The month of June may have been a 3-ring shit circus, utterly disappointing and frustrating in any number of ways, but there was one supernova-bright spot: I WON ALL OF THE BOOKS.
Two I won from random drawings on goodreads.com (and THANK YOU, GOODREADS!), one from a random drawing by the author, and one just because I asked for an ARC and the new-to-me author was kind enough to send me one for review.
I guess I can't say "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" anymore.
Let me just re-express to you how much I LOVE GETTING ADVANCE COPIES.
Firstly, it means I am full of cool.
Secondly, it means *I* get to read these awesome books waaaaaaay before YOU, which makes me happy because I am petty like that and also it makes me feel special.
Coincidentally, all four of these books have strong female lead characters, which was like a double bonus for me because I love kick-ass female leads.
Two of these have just been released in the last few days, and you can read the reviews I've already written for Vicki Pettersson's Swerve and Taylor Stevens's The Mask.
Sue Grafton is the author of what's known as The Alphabet Series - A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, and so on and so on. The main character is Kinsey Millhone, private investigator. These books have been around for a loooong time, but I just started reading them a couple years ago and I fell in love. I have a lot in common with Kinsey...namely, we both like to spend time alone, prolonged contact and sociability makes anxious, and we both like to curl up on the couch and read on our days off work. We both have a strong sense of justice and right and wrong, even though we don't always make good choices or do the smart thing.
Sue's latest book, "X" (which you
losers regular people will have to wait until the AUG 25th release date to read)(hahahahahaha!) is my favorite of the series so far. It's a little more complex than some of the others, and a little more villainous.
I sort of want to be Kinsey sometimes, living in Santa Teresa, investigating stuff...then I remember I'm old and lazy and have kids. I do like the fact that Sue has stayed true to her timeline; the series started in the 80s and there it remains. It's a little weird sometimes because nowadays we all take our laptops and cellphones and even PCs for granted, and those things don't exist yet in Kinsey's world. There are still payphones and landlines and actual FACE TO FACE CONTACT, if you can believe it.
If you're looking for a good series to read, make sure you check out this one. The nice thing is you don't even have to start at the beginning (although I recommend ALWAYS begin at the beginning and carry through 'til the end), but all of the novels can be read as standalones and you won't have missed the most basic information.
It makes me sad that we've only 'Y' and 'Z' left...and I hope maybe Sue Grafton will come up with a brilliant plan to carry on with Kinsey. And Henry. And Deitz. And Rosie. And especially Ed the cat.
I've been a hyooooge fan of Jonathan Kellerman's Dr. Alex Delaware series since I was a teen and first read When The Bough Breaks. Dr. Delaware is a child psychologist, his best friend is a gay detective, and he lives with a lady who hand-crafts musical instruments. There are murders and kidnappings and mystery -- just what I like to read.
Kellerman has written some collaborative books with his author wife (Faye Kellerman, for whom I also have much love! Check out her Decker/Lazarus series), some non-fiction books on child psychology, and a few standalone novels - like this latest book, The Murderer's Daughter. I can say with all certainty that this moved to the top of the Favorite Jonathan Kellerman novel list, even though it only briefly mentions Dr. Delaware as a peripheral figure. The tone is somewhat darker throughout than is usual, and it went a couple of places that I wasn't expecting to go. I'm not going to tell you what it's about, I'm going to tell you to go place your pre-order now because it won't be available to you less-cool-than-me people until AUG 18th.
And the very end? Totes spooked me into agita.
Remember that Eddie Murphy bit he used to do in concert about "I got some iiiice cream, I got some iiiice cream, and you AIN'T GOT NONE, and YOU AIN'T GOT NONE..." ?? I totally just did that only with my new books.
But I'm not gloating. Not at all.
Oh and PS: I forgot to say the stuff: the two books reviewed here were provided for free (by random drawing!) by First Reads. They were not given to be reviewed, but since I DID provide a review, I have to tell you that they were freebies. So, consider yourselves told. Also I say what I want, so my opinions are 100% my own but ALSO they are correct so you should always take my recommendations, is all I'm saying.