Archive for the 'Commentary' Category


Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

“I can feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, British actor and booklover

Oh, and how I wouldn’t like to be curled up with him!

It’s NaNoWriMo time again…

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileOkay folks, I’m committed! (And I might need to be committed by the end of this.) It’s just barely past midnight, but I’ve already got my first 100 words written for NaNoWriMo. This year, I am tackling an idea I’ve had floating around in my head for a long time. It’s not quite as ambitious as other years, which means I’ve got some chance of finishing it. I’ve completed NaNoWriMo the last 2 years, but both of those novels are still only half-finished. So wish me luck! I just finished a Halloween Pumpkin Pub Crawl, so I am expecting some very interesting writing tonight.

Reading is good for you!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

group-reading-2We all know that, right? There’s a lot of research to support the idea – it lifts your mood, reduces stress, it may prevent Alzheimer’s, it improves your concentration – so I was really interested in this article from Arts.mic: Science has great news for people who read books. Apparently, reading a print book is better for your brain than an eBook.

Reading long, literary sentences sans links and distractions is actually a serious skill that you lose if you don’t use it. Before the Internet, the brain read in a linear fashion, taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout.

As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning.

Not only that, the physical presence of the book helps our memory of the story:

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.


The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers “might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading.”

I love my books and I love my Kindle, and I love having the option to choose between the two. So read! Find time to read every day and if someone asks what you’re doing, tell them that you’re exercising your brain!

In the mood for a little romance?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

I found thiROMANCE-NOVELs list very interesting: 50 Romantic Books for People Who Hate Romance Novels.

I agree with the author: sometimes you want a little romance. Sometimes, some people even want a romance novel. The formula and knowing your expectations will be met can be very soothing and relaxing. But what about when you want some romance mixed with your historical fiction, or your action-adventure or your literary fiction? The list gives you some great options. From the list, I’ve read:


  • The Princess Bride
  • Jane Eyre  (hated it)
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Dune
  • High Fidelity
  • Madame Bovary
  • Tipping the Velvet

Now on my TBR list:

  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • History of a Pleasure Seeker
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Lord of Misrule
  • The Night Circus
  • Schematics: A Love Story

And maybe a few more!

Sad news for World Book Night

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014


world book nightI am sad to report that World Book Night US has suspended operations:

“The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, and shippers, are too high to sustain without additional outside funding,” [executive director Carl] Lennertz wrote.

If you follow here, you might remember that in 2012 I handed out copies of The Book Thief at my local tattoo parlors. It was an amazing experience, handing out books to people and sharing a book that I truly loved.  I imagine that this is a hugely expensive operation, and I am so sorry that they couldn’t find the funding they needed.

Game of Thrones fans?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

I absolutely love this! Perfect pop-culture mash-up:

99 Book Nerd Problems

Thursday, May 1st, 2014


A friend passed this link along to me from the Barnes and Noble Blog: 99 Book Nerd Problems

This is great fun and obviously written by some folks who really love books – who love books the way I love books. The kind of people who aren’t surprised that I take a dozen books on vacation, just so I can avoid the heartbreak of finishing them all by the second or third day (#53). People who understand that books have set an impossibly high standard for modern life (#40, 41, 42, 43) and who are intimately familiar with the particular physical challenges of being an avid reader (#49, #62).

What are your favorites on the list?

Why don’t I run into guys like this?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Seriously, Mark Grist – call me!

Help an author choose a title!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

no-titleVirginia King has written the first book of a new mystery series.

Now it needs a title to grab attention!

Vote for your favourite title using the link below. The five best responses will win all the books in the series.

Entries close April 30.

The book will be published with the most popular title on Amazon in May.

Vote Here

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Wishing you good books and good fortune in the new year.