Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recap for May 2012

This month, I signed up to participate in a giveaway hop (you won't see anything more about it until 6/23), I drove to Tennessee and back where I picked up the Tennessee Death Plague, and I moved to a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday updating schedule.

Here are the specifics:

Book Reviews
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich (4/5 stars; nonfiction investigative; audio book)—The author of Nickel and Dimed takes on corporate America, and never gets past the job hunt. One of the books contributing to the political climate that's produced the Occupy movement.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (4/5 stars; debut urban fantasy detective; reread; audio)—Introduces half-fae detective Toby Daye, who has to figure out a friend's killer before the curse her friend laid before dying takes Toby's life. It's a debut, but it's clear why this is the author who would become my favorite.

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (4/5 stars; urban fantasy detective; reread; audio)—Second installment of Toby Daye's story. She's been ordered by her liege to investigate why he can't seem to get hold of his niece. Becomes a tightly-plotted locked-door mystery with a twist I didn't see coming the first time I read it.

Naked in Death by J. D. Robb (2/5 stars; near-future detective/romance/thriller)—Nora Roberts' incredibly popular alter ego's first installment about detective Eve Dallas, who lives in the year 2058. Lots of people love this series, so the fact that I won't touch it again puts me in the minority.

Write More Good: An Absolutely Phony Guide by The Bureau Chiefs (4/5 stars; humor)—A funny twitter feed about grammar standards in journalism in changing times expands into a very readable fake AP guide. Better to read if you have a journalism background, but the jokes aren't too far over the rest of our heads.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (2/5 stars; contemporary; audio)—I usually like Hannah's books, so I'll forgive that her pairing of the atrocities of war with white whine only trivializes the war story. This time.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (4/5 stars; YA alternate history with steampunk elements; audio)—A well-paced adventure about teenagers in an alternate-history WWI. Ends on a cliffhanger.

An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris (2/5 stars; paranormal mystery; audio)—With this installment of the Harper Connelly stories, I give up. Not-related-by-blood incest doesn't have to be gross, but in this book, it is.

Little, Big by John Crowley (2/5 stars; classic magical realism)—Was probably revolutionary in its day, but reads like a dusty old relic when compared with modern fast-paced urban fantasy. Too in love with its language to bother illuminating the reader.

Fed by Mira Grant (4/5 stars; alternate ending to dystopian horror novel; available online for free)—The alternate ending to Feed; clears up any notion you might have that Feed needed a different ending. No, the real ending was better. Yikes.

Most Popular Posts in May
Grammar: Hyphen Use was, predictably enough, how to correctly use hyphens. It's probably the most boring post I wrote all month, but apparently it proved useful to several dozen people.

I expected Writing About Rape to take the #1 slot. I guess I'm not that interesting a ranter. Ah, well. I'm still glad I wrote it. I feel better.

My Review of Let's Pretend This Never Happened is still pulling in a decent number of hits. Considering how well the book is selling (and that my husband and I have a waiting list for our copy), I'm unsurprised.

Lots of people want to know what happens next on So You Want to Be a Pantster. Either that, or they Googled for pictures of butts.

My April Recap post drew a number of views. Wait, more than a pet peeve post? Hunh.

Pet Peeves: Too Stupid to Live came in next on the list, so not a lot of people know about the dialogue I hold with books I don't like.

Theme vs. Message tackled the difference between having an idea in mind as you write, and beating the reader over the head with it. One of those is advisable, the other not. Guess which is which?

I wrote about the Unexpected Benefits of Pessimism as a writer. It's certainly come in handy for me.

I posted about how you can Read Backwards for your detail-level pass of edits. I tried it out before I went telling anyone it was useful. It works really well.

My post about Reading Comprehension and the fact that some readers have none was in direct reference to a comment thread I'd been reading. Not that I mentioned that in the post.

Last, my Grammar Peeve about Dangling Modifiers seems to have proved useful to a few people. At least, I hope so, because I'm tired of reading them.

It was hot last weekend. Poor, fluffy Risu.
This has nothing to do with the post. I just think she's cute.

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