Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recap for June 2012

I broke 10,000 page views this month. For a blog that's approaching its first anniversary in mid-July, I'm pretty pleased.

Without further ado, here's your recap for this month:

Book Reviews
Blackout by Mira Grant (5/5 stars; dystopian zombie conspiracy thriller; book 3 in the Newsflesh trilogy)—The final book in the Newsflesh series wraps up the conflict quite satisfyingly, with a few surprises on the way. I highly recommend you finish this series if you liked Feed. That I recognized one of the characters in her awesome real-life counterpart didn't hurt my rating one bit.

Fangland by John Marks (3/5 stars; horror; audio)—A modern update of Dracula that sets most of the action in the NY offices of a fictional Dateline equivalent. If you liked Dracula (the original book by Bram Stoker, not merely the concept), you're likely to enjoy this, but, if you didn't, you're likely to feel bogged down by the shallow narrative.

Variant by Robison Wells (3/5 stars; YA; audio)—An orphaned boy goes to a private school where there are no teachers, and the students are locked in. Probably more enjoyable if you're still in school.

Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore (4/5 stars; humorous historical fiction)—Christopher Moore breaks form to write about Paris and post-Impressionists and the color blue. He's still Christopher Moore, so we wind up with a tale that's funny and irreverent and quite entertaining.

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (3/5 stars; urban fantasy mystery with fairies; book 4 of The Dresden Files; audio)—I'm listening to these because I like James Marsters telling me a story. I find the content lacking. And sexist. Bleah.

Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder (4/5 stars; urban fantasy; book 1 of Jessie Shimmer series)—Young woman learning magic has to retrieve her boyfriend from a hell dimension, with a lot of opposition from a powerful and well-connected magic user. Oddly paced, but enjoyable and often funny.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (5/5 stars; gothic mystery; read years ago and reviewed from memory)—Lovely and textured book about a young man drawn into a world of intrigue and mystery when he rescues a book from Barcelona's Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Highly recommended for anyone who loves books (which should be most of you).

Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb (5/5 stars; geeky mystery; reread)—Mystery set during a small science fiction convention. Author Appin Dungannon is insufferable, but who would want him dead? Often hilarious, though some science fiction fans may take offense at some of the characterizations.

Most Popular Posts in June
My post on hyphen use continues to garner a shocking amount of traffic. Makes me wonder what other elements of grammar people really need explained.

My giveaway, as part of the Pay It Forward giveaway hop, is still going on until June 30. Luckily, many people have checked out the post, and entered for a free book. I'm looking forward to picking the winners.

In my post on insurmountable obstacles, I talked specifically about how my depression affects my ability to write. Other writers may have other things they absolutely can't get around, and that's okay. Just make sure writing is still a priority, when you can make the time.

Writing female characters is a challenge for some writers, so I hope some of them take my advice to heart. I'm tired of reading poorly-written women.

I posted about semicolons, my favorite mark of punctuation. Not so exciting, but then, neither are hyphens.

My May recap scored pretty well for June, which is why I'm going to keep doing recap posts.

I needed something to brighten my blog, so I posted about why I like the Flavia de Luce mysteries (of which the first is available through my giveaway).

I'd written a lot about what to do about weaknesses, but one mustn't neglect one's strengths. So I posted some tips.

I posted just the other day about how to tell if you have enough characters, and what to do with them if you feel they're going to waste.

In a tie for tenth place for the month, we have my post on writing dialect, and another on how different writers are at different levels in their writing skill.

Next month, I anticipate a post about the evils of filling space and passing time in your manuscript, and a lot of other topics I come up with at the last minute. Feel free to drop me suggestions in the comments. I'll also consider suggestions of books to review, but bear in mind that I only review books I wanted to read in the first place.

I also adopted a kitten this month. His name is Tybalt.
Yes, he's named after a character in a book.

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