Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday Soup - August 28

In The Soup This Week... Some Pacific Northwest book events, romance books in Nigeria, Cecilia Tan, Alisha Rai

Soup Dish:  on my mind/good links

Dang, you know it's been a busy-- and fleeting-- summer and here I am again saying "I can't believe it's been so long since my last Soup post!  Truth is, I got a big wave of RustCity authors taking me up on my profile offer and that kept me way busier than I expected.  The conference was a ton of fun, and I want to do a small debrief, but it's still on the list.  So far, "laundry" and "back to school prep" have rated higher and I'm still not completely happy with the status quo on those to-do items... so there we are.
--addendum: I really, really tried to get this done last night but my eyes just glazed over around 11. Soup: delayed, but better late than never.

Romance is subversive. I never knew that, really, until I joined conversations online with other romance readers, but I believe it to be true. This article is further proof.

I caught wind of a local-ish romance event in Portland, but can't make it work with my schedule. Anyone else going? (warning, the youtube video launches when you land there).  And I gotta say, it kinda hurts to give up on the Historical Romance Retreat, because I really wanted to go, but alas, my travel days/budget are all accounted for otherwise. I hope they have it next year! Finally, I'm super-excited to see that Courtney Milan is making an appearance at the Greater Seattle RWA conference this year! I won't be at the con proper, since it is really for serious authors, but I am putting the Reader Appreciation Event into my calendar right now.  Some of the names that are making me squee are Darynda Jones, Eva Leigh, and Margaret Mallory. Eeeee!  Anyone else going?  Would love to get together!

Unrelated to romance/reading, but the mind-stretching exercise of the moment for me is parsing through the amazing content at the Gapminder Foundation. It's truly a breath of fresh air in gaining real understanding of global issues.

What I'm reading
So my reading volume is down quite a bit, and probably half is for But since it's been such a long time since I've done a Soup post, I have a backlog I can talk about.   

Wild Licks, Cecilia Tan. Wow. Whew. Hot. Am reduced to monosyllables.  Well, almost. Anyway, I really liked it, even though I wasn't wild about the first Tan novel I picked up a couple years ago.  I will be reading the rest of this series. Angsty rock star hero, not-as-innocent-as-she-looks society sweetheart heroine.

Play With Me, Alisha Rai -- this is currently free, which might be why I picked it up, but I'm also a fan of Alisha Rai even when she's not giving it away. Ahem.  Reunion fantasy between two well-matched protagonists who know what they want and aren't afraid to talk about it like grown-ups. Awesome.

Hell Breaks Loose, a Devil's Rock Novel, by Sophie Jordan.  This wasn't my favorite read. The premise is that the POTUS's daughter is kidnapped by a gang of criminals. Meanwhile, the hero coincidentally breaks out of prison and reunites with his skeevy brother, who, you guessed it, is part of this gang. I think if you like gritty kidnap scenarios, you'll like it fine; it's tightly written with a lot of action and good characters, but it was a bit tooooo gritty for me. So more personal taste than problematic book.

Cast in Hellfire, SM Reine.  I was pretty disappointed in this one, it wasn't much like Cast in Angelfire, which I thought had a lot of interesting world-building and politicking. This one was set in an alternate dimension that pretty much aligns with the western concept of Hell, with the protagonists questing for Marion's memories. It was meant to be twisty and surprising, but it seemed rambly and confusing to me, with some gratuitous gruesomeness thrown in.

2016 Book Goals
Stash reduction - man, this is such a fail. Maybe it's the review of Hellfire above, but for some reason my mind is going to the question of Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic? If I were more creative, I would try to re-write it with books entering my house, but I don't think it would be nearly as entertaining.  Basically, sometime between now and 2030, expect a news report of a house in the Seattle area exploding due to jusssst... one... more... book being squeezed into a bookcase.

Nonfiction. Nope. Zero progress since April. I will shoot for one or two more books this year but 1 per month was clearly over-ambitious.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!

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