I’m doing this new thing where I try not to spend money on books. I looked at the size of my Kindle library, did a little math in my head, and almost fainted. Since I have lots of options for free/low-cost books, there’s no reason to squander money buying them, especially if I’m never going to read the book again. (That’s the drawback of the Kindle e-book: you can’t sell it/give it away when you’re done with it.)
Bitter is the New Black (Jen Lancaster) Library audiobook
Oh.My.God. I want to be best friends with Jen Lancaster. She’s sooo self centered and unlikeable throughout much of this memoir, yet she has a great sense of humor about herself.
Jen lost her job as some kind of executive (sales, I think?) right after 9/11, and spent several years unemployed and struggling to get back on her feet. As a bonus, the audiobook narrator adopts just the right snotty-yet-self-mocking tone to make you both hate and love her.
And yes, she really did carry her Prada bag to the unemployment office. Love!
UFOs, JFK and Elvis (Richard Belzer) Library audiobook
This was more a round-up of conspiracy theories on the three eponymous topics than Belzer’s original thoughts. While I think conspiracy theories are, for the most part, nonsense, I can believe that there’s a grain of truth to some of them. Plus, I love UFO stories – I did a term paper on them in high school, and read a number of books, including O.G. Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods.
The only drawback? I rated this on Amazon, which now thinks I should read Jesse Ventura’s conspiracy tome!!
A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (Deborah Harkness) Library Kindle Book
As I was reading, I kept thinking to myself, “This book doesn’t know what it wants to be.” In retrospect, however, I think the book just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I was expecting a sweeping historical narrative, like Elizabeth Kostova‘s The Historian. What I got was basically a really long romance novel.
Diana Bishop is an American academic doing research at Oxford. Diana’s descended from Bridget Bishop (of Salem, Mass.), but refuses to use magic. Naturally, in the course of her research she stumbles upon an enchanted manuscript that may contain the secrets of witches, vampires, and daemons. She also stumbles across a 1500 year old vampire, Matthew, with whom she strikes up a relationship, despite the prohibition on relationships between the three aforementioned species of creatures.
The story starts out strong, but devolves into a very slow-paced romance. To my great confusion, the romance story is weirdly unaffected by the apparently urgent events developing in the supernatural world. Further, this is a 600 page long book which then ‘ends’ in a cliffhanger!
Long story short (no pun intended), I really, really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn’t.
Marian’s Christmas Wish (Carla Kelly)
Carla Kelly continues to dominate as my favorite historical romance author. This is one of her older books, but it just recently became available on Kindle, so I downloaded it and zipped through it in an evening. The first time I read this book, I remember being really turned off by the fact that the heroine is only 16 years old, while her love interest is significantly older. I don’t know if they changed things in the Kindle version (I will have to compare against my old paperback), but the hero is now 28, which seemed (marginally) less gross to me, at least from a historical perspective. Beyond this observation, there’s nothing remarkable about the story one way or the other, it’s just another good entry by a solid author.
Undone, Unknown, and Unseen (Rachel Caine) Library audiobook, Library eBook, Kindle purchase
Cassiel is a djinn fallen to earth in human form. She must learn to survive as a ‘mere’ human, and come to terms with her developing fondness for the human race as the apocalypse looms (of course).
I’m getting burned out on the urban fantasy genre. I still have my favorite authors whose work I’ll continue to seek out, but lately everything I read seems like a retread of something else I’ve already read… except for this series. These stories are apparently an offshoot of the author’s main series, called Weather Wardens, which I’ve never read. I don’t know how those stack up, but Undone, Unknown, and Unseen were three stories unlike any I’ve read recently. Good stuff.
Bitten and Stolen (Kelly Armstrong) Library audiobook & Library e-book
Elena is the World’s Only Female Werewolf.
In Bitten, Elena’s living in Canada, trying to be human. This, of course, backfires, and she must Come To Terms With Her True Nature.
In Stolen, Elena is kidnapped by a millionaire who wants to play The Most Dangerous Game with supernatural creatures, including werewolves, witches, and vampires.
Meh. Same story, different author.