Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yay! The swap works!

So the books I sent out through Paperback Swap are starting to arrive, which means the people are reporting that I am a good person and therefore I should get more books. Today my first requested book arrived - my missing Alex Delaware book, Obsession. I have three more books requested and am so far pleased with the system. I especially like the little labels they make.

Does this mean I am going to stop whining that I have no new books? Hell no! Have you seen how fast I read them?? But hopefully, I will whine less.

I am interested in referrals from other readers, so I thought maybe I'd let you know what my tastes are.

I like sagas. Big, broad books and series that make you feel like if only you had this book in your hands, you too could be a world traveler, or time traveler. But within that, I tend to enjoy a level of complexity - the mysteries of Jeffrey Archer, (Kane and Abel) for example, vs. the melodrama of Sydney Sheldon. I like strong central characters over length works which pass you on to other generations - Pilot-Major John Blackthorn in Shogun vs. the two Roman families in Steven Saylar's Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome). (Although I love Steven to death and read that one as fast as I read his Gordianous books. His gay male porn, by the way, is stunningly good.

When I do go for the sweeping, multi-generational tale, I would rather one that fills in a lot of details about a style of living, rather than a place just by itself. Edward Rutherford's Sarum: The Novel of England was great, but by the end of the book, I lost track of who was related to whom. And I no longer really cared. On the other hand, Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club) gave me a story of architecture which I never would have found interesting if not for the central characters.

I like strong lead characters who I can empathize with, even when they are stupid (like Nicole, in Household Gods) or when they are so smart and clever, you wonder how everyone else in the world around them didn't just up and die one day while taking a walk. (Ayla, of course. What didn't she invent?)

I'll probably go on about this topic in future posts.

1 comment:

Mad said...

Neither of these are sagas, but two books that I read (or re-read) recently with very entertaining central characters:

The Ice House by Minette Walters
- this is her first book, and I love all her mysteries, even though none of the characters make repeat appearances.

Nation by Terry Pratchett
- quite simply the best children's book I've ever read.