Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Exam Hell

Yes, after weeks of cowering in fear, huddled around myself in a corner chanting obscenities and pleading for mercy ... I have emerged from the Cave of All Evils where I was stuck in Exam Hell.

Now I'm back and it is summer and even though I have a job - I think I will begin posting lots (read: LOTS - I am at 25 books, which means I am a little ahead of schedule for my book-a-week goal) more! Yay, right?

Anyways, so I left you with computer problems, and that forced me to skip ... er, a few ... posts.

I left you with Richelle Mead's insane vampiric creation, The Vampire Academy. Well, not being able to help myself, I read onto Book 3 - Shadow Kiss - And I wish I hadn't. Yeah that's right, I said it. I cannot believe I put myself in such a position so that in the middle of exams I was having a fangirl drool fest over Dmitri and the fate in store for him. (I read the synopsis of Book 4 - am so properly obsessed now). But the cliff hanger of a whopping ending to Book 3 that has me so hot in anticipation for the fourth, also got me thinking - why am I hooked?

I mean, several times I was annoyed at various characters, irritated by the pace, incredulous over the plot details (ghosts? what?). But I had to finish it. And so as a writer, I need to know why (else I will fall into those piles of "Forgotten" manuscripts, right?).

Mulling it over for the last month, and reading something Christina Dodd put in her blog, I realized that - no matter how unrealistic - I like these books because they have some sort of grittiness and the plots devices and the characters aren't perfect, or tight - but they have chemistry with one another to the point where they do drive me to complete the book, because I know that at some point, things have to come to a head. And that excitement and that tension, that keeps me going through the lagging plot points.

The trick, I think - is to minimize those lags.

So in my life right now I have 4 books going strong at once: One audio for those lagging times at work (no really, I love filing - just finished the Amazing novel that is "The Hunger Games" and started on "Bloody Jack"), one subway book (currently "Bite Me" - a hilarious third book to Christopher Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends series), an eReader book (Okay, truth - I have gone a little off the deep end with this since Love of my Life bought it for me - but at the moment, it is ready to play me "Blood Promise" and I am ITCHING for that), and my bedtime read (currently "The Red Hot Ladies' Murder Club"). And those are the books that are going strong. I have also started a whole bunch (many, strangely enough while I sought entertainment while the Love of My Life was attempting to teach me how to play video games - apparently it is hilarious that I scream every time someone tries to shoot me - BUT I did kill a sniper! Go Team Red!)

As a base estimate, I would say I have picked up about .... 30 books to read at once. But most are only a few chapters in, so I focus on the other ones in a rotating order that somehow makes sense to me.

I also estimate that I have about 100 to go before law school starts again and I get bogged down with those evil texts of legal writing. (Remind me, dear Readers, to one day share the wisdom and tidbits of my Estates book - Truly, when it comes to wills, people are hilarious).

There include but are not limited to:
  • Melissa de la Cruz "Blue Bloods" & "Masquerade"
  • Marsha Altman "Darcy's Great Escape"
  • Diane Setterfield "The Thirteenth Tale"
  • Sarah Dunant "In The Company of the Courtesan"
  • Heidi Julavits "The Mineral Palace"
  • Christina Dodd "Almost Like Being in Love"; "Close to You"; "Storm of Visions" & "Storm of Shadows"
  • Tom Robbins "Skinny Legs and All"; "Still Life with Woodpecker";
  • Richelle Mead "Blood Promise"
  • Stephanie Meyer "The Host"
  • Sophie Kinsella "The Undomestic Goddess"; "Can you Keep a Secret?";
  • John Connely "The Gates" (which I am half through)
So, you see - I have a lot to get caught up on - nevermind the reviews I have coming for books I read between mid April and now.

I think I will start with the promised review of "The Dress Lodger" tomorrow.


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