On Tap Tuesday:8-21-12

On Tap Tuesday is where I tell you what is on tap for me reading wise for the week.

I most recently read: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I’m unsure if I will write a review about this now or wait until after our book group discusses it. It was my first Vonnegut read and I’m definitely going to check out more.

What I’m currently reading: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

I haven’t gotten very far into The Power of Habit yet but it definitely seemed interesting to me. The Girl Who Played with Fire was a slow start for me but it’s picked up and is now taking most of my attention.

So what’s on tap for you guys this week?

Publishers and Imprints: Opening My Eyes

So I have a confession. Before I started blogging and getting more into the book scene with twitter, podcasts, and blogs, I never really paid attention to publishing houses. I think I had some vague notion about some of the big ones like Random House and Penguin existing, but it was nothing I really paid much attention to or was a way that I searched out books. Back then I usually focused on searching out authors I had previously read and new that I liked or looking by genre. Now I’ve become much more aware of the many different publishing houses that exist and have even added it as a tool for searching out books. It’s by no means a definitive method, but I’ve come to realize that certain publishing houses tend to have published books that I am interested in or have a tendency to publish a certain theme, genre, or type of book that I’m interested in, so I tend to either look at their upcoming publishing lists or pay more attention to the books they are touting. As I said though this isn’t a definitive method. Every publishing house has certain gems of books and I am not advocating ignoring one publisher because they haven’t published something you’ve liked in the past. I’m just saying that I’ve realized that this is one tool you can use in you arsenal when searching for good reads. I also recommend following publishers on twitter or checking out their websites. Lots of useful information and even some fun to be had with both. So I also included imprints in the title of the post. That’s because I’m just now starting to realize that imprints exist. As you can imagine having not paid much attention to publishing houses before I had just thought that all of these company titles I saw on spines of books were independent houses. I’m realizing that might not always be true. And speaking of genres or certain themes of books, some publishing houses will have entire imprints devoted to publishing certain genres or types of books. Also a useful tool in the book search arsenal. So in a way yes, I have discovered a whole new world within the book community. It makes me wonder what other facets of the book world are out there that could be used to find books or enrich the reading experience.

Why Didn’t I read This Sooner: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Okay, I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and going “really, she hasn’t read Dracula before?” but really, I hadn’t until this past month, when my local book club picked it as our read for July.

I’m not going to rehash the plot, I figure most people know the basics by now but what I do want to talk about is how there is so much more to the story than I realized. I had imagined that it would all be a mystery/suspense that took place in a dreary castle. No. The story takes place in several different areas with many more characters with whom I fell in love.

One thing that I kept thinking about as I was reading was how jealous I was of the people that got to read the book when it came out. Those people that had no preconceived notion of what the plot was about, had no idea that vampires was going to be central to the story, etc. Have you ever thought that about a classic novel that you’ve read? It’s so hard to have not heard the plot of a classic or heard enough about it over the years to have most of the suspense taken out of it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t spoil classics for others but I’m just saying to sit back and think about how people would have received the novel and experienced it for the first time.

I was also totally enthralled by the psychology and medical aspects in the novel. My pick of favorite character would probably be torn between Van Helsing and Renfield. I think these two characters should have entire novels on their own. Anyone know of any that have been written?

So a bit of a rambling post with mostly just my own feelings and reactions. Take from it this: it’s never to late to pick up a classic novel that you’ve been wanting to read, it may not be exactly what you think it to be.

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