BOOK & BLOG
October 10, 2011
Books of the Week:
Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International is like every boy’s favorite book. Its hero, Owen Zastava Pitt, is an everyman on steroids. Pitt, an accountant, stays late at work one day, and is abruptly cast into a different world when he has to kill his loathed boss . . . who has turned into a wolf. The badly wounded Pitt is offered a new job upon his recovery. He joins a motley crew of monster hunters. After that, it’s fight scene after fight scene, Pitt’s camaraderie with the other hunters, and the bodacious female hunter who wins Pitt’s heart. She has a few family issues, though. This is a lively and engaging book with lots and lots of gun information.
Though this may be self promotion, I’m enjoying Down These Strange Streets. Martin and Dozois gathered some great writers together for these stories of detection with a dash of the supernatural. I’ve written several Dahlia Lynley-Chivers short stories, and this one (“Death by Dahlia”) is one of my favorites. The many other excellent stories in this book make it a true keeper and a great gift.
Denise Swanson is a friend of mine, and I’ve enjoyed her mild Scumble River books for years. I haven’t completed Murder of a Creped Suzette yet, but school psychologist Skye Dennison, now engaged to Wally, is once again drawn into terrible doings in her quiet little Midwestern town. Plus-sized Skye, whose family is both her strong point and a constant irritant, is an engaging protagonist. Family members can talk Skye into doing almost anything for them, which leads Skye into a lot of trouble . . . fortunately for us.
I had a great time last weekend in beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I was there to do my part for a benefit for the Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, and I was glad to do it. For those of you not familiar with the concept, a writer’s colony provides a place for working writers to stay at a relatively low cost while they complete a project. They can work without distraction or interruption. The colony in Eureka Springs is trying to expand into another house to provide five more suites, and also has a culinary suite, unique in the U.S. If you’re writing a cookbook, this is the place you want to be. I find it incredible that I’d never been to this beautiful town, and I hope all of you find time to pay a visit. Not during “Bikes, Blues, and BBQ” weekend, though . . . this event, anchored in nearby Fayetteville, spills over into Eureka Springs, and the sound of all those motorcycles, day and night, rid me of any desire I’d ever had to ride one.
This weekend also started with personal travels, and is ending at home with a quiet Sunday. We all need weekends like that, from time to time. I came home to find BFF Paula has been working hard to get the office ready for another book sale. That means there are stacks of books all over the floor. Time to do some early Christmas shopping, if you’re so inclined. I’m sure she’ll be posting about that soon. We’d simply run out of closet space. And that’s a big closet.
The problem is that my generous publishers send me many copies of each edition of the books. And since my books appear in so many formats (thanks, everyone), that’s a lot of shelf space. I was delighted to see my new edition of the Sookie books by Orion; the covers are fabulous. It’s like a Sookie rainbow, when they’re all together.
As long as I’m covering odds and ends, let me just insert a fact here. I love the TV show “True Blood.” I don’t write it. So all the complaints about the way the plot lines are different from my books, about the physical differences between Anna Paquin and Sookie Stackhouse, about the direction and future of the show . . . they’re lost on me, and a waste of time to express to me, because I don’t have anything to do with the writing of the show or its casting. While I appreciate reader involvement in both entertainment experiences, I can only affect issues regarding the books.
I’m not trying to be ungracious or rude, but realistic. If you have a beef with the way the show is plotted or cast, please send these observations to HBO or to Alan Ball. As I opened my office mail yesterday, I found myself wondering if Alan gets letters about how I write the books.
I think I’ll ask him.
© 2011 Charlaine Harris