March 24, 2014

Check Those Out!

Get yer mind out of the gutter. I don't care what you may have read here before, but this ain't that. This is cleaner than a baby's behind after a summer mud bath. So there.

For the longest time, my limitation for reading library books was two. Any more and I would leave those books unread and unfulfilled. Any less and I would take extra trips to the library. The main reason why I have a cap of two books is that our library has a lending period of three weeks and for me, because of the (usually) abbreviated time period I have for my reading (lunch and breaks at work), 1 1/2 weeks per book works out just fine.

Up until early summer '13, I've always checked out two non-fiction books to read. Why? Well for starters, non-fiction is written/designed to allow the reader to stop at a particular passage and pick it up the next day. Fiction, sadly, does not. How many times have you picked up a book of fiction and discovered to your everlasting regret that the story has got you hook, line and sinker? And you found that even if you tried to put it down, it would smack your brain around until you picked it back up again.

Join the club my friends, join the club.

Nevertheless, in early summer '13 I decided that come hell or high water, I was going to check out a book of fiction with my non-fiction. And to be on the safe side, I came up with a fool proof plan: in order not run headlong into the problem described in the preceding paragraph I would check out historical fiction and/or non-series fiction.

I bet you're wondering how is this a good thing?

Most historical fiction that I've come across reads like non-fiction, in that I can always bookmark and come back later to none the worse for wear. So long as I don't deviate from that plan, I'm good. When I do deviate from that plan, then I have problems. Fortunately, those deviations have been few and far between.

But, we are in a new year, and a new year is always fraught with perils and promise. In this case, I have found fiction that I may have problems with in the coming months.

For instance, the other day I saw a new book by S. Thomas Russell. Upon closer examination of the jacket, I discovered that this new novel was #3 in a series of historical naval fiction set during the French Revolution. Now, I don't know if you have this same problem, but I am loathe to start a book series in the middle. So I found the first volume "Under Enemy Colours" and damn it, I done suffered the malady previously described as I read this book (about 500 pages) in roughly four days.

And yes, when I went back to the library, I grabbed the 2nd volume "A Battle Won" with the intention of reading it as well. However, while I was looking for a volume of horror by John Ajvide Lindqvist called "Let The Right One In" (two very fantastic horror films, one Swedish and one American, were made. Highly recommend that you see them, and this is coming from a person who as a rule doesn't like most horror), I joyfully discovered a book series by Jeff Lindsay. Who is Jeff Lindsay? His is the genius/mastermind behind the recently expired "Dexter" t.v. series. Oh, and the reason why I was looking for that particular horror novel to being with is that John Lindqvist just came out with a short story anthology that my library recently acquired and was featuring on a sort display of new fiction books.

Suffice to say, I now have a lot on my plate, reading wise. I do enjoy reading complete book series, but the problem I'll be having is making sure that I don't suffer from the aforementioned malady at work. I have no problem suffering the malady at home (which is where is should be) but at work, especially at my job, is a distinct no-no. But as they say, there is always a solution to any problem one may incur while pursuing a hobby that one is passionate about.

Someday I may enlighten everyone on just exactly what the solution may be to this problem. Until then, check out those three writers when you get the chance, because you won't be disappointed.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I tried to read the Dexter series, but I just couldn't get into it. I liked the TV show better (is that blasphemy to say?). The book was too long winded, and the story arc they created for the first few seasons of the TV show worked better than the story arc Jeff Lindsay had in Darkly Dreaming Dexter. There, I said it. It's out there. Can't take it back.

  2. ABFtS: I actually like it when the book doesn't follow what the t.v. series.

    For instance, I read the book "The Dead Zone" and thought it was way better than the movie or the lame t.v. series.

    I tried reading the book "No Country For Old Men" but after about five pages I felt like I was reading the movie word for word.

  3. I can't usually get into historical fiction, but I've been liking reading Dorothy Sayers mysteries lately because they're such a neat reflection of the time they're written in, in England. In between wars, social stuff radically changing.

    I won't start a book if there is a prequel without reading that first. I'm too anal. (And that is ALSO a clean statement.)

  4. M: I don't read too many mysteries as they seem to be a bit too formulaic for my tastes.

    Historical fiction is an acquired taste, but I definitely don't deviate from that into other historical genres like romances and what not.

    As for book series, that is my standing rule: have to start from square one or it isn't worth my time.

  5. First you tell us how you wound into this alley of fiction series reading addiction and then invite us to do the same. Uh huh.

  6. G.A.: Just think of me as your special little friend. :D


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