Tag Archives: series books

[TSS] Bookish Bliss: The Benefits of Having a "Books Read" Goal

I had an unbelievable reading week, considering I’m still working on all the deadlines. I’ve discovered that setting a “books read” goal and then keeping track of that goal in a spreadsheet does wonders for any reading ennui I might be feeling.

Yes, apparently I am one who is easily motivated by the thought of adding another book to the spreadsheet.

And because of my “books read” goal, I’ve been finding bits of time in which to read – instead of doing what I used to do, which was wait until I had a nice big chunk of time. Instead, I’ve been dipping in and out of books, reading during breaks from work, reading in the ten or fifteen minutes before going to bed, reading when I’m waiting for Dylan to finish dance class – and astonishingly, all those bits of time have added up to my finishing four books this past week!

Mind you, two of them were graphic novels. I already loved graphic novels before setting my reading goal. I love them even more now.

I think my next book will be:

The Dream Thieves

From everything I’ve heard, The Dream Thieves is a great sequel, and I’m excited, too, that I also have Blue Lily, Lily Blue waiting for me too.

These are the books I read in the past week (and another surprise: none of them are in audio!):

daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Such a marvellous read. I don’t know why it took me so long to get to it, but I’m glad I finally did.

days of blood & starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight. Luckily I had book two in the trilogy, so as soon as I finished Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I turned immediately to Days of Blood & Starlight. This one was so eventful, I had to stop about two-thirds of the way through to take a breather.

During this breather, I picked up: The unwritten volume 3 The Unwritten: Dead Man’s Knock, Volume 3 of The Unwritten series. Lovely to be back in the Tommy Taylor world. I finished this one and then went back to Days of Blood & Starlight, and when I read breathlessly to the ending, I decided to pick up the next volume of The Unwritten. Leviathan The Unwritten: Leviathan, Volume 4 of The Unwritten series.

Fingers crossed here that next week will be another great reading week for me!

On Reading Through a Series Really Really Quickly: When Books Are Like Candy

During a period of ten days last month, I went through a whole slew of books like they were candy.

Has this ever happened to you?

It all started when I read Barbara’s review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen. Reading the review, I remembered that I’d read one Rizzoli and Isles mystery a while back; I didn’t really remember much about it, except that I had enjoyed it.

So I put a hold on The Sinner at my library’s ebook site, and when it came through,  I sat down and read it from beginning to end in one, long, quite pleasurable sitting. And that started the ball rolling. In the space of the next ten days, I sped through Gerritsen’s Last to Die, The Keepsake, The Silent Girl and Vanish. I also listened to the audio version of The Mephisto Club, which was the one book in the series which I’d read previously.

It occurred to me afterwards, reading several books in a series in a short space of time is a lot like going through a whole pile of candy all at once. I enjoyed reading each book – Gerritsen is so good with her plotting, and especially the twists she incorporates into most of her novels – but at the same time, at the end of it all, it felt like a little bit too much.

I think I’ll take the remaining books in the series a little slower from now on. Still, it did make for an enjoyable ten days.

What did I think of the books individually? Luckily, I’d gotten into the habit of jotting down short notes about my reading in my daybook for some of those ten days, and had written down quick impressions of a few of the books.

About The Sinner, I wrote: “It was good, although I’d have liked a better explanation [some spoilerish details about what I would have liked clarified here]. Still had questions at the end. The romance was done well, appropriate for a murder mystery that’s not a romantic suspense. Will read more of her stuff.”

And Last to Die: “It’s interesting the twist she uses. So even as you’re thinking one thing, another totally different thing happens. It’s a good way to write a detective story.”

And The Keepsake: “Interesting twists, again. She makes you believe one thing and then twists things around but it’s all believable.”

Unfortunately, all I wrote about The Silent Girl was a little note that I’d finished it the night before. And I went through a short period of not writing in my daybook at all, so I didn’t note down anything about Vanish.

(And now that I’ve written that, I’m more determined than ever to write something down in my daybook about every book I read!)

All in all, it was an interesting period of reading. While going from one book to another in a series like I did is a whole lot of fun, I think in future I’ll allow some breathing space in between series books. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the books, because I did, but it was just too much, too quickly.

I’ve decided I like Rizzoli a lot, and Isles not as much – Isles sometimes comes across as too emotionally fragile for a medical examiner, and tends to play the woman in jeopardy a little too often. Rizzoli, on the other hand, is no victim – even when she is in jeopardy – and I really like her spunk.

I still have several books in the series to read. Ice Cold and The Bone Garden are waiting for me on my Kobo mini reader (although I probably won’t get to them before they have to be returned to the library), and there are all the earlier titles in the series as well.

Most likely, though, I’ll take a break from this series for a while. Give myself some breathing space. But now I know where to turn when I want a mystery that’s suspenseful, with a lot of twists!