Tag Archives: book blog

Book Nooks

Fragonard,_The_ReaderWhere is YOUR favorite place to read? Most of us have a preferred place—a comfy couch or chair—where we hunker down with a good book. How does your book nook compare to other readers’ favorite spots?

An informal and thoroughly unscientific survey conducted on twitter, Facebook, and while attending a big party netted interesting responses. Using sophisticated tabulation methods (cough-cough)…

the results are in!

Book Nooks

Bed: #1 place to read: The is the perfect read-until-your-eyes-are-blurry location, but do these readers only read at night? A few bookworms stated it was the one place to escape  the household hubbub.

Sofa: Great for getting comfy. A drink nearby (see Beverage & Book Pairings) and pillows are optional.

Comfy chair: Whether inside or outside, recliner or Adirondack, the reading chair is a temple to the written word. Almost a throne…which leads to the next location.

The Throne: Only a few brave souls admitted to this. Hey, some people like to take advantage of every moment of ‘down time’ possible.

Chaise lounge on the beach: Can we hear a resounding YEAH! The soothing sounds of the surf along with the inspiring sight of sea and horizon makes it an intoxicating place to read and ponder.

Hammock: Had the pleasure of reading my first Sookie Stackhouse novel while swaying in a hammock on an Ecuadorian beach. Heaven. If only I could convince my hubby to install one in the backyard.

Mile high reading club: If you’re a reader—and you must be if you’re reading this post—the invention of the e-reader was a godsend. No longer did you need to lug multiple paperbacks in your carry-on. Some SERIOUS reading gets done on an airplane. ( Unless, of course, you sit next to someone who loves to read the genre you write & then you can make a new friend and talk books & authors! Confession: Several seatmates have downloaded my novels.

Dining room/kitchen chair: Reading and eating is so much safer to do at the table. With the proper space between book and food, there is little chance of crumbs or spills soiling your book or e-reader. The downside: Do you remember what you ate?

Train/Bus/Car/ Vanpool: Reading for those immune from motion sickness. Reading while speeding down the freeway is do-able. Stop-n-go traffic, not so much. My son assures me that one day cars will be self-driving ( like in the movie i-Robot ) Imagine how much reading we might do!!!

Floating pool chaise: So decadent! The sun’s heat, the chlorinated cool splash, the soothing motion—great for the glam novel. Floating loungers with a handy-dandy beverage holder and/or retractable shade is reading BLISS. The ONE problem: If your e-reader decides to go for a swim. Hey Kindle or e-reader folks—make a waterproof version ( or case )! Observation: We sent a robot to Mars and yet our techno devices are not designed to be waterproof.

Treadmill/Exercise equipment: Several people swear by this location. It’s VERY multi-tasking fitness minded! Confession: My leg muscles and reading brain don’t sync. I forget to walk or pedal.

Floor: This might be fun for the young ‘uns. All I can say  is “ouch.”

Bathtub: This was surprising. My bath water gets cold in about 5 minutes. Maybe there’s a secret the bath-readers aren’t divulging.

Outside vs Inside: Many readers prefer reading outside! There’s nothin’ like reading a book on a nice day while surrounded by nature.

Plot + Nature + Comfy Chair = Readtopia.

Several respondents said they will read ANYWHERE.

Where is YOUR favorite book nook?

Many thanks to all those who put in their 2 reading cents.

Related links: Readin’ & Writin’

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Genre Breed

dog readingbookAgents, publishers, bookstores, and Amazon require authors to identify a novel’s genre. It’s not always an easy task. Wouldn’t it be great if genres were as easy to classify as dogs?  By replacing the word genre with breed writers will identify target audiences more quickly and readers will discover the reading experience they were searching for.

So today, this blog has gone to the dogs!

Sporting genre/breed: Written for retrieving, these novels are best enjoyed in hard copy because the reader will refer to them again and again, annotating in the margins, and dog-earring favorite pages. The sporting genre is perfect for pointing out fowl/foul symbols and watery archetypes

lab

Hound: Serious literature designed for authorial technique hunting, readers will delight in sniffing out important themes and deer/dear allusions, howling their foxy literary analysis to all.

