Book Lust

Girl daydreaming with book

I had a plan tonight and it went something like this:

  1. Finish dealing with the five hundred e-mails that sprang up during our family holiday
  2. Set the alarm 
  3. Awaken early enough to write a post that would catch you all up on what I’ve been doing for the last month. It would have been charming, insightful and accompanied by relevant photos.

Then Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne came along. Are you familiar with these two? She’s a helicopter-flying Episcopalian minister. He’s the chief of a small police force in New York State. Together they make one of the most compelling fictional couples I’ve read in years.

I had heard of this series a while back and scooped up #6, I Shall Not Want, when I came across it in a book store. The title’s ironic, of course, because now I very much desire books one through five.

Also the night’s sleep I will never recover. (It’s 5:27 AM here, as I type.)

Oh, Ms. Julia Spencer-Fleming — Ms. award-winning Julia Spencer-Fleming — I heart you. My writerly soul is awash in admiration for your realistic dialogue, rich characterization and exquisite pacing. I adore your ability to evoke mood and establish tension, even within the exposition I would skim in a lesser writer.

I’ve grown weary of feisty heroines with attitude, but no felt depth; of couples who successfully fight demons and monsters and the end of the world together, but who I don’t trust to last long enough to raise a guppy from its minnowhood. I know I might work 24/7 for the next twenty years and never develop your chops. By rights I should have a serious case of Imposter Syndrome a-brew — probably will when I awaken tomorrow. But I don’t care. Your book was the pitch-perfect ending note to my sonata of a day. Thank you.

So peeps, this post is more sentimental than I typically write, but it’s heartfelt. And now I invite you to play. What was the last book that kept you up waaaay past your bedtime? Which one would breach the last of your reluctance towards e-readers? (Because you want to read the rest of the author’s backlist, and there isn’t a single copy of her first book, In the Bleak Midwinter, in your entire city and environs.)

Don’t limit yourself to mysteries/thrillers. Hit me with your suggestions. What book last slapped you upside the head with pleasure?


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17 thoughts on “Book Lust

  1. Oh, that’s easy. Joshilyn Jackson, gods in Alabama. My teenage son is reading it right now and it makes me shiver with pride for him as he laughs and is surprised through it. It’s all I can do not to stare at him as he reads it. The copy I have has been loaned to five other people so far and I only read it a few months back. I love her. Love her voice. Love her storytelling. Love her people.

    And now, because I trust YOU, I’m going to hunt down the beginning of the series you mentioned here. Because I can always use a wasted night of sleep given up to a good book.

  2. Well, the last two books to do so were actually ones that I was beta-reading, a couple of erotic romances from two other AW authors. Since neither is published yet, I won’t say which ones, but never fear! When they are, there will most assuredly be fan-girly gushings on the blog.

    Before those two, I suppose the last new book that took me by storm this way would be Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men (actually, all three of the Tiffany Aching books). Hysterically funny, poignant, light, energetic…just utterly awesome and amazing as all his books are. I definitely sat down and read each one in an afternoon (they’re shorter, considered children’s or YA), and I think I actually read two of them one afternoon.

    ~Lia

  3. Ohhh – let me think -The Little Friend by Donna Tartt – most people like The Secret History better, but I liked her second book. There are so many more, but that one just bopped me upside my head just now when you asked that question 🙂 –

    But, I’m also reading Echoes Across the Blue Ridge – an anthology written by various writers in and around and about this area . . . it’s charming me.

  4. Beki, I loved gods! Have you read her latest? It features the character who provides the inciting incident for giA. As for that son of yours, we’ve chatted about him before, haven’t we? He sounds like an unusual young man — deep, like his mamma.

    Lia, how neat that you can be a fangirl about two AW people. I’d love to know the names when they’re out. As for Pratchett, that book is in my TBR pile. 🙂 Thank you for the rec.

