The Read List

December 17, 2009 at 4:52 am (100+ Reading) (, , )


Last week I made the decision to join in the 100+ Reading Challenge.  I decided the best way to start out the new year would be by having a line up of books so that I didn’t spend two or three days reading blurbs and first pages and not actually starting any real reading.  As the first things that were packed in my house were the ‘unread’ books that were lying around I salvaged eight novels from the pile to stay out so that I had something to start with.  These books were chosen on the basis of they were the ones that fell out of the box and I was sick of trying to get the box shut with them in it.  Probably not a great reason to choose a book but as I already own them, it is as good a way as any.

Here they are, in no particular order (actually they are in the order that they are currently sitting on my desk):

Into the Void by Nigel Findley: This is actually part two of The Cloakmaster Cycle and I have read part one though it was several years ago now.  I do love the first line from the blurb:  “Plunged into a sea of alien faces, Teldin Moore isn’t sure whom to trust.”  Conspiracy, aliens and paranoia all in one sentence.  I like it.  And the cover art is kind of interesting with our protagonist flanked by a squid-like purple thing and a blue guy that looks like he has scales running up his arms.  Plus he is wearing a cloak (as you would expect from the cloakmaster) and I am a sucker for a guy in a cloak.

Why haven’t I read it already? Simple.  I read the first one.  I read it all the way through, I didn’t overly dislike it but it isn’t one of my all time favourites.  I couldn’t tell you where it actually was on my shelves.  I honestly couldn’t recall the name of the main character until I read it on the back of the book.  That isn’t to say anything against this book.  It just explains why every time I have picked it up to read, I’ve put it back down and found something else to do.

Darkness Falls by Margaret Murphy: This books is apparently “A model of what the modern suspense thriller should be.” according to Val McDermid on the back of the cover.  Woman has everything, woman is kidnapped and chained to a wall.  Meanwhile a detective leads a ‘frantic’ search for her.  I have to admit the blurb is doing nothing for me here but the cover just grabbed me.  Very blue – blue bricks, blue floor, woman in shadows sitting on the ground, arms suspended above her, chained to the wall.  The title and author name are in bright red, raised type.  It really got my attention.

Why haven’t I read it already? Reading the blurb makes me feel like I’m being stalked by a mass-cliche.  It doesn’t help that the opening is clearly the internal dialogue of the kidnapper and it also sounds fairly familiar.    Hopefully once I get into the story I’ll be so sucked in by the suspense and thrills that I’ll just enjoy it.

Justice by Faye Kellerman: I love Faye Kellerman and I love Detective Sergeant Peter Decker and all six of the books I have already read in this series (too bad I didn’t read them in order because while each crime is individual, the family life is definitely serialised).  I’m not quite sure where Justice fits in the order yet but as it doesn’t list one of the books I’ve already read I assume it is before that.  The cover is nothing to write home about being basic black with the author name nearly four times the size of the title but I already love the series so I know I’m going to enjoy the book.

Why haven’t I read it already? To be perfectly honest, I forgot it was in the pile.  I had a bunch of fantasy on top of it and it just kind of got buried.

Brog the Stoop by Joe Boyle: A point fantasy novel about preventing encroaching darkness with one Stoop who will not accept defeat.  There is a perilous quest leading to a final, “and possibly fatal,” battle.  Again I may have moved on accept that the cover is intriguing.  Lots of eyes and faces, little blue creatures with really cool hair surrounded by grass and rocks and trees.  It just looks really pretty and interesting.

Why haven’t I read it already? Every fantasy cliche has been ticked in this blurb.  World in peril.  Check.  One person who can stop it (or in this case, Stoop).  Check.  Epic battle.  Check.  Light fading.  Check.  Plus, the main character is called Brog.  What kind of a name is that?  Still I think once I get into this one I will enjoy reading it.

Others in my list:

Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle

The Man In The Tree by Damon Knight

Resident Evil – City of the Dead by S.D. Perry – yes I am reading a novelisation based on a movie.

Toreador by Steward Wieck – yes I am reading a novel based off an RPG game.    I think you can tell why these books are still in my stack.


