Friday, November 10, 2006

Susie wonders what to read

I'm in a bit of a reading slump. This doesn't happen to me often - if I read a couple of books in a row that don't give me that zing, I can usually fix it by reading another genre. And I'm a pretty wide reader; I like mysteries, I like scientific thrillers, I like adventure. I'm not wild about sagas, and I simply cannot do horror. (I'm still prone to nightmares.)

A must, though: a positive ending. I don't need everything tied up in a neat little romance bow, but I do like to feel hopeful, that things are going in the right direction. I just read a book that I thought I would like a lot, but at the end, just when things were looking up for the heroine, another tragedy was thrown her way. Realistic, perhaps, but not very entertaining. I get enough of that in real life, thank you very much.

The last books I really enjoyed were the MONKEEWRENCH mysteries, by a local writing team. (A mother and daughter). I didn't like the third one quite as much as the first two, and it takes some effort to keep all the characters straight. But the characters are really interesting, the dialogue is hilarious and very real-sounding, and it's great fun to recognize my hometown. The descriptions of Minneapolis/St. Paul and northern Wisconsin are spot on.

But I've been stuck ever since. The obvious solution would be to read Connie Brockway's HOT DISH, which would be perfect, except I already read it in galley form. (Which, at the time, seemed like a bonus. But now I don't get to read it now, when I need a laugh!)

Suggestions, please? What have you read lately that you just really enjoyed. I'm not looking to be enlightened; I just want to have fun.



Betina Krahn said...

Hi, Susie! Good question.

Do you read James Rollins? Amazonia, Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Deep Fathom, Ice Hunt, and Excavation. . . and now The Black Order. Scientific thrillers and fairly convincing characters. I also love Lincoln Childs and Douglas Preston. . . their trilogy: Brimstone, Dance of Death, and Book of the Dead. Their earlier Relic and Ice Limit and Cabinet of the Curiosities were wonderful, too. They're more thriller/suspense than horror. . . very intelligent books.

Then there's Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, which is a fantasy (Luna) with a love interest. It's intense in places, but the heroine is great. And of course, JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, starting with Dark Lover. They're vampire, but they hooked me and I'm not a big fan of vampire fiction. She does a different take on the whole vampire story. Very "male outlook" fiction. Makes me wanna buy a big, black Escalade.

And Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. . . starting with Dead Until Dark. Also an alternative vampire theme, but a lot of fun and not scary at all.

Then, there's Labyrinth, by Kate Moss.

A Simple Gift by Karyn Witmer (Karyn Witmer-Gow) is a lovely, heartfelt story that made me reach for tissues several times, and I don't usually like books that make me sniffle. Lovely ending, too.

And if I may be so bold as to suggest. . . for laughs. . . The Book of True Desires.

I'll look through my stack and see what else I have. . .

Happy Reading and cheer up!


Kilroy_60 said...

I would suggest The Outermost House; a book about Cape Cod. Thoreau also wrote a book about the Cape, but the title is escaping me. They're both great!

You had so many posts that I wanted to comment on...but some people consider that lttering. So, I'll just wrie this one for now. Should you choose to write comments, I'll follow suit.

Wanted to let you konw I've included you in the newest installment of A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Blogosphere. Should you want to do a link exchange, let me know.


Candace said...

I'll second Betina on Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. Harris also has another couple of series I just discovered. One is the Lily Bard series, the first of which is "Shakespeare's Landlord." It's pretty straight-forward reluctant amateur crime-solver stuff. Lily has no supernatural powers.

The second series features heroine Harper Connelly, who was hit by lightning and now has the dubious talent of sensing dead bodies. She doesn't talk to them, she merely senses where they are located and can tell how they got dead. The first title is "Grave Sight."

I like Robert Parker's Spenser series, too. And anything by Loretta Chase.

Susan Kay Law said...

Betina, ah, we have some similar tastes! I LOVE the Preston/Child mysteries. Last hear I tried one of the ones Preston wrote alone and it didn't work for me as well, strangely - the plot was still excellent, but the writing wasn't as smooth.

Rollins is hit and miss for me (he was my old editor's "project"). I really like his plots, and all the cool stuff I learn (I can't figure out how he knows so much about WIDELY diverse things!) but I wish he'd stop trying to put romantic plotlines in and leaave it to the experts.

Kilroy, please feel free to comment anytime! Also, tell me more about the Cape Cod book.

CAndace, I think I've read every Loretta Chase. Sigh. She's so gifted.

Sookie Stackhouse, hmm? I'm just not a vampire girl. Though I liked Buffy. But I've tried a lot of the ones recommended and nothing's really worked for me yet. Tell me why this one might.

Susie, still looking

Anonymous said...

Susie, I had to comment on this, because the subject of a positive ending hits home! There's not a lot out there, which is why I read a lot of positive, non-fiction type books. And positive, uplifting stories are tough to promote. (As the author of an inspirational series, I can testify to this!)
The Childs & Preston books are great though! Hope you find something great and pass it along. I'm still eyeballing my copy of The Time Traveler's Wife.

Fiona K. Crawford said...

Have you read "I'm Watching You" by Karen Rose? She is my favorite Romantic Suspense writer and this is my favorite of her books.

It's one of those can't-put-it-down mysteries, with enough suspense to make me turn on a few extra lights at night. The romance, and happy ending, are icing on the cake.

All of her books are heavy on the suspense, and they ALWAYS have a happy ending.