    Kat, between you and Joshilyn Jackson, I’m having a love affair with Southern fiction. (Read Secret Graces on my holiday, too, and I loved it, except for the part where I have to wait for Virginia Kate three!) Thank you for the recs. 🙂

  5. If I had to pick one (PLEASE realize I’m in a light, frivolous frame of mind these days) I’d pick Heather Webber’s Lucy Valentine novel, ” Truly, Madly”. It’s sequel just came out this month.
    IF…I were allowed to pick TWO…
    I’d pick Carolyn Brown’s , Getting Lucky” Uber super…!! Along with its two sequels: Lucky In Love” & “One Lucky Cowboy”

  6. I loved Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I believe it’s going to be made into a movie, but I read the book over a decade ago. I can’t really describe how I felt about it. It was truly like being there, a cliche, I know, but his description was so rich.
    My poor father experienced the characters emotions like they were his when he read it. When they lost a loved one, he grieved. When they starved, he felt constantly hungry. It was weird. It was a thick book, but it didn’t feel that way. I pretty much dropped everything until I finished it.

  7. Chloe, that’s the second time in as many days I’ve read about the Heather Webber series. And yes, please feel free to list as many as you want!

    As for JS-F, if you’re going to give her books a try, begin with In the Bleak Midwinter. That’s the start of the series. She’s such a skilled writer, though, I figured out what was happening quite soon, and never felt in the least like I’d been infodumped.

    Donna, ooh, I think you mentioned that book before. The men I know read so little fiction that’s a pretty high recommendation. Thank you for that. 🙂

  8. I love the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. When I’m tired and need an escape, those books are perfect for me. I love the characters and the historical setting. Egypt has been on a wish list for me to visit since I was a child. And because of your post, I just went to her website and discovered a new book that’s been out since April that I missed!!! Now that means I have a book to find.

  9. my second re-read through Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie kept me up literally all night long. i just couldn’t put it down. it was such a different read than the first time, too and I loved it all the more for that. of course, this was wayyyy before e-readers, too:)

  10. Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series was completely engrossing (I’m also a True Blood fan, I admit). I’ve moved on to her Aurora Teagarden mysteries and love them too.

    If you’re in the mood for a good book hangover (what I call it when a story haunts you long after the final page), Anne-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees was absolutely compelling and soooo worth losing sleep over. In fact, I think I’ll go read it again…

  11. Steph, Bet Me always gives me the warm fuzzies. I’m very much looking forward to Jenny’s new book, too. It’s been a long time coming!

    Karen, “book hangover” is the *perfect* term. I have the headache and brain cloud to prove it. LOL, I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I have the first Sookie book in my TBR pile. (Honestly, people, you aren’t helping with your distracting recommendations, you know. 😉 ) Will check out the A-MM. Enjoy!

  12. A somewhat unexpected treat for me was Dacre Stoker’s novel, Dracula The Undead. I don’t normally read vampire novels but I’d recommend this one on several levels: the romance, the mystery, the GREAT writing…and as an author that last one’s not one I give out easily. Yes, there’s gore and mature content as you’d expect from a vampire story but it’s surprisingly well written.

    On a more scholarly note, there’s also a brief history of the original Dracula author and his loss of the story and copyrights. The publishing industry itself can be a bit of a monster, where the creator (author) often finds the creation has escaped.

    1. Phyllis, I had a look at the reviews, and wow, what a divide between the customer ratings and the critics. Interesting. I’m always intrigued when a novel causes such polarization. I think this’ll be one I’ll try to locate through the library first.

      As for the copyright issue, I love the way you phrased that. 😀

  13. My poor groaning electrons in my TBR section of my Kindle! I had downloaded In the Bleak Midwinter and Fountain of Filled with Blood quite a while back when they were on a special and hadn’t read them. I will have to move them up in the list!

    And book hangovers? Oh, yeah!

    1. ItBM is the first one, G. I’d love to know what you think of it. Since writing this post, I’ve been thinking how there are elements in this series that remind me of Faye Kellerman’s work. (And poor groaning electrons. ;))

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