Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sucked In By a Great book



Welcome back from the long holiday weekend.  How did you spend your time?  With your family perhaps?  Hanging out at the pool?  Working the BBQ?  Before I had my son, my husband and I spent the warm summer holidays with our friends out on the lake or river, swimming and waterskiing.  Up here in Seattle, however, the weather is not very conducive for those kinds of activities, at least not this early in the year.  Yeah, if we’re lucky—and we have been so far this spring—the weather might be warmer, but the rain is an ever-present threat, and the waterways are still cold from the mountain snow runoff.  It makes it hard to plan anything outdoors before the 4th of July.

I was pretty tense last weekend after working on edits for my book, and I was stressed over some personal drama that played itself out over the Internet.  I needed to relax.  I had to find something to do, something that would cost me nothing, yet take me away as if on a mini vacation.  So I jumped into a great book. 


I read  Down River by John Hart.  I love a good suspenseful thriller, especially when it involves an everyday guy rather than some PI or police detective who already knows all the tricks.  I prefer an ordinary Joe who finds himself ass-deep in trouble.  But Hart’s Down River is so much more than just a good story.  It’s poetic.

It’s been a while since I was sucked into a story the way I was with Down River.  I pondered over what it was exactly that pulled me in so forcibly and refused to let go.  I think it was a remarkable combination of things, but overall, it came down to the writing.  Hart has a way with words that’s nearly indescribable.  He hits on every beat, every sensation.  You’d think that’d be tedious, walking through every movement, thought, and reaction, but not the way Hart does it.


He writes with deep emotion crackling across every surface, warping every word and reaction.  His words made me feel the heat pulsating off the asphalt.  I could smell the smoke filling my lungs.  I could nearly taste his words, roll them around in my mouth and sample the flavor of his character’s world and emotions.  Down River was very much about the setting, but only because of the way the main character felt about it.  And that made al the difference in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, the story is everything, captivating and suspenseful.  It’s about family and friendship, scorn and love, forgiveness and resentment, longing and loss, expectation and disappointment, all wrapped around a series of mysterious events.  I thought I knew who-dunnit at least three separate times, but I never saw it coming, the ending, the big reveal.  It was truly shocking, and I’m almost never surprised anymore. 


So now I’ve found a new author I love, whose words I will savor as slowly as possible, whose books are so awesome that, even though I have no room for them in my meager budget, I will give up something special and necessary in order to buy them, even after I’ve already borrowed them from the public library. 

When was the last time you were completely sucked into a book, so much so that you stayed up all night reading, unwilling to put the book down?  And what was it about that book that kept you so enthralled? 

Oh and by the way,
I will be revealing the cover for my book,
THE MISTAKEN,
on Friday, June 1st.
So come on back over and let me know what you think!

36 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll be back June first!
I think the last time a book really sucked me in was Jurassic Park. Finished it in two days and I'm a very slow reader.

Tracy said...

I always get sucked in by Jodi Picoult...love her writing style. I'll have to check out the book you wrote about. I love to get sucked in...

Murees Dupé said...

Oh, I can't wait! That is the best thing about a book. It draws you in and you forget about the whole world around you.

Matthew MacNish said...

There are so many different things that can draw you into a story. Character, plot, setting, writing ... but when they all come together, that's special.

jp said...

Books like that are bittersweet for me for exactly the reasons Murees has stated.

They become all consuming and everything else goes out the window and I hurry on impatient to turn the page. Very few books have done that to me although Robert Ludlum's 'Bourne Identity' was one as was - somewhat predictably - Lord of the Rings.


I am glad I read the books before the films came out because no matter how good the film is they simply do not do the books justice.

JeffO said...

Hmm, tough question. Of the books I've read recently, I'd say "Fearless" by Rafael Yglesias and "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn. Both excellent reads, with compelling characters and situations, though very, very different. Looking forward to seeing the cover of your book!

Freya Morris said...

oh awesome! Will look forward to the book cover.

Last time for me was reading the Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

Kelley Lynn said...

I really liked both Divergent and Insurgent. This book sounds great.

Can't wait to see the cover!!!

Chris Fries said...

I agree with you, Nancy -- "Down River" was an amazing book. I also loved "The Last Child" by Hart as well. If you haven't read it, I heartily (or should I say "Hart-ily"?) recommend it! It won the 2010 Edgar, and it's an amazingly compelling read.

In general, almost any book by Michael Connelly or C.J. Box will completely pull me in and not me go until I finish the book.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Most of my reading the past few years has been non-fiction. Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages of Apology sucked me in because I love his books. One chapter dealt with forgiving oneself which really resonated as the character in Book IV of my series struggled with that aspect.

