Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I am READING... IS worth RECOMMENDING

I’ve kept a list of what I’ve been reading since March. I wanted to see what I pick up and spend time on in the world of books.

I'm working my way through The Unwinding, by George Packer and at 430 pages it's not a quick read - but I'm really enjoying it. 

I often have more than one book on the go - big books, like The Unwinding, I read at home in fits and starts. I have a few books on my Kindle, and I take books out of the library; there is always something I'm reading. 

I took a page from Stephen King's 'On Writing' (thanks to Bushman for recommending this SK book) whereby he encourages reading in every spare moment, and learning to read in "sips and swallows".

I downloaded my recent book from Amazon onto my Kindle. I will admit to guzzling… it was such a good read.

Lighting Candles in the Snow, by Karen Jones Gowen



Here’s my review on Amazon:

This was, in my view, a page turner.

I was quickly drawn into wanting to know more about the characters. The writing was smooth, transitions from character to character easy to follow, as was the portions devoted to backstory (on Jeremy via his mother).

I was surprised at how my emotions were triggered throughout this story, on many levels.

I'm giving this a 5 star because it really is a well told story - I do want to add, though, that I did skim a few sections were the story was rehashing earlier parts and for me it wasn't necessary - that said - at no time was I interested in stopping - I really wanted to know what happened to these characters.

Oh - and the recipes (which really work as part of the story) offered at the end of most chapters are great! Easy and really tasty. (A bonus, for sure.)

This download was free - it really is worth paying for.

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Bear this in mind:

I’m not a fan of reviews where I am given a synopsis of the story by the reviewer.
I don’t want to know what the stories about. What’s the point of me reading it if you’ve just told me what it’s all about.
I want to know if you liked it - and would recommend it. I’ll do the reading after that.

So, that’s how I review. You want the story - read the book. 

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I’ve had the pleasure of following Karen’s blog: Coming Down the Mountain: Expat Writer Living Abroad. for some time now, and had fun co-hosting the 2012 Blogging from A-Z Challenge with her. 

Karen has several books under her belt - they can be seen on her Website or on Amazon.

Many of the talented bloggers I follow have written and published their works. Some have self-published, others have gone the route of finding an agent/publisher. Either way, there is a lot of talent out here which deserves a read.

So, that’s what I’m going to do, I'm going to start reading YOUR work. I will add one, or two, books a month to my regular reading list. I’ll let you know here which I’ve read and how I’ve liked them.

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Are you reading works by your fellow bloggers?

If so, what are you reading, and how are you liking it?

What kind of reviews do you like? A synopsis or something else?

Cheers, Jenny

15 comments:

  1. Currently I am reading A land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. I love the writing style. He does very well with it as it is told by a young kid in the deep south. While I'm not from the deep south he makes me feel like I am.
    I'm trying to spread my reading around and delve into different genres that I have never read. It's difficult to part with the security blanket of horror and macabre and a steady diet of courthouse and jury trials by Mr. Grisham.

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    1. I checked out Cash's book on Amazon - sounds interesting. I used to be a Zane Grey reader (way back) and this could make my list. I'm please to see you're branching out into different genres - me too. Thanks to you I read Carrie - loved it!

      Also… I've been reading a few of those posts you've been reading over at DL Hammonds… like some, some not so much - but it's interesting to see what people come up with in 500 words - good old flash fiction. You should have entered - you would have done well. :)

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  2. I have been doing that for a while now, Jenny, (reading other bloggers books) and it is very rewarding, especially because most are quite good. I haven't read this latest of Karen's, but will do so at some point. Thanks for this.

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    1. It is rewarding, Karen - I truly enjoyed this book. I think you will enjoy it too.

      I went over to Amazon and downloaded your book - Following the Whispers - I will be starting it this evening. My water is boiling and with cup of tea in hand I will snuggle under the covers and see what awaits. :) :)

      I've had you on my reading list forever - my sincerest apologies that it's taken me this long to get to your work. I confess, ever since filling out that Proust Questionnaire and realizing 'procrastination' is my epic failing I am doing whatever I can to clean up my act - so far, so good. And… what a difference it is making on my sense of purpose.

      I will let you know when I finish… until then keep smiling, your Avatar is so pretty - it makes me smile too. Hugs.

