Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here, admitting that I’m a book junkie. I have hundreds of keeper novels on my shelves. I have even more titles on my iPad, some in the Kindle and Nook apps and others as iBooks. A whole heck of a lot of those are unread, especially the free ebooks I’ve picked up in Kindle format when offers came to my attention. Does that stop me from buying more books? Of course not.
New books are released every Tuesday. Some non-New York presses, like Severn House and Poisoned Pen Press, release new titles on other days of the week. A quick check of my expenses for this year suggests that I download at least eight books a month. They aren’t all new ones. When I discover a new-to-me author I really like I am likely to go in and download his or her backlist titles. I also tend, since I can read more easily on my iPad (where I can enlarge the font), to download books I want to reread even if I already own them in paperback (with teeny-tiny print).
In short, I have more books than I have time to read. As one of my favorite sweatshirt slogans puts it: So Many Books/So Little Time.
This month, after finishing the new Janet Evanovich, Turbo Twenty-Three, and seeking something entertaining and totally removed from the real world, I decided to raid my keeper shelves and reread Charlaine Harris’s first Sookie Stackhouse paranormal mystery, Dead Until Dark. This may have been a mistake. I’d forgotten how much I like these characters. There are thirteen novels in all. As I write this, I’m up to number seven.
You’d think, since my reading is set for the next little while, that I’d stop acquiring more books. Nope. It doesn’t work that way. What if I decided I needed a change of pace? What if nothing on the shelves or on the iPad suited my mood of the moment? Nothing to read? Horrors! I might have to . . . well, I don’t know what I’d do. I ALWAYS have to have a book (or two or three) in progress.
So what, you ask, is on top (as in most recently acquired) of my to-be-read pile? From the romantic suspense genre, there’s Jayne Ann Krentz’s When All The Girls Have Gone. In cozy mystery, it’s the first in a new series from Molly MacRae, Plaid and Plagiarism. Then there’s the historical mystery Renting Silence by Mary Miley, set in the Roaring Twenties. I loved the earlier entries in this series, especially The Impersonator. Also in the historical vein, Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver and the Reek of Red Herrings came out yesterday
That should have been plenty to tide me over until next batch of new releases but here’s the other thing that keeps my TBR pile from shrinking: I have too darned many friends who write really good books. There are newish titles out from several fellow Maine Crime Writers (most of which I have, in fact, already read) and just as I was about to start work on this blog, along came a newsletter from James L. Nelson, expert on pirates, seafaring, Vikings, and other interesting historical stuff, announcing he has a new novel, this one quite a departure for him—a contemporary thriller—so of course I had to download a copy of Full Fathom Five.
Just for the record, I’ve already read over 225 novels in 2016. I read fast. I read in any spare moment. And I’ll still never catch up on all the books I want to read.
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett is the author of over fifty books written under several names. She won the Agatha Award for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category for “The Blessing Witch.” Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (Kilt at the Highland Games) as Kaitlyn and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries (Murder in a Cornish Alehouse ~ UK in December 2016; US in April 2017) as Kathy. The latter series is a spin-off from her earlier “Face Down” series and is set in Elizabethan England. Her websites are www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com