Monday, July 28, 2008

Need book recommendations!

Lately, I've been feeling a little bit of burnout, and it looks like I'm not the only one. The Seven-imps and Jen Robinson both posted recently about feeling burned out by the reviewing, and both posts triggered an outpouring of response from across the kidlitosphere. It seems that many of us are feeling the pressure that comes when something you love becomes something you're obligated to do.

I love getting those ARCs in the mail, but when there's more books coming than I could ever possibly read and review, it starts to feel overwhelming. I've realized that it's been a long time since I've read anything but children's and YA books. Every time I finish a book, I feel like I have to pick up another one of those review copies, because otherwise I'll never get caught up. Don't get me wrong - I'm not giving up reading and reviewing children's books. I love doing this, and I still plan to keep doing it for a long time. But I think I need a break.

I'm going on vacation to the beach next week, and I've decided I want to read a great adult book for a change. The problem is, that I haven't been keeping up with adult fiction. So I'm hoping that someone can recommend an exciting page turner of an adult book that would be great to read at the beach. I'd like something that's either science fiction (but not fantasy this time), suspense, thriller, or dystopian novel. I'd like something with rich character development and some meat to it, but not too slow-paced. Does anything come to mind? Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!

Edited to add: Bonus points for recommendations that were independently published! I'll take any recommendations, but I'd especially love to find a great, independently published novel.

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22 comments:

Kelly said...

Hey Sheila!

Okay, so this isn't an independently published novel, but I loved "In the Woods," by Tana French--a first novel. Detective fiction.

I'm also LOVING another first novel--"What Was Lost," by Catherine O'Flynn. Awesome mystery. Adult, but the protagonist is a wonderful 10 year old girl who aims to be a girl detective.

I also had to turn to adult fiction this past month to get me out of a slump!!

Sheila said...

Thanks, Kelly! I'll check them out.

CloudWind said...

Hiya Sheila!

Mom sometimes let me read adult fiction *coughJamesPattersoncough*...and so if you don't mind language, violence, gore, gross descriptions, and sex, then I would recommend When The Wind Blows and The Lake House, both by JP. They served as the inspiration for the Maximum Ride series, but are mucho de more adult.
It's Sci-Fi.

~~CLOUDY~~

Sheila said...

Hiya, Cloudy, thanks for the recommendation. James Patterson is one of those authors that I keep hearing about, but haven't read yet.

Anonymous said...

This is Skywish. Uh this is a definete love, murder, thriller, suspense, and everything in between kind of book.

The author is "Alex Kava", she's a Nebraskan writer who writes murder mysteries and they are AMAZING. I seriously hate murder mysteries... anything scary lol, but her books are the only ones I read.

The other series I liked, and my parents liked also was "Mark of the Lion Trilogy". It's by "Francine Rivers", and the 3 books are

1. A Voice in the Wind
2. Echo in the Darkness
3. As Sure as the Dawn

It's a Christian story about a young Jewess girl who survives the Jerusalem Holocaust and is taken to Rome as a slave. There, she falls in love with her master's son... and well it sounds weird but there's a lot of action, murder, and suspense as well.

Plus it's about a German soldier fighting on the frontiers who is taken captive and forced to fight in the Arena.

Hope it helps!

Skywish said...

This is Skywish. Uh this is a definete love, murder, thriller, suspense, and everything in between kind of book.

The author is "Alex Kava", she's a Nebraskan writer who writes murder mysteries and they are AMAZING. I seriously hate murder mysteries... anything scary lol, but her books are the only ones I read.

The other series I liked, and my parents liked also was "Mark of the Lion Trilogy". It's by "Francine Rivers", and the 3 books are

1. A Voice in the Wind
2. Echo in the Darkness
3. As Sure as the Dawn

It's a Christian story about a young Jewess girl who survives the Jerusalem Holocaust and is taken to Rome as a slave. There, she falls in love with her master's son... and well it sounds weird but there's a lot of action, murder, and suspense as well.

Plus it's about a German soldier fighting on the frontiers who is taken captive and forced to fight in the Arena.

Hope it helps!

Erin said...

Let's see, adult fiction....
You may have already read this, and if you haven't you might not want to because it's been so over-hyped, but I'm reading THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer right now, and it's really good. I like it much better than Twilight.

Sheila said...

Sounds interesting, Skywish, I'll look into them. Erin, I've thought about The Host, but I've been resisting it because, well, it's Stephanie Meyer. (Not that I have anything against Stephanie Meyer, it's just that the Twilight series isn't really my cup of tea). But if it's different than Twilight, maybe I'll give it a try. Thanks to both of you for the recommendations.

