Having set aside a long creative project and also suffering from sophomoritis (which, if you haven't heard, is when your first book--in my case two--of a series do well, people like them, and then you feel the pressure to create better-than-decent sequels) I've been in serious need of distraction.
So I've been reading.
Here's the rundown for the past couple of weeks, not including blogs, magazines, and online articles, which probably take up as much time as reading books in my life. These are in no particular order. Oh, and btw, I liked all of them because I don't read past the first chapter or two of books I don't. I tend to never mention books I don't like cuz they fade from memory so quickly.
Taft 2012, Jason Heller
Disclaimer: Jason's a friend of mine (well, at least on Facebook). Nah, really, we were on a reading panel last year at a con and hung together in the same crowd. He's like so cool he's anti-cool. Writes for the AV Club. Plays in bands. Writes like a banshee. Boy can WRITE. For the record, I pretty much hate politics. It's all a giant sales job. Hate that shit. Taft is totally endearing and made politics interesting to me. For the duration of the book, anyway.
Hellbent, Cherie Priest
Disclaimer: Cherie and I don't know each other (yet) but we run in the same circles (well, I hover somewhere far below her circle) and she's the GOH for a con I'm attending later in the year so we're bound to meet.
I picked this one up out of order and that's cool, it totally works for me. Cherie and I write differently: I'm called a "clean" writer, which is always a great compliment because I strive for it. Cherie spends a little more time on internal narrative than me. It's cool, it's her bent, she makes it work and I'm surreptitiously studying it. I'm totally into these stories. The vampires are survivalists; the dudes are HOT; the characters are fully realized and fascinating; the kids are realistic and there for a reason. I like her rambling plotting style; it all comes around and bites the characters in the ass eventually. The vampires also do not-nice things to their enemies, which rocks the Casbah. I liked it so much I ran right out (okay, my fingers ran right over to Amazon) and bought
Bloodshot, Cherie Priest
Just finished this morning. Loved it. Might have loved Hellbent a bit more, which bodes well for the series.
Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire
I really enjoyed this one. It's pretty much brain candy, but it's what I want when I'm writing heavy stuff like chicks getting raped in prison and cage fighting and Dom/unhappy-sub stuff. I will definitely want to see more of this series.
The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
I don't read a lot of nonfiction but I pretty well devoured this until he started talking so much about business, which interests me somewhat, but not much more, than politics. This is cool though because it really does tackle the topic, Habits, and helped me think of a lot of things...well, not differently, but in a more fully realized way.
Goodnight iPad, Ann Droyd
Just get it. Run, don't walk. It's hilarious for the plugged-in family, and sweet, too.
Daemon Prism, Carol Berg
Disclaimer, Carol is a dear friend of mine and one of my favorite writers, so of course I'm only going to say good things. Except, there really are only good things to say about Carol's books. My only regret is that I didn't reread the series first before tackling this last one. But most of it is from the POV of one of my favorite characters of hers and I loved every minute of it.