Tag Archives: books

Absent Landlord: An Interesting Parable

19 Mar

The description of this book intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.

“In this house of failure-ridden misfits, status means everything. When fast-talking newcomer, Lars, tricks insecure Seth out of even the lowest room in the house, Seth resorts to suicide. After he fails at this too, however, Seth wakes up and finds everything he used to take for granted now to be priceless gifts, including the rickety old house. He even decides to obey the long-ignored rules of the absent landlord, which say to care for the others in the house.

Even though Lars continually crushes him and the others to climb his way to the top, Seth must persevere in his quiet resolve, not realizing that the fate of everyone in the house depends on it.”

 

This is an interesting story because the hero is so pathetic to start out. You can’t read about him without feeling some pity while at the same time not being surprised that he has such a hard time making friends. He is the epitome of self-pity and self-loathing. The antagonist, Lars, makes it really easy to dislike him. He has almost no redeeming qualities. These, and all the rest of the unusual characters, makes for a very interesting read.

The author does a good job of setting the scene. You can easily imagine what the house looks like and what the characters look like. While the characters are outrageous at times, they are very human and the interactions are very human as well. It is really hard to say more about this book other than I liked it and
thought it was well worth reading.

* I received a free copy of this book for my unbiased opinion. The opinions expressed are my honest reaction to this book.*

Catskinner’s Book- Strange but Engaging

18 Mar

Catskinner's Book (The Book Of Lost Doors)

* * * *

 

I will admit that through most of this book I was confused, but since the main
character seemed just as confused as I was I think that’s okay. This story
revolves around a man, James, who has some other entity permanently attached to
him thanks to his father. James has never really understood Catskinner, or what
his own purpose was, but he gets thrown into some very confusing answers as he
becomes a target for several groups of people. This book was different than
anything I have read before, and was not what I expected.

There were a lot of plot twists, and some of what seemed randomness in this book. I never
fully understood what purpose James played for all the people that were after
him, and I never fully understood what these other entities were trying to do.
That being said, I was definitely invested. I gave this book 4 stars despite my
confusion because the author actually managed to get me attached to the
characters. I found myself rooting for James and Catskinner despite what they
had done before everything went crazy. I especially liked how the author evolved
the Character of Catskinner throughout. I found myself wondering right along
with James if it was really Catskinner changing, or if it was James that had. I
will agree with another reviewer though, the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I
would have liked it to be. That was actually probably the most confusing part
for me through the whole story. If you want to read something that keeps you
guessing, this is definitely the book for you. I will add the warning that there
is quite a bit of language, and some very strange sex-like moments.

*I received a free copy of this book for review. This is my unbiased opinion
however.*

 

Amazon Link

Asylum by Ashley Hodges Bazer

11 Feb

This is a book that is a little out of my normal interest zone, but the description caught my interest, so I decided to give it a try. This is a Christian based science fiction story pitting the Ghosts, members of Logia and other followers of the Crown, against the Legacy who are determined to terminate everyone who is associated with the Logia. The Legacy has spent an abundance of energy and resources in coming up with cruel tortures for all Ghosts they capture, and when they capture the wife of one of the gifted captains of the Ghosts, they experiment with one of their newest torture devices, wiping out all her memories.

***

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The story follows Chase, the Ghost captain whose wife has been captured, as he searches for his wife and looks for a way to rescue her. This book is about Chase learning to trust the Crown as he goes on his search, but the underlying theme seems to be the love he has for his wife, as well as the love she retains for him despite all the Legacy’s efforts to remove it. While I did feel that there were some areas of the story that were forced, such as how readily Chase gives up on the idea of vengeance after he has set his heart on it, all in all this was a good book. The book is definitely a page turner, and I was caught up in hoping that Chase would be able to succeed in his mission to get his wife back throughout. This book deals with some gruesome things at times, as you read about the torture that the Legacy inflicts on others, but it is a book I would recommend to my friends or blog readers.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Overcoming Abuse God’s Way by Janet Marie Napper and Brenda Branson

3 Feb

It is hard to write a bad review because I know this woman overcame a lot, but I felt the book was lacking. This was supposed to be about bringing Godly wisdom to help in an abusive situation, and while there were reflections on God’s word at the end of each chapter, the book came across as more of an emotional
release of all her past hurts. There were places where she took responsibility, but much of it came across as look at what this person did to me. I was looking for a way that women could become conquerors, but felt I found a plea for empathy.

