What I’ve Been Reading: One kind of book I especially love is the genre of FREE. As in, no cost.
Yes, I’m constantly on the lookout for a great deal for new books. Scanning facebook for “today only on Amazon. ” Looking forward to the first of every month when I get a “Kindle First” email and get to choose a pre-release novel with the price tag of $.00.
For instance, for my October selection I’m reading a book called Wake in Winter. I chose it because it is written by a Moscovite, Nadeszhda Belenkaya, and translated by American Andrea Gregovich. (Who did a great job, by the way). Additionally, the plot line interested me–and it rang of what I look for in stories: authenticity . And it takes place in Russia. So I was hoping to glean some validation of the setting descriptions in my novel that is set there.
Anyway, the main character, Nina, is a Russian/Spanish translator who gets involved with a perhaps-not-so-legal adoption ring in a small town a few hours from Moscow. The story exposes the corruption in the “system” and the cavalier ways young lives are divvied up to hopeful parents. Nina is caught between wanting to help the children, who need an advocate, and knowing the longer she stays involved, the more at risk she becomes. Possibly jeopardizing her future.
Some reviewers see the story as “dark.” But I understand that regardless of where one lives, these sinister elements under gird us (“we wrestle not against flesh and blood …”). In Russia, the evidence is just more evident. This I have learned in my travels there. But as far as authenticity goes, this story has it.
On the lighter side (wink wink)
I’m also reading James Scott Bell’s latest offering called: Some People are Dead: Part Essay, Part Memoir, Parts Unknown. (Is that the weirdest title, or what?) Nevertheless, the book is hugely entertaining, as are all of his books and stories.
Bell’s has borrowed a motif from the late William Saroyan’s Obituaries. In this book, and in Bell’s, each new entry starts off with the facts of someone’s death. It could be a well-known figure or someone totally obscure. But from that information, Bell creates personal essays and commentaries on issues and topics important to him. Such as film, actors, legal stuff, sports, Los Angeles, and writing. Sometimes it’s not a person who died. Like the entry: “Ray Bradbury’s home died. It was 84 years old.” Which then somehow segues into the Woodland Hills library branch, “his (Bell’s) library,” and managing to be the first one to check out a book after it reopened.
Well, anyway, it’s a fun read and you can’t go wrong with Jim Bell. He has a quick wit, an amazing ability for recall, and a writing style that brings a smile. And I love his randomness. And that this book was free on Kindle (at least it was the day I got it.)
So, here’s my advice for anyone out there who likes free books. Find your favorite author’s facebook pages (their Author pages) and “like” the page. You will find out about freebies there. And take advantage of the Kindle First opportunity. You never know when you’ll discover a wonderful read.