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Toy: Light and adorable novels that contain glamorous fluff or posh plots. Some have a bit of bite (BDSM) to them, while others lick you with giggles.The perfect size for your e-reader.

Pomeranian

Herding: Novels in a series that come together, gathering characters across a range of sub plots and adventures.  Linked by themes or overarching plot, these novels are branded to build readership with each new book.

Old_English_Sheep_Dog

Terriers: Novels that eagerly scurry down the literary hole to expose man’s rat-like proclivities. Although their plots shed light upon varmint dogmas and critter-filled creeds, they are endearing tales that roll over for a good belly rub.

Westie_pups

Working: Action-packed novels with a taste for adventure: Expect daring rescues, growling characters, mastiff-tastic heroism, and dog-on good sex. These novels work hard so the reader won’t have to.

Mastiff_1998

Non-sporting: Bursting with energy and tale-wagging dialog, these novels are drool-worthy reads. From the elegant-clipped poodle-ish exposition to the requisite bitchy stereotype to the spirited climax, the reader can expect intelligent plotting and obedient language. Fans of non-sporting genres are loyal and devoted.

poodle

Which breed of book do YOU prefer to read or write?

(I’m saving cross-breeds for another blog.)

Woof!

Related links: Readin’ & Writin’

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Readophilia

 

beauty beast libraryjpgDefinition: Intense attraction to reading.

Condition is  brought on with the protracted need—intellectual and physical—to ingest words, plots, and meaning.

Symptoms show a marked increase with the introduction of  e-reader ownership and free downloads.

Symptoms include:

1. Staying up until 3 am to finish a book.

2. Thinking—albeit irrationally—that the story will finish without you if you stop reading.

3. Seriously considering taking a book to a family gathering.

4. Believing staycations ( a vacation where you stay home) includes reading books while sipping on your favorite beverage.

5. Arguing with non-reading friends who accuse you of reading to escape reality. Puleeze—you’re living many realities.

6. Becoming annoyed when an event—neighbors knocking, children crying, food burning, fire alarm ringing—causes you to stop mid-paragraph.

7. Stressing when someone asks “What’s your favorite genre?” That’s like asking to identify your favorite air molecule to breathe.

8. Weeping tears of joy upon purchase of first e-reader.

9. Knowing free books are Amazon’s equivalent to the biblical manna from heaven.

10. Judging people by the speed and accuracy by which they read a novel ( What do you mean you skimmed that part?)

11. Planning vacations to famous libraries.

12. Buying/downloading new book = happiness.

13. Hanging with non-readers is—wait, do you still have any non-reading friends?

14. Jumping out of your skin when someone taps you on the shoulder while reading.

15. Waiting in line is a joy—as long as you brought a book.

16. Realizing the real world goes away when you’re immersed in a novel.

17. Making excuses for your Readophilia ( I’m at the good part. Gotta find out if he dies. I learn stuff. The kids should learn how to do their own laundry. Learn how to cook. I need me-time. I’m in a book club)

18. Denying that Readophilia comes with a price. Increased knowledge, pondering, and imagination. Increased time management skills—to fit in more reading. Increased reading speed. Increased ability to discuss a myriad of topics. Increased attention levels. Increased ability to amuse yourself for extended hours.

Ironically, little academic research has been done on this brain-stimulating condition, and Readophila is often tragically abated by the following:
  • broken power cords
  • low battery indicators
  • inaccessibility to an electrical outlet
  • closure of local book stores
  • maxed out credit cards
  • no clean underwear in the house
  • no toilet paper in the house
  • ridiculous library hours ( 24-hr libraries! Imagine the learning!)

Do YOU have Readophilia?

One of my favorite library scenes!

Related Posts: Readin’ & Writin’

Beverage & Book Pairings

beverages & booksThere’s nothing like enjoying a drink—both alcoholic and non alcoholic—while reading! Restaurant managers are smart to suggest wine pairings for menu items. And like food for your stomach, words are food for your soul. The following is a list of genres and how they might be enhanced with  the perfect libation.

