AKA The TBR stack never dies…

I’m a horribly slow reader.  These days I rarely get to read for pure amusement (not when there’s so much television to watch!)  I try to be choosy about what I read, the bulk of the stuff I read having already been vetted/vouched for by friends whose opinions I trust.  But every now and then, books either get sent to me or I have made an excuse to read them.

Ben  Aaronovitch – Midnight Riot

Here’s my issue with Ben Aaronovitch:  he needs to quit working my side of the street.   Crime driven urban fantasy is what *I’m* supposed to do.  I just meant to casually flick through Midnight Riot, but his stuff is wildly addictive.  It has all the stuff that I love:  a non-stop thrill ride fueled by great characters and pitch perfect dialogue.  Seriously.  I don’t need that kind of competition, especially from writers who make their literary crime sprees seem so effortless.  My take home lesson has been that if I’m on a writing deadline, I can’t pick up Aaronovitch.  He’s a thoroughly, thoroughly, entertaining distraction. (Angry Robot)

Chris F. Holm – Dead Harvest

Speaking of which, I need to stop Chris F Holm before his book comes out.  I have been perusing the ARC of his upcoming release, Dead Harvest.  Here’s the thing, crime novels are my favorite reads (I’m on record as being a huge George Pelecanoes fan).  So a mix of horror and crime is pretty much speaking my love language, and Holm enjoys writing love letters to my soul apparently:  “Sam Thornton collects souls.  The souls of the damned, to be precise.  Once taken himself, he’s now doomed to ferry souls to hell for all eternity, in service of a debt he can never repay. But when he’s dispatched to retrieve the soul of a girl he believes is innocent of the horrific crime for which she’s been damned, Sam does something no Collector has ever done before: he refuses.” (Angry Robot)

Benjamin X. Wretlind – Castles:  A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors

Benjamin X. Wretlind is one of those writers no one has heard of but whom I’ve kept my eye on.  I keep waiting on him to break through and take the small press by storm.  With his collection, Regarding Dead Things on the Side of the Road, he showed some promise.  Now I have his book, Castles:  A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors.  Maybe now he’ll find a wider audience.

Pandemonium:  Stories of the Apocalypse

For matters of complete disclosure, I was asked to be in this anthology.  Tried as I might, due to a bunch of deadlines slamming together at the same time, I couldn’t find the time to actually write the short story in my head (I had the story and characters pretty fully formed).  I had to turn down a few writing gigs which stunk because the final product looks great and I missed an opportunity to share a TOC with Lauren Beukes, my tentacle partner in crime.

Some things I am reading in order to get in the mood for whatever writing project I’m doing next.  I know many writers read outside of their genre as not to “cross-pollinate”, but I enjoy reading in whatever genre I’m writing.  I’d say it’s sort of like creative/mental foreplay, but that’s far too graphic an image for me to go for.  So good thing I didn’t say it.  Among those titillating my imagination are

Paul Jessup  - Open Your Eyes

Currently out of print, hopefully someone will be re-releasing it soon.  I’ve been a fan of Paul’s writing for a long time.  His works are complete mind trips.  He reminds me of a young Grant Morrison:  he just keeps throwing wild idea after wild image after wild plot at the reader.  You read the first few pages, wonder where he’s going, and just when you think you have a handle on the story, he veers in a totally different direction.  And his prose hurtles along with a mad fury, sort of like violent poetry.

Jason Sanford – Never Never Stories

Anyone who has ever run across Interzone magazine or has heard of the Million Writers Award is probably familiar with Jason Sanford.  I fell in love with him after reading his novella, Sublimation Angels.  Which means when he asked if I’d like an ARC of his Never Never Stories, a collection of his short stories, I didn’t hesitate to crawl through Teh Interwebz to get a copy.  It’s one stop shopping for SF goodness from a modern master on the fast track.

None of this includes books on theology (like Scot McKnight’s The Jesus Creed for Students) or issues I’m thinking through (like Dan Allender’s Leading With a Limp).  Nor does this include comic books…which I keep swearing that I’m done collecting but then special projects come up or, well, the library has so many trades now…

So much great stuff to read.  All in all, a good problem to have, but who knows how long it will take me to get through all of these, and the TBR doesn’t exactly shrink while I wait.