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Transplanted to Miami, FL, from Iowa City, IA. Trying to find a balance between reading, knitting, playing mom taxi, and enjoying the sun and sand in Miami.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is A Book Like a Hot Tub or an Air Conditioned Room?

I recently read the book Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy. The book was a little bit painful to get through, but ultimately the story won me over. At least, it won me over enough to finish it. I am even interested in reading the next book. I just hope the editing is better and the main character is a little less whiny and annoying.

The point in talking about Ever Shade, is that when I finished it I felt like I needed to read something I knew would be good. Do you ever find yourself doing that? You read a book that wasn't good, or was just ok. Or maybe you even read a book that is written well, but challenging or depressing or what have you.

I think sometimes what I read next is just as important as what I am currently reading. After Ever Shade, I decided I to read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. After just a few sentences, I felt this sense of relief. Like being hot and sticky and sweaty and walking into a nicely air-conditioned room, or easing aching muscles into a hot tub. It was almost a physical sensation of peace and relaxation.

There are a few authors that are go-to authors for me. One is Phil Rickman, I still have a few books left to read in his Merrily Watkins series, and there are other books he's written that aren't part of a series. Another author I have started to use as a go-to is Rhys Bowen, she writes the Royal Spyness mysteries, Molly Murphy mystery series, and Constable Evans mystery series. I have read all the Royal Spyness to date and am working my way through Molly Murphy. Neil Gaiman is another go-to author for me, now that I have finally started reading his books, I still have several more of his that I have not yet read. Christopher Moore is yet another author who always writes well and I have enjoyed everything of his I've read, and there is still more that I haven't read.

My go-to authors aren't only used to recover from badly written books. I also pick up a book by one of these authors when I have read something which was particularly good and well written. If I read something that is really sticking with me, it can make it hard to choose what to read next. You don't want to go from reading something really great to reading something that is potentially terrible. Which is why I again reach for something written by one of the authors above.

Who are your go-to authors? Have you ever felt like reading the first few well-crafted sentences of a book are like soaking your aching brain muscles in a hot tub? Do you prefer to re-read a favorite book rather than something new by a favorite author?