Literary fiction: Day Hours: Literati concerned with theme, motif, symbols, & allusions require a lovely Earl Grey or French-press coffee. Evening hours require an expensive cognac or single malt scotch.

Romance: Mocha latte or sweet tea by day. White wine spritzer or anything enhanced by a wee paper umbrella after sunset.

Horror: Tales of blood and gore need Spicy V-8 with extra Tabasco in the daylight. The mouth-coating density found in a full-bodied Douro Cabernet Sauvignon will satisfy your cravings when darkness descends.

Action/adventure: Running from here to there require the hydrating and invigorating effects of lemon & rosemary infused water during the day.   A few shots of tequila—with or without the worm—will provide your evening kick.

Cozy mystery: Tea or coffee in a lovely cup or mug while the sun shines. Kahlua and cream or an Irish coffee when night falls.

Scifi: PowerAid or GatorAid when the giant ball of hydrogen rises and the Pan Galactic Garlic Blaster ( from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) or jello shooters during lunar sightings.

Historical fiction: Tea or spiced cidar when the cock doth crow and red wine ( a libation with ancient origins) when the owl doth hoot.

Paranormal/urban fantasy:  Sunlight calls for iced tea or a cold soda. The witching hours requires some aptly named cocktails like the Zombie, Slippery Nipples, Snake Bite, Sex on the Beach, and Purple Hooter.

FanFiction Monster, RedBull, or Rockstar after breakfast. Add vodka to that glass for dinner for a fan-drinkster kick-in-the-ass.

Textbook: Open to the Table of Contents with an extra espresso shot in your coffee. Pour more coffee by the lamp’s glow until you’ve reached the index.

Steampunk: Lavender infused lemonade when the chronometer indicates 9 am.  Indulge in absinthe as you watch the sands of night pour through the hourglass.

Vampire/shifter: Cranberry juice when the sun comes up and a Spicy Bloody Mary during sundown.

Erotica: Cool the heat with Passion fruit iced tea when not in the bedroom. A ‘roofie’-laced cocktail or a martini—extra dirty–should satisfy under the covers.

Chick Llt; Sassy, fun, sappy, or sad plots need a lovely frothy latte in the daytime and  a light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc for turn-the-page evenings.

Detective: Following clues and solving crimes calls for no-frills coffee—black, no sugar— in a Styrofoam cup by the harsh light of day. Beer or whiskey on the rocks for wallowing during the dark of night.

Legal thriller: Coffee Americano during court hours in the judges chambers. Straight bourbon from dusk until dawn.

Children’s: Milk with a cookie chaser after your afternoon nap and hot chocolate when it’s time to say Goodnight Moon.

Latino lit: Fruit juice during el dia  and  margarita or sangria in the noche.

Other novel pairings:

  • Stories taking place south of the Mason-Dixon line require Mint Juleps on the sunny porch. Take a peek at the fireflies while sipping Southern Comfort during eventide.
  • Rum for any novels with pirates.

Cheers!

Related posts: Readin’ & Writin’

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Readerality

readeralityWe all have our own reading styles and preferences. Some will read anything, while others stick to a favorite genre. You can read a book fast, skimming over the paragraphs or take it slow, savoring the words in a well-crafted sentence.

What kind of reader are YOU?

GenreWhore: Mystery, Action, SciFi, Romance, Historical, Paranormal, non-fiction—these folks don’t care what genre they read, they just need a book—NOW! Any book will do! They’re easy with formatting too. Ebook or hard copy, it matters not, both will satisfy.

E-sexual: Hard copies? Puleeeze! So old school! This reader craves the instant gratification that can only be accomplished by downloading a book whenever and wherever the mood strikes. Downloading two or more is even better—throw in a promoted freebie and it’s oh baby, yeah! Ebooks provide clandestine reading, they’re cheap ( or free ), and don’t take up room on your nightstand. Readers On The Go don’t have time for lugging books around. Another bonus, people can’t see you’re a Genre Whore.

LiteratureDom: These folks scoff at fun “beach reads.”  They demand agonizing symbols, tormenting themes, stinging allusions, and a well-bound plot. An unreliable narrator and taboo subject matter will have them begging for more. They’re not truly satisfied until they have wrestled every nuance from the tale and recruited a literature virgin into their literati lair.

