Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Books and Reviews

Since my box of to-be-read books is stil about as well controlled as a Chia Pet on growth hormones, I don't usually read too many reviews or think much about the next books I might consider possibly getting. Though I come across quite a few reviews in the corner of the blogosphere where I hangout in the cone of diffuse yellow light from a lone streetlight. I might skim a paragraph or two, but, sorry folks, I have to curb my book buying.

In fact, besides Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues, I went nearly five months without procuring any new books. I even made some progress on The Box. That changed when I stopped by the book store-- it was the compromise on going to the movie theatre for our Anniversary Sunday. That's my gift to Hubby-- I go to the theatre and don't bitch about how much I hate the theatre (and the people and the prices) until we leave. That's a long time to chew on those complaints. But, we went to the bookstore to "browse" before the movie started. Ha!

I never agreed to merely browse! (I don't like browsing. It's like eating without swallowing.) So, I specifically went in search of new books. I was happy to find several: Easy Innocence, Hallowed Ground, and Branded Woman. I was hoping for the Christa Faust book, but the Hard Case Crime section was a little light at our baby Borders store. These were books that I've read and heard good things about as I slither through the dark corners of the blogosphere. Titles and authors that I took note of-- and didn't even have to write down to remember.

I don't know if it was reviews or just general blog chatter that lead me to my latest books. I don't remember much about reviews that I read. Prehaps because I never read a review with the intention of finding out if I want to buy the book. I read Terry Lawson's movie reviews that way, but not book reviews.

Book reviews, for me, end up being something of a checklist. Particularly a checklist of "don'ts" for my own writing. Without fail, everytime I read a review, I mull it over. And if I'm taking one of my treks halfway across the county to and from work, I muse the whole way. Do I do that? What about this one scene-- would that be considered... what if I tweak it?

I obsess over every scene, every phrase, every plot development. I hold my story up to the reviews. And obsess some more.

I'd like to think that all this obsessing makes me a better writer than I would be otherwise. But somedays, I think it just makes me crazy. Or crazier than I am on normal days. XD

  • Reading: Mildred Peirce by James M. Cain
  • Novel Progress: Line editing
  • What I should be doing: My grad school final project.
  • Current Song: Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

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