Sunday, May 9, 2010

April Reading Part 2

One of the reasons I read fewer books in April may have been the fact that I spent a fair amount of my reading time on samples of books. I meant to talk about some of these in my April reading post but did not since I was desperately trying to finish it before our Internet connection died yet again. And since I have added nothing to the leaning pile this week and am still struggling with the review I'm writing, I figured I may as well write it now.

Toward the beginning of April, I got an iPad so I've downloaded quite a few free samples to read from both iBooks and the Kindle app. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if I'm interested in a book from the amount of text provided since it can take a while to get into a book. But there were some I found sucked me in right away.

One that I would love to finish is Karin Lowachee's Warchild. Although I thought the latest book by her, The Gaslight Dogs, was somewhat good but not something I was crazy about, I still wanted to try the first book in her science fiction trilogy since those are the books by her I've always heard about. Warchild got me hooked immediately and seemed very well-written - when I get around to trying to read a full e-book, this will most likely be my first e-book purchase. It was easily the sample I read that impressed me the most.

Other samples that made me want to read the rest:

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Storm Front by Jim Butcher

I also read samples of Embers by Laura Bickle, Darkborn by Alison Sinclair and Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. There may be a few more that I'm forgetting about.

Do you ever read book samples? Have you read any of these books and if so do you think the beginning is indicative of the entire book? Or did some of these take longer to get really good?


orannia said...

When you say samples, do you mean excerpts? I read the excerpt/sample for Ginn Hale's The Lord of White Hell...can't wait for the whole book (but I'm waiting for the sequel so I can buy them together :)

And you have an iPad! Ohhhh! How are you finding it?

Kristen said...

Orannia - Yes, samples are excerpts. That's what they call them in the online bookstores since you can sample them for free before you purchase it. They have an excerpt of the beginning but it varies from book to book. Some are around 30 pages, others have been longer.

I still have The Lord of the White Hell on the TBR... I don't know how much longer I can wait! If not for the fact that I'm behind on reviews, I may have started it already - but I wanted to be able to remember it clearly when I go to write about it.

Oh, and if you pre-order both new Ginn Hale books from the publisher's website, there is a discount. It's 25% off if you order both together before June 15. I don't know if that's where you were planning to order from or not since shipping may be cheaper elsewhere, but it is a great deal if you were!

Everyone in my office was given an iPad at the beginning of April. We felt very lucky, especially since we thought we were getting reamed out but instead we got presents! It is fun - I love being able to read excerpts from books. And the Pandora Radio app and the Sundry Notes one. Plus it's just so easy to walk around with. It can't replace my laptop, though - some things on the Internet do not quite work (other than Flash - for instance, trying to write a post on Blogger doesn't work at all). And I can type much faster on my laptop so I'd prefer to write most blog posts that way anyway. It is definitely convenient, though.

Kitten said...

Summers at Castle Auburn is one of my favorite novels oddly enough. I highly recommend it.

Soon I Will Be Invincible and Storm Front are both fun, though I enjoyed the former a bit more since it had no sequels that killed the joy for me (unlike Storm Front).

Benjamin said...

I don't often read excerpts. Usually, I know if I want to buy a book and I might read the first chapter or the first couple pages if I'm not sure.

The iPad is one e-reader I'm keeping my eye on. The other is the Nook. I'm not planning to buy anytime soon as I'm waiting for the technology to get better and the prices to come down, but those two are at the top of the list.

Kristen said...

Kitten - Thanks for the recommendation. I did really like what I read of Summers at Castle Auburn and Archangel by Sharon Shinn was great! What didn't you like about the books after Storm Front?

Benjamin - I've never really been much of an excerpt reader, either. So I'm not sure why I've been so obsessed with downloading so many iPad samples and reading them. I think it's because I want to try reading a book on it but I also want to make sure it's something absorbing enough that I can stand reading it on a screen. I have been finding it much easier to read on that than on my laptop, which I could usually only stand for about 10 minutes. It's supposed to be harder on the eyes than some e-readers, but I haven't tried any others to compare being a fan of my paper books (even after moving them all and hearing about how I could start my own library).

Waiting for the technology to get better and the prices to come down is a smart idea.

orannia said...

I'll have a look at the publisher's website. They may not ship all the way down here, and if they do it may not be cheap, but that may be offset by the 25% off. I will investigate :)

OleAnders said...

Summers at Castle Auburn is very good and it is one of the few books I still reread semi-regularly. Very much recommended, but it may not continue entirely as you expect.

Storm Front is also good and the rest of the book, indeed the rest of the series, goes on much like this as far as I can recall. The Dresden files are actually a very rare beast: even if the books are very similar the actually get better as the series progresses.

Also if you like Shinn you may want to consider her 12 houses series.

Kristen said...

Orannia - I'm not sure if they would ship to you, either, but a deal like that is certainly worth some investigation!

OleAnders - Thanks for the Sharon Shinn recommendations. I have heard about the 12 Houses series and would like to read them after Summers at Castle Auburn and more of the Samaria books.

I just love it when each book in a series seems to get better and better. It seems to happen with a lot of series for me.

Memory said...

I haven't yet read it myself, but my mother recently gave me SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN because she enjoyed it so much. She seems to have pretty solid taste, so that's a good recommendation.

Kristen said...

Memory - A lot of people seem to really like that one. I'll definitely have to get a hold of it and read the rest at some point.