NovelMadonna: Faithful to their genre, these readers know a good thing when they see it and get maximum pleasure from being true to their genre companion. Should one of their novels veer from the expected story arc they show compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. These readers often pray for the release of new titles from their favorite authors.

AuthorSlut: These folks latch onto one author and devour every book they’ve written in record time. “I love this author!” they coo to friends and family. They read the author’s blog, Amazon author page, FaceBook Fan page, follow them on Twitter, and seek them out at book signings. But when they’ve exhausted the author’s novels and are only left with “Coming Soon” promises  they move onto the next author to repeat the cycle.

Bestseller-ophile: If the book is not on the New York Times or USA Today’s best seller list, they ain’t reading it. Period. End of story. They only buy books from the high visibility ( and most expensive to place) bookstore locations—the end caps of bookshelves, promotional tables, the best seller section, high stacks, and/or if the cover is facing out.They wholeheartedly agree with the buzz generated by guerrilla marketing techniques and can talk intelligently about the hot new titles at any social gathering. They do not often bother with reading the author’s older titles and tend to be GenreWhores.

PaperPredator: The feel of the paper caressing their fingers, the sweet swoosh as they turn the page, the first crease in the binding, the delirious whiff of paper and ink. Ah! These readers will spend money for a real book! They lust for substance, heft, paper thickness, artful layout, and font styles. Real books are works of art to be enjoyed multiple times and multiple ways. Fold their pages, annotate them, use them—they plead for the pleasure of your hands. Ebooks are nothing more than technological imposters. Bah!

Did you choose one? Or are you a bit of several? 

Related Posts: Readin’ & Writin’

 

 

Writing & Ethnic food


novel foodAs Hubby and I were deciding
which local restaurant to visit, I remarked that novels and ethnic food have much in common.

Warning: To all those who will tell me that healthy versions or alternatives of these foods can be made in my kitchen—you missed the point.

Italian: A carb and cheese-laden indulgence, this comfort food is like a favorite dog-eared novel in our library. Its familiar themes and characters our treasured friends—good for devouring during rainy days or when we need to relive our delight of the initial reading.

Greek: Flavorful food that harkens back to simpler days when stoic philosophers nibbled upon olives and charmed us with tales of Homeric heroes. Within the pages of these novels lay a honeyed treat of lusty gods and duex ex machina endings where themes of honor and destiny are ripe for the chewing.

Latin: A little hot, a whole lot of exotic flavors, this food brings out the magical realism found in many novels. Spicy sexual conquests, sour inequities, and sweet victories provide a decadent mouthful of themes, symbols, and metaphors from our favorite—and often—Latino authors.

Indian: A spicy hot mixture of tales that are often filled with gender and class discrimination, the novels curry favor by  providing readers a taste of the exotic and the forbidden in our lives.

Japanese: Like the trendy cool Sushi bars offering everything from humble udon soup to the showy Fuji Volcano to the sushi-for-beginner’s California Roll these stories offer a blend of culturally nuanced symbols and metaphors for readers to explore and discover. Be it the raw themes of the human condition or ‘tempuring’ root concepts with an appetizing coating, these  novels can be enjoyed by novice and expert literati alike.

Chinese: Delectable, savory, and less-filling books to be shared with friends. Whether  sweet or sour these tales pack a kung pow punch with a deceptively vague but fortunate message at the end.

Middle Eastern: If they can make a delicious salad from parsley–considered a garnish to prosaic eaters–imagine the wonders found in novels where a humble symbol is elevated to reveal a universal truth, where kebabs of meaty plots are skewered with ancient dogmas to sear flavorful wisdom into your soul.

American fast food: Salty goodness between two buns—um…you know you shouldn’t read it—it’s bad for you—won’t stretch your mind and will only stretch your thighs—and yet once in awhile we must indulge in a novel with little literary merit. Oh! And as you lick salt from your fingers you say ‘That novel  was delicious!’

Hungry yet?

Related Links:  Rock Your  WritingSymbolism & more symbols;
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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