And now, for something different

I’ve been on a quasi-political bent of late. Part of that is because my muse has been, well, my muse. She’s evil and she loves to torment me. Part of it is because there are times when you just have to speak your mind. Today, however, I want to do something I haven’t done in a bit. I want to talk about some of the books I’ve been reading.

Any of you who have been following this blog, or my posts over at Mad Genius Club, know I’ve been an avid reader forever. I have my parents to thank (or curse, when I look at my bank account) for that. Some of my earliest memories are of them reading to me. There were always books in the house and they made sure I had my own library card as soon as I was old enough.

They also encouraged me to read beyond what school said I should. While my classmates in elementary school were reading chapter books and the like, I was reading books that came from the monthly book club my dad subscribed to or non-fiction books my parents checked out of the library. I can remember reading a science encyclopedia the baby sitter had. That was really fun because it discussed not only scientific theory and discoveries but what might be possible in the future.

That love of reading has stayed with me throughout my life. So, when I see a writer (usually a wanna-be writer) say they don’t read, I cringe. How can you be a writer and not read? You have to read to do some of your research. You must read to find out what the current market is looking for. You need to read to learn story structure and character development — both how to do it and how not to do it.

Anyway, here are a few of the books I’ve read or am currently reading.

One of my guilty pleasures when it comes to reading are the Bluegrass books (there are now several series) by Kathleen Brooks. These are quick reads with fun characters who love their family, friends, dogs and guns. The latest, Forever Concealed, is the 7th book in the current series.If you enjoy romance and suspense mixed with a healthy dose of humor, give Ms. Brooks a try. Each book stands on its own but I recommend starting at the beginning of each series. Heck, who am I kidding. I recommend you begin with the first book in the original series and go from there.

For non-fiction, and because we will be seeing the play based on the book in the near future, I’m currently reading The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis’ Journey to Faith. This isn’t my usual sort of thing for my non-fiction reading. I tend more toward history, politics or military non-fiction. But last year we went to see the Screwtape Letters on stage with friends and it was such an excellent performance that, when we learned the same group was doing this on stage, we decided to go. Because there is a discussion period after the performance, I thought reading the book might be helpful.

This next book was on my to buy list but after the price was reduced because I refuse to pay more than $10 for a fiction e-book. However, a friend gave it to me (yay!). Another of my guilty pleasures are the Eve Dallas books by J. D. Robb. I’ll admit, she’s had some misses with this series, but that’s to be expected when there are as many books in the series as there are now. This last book, Silence in Death, while far from a miss didn’t hit the mark as solidly in my opinion as Brotherhood in Death or even Apprentice in Death. Part of that is because the victim in this case wasn’t someone I cared about. Part was because the killer also wasn’t anyone I cared about. But the story was still pretty solid and the favorite characters were there. So, I enjoyed it but it isn’t on the “to be reread very soon” pile.

One of my favorite series right now is the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. A big reason for that is seeing how Jane has grown and changed over the course of the series. Of course, Jane’s snark doesn’t hurt either. Her latest, Cold Reign, brings us closer to the big and potentially final battle the books have been leading up to. But, this being Jane, she’s thrown a wrench in the works that changes the playing field in ways no one yet knows. I highly recommend this book for any fan of urban fantasy.

Finally, two books from one of my favorite authors, Larry Correia. The first, Monster Hunter Siege, is the latest in the series. As always, there are guns, monsters and explosions. What’s not to love? It also sets us up perfectly for what is to come next in the series. All I can say there is never, ever piss off a new mother who has access to more guns and things that go boom! than the military. It won’t end well for the bad guys. As for Siege itself, we get some answers about Owen’s past and a lot more questions about what’s to come. Larry, as always, hits it out of the park with this book.

The last book is available for pre-order with a release date of October 3rd. That’s Monster Hunter Files. This is an anthology set in the MHI universe. It includes stories by not only Larry but also Jim Butcher, John Ringo, Sarah A. Hoyt, Faith Hunter, Brad Torgersen and more. I can hardly wait. I am not usually a fan of anthologies but this one, from everything I’ve seen and heard, will be well worth the money.

Now I guess I’d best find another cup of coffee and get to work. Until later!


  1. I enjoy Jane Yellowrock series as well. Lately I have been on a Karen Chance “Cassie Palmer” kick. I love to read as well. Writing seems to cut into my reading time though. 🙂

      1. I don’t think anybody would want to touch my last month’s reading with a ten-foot pole! I’ve been refreshing my memory of a rather arcane branch of math that I’m using as the basis for magic in this fantasy series I’m working on, so the reading list is all books like “Elements of Point Set Theory” and “Counterexamples in Topology.”

        First I had to get the math right for my own satisfaction. Then I had to take ninety percent of it OUT of the first book after my First Reader (also a mathematician) informed me that even he didn’t want to know how the Borsuk Fixed-Point Theorem could be applied to teleportation.

        Pass the popcorn romances now, please.

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