August 3, 2010
There's only one thing worse than a good book... a series of good books. Because once I finish the first, I must read the next, and once I finish that one, the other one must be read, and so on, and so on. The only saving grace is if the series is still "in progress" in which case I get majorly annoyed that I can't continue and then "stalk" the release of the next book. If the series goes on long enough, and I have to wait too many times, only then can I sometimes "quit" the series and move on.
Book series truly enslave me.
I'm caught up in one now. If you look to my sidebar to see the books I've been reading, you'll see it's the series of the "Black Dagger Brotherhood". I looked the first one up, months ago, and borrowed it from the library. My son discovered that I was reading it and said a friend of his at work had the books, so ever since then, she has been my... uh... supplier. I have read books 2 & 3 last week and over the weekend and currently am enmeshed in book #4 when the Boy walked into my room last night with books 5, 6, and 7.
I'm a slave! A slave to these books!
I have been asked for recommendations on books that I like, so I thought I'd address that here.
First, I am a "fluff" reader. What that means to me is, the less real-to-life it is, the happier I am. This means I stick with "fantasy" types of topics - fairy tales, folklore, vampires, and the like. In addition, I'm a lover of "smut"... you know, that crude romance with a lot of graphic...uh...details. Yeah, details. Sex in books does not bother me one bit (although I think it shocked the Boy that I was reading these particular books, as he had read them and his eyebrows raised when he saw what I was reading... does he think I don't know about S-E-X?) On occasion, I love a good mystery or action type book, like James Patterson, and occasionally a good horror book by Stephen King. But mostly, fantasy.
I enjoy twists on the same "theme". Currently (and for years now) it has been vampires and/or werewolves/wereanimals. I enjoy fairy tales that have been twisted into something new. So... all that being said, here is a listing of books/series that I thoroughly enjoyed and if you were someone who asked for some book recommendations, take this with the understanding that I'm firmly enslaved into the "fantasy-fiction" genre of books:
Author: Tanya Huff. Favorite Books: Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (a book about a young girl with mild mental retardation who 'sees' things, her friend who is a singer (and a magical bard), her social worker (who is also part of the maid, mother, crone archetype), and the battle between good an evil. It is set in "modern" day Toronto, Canada, which was why I liked it so much... fantasy hitting present day. It is typically only now sold combined with another Huff book which I didn't care for, and the two books are unrelated, but packaged together under the title "Of Darkness, Light and Fire". Skip the "Fire Stone" part of that book if you find it. I also enjoy her Blood series, which is a twist on the typical vampire/werewolf themes. Huff is a "light" writer, so there isn't a ton of sexy additions to her books. I also truly enjoyed her Quarters novels which encompasses the powers of earth, wind, fire, water, etc. True fantasy genre.
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton. Favorite Books: The Anita Blake vampire series. Anita Blake is a vampire executioner, because wouldn't you know, vampires are an accepted piece of society, sort-of. Her day job, however, is raising zombies from the dead... typically for legal procedures, like clearing up last will and testament disputes or as a witness to the dead person's own murder. As you go deeper in the series, there are a lot of werewolves, among other were-animals, vampires, and all things that go bump in the night. Anita is a tough girl (yet, petite and beautiful, of course) but what catches me in this series is that no matter how tough she is on the outside, her mind and thoughts show her vulnerabilities and lack of confidence, which makes her real to me. Also, the deeper you go into the series the more S-E-X there is and the more graphic, detailed and overwhelming it becomes. And the series seems endless, so I think I stopped around book #13 or so. I think Ms. Hamilton is up to 17 now. She also writes another series that I did not get into, about faeries (and not how you think they'd be)... and while the concept was interesting, book #1 lept into S-E-X even faster than I could handle, so I never got past book 2 or 3.
Let's move away from vampires for a bit... although, as I mentioned, they have been the bigger part of my reading selection of the past few years.
Author: Anita Diamant Book: The Red Tent This book was recommended to me from a friend and I was reluctant to read it at first as I'm not much for the biblical fiction genre. But I must admit, once I got into the book, it really captured me. A very cool concept, this book was developed off of one or two sentences in the Christian bible. Neat concept.
Author: James Patterson I have to admit, I am probably one of the few people who have NOT read Mr. Patterson's Alex Cross series. I have read one book in that series - Kiss the Girls - and none others. While I liked Kiss the Girls well enough, I just didn't want to get into another ongoing series at the time, so I only read that one because of the movie. As usual, the movie didn't do the book justice. In fact, I was introduced to James Patterson with When the Wind Blows. I LOVE this book - about a group of kids who were experiemented on by a governmental agency - all of whom have wings - when they escape and have to find a way to stay alive and out of the facility. Again, you can see the "fantasy" part of this. It was very reminiscent of the short lived Dark Angel series by James Cameron and featuring Jessica Alba that my family and I loved while it was on. I'd say that When the Wind Blows borders on action/adventure with a touch of fantasy in it... in case you're not a huge fantasy lover, this really just skirts around the edges. Mr. Patterson left this book as a stand-alone for quite some time before following up with The Lake House (unrelated to the movie)... which I didn't like much. He should have left it a stand-alone.
Author: Dan Brown. Yep, The DaVinci Code was a book that I really liked. It was not truly fantasy unless you take into consideration the extreme stretches to biblical interpretation... but more adventure/mystery. I thought this was a great book until I read his first book Angels & Demons. That book was excellent and way better than The DaVinci Code. I haven't read any others by him though, although I know he recently released a new book.
Various Authors: I love twists on fairy tales and folklore type stories. So while I'm particularly fond of Cinderella stories and all things having to do with Alice in Wonderland, these books were fun to read. I only have 3 or 4 of t hem, and I see there are so many more. It's "adult fairy tales", each book a collection of stories, that are darker than the typical popular Walt Disney fare. I took a course in folklore and fairy tales in college and have had an affinity of seeking them out since. Original "fairy tales" were dark, and have been cleaned up in modern times so as not to offend or give children of delicate senses nightmares. If you like fairy tales, check 'em out. Snow White, Blood Red; Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears; Black Heart, Ivory Bones (and more).
Author: Stephenie Meyer - yes that woman who wrote the Twilight series. Now, I am a fan of the books, but I'm not a Twi-hard. Her other book that I read, The Host was simply awesome. I hear she's coming out with another book along the same topic. It has NOTHING to do with vampires. Instead, it's plot runs more along the lines of "invasion of the body snatchers" but very cool. Check it out!
Okay, so there you go. I could keep going, but this post is already miles long. Please... leave a comment with your favorite books. As long as they're not "learning" books (I can't read things that teach me something, only fiction stuff), I'd love to hear your suggestions and add to my list.
You know... so I can prolong my slavery... :)
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