Meet The Reader Series with Chanel (Nel)

Hey everyone! I haven’t been keeping up with the Meet The Reader series lately and I apologize for that, but I’m so excited to share a special reader with you today!

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with an idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads or blogs and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too? As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.


This is a reader that I met through WordPress and many of you already know her, but she’s become a very close friend and I can’t wait to share her reading adventures with you! Hope you enjoy!

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

Chanel

33551441.jpg Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Chanel (Nel)”

Meet The Reader Series with Mrs. N (N.N. Light)

Hello everyone!

I have a new reader to share with you today. Mrs. N is a friend from Goodreads and a blogging friend that I’ve gotten to know this year.

I’m sorry that I’ve been a little behind on posting this series lately, but my schedule hasn’t been going as planned. I hope you enjoy!

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.


 

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

Mrs. N

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: I loved reading as a child. It started when my parents read to me. Their own love of reading got me excited to read. Every Saturday, I’d go with my mum to the library and we’d spend most of the day reading, discovering new books and checking out as many books as we could carry out to the car. As I grew older, books taught me about life, love, kindness and great adventures.

I have so many books I loved as a child, it’s hard for me to choose. I’ll do a random variety: Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries by Donald Sobol, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Shoe series (Ballet Shoes, Theatre Shoes, Dancing Shoes) by Noel Streatfeild, Anything by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss.

 

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

A: I have the extreme pleasure to read books for a living and as such, get to read some incredible books. To garner the status of favorite book of the year, the story, characters and setting have to be so incredible that I cry when it’s over. Three books this year (so far) have that coveted status. They are:

Only a Hero Will Do (The Heart of a Hero Book 1) by Alanna Lucas

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The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks by Charles E. Yallowitz

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Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 by Daniel Milstein

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All captured my heart in their own way and I highly recommend them.

Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: Ugh! I really hate this question. I’m a voracious reader and my tastes vary from children’s books to mystery to romance to nonfiction to even erotic romance. My library consists of a lot of romance (all sub-genres), fantasy, mystery, suspense, biographies, sports and motivational books. If I could only choose one genre to read for the rest of my life, I guess I’d choose paranormal romance. I’m a huge romantic at heart and love a happy ending, especially with a little magic thrown in.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: Mary Higgins Clark, Jude Deveraux, Jacquie Biggar, Erin R Bedford, Ruth A. Casie, Kelley Armstrong… the list could go on and on.

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: Currently? According to Goodreads, it’s 257 but there are so many I need to add that it’s more like 300. I told you I like to read.

Q: What’s an emotional book, or one you won’t forget that you’ve read this year or last?

A: I’d have to say the one book I’ve read this year that’s had the most impact on me personally is Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 by Daniel Milstein (above). It inspired me to continue going after my lofty dreams, no matter what others may think. It gave me the emotional kick in the arse I needed.

Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: There have been many and honestly, they’ve all been recommended to me by fellow readers and bestseller lists. I won’t name the one book I read that was so horrible I threw it out the window this Summer. Lol!

Q: What are you reading now?

A: I have sixteen books I’m reading right now, according to Goodreads. Some are for pleasure, like Tangled Up in Tinsel by Candis Terry, and others are for business, like Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups by Andrew Joyce.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Covers are just as important as the story itself, in my opinion. I’ve been known to pick up quite a few books I normally wouldn’t read because I loved the cover. The cover has to grab the reader, entice them to take a second look and capture the whole story in one frame. It’s hard to get it right but when it does, it’s pure magic.

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? 

A: Yes, I have a blog. It’s called POTL Blog: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing and has been around since 2012. I started out with one follower and have grown to a social media reach over forty-five million.

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: Yes, I’m one-half (MR N is the other half) of the award-winning N. N. Light. We’re a husband-wife writing team and we’re about to publish our fifth book. It’s a daily inspirational book called, N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration and it will be released November 21, 2017. Our other books are romance, paranormal romance, young adult and love poetry.

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audiobooks?

A: I used to be a physical book snob but I see the value in e-books and audiobooks. I need e-books for reviewing but for personal use, I much prefer physical books. It’s all in the touch and smell, especially old books. You can’t get that from an e-reader. I don’t listen to audiobooks but I did when I was a manager at a bookstore because my commute was over an hour each way.

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: My local library is too far away so most of the books I read I get from Amazon or used bookstores. I’m also on Netgalley so I get a lot of ARCs to read from publishers before publication. I swear, I’m a kid in a candy store while perusing Amazon or Netgalley.

