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”

Shabby Sunday: The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some vintage books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

Today’s shabby share is:

The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain

by Mark TwainCharles Neider (Editor, Introduction by)

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Growing up in my grandparents home, we had books from wall to wall. My grandfather was a teacher and loved the written word. We had plenty of books to keep us busy. One of the only books that I have left in my collection that belonged to my grandfather is The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain. I can still remember him reading it when I was just a young child. Something I love about Mark Twain’s writing is the memorable characters.

To me, this is a must-have for any Mark Twain fan. Mine is the 1957 edition hardcover. A few of my favorites are- A Dying Man’s Confession, A Day at Niagara, A Ghost Story, A Dog’s Tale, and Luck. I love that I can now share this with my kids as well.

Definitely a keeper!

My rating for this one is 5*****

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