June I did A TON of reading, but not a lot to add to this list.
Why? Because last month I edited a gigantic novel for a new writer. I read it through twice (took me 2 weeks). I imagine the final version will be changed from the version I read, too.
Turns out I LOVE editing fiction. I can do it from my hammock. I love to read. And I love to think through and solve problems. I’ve got a few more editing clients coming up in the next few months, but if you’re looking for an editor definitely hit me up.
So, other than unpublished novels … My favorite reads from June:
Anne of Green Gables series – My annual re-read. I still love this character so much. This year, Anne actually inspired a whole new book series idea for me (that Andrew says is my best idea yet). I will never get enough of the Anne series.
Brush with Darkness by Jamie Maltman: This is book 1 of a projected series, and I edited book 2 for the author (so we agreed I should probably read book 1 to get caught up). To be honest, I did not expect to like it as much as I did. Pseudo-historical fiction (Rome/Greece/Mediterranean) + fantasy. Not really the kind of thing I would seek out. The story was really good, though. I love being sucked into a story. He did something interesting with art being the source of the magic/power in the world. Still some amateurish bits in the writing, but I imagine that will improve with later books in the series. Here’s another review with more details re: the story.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman: Really liked it. Appreciate that it was not for children. It’s kind of compressed Harry Potter + Narnia for 20-year-olds. The main character was only sometimes sympathetic, but it went with the story, really, that you want to smack him several times throughout the book. I actually really like this review even though it is 1 star, particularly point#4.
I plan on getting the sequels (The Magician King and The Magician’s Land). Any other magic-as-a-hidden-part-of-real-life books I should read? Other than Harry Potter, obviously. And Jonathan Strange (a favorite). I don’t love made up worlds (like Middle Earth, Narnia, etc), but magical rules in ‘real life’ are fun. Ideas?
Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis: I love Michael Lewis. I plan on reading all his books. This was his first and has been on my to-read list for a long time. I’m kind of glad I kept putting it off, though. I really think I enjoyed it more because I have listened to the first 6 months of Planet Money (and so understand the economics of the mortgage bond industry slightly) and seen The Wolf of Wall Street (so have a visual for the chaos). Liar’s Poker is a memoir of wall street from about the same time as the DiCaprio movie. (P.S. counting this for U.S. History (but I won’t be posting my review there until I get to that rough time period)).
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: Yea, I know. Garbage in, garbage out. But all of his books must have been best-sellers for a reason, and I’m trying to figure that out. I have in mind an idea for a mystery/thriller series and I am finding Dan Brown’s style interesting (not ‘good’). Knowing exactly where to stop a chapter so the reader really wants to turn the page is a skill.
Interestingly, while still not a great book, Angels and Demons is far better than books 3 and 4 in the Langdon series. This one was published first. Then Brown had his insane success with book 2 The DaVinci Code. So I’m imagining his editor working hard on book 1 (Angels and Demons ) and then throwing up his hands and saying ‘screw it, who cares,’ and putting out far worse books 3 and 4.
The Dream Engine by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant: This book will be published *very* soon, but as it was the book they wrote ‘live’ as the Fiction Unboxed project, I’ve been reading a little bit every day through the month of June. It’s about a 15 year old girl who learns that she is special and is plucked by a secret organization to save the world. You know. Most YA books. I like it, but don’t love it but can’t put my finger on why. I think just the simple fact that there is a heavy focus on world-building, and I don’t feel like I know the characters terribly well.
(and others… )
Read anything good lately?