 

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Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Mrs. N (N.N. Light)”

Meet The Reader Series with Trish

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.


Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

Trish

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Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

Sadly, I come from a family of non-readers. That means that I did get some of those thin Disney books when I was very little because they were colourful and what my family knew from movies, but I never had access to what I call “real information” (meaning that there was nobody who could have introduced me to beloved classics). However, despite the lack of books at home, the bookshelves in the department store (back then they still existed even here in Germany) always called to me like sirens call to sailors. Whenever I’d vanished from my mother’s side, she’d know where to find me and, thankfully, my grandfather saw no fault in my passion so he often sponsored me by buying books even if it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas. That means I had to go with what the store had (again, making me miss out greatly) but at least I had books. Coming from a family of non-readers is a bit like being the only witch or wizard in a Muggle family like the Dursleys – people don’t get why I’m so passionate about some written words. That clash of views manifested itself when I was around 4 years old because I wanted bedtime stories but my mother hated reading (especially reading out loud) and was tired from work too. At some point, I was so exasperated with those adults and their pitiful attempts to skip chapters (as if I didn’t know the story by heart! the blasphemy!) that I started teaching myself how to read. Freedom!

As I mentioned before, I didn’t know any classics simply because I didn’t have anyone telling me about them, there was no internet around back then, and Germany has a very different library system (not to mention that it never occurred to my mother or grandparents to take me to the one we have in our town). Thus, the books I read back then were the afore-mentioned books with the Disney stories or I also had a book with 365 stories about forest animals, one for each day of the year.

Later, when I was about 9 years old, I saw a gloriously majestic book about ancient Egypt that my grandfather bought for me (sadly, I cannot remember the title and some other kids in school flushed it down the toilet so the janitor consequently threw it away). That marked the beginning of my obsession with Ancient Egypt and its mythology. But I also loved the stories of the black stallion by Walter Farley and now I’m reading up on all manner of classic stories like “Charlotte’s Web“, Roald Dahl’s books (“Matilda” for example), “The Wind in the Willows” etc. to make up for lost time.

What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

Phew, that is so insanely difficult, it’s not even funny anymore.

I’m usually very lucky with my choices (there is only a small number of books I don’t like). Also, for 2016 I can leave you with the link to my summary of the year – 2016 was the first time I had heard about Goodread’s option to review one’s reading year: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1859513710

For 2017 I’d have to name several to give every genre a chance:

The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews for UF.

In the Humor/Fantasy category, Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gentley series (yes, it took me this long to discover it, shame on me). 

For sci-fi, The Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers,

 

We Are Bob (a trilogy) by Dennis E. Taylor,

 

“Dune” by Frank Herbert (another classic I had missed out on so far),

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and  “Children of Time” by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

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“Monstress” by Marjorie Liu for comics,

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld for satire/fantasy, 

(Please click on Discworld above to see all Discworld installments)

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“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman (him being a category of his own; it was a re-read, by the way, because of the TV show being available now). 

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But there was also Seanan McGuire in the novella category as well as a number of really engaging non-fiction books. *sighs* And that is only the year so far! I bet there will be more on this list at the end of December. As I said, I’m usually very lucky with my reading choices.


What are your favorite book genres?

It used to be historical fiction (mostly crime stories set in Ancient Egypt like Paul Doherty’s Amerotke series) but one of my goals for 2016 was to branch out and give every genre a chance and I’m so glad I did because it made my reading life so much richer! Thus, I now try to read books of any genre, every year.

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There will always be genres I can’t get into as much (biographies) and some that almost always hold favourites (fantasy + scifi), but it’s more a case of liking the author/story than the genre.


What are some of your favorite authors?

This is much easier to answer (though there, too, is quite a number of them).

Neil Gaiman is always great – I discovered him very late, but now I read basically everything he publishes; Terry Pratchett was a master as well; Paul Doherty for his sense of history; J.K. Rowling, Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente for the magic; Philip Pullman; Ilona Andrews; George R.R. Martin; Jane Austen for giving us the perfect love stories that are about so much more than “just” love; Roald Dahl; Stephen King for the creepy explorations of human nature. And I have to name Cornelia Funke because she is a fantastic author AND German! But there are also a bunch of newer (often self-published) authors that are great like Jodi Taylor, Evan Currie, D.J. Molles and Sean Gibson (to name just a few).


