Thank you, February, for packing up and leaving. You have made me extra grateful for summer, so it’s time to go, and make a sloshy melting mud mess (ooo, alliteration) for Spring to come through.
I might get serious this year about Easter decorations. Because, you know, I love the bunnies and pastels in addition to the poking flowers and the days that are like 40 degrees but at this time of year feel like mid-summer.
I have been working on my writing more. Truly. Actually going to participate in pitch madness this week on Twitter and am taking an online thing on refining my pitch!
So I have fewer reads but I still have this drive to categorize them, group them, in some way when I am putting my reviews out into the world. This can be difficult when I am not following categories or chewing down a bunch by one author, as I spent the opening of the year doing.
So these two are books that I got forever ago and, like I have said for all my hangers-on, other books got in the way of their getting read.
The Medea Complex, Rachel Florence Roberts
A society woman finds herself unexpectedly confined to an inpatient psychiatric unit in the year 1885 with no memory of how she got there or why. Told from the perspectives of her husband, her father, and the lead psychiatrist of the hospital as well as her own (and a few others) a story unfolds about the untimely death of an infant and a man looking to entrap a woman to get his hands on her estate. This was researched to be historically accurate, with the treatments and attitudes of psychiatric care as well as the attitudes toward criminals and the insane. There are also characters in here that are in keeping with real historical people and events.
So I bought this book when I didn’t quite understand the self published thing, and before self published authors were careful about editing and formatting. Once I was burned on a tiny handful of books that looked SO COOL but ended up being a mess (that I will not name of course) I noticed that this one, in the cover I had it in, was probably self pub too so as cool as it looked, it was passed over.
Let me tell you now, it was as cool as I thought when I bought it. This current cover is not the one I have for it, so I don’t know what has happened to it since I got mine or if it actually was self pub, but now there’s an audible version, and I was hooked through it. I didn’t even get the audio version of this, I was so hooked. I wanted to know the scandal and I always like something well researched and based on real people, which I didn’t expect it to be. The narrator kept me guessing about what the rest of story was going to be and what the intrigue was under all of it. I definitely recommend this one, especially if you have an interest in Victorian England’s social issues. I’m somewhat not sure why I do, because I know that it was truly only a good time for rich white men. I mean, they made ostentatious grieving into an art form, but at the root of it, it was about rich white dudes.
Sandman Slim, Richard Kadrey
A man returns to Earth after an eleven year stint in hell, bent on getting revenge on the circle of magician friends who banished him there and killed his girlfriend. He ends up saving the world and the cosmos in a way only he can, and not always with the cleanest of motivations.
This book is hilarious and gripping. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that it is a breakout novel, because I can see where any agent or publisher would get on the hilarious language, the likeable antihero and the slow drawing out of the plot and why he is the unlikely hero he turns out to be. I have always been drawn in by the premise. It was an audiobook I got forever ago when I was just getting into audiobooks and I wasn’t as neck deep in the reading and audiobook world as I am now. I can reach back enough to remember when I first got on audible and wasn’t sure what was good out there, but it’s becoming a rapidly fading memory. I have some around on that list and I want to get through those, too. But this is hilarious, an absolute recommend. Especially if you like good metaphors and some funny, edgy fast talking.
This is also, not surprisingly, the beginning of a series. So after the world saving and the big twist, you can get more of his shenanigans.
So, good luck to me in my pitch madness this week, honing my pitch to agents, crossing my fingers that it catches someone’s eye, although learning through the online course is probably even more valuable than scrolling twitter for an entire day looking for validation.
Reading still happens, though, so stay tuned in two weeks as I talk about some DNF’s that got, well, F’ed. In a good way. The best way possible.