Surviving NaNoWriMo – Reading

I have had some difficult years making it through November in tact. Especially due to reading. Like the year an ARC of My Life as a White Trash Zombie mysteriously showed up in my mailbox. During the first week of November. I hold this as proof that evil does truly exist in the world. Somewhere around Louisiana. But there is hope (at least for me) and it comes in two forms.

Time Management

If you plan for 1667 words every day and get up early to do it, you can skip watching television or whatever else you do at night to read a chapter or two. Depending on how wound up I am, this number may increase for the night.

Audiobooks

In his book On Writing, Stephen King makes the claim that audiobooks are reading. They are what allow him to hit 75 or so novels a year. He also sites the benefit of being able to “read” an audiobook while doing things that would be otherwise dangerous while reading. Like lion taming. NASCAR driving. Juggling knives and burning torches. You get the idea.

Additionally, with my wife having a long commute every day, one of our luxuries is an Audible account. Originally it was so that we could collect up the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Since we were up to date on them, it has lead to getting books I want my wife to read, or simply getting ones I want to read but don’t have time to read. Although the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne are practically on auto-purchase at this point.

The Audible Gambit

From this point on, it is me discussing why I love Audible and touting the deals they have this week. Partially it is due to my level of happiness over being able to “read” while doing daily activities, thus optimizing my time. But more so it has to do with some of the titles that are on sale. On sale, and I would suggest to any with similar interests in genre fiction.

Shocktober had four weeks, each week a different theme. You can get any of these for $6.95 through the month of October. I’ll hit them by week, but I don’t think anyone will be surprised by my favorites. 😉

Week 1 – Vampires

I think I might be a little burned out on vampires. Especially paranormal romance vamps. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll read a good one, and there are a couple of authors in this list of their that I would consider, but only a single title really made my trigger finger itch for this week.

Blood Sucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore. Nothing more really needs to be said there, does it?

Week 2 – Zombies

Anyone shocked by the amount of titles drawing my notice here has not been paying attention in this blog. Seriously. It’s in the URL you hit to get here. I’ll get through these as quickly as possible, condensing ones in a series…

My Life as a White Trash Zombie and Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland. By far one of my favorite authors, this series is solid. Not your typical zombies, it makes for a fun look at the genre. Also one of the best lunch time conversations ever has a cameo in book 2. Seriously, the whole thing started with, “The funniest autopsy I ever saw was…”

Married with Zombies, Flip this Zombie and Eat Slay Love by Jesse Petersen. Though I’ve only listened to the first one, it was an excellent look at zombies as a form of marital counseling. I’m sure the others will be just as darkly humorous, and the narrator is easy to listen to. Not in my top picks, but definitely not in the bottom. (Yes, I’ve been watching too much Face Off on the SyFy Channel.)

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry. I cannot stress enough how much I love this book. It is a bit A-Team meets the Unit meets X Files. With zombies. Further books in this series aren’t all zombies, but it is a strong series. Well worth it. Narration is strong in this series as well. For me that is nearly as important as the writing.

Greywalker series by Kat Richardson. Excellent series. Not sure on the narrator as I have the print copies so far. Definitely something I would purchase to check the narrator on it. Being on sale makes it even better.

Allison Hewitt is Trapped and Sadie Walker is Stranded by Madeleine Roux. The first book takes place in Madison. The familiarity of it made it easy for me to jump into it and immerse like Leo DiCaprio at the end of Titanic. It will be interesting to see how the narration is on this series. She also gets the “local author bump” from me, driving it to the top of my list.

Week 3 – Werewolves

Don’t get me wrong, I love exploring the feral side of man. There was a wolf-boy show that was one of my favorites as a kid. At the same time, shifters don’t make me howl like some. Even when authors I like are writing them.

I have heard good things about Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld series (I even listened to one from the library). Same goes for Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series (I’ve actually read one of these). But at the same time, there’s not enough of a siren song to them to draw me from my favorites. Not even Frostbite and Overwinter by David Wellington can make me pull the trigger. Although it is odd his werewolf books are represented but not his zombie series. I suppose that was a decision by the publisher not to make audio format copies of that series.

Week 4 – Ghosts

I haven’t discussed it much, but I am considering ghosts in this next book (thus in this next NaNo), so I’m keyed into the ghost stories right now. Less Ghost Hunters and more Paranormal Witness. I like the narrative more than the, “what was that over there” element of Ghost Hunters.

That said, What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie looks like an interesting series. Though I have been looking at Ghoul by Brian Keene for a while now. Zombies brought me to him, but with a movie production in place for this book, I’m in. (Or was it a television series?) The Ghostfinders series by Simon R. Green looks interesting. I’ve heard good things about him, but the final call will be a question of how many are deal-breakers in this list. (Have you noticed how long it has gotten? I have.)

Speaking of deal-breakers, this series has to be on the list. It will be on my iPod. The Downside series by Stacia Kane. The narrator will really make or break this series in audio, but the books alone are worth the look. By far, another of my favorite series. Favorite authors too, for that matter.

Rounding out the list was one I was pleasantly surprised to find in their stacks for the sale. Joplin’s Ghost by Tananarive Due. I haven’t heard much about this book, or the narrator, but after picking up a couple of her books this year, I am very interested in it. She was half of the husband and wife team that wrote Devil’s Wake, the YA zombie book I reviewed for Wicked Lil Pixie’s site.

The Summary

This sale will go a long ways towards not only keeping my wife in books for her drive, but also keeping me reading through November. At least reading during odd times and I can fit it in. I’ll still likely be reading my Nook or a print book a night before bed. Of course I’ll be doing that while my wife plays an audiobook from her alarm clock/iPod before bed, but that’s another story.

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