Spirithunter said...

I love "Through Wolf's Eyes" by Jane Lindskold. The rest of the series is great, too; it's one of my favorites.
I skipped the third book, though. It didn't get as good reviews, and 1) I didn't want to waste my time and 2) I didn't want to damper my relationship with the series.

The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory is also good, and I've heard that The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is great.

gail said...

I don't know if Soft Skull Press is independent, but I don't think it's connected to any of the big ones. It publishes Martin Millar's work. I liked his Lonely Werewolf Girl, which is published as adult though some of us wrote it up as a cross-over to YA. It's also somewhat episodic, which I think would be good for vacation reading. I think it would be called urban fantasy. And witty.

Sheila said...

I think I've seen you mention Through Wolf's Eyes before, Spirithunter. That's one I'll definitely have to add to my TBR. I'll check out the others, too. Thanks for the recommendations.

Yes, Soft Skull Press is independent, Gail, but unfortunately (for me) I've already read (and loved!!!) Lonely Werewolf Girl. I have it sitting right here waiting for a review. It would be good vacation reading, if I hadn't already read it. (Not that there's anything wrong with rereading, but for now I want something new). And yes, it's definitely witty! Thanks for the rec, anyway.

Losty said...

Hi, Sheila! I have a recommendation: 'Secret Smile' by Nicci French. Okay, I haven't actually finished the books, but I HAVE seen the movie, lol. But the plot is good - a mystery, suspense, thriller, romance novel. Hold on, let me pull up some information about it:

http://kimbofo.typepad.com/readingmatters/2004/10/secret_smile_by.html

Above is a relatively spoiler free review. I don't know if it's independently published, and it may be hard to get because it's (of course) British. Amazon.com has it (as well as the movie, which I also recommend - it stars David Tennant and Kate Ashfield in the two main roles.)

Anyway, I recently started it after watching the movie and it's a good read - nothing really involved, but a just a good thriller. I enjoyed the movie and am enjoying the book =)

Losty (hoping that was some help)

Sheila said...

Oooh, sounds interesting, Losty! Thanks for the recommendation. David Tennant - why doesn't that surprise me? LOL

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I'm quickly adding: Have a great trip, and I hear ya on the slight burn-out and wanting to read an adult book. I'm grateful, too; don't get me wrong, but I know how you feel.

Have fun! Read well.

Sheila said...

Thanks, Jules!

gail said...

Did you get a copy of Millar's earlier book, The Good Fairies of New York the first year of the Cybils? If you still have it and didn't get around to reading it, it's similar in structure and style to Lonely Werewolf Girl. In fact, the drunken rocker fairies are similar to the two werewolf cousins who were interested in breaking into the music field in Werewolf Girl.

Kelly Link is a fantasy writer who has a book of short stories out called Magic for Beginners.

Sheila said...

Yes, I did read Good Fairies of New York for the Cybils, and enjoyed it, although I liked Lonely Werewolf Girl better. I quite enjoy Millar's writing, and they're definitely good crossover books, especially the werewolf one. Good Fairies of New York is a little more adult in content.

rathacat said...

Hi Sheila from Clare,

One of my favorite science fiction books is Timescape, by Greg Benford.
Its SF at its best, and a page-turner as well. Originally published by either Baen or Tor.

Sheila said...

Oooh, sounds great, Clare. I've heard of Timescape but never read it. Thanks for the recommendation!

BookMoot said...

Feeling the same way about the books vs. time to read/ reading for pure pleasure vs reading to review.

I've been listening to audiobooks instead of reading. I am wondering if I am losing the ability to read for the sheer fun of it? Listening is passive and allows me to do other things while I listen. I have to realize thought, I am having a completely different intellectual experience, listening as opposed to reading.

Please report on your reading picks!

Michael Zwerdling said...

The Liar, by Stephen Fry.

Freddy and Fredericka, by Mark Helprin.

My all time favorite series is O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin books, but they *must* be read in sequence. The pace is a little slow at first, and it takes about three books for it to really open up, but once it does,you'll be amazed at how fast the series flies by and you'll wish it consisted of 40 books, not 20 and a half.

Anything by Neil Gaiman, of course. Start with American Gods, and from there go to Neverwhere, but get to the graphic Sandman series as soon as you can.

(Though if you're heavy into SF, you've probably read all of Gaiman, and Pratchett and Stephenson.)

None of the above are indies.

Have a good time at the beach.

Sheila said...

Oh, hi Michael! I haven't heard from you in ages! I hope that all is well with you. Thanks for the recommendations! I have read a lot of Gaiman and Stephenson, and some Pratchett, but not all. I should go back and fill in the gaps.