October 26th, 2002

Books

Birds of Prey by J.A. Jance

Birds of Prey coverSo this time it's back to the mass-market mystery thrillers. Although this isn't a mystery, it's a "novel of suspense." J.A. Jance goes back to the J.P. Beaumont series with Birds of Prey, a tale set on an Alaskan cruise. Only two notes I have about the book. First, Jance is definitely getting to be a better writer. Her first books, while fun, created characters as two dimensional beings. Her latest few make them into real people. Second, I am glad that all the coincidences in the novel were mostly that, coincidences. About the only problem with the book was that the bad guy is the only character in the book who doesn't seem to have anything to do with the murder on the ship. Because of this he sticks out like a sore thumb and I had a pretty inkling who it was well before the climax of the story. It was well-written enough though that I wasn't 100% certain and I half-expected a swerve at the end.

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Packing

The hardest thing about packing for a vacation is figuring out what reading material to bring. Especially if I have just finished a book, leaving myself with a clean slate. Can't bring too many, as I will have plenty of activity and not a large amount of time for reading. Can't bring too few as I need enough to cover the flights at least. Also I have to make sure I pick something I am not going to hate, because I cannot just put it down and go back to my bookshelf for something else (I could go to a bookstore though, but that's a baaaaad idea for me).

Generally, while on vacation I read at three different classes of time. To fall asleep. First thing in the morning while I am having breakfast, although usually this is time for the N.Y. Times. And while in transit (planes, trains, and automobiles).

Am thinking one cheap thriller type book. One more serious fiction book. And a non-fiction book.

Won't finish any of them though.