The past few months have been a bit of a bummer in the work place. Our shop’s suffered two losses recently: a former co-worker, who retired two years ago, died of cancer before Christmas, and a loyal customer who’d become a quirky fixture of the shop also passed away four days ago of a heart attack. Herbert, my co-worker, was the sweetest, gentlest person I’ve ever known, and he inspired me to create Ernie George the Fourth, Henning’s sage guardian and mentor (current WIP). Earl was a real hoot, who’d sometimes bring a box of sandwiches for the staff or even leave a twenty-dollar tip for us to use for coffee or other treats. Herbert and Earl will be sorely, sorely missed. I bonded with Herbert for those seven or eight years I worked with him, and I still get all misty-eyed when I think back to the old days.
So I’ve been in a weird head space for a while, with other daily stressors really not helping me a bit.
I decided to dip my foot again in the gay historical romance market and recently purchased and read five books, which I enjoyed, though my heart will always be with alternate universe fiction (historical or contemporary – magic realism will always make me a very happy reader). Those books have helped me get out of this weird head space – or at least have drawn me away a number of steps, and I’m looking forward to shifting my attention back to my favorite genre. I’ve already bought a few titles, which I look forward to diving into.
Incidentally, as a bit of a break from my usual reading, I’m currently plowing through The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, which is historical fiction that I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend. The book won the National Book Award last year, and while I normally ignore large, mainstream lit awards because they never touch on stuff I like, last year’s award snagged my attention like whoa because not only is the book a historical novel, it’s also a comedy. And I never expected to be laughing my butt off reading a book about slavery. It’s been compared to Mark Twain’s work, but it’s more light-hearted than Twain’s satire, which is a lot more caustic and angry.
Since I’m still reading it, I really can’t post a full review, but you can easily Google critics’ reviews of McBride’s book and get an idea what it’s all about.
Also, my friend, Lindsay, who turned me on to the Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan Howard, just gave me a heads up on the next book in the series, which makes me very, very happy. Called The Brothers Cabal, it won’t be out till September, and here’s the blurb via Amazon:
Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.
As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.
Horst is back, people. Horst. I love the world. It’s a beautiful place. Hell, I might even be willing to pay an arm and a leg for the hardcover. Now it’s all a matter of seeing whether or not Howard’s fourth book echoes the first in tone and wit.