How many books are on your TBR shelf?

849 on today’s count, but those are books I generally want to read, not books I already own and could start any moment. Also, I’m cheating a little because in addition to the TBR I have the “maybe” shelf. 😉

Goodreads has definitely been the wolf in sheep’s clothing regarding my TBR. While I read more books than ever before, I also get exposed to many more than before, what with everyone throwing their favourites at me and all of them sounding so interesting.


What’s an emotional book, or one you won’t forget that you’ve read this year or last?

I’m generally very emotional as I had to discover. I can start sobbing over a story more than anything, it’s ridiculous (and embarrassing). Reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels (see above) was insanely emotional this year. Originally, I had put off reading the series because of the author’s death and me being so emotional about it, but it’s a group-read and we’ve agreed to read the entire series in publication order, one book per month. Hence, “Mort” (August’s book) was especially emotional for me because it’s about Death (the character but also in general).

Another one that was very uncomfortable was the “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife” (last year) and its sequel, “The Book of Etta” (this year), simply for the themes explored in them.

In general, it’s very easy to make me sit at the edge of my seat – once I’m invested in the characters of a story, I want them to survive and end up happy so reading goes from recreational to heart attack-inducing.


Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

Oh yes. Like I said: biographies are just not for me. There can be exceptions (as happened this year as well), but I’m definitely not into the super whiney description of a movie star’s life. Thus, Anna Kendrick’s biography (at her age!) was simply torture.

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But I had another 1-star review this year: “Control Point“, which is the 1st volume in the Shadow Ops series by Myke Cole. At first, I thought it was the audio version, but while going over what the story had been about I realized that there had been a lot of other factors as well.

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When I decide to give this kind of rating, it’s not that I want an author to fail (biographies are different because there we’re talking about the people themselves and with some you just cannot get along), but I need to realistically and honestly review the story, even if I’m sad for the author (or not because having had to go through such a bad book made me aggressive and the review is my outlet *lol*).


What are you reading now?

Today I’ll finish another nonfiction book called “Nicht jeder kann ein Kätzchen sein” (translation: “Not everybody can be a kitten”) which is from a German biologist from the town where I work about animals that might be deemed ugly but still have one hell of a technique when it comes to survival.

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I’m also reading (but not finishing today) “Stephen Fry in America” of which I’ve seen and loved the mini-series.

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They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

Another tough one. I try not to judge. Just look at poor Ilona Andrews (see link above) and the covers their publisher slaps onto those UF titles. All my IA-reading friends on Goodreads always say how awful these covers are and it’s true! We also know that such covers can make people pick up other books instead so we’re actually sad for the authors. Therfore, I usually try not to look at the cover but just read the blurp. That is not always easy though. And it works the other way around as well: some books have gorgeous or interesting covers but reading even only the opening sentence is torture.

The good thing is that I get most of my buying impulses online (Goodreads mostly) so when I check on certain websites, I can check what kind of covers are available and choose the one I like best or fits with the rest of the series (that is very important to me, I hate it when publishers suddenly change the cover design or book size mid-series). So yeah, I shouldn’t, but it is important to me that my books have pretty covers as they deserve.


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Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

No, I don’t. I don’t think I’m a blogger, to be honest. First of all, I probably wouldn’t have the time due to work, sports, reading etc. I started posting irregular science updates on Goodreads a while back and can’t even always keep up with those! Also, I don’t think I’d have much to say. I can discuss topics, answer questions in a conversation (digital and in real life), no problem, but in a separate blog? Just not for me, I guess.


Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

I’ve written two short stories back when I was in school. Just stuff that popped into my head back then. Funnily enough, my teacher (whom I had asked to read the two stories) said they were good but he got concerned there was something in my private life, something dark, that I needed to talk about. *lol* Which I didn’t, honestly!

What I see online is that everyone tries to be a writer. I don’t know if it is a new phenomenon like I perceive it or if I’m exposed to it only now. Either people want to make a ton of money and nothing else, or they style themselves the new Shakespeare despite them not having enough talent for a groceries list.pexels-photo-210661

Of course, there are also those that really have wonderful stories to tell and now, thankfully, have the possibility to self-publish for which I’m also grateful as a reader because otherwise, I would have missed out on some great stories.

I really don’t need to add to the noise, however. I’m really more a reader and, thankfully, many ideas that swirled around in my head at some point or another usually get addressed in one book or another by authors I know (maybe I make them write them? wouldn’t that be a cool superpower? :P).


