As I so rarely get recommendations on what to read (see: first entry, few friends with similar reading habits to mine) I have a really convoluted way of picking books. The number one way I choose a book to read is: Whatever is available as a trade paperback from my library’s fiction section. What kind of horrible method is that? Especially since it has yielded quite a few “wall bangers” – books that I had to introduce to the wall by throwing them into it after just a few pages.
And I have literally read the back cover blurb, thought it sounded interesting, read the first 15 pages on the metro on the way home and discovered I have totally read this book before, hated it before, but the summary was so vague, I forgot about it. This tends to happen with romance novels as there are many common story lines, but this genre makes up the bulk of my reading material as you can see from my recent reading list.
Most of the time I accidentally stumble upon new reading material with no direct research, for example: I was recently on a business trip, bored and channel surfing in the hotel room when the show True Blood on HBO caught my eye.
From first glance I was hooked, I watched a marathon of episodes that night so not only was I super drowsy for my meetings the next day, but I was distracted by fantasizing about my new found love for Vampire Bill. I could not get enough of his angst, his sideburns, or his tenderness towards Sookie; then lo and behold I discover the show is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris! I don’t have to wait for the next episode to come on – I can just read what happens! I went to rent them from my library, but when I put them on hold I was 137th on the waiting list for the first one, Dead Until Dark. I shit you not.
The library’s online catalogue made a note of my search and automatically recommended the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton and The Black Dagger Brotherhoodseries by J.R. Ward neither of which I had ever heard of. (After visiting a few of my new found book review blogs I am in the minority in not having heard of them) The library did not carry any titles by J.R. Ward but the first few in the Anita Blake series were on the shelf, so I read them but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for, a bit too violent and not enough romantic elements.
I was lucky enough to get the Sookie Stackhouse box set of 7 as an early Christmas gift, and even luckier (though I was the only person who thought so) that my flight home was delayed 3 hours so I read 2 books sans interruption on my way there! The 8th book in the series, From Dead to Worse, is still new-ish so it wasn’t part of the box set, but as soon as I finished the 7th (after being marginally anti-social with my family because dammit I HAD to find out what happened with Sookie, Eric, and Bill!) I went straight to the bookstore to buy it. But I couldn’t find it! As I got ready to work myself into a righteous snit because I needed that book NOW I thought to ask an employee if they could look in the system if they had any copies, she said “Yes we do, follow me.” I tried not to drool in anticipation, but got confused as she led my to the sci-fi/fantasy section. No wonder I couldn’t find it! I didn’t think I read anything in that genre (although Laurell K. Hamilton was right on the shelf next to Charlaine Harris) but I guess now I do!
Although I heart Sookie’s stories (they are funny, fun, sexy, full of must-see-what-happens-action, but not too much violence) I think the main reason I finished the books so fast is that I need a HEA (stands for Happily Ever After) ending. Being that this is a series of books of course nothing romantic is resolved, just the mysteries/crimes are solved in each. But I’ll keep reading in hopes that Charlaine will write the HEA soon! I think there are supposed to be 10 books, but I could have just made that up. So maybe just two more until Sookie rides off into the moon-rise with Eric -I really really want them to end up together, I stubbornly refuse to forgive Bill. OK that sounds confusing, I love the TV show Bill, but prefer (by prefer I mean love/ looove/luuurve) book Eric. The way HBO’s Executive Producer Alan Ball created TV Bill hooked me into the story line, but there has only been one season, mirroring book one, and that focuses on the romance of Sookie and Bill so I was easily swayed that direction. Plus Stephen Moyer who plays Bill? He is le sexy! But after scarfing down Charlaine’s 8 books in 6 days I am an Eric girl all the way!