Mixing it up, colour-wise.

The stuff I tend to read has certain common qualities, and that’s fine. (I occasionally make deliberate efforts to mix it up, which I suspect helps. Although I do continue to bemoan the lack of an anti-recommendation button on any sites I frequent–you know, “absolutely no-one who has read the stuff you read has also read this popular book” or something.)

The stuff I read also has a certain common look, which occasionally perplexes me. I mean, if you look at my Goodreads widget, down in the lower right-hand corner (which I have for the moment switched from “currently reading” to “read”), there’s a bit of visual sameness. Black, red, and grey or blue-grey, mostly, with the occasional touches of yellow (hi, Elmore Leonard) or sickly green (either Scottish crime or Cthulhu). Killshot and Joyland are the brightest things I’ve finished lately, and they’re both pitched in a very classic-pulp-pop-crime style. (Joyland isn’t that at all – I would call it literary adventure ghost story if I had to call it something – but that’s not what the cover says.)

In the absence of a particular craving, am sorely tempted to determine the next book I pick up out of the ones I have on hand by colour of cover. Something bright or cheerful or at least atypical. (Possibilities include the nigh-solid lilac of Provender Gleed[1], the cheerfully bright green of The Manual of Detection, or the Northern Lights-evoking blue-and-purple-and-white of Tales from Earthsea.)

Do you read in patterns? How do you break out of them?

[1] By James Lovegrove; at this point, I feel compelled to once again mention that his novel Days is a brilliant work, absolutely worth reading.

Dear Boss…

I got my copy of Tales of Jack the Ripper today. I stopped by the mailbox on my way out to grab a fluffy coffee, and there was a giant padded envelope in it, and I was gleeful (what with recognizing the return address, and knowing what it was).  So I took it along with me, thinking I would sit down with it over the aforementioned fluffy coffee[1] and read a little.

I ordered my coffee, and opened up the envelope, and discovered there was a small lump in it, in addition to the book.  I was standing up against the serving counter to stay out of people’s way, so rather than step back to have room to peer down into the envelope, I just reached in and pulled it out.

I kind of wish I’d had a camera to catch the look on my own face. Continue reading “Dear Boss…”