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I am so adding this to my TBR list! Thanks for the suggestion :)

Yay! Looking forward to seeing your cover!!

Michael Abayomi said...

I also loved reading Jurassic Park, and I feel that way about most books by Michael Crichton, my favorite being Sphere. Down River sounds like an interesting read, and following your recommendation, I would definitely be checking it out sometime soon.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I'M SO EXCITED FOR FRIDAY!!!!

It does sound like a good book and just what you needed at the time.

I hope your drama ends soon. It's the last thing you need with all your publishing excitement going on.

You should be basking!
BASK!

Heather
:)

Kittie Howard said...

I love getting sucked into a book. And I'm sorry about your spoiler holiday weather but was also relieved you've had rain as all of those fires nationwide are scary. Stay safe!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Excellent review! And hello, I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOUR COVER! I am practically vibrating with anticipation! :D

S.P. Bowers said...

I'll put this on the list. It's more and more rare that I get sucked in, can't put it down, can't figure it out so I'm always looking for good recommendations.

Carrie-Anne said...

I always tend to get sucked into long historical sagas, or just long novels period (probably a big part of why I prefer to write them too). It's really hard for me to get sucked into a bite-sized book that's not even 300 pages long, though there are certainly exceptions. My all-time favoritest book, Hermann Hesse's Demian, isn't even 200 pages long.

Misha Gericke said...

I love it when the story's words have a poetry about them.

I actually liked Suzanne Collins and Hilary Mantel for that reason, amongst others.

Can't wait to see your book's cover!

:-)

Liza said...

You've just convinced me to add another book to my reading list.

Carrie Butler said...

Hmm, the last time I stayed up all night reading a book? You've probably never heard of it. It's called The Mistaken. ;)

I can't wait to see your cover!

jamieayres said...

The last book I stayed up reading was City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, and totally worth it:) Can't wait to see your cover--I'll hop on over on June 1st!!

Lynda R Young said...

Down River sounds great! I'll have to read this one.

And oh so exciting!! I'm looking forward to your cover reveal!!!!
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Lynn Proctor said...

wow if i ever have a book published and you like it, i would hope to have you review it---i seriously want to read this book and may even think of purchasing it--something i rarely do--using the library instead or second hand stores----your writing is stirring

Eva Gallant said...

I guess I need to read that book!

TL Conway said...

How exciting--can't wait until June 1st!

I'm trying to think of the last time I read a book that I devoured just like you described. I usually blow right through Janet Evanovich books, even though she isn't really my genre.

Nancy Thompson said...

Haha! Thanks, Carrie! Let's hope there are many others who feel the same way!

Lisa Regan said...

I couldn't agree more! You know Hart won an Edgar for Down River and for The Last Child! He is incredible. I love him too!

Chuck said...

The last two books I have read are Alex's space saga. I must say every book sucks me in to some degree. I am a "dive in the deep end" kind of reader with a vivid imagination so that makes it easy. I will be here on 6/1 to see the new aart!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Boy do I feel dumb. I stopped at this new blog recommended by a friend, and saw a dedication to soldiers. I left some corny note about what a nice surprise because our son is a sergeant and I'm always going on about supporting the troops. I had no idea it was a special date for Americans. Now I know, and next year I'll remember.

The book sounds great, Nancy. Can't wait to see your cover.

The Desert Rocks said...

Down River sounds wonderful and your blog looks very nice!

Al Penwasser said...

Thank goodness the book wasn't "Fifty Shades of Grey."
That little bit of housewife pornography made me blush.
And I was a sailor.
Okay, I didn't actually blush.
But...still.

Nicole Pyles said...

Last book I couldn't put down? Player One by Douglas Coupland!

And congrats on the cover reveal!

Elana Johnson said...

There's nothing like a good book to lose yourself from all the drama and everything else in life. That's the best part about reading!

Be back for the great cover reveal! How exciting!

Michael Pierce said...

I'll check it out first thing in the morning! The Marbury Lens did that for me.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

I haven't read any of his books yet ... thanks for the tip!

Talk about not being able to plan any swimming activities for Memorial Day Weekend ... we had snow in Central Oregon on Friday, lol.

I hope the online drama wasn't on FB ... that thing causes so many family fights.

Kathy M.

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

I spent long weekend relaxing at home with the family, and then helping my son with his school science project. Not much writing done, but on Tuesday morning I dove right into my novel to work on some rewrites and editing.

I hope the "personal drama" is not too serious. Remember, I'm here if you need to talk.

Ohhhh, new book and new author to add to my TBR list - always very appreciated! Thank you for this recommendation.