Which do you enjoy more, e-books or physical books? How about audio books?

Along with my resolution to try any genre, I also promised myself to try different formats. It started in 2015 when I found some BBC dramatisations of Terry Pratchett’s & Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” as well as Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”. The BBC is simply brilliant.

Also, I have a very close friend on Goodreads who reads almost exclusively in audio form and kept nagging me about it.

Originally, I was against audiobooks. I had the “Harry Potter” audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry but had always fallen asleep after about 30 minutes (not because they are bad, on the contrary: they are brilliant). No idea why I had such problems.

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Then the BBC stuff got me curious and a series I discovered thanks to a Kindle freebie was adapted by Audible too so I gave it a chance – and loved it. It’s very hit-or-miss with me and completely depends on whether or not I can connect with the narrator but I read a lot in audio format now because it means being able to cook simultaneously and not having to stop reading while doing chores.

Other than that, I’ve had a Kindle ever since the first version of the device was available. It was just easier than transporting a doorstopper on my daily commutes. In the meantime, I often use my iPad instead (also because I’m now getting books via Netgalley and some of them are comics/graphic novels that don’t get displayed well on the Kindle I have).

However, nothing will EVER substitute a “real” book for me. If I have an e-book or audiobook and really love it, I buy the paper version (sometimes even hardcover, it depends on how much I’ve loved it). I could also not live in a house without physical books around me, it’s just not the same. Not to mention that I’m a book-sniffer. *lol*


Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

The problem is that I live in Germany.

While we still have some libraries, most have never been the way British or American ones are. Also, they are getting more and more rare, old, and often only stock old copies of Shakespeare and art books – basically they are waiting for someone to let them die. The bigger cities still have more up-to-date ones but take Karlsruhe, for example: It’s the seat of Germany’s Supreme Court and therefore has a fairly big library – and yet the library only has one Stephen King book and only one copy of that (it’s not even a well-known one). It’s really sad.

 

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Karlsruhe – A city in Germany

 

The stores do get better (years ago it was a nightmare for me trying to buy a copy of a book that way) since they have to keep up with certain well-known websites. However, I need to almost always order my books – either because of my afore-mentioned pickiness when it comes to the cover design or because they just don’t stock many books in English (I read books in their original language because too much gets lost in translation). Since I’d have to order them anyway, I have to admit that Amazon is usually cheapest and fastest. And it has books I sometimes cannot even get through the bookstore. But don’t pity the stores, they are big chain stores so they are doing just fine (there are almost no independent little bookstores left here). Therefore, I don’t feel bad when ordering on Amazon, I’m just sad that I miss out on the experience of shopping in a store.

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My audiobooks come from Audible (also belonging to Amazon).

One could say that I basically have my own library in the meantime (last count, and I have neglected my list for several months, was over 1300 physical copies).

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Trish”

Meet The Reader with Anthony Jones

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.


Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

Anthony Jones

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(Click the covers to add on Goodreads)

Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

I started reading more as a teen but always enjoyed books. In the olden days, when TV’s were black and white and the only channels were CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS, and before such things as video games, many of us kids would gather at each other’s home for what was commonly referred to as story time. Neighborhood moms would take turns reading to the kids. Here is where I fell in love with stories. Some of my favorites were:

Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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and The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Wilder.

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What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

This year, some of the books that made my favorites list include:

American Gods by Neal Gaiman

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The Stand by Stephen King

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Everything’s Eventual  by Stephen King

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Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hurnard Hannah

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In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan

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What are your favorite book genres?

I love most fiction, specifically, Fantasy Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller, and select Mystery. That is not to say I don’t also love some true stories if written in a well entertaining way. Such books would include An Innocent Man, by John Grisham, and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

 

Continue reading “Meet The Reader with Anthony Jones”

Meet the Reader Series with David – proud Gleeman in Branwen’s adventuring party & Hiatus

I’m taking a hiatus from Breakfast and a Book because I’m catching up on reading and won’t be able to add a new book this week. I should be back next week.

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

David – proud Gleeman in Branwen’s adventuring party

Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: I did!  I actually started reading at a very young age.  My parents used to have audio cassettes of me reading “Sam & The Firefly” out loud when I was only two and a half years old.  During my grammar school years, I mostly read mysteries, it probably was influenced by my love of Scooby Doo cartoons at that time! I used to read series like “The Hardy Boys“, “Encyclopedia Brown“, and “The Three Investigators“.  Then when I was around 12 years old, I read Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”, which was unlike anything I had ever read before, and I realized how magical books could really be!

