Back from Beyond

Man, it’s been awhile since I wrote here. Life has been crazy, and what little free time I have I spend reading and *not* writing about it! There has been one change in my reading life recently…

I will freely admit that I am Kindleholic. I bought a Kindle for the office so all my colleagues could try it out, but guess what? I became addicted! It has been a struggle to pry my hot little hands off of it to send it out to other librarians. I told Cos I definitely want my own for Christmas this year. It has made my reading experiences so much easier, although my credit card is suffering! However, my baby is out and about in MCLS-land until September, so I’m stocking up on library books to tide me over until it comes back.

So let me see if I can catch you all up on the good and the bad of print that has crossed my eyes in the last few months….

When I first got the Kindle, I went on a Barbara Michaels binge. Michaels on one of my all-time favorite gothic-romance authors, and I thought I’d use the Kindle to revisit some of her older titles. I bought Be Buried in the Rain and Walker in Shadows and spent a delicious weekend immersed in dank old mansions hiding dark and deadly secrets.

Then I moved on to more recent mysteries with The Orchid Shroud and Deadly Slipper by Michelle Wan, which put me smack in the middle of the Dordogne region of France with a spunky Canadian interior designer, a brooding landscape architect/orchid collector, and a whole slew of spicy French characters, including the half-baked bastard son of the local aristocrat. Great fun!

From there, I revisited Laurie King’s Justice Hall for a brief visit with Sherlock Holmes, Mary Russell, and their “brothers” Mahmoud and Ali, who are actualy English lords in disguise. More good fun!

On to new and tantalizing stories, including Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip, by far my favorite fantasy author. Every time I read her stories about fairyland, I start looking for hollowed out oak trees to step into looking for passage to the other world. Of course, after seeing Hellboy II last night, I now *know* where the passage to fairyland is…

Then there was The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber, which was neither airy or shadowy enough for me. Didn’t finish it.

In quick succession, there were Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott, Map of Bones by James Rollins, A Flaw in the Blood by Stephanie Barron, and Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. Ghostwalk reminded me of the Bad Quarto by Jill Paton Walsh for some reason, although it was set in Cambridge and revolved around the ghost of Isaac Newton. If you have any interest in Newton’s dabbling in alchemy, you’ll find this story fascinating, even though it’s fiction.

Map of Bones was another thriller in the Davinci Code vein, this time involving the bones of the Three Magi. Exciting, if predictable. A Flaw in the Blood speculates on a whole other reason Prince Albert died when he did, and paints an unusual and deadly picture of Queen Victoria. Mistress of the Art of Death was a rollicking good read. Picture Temperance Brennan in the 12th century and you’ve got Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar, doctor to the dead. Very, very good.

Now that I have had to let go of the Kindle, I’m delving into some real books. I’m currently reading The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn, a sweet little Agatha Christie era mystery that is reminding me a lot of Mary Roberts Rinehart. I am also eagerly awaiting

I’m no longer receiving the shipments of ARCs and other new kids books at work — they are going directly to the Children’s Center — so I know I’m missing out on some spectacular new books. Anyone care to recommend some?

Happy Reading!

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