BOOK & BLOG
August 10, 2009
Books of the Week:
Jeaniene Frost seems to be climbing to the top of the paranormal field, and she deserves to be there. Her Cat and Bones books have been wonderful from start to finish. Cat is a wonderful character: half-vampire, half-human, all about the vengeance, but with a great longing to be acceptable to someone. Bones, the vampire she tries to kill, is equally wonderful: ruthless, secretive, and great in bed. They’re combustible together. I confess, I hated Cat’s mother in the first book, and it’s still hard warming up to her, but if anything could make me pity her, this is the books. I’m not going to get into the plot. Presumably, you’ve read other Frost novels. If you haven’t, please run out to buy HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, the first in the series.
People have been talking about Suzanne Collins’s THE HUNGER GAMES, and with good reason. It’s classified as a YA novel, but there’s plenty here to keep adults interested, I can testify. In Collins’s world, a post-apocalyptic America, teen children are harvested from each of twelve districts every year to participate in the Hunger Games. Food is primary source of concern in Panem, scarce and doled out by the government. Whoever wins the Hunger Games gets food for himself/herself and the family for life. How do you win? By killing all the other contestants. It’s very like “Survivor,” but for real. A different venue with a different landscape is picked each year, and the government throws in different twists to affect the outcome: torrential rain, the drying up of water sources, planted explosives, etc. Katniss and Peetya, the teens who are chosen from the coal-producing region, are at a great disadvantage, but due to Katniss’s cleverness they contrive to have an edge. This is a great book, and very thought-provoking. Read this along with your teen and discuss it.
An acquaintance I re-met at Anhinga handed me an ARC of SECONDHAND SPIRITS to read, and I was glad to get it, since one of my packed books was a bust. This is a pleasant read about a witch who’s trying to put down roots in San Francisco in a hippie sort of neighborhood. Lily Ivory has a small business in vintage clothing, and she shares her shop with a Wiccan. You’ll enjoy the characters, the description of the business, Lily’s potential suitors, and Lily’s unwillingly acquired familiar, a pot-bellied pig. Juliet Blackwell also writes as Hailey Lind.
This has been a week of working, working, working as I try to bring DEAD IN THE FAMILY to a close. Lots of unexpected things happened, and I realized I have to cut a couple of characters I had big plans for, but I’ll save them for another book. It took me a while to realize what the theme of the book was, and when I realized it was about family Eric’s, Sam’s, Sookie’s, Bill’s suddenly everything became much easier.
I’m taking my laptop to Los Angeles with me this week as I visit The City of Angels for a round of meetings. Wish me calm and peace.
I have a lot coming up, with Dragon Con just around the corner and then Bouchercon, and then the Vampire Ball in New Orleans. I’ll fly directly from New Orleans to Houston for a big event there, and I hope to have all the details to post here soon. Maybe Paula has already sent them to Dawn, our webmistress! It’s strange having a right hand I don’t always track.
After that I’ll be home for a few months, and working hard. I have a Sookie novella to write for the Companion, and then I have to decide what to do next. I may have to start on Sookie 11, or I may have time to work on something else. It would be nice to have a different writing topic for a little while.
In real life, our two children still at home will be leaving: my Army son and my just-graduated daughter. How empty the house will seem!
I hope all of you enjoyed last week’s ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. I know I did. I thought the coverage was great, and it was super to see the magazine finally acknowledge “True Blood.” Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton both deserved the nod from EW, while it was a foregone conclusion Stephenie Meyer would be featured. I was delighted to be included.
Have a great week, as summer closes down and we begin to think about Fall.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris