This year I stopped rating books on Goodreads for a couple reasons. One, it felt hypocritical, even though, intellectually, I know it’s not. What writer isn’t also a reader? And why shouldn’t I express my opinion of what I’ve read? Even if I haven’t enjoyed a book, I still internalize a lot of elements such as character, plot structure and pace, either as “things not to do” or “things to explore.” Every book is useful in some way.
More, though, I found that reading with a score sheet hanging in the forefront of my mind placed too much pressure on every book to perform. I was more easily disappointed and less often delighted. I was reading too analytically.
The sense of freedom that comes with deciding not to quantify a book, or qualify the experience of reading it lightened my perspective. The other upside, of course, is that if I’m reading a book inside my genre, I no longer have to wrestle with the “should I or shouldn’t I?” question. Finally, without a score, any comments I leave can be left open to interpretation. Continue reading
I could have skipped this update and rolled the books into my yearly list of Favourite Things, but there are seven books on this list and they’re all titles I want to talk about and recommend now. I have a hard enough time choosing just a handful at the end of the year as it is. 😉
Dinner at Jack’s by Rick R. Reed
What I love most about Rick Reed’s books is that they’re love stories. The romance never feels rushed for the sake of getting to the good stuff. More, we get time to get to know the characters—who they are, who they want to be. Who they will be together. Another aspect of Rick’s books I really enjoy is the feeling he is sharing a part of his life with us. Either someone he once knew or someplace he’s been. There’s a sense of reality to most of his stories and, whether my observations are true or not, I feel I get to know the author a little better with each read. Continue reading
At the end of my holiday novella, Counting Fence Posts, Henry invites Marc back to his parents’ place for Christmas. Actually, it’s less invitation, more assumption, but Marc doesn’t object, and after two days of haunting the lobby of a crowded hotel outside Albany, they’re finally on their way back to Boston. Continue reading
We have a new book for you! Actually, it’s not entirely new. Zed and Felix have their happy ever after and we don’t want to mess with that. If we ever do revisit the world of Chaos Station, it will be with a different story with a new couple. Yes, we have plans! For now, however, we’ve been busy putting together a piece of Chaos Station for collector’s bookshelves. Continue reading
After a bit of a slump where I tossed a few and flipped through a few more somewhat forgettable books, I’ve recently hit a patch of really good reads. So of course I’m going to share them.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This book. Oh my goodness. What a lovely surprise. Nearly the entire time I was listening to it, I either wished I’d written it or wanted to write my own version. Ove is exactly the sort of character I like. Gruff, rude, apparently selfish and not at all charming. Yeah, I sure know how to pick ‘em. Thing is, when a character like that is the star of a book, you can pretty much read on with two assumptions. One, he’s not as he appears. There will be hidden depths. Two, finding out why he’s like this is going to be your reward. Continue reading