Ok. Admittedly that last part may be something that only I notice. It is true, however. There is usually a big push push before summer that's highly publicized. Publishers try to capitalize on the idea of the summer reading list and the perfect beach read. The same thing happens in the fall of the year, only to less fanfare.
My reading tends to move in cycles. Usually in the summer time I have a fairly long series to see me through the dog days. I spent one summer in the world of the Sword of Truth. Another summer in the core of the DragonLance world and my most recent summer aboard the HMS Surprise with Captain Jack Aubrey.
In the fall I tend to look toward the new releases to satisfy my fall reads. Last year David Liss kept me entertained while Paolini didn't quite deliver the action packed sequel I was looking for. The pickings were slim last fall, though I'm not sure why. Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson did offer up the first of the final three books of The Wheel of Time, but I've been holding back a bit on those so I can savor the ending of a series I've been following since I was a freshman at college.
I've mentioned my latest trend of reading mystery novels, but frankly I'm at a loss in this genre. I've picked up a few and have been let down so far. They're so over the top dramatic that it's hard to take for long stretches at a time. The detectives all come off has too hard boiled, or as if they're trying to be. The suspense and the drama is done with a heavy hand that bludgeons the reader instead of a soft hand that gently allows the elements to build without notice until they've reached the boiling point. I've read the Castle novels, which are a lot of fun, and I've dipped back in to Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot again (let's face it, the Brits know how to spin a darn good mystery yarn).
What it all boils down to is I'm looking for my next good read. My to read shelf has certainly dwindled and I'm just not in the mood for what's left. Perhaps it is a case of familiarity breeding contempt since most of what is left are the second and third books in a various series. I want something solid, something satisfying and thought provoking. Length isn't an issue. In fact, the longer the better. Any suggestions?