Books As Frigates

Pink Think: “There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.” – Emily Dickinson

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Like a starved person, I have been devouring books lately. I read four books in as many days and wildly different genres this past week, late at night, until wee hours of morn. They were:

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor (did not finish)
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
City of Ships by Mary Hoffman (still reading it)

What I discovered:

1. I love me a good exciting thriller. I used to read Tess Gerritsen a lot until I just felt too much though like I am in the head of a psycho. Too evil. Too depressing. So I had to stop. I felt the same way eventually about Stephen King’s novels. But I love the breathless suspense!!

2. Robert Ludlum was brilliant. If he had never lived in any of those countries in his books, he was a convincing liar. If he did live in all of them, I envy is primary research. I must say though, that after the nth killing, the violence made me feel sick.

3. I loved Killer Pizza’s premise (a monster-busting company using a pizza joint as a front), but I did not fall in love with the characters enough. And didn’t get scared enough by the stalking monsters to care. I did love the book’s packaging. Would have been extra fun if it came with scratch n sniff pizza sticker.

4. I cried after I read Shiver. It was lyrical, poetic, suspenseful, romantic and amazing. But as much as I loved this book, I feel like I cannot recommend it to my 15 year old daughter. Call me a prude, but I didn’t like how the main protagonist’s choice SPOILER ALERT to have premarital sex (kudos to the author for not getting explicit) seemed too easy, like she woke up one day just knowing how to deal with being sexually active. I’ve thought about prefacing my recommendation of the book to my daughter, but I haven’t figured out how to yet, so meanwhile, I’m not recommending it. END SPOILER ALERT. The character I loved to hate: Isabel. She had me laughing like crazy and reciting her exchanges in the book to my befuddled (as in “I don’t get why you think this is so funny”) and patient husband.

5. I want to go to Spain and soak it up. I want to write historical novels like Mary Hoffman (who sets hers in lush Italy). I want characters who are beautiful but flawed, wearing court clothes and sporting royal titles.

6. I don’t know where I’m going from here with my fiction, but ultimately, I want to write books that will make me stay up until three in the morning and shut them with a sigh because they are over.

Have YOU read any great books lately?