latenightparty: (Thetis-Moon)
Ever been so intoxicated by a book that you just couldn't put it down, and it almost drove you insane?

That happened to me this week. I picked up a used copy of In the Woods by Tana French. I found it very well-written and richly detailed, which is part of the reason it stayed on my mind. Have any of you read this book? Would you like to discuss it if you have? It is a murder mystery.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Behind a cut and in white text that has to be highlighted for your protection. )
latenightparty: (Berenstein Bears)
Right now I'm reading a book called Good Grief by Lolly Winston. It's a pretty good book about a woman who is widowed and how she goes through the stages of grief. It sounds like a sob story, but it's actually pretty funny (and it manages to do that without being tasteless).

Then I read a passage where the main character fantasizes about moving to Santa Fe, and she talks about lying under a palm tree in the yard of a stucco house. She got the stucco right, but the palm tree could have been avoided with a little research. Santa Fe is not like Phoenix. It is 7,000 feet above sea level, and snow-capped peaks dominate the horizon. Knowing this, one could infer that palm trees are unlikely to grow here. Pinon and juniper trees, yes, and the closest thing you'll find to a palm tree is a yucca plant. It doesn't surprise me that New Mexico is commonly assumed to look either like L.A. or southern Arizona, since many people in this country don't even know it's a state of the union. But if I'll be writing about a place I haven't been to, I at least do Google searches and image searches to get an idea of the climate, what it looks like, and what grows there. I don't want the locals to laugh at me for writing something like:

"They walked along the streets in downtown Toronto, where many fancy little shops were at every turn. Not far off, waves caressed the sandy beach of Lake Ontario as tropical breezes made the palm fronds gently wave. Seagulls flew overhead as tanned tourists waxed their surfboards. All of a sudden, a coconut fell on Ted's skull, knocking him unconscious."

Or:

"In Atlanta, Peachtree Avenue was barely accessible, as it was a harsh winter. It was passable only by dogsled in the darkness of a winter where the sun never rose above the frozen white horizon. Atlanta rested well within the Arctic Circle, along the same latitude as Barrow, Alaska. Polar bears had to be chased off the runways of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by unlucky parka-clad tarmac workers who often got eaten by the hungry beasts. Tragically, the melting of ice in the nearby Arctic Ocean threatened the tundra supporting Atlanta and its very infrastructure."
latenightparty: (Multipass)
I know some of you have already read this... I recently finished reading a simply wonderful book. I just might have a new favorite book. It's a science fiction/cyberpunk/space opera called This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman. In it, a young girl is on the run because she has been the subject of an experiment, and both Earth and the mutant-filled outworlds are interested in her. This book is unusual because it has a pro-neurodiversity angle and features autistic and multiple lead characters, even though these traits are taken to a bit of an extreme. I enjoyed every minute of it, and it was very hard to put down because it was so gripping. I even found it quite emotionally moving. Few books blow me away like that. There was quite a bit of jumping around between characters and settings, which was a bit confusing at first, but it comes together.

I got another book by this author, another one of her science fiction works (she seems to mostly write fantasy though)... I'll probably tackle the fantasy books next.

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latenightparty

August 2013

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