A Year in Books – 2014

Philip HarrisBooksLeave a Comment

Goodreads claims I read 84 books last year – including 3 of my own. I read 44 in 2013 so that’s pretty good. Lots of short stories in there, which accounts for the dramatic increase in the total number of books. There are also a lot more indie books. That wasn’t a conscious decision but I’ve been avoiding long books and indie books tend to be shorter than their traditional counterparts. One thing I did avoid as much as I could, was indie books that were blatantly part of a series. Not that I don’t like a good series, provided it’s executed well (the Lexy Cooper books are a good example of a well handled series). But I’ve seen too many indie authors sacrificing basic story telling in order to create a cliffhanger ending in the hope they can entice readers to buy the next book. I hit that at least once this year, and it was extremely unsatisfying. It’s a big part of the reason I’m skipping the rest of that particular series. I’ll probably take the plunge on a series or two this year but once bitten, twice shy. I also listened to a few audiobooks. I haven’t separated them out this year but I’m still enjoying Jim … Read More

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Philip HarrisBooks, ReviewsLeave a Comment

I took advantage of my pre-Blerch rest day to finish off Cherie Priest’s Maplecroft. Although I’ve been following Priest’s blog for some time, and have a couple of her books, I’ve never actually read any of them. Her steampunk series sounds very interesting, and I certainly like the idea of reading them but for some reason they’ve never climbed to the top of my to be read pile. The same can be said of most steampunk actually. Not sure why. But Maplecroft isn’t steampunk and I made a point of buying it as soon as it came out and, more importantly, putting on the top of my reading list. Here’s the description from Amazon. Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one…. The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny. But it is not far enough from … Read More