_140_245_Book_738_cover  **

It is good to see that she managed to use her experiences, and I hope this book can prove more useful to others than it did for me. It is obvious she does strive to trust in God, and my only other comment would be that she should search the Word more diligently for God’s full salvation, as should anyone who reads this book.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Note: I do feel for the woman in this book. I understand that abuse is painful, and I hate that it happens to anyone. Had this book been written strictly as a memoir, I may have reviewed it differently, but since it was advertised as a book to help women deal with abuse, I could not say that it met that standard. Perhaps someone who is dealing with abuse currently will feel differently.

The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber

20 Jan

_80_140_Book_753_cover

***

This book reads as a story, but is really a guide book for how to be both a Christian and a businessman. There are clear lessons on how to apply business principals in a way that do not lead to compromising your beliefs, and yet allow you to make a profit. This book dispels the belief that to be a Christian means you should never be wealthy. The story is of a man who grows up in a monastery, but then when he comes of age decides to become a merchant. The lessons are given as every three years the man meets with his mentor and friend to learn from him how to be successful. He keeps a journal of these lessons, which he is now preparing to pass down to his grandson.

The story itself was interesting, as you got to see how this man applied the principles he was learning to his life. It was a great way to show many of the ideas from Proverbs in action. The 12 principles are good principles to live by for anyone who wants to maintain their Christian beliefs in the business world. It is good to show Christians that they can make money ethically, and that there is nothing wrong with making money. While reading some of the principles, it is important to keep in mind that the principles when applied will work, but that God isn’t just going to make you wealthy because you are a Christian.

The problem I have with this book, is in regards to some of the scriptures used to make their point. There were a couple of scriptures taken out of context to make points that could have been made with more appropriate scriptures. An example is the use of Matthew 6:33. He uses this to make the point that God wants us to have our desires, but this scripture kept in context is actually about God taking care of our daily needs. There were only a few examples of this, and overall the book had good Biblical advice for those in the business world. I would recommend this book to anyone who has doubts about Christians and money as long as they keep their Bible close by to check the scripture references.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Chupacabra Blog Tour & Review

30 Oct

 

The Chupacabra by Stephen Randel ****

The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels

By Stephen Randel

 

233 pages

Publisher: Knuckleball Press

August 19, 2012

Genre: Dark Comedy

 

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Chupacabra-Borderline-Coyotes-ebook/dp/B009068D40/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1345579141&sr=8-1

 

Synopsis:

He is called El Barquero. He makes his trade along the border, smuggling guns and killing without remorse. As he faces his one last mission, his perfect plan is unwittingly foiled by Avery, a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone.

 

What unfolds is a laugh out loud dark comedy of madcap adventure stretching from Austin to the West Texas border featuring a lunatic band of civilian border militia, a group of bingo-crazed elderly ladies (one packing a pistol nearly as long as her arm), a murderous and double-crossing cartel boss, a burned-out hippy, and a crotchety retired doctor and his pugnacious French bulldog. Read it to believe it.

 

Bio:

Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and their two rescue dogs.

My Review: (****)

I was interested in this book because of the descriptions of the characters, especially the gun-toting grandma, and the book did not disappoint.

Avery, your garden variety nut case, manages to stumble on an extremely scary drug runner in his search for a chupacabra. He believes they are trying to take over North America and is out to prove his theory, when he is not busy sending threatening letters to anyone that crosses his path.

The story takes place in Texas, and the author definitely has a good understanding of people from Texas. I found myself laughing at the antics of the characters throughout the book, and I loved how their lives were able to cross in such interesting ways.

The dysfunctional militia group provides some great antics, as does Aunt Polly and her group of friends. Pearl, the gun-toting grandma, is definitely one scary woman. Avery is your typical nut-case who believes whole-heartedly in his own importance. His run-in with El Baquero probably does not help his delusions of grandeur.

