Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reading Until the Wee Hours of the Morning...

It's rare that I stay up most of the night finishing a book. It's even more rare when it happens 3 nights in a row, but that's what happened this week.

I'm not a night person by nature. I have two small children and my schedule tends to follow theirs. In bed by nine, read till ten and then up again at six. Even before children, it was rare for me to stay up all night reading -- after all, I had all those early evening hours to read :)

Finding a book that I'm willing to risk zombiehood the next day for happens maybe once or twice a year. I don't know if I'm just jaded from having read so much for so many years or what, but I can finish a chapter and put most books down for the night. When I find a book that keeps me up, I get really excited. I think it reminds me of my youth when finding these kinds of books was a regular occurrence.

So what were these rare reads that have turned me into a zombie this week? I don’t often read chick lit or women’s fiction for that matter, but I had heard about Emily Giffin and decided to try her first book, Something Borrowed. The basic premise of the book is a woman who sleeps with her best friend’s fiancĂ© and deals with the repercussions. I should have hated this book and I’m actually surprised I even tried it. This plot line doesn’t quite hit my Ick Factor but it does hit my Disgust Factor. Maybe since I knew this book was not a traditional romance, I was willing to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. I loved this book from start to finish. Maybe I’m just getting older and am more tolerant :) The characters and their problems were ones I could empathize with. Giffin wrote about people that I could know and she wrote a very realistic work environment which is another big plus for me. People actually work in her book!

I started the second book, Something Blue, the next night thinking that there’s no way that the second could be as good as the first. At 2:00 a.m., I had to disagree. Then came day 3. I at least started reading Baby Proof earlier in the evening so I was finished by midnight.

I’ve read over 60 books so far this year and these were my first all-nighters, so I guess I was due. Hopefully, tonight’s book won’t be as good and I can get some sleep…

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Amazing New Library Links

I found the most awesome site today -- -- and I've now added book specific links to it.

What is it? It's a library catalog site -- lots of catalogs in one place. They've taken all the libraries in the country and put their catalogs in one place. This may not be important to you if you don't live in a major metropolitan area, but I live in L.A. If I want a book from the library system, I have to check 6 or 7 different web sites. Now I can go to 1 place and see which library in my area has the book. For instance I just found Georgette Heyer's old contemporaries that have never been reissued. It took me 10 seconds!!

Of course, I had to add this amazing site to FictionDB. Click on the anywhere on the site and you will be taken to the Buy page. We've now added direct links to WorldCat from this page.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Ick Factor

There are just certain kinds of books that I cannot read no matter how good the writer. I've encountered several of these over the last couple of months and it got me to thinking about the exact plot device that makes me say "I think I just threw up in my mouth" (a brilliant line from that classic movie, Dodgeball).

The other day I picked up one of the new Silhouette Bombshells. I'd never read one before so I picked one written by a writer I usually like, Ruth Wind/Barbara Samuel. I know that the Bombshells aren't traditional romances which is fine with me. I like action adventure books and have been reading a lot of Vince Flynn lately, so this book should have been a good read. Well, it was, until the throwing up in my mouth part.

So what causes this thoroughly disgusting reaction in me? Huge age discrepancies between the main romantic characters where a parental or close relationship had previously been involved. I'm fine with May/December romances where the characters meet as adults, but tell me that the man was the guardian of the girl and then had the hots for her when she became an adult and I just lose it. I don't care how good a writer is, this disgusts me beyond belief. In my little Pollyanna world, you don't lust after kids you've known since they were in diapers and Daddy's best friend is not a candidate for sex (the case in the Wind book). I barely finished an older Iris Johansen Loveswept with this same plot and threw away a Meagan McKinney and a Karen Robards.

This particular plot device used to be fairly common and I'm almost okay with the guardian who's never actually spent any time with his ward. But anytime the two characters knew each other well when one was a child, the ick factor sets in and the book goes in the trash.