Saturday, October 16, 2010

Books that are calling to me and finding that their calls land upon a deaf ear

Since I'm not quite back in the mood to review, I thought I'd do something different and list a few books that have been calling to me but which I haven't managed to fit into the reading schedule, yet.

Books that are calling to me and finding that they are hollering into a deaf ear:

Baby Shark by Robert Fate

I read Baby Shark's High Plains Redemption in 2008 and absolutely loved it. Shortly after I posted my review, the author sent me an autographed copy of the first novel in the crime series, Baby Shark, with an hilarious inscription based on the fact that the bad guy in High Plains Redemption shared my last name. I've been anxious to read the book ever since, but I keep bogging myself down with review books (yes, in spite of that declaration in the sidebar, I keep taking on review books). Baby Shark is kept on a prominent shelf and it glares at me, now and then. I need to make time to gobble that puppy down.

Random Passage by Bernice Morgan

Random Passage is historical fiction set in Newfoundland, a stunningly evocative book I actually began to read and then set aside for a reason that doesn't occur often. It was so good that I wanted to devote myself to it completely. At the time, I was signed up for a Canadian reading challenge. For one reason or another, I kept putting it off until it ended up neatly filed on a shelf. Like the others on this list, I occasionally glance at it longingly and think, "As soon as I stop reviewing books for other people." Hmm, wonder when that will happen?

Under the Dome by Stephen King

And, yes, I also need to read The Stand. Confession: I am a sucker for the underdog -- in this case, meaning I like to read books by first-time or lesser-known authors and I tend to avoid those who are making millions, like John Grisham and Nora Roberts (James Patterson, Stephen King, blah, blah) because I figure they don't need me -- although, actually, I've read all of those authors and only one of them thrilled me. But, Under the Dome has appealed to me from the moment I heard about it and I don't let my silly prejudice against filthy-rich authors stop me from reading anything that does, in fact, pique my interest. However . . . it's so big. I mean, Under the Dome is a really, really BIG book and I'm a fairly slow reader. So, it's holding down the table top in our den, just waiting for me to pick it up.

The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes

Same song, different tune. I read Foreign Fruit by JoJo Moyes, a few years ago, and absolutely loved it. So I bought The Ship of Brides and The Peacock Emporium. The Ship of Brides is another chunkster but it also happens to be a post-WWII novel and you'd think that would be enough to make me sit down with it. A bunch of military brides from Australia traveling to meet with their husbands in England via a ship full of naval officers? Oh, oh. Want to read now!! But, again . . . fat book, obligations. Maybe if I picked up my computer and dropped it from the rooftop that would give me the reviewing break I need?

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

I don't even know where I heard of The Forsyte Saga, although I suspect someone in my reading group mentioned it. After hearing the title, I just happened to find the entire series on DVD in the library. I dragged it home and spent the entire week watching it, little by little. And, then I bought the book. You know the rest of the story. Incidentally, that is the cover of the DVD set but it's the same picture that's on the cover of my copy of the book. One thing I truly loved about the series was the casting. Several actors I'm very fond of were in the series, but The Forsyte Saga also introduced me to someone new to me, the uber-talented Damian Lewis.

Lewis played a particularly nasty character, but he did it so convincingly that I've sought him out elsewhere and have not been disappointed . . . except when he drops his lovely accent -- I hate that. I think there should be an organization devoted to saving British, Australian and other wondrous accents from being mucked up by American roles. Find an excuse to make your Brits and Aussies and Welshmen and Kiwis keep their accents and write it into the script! Are you listening, Hollywood?

Thus, we come full circle to the concept of the deaf ear. But, you never know. Maybe one ear will perk up and save an accent.

Enough for now. There are plenty more books begging me to make 2011 an ARC-free year. We'll see if I bother to listen.

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I haven't been reading at all lately :( Life's just been so darn busy. I'm really hoping to change that this weekend though and actually get some reading done.

    Under the Dome does look really cool! And yes, you really do need to read The Stand!! I'm about 1/4 of the way through it right now and it's fantastic!! And hey, you think you're a slow reader? I've been reading the stand for over a month now and I'm 1/4 of the way through it :p AND I totally disagree with you!!! You are NOT a slow reader!!! I'll email you shortly!!

  2. Chris,

    Yes, see, that's the difference between you and me: You have a job, ergo an excuse if you don't get around to reading much. I hope you find some time to read, this weekend!!!

    I know . . . everyone tells me I need to read The Stand. And, do you know, I passed up a copy at the library sale, a few years ago? It was so monstrous, I just figured I'd never get around to it. But, now it's the chunksters that I'm craving. Weird!

    Wahoo! I'll be watching for your email!

