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What I've Been Reading Recently

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I have a huge book collection. This will come as no surprise to you, I'm sure. But someone who reads as much and as quickly as I do would bankrupt themselves if they bought all the books they got through in a year. Living around the corner from a library is a complete godsend. The only slight problem is that I've read all the good books on the shelves there.

Um, mild exaggeration... I should say, I've read all the ones that immediately appeal to me.  I'm sure there are plenty of good books in there that I haven't picked up yet. It's time to widen my book horizons slightly and discover some of them.

So, in the spirit of trying something different, I picked up Immortal Rider and Archangel's Kiss from the paranormal section last time I visited. In the interests of clarity, I should probably explain that although I love romance books, I struggle with paranormal books. I especially don't like ones with vampires in (whether of the sparkly or bloody variety) and by the time I'd ruled those out, there wasn't much left to choose from. Immortal Rider is about one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Archangel's Kiss is (unsurprisingly) about angels, so I thought they'd be more likely to interest me.

Yeah, they didn't. I gave them both a good shot but I think I've identified my main problem with paranormal romance as a genre: the authors seem to feel it's ok to feature a lot of really gory, unnecessary violence (which naturally never affects anyone long-term cos they're all immortal and can heal themselves in the blink of any eye) as long as they chuck in a few bonking scenes as well. Immortal Rider was a complete clusterfuck of Horsemen and Elders and vampires and fallen angels and hellhounds (like really Larissa, don't make your worldbuilding uncomplicated or anything) tearing each other to pieces when they weren't busy shagging each other instead. Archangel's Kiss is a much better book and it's an awful lot better written but even that wasn't enough to keep my attention this time. I picked it up and put it down about 6 times and just gave up in the end. I was paranormalled out after a book and a half: this is clearly not the genre for me.

I have no objection to violence in books when I'm expecting it, it's realistic and it's in character.

I'm a big fan of Stuart MacBride - his Logan McRae books are the most brilliant mixture of gritty police drama and dark Scottish humour.  He doesn't shy away from some very grim situations though.  Birthdays for the Dead is a standalone novel and although it still features a Scottish policeman, it's noticeably darker in tone than the novels set in Aberdeen. Kidnap, murder, lots of policeman and criminal types kicking the shit out of each other...don't read it if you like your books all fluffy and happy. If you're made of sterner stuff then give it a try - he's such a good author and this was a great read.

I've also been reading a book about blogging, which I think will need a post to itself as it was quite thought-provoking, although not always in a good way.

Oh, and having a massive glom of the Guards books by Terry Pratchett.  Sheer book heaven as far as I'm concerned.  I love Sam Vimes more and more with each book.

I'm currently working my way through the two books I need to read for the next Blogging Good Read post and trying very, very hard not to give into temptation and buy My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding and The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes.   I want them both so much but I'm trying really hard to be good and get the other two books read first.


  1. I don't use our Library much - the stock doesn't seem to change very often. Besides, I have a mountain of bought (second hand) books to get through first - the dangers of living close to charity shops! I've never fancied any of the Vamp Lit stuff (and there is so much, which in itself is kind of off-putting), although I do love fantasy novels.

    Terry Pratchett is amazing and I bloody love Sam Vines - I may even have a slight crush on him. Ahem.

    Nikki x

  2. The Stuart MacBride book sounds right up my street, I'll have to check it out :) x

  3. I love paranormal books, but to each their own I guess! I'm so bad with reading right now - there is a massive pile of books I've bought but not read that I need to work my way through but I just lack the energy by the time I have a minute to sit down and read, so I'm quite jealous of you! Xo

  4. Well done for giving them a go anyway. I've joined the local library too. I'm on a book that I haven't picked up for 3 weeks, progress is slow! Must try harder...

  5. Those first two books sound awful, ha ha! I love Terry Pratchett too, I'm rather fond of Captain Carrott :)

  6. Have you read 'The Scorpio Races' by Maggie Steifvater? It's a YA romance with some fantasy elements but none of the humans have magical powers, it's a version of the kelpie legend. The 'water horses' come out from the sea every Winter, and are caught and raced on the beach by those who can ride them. They're vicious though, and will tear you to pieces if they get the chance. The romance is fairly bog standard but the setting and idea is quite lyrical and appealing and the horses are described very well.

  7. I am SO with you on the vampire, violence, blood and gore thing- can't stand them/it!
    I also love the Guards books as well- definitely his best 'series' of books, closely followed by the witches- not overly fond on loads of the others!

  8. Good n you for trying something different! When you are a prolific reader, like me, you just have to keep all gates open, and sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised! But yeah, that paranormal thang has to be REALLY FECKING GOOD for me to enjoy it.Or, I just really need something that doesn't require too much input, as I read a lot of history and biographies.
    I haven't read Stuart MacBride, but am always keen to pick up new authors...I tend to go in subject phases rather than authors...but not always! Yeah, are you on Goodreads?

  9. Singh's Angel's Blood is much better than Archangel's Kiss imo. I like the series, but only adored the first.

    Good for you for giving it a try though. I'm a total wimp about trying new authors and genres.



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