Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
All of the above. Sometimes I will read a review that makes me HAVE to have a book. Sadly, more often than not, I don’t agree with the reviewer. But I am still a sucker. I do the same with recommendations. Once, my mother was at a craft fair and she happened to mention to some vendor that her daughter (me) liked Shakespeare. So the vendor said “Oh, if she likes that she should read this book! She’ll love it!” My mom told me and dutifully, I sought out the book. I looked everywhere for it, found it had gone out of print, haunted used bookstores and after a year or so, found the series by this particular author, who I am not mentioning by name because when I finally got the book…it had nothing to do with Shakespeare, or the Elizabethans, or anything really. It was a historical romance and it was…not quite what I was looking for. I’m trying to be polite here because I don’t know if I was just so annoyed by the fact that I bothered to track down this book or if it just wasn’t a good book. Still, it was a quest and I completed it. Now I have this set of books that I have only read the first of and I didn’t like it…and that’s not the only time I have done that either. I guess I just like to have a goal and an excuse to go to the bookstore.
And as far as browsing. I am a browser, but I always start with the authors I know and like and then I move out from there. I am attracted to certain styles of book covers and certain fonts and man has that burned me in the past but if you never try something new…you never waste your time.
Lewis or Tolkien?
Argh. Probably neither. I’d like to say Lewis but that would be a…mistruth. I liked them when I was a kid and I still love The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe but I seem to remember getting bored along the way. And Tolkein…well I like The Hobbit a lot but my god! The rest of the books…stop with all the singing!!! I guess for me, both series start really strong but as they get further into the world building, I get a little tired of it all. I have never read any of Lewis’ non-Narnia books but I would like to. I think they both were interesting people and had amazing minds but perhaps, for me, their minds tend to wander a little too far from what originally made them interesting to me.
Does that make sense?
Hard SF or Space Opera?
Probably more space opera. But you knew I like opera anyway. Or how about some Space Oprah? I’d pay for that.
I don’t know if I have ever really read any really hard sf. I guess I would be interested but I don’t really have a background for it. I like steam punk a lot though and, in a sense, that’s hard sf gone old fashioned. Well, if it is done right, anyway. And I like the idea that something is real and possible, like in Snow Crash, which is kind of the precursor to Second Life. Or the kind of cyberpunk stuff that I have read, where it feels like we are only days away from plugging our brains into the internet. So maybe I really like hard sf. Hmmm…
Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Neither. I occasionally buy them but I almost never finish them. I get distracted by the one inevitable bad story and get disgusted with the whole thing. Oh this one time (not at bandcamp) I was reading this anthology of splatterpunk stories. OK, first, I can not defend my reading of such stuff. It was there I was curious, which I know is the kind of sentence that gets people in trouble, but somewhere in the middle of this book I became so grossed out by one of the stories that I had to do something that I had never done before. I threw the book away. I didn’t give it away, I didn’t leave it somewhere, I actually put it in the garbage and walked away. If you know me at all you know that this is something I don’t do. But I did. So that pretty much ended my experiments with both splatterpunk and anthologies.
Hugo or Nebula?
I strongly suspect I have read more Hugo than Nebula but I don’t actually know and I am too lazy to look it up. But I am quite sure that China has one a few Hugo’s so...I say Hugo. Besides, Hugo just sounds cooler.
(Hunh, I have just looked up both Hugo and Nebula award winners and I think I have read an equal amount of both, but China, although nominated many times, has not won either.)
Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
I like my sci-fi like I like my music…NEW WAVE!
Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Oh, tidy-ish. Not too tidy but cliffhangers annoy me because what if I didn’t really like the book? You’re not going to lure me into a second purchase just because you can’t wrap up a story.
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Night time reading?
I wish it was anytime reading but it’s usually night time. When himself has gone to sleep and it’s quiet. I’ve been making a big effort to wear my glasses more and I think that is helping a lot. My eyes get pretty tired by the end of the day but my brain still wants to read.
Standalone or Series?
Eh, doesn’t really matter to me. (Obviously I am getting bored with these questions…It was so much fun at first!)
Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
Good lord how I dislike high fantasy! I SHOULD like it, but I just don’t. I like fairies and all that crap but man, it bores me. So there!
New or used?
Both. Depends on how freaky obsessive I get about a particular book.
So, if I am getting bored, then I guess you are too so here, do me a favor, and it doesn’t have to be about sci-fi…answer these last few questions. I am always looking for new things to read and I love to get recommendations, even if I end up hating the book. Let genre=whatever genre you like, sci-fi, romance, self-help…whatever, and give me some advice…all three of you…
(And just to be fair, the words in the parenthesis are some of my faves)
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
(The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri)
Favorite genre books read last year (in no particular order)?
(I really don’t want to go into how I didn’t read that many books last year again, but OH! I did read The Scar by China Mieville…damn he gets a lot of love around here!)
Favorite genre books of all time (in no particular order)?
(The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)
Favorite genre series (in no particular order)?
(Well duh, gotta be Harry Potter…AND the Discworld series AND The Hitchhiker series…AND…)