While it is hard to explain everything about this book, it is definitely worth reading, particularly if you want a good laugh.

A Stop in the Park Blog Tour

20 Oct

A Stop in the Park by Peggy Strack

Bio:

Peggy Strack writes popular fiction about challenges people face in the fast-paced and daunting contemporary world. She is excited to launch her debut novel, A Stop in the Park, the story of Michael and Jaime Stolis, a disillusioned married couple who yearn to escape the trap of the modern American dream. Peggy hosts the award winning blog, “Kick Back Moments,” for the Saratogian Newspaper. She studied fiction at Skidmore College, The New York State Writers Institute and East Line Books and Literary Center. She is a speech-language pathologist living in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband, Keith. Peggy has two adults sons enjoys an active lifestyle that includes hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

Website: www.peggystrack.com

E-mail: pstrack8@gmail.com

Bolg: http://pstrack.blogspot.com

Short Description:

Touching, romantic, and deeply provocative, A Stop in the Park, follows the story of a man and a woman who yearn to escape the trap of the modern American dream.

Novel Description:

Michael Stolis, a DC attorney, is frustrated by twelve hour work days, tightly scheduled weekends and his family’s chaotic habits. He explodes over minor irritations like being stuck in traffic, and his tantrums need to stop. His disillusioned wife, Jamie, is sick of his anger outbursts, and wants him out of her life. Michael longs to reignite the passionate love they once felt for each other. Jamie prefers to spend her time fostering illicit Internet relationships. Michael had simply followed his Greek father’s instructions for a successful life, but something went terribly wrong. A lucrative career, a Georgetown brownstone and a BMW coupe didn’t deliver happiness as promised.

When his family is about to implode, Michael finds hope through Rufus, an astute retired bus driver he meets over a game of blitz chess in Dupont Circle. Michael is intrigued by Rufus’s prescription for fulfillment, but is it too late to change a life, chase a dream, revive a marriage? Michael must decide how much he is prepared to lose if he embarks on a quest so very different from the world he created. Touching, romantic, and deeply provocative, A Stop in the Park, follows the story of a man and a woman who yearn to escape the trap of the modern American dream.

Excerpt:

In this scene a confused Jamie Stolis contemplates whether she should flee from her volatile yet secure marriage:

Jamie traipsed into the kitchen and poured coffee into a blue stoneware mug that she bought at a pottery shop when she and Michael went hiking in Wyoming. She circled the rim with her finger. They took that trip eight years ago. She couldn’t help but smile as she recalled how Michael imitated an agitated bison they had seen in Yellowstone Park. Thank God they were in the car, because the open mockery could have provoked the beast to charge if they were with it on the prairie. She furrowed her eyebrows. What had happened to her husband’s silly side?

Jamie sipped her coffee and swayed. The air felt light. She picked up the salt shaker and sprinkled tiny white crystals onto the counter. No one screamed, “Why’d you do that?”She could leave the salt there for three days, and no one would care. Jamie smiled and spun around. This must be how a duck feels when a snapping turtle leaves the pond. She sat on a stool at the island and clasped the oversized mug. The warmth from the coffee seeped into her palms, and she focused on the calm.

When her mini-meditation was over, she glanced at the kitchen doorway. A madman wouldn’t be bursting in blaming her for some felony, like the girls leaving their yogurt containers on the coffee table. She sat a while longer trying to figure out what she could do. Stumped, she roamed to the refrigerator and perused her list.

“First things first: that hornets’ nest has to go.” She peered out the kitchen window. At least twenty hornets buzzed around the nest attached to the outside casing. How should she handle this dangerous project? She glanced at the can of insect killer sitting on the counter. The safest thing to do was to open the window and screen, spray, and then close them quickly before the disturbed insects attacked.

