Monday, June 9, 2014

What to Read Next Issues...

I finished Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes before noon today. Once finished, I spent an afternoon racing through Kroger with my aunt. We were buying groceries for my grandma, and had our asses out of that place in less than forty-five minutes.  I'm not a fan of grocery shopping.  Swerving carts, comparing off-brand from popular brands, calculating budgets; I rather do without all that fuss, though I know it's necessary if you want to eat.  

Okay, okay. I'm getting off track. This post is about books!

Anyway, after that was finished, I did something I haven't done in awhile: I visited the three used bookstores in my area. My immediate focus was to use a credit slip to buy Laurell K. Hamilton's new, ninth book in her Merry Gentry book, Shiver of Light. That's right. You read me correctly. Laurell K. Hamilton. Merry Gentry. I'm such a hack sometimes, feeding myself foolishly with both of this author's insufferable series. But see, it's hard for a completionist--such as myself--to walk away.  By the way, I didn't find it.  However, here's what's going on...

Bought 5/3/10 and never read
According to my receipt, I bought book eight in the Merry Gentry series, Divine Misdemeanors, from a used bookstore on 5/03/10. And I have yet to crack open the book! Seriously, it's been sitting on my shelf for that many years unread.  So now that the ninth book has recently released, after a five-year series hiatus, book eight is suddenly calling me. Seemingly... from the grave I should add. And so I hate this. I hate having to finish things! Especially concerning this series—this author! The truth is that without even reading it, I can review this book blindfolded without missing a beat.  How?  Because there's a 101% chance that there isn't a plot to construct a review with. I know this! I know this stuff for facts! Yet! I've held on to the book with the intention of one day plowing through it with a bottle of Vodka at my bedside to wash each wasted, printed word down. 

My fingers are itching to verbally bodyslam the book before I've read it. Can't you tell?

So that's part of my conundrum. As painful and insipid as it sounds. I know I should just do away with the whole idea and put the sonofabitch back on the shelf where it belongs. However, Shiver of Light is out there, and here I am with an incomplete series.  Grrrr!

It's especially hard when I have a stack of great books I just received from The BookOutlet. We're talking books by Nnedi Okorafor (an African-American female sci-fi writer the likes of Octavia Butler); P.D. James's first book in her Adam Dalgliesh mystery series; the biography of Madam Chiang Kai-Shek; and The Book of Night Women by Jamaican novelist, Marlon James. So I have books I can and want to read. They are definitely there calling out.

Back to the bookstore tour from today. I walked out with Julia Cameron's Walking in this World, the sequel to her highly inspirational book, The Artist's Way. I even snagged something off my Amazon Wishlist in Martha Grimes's crime fiction novel, Hotel Paradise. Then there's the third book in Barbara Neely's Blanche White mystery series. If you don't know what that series is about, it's about an African-American domestic worker who solves mysteries.  Which, of course, is right up my alley!

I have books to read. Better books. Greater books. And it's equally disturbing that I want to follow a Stephen King novel with a book about a faerie princess who whines about sex from a team of faire men with peas for brains.

Ah, the frustration.

I want to crack open a new book tonight, but I think I'll play some form of Resident Evil and figure this out in the morning.


On page 4 of Divine Misdemeanors comes this halting--yet familiarly expressed--form of thought:

"Detective Lucy Tate came to stand beside me.  She was wearing a pants suit complete with jacket and a white button-up shirt that strained a little across the front because Lucy, like me, had too much figure for most button-up shirts.  But I wasn't a police detective so I didn't have to pretend I was a man to try to fit in."

Yep!  Totally called it quits!  We're quickly back to focusing on body image and women in law enforcement again.  Something like a resident leitmotif in both Hamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series--among other tired conversations.  We'll put this book away until I have absolutely nothing else to read.

Pardon the rant!  But what do you do when you're trying to find out what you want to read next?  Top that by asking yourself what series do you loathe but find yourself unable to turn away with each new release?  Share your thoughts below.

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