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  3. Jenny, And here I recently posted on my blog about how I don't care to read book reviews on blogs I follow. *gulp* *eating my words* Although there's a reason for this. It seems like so many bloggers are fans of YA fiction, and it's to be honest, not one of my favorite genres. Thank you SO much for this wonderful review of my novel, Jenny.

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    1. I'm smiling - you and I are of similar minds - I'm not really a fan of reviews, of any kind really. Word of mouth is my go-to option. Just like it is with my business - I don't advertise, I prefer to let the good word of clients draw in new business.

      So it is with books - I'm often listening to what an ardent reader tells me about why a book gripped them rather than all the details of the story - I'm not mature/patient enough to read something after it's been spelled out, as it often is with the many reviews I've stumbled upon.

      This is true for reviews on Amazon - seems reviewers feel obliged to dissect a piece of work and then regurgitate it as if this will somehow entice me to read the item being reviewed.

      In the case of your book, Lighting Candles in the Snow, I wanted to share it, in so much as it is a well told story - if my word is good enough to go on than it falls to those interested to make the move and get a copy and actually read the story for themselves.

      I really… I mean, really, enjoyed this piece of writing. You are a GOOD storyteller.

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  4. I don't usually like a synopsis, either. I'd rather have a recommendation whether the book is a good read or not without revealing salient (today's "Ten Dollar Word") plot points. Also, I usually read two books at the same time (well, not PRECISELY at the same time...you know what I mean). I normally read a fiction (for instance, I'm slogging through the third book of the Game of Throne series). Then, since I feel like my brain is starving, I pick a non-fiction (I...am...such...a...snob). Right now, I'm reading "In Search of the Dark Ages." Which came as a bit of a surprise. I thought the Dark Ages was anything before invention of the Internet (Thanks, Al Gore!).

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  5. You asked if I read any work by a fellow blogger. The only one that I have is Robyn Engel's 'Just the Right Time.' It's a great collection of her poetry and comes complete with some neat little illustrations (a link to it is on my blog). It is the perfect chance to use Stephen King's advice to "sip and swallow" (Or would that be his dentist's tip to "Rinse and Spit"?).
    No. It is MUCH better than anything having to do with spit.

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  6. Finally (I promise), you'll note that I used the word "synopsis" above. Mostly because I didn't know the plural form. Is it "synopses," "synopmany," "synopsi," or "synopsisses"?
    Okay, going away now.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in Al - an with such a wonderful serious tone too - made me see that the many sides of Al include scholar! :)

      I will take a look at your link to Robyn's book - thank you for sharing it.

      Have you read The Unwinding, by George Packer - if not would you mind much if I highly recommend it to you - first because you are an American, second you're intelligent, and also having served your country I would really like to see what you think of his interpretation of the last 30-40 years in your country. His writing is riveting - I'm half way through, it is one of those books you really do need one or two others for distraction. That's not to say it's a hard read, or a slog of any kind, in fact it is a thought provoker and therefore I need to put it down after a spell - and think! (which in itself is a big task - and that's the extent of me adding humour to this comment).

      Let me know if you've read it or might give it a go. With smiles, Jenny

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    2. I think I will have a look at it. Can't turn down such a recommendation!

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  7. A book, I just like to read whether it is good or not. There is a description already.
    I have gotten books by bloggers. Not as many as I might like due to budget. I have also gotten books based on mentions from blogs.
    I wrote a book, as you know. I have started a second, but not finished. Cookbooks are hard with pictures. I got it fine for the book and had to convert it to look right on Kindle and went to submit it for Nook, but that takes more converting. It looks good on the Nook, but for some reason the whole book doesn't show up in the upload.

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  8. I don't read as much as I like I confess. I have a couple of other bloggers books on my ipad and a pile of other books I just haven't got to.
    My ideal time for reading is usually when I am on holidays and usually something light I can escape reality with for a few hours

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  9. Great review! I have LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE SNOW in my over-sized and sadly neglected TBR pile. I hope I'll be able to get to it soon. :)

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  10. Hi Jenny .. I thought I recognised the cover - and I do have the book and I'm going to get into reading properly very soon ... my kindle is loaded with bloggers books and I have bought a few too - they await me!

    Fantastic to read about Karen's book ... and I'll get to my TBR lists .. cheers Hilary

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Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

I'd give you a penny for them, but alas we just snuffed it out. Yup...gone!
It's all about the nickel now...so at this rate you can leave 5 thoughts!

Cheers, Jenny

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