in the Who Are You Again? category. This is by an author that I had not heard of until I saw the book on Nicole's wishlist. This book offers a bit of a twist on the whole paranormal genre. Katie Chandler is immune to magic and enchantment, making her a valuable employee at MSI, a company which markets spells and magic. Stir in a little bit of mystery, a little bit of magic, a little bit of romance, and a large dollop of humor and you've got a pretty good beginning to a new series. Thank goodness there are at least three sequels available, because this is one series that I will want to continue reading.

The Categories

  1. Young Adult
    1. What was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
    2. The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley
    Category completed. See May 8th's post for short reviews of these two books.
  2. T.B.R.
    1. She's No Faerie Princess by Christine Warren
    2. Mystery Loves Company by Kate Morgan
    Category completed, and I posted a quick description of each of these books on May 8th.
  3. Shiny & New
    1. Swimming Without a Net by MaryJanice Davidson
    2. Vampire Sunrise by Carole Nelson Douglas
    Another category completed and some information about the books posted in the May 8th post.
  4. Bad Bloggers***
  5. Charity
  6. New in 2010
    1. The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells
    2. Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre
    This category is now completed. I reviewed The Mage in Black in May 8th's post and my review of Hell Fire is just above.
  7. Older Than You
    So far, I've not read any books that were published before I was born, though I've read ten books that were set in a time period before my birth. I still need to decide which two books I will read to meet this category.
  8. Win! Win!
    I still plan to read two books by Anthony Trollope for this category.
  9. Who Are You Again?
    1. Enchanted, Inc. Shanna Swendson
    See my review earlier in this post.
  10. Up to You!
    I will read two memoirs to satisfy this category

Countdown to Dewey's Read-a-Thon

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Button October will be here very soon and with it the next semi-annual Dewey's Read-a-Thon. I plan to join hundreds of reading bloggers (or is it blogging readers?) on October 9 as we dedicate 24 hours to reading, blogging, blogging about books, reading blogs about books, and cheering each other on. I plan to participate as a reader as I did in April 2010 and October 2009.

I intend to stay awake for the full 24 hours. (In April I got too cozy under a blanket in an overstuffed chair and fell asleep for a little bit over an hour ... I plan to avoid that mistake this time!) And I hope to be reading for at least 45 minutes of each hour. The other 15 minutes will be spent in updating my blog and visiting the blogs of others who are participating in the Read-a-Thon.

I'm also planning on getting more organized before the event begins. I'm going to set up a posting template to make it easy to update my status here on the Reading in Texas blog. And, I'm going to pick out at least four high-interest books that should keep me engaged and motivated throughout the 24 hours of the Read-a-Thon. At least one of these books will be young-adult fiction which should make it a fast read as well as one that will keep my attention.

If you follow my blog, check in here each week to see how my Read-a-Thon plans are progressing. Sorry it's been so long since any updates have been made to this site—I sometimes find that everyday life sometimes distracts me from blogging.