Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prelude to a Book Review

I've mentioned Mary DeMuth before, and I will again, but let me bring you up to speed on how I came to review her newest book.

My reading preferences fall in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. If you walk through my library (I have actual stacks built into my basement) the majority of titles you see fall under that category. My mother preferred historical romances, and I have a good many of those I appropriated from her. I like vampires and the supernatural, too, so I have books in the horror genre. Add some textbooks I kept from college on family therapy and Biblical studies, and that's my library.

Thanks to the six cats and a dog, I don't have a lot of spending money. I only read books I own because if I like them I want to read them again. Because I'm poor, I don't buy many books. See the problem? Not one book on my favorites list in "about me" was written after 1970, and most were a good deal before then. I also don't like change. I tend to reread my books on a tri-annual rotation. That's a lot for a new book/author to come up against.

After hearing Mary speak at Roaring Lambs, I signed on to her website and her blog and kept an eye on her. Published author that she is, I thought I could learn something useful from her. I got an email early this month asking if I would be interested in getting a free book to review. Would I! Would I?

This is one of those moments when Old Me would have said "no." Too risky. Just hang back and that opportunity will move on to greener pastures and good riddance. But new, Gene Getz-inspired Me said "why not?"

I replied in the affirmative, and A Slow Burn arrived shortly thereafter.

That's when things began to fall apart. The book sat on the table for a few days instead of moving to the reading room (most people have 1 to 2 1/2 of these in their houses). I did this because I knew I would be reviewing it, and I wanted to give it several hours at a stretch to sink in. This was a mistake.

Turns out I didn't have my usual "several hours at a stretch" month. Since that Roaring Lambs conference, I've taken on a lot of new opportunities which drastically curtail my reading time.

Which brings me to today and this post. I wanted to post my review on the official "coming out" day for A Slow Burn, but I haven't finished the book yet. I am almost done, and it is glued to my side wherever I go in case I have a few minutes to read.

God willing, I'll finish it tomorrow morning and have a review by lunch. God may be willing, but this flesh is weak.

Fortunately, I did take a few moments to look at some of the other reviews, and it seems Mary has written a hit with a lot of folks.

We'll know tomorrow if I'm one of them.

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