Today’s books are YA books, in honor of today being my daughter’s last day of high school (cue sombre music segueing to happy dance music). I have ARCs of Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, by Joe Schreiber and Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor. The first involves a prom, a trained assassin, teen angst and a beautiful girl. The second involves forbidden love, winged strangers, human teeth, teen angst and an epic battle. Theme today: angst.
My computer dictionary says that angst means: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. Angst is the ocean in which I swim. It is the wind beneath my tattered wings. It salts my soup and butters my bread. In this regard I fear I will be forever 17. I usually register as an 11 on the angstometer.
How about you? Are you like me? Do you worry about the future of our species, whether we have souls or are just thinking meat machines, if it matters about the polar ice caps? What do you dread?
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Charlaine Harris! That’s what I said. Charlaine Harris! She’s the mother of the Sookie Stackhouse books, which spawned the True Blood series, and is an ordinary, kind of plain, Southern, middle aged woman. I love that. She spoke at one of the author breakfasts at BEA and she was funny, kind of self-deprecating, and just plain old nice. I’m giving away Dead Reckoning, her newest story set in Bon Temps, Louisiana.
I was in Louisiana once. It was probably about 1989 or ’90 and I stayed in the French Quarter of New Orleans with the man who would one day become my husband. We ate beignettes and drank coffee with chicory in it at Cafe du Monde. I was probably in the midst of reading an Anne Rice book, perhaps Vampire Lestat or Queen of the Damned.
That’s over 20 years ago now, vamps have come out of the coffin, and the genre is still strong as ever. I love writers like Charlaine Harris. While I was devouring Anne Rice’s books and drinking coffee, Charlaine was starting to publish mysteries. She kept plugging away at her writing through the Aurora Teagarden series and then the Shakespeare series, until BOOM! She hit the nail on the coffin and created the Sookieverse, filled with vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, fairies and all sorts of other folk.
Are you a genre fiction reader? Do you find yourself reading books with the same theme, over and over again? How do you pick the next thing you are going to read?
(Please read the new, revised rules to win a copy of Charlaine Harris’s Dead Reckoning.)