“Okay, my little pests, I hate to ruin your morning, but you are about to be history.” She held the can in one hand, raised the window then the screen, and blasted the poison at her target. There was a flurry of insect activity, and Jamie swiftly sealed her house back up for safety. When she looked up, she saw dozens of hornets emerging from the nest to join those already outside. She couldn’t figure out how they could all fit in their dwelling, which was the size of an apple. Some of the hornets sensed the venom and fled. Others circled around the nest as if considering their next move. They sensed the toxic substance but weren’t quite ready to leave home. Then there were those that darted back and forth in a straight line, knowing they should depart but unsure of where to go. A few of the circlers and darters flew away, determining that uncertainty was better than death. The hornets that remained were lifers, and that life was about to be terminated.

“Go on, little hornets,” Jamie said. “You’ll find a new and better home. Just go.”

But they stayed.

“The poison will kill you. Go on.”

The hornets did not respond to her warning. Jamie watched them fall to their death into the alley that separated her home from her neighbor’s.

“What a show,” she whispered.

She contemplated the creature feature she just witnessed. Why did some hornets flee the instant they suspected danger? Why did some cling until it was almost too late? Why did some hang on until annihilation was inevitable?

“Hmm, if I behaved like a hornet and was aware that I lived in a house that had been sprayed with malice, cruelty, and arrogance, what would I do?”

Jamie roamed around the kitchen with her arms folded. She stopped at the window and peered down at the cowardly hornets who had chosen death over adventure.

“You are a darter, Jamie,” she murmured. “You were about to be poisoned, but you had the courage to fly away. The question is, will you return?”

She thought about money. She thought about Megan and Emily having to travel between houses. She thought about working full time while trying to take care of a home and children. Then she thought about spending another forty or fifty years with Michael.

“God, life is hell.”

She put her face in her hands and tried to will away the confusion.

Her stomach started to ache. She picked up the phone to call Matilda. They could have lunch and joke around. Matilda would be so jealous of Jamie’s possibly single status. She might even persuade Jamie to go away some Saturday night for a wild girl’s night out to celebrate. Jamie punched in three numbers then stopped. If she told Matilda, all of their friends would know before nightfall. In fact, everyone in DC would know. Kids might ask Meg and Emily about the split, and she couldn’t have that. This was a private matter.

She rubbed her belly, hoping the pain would dissipate. It didn’t work. She traipsed to her computer and signed in to Facebook. There was a message from Steve. “What’s up?”

That was it. She could tell him about her troubles. Steve didn’t know any of her friends. It was safe, and venting would make her feel better. Maybe he’d even offer some good advice. In fact, now that she was separated from Michael, she might just meet Steve for that cup of coffee on Friday. It would be nice to meet a new friend.

Interview with the Author:

1. What motivated you to write “A Stop in the Park”?

While relaxing with my soon to be husband, Keith, on a park bench in Dupont Circle, DC, I witnessed a compelling interaction between an intense upscale white male who was losing a series of blitz chess games to an elderly African American male. The upscale man’s wife and daughters waited impatiently as Dad and husband insisted on more games.

It struck me how this family had all the trimmings of the “good life”—expensive clothes, attractive, healthy—yet the wife looked sad; the dad looked angry; and the daughters looked constrained in their prim outfits. They represented what so many strive for, but in the process had possibly lost something more valuable than the American dream—authentic  living.

How were these people spending their time and what did they really want to be doing? At that point, I turned to Keith and said, “Wouldn’t that be a great start for a novel?”

The idea simmered in my head and eventually ignited into a fire. I had to write that story, but when? I was a single parent of two sons transitioning into college, planning a wedding, working full time as a speech-language pathologist for a school district, working part time as clinical supervisor at a college, and maintaining a house. Sure, write a novel in my spare time.

Fortunately, I had taken the audio version of Excuses Be Gone by Wayne Dyer out of the library. After listening to it, I decided I not only could, but would write that novel…500 words a day. I kept that commitment to myself. I even wrote 500 words on my wedding day, Christmas, and the day of my house closing. I must confess. I did not write the week I moved or the day after my wedding.

2. Who is your favorite character in your story, or who to you most relate to?

I truly love all of my characters equally, sort of like children. I probably relate most to Michael—really busy, has a hard time relaxing, tries to fit in bits of time to do the things he really loves. I do not, however, have anger issues and I’m not a perfectionist. In that way, I’m more like Jamie. Rufus is my idol, but when you read the book, you’ll learn that his wisdom was not easily attained.

