Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Month in Review and of Things to Come

This month was long and slow and at the same time went by in a flash.  All in all, it was rather benign as my world goes.  I did a lot of book buying.  As there are no more Borders going out of business sales in my area I can't see myself picking up this quantity of books ever again, but who knows.

I read and left comments for The French Lieutenant's Woman and Blue and Gold.  I read and did not leave comments for Solider of Sidon by Gene Wolfe and Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November.  Wolfe is amazing and the books concerning Latro, a wounded Roman mercenary with both retrograde and anterograde amnesia (yeah, it's a tough read), continue to be some of my favorites.  November's anthology caught me off guard: it was seriously awesome.    

Flatland by Kara Dalkey may just be my favorite short story ever.  That's part of the fun in finding a new book of short stories; a chance to discover many different authors with different styles all working to the same level of quality.  I will certainly be tracking down the first two installments of this collection solely on the strength of Firebirds Soaring.  I only hope that November is able to continue the series.

Now that I'm done praising this collection, I have to say I didn't get it; and that is why I left no commentary for it.  It tries to work the teenage/young adult/adult angle and all I can do is scratch my head.  I understand 'teenage' and what that word encompasses.  But should that literature include lots of swearing and sex?  No?  Yes?  Teenagers sure do swear and have lots of sex...   Understand, I don't care either way ( and Firebirds Soaring certainly has both ) but if a book has such broad appeal, why not just sell it as a 'regular old ass book?'  Firebird is a young adult publisher but when trying to hit such a broad spectrum I think they lose credibility; if the book has mass market appeal don't pigeon hole it by mentioning three specific markets you want to entice.

That said, the collection was awesome.  I'll be buying all the others.  (Perhaps, I'm an 'old adult?')

My work hours have been severely cut for April so I'll have more time to read and less time to spend money I don't have.  I'm gonna forgo doorstoppers this month because I want to.  They slow me down; I'm sure of it.  Plus, I read two this month and two in January so I don't feel bad.  I'm gonna get through a lot of stuff this month and I'm gonna leave comments for everything I read.  (I hate making these commitments known on my blog.)  The official theme of April reading is books written by women.  Check back often and regularly because I think I'm gonna have a lot to say.

1 comment:

Marion said...

I don't get the whole "young adult" thing either. For instance, I just finished The Reapers are the Angels. It has a 15 year old protaganist, and it's short--but nothing in there (except maybe the zombies) would preclude it being treated as literary. Established young adult writers are taking on much more complex theme,using adult language and, in general, writing a lot like "mainstream" these days. And some "mainstream," especially so-called chick-lit, has such a simplistic view of life it seems like it's a little young even for the teen set. Confusing!