by Margie Senechal
Thanks to Goodreads Deals and BookBub, I have more books loaded on my Kindle than I will ever read. I think Amazon needs to come out with a solar-powered version so if I ever get stranded on a desert island, I'll still be able to read.
Because of this heavy backlist and my shortage of spare time, I must admit to have become a little more selective (picky??) about what I start. Mostly I hate starting a book and not finishing-as if it's a personal failure.
There are some authors that I will buy at full price and drop everything to read--Kristan Higgins, Kristin Hannah, Sarah Addison Allen--and others I've discovered because of these services and special deals.
One of my favorite authors in the past was Michael Crichton. I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about being excited about the publication of a "found" manuscript. And on Monday, it downloaded.
Also on Monday, I received the May edition of OnceUponABookClub in the mail which contained the book, Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto--an author I've never heard of before. Quick refresher about this crate club--it comes with a book and then 4-5 gifts that you open on appointed pages. Sometimes the first gift is later--one was after page 100. But, this particular package, the first prezzie was on page 16.
I started both books kind of simultaneously. I read the first about 25 pages of Love before going to bed and then started Dragon Teeth before I fell asleep--the lighting in my room is horrible, so generally if I'm going to read in bed, it's on my phone Kindle app. Dragon Teeth didn't immediately suck me in, but I stayed with it, reading about fifty pages or so before going to sleep. And I was kind of critiquing it while I read it--why is the VP character ducking in the carriage while there's a shootout going on around him? Why does this story feel so dry?
The Tuesday arrived and it was my day off. What do do? What to read? I opened up the Kindle app and it told me I was 85% through Dragon Teeth. What??? How was that possible? Was it a novella and not a full length book?
It ended up that somehow--late night reading?--I had inadvertently began the book at the wrong spot, about 80% through it. Sad thing is, I couldn't tell. I should've been able to tell within a few pages I was joining a book in progress and I didn't. And if I wasn't enjoying the story as it crested to it's end, would I enjoy it in the beginning?
So, I set aside the Kindle and picked up Love and Gravity. I got sucked right in and couldn't wait to the turn the pages. The prezzies were just a bonus as the book was so good. It's an alternative history/romance/time travel book about Sir Issac Newton and a cellist whose music causes a crack in the time barrier.
I don't know that I'll return to Dragon Teeth and that makes me sad. Or mad. As I've read up on the "discovery" of this manuscript and it was actually written in 1974 and never published. Pretty sure there was a reason it was never published. Mr. Crichton had plenty of time during his life to rework the story and had the kind of career that he could've published it at any time in the last few decades had he felt it worthy of being published.
While I won't prebuy another "found" Crichton manuscript, I will check out Samantha Sotto's next book.