  3. I feel the same way about Under the Dome (and The Passage). I read The Stand many years ago and loved it. But that was back before I had towering TBR stacks. The thought of reading one book over the course of 4-6 weeks just doesn't appeal to me. At least not right now.

  4. I love Damian Lewis! I forget what I saw him in first, because I then proceeded to watch many things that he was in. I don't mind when he loses his accent, as he does it well, and he is so good in Band of Brothers, playing an American. And he was also good in the tv show Life.

  5. Les,

    Well, I read The Passage and loved it, but it did take about a week of obsessive reading, as I recall, maybe more. You have to be willing to set aside a major chunk of time and concentrate on those chunksters. I'm with you. It's gotten really hard to do that.


    Damian Lewis is impressive in everything he does. I just wish he could always keep his accent (the same is true of Hugh Laurie and Russell Crowe, etc.). But, yep, he's amazing as an American in Band of Brothers and Life.

  6. Random Passage sounds fabulous!

  7. Holly,

    It is. I wish I'd just dropped everything else and focused on Random Passage. That's what I'll do, the next time I start on it.

  8. those chunksters can be hard to focus on sometimes, no doubt! good luck with them.

  9. Stephen King may have more money than God, but he deserves every penny. If you only have time for one, definitely read The Stand - easily King's best work. But Under the Dome is a great book as well. I also think that you'll find it takes less time than you think - it's incredibly addictive, much more so than The Passage.

  10. Marie,

    Yep. I'm actually doing better with the chunksters, this year . . . enjoying them more and getting through them more quickly. But, they are a challenge. Thanks. :)


    I'll agree with you on that. Although I've only read 2 books by King, I was impressed. It's really been more a matter of disinterest in his work, although I used to think it was all horror and I know better, now. Under the Dome is more addictive than The Passage? Wow. I need to get to that, then! I found The Passage so addictive that I kept on thinking about it in my dreams!

  11. Need to stay away from your blog cause I always find a book or two that I must have now! Went to order Random Passage and it's already at home somewhere... Did request The Ship of Brides cause I really like this author. Thanks Nancy!

  12. Paula,

    Just call me enabler. :) Maybe we can buddy read those together, some time?

  13. Ooh an ARC free year?! I have tried to go ARC free for a couple of months and my resolve quickly fades :)

    I'm like you right now though, I'm not in the mood to review. I just want to read new stuff!

  14. Iliana,

    Well, mostly ARC-free. :) I've already accepted a couple for 2011. I've done the same -- gone for weeks without accepting/requesting a single book and then . . . I cave. Need to work on my willpower.

    Oh, good, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I seem to be waxing and waning on my interest in reviewing, lately. Sometimes, you just need to set the blog aside and read till your eyes cross. :)

  15. Ready when you are Nancy otherwise they will sit on my shelf for awhile. We never did read that civil war one yet.... :)

  16. Paula,

    I know. I keep forgetting about that civil war book. Eeks. How about Ship of Brides during the first or second week of November?

  17. I may have to seriously copy this post as it describes my life to a T. There are SO many books I want to read right now, that are literally throwing themselves into my path, and yet the other stuff gets in the way. But how does one say no to free books? I can't.

  18. Tammy,

    Have at it. I'd love to know what you're dying to read but not getting around to. Paula and I are going to buddy read The Ship of Brides in a few weeks, so this post actually gave me a nudge in the right direction. :) As to saying no to free books . . . it's painful, I know. I'm doing okay, right now, but there are days that the temptation gets me!

  19. That's much the same story of my own relationship with The Forsyte Saga, although it came into my life first as a DVD - I have a terrible weakness for British costume dramas and Ioan Gruffudd, both - and only later did I find out it was a book.

    I read the first part of it (equal to the first four episodes of the miniseries) on my recent vacation, since it's also available for free for the Kindle, and was really surprised by how much I was enjoying not only the story, but also the writing. I still have 2/3s of it to go, but the good news is that it's not as much of a slog as it looks like it might be.

  20. Fyrefly,

    You and I share the same weaknesses. I am particularly enamored of Ioan Gruffudd in the Hornblower series, but he's terrific in everything he does.

    Oh, good. It does look like it'll be a bit of a slog so I'm happy to know you didn't find it . . . sloggy. I'm sure it'll require a bit of time and focus but sometimes I'm in the mood for that, anyway. Thanks for sharing your experience with the first third!!

  21. I read Ship of Brides a couple of years ago and thought it was a lot of fun!

    Of course, my comment doesn't help you with your dilemna, I know!

  22. Marg,

    Actually, it's great to know you enjoyed Ship of Brides. I'm going to buddy read it with my friend Paula in November, so she gave me the kick in the pants I needed to plan a date. Very excited that I'll finally be reading one off this list!


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