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Professor of Smurfology ...

Obtainer of rare smurftiquities ...

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I hardly know myself ...

Tonight I'm going from work straight over to Hailey's dance recital. I don't know how to put this without sounding like a raging bitch so I'm just going to say it. I'm really not looking forward to this. I mean, I like watching Hailey's dances but she's only in 2 or 3 of them. And the entire show is THREE HOURS LONG. The evening performance starts at 7. So it'll be at least 10:30 before I get home. Like I said, I don't mind watching Hailey dance and, honestly, I'm sure I'll enjoy the entire first half of the show - they're doing Aladdin after all and I do love me some crazy-talking genie - but the second half is going to be hard. Because by the time we hit the second half I'm ready to go home.

So... yeah. Dance recital after work.

Now, I want everyone to hold onto their pants for a minute because I'm going to talk about books. Not the way I normally do- that'll come later- but about the really great run of books I've been reading lately.

See, I have this theory about books. Part of it has been begged, borrowed, and/or stolen from various places (most notably oddmonster) but it works for me so I'm appropriating it for my use.

I believe that all books have an audience. I might not be that audience but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people out there who fully enjoy a book that I don't. This is just one of the reasons that I always try to be gentle in my reviews when I don't like a book. I try to give reasons why I didn't like something or why it didn't work for me as opposed to just throwing up my hands in disgust. The other reason I try to be gentle has everything to do with how much of my heart and soul I put into my own novel. I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure that most people who take the plunge and attempt to write a book and have it published have put a lot into its creation. That book is someone's baby. They nurtured it from the kernel of an idea up to the end result. That last part might be me projecting my own insecurities out into the universe. I don't know.

I'm not saying that you have to like every book, either. I'm not saying that you can only say good things about a book. Believe it or not, I don't always say good things about the books I read. I just do my best to explain why whatever I was reading didn't work for me.

I've kinda gotten off track here. Let me step back on. I've been reading a lot of books lately that have worked for me. A lot. Like, 9 out of 10 books I've read recently have migrated to my 2011 Favorites pile on Goodreads. Why? Timing. I pick up these books and they're exactly what I'm looking for at that moment. I wanted a book about fallen angels with an emphasis on the urban fantasy side (as opposed to a paranormal romance) so I started reading Highborn by Yvonne Navarro this morning. My God! This book is EXACTLY what I wanted. Yes, it is well written and incredibly engaging and I probably would have rated it highly anyway on those points alone but the fact that I was looking for exactly this type of book right now is propelling it into favorite status.

So on top of every book having an audience (somewhere, even if it's on a Himalayan mountaintop with a lonely goat herder) I think that timing is key. If you don't want to read a book about dangerous fallen angels you're probably not going to love this particular book as much as I am. Does that make sense? I feel like lately I've either been making some really good book decisions that match up perfectly with what I'm craving in a literary sense or I've been incredibly lucky lately. Because I've been reading a lot of great books. A.Lot.

I don't think I articulated this as well as I could have. I'll have to think on it and let it simmer for a bit.

Anyway. I read a book today. Don't act so surprised.
Book #254 - The Sacrifice (Forbidden #1) by Samantha Sommersby - This book shocked me with how good it was. I was seriously expecting a smutty quickie and I got a full-on story. Sweet!

I've really gone on enough here.

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You hit the nail head-on, baby. There's a huge difference between a hatchet job on a book and simply pointing out that specific parts of the book didn't work for you, personally. I think this difference a lot of times can be chalked up to the difference between reviewing and criticizing a book, where the latter definition is where you take the time to pull apart what does and doesn't make the book work; you contextualize it as part of a larger framework. In this case, the larger framework is the views of one reader, but in another it might be the genre field the book's published in, or how other critics are responding to it. I basically want more from a book review than "I liked it!" or "I hated it."

I believe that all books have an audience. I might not be that audience but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people out there who fully enjoy a book that I don't.

Would you mind if I quoted this in an article I'm writing on the virtue of negative book reviews?

Of course you can quote me. Heck, I stole most of the idea from you (because you're brilliant and unequaled!) so feel free.

I've come to realize that I'm a mood reader. I read whatever I'm in the mood for and the hell with what anyone thinks! Honestly, I think that's one of the biggest reasons why I end up liking so many of the books I read - I'm already in the frame of mind to enjoy it before I even start.

(Yes, I've actually thought about this. Who hasn't?)


Do you find you're a seasonal reader at all? Like me, when the snow gets up past our windows and blocks in all the doors (you're going to have to trust me on this, CA girl) I love reading snow and ice stories. And similarly, right now, while it's all warm and sunny, I like to find warm, sunny stories to read?


Can you tell me a little more about mood reading? Like, is it per day all "Today I have a headache, thus grouchy reading!" or is it more like "For the past two weeks I've been in the mood to read about alien abductions for no discernible reason"?

Not that there's ever really a discernible reason for alien abductions.

I do tend to read snowy/cold weather books as the weather turns cooler. I really have a tough time reading Christmas themed books outside of the months of November/December/January. However, Halloween/Fall books can be read at almost any time. Go figure.

As for mood reading, it's more like I get in the mood for urban fantasy books and I'll read them until I run out of steam. I also get in the mood for specific types of books within a genre. Recently, I've been reading a ton of fallen angel books. Mostly of the Young Adult variety, although it's been slowly migrating into more adult genres.

You don't do that? Get in a mood for something in particular and just go with it?

I did go through a sexy alien abduction phase a few weeks back. Nothing says lovin' like being abducted from your home and flown to the far reaches of the galaxy with a sexy alien. Am I right?

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