library-stacksOn our last foray into the library, The Beloved Husband gave me a very specific challenge – I was to pick out a book at random to check out, one that I had never heard of nor knew who the author was.

Since he didn’t tell me that I had to pick a genre outside of my usual diet, I trotted over to the Fantasy section and started at ‘A’. I ended up picking Lady in the Loch by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (review to come on Wednesday) – a supernatural mystery revolving around the author, Sir Walter Scott.

It was an odd experience, just browsing for a book at random; normally I go in there to pick up a book I’ve got on hold or to grab a specific book. I found myself analyzing what my criteria was for rejecting books.

First off, if there was a buxom, more or less clothed female staring at directly me from the cover, I put it back – especially if she seemed to be a pseudo-medieval priestess or sorceress of some sort. Too cliche at this point.

Secondly, if the title seemed too YA to me (usually involving Darkness of some kind), the book would go back on the shelf. One book caught my eye with the title of Sky Knife, but when I found out that was the name of the main character, I put it back – it was already starting to drive me crazy by page three.

I finally settled on Lady in the Loch because it reminded me of the Arthurian myths I’ve been reading all semester and the cover was very subtle. Just a black coach being drawn over snow towards a veiled female figure on a dark blue background. The font was serviceable, not too ostentatious, so it seemed like the author had confidence that her story would draw you in – she didn’t need a crazy font and pouty-lipped blondes to make you read her novel.

That sold me on the book before I even read the premise.

To reward myself for going out on a limb by reading the unknown (and to soften the blow should the risk not pay off), I also grabbed The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia McKillip which I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

So, anyways, I have two good books to finish off the year with, and new comfy flannel sheets to snuggle in whilst I read… I think I’ll get to it!