We are all agreed on this, yes? Good. You may keep your heads.
I'm in an Alice in Wonderland kinda mood. Odd day. Moving on.
So we write because we read and we read because we write and the twain are forever intertwined and so I for one am always looking for new things to read. And I am always reading new things and wanting to shove them down the throats of everyone I know because they are just. That. AWESOME.
But lots of people recommend books and do book reviews on their blogs, so I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something that runs the full spectrum of things I read, which is to say middle grade, young adult, and adult, all of which I enjoy reading and writing. And while there are a lot of very good books being published every day...there are a lot of equally amazing books that were published ten, twenty, forty years ago and have somewhat vanished into the mists of yore.
Enter a weekly (perhaps biweekly) installment of recommending THREE books. One middle grade, one young adult, and one adult. And of those three, one shall be published in the past, one be on shelves right now, and one to be published in the near future.
Quirky, no? Let's see how it goes.
So first up is my middle grade recommendation for anyone with kids (or an inner child) hungry for something new to read that they probably won't find unless they go looking for it:
Dragon of the Lost Sea, the first book in a four book MG series first published in 1988, is awesome sauce. I freaking loved this series as a kid, and its well worth tracking down. In a lot of ways it was ahead of its time, and in a lot of ways, its just proof that the stories being published these days aren't all that different from those of twenty years ago. It's a first person narrative told from the viewpoint of a shape shifting dragon princess named Shimmer, who is rude, abrasive, argumentative, and basically kinda a bitch. Instead of the standard European tropes, it draws from Chinese mythology, and features a witch who makes magical servants out of origami and steals the dragons' ocean and stores it in a pebble to use in her revenge against her abusive river god husband. There's a body-snatching villain, the witch gets redemption, the orphan boy who tags along with Shimmer has a grand destiny that doesn't make you hate him, there's family conflict, exotic locations, great action, and a Monkey Thief/Sorcerer who can't quite decide if he wants to be a good guy or a bad guy. Fantastic books, well worth a read.
Bleeding Violet is just wrong on so many levels. And I mean that in nothing but good ways. Quite possibly the most twisted YA I've read (or written) to date, its just bizarre. And disturbing. And made me want more more more more more. So you know, good thing its the start of a series, the second of which I believe just came out. The main character is biracial, bipolar, and her thought process is the stuff of head-shrinkers' nightmares. The town she comes to live in is literally the stuff of everyone elses' nightmares, as its full of doors to other dark dimensions which can be opened by keys made from bones. There's a love story with the demon hunter she becomes obsessed with, a family story with the mother who doesn't want to know her and is hiding quite a few secrets, and then there are her random hallucinations, habit of talking to her dead father, and well, the evil nightmares demonic 'lures' that go bump in the night. So twisted, so glorious, so absolutely cracktastic. Go. Buy. Devour. DO IT NOW.
Southern Gods rounds out the last of this week's recommendations, as the adult title I most can't wait to read when it comes out this August. I don't know much about it, other than this:
When Lewis “Bull” Ingram returns to the states after World War II, he finds himself working as muscle for a Memphis mob boss, performing collections. But when a man hires him to find a pirated radio station broadcasting music that may or may not cause insanity, impregnate women, and raise the dead, Ingram ventures into the strange and backward Arkansas of 1951 on a course to discover old gods warring to re-enter the world.
But umm, seriously? What else do I need to know?
In other news, Lori M. Lee gave me this shiny bauble:
It seems it comes with certain stipulations and requires the recipient to share four guilty pleasures and pass it on.
So thanks, Lori! And as for my four guilty pleasures, well umm, most of them aren't fit for sharing with Civilized Folk, so keeping it PG, I will say I have an unhealthy addiction to
1) The CW show The Vampires Diaries (its not my fault! they suckered me in with bare man-flesh, actual plot, characters who aren't stupid and then they kept KILLING ALL THE CHARACTERS I LIKE AND NOBODY IS SAFE AND I MUST WATCH OR ELSE WHEN CAROLINE DIES IT WILL BE ALL MY FAULT. Ahem)
2) A weird addiction to fruit snacks (I stock up on Scooby Doo fruit snacks like twice a week)
3) A disturbing addiction to making the drive home each day in LA traffic more tolerable by devising ways to write the douchebag who just cut me off into a starring role in the next murder scene in one of my manuscript
4) And a I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE FOR IT addiction to any superhero cartoon ever. I don't give a crap if I am a grown-ass man, I will sit on that couch in my boxers and eat my Scooby Snacks and watch my damn X-Men the Animated Series episodes whenever they come on cartoon network. While mentally transcribing the death of my roommate in my next manuscript should he be stupid enough to go anywhere near the remote.
And now I pass this on to KV Taylor, Sue Penkivech, Corinne Duyvis, and Linsey Schmidt.
Hey, I don't make the rules, peeps.