Friday, December 19, 2008

The well-connected reader

It's happened again. After reading parts of two Christmas anthologies, having to skip at least one story in each because I have not read the author's previous tales of the Fanfavorite Family, the League of Hottie Heroes, or Studmuffin Siblinghood and know that I would feel lost as a babe in the woods, I turn to a new release by a favorite of my own. What do we find here? After a great opening, getting invested in hero and heroine, and all comfy in the setting and premise, heeeeeeeeeeeeey, those names mentioned in passing look familiar. Uh huh. Thought so. The heroine's brother and sisterinlaw are the deliriously happy Mr and Mrs Previousbook. Put bookmark in place, set book aside, throw small fit.

Calm self with knowledge that previous book is indeed in my possession, then throw second fit because A) it is at home, B) I am not, and C) there is a looming snowstorm that may trap me away from previous book. Ask self why self did not finish reading previous book because one clearly remembers doing happy dance in Barnes and Noble when seeing a whole dump of that title. Remember that previous book did not make it into the hospital bag on one of many ER trips and lots of things got lost in the shuffle during those summer months. Grouse. Kick wastebasket. Peer out window. Snow yet? Not yet. Make mental note to check the area around where hospital bags were assembled.

Look at large selection of books where I currently am and try to reason with self that self wants to read all these too.

Self sticks out tongue and retorts that self wanted to read the book self brought.

Cannot argue with self. Look for other, nonrelated books by author of book and previous book. Yes! Yes! Do happy dance over finding other book by same author that has no sequel, prequel, spinoff or tie-in. Stop in middance. Will this confuse self when self gets home and dives on previous book like book-starved hyena self is? Self does not know. Self reads back cover blurb. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes -- young lovers separated and reunited. Self settles in for good read.

Ooh! Author's note. Self loves author's notes. Self reads author's note. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaitaminit. "Secondary Character, whom readers met in This Book and This Other Book." Self sighs, pencils a tiny "3" in the corner of the cover page and makes mental note to dig out This Book and This Other Book, because self knows self has them around here somewhere. Self can hear author now -- yes, self knows that Secondary Character is a secondary character and will provide a supporting role...but s/he knew those other people, and there's going to be something mentioned, somehow, somewhere, not neccessarily spoilerish, but possibly. Self has learned these things the hard way. ::coughcoughCatherineCoulterSongseriescoughcough::

Self pops honey-lemon cough drop and ponders the situation whilst shutting down for the day, as self is heading for home due to oncoming snowstorm. Self now knows exactly what self is going to read when self gets there.

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