What’s on my (mostly virtual) nightstand? 1-29-12

When I first started reviewing, it was easy to keep my books organized. I only had a few, and they were all on the Bluefire app on my iPad. (If you have an iPad and you need an all-purpose Adobe/PDF/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink reader, just get Bluefire, it reads everything) I read open EPUB format on the OverDrive app. Yes, I really did say OverDrive. It’s a perfectly decent EPUB reader, and it will read EPUBs that come from other sources quite happily. I use it all the time, if only to keep the list of books in my Bluefire app from getting more ginormous than it already is.

But my list in Bluefire is huge, sometimes pronounced as two syllables for emphasis, “hew-gee”. When I need to buy or borrow earlier books in a series in order to review later books, I need to track those too. After a while, my “To Be Reviewed” list became my “To Do” list, complete with calendar. It took me a while, but when I had to search my apps to figure out where a book to be reviewed was located, my entries started including all the locations of all the books involved, be they Bluefire, OverDrive, or in the case of previous entries in series, Kindle app, Google app or bookshelf. It gets complicated.

All this came up because of Cherie Priest’s Dreadnought. I had intended to pick up an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of something new to read (and review, of course) for the plane home from ALA Midwinter. I picked up so many ARCs that some had to be shipped home, but the book I read was not just not new, it was in my own TBR pile on my Nook app. It is way too easy to lose track of ebooks on an iPad. Way too easy.

But I’m back to looking ahead to February, which starts this week, even if it is still January now. The first books I have scheduled for February are a very diverse bunch.

The Dread by Gail Z. Martin is the second book in her dark fantasy Fallen Kings Cycle, after The Sworn. I’ve always meant to read something of Ms. Martin’s; I’ve seen her other work highly recommended. And The Fallen Kings Cycle is a duology, she has not “committed trilogy” on this one, so these two books are it. The Sworn and The Dread, as ominous as the titles sound, seemed like a good place to start, even if the two together are about 1,200 pages. Ouch.

The Night is Mine by M.L. Buchman is a military suspense romance about elite helicopter pilots who transport Navy SEALs and Delta Force teams to and from their missions. The heroine in this romance is the pilot who goes on a covert mission as bodyguard to the First Lady, with one of her special forces commanders as the love interest. I think the question about this one is whether the romance is going to trump the suspension of disbelief about the violation of military frat regs (yes, I watched way too much Stargate).

Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel by Samantha Grace gets the award for most fun title of the week. This just looked like a fun Regency that reports say has all of the elements done to a fine turn. This is a debut novel, so if the author has got it right, that would be fantastic!

Speaking of fantastic, I have Prehistoric Clock by Robert Appleton on my calendar for 2/6/12. This should be fantastic both because it is steampunk and because I found Mr. Appleton’s previous book, Sparks in Cosmic Dust, to be a “rollicking, adventurous science fiction romance.” I’m looking forward to his take on steampunk.

And to go even further for adventure, my last book is science fiction romance. I have Tundra 37 by Aubrie Dionne. Since this is labelled as A New Dawn Novel, Book 2, I picked up Paradise 21, the first book in the series. New Dawn is a colony ship series. It details life aboard the deep space transport vessel Expedition, destined for the planet Paradise 18. I haven’t read the first book yet, but I’m positive that any planet coded Tundra-anything can’t be paradise.

Even with the strange week this week, after coming back from ALA, I did get a few things read. Some of them were even the things I was supposed to read!

How to Dance with a Duke was not quite what I expected, but I did enjoy it. Thinking back, I just realized that they never actually dance! Writing that up will be one of the things that I do this week.

I started Michael J. Sullivan’s Theft of Swords, and I’m about 100 pages into it. I saw a print copy at ALA, and wow! It’s pretty in person, but it’s a tome! Theft of Swords was originally published as two books, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha and when it was re-edited to make one book, well, it’s clearly still got the heft of two books’ content in it. I’m glad I’m reading this as an ebook.

On Tuesday, January 31, I will be conducting a webinar for the Maryland Library Association about the importance of genre fiction collection development in libraries. For anyone interested, there’s a signup link.

And tomorrow, being Monday, is the day for Ebook Review Central. It’s Samhain’s turn for December 2011. See you there!



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