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

A: Well, the last couple of years, I’ve been taking part in a buddy read of the entire “Wheel of Time” series with one of my best friends.  That’s over 12,000 pages, it might be the most epic buddy read in history!  This series has such vast world building and is populated with compelling characters who truly grow as the series goes on, it’s been an enthralling read.  I also read “To Kill a Mockingbird” last year for the very first time… such a powerful book, I have no idea why I waited so long to read it!

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Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: My first love is the fantasy genre, both high fantasy and urban fantasy.  There are so many new worlds and imaginative adventures to find there.  I also like science fiction, although truth be told, I don’t have a very sciencey brain, so sometimes I can get a little lost if the author gets really intricate with the scientific elements… this tends to happen to me a lot in the cyberpunk and steampunk sub genres.  Still, the stories themselves are often so good I still enjoy the stories even if I get confused at times.  I’m also a big fan of mysteries and graphic novels as well.

Q: What are some of your favorite authors?

A: Well, I’ve always credited Agatha Christie for igniting my love of reading, so I will becollage-2017-08-30-1.png eternally grateful to her for that!  One of my favorite authors right now is Brandon Sanderson, who I think has crafted some of the most amazing stories I have ever read.  Other authors whose work has really stayed with me are J.K. Rowling, N.K. Jemisin, Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, Gail Simone, Eve Forward, and Brian K. Vaughan. Also, one author I have to give a special mention to is R.A. Salvatore.  Not only do I love his action-packed fantasy novels (especially with his ability to describe sword fights in such a fluid way), but he indirectly introduced me to my friend Branwen, the same person I’m currently doing the “Wheel of Time” buddy read with!  I was reading Salvatore’s “Sojourn” novel when Branwen started posting on my GoodReads status updates about the book, and through our appreciation of the same author, she and I began a wonderful friendship that continues to this day!

You can check out Branwen’s Goodreads Profile HERE. 

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: Oooh… like many people, I don’t think I’ll ever manage to read every book on my TBR shelf!  I think right now there are over 700 books on it! Exposure to more books is both a blessing and a curse of GoodReads.  On the one hand, it introduces me to so many books out there that sound like something I’d love to read.  However, the operative phrase there is “so many”!  Thanks to Goodreads, I now know about all these books I want to read, but I’ll never have time to read them all unless I live to be at least 900 years old!

Q: What’s an emotional book, or one you won’t forget that you’ve read this year or last?

A: The first book that sprang to mind when you asked this is “All The Light We Cannot See”.  It was such a heart-wrenching story about how war tears people apart on all sides.  I was especially moved by Werner’s role in the book.  Watching him start out as such a sweet and innocent child and being slowly indoctrinated into the Hitler youth movement was equal parts tragic and horrifying.  Plus, there are all the hardships that Marie-Laure suffered while trying to elude the Nazis. Not gonna lie, while reading it, my eyes did water up several times!

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: One book I just couldn’t get into was a paranormal mystery called “Dark Side of Sunset Pointe“. It sounded great on paper, a freelance photographer who saw ghosts and was plagued by premonitions, trying to use his link with the supernatural to help solve a murder. Unfortunately, I found the characters bland and some of the attempts at writing in a noir style just felt too forced to me. Still, the book has several four-star and five-star reviews on Goodreads, so just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it’s not for everyone.

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Q: What are you reading now?

A: I’m up to Book #7 in the Wheel of Time buddy read, which is “A Crown of Swords”.  It’s fairly well known that the pacing of the Wheel of Time novels slow down in the middle of the series, and that’s certainly true of this book.  Still, I’m fully invested in the characters and they’re still interesting to read about, even when they’re not doing a whole lot but traveling and arguing. I’m also currently reading a gothic vampire novel named “Corcitura” by Melika Dannese Lux.  Reading it, I’m constantly blown away by Melika’s ability to weave such a complex tale and to even inject so much humor into a horror novel.  Melika is one of the few authors whose writing can make you laugh, gasp, and cry all within the same page!

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: In all honesty, not very.  When I’m in a bookstore, I’m much more interested in the description on the back than the picture on the cover. While a great cover can certainly help catch the eye, there are plenty of books I’ve enjoyed that had lame covers but brilliant plot summaries.  “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher and “Mind Games” by Carolyn Crane are two books that immediately come to mind that I was so glad I bought and read even though their covers did nothing for me.

