Saturday, February 24, 2018

What to Read Next

My reviews lag weeks behind whatever I am currently reading.  I am not a machine, and I do not write the reviews immediately after finishing the books.  For that reason, I prefer to be reading many books past the books that are currently being reviewed in the blog.  This keeps my stress level low.  I am done with the Sweet Valley High series, but those reviews will continue to be published well into March and could extend towards the end of the month depending upon how I space them out.

I keep private most of the series that are high on my reading list.  I have been pressured by readers of this blog to review certain series.  I understand that you want me to get to certain favorite series, but I will not read those series until I feel like it.  The secret behind my high reading rate is that I read what I most want to read when I want to read it.  I cannot read a book because someone wants me to read it, so I have never participated in book clubs.  Book clubs probably help the average person read more, but they would cause me to read fewer books, since I would have to stop and read what someone else has selected to read.  That does not work for me.  I read on my own schedule.

After I finished reading Sweet Valley High, I wanted to give the Sweet Valley High Senior Year series another chance, even though I find the cover art and style of Senior Year to be quite repulsive.  The first book begins with a series of obnoxious diary pages and is interspersed with more of them.  I refused to read all the Sweet Valley High Secret Diaries books because I hate that sort of thing.  I tried, but I cannot read Senior Year.

I still thought I would like Sweet Valley University, so I read the first book.  Sweet Valley University is set up in the same fashion as Sweet Valley High, in third person and with no diary pages, so the style is not obnoxious.  However, the story is depressing.  Liz is lonely, isolated from Jessica and her friends.  In fact, the story is eerily similar to the first Nancy Drew On Campus book, which was published two years later.  Now I understand.  Nancy Drew On Campus was modeled after Sweet Valley University.  I could not read Nancy Drew On Campus, so I cannot read Sweet Valley University.  

Thus I abruptly ended my entire Sweet Valley experience, well before I intended to do so.  My set of Sweet Valley University books is already up for sale, and I will soon list the Senior Year books.

I wanted to continue with modern books at least loosely similar to Sweet Valley High.  I decided to try the first Hardy Boys Casefiles book.  The story doesn't appeal to me.  I looked at summaries of other Casefiles books, and they seem to be about espionage.  I really enjoyed the Hardy Boys Digest books, but the Casefiles series does not seem appealing.  The only reason I have a complete set is because of a large book purchase from two years ago.  I'm going to get rid of the Casefiles set sometime soon.

Next, I tried to read the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mystery series.  I got through the first two books and lost interest as I read the third book.  The stories are not as good as I would like, and Nancy's romantic thoughts about Frank are annoying.  I don't feel anything, and a story that hints at romance should have romance that connects with the reader.  The romance is forced and unnatural.  These books have nothing on Sweet Valley High in that respect.  Sadly, I'd rather be reading the final books in the Sweet Valley High series than the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mystery series.  It should be noted that the final Sweet Valley High books are not very good, but I would rather read them. 

I realized that I had no choice but to go back to vintage series.  This was a dilemma.  I find it difficult to switch between reading modern books and vintage books.  I had read 171 Sweet Valley High books since late September.  I do best when I read many books of the same type consecutively without changing around to different types.  Since I had spent months reading Sweet Valley High, I was at a loss as to what to read.

I wasn't quite ready to try reading the books of Augusta Huiell Seaman.  Her books are high on my reading list and are, by the way, the only books I have admitted to having high on my list.  I feel that I need to work into Seaman's books because of the difficulty I have in switching between modern and vintage books. 

Additionally, I want to wait a little longer because I still need to acquire one book.  Please don't ask which book, because I am not going to tell you.  I prefer to keep that information private, since I have had people take advantage of me when they know that I need a certain book.  They will price the book much higher than if I did not need the book.  I will hopefully be able to locate the book in the next few months, and if not, then you'll know by which book I skip when I read and review Seaman's books. 

So Augusta Huiell Seaman was not an immediate consideration.  My interest in reading Kay Tracey and the Dana Girls was rekindled recently when I made a post about the two series to one of the Facebook groups.  I would like to try to read the Kay Tracey books again.

I started reading the original text of The Secret of the Red Scarf and struggled through it at first, due to my difficulty with the vintage text.  After all, the first Kay Tracey book from 1934 is not remotely like the Sweet Valley High books.  The two worlds are so different.  Nevertheless, I made it through the book plus a few additional books, which is far enough that I feel confident that I can read through the Kay Tracey series.

So, I am now reading Kay Tracey and should continue with other vintage series which are yet to be determined.


Amanda from Seattle said...

Well I am reading the Nancy Drew/ Hardy Boys Supermysteries and I will be reviewing them in the Sleuth fanzine for some time to come. I am not reading them in order....I did not think that was necessary. When I started out, I just had a few of the books available. Since I started this quest, I now have all the books. I am very curious to know who wrote the different books because they definitely differ in their tone regarding romance and in how Nancy is portrayed. My spin on the super mysteries was how disappointed I was in them in how they depict Nancy. The Hardy Boys are often the stars of the show and Nancy is just farting around with some lesser mystery. But every once and a while there will be one where the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are true collaborators teaming up together to solve a "super mystery" But so far, that has been the exception and not the rule.

Amanda said...

That's tough. With the Nancy Drew books, Nancy seems different depending on the series. It changes everything. Might as well be a different series. Sweet Valley is the same. The later the books, the more difficult to read. Not sure what you should read next.

mousecliffe said...

I can't wait to see your comments on Kay Tracy. The stories have really bizarre plot elements.