Tuesday, March 25, 2008

First Quarter Faves for 2008

It's been a while since I posted a 'what I'm reading' post, so I thought I'd do that today. I've been a bit more sporadic in my reading habits this year--probably due to several time consuming reasons, but I'm going to pretend I'm writing during what used to be some of my reading time. ^_^ I've also been pickier this year, and more of the books I read didn't make it to my 'great reads' list. I find the more I write, the more I pick apart books while I'm reading them, which annoyingly makes them less enjoyable.

So, I'm going to highlight three books I enjoyed immensely (not to belittle other books on my great reads books for this year, but I had to narrow it down to a reasonable number, so these are the three that stand out the most in my mind.) Without further ado --and in no particular order--my top picks out of winter 2008 books.

I think I mentioned Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, once before when writing on hooklines because this writer nailed it. She nailed the rest of the book too. It's a fast paced debut novel, and though it's heavy on the romance, there is plenty of action and outside tension to please fans who might not typically go for the romance genre.
I throughly enjoyed this book, was surprised by the ending, and am anxiously awaiting the next novel in the series, One Foot in the Grave.

The next book on my top pick list probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows my reading tastes well, but I'm listing it anyway. It is, of course, The Outlaw Demon Wails, by Kim Harrison. I won't say too much about this book because it is the latest in a growing series. What I will say is if you've read the previous books, but haven't picked this one up, stop dwadling. If you haven't started the Rachel Morgan series, the first book is Dead Witch Walking. Go, get it, read it.

The last book on my list comes with a disclaimer: this is a book that will have few wishy-washy opinions, people will love or hate it (as cliche as the statement is, it is still true.)
Happy Hour of the Damned, by Mark Henry, is like nothing else on the shelves. The writer, very intentionally, breaks every rule you've ever heard about writing: there is a several chapter long flashback; the reader is addressed directly, breaking the 'fourth wall'; and the main character is the ultimate anti-heroine. Oh yeah, and then there are the footnotes (I kid you not) and the directions to note side-boxes with information like drink mixes and music playlists.
The book is a reading experience to say the least, and I'll admit I got totally thrown out of the story dozens of times (footnotes will do that) but I highly enjoyed it. I'll admit, had I picked it up on a casual brows, I probably wouldn't have purchased it. But, I happen to like the author's web presence (yes, web presence sales books--I have proven that, lol) and it came recommended. I'm glad it did, and very glad I read it. I can't wait to see what Mark comes out with next.

Well, that wraps up my top picks for Winter 2008. As a side note, I'd also like to spotlight two books that will be coming out on April 1st. I can't say I'm recommending these books, as I have not read either yet, but both are sequels to books I read last year that were definitely in my top five books of 2007, so I have high hopes.

Rogue, by Rachel Vincent, is the second book in her Werecat series. You can find where I blogged about Rachel's debut novel, Stray, here.

The other book I'm anxiously awaiting which releases on April 1st is the third book in the Cassandra Palmer series called, Embrace the Night, by Karen Chance. After the first two books, I would really love to sit down with Karen and pick her brain on how she plots, and more importantly, how far ahead she plots. These books have a time traveling element, and during the second book, the reader (or at least I) picked up on subtle things that happened in the first book that were affected by events in the second, which is an awesome trick!

What books have you been reading recently? What books are you drooling over and wishing for longer excerpts while you wait for them to release?


purpleprose 78 said...

I found Rogue last night! (Out a week early) Yea!!! I will be reading it very very soon. After I read Lara Adrian's Midnight Rising probably. I went to the store for that one and happened to find Rogue too!

madkestrel said...

At lunchtime I'm reading Libba Bray's "A Great and Terrible Beauty". It's a wonderful read, and very difficult to put down when lunch is over.

My bedtime book is R A Salvatore's "Homeland", because my son is badgering me to read it. It's good so far, but you definitely need to enjoy game-based fantasy to get into it.