Question: How do you organize your books?
Discussions / July 21, 2018

So, confession time. I have had inadequate shelving for my books for years, and I hate that they end up in stacks. Its hard to keep track of them, I am not always sure what I do or do not have a copy of, etc. So, I am really happy I finally ordered some bookcases that should let me finally sort, organize and see what I have. So, when I go to fill them, I am curious, what shelving strategy should I use? I am sure that I want a functional organization method versus aesthetic (so I’m not sorting by color or size). My initial inclination is to just sort by author last name, but I am also considering making a section for read versus unread, or maybe sorting by genre. So, while I am deciding, I thought I would see what others like to do, what system works best for you (for those of you out there that might be disciplined enough to actually stick to a system.

Indulging in Binge Reading
Discussions / November 26, 2015

So, I do enjoy reviewing and running this blog, but I will admit to missing the way I used to read books at times. It used to be, when I would read a new author or series, I would binge read everything I could one right after the other. For some, I might choose to take a break if there were multiple series, but it was pretty much guaranteed if I picked up a book one and really enjoyed it, I would continue straight through and read all the books available in the series. Reviewing new releases, I find a couple of things have impacted this. First, if I am always reading books as they are released, then obviously I won’t have the option to moving straight to the next book. And secondly, for series that are published, I find it hard to “make the time” to read a series straight through like I always used to. I created my Backlist Burndown feature specifically to make sure I created time for previously published books instead of reading solely new releases. But what I found, is even doing this, I would often pick the shorter books on my TBR, and I would…

Futility of Fiction? I think not. Why do you read? Escapism or Something More?
Discussions / June 19, 2015

There are so many reasons to read and I don’t believe there could ever be a wrong answer to the question. But, I have to admit to being a bit taken aback by a conversation I had with my son. So much so, I still think about it two years later. I don’t tend to share much of my personal life online, but this ties so much with reading that I decided I wanted to share, and see what draws other people to books. So, here’s a quick version of the story. A couple of years ago my youngest son (then age 8) was debating me the merit of fiction. He was against it, and even still often acts like reading fiction is a chore. He’s a highly intelligent and wonderfully quirky child who loves to learn, he loves books, they just tend to be non fiction, closer to encyclopedias than stories. His reasoning to me was “What’s the point? I read the story, when it’s over I’m done and there’s nothing left. I’ve not gained or learned anything.” I was a bit aghast. Especially since we were in a book store, surrounded by wonderful fiction when he was explaining to…

Confessions of a Moody Reader
Discussions / March 6, 2015

So, I have to admit it, I can be quite a moody reader. I have seen others mention this so I know I am not completely alone. It makes sense that some days you may be more in a mood for one type of book than another. But yet sometimes I can’t help but wonder how that impacts my reviews. First, most books I think my opinion of will be the same. If I pick up a GRRM book, regardless of mood, I will likely love it. There are other authors, I’ll be nice and not name, that I can read on any day and immediately regret any time spent reading. But there are some books that I think I need to be in the right mood for or they are doomed and I feel this sense of responsibility to try an match it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. And sometimes I feel I have to ask my self if I am sure I don’t like it solely because of my mood or is there some other problem with the book that I just can’t identify. Something that is keeping me from engaging with it on the level I would need to to really…

What the ….?? Cliffhangers. Love or hate them?
Discussions / November 7, 2014

Ah, the good ol’ cliffhanger. The ending that people seem to love to hate. Countless times I have read disappointed reviews due to open endings or cliffhangers. The disappointment almost palpable as the reader tries to come to terms with a lack of closure when they felt they should have because they desire some sense of completion with the ending. And I can understand that, but I can’t say that I have the same reaction. I’m not sure if it’s an attitude in how I approach a story, I don’t know if it comes from reading different types of books growing up than many fantasy readers, but I am actually often a fan of of these endings that meet frustration from other readers. So, the question becomes, WHY? What makes me enjoy these so much more than others? This may be a pointless rambling post as I try to guess speculate reasons for the difference. But, hey! It’s Friday, what better way to spend it than with a pointless ramble. So, I am sure part of the puzzle is explaing why I like these types of endings. As for open endings, I don’t know for certain, but I feel like…

Dracarys! (Backlist Burndown)
Discussions / October 14, 2014

  Backlist books. We all have them on our TBRs, many of them by favorite authors, but what percentage of those do we actually get to compared to new releases that we want to read? At least if you’re blogging? I know for me, the percentage is pretty darn depressing. When I look at some of the books I have not read yet, I really wonder what I have been doing with my reading time. It’s so easy to get pulled in to the new shiny things, the latest and greatest new releases. Especially when you can get ARCs of them from publishers in exchange for reviews and you hear other bloggers chatting about them, building anticipation. And it also doesn’t help when you notice a trend for lower traffic for previously published books (at least for me). So, it’s easy to put them off for “another day” or “after I catch up with ARCs”. Well, I think I have decided I need to change that, even if it means reading less ARCs and getting lower traffic. My blog is really about reading books I want to read, and posting my thoughts. I feel like I’ve just gotten a bit…

British vs American? What now after the poll?
Discussions / December 13, 2013

(In response to my Very American or Very British? Can you tell the difference  poll. Thank you to all that took the time to respond to it) Well, honestly, not much. I don’t know where the line is between recognizing and accepting cultural differences (and how they may impact works of fiction) and making marked generalizations about cultures/segments of society. I suspect most people are attempting the first, but I sometimes view it as the second. There is merit in acknowledging the differences we have but I get leery when I hear statements that make it sound black and white. I like grey. I was in some ways surprised by the number of people that say they can often tell if a book is written by a British or American author (~30%) and about 50% said they could sometimes tell a difference. Yes, there are different cultures and histories to the two places that can make their general style and preference different. I am not going to debate that. But, I guess where my issue comes in is feeling confident enough that the two are so different that an author from one country could definitively not write in the style considered…

The Horror in Modern Fantasy
Discussions / July 25, 2013

This article was originally posted on Wilder’s Book Review Some of you may already be aware of this, others may not, and most likely don’t care. But before becoming entrenched in the Fantasy genre, I read almost exclusively what is classified as Horror. To be honest, I have never been a fan of that title/name. I feel it sounds almost derogatory, and evokes images and stereotypes of horror movies. That is not why I read Horror, and that is not what I took from it. After recently “returning to my roots” and reading a couple of Joe Hill novels, I was reminded of exactly why I loved the genre (and still do). I don’t read to be scared, I don’t read for the horrific monsters; for the zombies, vampires, etc. I read for the emotional journey of a character. I want to read a book that will make me feel something. I want to feel a connection with the character. I also want unpredictability. I want a book where the unthinkable is possible because once you know the characters are safe from the unthinkable, you lose that connection, that emotional response. In Horror, characters are not safe, their path and obstacles…