3. What was the hardest part about writing this story?

Making sure I was very sensitive when writing about issues of race that do not dominate, but are a part of  “A Stop in the Park.” I wanted to be respectful and knowledgeable is this regard.

4. What is your favorite part?

I love the scene with Jamie and Kate. Prior to this, I don’t feel the reader truly understands or knows Jamie. This chapter delves deep into her psyche. Jamie also realizes what she wants, but doesn’t know how to get it.

5. Now that the book is complete is there anything you would want to change in the story itself or about the writing process?

I would have Jamie in her garden more often contemplating, as opposed to being in the house. It’s amazing to me that a novel is never really finished. There is a time however, when we authors must type, “The End” and mean it.

6. What is the strangest question or comment you have received from others when discussing your book?

The one that occurs most often that astounds me is, “Have you tried to get in contact with Oprah about your book? She’d really like.” It’s like, “Darn, I lost her phone number.”  Myself and a million other authors have Oprah on their list of the phone calls they’d most like to receive, but…

7. What is the best advice you received during the writing of your book?

Don’t rush the process. Make sure you love it and make every word counts. Let it sit and stew while you work on another project. It’s amazing what you find when you go back to it after five or six weeks.

8. Is there anything else you wish potential readers to know about your book before they go out and buy it?
The characters and situations are fictional, but the information about school conditions and urban living is true. So are many of the setting incidentals like, Dupont Circle, blitz chess & Warrenton, Va.

Places to buy the book: Amazon.com and through bookstores (more to come)

Who is God by David L. Jemison

18 Oct

Book Description: (from Book Sneeze website)

If you are one of those people who is not convinced that there is a God, this
book is for you. If you are one of those Christians who desire more power with
God, this is the right book for you. If you are one of those ministers who want
more power in your preaching and teaching, this is indeed the book for you, and
you will all want to read excerpts from it over and over. Many will want to use
it for a reference book.

 

My Review: *

 

I chose to read “Who is God” by David Jemison because I thought it would be a commentary on who God tells us He is. I was very surprised to find this book was about Mr. Jemison’s life story in ministry. He led us through the experiences in life that brought him to preaching. We did see how he felt God in his life during this time, but many of these stories were hard to believe or rang false for me.

I had a really hard time finishing this book because I found so much false doctrine. An example of this is Mr. Jemison’s discussion about Jesus as a unique being that never existed before he came to earth and will never exist again. This type of statement goes against the Bible which tells us that Jesus existed in the beginning and that we are to be like Him. I also found many of his stories about how God moved in his life hard to believe. Though God tells us that He has given us all we need to believe in Him, according to Mr. Jemison God did a personal miracle to bring his father to become saved. This salvation of course comes through a prayer that can never be found in the Bible. All in all, I was very disappointed in the book, and would not recommend for anyone to read, especially not someone who is not grounded enough in the Bible to see the contradictions in this book.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“Wrecked” Review & Interview with Jeff Goins

24 Sep

I recently had the pleasure of reading Jeff Goins book “Wrecked”. I have been following his blog for a couple of months now, and I am always inspired by what he has to say, so it was an obvious decision to take another chance to be inspired by him.

Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life

In his new book “Wrecked”, Jeff tells us what it means to be wrecked and how it happened to him. More than that though, he tells us what comes after your wrecked moment. The concept of this book is about choices. When we encounter the needs of other people, we have a choice; we can either break out of our comfort zone to do what needs to be done, or we can walk away and pretend we never saw anything.

Jeff gives some interesting examples of the times in his life when these wrecked experiences presented themselves. His stories are inspiring and relatable. One of the best things about this book is he makes it clear that you don’t have to do some grand gesture or ministry to fulfill your calling. In fact, sometimes what we are called to do are the mundane things that don’t seem as thrilling.

This book will definitely motivate you to look for opportunities around you. The only bad part about this book is that it can make you question how you’re living your life; then again, that might not be such a bad thing. “Wrecked” is definitely worth reading and sharing with someone else.

