You may remember that a couple months ago, I was talking about the way I choose books these days. I’m pretty much always working off a list, and while some titles have been on the list for so long that by the time I get to them I forget what they’re about or why I added them… those surprises just aren’t the same as wandering among shelves and shelves of books and finding one that demands to be picked up and taken home.
And wandering through the stacks is something I love doing at the library anyway. What if, instead of jotting down the title of a book to look up later to see if it’s worth reading, I just gave it a chance? You know, the way I would have done five years ago, before I discovered Goodreads and book blogs.
So, that’s just what I did. I’m hoping to make these random reads a once-a-month thing. This month, the book that jumped out at me was Keith Raffel’s Smasher.
Only I don’t know that it really jumped out at me. In fact, it took a bit more effort than I’d expected to find a book that caught my attention but wasn’t already somewhat familiar to me.
I wanted something completely new. Not a title I’d heard in passing. Not an author I’d been meaning to get to. Those would have been fair game “back in the day,” but felt like defeating the purpose of my experiment.
It’s a work in progress; maybe next month I’ll come up with different criteria for what “counts.”
At any rate, Smasher is the second in a series (which I didn’t realize until I’d already gotten it home) but I thought it worked just fine as a stand-alone… though I’m now, of course, spoiled for the first book, should I ever choose to read it.
It was a good book, but definitely not the most exciting thriller I’ve ever read. Aside from a couple big events, there wasn’t much danger or suspense. Not that I wasn’t enjoying the story, because I was. The characters and the details of the different story threads held my interest. It just wasn’t the book I expected when I picked it up.
So, a moderate success, but not a new favorite… but there’s always next month.
When was the last time you picked up a book with no prior knowledge?