I got kind of a slow start (that is to say, I read absolutely nothing on Friday), but yesterday, I got a few things read:
First, I read Meg Cabot’s The Boy Next Door, a cute, fluffy piece written entirely in e-mails. Meg Cabot is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I really, really liked this one. While I read, I kept comparing it to Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells series, but I kept telling myself that I just can’t do that; the two are completely unrelated. The e-mail format was, while distracting at first, rather interesting. After I got used to the format, the book flowed pretty well. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
New York City gossip columnist Melissa Fuller is known for being obsessive about Winona Ryder, dating the wrong men and being tardy for work. Arriving particularly late one morning, she explains to her colleagues at the New York Journal that she was detained by the attempted murder of her elderly next-door neighbor, Mrs. Friedlander, who is in a coma. Always the good girl, Mel has volunteered to take care of Mrs. Friedlander’s many pets until the neighbor’s nephew Max, a famous fashion photographer, can be reached. Her co-workers warn her about Max, a notorious lady’s man. Contrary to the gossip, when she meets Max he is down to earth, funny and kind. Despite the strange fact that he likes to be called John and appears to be between photo shoots, she begins to date him and learns that he shares her love for Stephen King novels and natural disasters. It doesn’t take long for her to fall head over heels, or for Mel’s mom to write, “Get a ring on your finger before you uncross those legs, sweetie.” When a mysterious e-mail arrives explaining that there is more to her beau than meets the eye, she is duly upset and uses the power of her pen to get even. But when Mrs. Friedlander’s attacker returns, will Mel and Max be able to put their differences aside to catch a killer? Full of clever e-mail banter and tongue-in-cheek humor, this cheeky novel should be enjoyed in one sitting. (amazon.com)
The next one I read was Blockade Billy, a novella released earlier this year by Stephen King. There aren’t many books Mr. King writes that don’t deal in some way with horror, or something of the like. This one is one of the exceptions. Don’t get me wrong; it has its moments of “Oh no!” but it isn’t an all-out horror-fest. It really is about baseball, or at least a month of a season. The narration is brilliant, too. It’s told from the point of view of the equipment manager of the New Jersey Titans, a fictional baseball team (the only New Jersey Titans I can find is a reference to a women’s football team), and set in the 1950’s.
Even the most die-hard baseball fans don’t know the true story of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first — and only — player to have his existance completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game’s history.
Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse… and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all. (dustjacket cover)
I was so excited about this book, when I saw it on the shelves at my library I had to pick it up. It’s barely over one hundred pages long, but it was so beautifully written I read it in less than half an hour. Each section flows right into the next. There’s a little bit of baseball jargon (the phrase “caught him looking” came up, and I think if I hadn’t known what it meant, I would have been stuck trying to figure it out), but otherwise it’s such a smooth read.
The next book I’m picking up is Vampirates: Empire of Night, book five in Justin Somper’s series. I don’t want to spoil too much, since it is the fifth book, but I feel safe at least putting the synopsis from the dust jacket here:
After shocking secrets behind their family’s history are uncovered, twins Conner and Grace begin to question everything they’ve ever known about life at sea and, more important, every allegiance they’ve ever made.
Meanwhile, the ruthless Sidorio, determined to stake his claim on the dark waters, continues to expand his empire of renegade Vampirates. In an attempt to thwart his efforts, the Pirate Federation and the once-neutral Nocturnal Vampirates make plans to destroy every rebel Vampirate ship in sight.
There’s a bloody battle brewing on the seas, and one thing is tragically clear: No ship is safe…
I started this series last year sometime, when I picked up book one at the library. Soon after, I discovered not only book 2, but also books three and four on the shelves. I grabbed them and read them, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting book five ever since. I put my name on the wait list for it, I was so excited.
I wish I had been able to read more than just these three books; unfortunately, time got away from me on Friday, but yesterday was a good day for reading. Today, with any luck, will be, too. So now I’m off to read more of Vampirates, and enjoy some hot chocolate. It’s windy here in the Vegas Valley today!
(Also, I didn’t get a chance to participate in any of the mini-challenges. Oh well! Maybe next year!)