My Reading List

Sometimes, a short break in writing is needed, and taking one right after I wrap up my second series was good timing. I rid myself of any guilt I feel for not working by calling it an ‘active rest’.

I got the idea during a group exercise class at my gym. Our instructor introduced the concept of ‘active resting’ in between two particular difficult Tabata sets. Instead of just standing there trying to catch our breath for twenty seconds before the next set, we were supposed to hold a deep squat. At first, I couldn’t get over how crazy this woman was. But I did the squat, walked away from the class after it ended – feeling proud, and woke up the next morning very sore.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I decided that during a writing break I can still be creatively active. For the most part, this involves a whole lot of reading. My love of reading follows very closely on the heels of my love of writing.

So in case you are interested, here is a list of some of the books I’ve picked up in the last few months:

end of days book cover

End of Days (Angelfall Series) by Susan Ee

This is the third and final installment of this series, so no excuses. If you haven’t started it yet – go get it now! I highly recommend Angelfall to anyone who loves the fantasy genre.

 

 

 

 


unbroken book cover

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

A word of advice: don’t just watch the movie and call it done. The book has so much more to offer (as they often do). This is far from my usual genre but I would recommend this to anyone and everyone for a great read. Be prepared to learn the very real and very gruesome details about war, what really goes on at POW camps, and the aftermath every soldier carries with him for the rest of his life. But this book is so much more than that. It really gives you some insight into just how unbreakable the human spirit can be.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

storied life

 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This one is a very ‘literary’ book, and not quite my cup of tea. A lot of the literary references were lost on me, which I’m a little sad to admit as an author. But more than anything I found the book to be a little boring, though I did make my way through the whole thing.

 

 

 


 

girl on the train book cover

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a psychological thriller – not my usual genre, but eh, why not? If you liked any of Gillian Flynn’s books (‘Gone Girl’, ‘Sharp Objects’, or ‘Dark Places’) this one may appeal to you. I felt like I could really connect with some of the characters. Their thought processes and actions reminded me of some people I know.

 

 


 

red rising cover

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Golden Son by Peirce Brown

Hoooooooold the phone! How have I not heard about this series until now! Just to warn you, the beginning is a little rough. It is slow-paced and the writing is raw and crass. Hang in there. It’s worth it! Lots of action, heartache, politics, and character development like I’ve never seen before. Read. This. Series. Now. (Unless you like to wait until the entire series is out – because the third book has yet to be published.)

 

 


 

 

 

all the light we cannot see book cover

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This story follows two character arcs as they endure World War II. If you are looking for a book with really beautiful prose, you are in for a treat!

 

 

 

 


 

delerium book cover

 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Another teen-centered post apocalyptic book, but well worth the read! The premise of the book is a deadly disease called Love that afflicts all of society until they are old enough to get the cure. There are lots of twists and turns to keep you reading – I can’t wait to get to the rest of the series!

 

 


 

eleanor and park book cover

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A young adult book about two sixteen year olds who fall in love. This one was a quick read for me; I absolutely loved it. It’s hard for me to pin what exactly was so good about this one – you read it and let me know!

 

 

 


 

winter queen book cover

Winter Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argyle and Summer Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argle

This was a treasure find for me! I can’t even remember how I came across this series, but the writing was just beautiful and both storylines sucked me right in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

You can find my ratings and reviews for most of these books on Goodreads – be sure to friend or follow me there if you haven’t already!

 

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite reads. Once I get back into writing, I’m only able to read about two books a month so they definitely need to be worth my time! I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!

E-book AND Print Book; No Versus About It

A few weeks ago, my kids and I were wasting time waiting for a movie to start (Brave – it was great; you should see it), and we came across a small, used bookstore. The experience was, to say the least, awesome. We each found our place in the store, lost among the shelves and shelves of books.

The kids picked a book to buy, and as we checked out the owner commended each of their choices and told them, “great job – keep on reading.”

I’ll say it again, it was a great experience. Compare that with the experience surrounding my e-reader. My Nook is a prized possession. It stays hidden, sometimes even while I’m reading. There is no way I will share it with my kids and their clumsy, dirty hands.

Now, I could choose to get them each their own. But something tells me they will get loaded with game apps, lost, or broken in no time at all. With three kids, it would be an expensive endeavor.

Granted, I would never give up my Nook – and do think it is the future of reading, but why do we have to choose one or the other?  We don’t – it’s all about balance. We can incorporate both into our lives:

Yes, my photo-shop skills need some work. I am sitting on the books while reading my Nook because I couldn’t fit my butt in the tiny purple chair. Also, I am normally wearing shoes when shopping in public…

But to do so, technology – and people – have a long way to go. We need to make content more ‘shareable’: Here’s how, specifically:

1. Allow users to gift their entire libraries. According to one article from SmartMoney Blog, “Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.” Already, my iTunes library has turned out to be quite the investment, at least for my modest salary, so it is definitely something I want to see passed on.

2. Better E-book systems in our public libraries. Along the same lines of sharing, public libraries have lendable e-books, but not a whole lot are available and there are long waiting lists. It is a system worth making the investment to improve.

3. Donate used e-books: When I buy an e-book and am finished reading, it stays put in my e-reader. Why can’t I donate it to a bookstore, school, or a friend? Limited lending programs (two weeks or so) by Amazon and B&N don’t cut it. I don’t own digital rights to the material, so there isn’t a form of transfer that isn’t considered piracy.

Shareable ebook sites are starting to make their debut, but so is the legal department of Amazon. Amazon briefly revoked Lendle’s access, which proves the industry has a ways to go as far as shareable content. Furthermore, most sharing sites are only available in the US.

DRM (digital rights management) is something authors establish with their ebooks when they first publish. No piracy? Sounds great to me. Wrong! My books can still be pirated, and it just makes ‘sharing’ all that more difficult for the reader. Unfortunately, once DRM is selected for a book, the author cannot go back and change it.

So what can we do about it? The e-book industry is largely a customer-driven operation, much more so than the print industry ever was. Let’s use that to our advantage. Give feedback, and lots of it, anywhere you can. Ask for Demand for more shareable content!

I acknowledge shareable digital content may be a difficult thing to accomplish, seeing as how the industry finally has a pseudo-way to control content.  I mean, by sharing and donating hard copy books, were we just committing ‘analog piracy’ all along? Keep in mind, though (and maybe this is something we should remind publishers), they’ve still managed to sell books, despite all the ‘sharing’.   The same would apply to e-books.

On that note, have a great labor day weekend everyone!