Interview with Jeff Goins

1)      What inspired you to write “Wrecked”?

I wrote Wrecked because I felt like it was a book that needed to be written. As part of the work I do for Adventures in Missions, I see LOTS of young people who are having radical, adventurous experiences. This generation knows it was intended for great things, but nobody is telling them how to commit to worthy causes. In other words, I wanted to see a book about what to do after you get wrecked (i.e. get your world turned upside-down). I couldn’t find one, so I wrote one.

2)      Who inspires you to live the wrecked life? How so?

So many people, some of which I mentioned in the book. One of the most inspiring people I know is my boss, Seth Barnes, who has mastered the art of living in the tension between daily commitments and radical lifestyle.

3)      What is the greatest fear you have had to overcome to get yourself where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?

I’ve struggled with fear of myself for awhile — of my gifts, my passions, my talents. It all feels so selfish to pursue a dream, but recently I’ve learned that a dream ISN’T selfish. Our dreams are given to us to serve others. So pursuing a passion can actually be one of the most selfless things we do.

4)      You mention a couple of instances where you had a “wrecked” experience. For those who are not able to experience these same things, what advice would you give them?

I think everyone can get wrecked in their own way. All you have to do is do something uncomfortable. We all have experiences that we’re afraid of, right? It seems that those who are living meaningful, courageous lives are pressing into those areas, not shrinking away from them. So my advice would be: press in.

5)      What has been your greatest experience in writing this book?

Coming home the day it was published (after a pretty crummy, stressful day) to a house full of friends. My wife arranged a surprise party, and it was just what I needed. For a night, I didn’t worry about book sales or marketing plans of critical reviews. For a night, I got to celebrate.

 

6)      Just for fun: If you could pick any song to be your theme song for your life, what would it be?

Mission Impossible theme, of course.

7)      Do you have any plans for similar books? Or what are your writing plans for the future?

I’m already working on my next book. It’ll be about waiting and should be out August, 2013.

Jeff Goins also has some great books published to help writers, so if you are interested in those you can check them out at his blog (link above). You can also follow his newsletter with great advice for growing your blog. If you have never checked out his blog, it is one I recommend!

What Makes a Book a Good Book

22 Aug

I honestly haven’t done any writing so far this week. I can come up with at least 100 excuses for why not, but it all boils down to I let myself get distracted.

If you want to hear the excuses, I have some good ones:

1) I had to get caught up on house cleaning after being sick for over a week.

2) We just started back to school, so I have to keep up with what we need for the week.

3) I need time to evaluate where my story is going before I start writing again.

 

There are some good excuses right? But I have gotten off point.

As I have been procrastinating and trying to will myself to get started, I have been thinking. You can find so many blogs, books, pamphlets, etc telling you how to be a writer. You can find so many resources out there telling you how to promote and sell your stories, or what not to do, or even what to do in a book.

Most of these resources come from other writers or publishers. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great resources out there. With all the information you can find though, sometimes you (or I at least) can become distracted. Yes, it is important to know how to break up your paragraphs or how to effectively use dialogue. I think it is equally important to know what makes a good book though.

My question is, what do you think makes a good book? What types of stories do you like to read? What makes your favorite books your favorite?

For me, a good book is one that makes you feel like you are really there, seeing the story unfold. A good book gives you enough detail to really see what is happening around you, but not so much that you are bogged down. I also think a good book tells someone’s story. I like to hear more about the person than just what moves the plot from one scene to another. People’s stories are what really draw me into a book.

I also think some humor is important, even in a non-humorous book. Humor can break into a really dark moment, and if done properly, will not take away from what was happening. Humor can keep a particularly heavy scene from just weighing you down.

As an example of what I think makes a good book, one of my favorites is “Pride & Prejudice”.

As I thought on these things that I like to find in a book, I realized I was failing in some of these things in my own story. I have been so worried about getting enough detail in my story, I have been failing at getting the right kind of details. I guess one good thing about procrastinating is that I got time to do #3 in my list of top excuses. 🙂

So now that I have shared some of my criteria for a good book, What makes a book good for you?