Not the Best of Times, But I Did Read A Lot.

Not for lack of thought, it has been a long time between Voolavex Books. Besides being quite lazy, the last month has brought birthdays (many), births, death, jail and the associated emotions each of these bring. There will be no Q&A on the above. You will some rementions.  And this year I did not save my library receipts.

Recently…

Neon Prey  John Sanford does it again.

The Never Game (  Deaver has introduced new ‘hero’. Too twee and detailed for me.) And I like him.

The Satapur Moonstone  (2nd in the Perveen Mistry series.)  A+++++++ Sujata Massey, whom I have loved for decades). Set in 1920’s Bombay, Perveen is a Pasi woman and a Barrister – first women called to the Bar. I am just as enchanted with her new effort as I was when Massey was in Tokyo with Rei Shimura. Her two stand-alone novels set in India are  also wonderful. The Sleeping Dictionary.  And The Ayah’s Tale.

A Son of the Circus (a reread) Before I knew anything at all about India, I read this because I like John Irving.  After 20+ years of reading ALL about India, I reread it and lingered with joy and every page.  My advice is if you are not an Indophile – you will miss too much to enjoy it the way I did the 2nd time.  It was eating at a banquet of favorites. No rating.  It was simply wonderful.

France – all over France with detectives The Enzo Files, (Peter May) and Georges Dupin Series (Jean-Luc Baannalec). Both are not just excellent mystery series – they included tutorials on things I knew little about.  Brittany, Oysters, Salt, Celtic history, food and Breton lore that prompted me to buy a map and guide to the areas;  French regions I knew little about.  And The Outer Hebrides Islands (cold, windy, scary sort of.), The Lewis Trilogy.  Now I know how to harvest peat for fires. North Atlantic tides. In detail and delightfully.   Because I grew up for years on Cape Cod – it rang true and was fascinating. adding to the subjects that many don’t know or care much about.  But I do

Down Under –Have moved back to the two Australian writers who died last year. Peter Corris and Peter Temple. (Another future post for them, after I find my Aussie slang dictionary).

Is it a gimmick or simply a natural progression?  Book series.  (FYI – there is a wonderful site “Book Series in Order.com“) very important if you get hooked onto cops and robbers and authors as I do.  Some series work to perfection – largely (for me) due to the history of the main character… And it’s not a new idea, but it seems every writer is doing it and it leaves me unsure about the practice – almost too easy.   The fact is if you latch onto a great series – the  ‘I can’t wait’ syndrome sets in.  I am considering a subscription to Publishers’ Weekly.  Seriously.  Here is a just found a site, Crime Fiction Lover.com  It covers all the subcategories of dirty deed writing.  Mystery, thriller, suspense, etc., and it is wonderful.  I love the genre (as you can see) and this is up to date and intelligent site.

Is it possible, after a lifetime of loving the NYT Book Review, to have just outgrown it?  It’s beginning to feel that way to me and I am sad.  The word that pops into my mind every week is “Precious”.  Too, too.  Silly columns that match books with readers (please) and the “Short List” – although not a competition.  How Twee.  This and considering the revealed wisdom of the Best Seller Lists – my general observation is that readers read some crummy titles.  Not too nasty, not too many big words and many James Patterson’s.  Large font size fills pages faster, doesn’t it?  I am delighted by the Washpo Friday book column by Ron Charles, (Washpo Book Editor.) In particular, his recent mention of a new Los Angeles Times effort on a serious book review section.  The local paper for me – so fingers crossed.

I dearly want to know what readers who read, like to read. Genres,  authors, opinions. I intend to spread the word of other Book Blogs – so if you have one or like one – please let me know  This is what the comment section is for and it would be sooper dooper to receive some feedback. Requests, (no grammar and spelling posts though, I  do use Grammarly and I do make typos), questions.  Suggestions are welcome.  Civility is a bonus.  Those are the requests so far.

No schedule yet, but soon.  Please send feedback.  And share your favorites, new finds and ‘one of a kinds’ with me.

Cheers,

Chloe Ross

email me (until I get one here) at:

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Voolavex Books A Revue: Many Tales

Finally back after a too long hiatus.  This is really a revue – like a Vaudeville show.  Lots of variety and a place for readers who aren’t really fond of traditional book reviews.  For example: “Do I really care about this one person’s opinion?”  This is the question you will not have to ask.

Sharing the books I like has no requirements.  You can like it or not.  But I have found so many authors, new to me, who have been a revelation and in turn have led me to look for others in locales I never considered before.  I have been reading like mad!!!  A weak explanation of why I have neglected this blog.

There is no format.  So far.  I have thought about formats and realized I was not a format writer, so I will just jump in.  Others, however, are welcome to suggest formats and I will happily consider them.  And contests (????).  Are they a good thing?  But this is not Goodreads.  I don’t care when you started or finished or which page you’re on.  I like Goodreads, but this is part of it I don’t love.  I would love for any Voolavex Books readers to share their finds. A little or a lot.

Dandy tips I have discovered.

Get a map.  If the locale is a real place – get a map.  It will put in the book and make it more vivid and many-layered.  You can google one, use a guidebook, or city guide.  Maps don’t change much in terms of streets so it doesn’t have to be new.  But I have many and I use them for fiction all the time. If it’s a made-up location, hope the author has provided one.  (I think they all should.)

Read with an accent if you can and phrasebook. This is true if the story is in a foreign location without a glossary.  Helps to know foreign expressions that actually matter to the story.  I tend to read with an accent if I can – seriously – if the book is set in another country – I try to imagine the voices of the characters.  Cats and dogs not included.

Guidebooks in general cover both these matters – usually cheap at thrift stores and yard sales.  Free at your local library.

Your local library.  I could buy books every day.  And to my dismay, this has created stacks all over my house.  Amazon has not been the only willing co-conspirator in this, but I love to use the library to reserve books via internet and it is even better.  Free.  How could free not be wonderful?  FYI – my local libraries are the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) and the Country Library of Los Angeles (COLA).  I do not read e-Books nor do I listen to audio books.  Just a personal choice. It’s the reading or listening that is the point no matter how.

Little Free Library.  Take one, leave one.  Usually little cupboards on posts that are little and free.  Supplied by donations and readers who like the idea of a quiet, community source.  We have two in my city that I know of.  I donate lots of books.

No Spoilers.  Not gonna’s do it.

What I read.  Everything and when I say this, I mean this.  Fiction, non-fiction, bio’s, series; I love thrillers (mysteries, suspense, crime, murder and mayhem). natural history. India.  All of it and especially Bombay.  Fiction and non. And France  – all of it, but Paris and Brittany are the top two. London.  Especially fond of Krazy Kat and Ignatz” and “Mutts”

I love science, geography, anthro, sociology, medicine, religion (all of them, but Jews in particular and Parsis).  Except for algorithmic math. (which includes DNA)  Tried to read “The Gene“; (full of math, it is) and slogged until I quit.  Apologies to Dr. Mukherjee.  Fermat’s Enigma is still just that.  I love The Fibonacci Sequence, though, and with that prime numbers.  I will never be a rocket scientist.  I LOVE Marilyn Stasio.  Crime columnist of the New York Times. She is the BEST!! (And This list goes on BTW).

What I don’t. Graphic novels (except Maus), Chick lit. Westerns, Military as a rule.  Politics (if I can help it especially now).  Self-help.  NO.

It evolves.

Ask questions, post comments and keep stopping by.  No schedule yet, but maybe one soon.