Lovely. I lost my May Books post with the log I’d been saving as I finished a few, so now I have to re-create. Here’s what I remember of the books I read this month (this is pretty accurate, actually).
I have a lot of love for Stephanie Laurens– she knows how to write a great sex scene! This is a typical Regency romance novel– girl sets her cap on resistant nobleman. Nobleman screws girl and spends the rest of the novel trying to make it up to her through marriage. But there’s more to it than that, and if you love the tortured hero, it’s an enjoyable read, or listen. In fact, I had one embarrassing moment when I turned on my Kindle to start playing, and my headphones weren’t plugged in. My husband looked up when my ebook reader started telling me all about “his throbbing hardness” (or whatever– Laurens’ euphemisms are better than mine).
In contrast, after the first sex scene in Almost Human, I was really, really hoping the author would “fade to black” before the next scene. Blessedly, she did so. One thing I do like about Novak’s sex scenes is that she has a subtle understanding of sexual power plays in bed. I’m not sure her craft is quite “there” in terms of showing those dynamics, but I really appreciated that her virginal heroine wasn’t just along for the ride. The story is a little repetitive at points– the edition I read was an omnibus with all 3 volumes, so a little repetition is acceptable. There’s at least 1 continuity problem involving a certain gift that’s given twice, and quite a number of typos, but the storyline was all right, and it was a good, long read.
It’s a Harlequin spy-romance story. ‘Nuff said?
The Stand by Stephen King.
The re-release of this book is a little bit more of everything, without being too jarring. There’s more Trashcan Man, for one thing, and that makes a difference in understanding where the story goes and why. But overall, the story is fuller– it’s also a little more explicit in the suffering of Our Heroes. I will say, though, that the ending hasn’t changed, and I continue to puzzle over it, because there seems to be no logic in it. But then, I suppose that is part of the point, and part of the mythology built around it.
Were I to recommend a sequence of books for someone to read to really feel the epic weight of King’s mythos, I’d suggest The Stand, followed by the entire Dark Tower series, and capped by Lisey’s Story. But then, everything King writes is haunting in some way. Even Eyes of the Dragon kept me up, reading late into the night, devouring every word.
I’m at about 20 books for the first 5 months of the year. That’s actually not too bad, and I should be on track to reach 50 by December 31. I’m no longer trying to increase the number of books I read each year– after I topped 100, I decided I could take a break from that.