Recent Reads – April to October 2018

I haven’t done nearly enough reading this year.

I started 2018 off strong, with my previous Recent Reads post from January to March including four completed books.

(Well technically, three books and one novella, but one of those books was a reference for the next historical fiction novel I plan to write.  Reading that required highlighting and note-taking that slowed me down considerably, and perhaps balances out the novella’s shorter length.)

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Recent Reads – January to March 2018

As I discussed in a previous blog post, I review every book that I read on Goodreads.

I do this in my dual roles of both writer and reader, the former to help my fellow writers try to generate book sales, and the latter because I just enjoy sharing my opinions about what I’m reading.

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Should Writers Write Book Reviews?

I review every book that I read on Goodreads.

I do this because I’m a writer with aspirations of future publication and strong book sales.

I’m aware of how crucial reviews are to authors, both in helping produce those strong sales and in enabling one to (traditionally) publish subsequent books.

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For the (Carnal, Courtly, and Hypocritical) Love of Books

Books I’ve stolen borrowed from others (and haven’t even read yet)

I almost never lend people books.  But I have no problem borrowing those that belong to others.

I fully acknowledge the hypocrisy, and perhaps even level of selfishness, that applies to this policy of mine.

I’m not even a particularly good borrower of other people’s books.  Or rather, good returner of them, I should say.

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How Reading Affects My Writing – Past, Present, and Future

Book magic

When it comes to books and words and the creation and consumption of both, although I write nearly every day, I’ve always considered myself a reader first while only second am I a writer.

Of course, there is factual truth to this statement: I literally learned and continued to read stories before I started writing them (although the timing for both is close; I clearly recall writing my first “novel” in grade two).

Even now as an adult, my almost-daily reading occurs earlier in the day (dinner time) than does my almost-daily writing (after dinner, the last thing before  I go to sleep).

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Why I Don’t Read Five-Star Book Reviews

Amazon star ratingsEver since my very first Amazon book purchase on October 25, 2002, I’ve never stopped debating myself on the value of customer book reviews.

(If you ever want to enjoy a nostalgia-filled blast through the past, go through your Amazon purchase history order by order, year by year, back to the very beginning.)

On the one hand, professional reviewers aren’t always giving in-depth reviews of the books I read or want to read.  As well, there are way more customer reviewers out there; the law of averages alone suggests I’m more likely to share tastes with an amateur than a pro, many of whom fall into more similar social demographics to each other than to me.

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How to Read 12 Books in a Year (with minimal change to your regular reading habits)

Cat readingThere are people out there who read like fifty books a year.

This post is not for them.

(Indeed, I wish one of them would write their own post to teach me to read more.)

Reading is my oldest pastime, yet the older I get, the less time I seem to have for it.

I don’t ever want to stop reading books.  But life is busy and full of countless distractions, not the least of which include writing, socializing, finally watching Homeland on Netflix (seriously, have you seen that show?!), and of course working – by far the biggest occupier of my time.

Last year for New Year’s, I resolved to read 12 books for the year. A book a month-ish, as I took to calling it given the overlap of some calendar months that occurred.

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