Lately I have been consuming books like oxygen. For the first time in as long as I can remember I was reading 4 books at the same time and managed to keep them all straight. I have also stepped outside of my literary comfort zone a bit and explored some the genres. So far there have been no disappointments, but these were mostly recommended by friends with good taste.
First up, is Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. I read the first book A Hunger Like No Other in a one day marathon and I am now on the sixth book, Kiss of a Demon King. This series averages around 400 pages a book, but is well written and intriguing so you just want to keep reading. The series follows a knot of supernatural immortals who in their long life have one fated mate and their adventures in finding and securing this mate. The Valkyries are really the main focus of the early parts of the series, but there are werewolves, vampires, demons, spirits and everything else you can imagine. There are some racy scenes as you can imagine, but nothing gratuitous or forced feeling like some Romance novels.
Next, I finished Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, which I read as an audio book. Some other people who read the book told me they had some difficulty keeping the time line straight in their head. I don't know if the audio format helped, but I had no problems with it. The readers for the audio book were Wiilliam Hope and Laurel Lefkow who did an phenomenal job with the perspective changes as the occurred throughout the story. The story follows a man who time travels at random and without any control to places and times in his past and future and his wife. The struggles of living with someone when you don't know where or when they are or when they'll be back. The fear of ending up someplace hostile or somewhere you can't escape. Another recommended read from me.
With all of the hype, I couldn't help but want to read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I both liked and hated this book. Let me start this by saying I mostly blame her lack of an editor. It is the editor's job to tell the author what their mistakes are and get them to fix them. Authors are often so close to their own stories that they can't see their mistakes or overuse of language. So not to beat the dead horse, by Fifty Shades is full of repetitive language, poor punctuation and grammatical mistakes that'll make you cringe. I almost tossed the book across the room after the first 20 pages, but then the story got me. The story is actually interesting if you can forgive the writing. It doesn't go the way you expect it to, which I really appreciated. It follows young Anastasia Steele from meeting the young, wealthy CEO Christian Grey and their relationship with all the twists and turns from there. The BDSM factor is over-hyped and there is very little bondage play in the story. So if you are reading it for that, then I wouldn't bother. The sex scenes are quite racy and pretty gratuitous in the first book. Fifty Shades Darker was much better in my opinion, though parts of the it seem compulsory. All in all, I'd say check it out from the library if your not sure about this sort of story, which is what I did.
Lastly, I have been working my way through George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. I am about 25% of the way through it (gotta love Kindle reading) and am really enjoying it. It's not an easy read like the other books, so it's slower going. However, it is exceedingly well written, descriptive, evocative and fantastic. I can see why these books were made into a TV series, the characters are well thought out and rounded. I won't even attempt to summarize an epic fantasy like this. I will say I highly recommend it though.
Of course there has also been knitting as well, but I'll save that for another post.