Q: Do you have a blog? Have you ever thought about starting one?

A: I don’t have a blog myself.  I would love to start one someday, but much like reading all 700 books on my TBR shelf, this is another thing that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to be able to do right now.

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: I actually am working on a book right now!  I had an idea for a while about an urbanpexels-photo-210661.jpeg fantasy series featuring a group of social workers called “The Good Spirits” who specialize with paranormal beings and help them to thrive in a world where many people fear them. For the last couple of years, things have been so crazy in my personal life, I didn’t have the time or energy to pursue it, but I recently became more determined to get back into my writing.  The first book is called “When Only Ghosts Remain” and is about a cult of ruthless monster hunters called “The Night Suns” who are trying to unleash an army of malevolent spirits on the world in order to convince everyone how dangerous these paranormal creatures supposedly are and why their own organization is supposedly necessary. The Good Spirits have to stop the Night Suns’ plot and protect both humanity and the paranormal beings from being harmed by the angry ghosts. I’ll be posting chapters on Wattpad as I complete them.

Q: Which do you enjoy more, e-books or physical books? How about audio books?

A: This is a tough one!  I actually resisted e-books for years, but after finally getting a Kindle, I have to admit that e-books are so convenient as far as storage space and being 51QEbDDolEL._SX425_able to highlight certain passages.  Still, there’s just something about flipping through the pages of a physical book that E-readers just can’t replace.  If I had to pick only one format or the other, I think I would have to go with physical books. I don’t do audio books myself, I’d rather read books in my own voice.

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: These days, the majority of my books come from Amazon.  That ultra convenient “one-click” buying option has cost me hundreds of dollars over the years!  I do love browsing through the shelves of a bookstore, but unfortunately there just aren’t as many of them left these days.  There used to be a Borders bookstore about 10 minutes away from me which was one of my favorite places to shop, but once Borders closed, the nearest bookstore is a lot further away now. So even most of my physical books come from online stores these days.

Continue to learn more about David…

Continue reading “Meet the Reader Series with David – proud Gleeman in Branwen’s adventuring party & Hiatus”

Meet the Reader Series with David Huff

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader: David Huff

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(Links provided for all books and authors)

Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: I absolutely loved reading as a child. I was an adopted only child, and was reading at quite a young age. The most enormous influence on my reading was my paternal grandmother. I had cousins that lived near the water in another part of the county; when we went to see them, I didn’t particularly enjoy it, mostly because I didn’t learn to swim until I was older. But along the dirt road that led to their house, my grandmother lived in a little square house, a few hundred yards before theirs. She had floor to ceiling bookshelves, which were full, and most every time my parents visited the cousins, they would drop me off at her house and then pick me up at the end of the day. It was paradise! She gave me my first book: Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (a natural choice for a young grandson). I still have that book, and it still contains some notes, in my 7-year-old handwriting, on the inside cover.

Some other favorites I recall from my childhood: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Red Badge of Courage, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Aesop’s Fables, Old Yeller, The Call of The Wild, White Fang, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I’m sure there were lots more!

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

A: That’s a tough list to narrow down … A few 2016-2017 favorites would be Pride and Prejudice, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire (definitely a monster bucket list project), Words on the Move, David Copperfield, Paradise Lost, and The Cardinal Turns The Corner.

Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: History, Biography, Theology, Classic Novels, Poetry, Motivational and Current Events (which would include Politics Economics, Law and Social Issues). I also enjoy books on Music, and a variety of the Great Courses (on Audible). 

Q: What are some of your favorite authors?

A: David McCullough, Russell Kirk, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, John Steinbeck, Peggy Noonan, Ray Bradbury, and Shakespeare, among1cd98ba3ea152109d37e00cb2bbf234c--reading-lists-reading-books others. I should also add one of my sons, Matthew Huff, a great book lover and teacher of literature. He is the author of The Cardinal Turns the Corner (#2 above), a collection of poems, and can be found on Goodreads and at his blog, edenbabel.com

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: On the official Goodreads shelf, there are presently five. If I allow that list to get too long, it overwhelms me! On my mental list for the next several years, I’m not sure I could count them all!

Q: What’s an emotional book, or one you won’t forget that you’ve read this year or last?