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15 Comments

  1. Fiona Skye said,

    I have done the same thing. The Man keeps reading books and saying, “Oh, you should read this!” and “You have to read this! You’ll love it!” So I have a huge pile of books I’ve never read, but have been told that I should. I’m going to use the reading challenge to make some serious head-way into this huge pile. The first books I’m going to attempt are by Sergei Lukyaneko – the Nightwatch series. I saw the movie and thought it was pretty good, so now I’m going to read the series and see how it compares. Then, I’m going to tackle the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I read the first book and was very, very disappointed by it. The Man told me it was amazing, but I found it just kinda…blah, I guess. I’m going to give it a second chance because Himself liked it so much.

    By the way, Darkness Falls sounds like just about every James Patterson/Alex Cross book I’ve ever read.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I usually don’t discourage reading but I’m about to donate the six Wheel of Time books I actually bought because by book six it is obvious this tale is oging on-and-on-and-on-and-on and it isn’t really getting anywhere fast. An enormous amount of reading about fairly unlikable and bland characters fighting a villain who doesn’t particularly seem villainous when compared to the so-called good guys. I’m bitter because I actually had high hopes for this series and was very disappointed. I know a lot of fantsay readers will disagree with me though.

  2. bloowillbooks said,

    I also got up to book six or seven of the Wheel of Time and then decided to give the rest of them a big ol’ swerve. Cut to the chase, I say! Oh and I am a fantasy reader, love the genre, just have too much of a reading life to devote to only one series.

    As to the book shelf/pile thing. I’ve also noticed that my shelves are full of books that are not my favourites. I’ve read them, but I don’t love them. The books I love have all been either given or loaned to others. Thus my new purchase…an ebook reader. To date, I love it. I have twenty or so books on it, all read, and not a bit of extra space taken up in my house. Traveling is also easier.

    That said, I’m thinking of now clearing off my shelves (hello St Vincent de Paul) and restocking them with only those books I DO love!

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I try to only keep books I will reread on my shelves. Books I haven’t read are just kept in various piles about the place until I read them and decide. Do they go on the shelf or are they to go in the donation pile? As my shelves have overflowed into boxes the number of books that get kept has definitely diminished and a book now has to be extraordinary to stay.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who gave up on the Wheel of Time. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Elizabeth Spann Craig said,

    What’s interesting to me, as a writer, are your reasons for NOT reading those books. Something for all of us to keep in mind!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      It is amazing how something very small can be a good reason to not invest the time it takes to read a book sometimes and yet I know from previous books that sometimes, having put them off for months, I really enjoy reading them once I start. Othertimes, they simply live up to expectations.

  4. Carol Kilgore said,

    I keep reading and acquiring new books, so my TBR shelf is always full. Some have been there a long time. Others don’t stick around long before I pick them up. it’s whatever sounds good to me at the time, I think.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to read something – even if I know I’m going to enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Jane Kennedy Sutton said,

    I enjoyed this post. I haven’t thought about why some books keep getting shuffled to the bottom of my stack – next time I’m going to take a few extra minutes and see what’s stopping me from reading it.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I often wonder when I’m at the bookshop what makes me pick up one book and pass over another. Sometimes I think the answer is just random chance.

  6. Helen Ginger said,

    Looks like you’ve got a start on your 100 reads. We’ll find out if it’s a “good” start. Question: If you start reading a book and really dislike it, will you quit? Or for the sake of getting a book off your count, will you forge through it?

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I almost always finish a book if I make it through the first chapter, if for no other reason than natural curiosity. Putting a book down midway through means I always have this nagging thought that it might have gotten better.

  7. @jmartinlibrary said,

    This year, I want to read as many Pulitzer as I can. And this is going to be the year to tackle Infinite Jest. Wish me luck!

  8. Corra McFeydon said,

    I just joined the ‘I Wish I’d Read That’ challenge.

    http://theroyalreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/wish-id-read-that-challenge.html

    But I’m only reading six books. I can’t imagine how people do a hundred in a year!! Best of luck to you!

    My list contains all classic novels, and I might end up surpassing the ‘six’ goal. But certainly not to one hundred, though I’d be proud if I did. 🙂

    Corra

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