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My Best Friends

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love books. They don’t talk back. There’s a never ending supply in the bookstore, online, or at the library. And if I’m lonely, they’re always there to keep me company.

Florence Fois’s March Bookfest inspired me to share a few of my recent and upcoming reads. If you’re interested in finding out more about these books, click on the links below.

Recently finished:

Against The Wind by Virginia Kelly
Romantic Suspense – a hurricane, a man on the run, and the woman who rejected him – Kindle

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
Women’s Fiction – a woman on a journey to find herself escapes a dangerous man – Paperback

Next up on my to-be-read pile are:

Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson
Thriller –  “… nail-gnawing suspense, dark mystery, and a dash of romance.” – Kindle

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult – “… stunning, gripping, powerful.” – Kindle

Where The Heart Is by Jenny Gardiner
Women’s Fiction – “… home is the only place she’ll ever be able to reclaim what’s most important to her.” –Kindle

On order and on their way, some writing books that sound interesting:

Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs To Know by Todd Klick
Paperback and Kindle

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way To Success by K.M. Wieland
Paperback and Kindle

The Art Of War For Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell
Paperback and Kindle

Plus, just for good measure, I ordered a Yoga DVD to keep me in shape. 🙂

What is the most recent book you’ve read? And what’s next on your reading list?

~~~

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A World Without … Books?

Sometimes I think about how awful it would be to live in a world without books. Usually it’s a result of watching TV and seeing old footage of people burning books.

But then I reach for my Kindle, admire the towering digital-to-be-read pile that awaits me there, and forget about my concerns. After all, even if every print book on the planet disappeared, we’d still have our digital copies to read and pass on to future generations. Right?

Thankfully, Jan O’Hara’s recent Tartitude blog awakened me to the truth and the worst possible scenario. No power = no ereader.

A world without books of any kind?

This realization comes while I’m in the middle of decluttering my house, so that in 30, 40, or 50 years, my boys won’t have to dispose of our treasures (or what they like to call our junk). I’ve been parting ways with my beloved books, something I haven’t done since we packed to move to this house 19 years ago. At that time, every book I set into the box to give away broke my heart.

This time, though, I’m a little older and a little tougher. With every box I cart out of the house, I tell myself that eventually all books will be in digital form and I’ll be able to buy them for my ereader.

But now my overactive imagination has taken over and I’ve decided it’s less likely I’ll have to fight zombies in the future than do without books.

So what would I do if I got rid of all the print books in my house and the power went out … permanently?

My first thought is that I’d find pen and paper and write stories to entertain myself. My next thought is … what if there is no pen and paper either?

Ack! I’m a lousy verbal storyteller, unlike both my boys who can tell tales off the cuff. I’d start and stop and think, then want to edit every word uttered. Best to leave the verbal storytelling to those who are good at it.

And so, to alleviate my bookless fears, my decluttering has come to an end. The shelves of books and stacks of magazines will have to remain where they are until my boys are moving their dad and me into a much – much, Much, MUCH – smaller living space.

Till then, I’ll hold my long time friends near and dear to my heart because let’s face it, even a three day power outage could cause a diehard reader without a book to go into withdrawal and shock.

So while you all prepare for the upcoming Easter holiday, I want you to take a break and answer these questions. Have you ever thought about giving up your stack(s) of print books? Or do you think zombies will attack you before you ever have to live in a world without books?

Happy Easter everyone!

I’d Rather Buy Books …

… than food or clothes.

You heard me. Grocery shopping is a necessary evil and I do it because we love to eat. Shopping for clothes is something I put off until there are holes in my socks and my jeans are frayed.

But give me a bookstore – online, on the street corner, or in the mall – and I’ll gladly spend hours browsing the shelves, checking out covers, and reading back cover blurbs.

When I return home from my shopping spree, I’ll spread the books around me, then study the covers and reread the back story blurb. Or if I’ve purchased the books online and downloaded them to my Kindle, I’ll open each one up so I can view the cover and read the opening pages – copyright, acknowledgments, and story blurb or excerpt.

Then comes the moment when I have to pick which book to read first. If I have a favourite author in the mix, I’ll usually start with her book. Sometimes a story blurb will so intrigue me, my curiosity gets the best of me and I’ll dive into that book instead.

I dream about moving my household into the local library, where I can be surrounded by books 24/7 and browse at will. I’d be the happiest woman in town … except for when it came time to dust each and every book on the shelves.

Hello, my precious books. You are better than gold.

How about you? When buying books or bringing them home, what is your reading MO?

Discovering Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland

Once upon a time, my reading choices were limited to my favourite authors but since the purchase of my Kindle, I’ve discovered new-to-me authors. While romantic comedy and women’s fiction are still my number one choice, my reading tastes have broadened and become more eclectic. And IMO, one of my favourite parts of the reading experience is discovering a new-to-me author and then reading their backlist. To a diehard reader, this is better than chocolate.

So I’d like to share some of the books I’ve recently read and loved. First off is Hollowland by Amanda Hocking.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Amanda Hocking, she was unable to sell her books to traditional publishers so began to self-publish in April 2010. Since then, she has sold over a million copies of her books. In March 2011, she signed a four book deal with St. Martin’s Press and has gone on to have a book optioned for film and another one made into a graphic novel.

Hollowland is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’ll definitely be reading more. While I’d always intended to try one of Amanda’s books – she is, after all, a superstar in the self-publishing world – my Kindle is already filled with books that I haven’t yet had a chance to read. But the other day, when I received the Free Kindle Books & Kindle News email, I saw Hollowland on it. I immediately downloaded the book on to my Kindle.

My reading MO starts out with admiring the cover, reading through the reviews, acknowledgments, then finally delving into the opening lines of the book. Monday night, I started reading Hollowland and wow, does the story start out with a bang. To whet your appetite, here’s the first sentence:

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

I’m halfway through the book and hope to finish it tonight. It’s that good. It’s the story of a nineteen year old girl’s quest to find her eight year old brother in the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic world that is filled with an army of flesh-eating zombies. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t enjoy carnage, Amanda Hocking has kept the unpleasant descriptions of zombie gore to a minimum.

If you’ve always wanted to try a book by Amanda Hocking but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, I highly recommend starting with this one. Last time I checked – just a few minutes ago – it was still free on the Amazon site.

I’m anxious to read the rest of the Hollowland series but see that book two hasn’t been released yet. It’s due out any day now but in the meantime, there’s Amanda’s My Blood Approves series to try.

So what new-to-you authors have you tried lately? And what books are high on your list of favourites?

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