Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Books!

I've been trying to read more for fun lately, and a bit less for research or because I feel like I should read certain books. I recommend it. It's fun.

In honor of the upcoming baseball season, I got the Maple Street Press 2010 Mariners Annual, a series of articles for the diehard Mariners fan, mostly written by leading lights of the M's blogosphere. Lots of good stuff for the baseball geek, but I think my favorite piece was Derek Zumsteg's article about Ichiro, "The Man Who Will Not Slow Down." (Basically, Ichiro is 36, but he doesn't play like it.) Among other things, he compares Ichiro's stats to those of 1909's leading players, and said that if Ichiro had played in the dead ball era, he and Ty Cobb "would have been rivals until the point Cobb's racist head exploded with frustration." I like that image.

Proof By Seduction (Courtney Milan, 2010) is an extremely promising debut historical romance. It's not a perfect book, but it's fun and well-written, and between it and Rose Lerner's In For a Penny, I'm feeling more optimistic about the state of the historical romance than I have in a long time. I don't like its cover, not at all. I do, however, enjoy Milan's sense of humor about it. For the record, I'm not against sexy covers, I just like them tasteful enough that I don't have to worry about how I'd explain them to my daughter or feel self-conscious about having them in my blog sidebar. I'd be totally happy, f'rex, if/when I'm published, to have a cover something Jacqueline Carey's upcoming release.

Just this evening I finished A Fountain Filled With Blood (Julia Spencer-Fleming, 2004), second in the mystery series featuring Episcopal priest Clare Ferguson and small-town police chief Russ Van Alstyne. This outing takes place about six months after the first book and shows our characters continuing to fight their feelings for each other while battling a possible string of hate crimes.