Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday Soup, January 3

In The Soup This Week... Thea Harrison, Alyssa Day, Kristin Higgins, Robin D. Owens, and Aaron Michael Ritchey

Soup Dish:  Happy New Year!
I hope everyone out there in RomLandia had a happy and safe holiday, however you choose to celebrate.  Ours was very low-key, just the four of us in my nuclear family. I think my kids are getting pretty bored with low-key though, so next year I might need to plan more.

There are so many lists out there! So many. I spent several hours yesterday sifting through "best of" lists, and I don't know about you guys, but I'm a little burned out on lists. I have three goals for 2016 around reading and blogging though:

1. Read twelve non-fiction titles. I am seriously so oppositional about this. I have the hardest time reading non-fiction where there are no emotions and no dialog and, idk, just everything I love about reading is missing from non-fiction. But there are topics that I am interested in and I need to train my brain a little better. I'm too young to stop learning stuff.

2. Burn down my enormous pile of physical books. Not literally. I'm going to try to make a rule for myself to read two physical books from my stash for every new book I acquire, electronically or physically. I just seriously do not have room for what I've got and it's becoming a bit of a problem. I bought Thea Harrison's Shadow's End and read it yesterday, so next up is two physical books. I've had this series for some time, and seems like the right time for it now:

Oh no! I'm missing #2! so I have to buy it, right? Right.
3. Post two real review posts per month. I'm pretty comfy in my mini-review groove with these Sunday Soup posts, and I'm glad that I've been able to talk about the books I've been reading in a way that doesn't feel like work. But I get a good sense of accomplishment from writing a real review too, even though it's a little more effort.

As a consolation for not posting a list of lists, here's a great article about a list.  Hmmm. I love spreadsheets; isn't it kind of weird that I don't track my reading that way?  Hmmm.

What I'm reading
December for me is 3 weeks of increasingly frantic activity and then a week of laziness. And by "lazy," I mean, I read a whole bunch.

I went on a small Thea Harrison binge this past week, starting with the three novellas in the Dragon Family Album, and then I really really wanted to read Liam Takes Manhattan, but it said in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that I needed to read Shadow's End first, so I ask you, what could I do? I mean, I really had no choice. So I downloaded and read Shadows' End for my New Year's Day read. It was fantastic. Harrison's paranormal highs are so high, and the lows so low. There may have been a few tissues involved in this read. I haven't gotten to Liam yet, but I'm glad I read Shadow's End first.

OK, in keeping with my 2:1 goal, since I bought Shadow's End, I picked up a stash book next, which was HeartMate, by Robin D. Owens.  It was OK. I'm not sure I really want to binge on the whole series though. The beginning was a little clunky, but I liked it better by the end. The worldbuilding... some of it was really interesting; I liked her treatment of the Passages (a physically demanding dreamquest sort of experience), but not being a cat lover, I found her talking cats to be not-quite-equal-parts irritating/endearing. I am probably in a minority here, so that might be the thing that other people love the most. I'll give it one more book before I decide about the series as a whole, since I have them already (I bought 4 books for about a dollar at a thrift store awhile back).

Before I started on Thea Harrison, I had already pre-ordered Alyssa Day's new shifter novel, Dead Eye, so it showed up for me like a Christmas present. First in a new series, it has wonderful characters, Day's trademark wisecracky irreverent humor, and plenty of paranormal action. Quick, fun read.  Looking forward to the next one, already available for pre-order. I'm going to have to get cracking on my stash books to earn this purchase.

I read three paranormals for the March RT edition, and I liked them all quite a lot, but looking for a change of pace, I bought Kristan Higgins If You Only Knew and loved it. Higgins is a bit of a Sure Thing for me, and this was no exception. A little different than most contemporaries, it makes a strong statement about what marriage should be, and reads quite a bit more like traditional "women's fiction" than romance for at least the first half of the book. The romance element is more unsure than usual, more like real life, and the hero is really quite remote. I connected immediately with the characters, which was good because I had to overlook the first-person present tense--a huge turnoff for me.

Lastly, I got an ARC from RUDC author Aaron Michael Ritchey that is well out of my usual reading but OH MY GAHD it was an incredible read. I don't want to give much away here as I'll be doing a full review on it but it's kind of like Jules Verne meets Calamity Jane meets Little House on the Prairie and whoa. I loved it a lot.

January Stash Reads: 1
January Bought Reads: 1*
January Non-Fiction Reads: 0

*I'm only counting the Thea Harrison full length here. Everything else I already owned as of 12/31/2015.

1 comment:

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