I was so happy to find some more stories about DCI Garrett–she’s a fascinating character and I love the alternate history Bear sets up in the earlier collection, “New Amsterdam.” I’d love to read more about this character and her world!
Wait, let me clarify that. I am never bored. There are far too many things I want to do and enjoy doing to ever really be bored. The title of this post should really read, “Things To Do On Goodreads When You’re Procrastinating That Editing You’re Really Supposed To Be Doing But You Can’t Get Your Brain In Gear,” but that doesn’t scan as well, nor does it cleverly mimic any movie titles.
Anyway. I love Goodreads. I really like keeping track of my reading there, posting ratings and reviews, and seeing what other folks are reading. The other night, however, I went poking around to see what else you could do for fun over there. Turns out there are quite a few things, and here are just a few:
You can compare books with any of your friends to see how similar (or dissimilar) your reading tastes are. I discovered that one of my sisters and I have read 30 of the same books, and our tastes are 86% similar for those books. Then I looked at some other friends and acquaintances, and tried to predict how similar our tastes would be before I did the comparison. I was surprisingly good at that.
Take A Quiz
There are loads of quizzes available to take, but my favorite is the Never-Ending Book Quiz. Not because it is easy–oh, no. (I’m running about 73% correct answers at the moment.) I like the variety of the questions that pop up. I like the fact that sometimes I know more than I expected to know. And I like the fact that it’s never-ending. You could sit there for hours and hours and not get to the end. Not, you know, that I would. But I like knowing that I could. And you can add questions of your own, if you’d like.
Join A Group
Whatever your literary interests, there’s probably a group for that at Goodreads. Groups for books, groups for genres, groups for authors, groups for regions–browse your interests and find like-minded folks to talk books with.
Find An Author
Find your favorite author on Goodreads, and you might find interviews (written or video), blog posts, news about new projects–you never know. You can follow them to see what they’re reading, too.
Enter a Giveaway
Authors and publishers can run giveaways through Goodreads for new titles, or those that are less than six months old. It’s completely free to enter these giveaways, so it’s worth looking them over to see if there’s anything you might be interested in. Who knows, you might even win!
Read Creative Writing By Other Members
Members post sample chapters, excerpts, poetry and more, for fun and feedback. You can too, if you’d like. Or just while away some time browsing writing in areas that interest you.
Become a Librarian
So you’ve always secretly longed to be one of those quiet but sexy and intriguing librarian types? Apply to be a Goodreads librarian and make that dream come true. You can be one of the select few overseeing the wonderful world of books on Goodreads. Oh, the power! (I’m just being facetious…being a GR librarian sounds like fun!)
Oh! And surf over to http://www.goodreads.com/about/press. Scroll down to find some cool bookmarks you can print out!
Goodreads is a lively, interactive, fun place for bibliophiles and casual readers alike to hang out. If you’re not a member…what are you waiting for?
Oh, and you can always leave ratings and reviews for your favorite authors, as well…
So, look at the dates–I devoured this book. Precisely for the reasons I picked it up in the first place…the fabulous premise, and the spectacular lineup of authors.
I didn’t love every story, of course, but I don’t think I’ve ever loved every story in any anthology. I liked them all, though, and I did love some of them. That’s a tricky enough task, though, and enough to get it five stars from me.
I especially enjoyed the running debate between editors Holly Black and Justine Larbelestier as they defended their respective teams (Team Unicorn and Team Zombie, respecectively) in the introduction to each story. I think this book must have been as much fun to put together as it was to read.
Here’s the thing about William Gibson, I think–either you’re along for the ride, or you’re not. I find it difficult to talk about his books in the same terms I use to talk about other books. I’m often annoyed by the way his characters speak to one another–cryptically, abruptly, in non-sequiturs. I’m often annoyed by the things his characters do–sometimes seemingly driven, not by their own motivations, but by the necessities of the plot.
And yet…I’ve really enjoyed the Blue Ant books (Spook Country, Pattern Recognition, Zero History). There’s something about them that I can’t really put my finger on. It’s not always easy to describe what they’re about–or, it *is* easy to describe at least what’s happening on the surface, but they don’t sound at all interesting in those terms. There are admittedly long sections where nothing much of import seems to be happening. There are also sections where things are happening, but you can’t see any sense in them, or how they relate to the plot–or what you thought was the plot.
But for some reason, I find them incredibly engaging. I *want* to keep reading, to see what Gibson has up his sleeve, or what he’s driving at, and what’s going to happen to these characters in the end. Maybe it’s the glimpse at a world that is so like ours as to be almost indistinguishable, and yet that seems to be separated from ours by the thinnest of membranes. Maybe it’s Gibson’s writing style, although I don’t always like that–I haven’t been able to read “The Difference Engine” no matter how much I’d like to. Maybe it’s…ah, heck, I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I certainly couldn’t duplicate it. But I know that if there’s another one, I’ll be reading it.
Okay, this was a pretty good book–the storyline was interesting and it had several novel elements (no pun intended). Overall, though, I was left feeling kind of unsatisfied. It felt like there was room to do a lot more with the ideas, but the author didn’t explore those possibilities. Also, too many things were telegraphed ahead of time to make the “big reveal” much of a surprise. And somehow, the characters fell just short of being people rather than “types.”
The audiobook was well-read–no quibbles at all with the production values.
But it’s another example of something I see all-too-often lately–books from trad publishers that demonstrate the need for better editing. Honestly, I was really surprised to look back and see that this was a book from a “name” publisher. I can’t fault the author for this–it’s the editor’s job to make that final pass and weed out repeated words, odd sentence construction, etc. Sadly, it’s the author who ends up looking bad when the editorial staff falls down on the job.
However, it’s a good summer read if you’re not too picky about everything being factually correct and you’re willing to get on board for the ride. There was enough interesting stuff going on to keep me listening right through to the end.