A: I think probably the most emotional book, to me (and not just this year or last, but all time), is also my very favorite novel, Les Miserables. I remember reaching the part where Valjean and little Cosette were carrying the bucket back through the woods together; that was one of many places where I literally had to put the book down and recover for a while. Such an incredibly complex, wonderful and great story.

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In the past couple of years, some books I definitely won’t forget (all of which were emotional, in some way) were David Copperfield, Pride and Prejudice, and The Underground Railroad (a very emotional and powerful book).

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: We probably all try, to one extent or other, to not invest time in books we think we may not enjoy – though there may be some bold adventurers out there who will take a shot in the dark on an unfamiliar book. I’ve done that myself . A couple that come to mind in this category, over this year and last, were Who Rules The World, by Noam Chomsky,

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and Lectures on the Philosophy of History, by Hegel.

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Chomsky is a very prolific author, whose intellect and career accomplishments I greatly respect; but my views and his are so radically different that it was tough for me to truly enjoy the book. As for Hegel, I think I just need more brain cells! The latter parts of the book were manageable – sort of – but the Introduction (for which the book is most well known) was pretty much impenetrable in places. For me, anyway!

Q: What are you reading now?

A: I’m currently reading, with a Goodreads Group, The City of God, by Augustine.

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We have a leisurely timetable on that one, for which I’m grateful. With my son Matt (mentioned earlier), I’m reading Dante’s Inferno. Just, wow.

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On Audible, I’m listening to a Great Courses writing course, on Analysis and Critique, taught by Dorsey Armstrong.

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Finally, on Kindle, a fascinating book entitled C. S. Lewis and the Art of Writing: What the Essayist, Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic, Memoirist, Theologian Teaches Us about the Life and Craft of Writing. 

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The last book being a candidate for the world’s longest subtitle!

Q: How important is the book cover to you?

A: Not particularly important, usually, in choosing to read a certain book. In part, because I read more on Kindle and Audible than actual books. That said, I appreciate a well done and interesting cover for the aesthetic value.

Q: Do you have a blog? Have you ever thought about starting one?

A: I don’t have a blog presently, but I have definite plans to start one in the next few months!

Please continue reading…

Continue reading “Meet the Reader Series with David Huff”

Meet The Reader Series With GRH

I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: GRH

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: Yes. The Rev. W Awdry’s Railway series was the earliest I can remember; The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh are amongst my favourites.

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: Never Let Me Go’; ‘The Circle’; ‘Keep The Aspidistra Flying’ and many others.

Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: Reference; philosophical; spiritual; investigative; psychology; technology and anything that grabs the attention of my interests.

Q: What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: I like George Orwell, G K Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Pullman, George Monbiot, John Pilger, Naomi Klien.

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?Bookshelf.jpg

A: 19 and as I reduce those I will add more.

Q: What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?

A: I’m not sure how to answer that; I think most books stir some emotion even if it is throwing the book in the bin in disgust; but if a book gave me pause for thought then I would say ‘Never Let Me Go’ – so far.

Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No, I think most books are pretty much curate’s eggs and I approach them as such.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Not at all; I like to look at the book covers because I like typographical and graphic design, but they have no bearing as to whether I read it or not.

Q: What are you reading now?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

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Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: No and no.

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: Yes. I co-wrote and co-illustrated a children’s book, which is not yet published.

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The Frightened Little Flower Bud – Publishing in Progress

I have thought about writing a book, but the thought floats away like the clouds across the sky.

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audio books?Old_Books_Chemistry_Behind_It

A: Real books without a doubt. Anything else has no soul. Holding a book that is over 100 years old or more is an experience you will never get from your ebook-reader or tape. The smell, the tactility, the finding of a pressed flower, an annotation in the margin or ‘to Mary, 1879’ written in copperplate. Wonderful stuff.

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: Second hand bookshops, online, friends.

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series With GRH”

Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Starjustin a.k.a. Mom

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: One of my fondest memories from my childhood is when my Mom decided to have bookshelves built into the north wall in our living room.  She filled the bookshelf with books and we also had a new World Book set of Encyclopedias we used through our school years.  I loved my ‘Tall Book of Nursery Rhymes’ most of all and remember reading from larger poetry books as I got older.   My Father was quite the reader also, still going for his Masters when we were very young and then on to becoming a teacher and eventually a grade school principal.  So, yes, books were a crucial part of my childhood. 

