Tuesday I was stuck at the courthouse all day, waiting to see if I would serve on a jury. To insulate myself from boredom and also humans, I took a couple books. Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, to practice my Spanish, the Da Vinci Code because I’ve been meaning to see just how Dan Brown hooks a reader, and Storm Front by Jim Butcher because I’ve been meaning to read it forever.
Waiting was noisy and tedious, two things that make concentration hard. So I brushed past the “good for me” books and went straight for the entertainment.
Boy was I entertained! Holy HADES, did I love Storm Front! Enough that I’ve already loaned it out, and turned the city of Tucson upside down and shaken to lay hands upon the second book.
Alas, it is nowhere to be found. The used bookstore has none. The library’s copies are all out or on hold. Barnes and Noble has every other book, but not Fool Moon.
In my desperation as I roamed library shelves, I kept turning to other urban fantasy books. You know the ones–gorgeous, scantily clad girl on the cover looking badass, and the back blurb talks about her stunning werewolf mate or her demon lover? Yeah, no. Not for me. (That whole alpha business isn’t even true, guys!)
It’s not that I hate romance (anymore) I told my friend. I just…want more. Want most, actually–unless I am in the middle of an extremely rare romance-kick, I want most of the book to NOT be about love. I have nothing against love or characters falling in it, but it’s not what I’m there for. My friend understood what I was trying to say. She said I wanted to avoid the squishy.
It hit me, though, when I realized I was looking for male author or male main character names, that I too have fallen victim to the cannibalistic llama narrative. I don’t like to read about women. Except…
My favorite character in the Wheel of Time series is probably Nynaeve. It’s Eilonwy in the Chronicles of Prydain. Éowyn is not my favorite in LOTR, but she probably would be if she were in it more. I do know my favorite scene in the trilogy is when she takes off her helmet on the Pelennor. Then there’s Honor Harrington, Karrin Murphy from the Dresden Files…I could most certainly go on.
Okay, so maybe I only like women as written by men?
Nope, that’s not it either. I love Cordelia Vorkosigan, and Ekaterin, and–well, there’s not a LMB female character I can think of who ISN’T well-written and awesome. Cavilo? Magnificent. I adore Amelia Peabody with all my soul. Anna Pigeon, Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, Hermione Granger, Molly Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Beka Cooper, Laura Ingalls, Bet Yeager, Lessa, Meg Murry, V.I. Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone, Agnes from Agnes and the Hitman–all women written by women and I LOVE THEM.
I love good books written by and about women! Who knew?
The problem is, I get tired. I get lazy. When I’m not familiar with an author, I judge by covers and back cover blurbs, knowing that they are not generally reliable. But what else do I have, when I’m standing there in the library?
So I went looking for a copy of Fool Moon online, and unsurprisingly landed on Amazon. Which had suggestions, if I like the Dresden Files.
Those books with the awful covers I don’t think I could stand to be seen in public with? Some of them sound pretty damned good.
So hit me. What books am I going to be sorry I missed just because some marketing whiz stuck an anatomically-impossible a-brisk-wind-could-blow-her-over-let-alone-a-vampire on the cover?