“The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easing reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.” — Pablo Neruda
The Joy of Finding a New Author
I’m persnickety about the books I read, and it gets worse every year. Mostly I read mysteries, fantasies, travel and memoir. And lately I’ve been having a dry spell of finding books that don’t sound like ones I’ve read before, are well-written (That’s a must for me) and make me think.
I got into fantasy about 10 years ago because there’s room for these stories to surprise me. Two and two doesn’t always have to add up to four when you experience a different world.
Mysteries have always been a favorite because they present a puzzle. I want to be able to arrive at who-done-it before the final page, but not too far before.
Setting and character are also important for me. And I always want to learn something.
I know that’s asking a lot, but I’m been fortunate in finding a lot of authors who do it my way. The problem is that when I find one who does, I go on a reading binge and read just about everything they write. For example, I discovered Blaize Clement’s cat sitter books – light reading but rich in characterization, including the cats and dogs – and read all six of her books in two weeks.
It took me several months to get through Robin Hobbs’ fantasy trilogies, and now I’m impatiently waiting for her fourth book in her Rain Wilds series to be released.
Within the past year, I got turned onto Patricia Biggs’ Mercy Thompson series. This was a brand new fantasy genre for me, as I’ve been more into the classic dragon tales than werewolves and vampires. But I was hooked and once again, in a short time had read everything she had written.
So it was with great delight that I discovered a new author yesterday, Dana Stabenow, who I saw had 21 books in her mystery series featuring Kate Shugat. Staying power, I hoped, was a good indication of good books. I started with Book One, “A Cold Day for a Murder.”
I had my fingers cross when I started reading. I knew I had found a winner when I didn’t put the book down until the wee hours of the morning. The setting is Alaska, and Kate is a gritty character, an Aleut, that fits the wild Alaska park setting. I’m sure I’ll finish the book before I go to sleep tonight – and then I have 20 more to go. Yea!!
“A room without a book is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero
Bean’s Pat Volcano http://tinyurl.com/bk3qk92 While I like this photo, the story behind it is what intrigued me most.