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: I am a ‘slow reader’ and have just gotten back into the reading world within the last year or two.  I truly like to take my time reading a book.  I would have to say that ‘The Life We Bury’ by Allen Eskins,  ‘On the Other Hand’ by Renée Paul,  which was actually life-changing for me,  The ‘Walk Series’  by Richard Paul Evens,  and even though ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts is not my typical genre,  I am very happy to have taken the time to read the book.  

Q:What are your favorite book genres?

A: Dystopian novels,  Self-Help, Memoirs,  Self Awareness,  Children’s,  Short Stories,  and Spirituality.  

Q:What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: Bobby Underwood, Renée Paul,  Richard Paul Evans,  George Orwell,  Liane Moriarty,  Allen Eskins.  There are just too many to list. 

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: 414 last time I looked. 😊

Q:What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?  

A: Two books come to mind. #1.  ‘A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat’ by Bernard Jan( I was teary from beginning to end with this one)

Click the covers to add…

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 #2.  ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts (an extremely emotional read for me several times during the reading.)

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No.  It may take me some time to read certain books however,  there are no books that I’ve read that I’ve not enjoyed in one way or another.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Seeing a book cover for the first time is ‘Love at First Sight’ for me when it’s one that catches my eye immediately,  even though I know nothing about the contents of the book. However, It doesn’t determine whether of not I’ll read a book.f_lovem_2ec3144.jpg

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Easy answer here.  No, I don’t have a blog of my own however, I do enjoy others and find interest in reading blogs.   No, I would never start a blog, only because I’m retired now and enjoy my free time to spend as I wish.  I feel the time I spend reading blogs is enough to keep me very content.  

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: No, other than essays in my school years and of course college papers, etc.   No, I don’t think I would enjoy writing a book due to the hours needed, and the stress involved with printing and publishing.  It would just be too much for me at this point in my life.  

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audio books?  

A: 51QEbDDolEL._SX425_.jpgI love my ‘Kindle’ and it’s much easier for me to read e-books than physical books. Don’t get me wrong, I have a bit of collector in my genes, and I love having signed copies from the authors. I love purchasing books so that I own them and can read them over again if I wish. 

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: The majority of my books and readings, since I own the Kindle, come from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.  So easy to obtain and purchase and many are free.   I have recently moved to stay with my family and I am learning to use the library system again.  I just picked up ‘Garvey’s Choice‘ by Nikki Grimes from the library r/t a GR recommendation from my granddaughter. ( She even went with me! ❤)

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin”

Meet The Reader Series with Renée Paule

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. Every week or so, I’ll introduce a new reader.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Renée Paule

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: No! I hardly ever read a book and no one read them to me. I started reading when I was around seventeen and only rarely. I got more into books in the early 90s and, more passionately so just after the new millenium when I decided to study English Literature at a London University.

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: They would have to be ‘The Double’ by Dostoyevsky and ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers. ‘The Circle’ because it’s so cleverly true to life and ‘The Double’ because it’s philosophically ingenius.

Click covers to add on Goodreads

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Q: What are your favorite book genres?

A: Mainly books with a philosophical thread running strongly through them – as opposed to a thin thread. In other words, books that look at what it means to be a human being and human behaviour, particularly on a cerebral level.

Q: What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: I tend to prefer authors like George Orwell, G.K. Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, Borges and some of the other greats. More modern authors include Kazuo Ishiguro, Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Pullman.

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?.books-300x300.jpg

A: I’ve been reducing my TBR shelf recently by reading a lot and also by removing books that I probably won’t ever get around to reading – I’ve been very strict with this. Today there are 40 books on it and I intend to reduce that further.

Q: What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?

A: I haven’t read any emotional books for many many years – I can’t remember the last one.

Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to what I read so I know I’ll enjoy the books I choose.

Q: What book are you reading now?

A: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Q: The saying is to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: It isn’t. However, when buying a book online and there are more than one version of it, I tend to choose the cover I prefer.

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Yes I do; it’s on my author profile on Goodreads. Click HERE for Renée’ s blog.

Q: Have you written anything? 

A: Yes, I’ve five self-published books out at the moment, a sixth sent to a variety of publishers hoping they will take it on, and a seventh in the pipeline.

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Publishing in Progress

Q: Which do you enjoy more: ebooks, physical books, or audio books?

A: Physical is without a doubt my preference; I don’t like ebooks much. I like the idea of audio books because they can be listened to when driving. However, I have tried a few and find it hard to concentrate on them so get a bit lost and have to keep rewinding.

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: I tend to buy my books online or borrow them from friends.

 

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Renée Paule”