Reading helps me wind down and relax before bed or lets my mind float away to another world on a rainy afternoon or sat on a sunny beach. A good audiobook makes my 90 minute round trip to work more interesting.

My problem is that I’m a horribly slow reader or just can’t find the right mindset to sit down and open a book.  I’m a weird reader. I love reading, but I find it hard to concentrate or I just don’t have the time. Even when I’m reading, I can be horribly distracted, so it takes me forever to get into a book. Or I just dissociate while reading because I’m so engrossed. Ask me what I just read, and I’m like… ??? All I know is how the books made me feel.

Reading is important if you want to write. You get a sense of what makes a good story along with elements you want to focus on. If you love a book, ask yourself why you loved it. Use that element (while not copying the author, of course) to grab your readers’ attention. Do you prefer character or plot driven stories? Do you love plot twists? Would you like to write an MC that’s very often associated with a secondary character and give them the spotlight?

See below for some reading ranting, reviews, and some of my favourite books.

Book Review. The Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, and Crown of Guilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 2 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Disclosure: I didn’t finish book 3 because I just gave up. Also, this is a pretty negative review. I liked book 1 for the most part, but the series went downhill from there, and I’m truly sorry to Jennifer since I loved her Wicked and Titan series a lot. Also, I purposely put books 2 and 3 from the Blood and Ash series together because I had the same feeling during both books. What…

Keep reading

Book Review. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. 4 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I’ve been finding it hard to get into books lately, so I’ve been trying all kinds, including YA. I don’t mind YA when the characters are mature enough that I can’t tell most of the time. What I liked… The writing. The prose was lovely and suited to the story, age category and general tone based on what I expected. Holly’s style is eclectic while not overindulging in excessive description.  The obscure relationship between…

Keep reading

Book Review. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. 5 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Serpent & Dove is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I liked it from the opening page. What I liked…. The brunette MC with blue-green eyes, because I’m a brunette with blue-green eyes, so that’s completely a personal reason and not useful to anyone.  It’s YA, which I don’t mind when the characters are mature for their age, like in this book. I found myself forgetting that Lou is…

Keep reading

Book Review. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 3.5 stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I’ve read a few of Jennifer’s books before. I liked the Titan and Wicked series, though I’ve yet to read Brave. From Blood and Ash is very different to her previous books. What I liked… I really liked the beginning of this book. Poppy’s curiosity beyond her current situation was nicely established early on. Hawke was also a fun interaction in the opening chapters.  The main issues of the world evolved nicely and kept…

Keep reading

Book Review. A House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. 2.5 Stars.

I decided to start reviewing books since I’ve been reading a lot lately and have words about words. Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Let’s start off with what I did like…  The world full of curious beings, and the characters’ relationships were fun to read. Their assumptions of what the other was doing were funny when they worked it out, and their gradually growing feelings felt realistic. The male MC, Hunt, was my favourite character since he was the…

Keep reading

Writing Has Ruined My Reading!

Warning: This gets ranty. But since this blog is about ranting… Also, shout out to my writing buddy T-Rex who prompted this post. How he puts up with my rants, I’ll never know.  As I mentioned in First Chapters Are the Worst, I’ve found more and more books go against what I’ve learned as a writer. Two of the books mentioned in that post were self-published (the two with the shorter lists) while two were traditionally published. All highly successful. With the help of my CPs, I’ve honed my skills, taken the time to become what I thought was a…

Keep reading

Screw Book Purists!

With the release of Shadow and Bone on Netflix, I got to thinking how huffy some readers get when a great book makes it to the screen. Book to TV or film adaptations are getting a bad rep with book purists. Well… great stories should NOT be limited to one medium. I’m all for books. I love books. On my bookshelf. On my Kindle or Google Books. In audiobooks. I love all book formats. Reading or listening to books forces my imagination. I focus on visual words to lose myself or I listen to someone reading a story like meditation. …

Keep reading

First Chapters Are the Worst!

Quick announcement: I’ve been on blogging hiatus for a couple of weeks due to losing a close family friend. It’s left us all deeply shocked and upset. I’m not sure if I’ll be back to regular posting just yet, but this particular post if more for a writing buddy of mine. I started it a few weeks ago actually, but after critiquing his new chapter one, I questioned my thinking. It doesn’t take an experienced writer to know that the first pages or first chapter of a novel needs to make an impact. But they can be hard and frustrating…

Keep reading

Read Terrible Books!

Yes, I recommend reading terrible books. Why, you ask? Because it helps you learn what not to do as a writer. And that’s even better than learning what to do. It’s highly subjective what to do a how to write. I doubt any two writers will agree on everything even if they agree in general.  But there are many no-nos that just about every writer would agree with. If not, then I worry for them. And I worry for the author of the series that prompted this post. I don’t even want to say who it is because the writing…

Keep reading

You can’t beat a classic sometimes. This is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s timeless with its complex characters, deep desires, and hints of magic. Dorian just captures the true essence of our darkest selves.

I took a while to get into this, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down and got desperate for the rest of the series.

WINGS!!! I love winged characters. I have a few of them, so reading about angels or demons or other winged people is so much fun.

This was such a weird story in the relationships. I was so curious to find out how they evolved that I couldn’t stop reading.

This is on audiobook in my car and I’m a few chapters in. So far, so good.

Terry’s style is quirky and ironic and so bizarre. I find myself laughing at what the MC states is obvious when us normal folk tilt our heads.

I read this and book 2 a few years ago. Because of life stuff, I never got around top book 3. But it’s on my list. I’ve also read her Titan series. I can’t wait for the Wicked movies.

I’m half way through this right now, and loving it. My only quibble is the voice is a little blunt for my liking, but that’s on me.

I’d been following Jenna for a while and had high expectations when she released this. She didn’t disappoint.

I just love this book for so many fun reasons. The MC goes from a quiet and sheltered life to discovering dark secrets that seduce her into breaking some rules.

This is very relatable story from a writer who lives next to my old town. I had to get her book. I’m glad I did.

I was highly disappointed when they stopped the films after just one. I was looking forward to seeing the series on the big screen. Then they made the TV series. I loved how they adapted the story so it wasn’t the same as the books. It added to the surprises.

There are very few people who aren’t Stephen King fans, so it’s no surprise this is on my favourites list.

My childhood would not be the same without this book, or the movie. I can’t remember what order I experienced them in, but they both left a mark on me.