Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Chit Chat and Various Book Ramblings

It's been a while since I've done one of these updates.  Couple that with some books I want to mention that I don't have a lot to say about and general holiday brain-melt, here we are.  So what's going on with me?


First, the big news - that Big Ol' Leadership Management Class Thing that I did for work?  Yeah, it's now done.  I survived 15 weeks, a group project (20 page written report + presentation), and had "graduation" last week.  Let me tell you how glad I am that's over.  Yes, it was a great experience, I learned stuff, and it looks shiny on Ye Olde Resume but....still.  I'm glad it's over.


In other news?  Star Wars.  Meh.  Look, I'll go see it.  Eventually.  But I have not been excited about this thing since it was first announced.  Now James Bond?  Spectre?  I was twirling around in circles....months ahead of time.  Maybe they need to put Han Solo in a tux and shove a martini in his hand?  I'd feel like I was missing out but....meh


I've gotten through some mystery/suspense reading and audiobook listening of late.  Chalk this up to buying a new car last year (built-in bluetooth!!!) and finally getting around to downloading the Overdrive app on my new phone which has WAY more memory than old phone.
I listened to Black Irish by Stephan Talty, mostly because the Buffalo, New York setting intrigued.  I went to college in Buffalo and lived there for almost six years.  Verdict?  Meh.  It was OK.  Mostly it was a Buffalo I didn't recognize (hey, I lived there almost 20 years ago and I was a college student pretty much "isolated" to campus life).  You know what this read like?  Like Talty wants to do for Buffalo what Dennis Lehane did for Boston.  It's on the gory side, so be warned, and while I didn't love it - I also didn't hate it.  It was also a fast listen.  I'll try the next book in the series.
On Keishon's recommendation I'm currently listening to The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo.  I'm glad she warned me about the slow start.  There's a lot of set-up and it seems to be all over the place.  I'm thinking I'm finally at the point where we're going to settle in for a more "linear" story - and think it will likely pick up for me now.  The Scandinavian crime "thing"  has largely eluded me - but I've been meaning to try Nesbo for a while and he's one of Keishon's favorites - so here I am.
Over the weekend I read The Sundown Speech by Loren D. Estleman, which is the 25th (!) book in his Amos Walker, Detroit PI series.  This was another OK read.  Estleman originally published it in a local paper as a serial about 10 years ago, expanded it, and now we have a book.  Amos is in Ann Arbor this time out so we have crunchy granola clients and a villain too smart for his own good.  It's not a book I would recommend to someone new to the series (Estleman's style is better suited for the darker noir world of rundown Detroit), but I read it in two gulps so....what am I complaining about again?
In the romance world, I tried but ultimately failed to listen to Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren.  As most of you already know, this book sprang to life out of fan-fiction and that actually isn't my complaint about it.  It also has a boss/secretary trope which, as we all know, Wendy loves despite knowing better.  No, the problem was I loathed these people.  Seriously.  The hero is an asshat and the heroine's body keeps "betraying her."  Seriously, those words are used in the text.  Her body "betrays her."  That's a romance writing tic that just needs to die a thousand burning deaths already.

Anyway, he's a jerk - keeps ripping her panties off - and even though she's a smart-mouth and fires back at him a lot - we still have Ye Olde Betraying Body thing.  I just couldn't see wasting my time on two characters that I literally loathed.  I've DNF'ed books for a lot less.

On the bright side?  While I normally have a hard time with romance on audio (it's a quirk - I have issues with someone "reading" me sex scenes), the narrator here (Grace Grant) was really quite good.  If you like romance on audio, you might want to look her up (my brief search turned up narrating for Christina Lauren, Lisa Renee Jones and Colleen Hoover).


I'm hoping to squeeze out a couple more reads before the end of the year - which is time to remind folks that if you're waiting with bated breath for my Best of 2015 list?  Keep waiting until early January.  Outside of mentioning a mere three titles as part of H&H's round-ups - I always wait until the new year arrives.  Because, you know, I could read something awesome-sauce on December 31.


If blogging doesn't happen again this week (and you know, it might not) - I hope that everyone has a nice, relaxing holiday.  Ho ho ho!


Anonymous said...

Lots of set-up and you might scream over that ending but his books only get better so hang in there even if it doesn't wow you, he has better books ahead. It's a good cold war novel but the slow start puts people off which is why I warned you so I hope it picks up for you. The Redbreast is the start of a very good sub-plot that goes on for two more books. Hope you like him and his books.

Wendy said...

Keishon: The WWII subplot seems to have finally settled in for me - which helps. Also the Harry storyline is beginning to gain some traction. But yeah - LOTS of set-up and I really appreciated the warning.