My Reading Year in Review

I’ve been doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the last two years. I set my goal at 20 books each year. I only made it to 17 in 2014. I got bogged down in a long “bestseller” and an equally long “award winner” that I might have been able to finish had they both better content editing. I did exceed my goal for 2015 by 2.68 books, though. I’m a slow reader (Michael Fassbender admits to being a slow reader, too. *sigh*) so I don’t set lofty goals.

My non-scientific and random review methods based on the fact I’m a writer, I get moody and other things that may vary day to day.

***** So compelling I’m willing to not do things I love (like write and sleep) to keep reading.

**** The characters are compelling or the story so interesting they follow me around until I can read again.

*** Good enough I’ll keep reading, maybe for enjoyment or maybe another reason.

** Gave it a good try, but probably won’t finish.

* WTF?

My ***** for 2015

  • The Lady of Lakewood Diner by Anne R. Allen. I believe Ms. Allen is an indie author. If you grew up around or are interested in the 1960s, you’ll especially enjoy this.
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer. I’m not a big fan of things about World War II, but the characters and the prose are stunning.
  • The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. A library book sale big time score! Loved everything about this book.
  • Horse and Buggy Mennonites by Donald B. Kraybill and James P. Hurd. Nonfiction research for Zook’s Corner. A readable interesting detailed account of Old Order Mennonites in Lancaster County, PA.

The lowest I gave was a *** to The Outcast by Jolina Petershiem. I think I was feeling generous that day.

Everything else received solid ****.

An L.A. writer runs to Maine and meets an odd little girl. Literary fiction.

Sometimes I inadvertantly pick up books around the same time with the same settings or themes. In 2015 I read At The Water’s Edge right before All the Light We Cannot See, both WWII settings. Then both set in Seattle were Safe with Me and Firefly Lane. The Robber Bride is set in Toronto (which I’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting) and something else was Toronto based in my life then…maybe a movie?

I think the most disappointing was The Girl on the Train. Wildly popular and I got it for cheap on Kindle. It was a great read until the ending which was just “meh.” In my opinion. You may think it’s brilliant.

I did abandon a book, Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. It’s YA. I found the first person over-obsessing of a guy by a teenage girl annoying. Not a bad book and I have some questions that won’t get answered because I don’t like the voice, but just not for me.

Maybe if you click here, you’ll go to my Goodread page of my 2015 books. If not, sorry. If so, click on the book if you’re interested in my rating/review.

Lined up for 2016, I have The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. First I have to After the Rising by Orna Ross, whose Blue Mercy I really enjoyed in 2014. I think I’ll keep my goal at 20 books. It’s always feels better to exceed a goal than to not meet one.

What was your favorite book in 2015? Anything on your reading agenda for the New Year?

Note: Thumbnails are of other books I read in 2015 by indie authors (except Everything I Never Told You isn’t indie.)

 

Needed: Procrastination Techniques

I’m looking for new ways to put off writing. I love writing but lately, since I published my first book, my mind has been wanting to take more time off. It’s like I was so focused on accomplishing that goal and once I did, I have failed to develop another all-consuming mental activity. Or, I haven’t renewed a prescription with the beneficial side-effect of the ability to focus better. Yes, there is such a pill!

I have started a list of different categories. Some of these activities are hated by me, but for some unknown reason, at times I find them preferable to doing that which I enjoy most.

Today’s technique will be the easiest. I’ll save the harder ones for later. Feel free to adopt any of these as your own to put off what ever you like to do.


Technique 1: Employing the Computer to Procrastinate

This might be every writer’s favorite, except for those who write by hand. I know several who do. I make lists by hand, and doodles. Not much else. This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope to have more to add in the future.

1. The Internet provides numerous ways to fritter away your life. I won’t include online games here because I don’t play.

a. Facebook–Of course. Do I have any new notifications on my personal page? My authors page? How about posting a status update. “My cat just yakked up a hairball.” No, not really. He’s snoozing with my husband.

b. Twitter–Tweet something writerly so people following me because I write will think I am productive and talented and so the filmmakers (how did I get filmmakers following me? Oh right–I mentioned I’m writing a screenplay) might think I’ll have a novel to adapt. One can hope.

c. Click on links on FB and Twitter. Lots of writing stuff, movie stuff, lots of stuff stuff.


d. Look for pictures of Michael Fassbender.

e. Check Kindle to see if I sold any books recently. Same for Smashwords and CreateSpace.

f. On Amazon, read excerpts of Fifty Shades of Grey (okay, I did that once–for a long time. I think they took out the most juicy stuff, which is really all right with me.)
.
g. Check Gmail to see if I have any new Twitter followers.

h. YouTube–start off with something of value then digress in any direction I choose–usually comedy and parody.

i. look for and download free e-books.

j. Check Goodreads to see how many more people signed up for my book giveaway.

k.Sign up for newsletters.

l. Look for a job.

m. Look for more pictures of Michael Fassbender.

n. Check regular email. This is a double one because then I can read the stories on the Yahoo feed. None so far have mentioned Michael.

o. Then there’s always good old fashioned research.

Wait-I have a new FB notification. Okay. Nothing exciting.

p. Watch movie trailers. Watch those with Michael several times.

q. Go to Huffpost women and read the sex articles.

r. Look for new movies to add to queue on Netflix (wish they had more Michael movies).

s. Write a blog post.

t. Go to Script Frenzy site and play with plot maker.

u. Tweak author website.

v. Look at blog stats to see if anyone read my last post.

w. Check bank account and clear away cobwebs to see if there is a positive balance.

x. check to see if I sold any more books than the last time I checked. Check to see how much I have to sell before I get a royalty payment

y. Go check the substitute teacher’s chatboard I used to frequent.

z. Look for another pic of Michael.

Next post will be how to use your computer without the internet to procrastinate.

How do you procrastinate online? Share, please!

(I promise NOT to mention Michael Fassbender once in the next blog post)

Technopublishing

Holy cats! My brain is smoking. Since yesterday, I formatted my novel, Another Place on the Planet, uploaded the PDF and revised cover to CreateSpace for a new proof. I messed up somehow and think I have to do the proof thing again. I formatted a friend’s novel over the weekend and went to her place to submit it to Snowfall Press where she wants to publish and print. Today, I formatted Another Place for Smashwords and got it there for purchase. Hopefully it can go in their premium collection right away. Also, set up a website with my bush league neophyte skills on Google sites. Signed up for Goodreads, made a new author friend there…anything else? Maybe. Maybe tomorrow, I can actually write… This business to sell gets in the was of generating products to sell! Maybe one day I can hire it out. Even though I do like doing it. I think.