Monday, August 22, 2016

Spoiling Other Books

I finished Louise Penny's A Great Reckoning yesterday. When I read Louise's new book, I always block off a day to sit down and absorb it, to sink into the atmosphere. And, I don't review it for a few days so I have time to think about it. Louise Penny's Gamache books are the only ones that I handle this way. Then, the next book or so are spoiled for me. In fact, I texted my sister.

I said, "The best book of my year is over. I might as well give up books and go to New Orleans and Chicago and Ireland and New York." Linda said she can't read Louise's books when it's hot and sunny. "She needs dark and cold." My response was, "This is a book that starts with November's first snowfall, and goes into a winter of the soul."

I've loved Louise's books since Still Life. I'm not always this crazy about them. There were several in the series that didn't excite me. But, A Great Reckoning isn't one of those.

I'll review it later, but it's a review I have to write carefully so I don't give away spoilers. I never read reviews of Penny's work until I've read the book, and already tonight I saw a summary that gave away too much. I'll be careful so I don't spoil it for anyone.

In the meantime, do you have an author who spoils other books for you? Who do you read, and then close the book, knowing you have to wait another year?


12 comments:

Deb said...

I really enjoy Cynthia Harrod-Eagles's Inspector Bill Slider mysteries: they're not profound books--at least in the way I think of Penny's work as deep and, it must be said, rather dark--but I love to see the way the characters grow and interact over the years (I think the series is over 20 years old by now). I always end a Bill Slider book with a bit of melancholy: I know it's going to be a while before a new one will show up. I have the same feeling about Susan Hill's Inspector Simon Serailler mysteries (although those are a good deal darker than the Sliders; Hill has shown no compunction about killing off quite major characters over the course of the series).

It's a bit of a quandary when you know you've read the best book you're going to read all year. A few years ago, I finished Don Chaon's AWAIT YOUR REPLY on January 1. I knew I wouldn't read a "better" book all year--and I was right. This year, I finished Michel Faber's THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS on January 2. I had the same feeling: I'm not going to read a better book all year. And yet, that never stops us, does it? We keep reading because every book has something to offer and, who knows?, another "best of the year" might show up in November!

Lesa said...

Deb, Thank you! You're right. It doesn't stop us. We're always searching for the next great book. It's out there someplace. I'm pleased to see someone feels the same way about series, and about continuing to search for the next book. You've had a couple rough Januarys, though, reading the best book at the beginning of the year.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I like Chaon too, Deb, but I missed that one. Will have to read it, but my library pile is now so large I've had to make a second pile. And let's not even start on my own books, and the 300+ on the Kindle.

I'm five books behind on Slider, so I don't have to worry about waiting for the next one.

The last book I read where I felt, "Wow, this was great. It'll be tough to follow that" was a surprise to me, James Sallis's short but excellent OTHERS OF MY KIND. But I didn't have a problem reading two books the next day.

Richard Robinson said...

Though I suspect I'm not as fast a reader as you, I do the same thing with Louise Penny. For me, she is a drop-everything-and-read-the-book author. I've almost read the series twice through and I'm still affected that way. I find that with time some of the books I didn't like quite as well improve in my mind. I can barely wait for this new one, and won't read a review until I've finished it. Plus she's a wonderful person, as is her husband, I've met them both at Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime conventions.

I should have the new book in hand in just 8 days.

Lesa said...

You're right, Richard. She and Michael are wonderful people. And, when I read about Gamache, I picture Michael's smile. You're right not to read a review. I don't either. Although I had a copy for a while, I didn't have a weekend to give to Louise's book. I waited for the perfect time.

Margie Bunting said...

In the mystery genre, I always look forward to the next David Rosenfelt Andy Carpenter novel--Mike and I share those. He has a formula that never gets old for us. Of course, I'm looking forward to Louise Penny's new Gamache novel, which I have on hold at the library. There are dozens of others who always seem to come out with surefire winners, including Terry Shames, Brad Parks, Bruce DeSilva, Lisa Scottoline, Steve Hockensmith, Michael Connelly, and Catriona McPherson. Favorite cozy authors include Cleo Coyle, John Clement, Laura Morrigan, Victoria Abbott, Ellery Adams, and EJ Copperman (the Asperger's mysteries). Among non-mystery novels, I highly anticipate each new offering by Jojo Moyes, Fannie Flagg, Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Elinor Lipman, and Marian Keyes. I'm sure I am forgetting many, but all of these authors have had multiple offerings over the years.

Reine said...

Except for Louise's first book, Still Life, I have never missed a pre-order in any of the rest.

Last night I read a review of a different book coming out soon and was shocked that the reviewer gave away the endings. There was a spoiler alert that I didn't see. She gave as explanation that she had to tell all, because she was comparing the book to the film. I was shocked.

Lesa said...

So many books and authors, so little time, Marjorie. I have so many authors I read faithfully. But Louise's books are the only ones I set aside time for.

Lesa said...

Reine, I'm sorry you missed the spoiler alert in that review. It's why I seldom read reviews when I know I want to read the book. I've had books spoiled by reviews. I won't do that with Louise's books, if I can help it, and I won't do it with the book I'm going to review now, the Harry Potter one.

Jacqueline Fiedler said...

I'm a little behind on Louise Penny's Books. But to date my favorite by far of the ones I've read was the "Beautiful Mystery." Loved the setting and everything about it! I'm not as thrilled with the ones centering on Clara. Perhaps because I'm an artist myself, those seem not to ring true to me. (To be fair, I am over-critical about novels featuring artists and find myself looking for errors.) You give this latest a ringing endorsement, so I know I will have it to look forward to. Love old maps and clues they may provide.

Lesa said...

Clara's in this one, Jacqueline, but she isn't the focal point. She's just one of the other residents of Three Pines.

Susan C Shea said...

I"m eagerly waiting for your review of Louise Penny's new book after your teaser! I keep checking and, no, not today, no, not today...! I do get the RSS feed so I won't miss it. your reviews are always worth waiting for, Lesa, balanced, thoughtful, and encouraging to writers AND readers.