Running Out the Clock

So I usually am reading 3 or 4 things at a time. I’ve always been that way. Sometimes I want a mystery, sometimes straight-up fantasy, or a graphic novel. This, by the way, drives my wife crazy, who finds it incredibly distracting to read more than one thing at a time. She calls it a reflection of my hummingbird brain, which is always pinging from sweet to sweet.

This habit only annoys ME at the end of the calendar year. For whatever reason, I hate to have books cross over. I like to finish out the year with a book and begin fresh in January. As such, I’m on a countdown to finish the following by December 30:

1. The Map of True Places, Brunonia Barry. It’s a story of a woman dealing with her father’s failing mental health, which forces her to question the stories she has spun for herself about the death of her mother. I really enjoyed The Lace Reader. Not exactly sure if I’m liking this as well. Both books fall into the category of books I pulled out of  my wife’s pile, which I would not have purchased for myself. FINISHED 12/20/11.

2. Let the Dragon Wake, Sylvia Volk. One of my Viable Paradise 14 classmates. This is her self-published novel about a city built atop a sleeping dragon. I’m liking the mythic threads that she picks up and plays with. Can a woman, created by magic for a purpose – to be the wife of one man, escape that fate? Or does she even want to? FINISHED 12/29/11.

3. Bossypants, Tina Fey. This came in the free Christmas gift box from the quality paperback book club. It’s been great bathroom reading, honestly. FINISHED 12/26/11.

4. The Finder Library, Volume One, Carla Speed McNeil. A recommendation made by Seanan McGuire during SF Squeecast, a podcast in which McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne Valente, Paul Cornell and Lynne Thomas gush and, well…. squee over their favorite things. The Finder Library, Volume One is a major compilation of the first years of McNeil’s ongoing independent comic. Finder is good, but not a quick read like other graphic novels. I’m having to work my way through this one.

5. The Preacher, Camilla Lackberg. I really enjoyed her first book, The Ice Princess, and this is the next in her mystery series featuring Patrick and Erica Hedstrom, set in Fjallbacka, Sweden. Unfortunately, this is one of those books I started when all hell broke loose at work, and for whatever reason, I haven’t gone back to it.

So….

I guess I have my work cut out for me in the next two weeks. Let’s see what I can do. I’ll soon be posting my “Read in 2011” list.

ETA: Forgot two.

6. Shimmer, Alyson Noël. OK, some explanation is required here. Not that I don’t read middle grade (which I do) and not that I don’t read “girl books” (which I also do). But this is book two of a series of which I have not read book 1. (Which is pretty anathema, honestly.) But my daughter asked me to read it so we could talk about it, and I didn’t feel like I would have to read book 1 to figure out the plot. FINISHED 12/20/11.

7. The Hangman’s Daughter, Oliver Pötzsch. A good book. Not sure why I stopped. The original is in German, but the translation, done by Lee Chadeayne, is terrific, so it’s not the translation which is bothering me.  Not sure if I will get through this one. I think it annoys me that we’re not dealing with the actual Hangman’s Daughter more, though maybe I’m just not far enough along.

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