Have you read these books?
I found this great site for book recommendations. They allow authors to post five book recommendations with a theme.
Though this was an intriguing idea (and it's always nice to get some more publicity!), it was also a fun challenge.
Which books should I recommend?
Being an avid reader as well as a writer, I’ve read an eclectic array of books, spanning biographies, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, and romance (normal and paranormal).
When I thought about it, the books I love the best have stories with characters who are witty or have humorous points of view.
For example, in Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, it is Eleanor’s unique way of making her way in the world that makes what could be a sad story into a delightful one - one that gives the edges of your mouth an upward curl.
Check out what I’ve recommended at Shepherd.com. You might be surprised.
Thanks for reading!
Can you think of a book that you would have included in this list?
Let me know in the comments.
Does this sound like you?
Read Aloud Day
Did you know that February 1st is World Read Aloud Day?
It's a day to celebrate the importance of sharing stories.
Grab a book and read it aloud to someone -- today or anytime that seems like a good opportunity to share a story.
Photo credit: Ben White on Unsplash.com
Holiday Treats for Your E-Reader!
Did you know that the 2020 End of Year E-book Sale starts at Smashwords.com today?
Don't miss this opportunity to load up your e-reader or computer. :)
You could find your next favorite author. :)
People have asked me if they can read these eBooks on their Kindle.
The answer is yes!
The steps are listed below, along with links on how to read on other devices.
How do I download Smashword books to my Kindle or Kindle Fire?
There are two options for loading Smashwords ebook content to your Kindle or Kindle Fire:
1. USB Connection. Plug your Kindle into the USB slot (small rectangular slot) of your computer using the cable that came with your Kindle (the Kindle Fire doesn't come standard with the USB cable, so you'll need to obtain the cable separately, or, use the email option described in #2 below).
When you attach your Kindle to your computer via the USB cable, it makes your Kindle appear as a hard drive on your computer.
After you purchase the book, from the book's book page click to download the "Kindle" .MOBI format.
Next, navigate to where you see the Kindle show up as a hard drive on your computer. Next, just drop the book's file (it should end in file name of .mobi) to the Kindle's "documents" folder.
Then disconnect the Kindle from your computer and the book will be ready to read.
If you already downloaded the .MOBI file to your computer, here's a helpful YouTube video that shows how to drag the file from your desktop to the Kindle's documents folder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UPOgXDYj3M (video not produced by Smashwords).
2. Email the Ebook to Your Kindle Email Address: For both first generation Kindles and the newest Kindle Fire, you can email your Smashwords .mobi files to your Kindle email address. Amazon's support page provides complete details.
To email files to first generation Kindles (Kindles other than the Kindle Fire), click here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200140600.
For Kindle Fire only, Click here for how to set up your free Kindle email address, and how to load ebooks or email ebooks to your Kindle Fire using either the email or USB cable method.
For computers and other devices, see this handy page on Smashwords. Reading, Sampling and Buying Books on Smashwords
Now you are ready to check out the books in the special sale!
The Essence -- free!
Unexpected Impact -- only $.99!
And there are many, many more.
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
Image credit: Flicker (not my own cookies)
When reviewing a book, do you ever wonder how many stars to give it?
Many people have -- but don't let it stop you from leaving your feedback!
Here's what the stars mean for book reviews on Amazon, according to "Inside the Inkwell". I like their rating scale, so I'm reposting part of it with a few modifications and added thoughts.
Enjoyed the book in the way that it was meant -- it delivered what the description promised. It may have given you a break from reality, surrounded you with lifelike characters, or perhaps made you smile or learn something. If you really liked the book, in addition to rating it, you can check out the author's website to see if there are more books in progress.
Generally liked the book -- you like it, but an issue with the book detracted from your enjoyment. This issue could be too much repetition in the writing, an annoying plot hole, way too many typos, etc. You might consider being a bit kinder in your rating of a self-published book (especially a low-cost one) than one that has a larger publisher backing it. Be specific in your review and if it was a plot hole or something you didn't understand, consider emailing the author through their website or contact info at the end of the book.
Neither liked nor disliked the book—you are not sure if you like it or not. You might read it again if you were stuck in quarantine and this was all you had… (that may have been why you read it in the first place!) Anyway, be aware that this review hurts an author’s rating because some advertisers and listing services don’t allow 3-star books, so consider leaving no review if you are on the fence.
The book is plagued by serious issues and you want to prevent others from suffering.
For example, the book is marketed as "hilariously funny" but it turns out to be not humorous at all to you. Or there are typos on practically every page (lack of editing,) serious inconsistencies, or a glaring lack of research. Or you found the plot, characters, or setting tedious and a waste of time. If you are giving this rating, be specific about what bothered you, it will be helpful to other readers as well as the author.
Colossal failure. You really regret picking this book and would like your money and time back. It could be that there was no plot and it was so boring you couldn't keep reading. Leave this rating if you want to discourage the author from writing another book.
Does this sound anything like how you review a book?
Please add your comments below or join the conversation on my Facebook page!
Thanks for reading!
#bookreviews #books #readers #readersandreviews #authorsofinstagram
Whether you are quarantined or staying home to avoid catching the Coronavirus, picking up a good book can help you escape reality for a time and alleviate the social isolation you might feel.
Or you could consider it a good opportunity to expand your horizons.
Reading can expand your perspective and give you insights into other worlds. There is nothing like seeing the world through another's eyes!
Where did this list come from?
The five books on this list came from suggestions from readers and friends. It's not meant to be comprehensive, it's more of a starter list, so if you have a book to suggest, I'd like to hear about it. Just leave the title and author in the comments.
1) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills . I was introduced to this book quite a few years ago in a book club; it has all types of helpful philosophy while remaining interesting to read. The four agreements include: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. It's the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering.
2) The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama.
The Art of Happiness is credited with starting the "happiness books" genre, and it remains the cornerstone of the field of positive psychology. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. He explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, This book has touched countless lives and uplifted spirits around the world -- you could join them!
3) Plain, Honest Men - by Richard Beeman
We often hear people talking about the Constitution of the United States. This book illuminates the historical background, conflicts and personalities of the men who wrote it and the compromises that were needed to make the United States possible.
4) Becoming - by Michelle Obama.
This is a well written and entertaining book about growing up, striving and being a working mother and political spouse. I wish I had read it earlier in my life, as the way Michelle looks at the world is refreshing. Especially recommend it to smart young women -- of any color or political leaning.
5) A Gentleman from Moscow - by Amor Towles
This is the only fiction book on the list, but belongs here as the writing is so eloquent and the story uplifting. Amid the likeable personalities and historical details,
the main character, Count Alexander Rostov, is sentenced to live in the Metro hotel for his crime of being a aristocrat. How he is able to master his circumstances makes delightful reading.
I just finished reading My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. It's a well written, fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's strong, capable and intelligent wife. The book is a veritable who's who of the revolution and early years of the nation. It was delightful to read about the lives that touched hers -- like the Marquis de Lafayette, George and Martha Washington, James and Dolley Madison, Aaron Burr and more.
Reading the book makes that time period come alive, revealing insights into the challenges faced and the character of this extraordinary woman and her family.
I highly recommend reading it!
Have you read it? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to leave comments.
Did You Miss Any of These?
Happy New Year !
First, a big thank you for reading! I really appreciate it when you read my books, join my Facebook page or subscribe to the newsletter.
To sum up my first full year of blogging, here are my top blog posts of 2016 as ranked by Facebook "likes".
See if you agree with the rankings:
1 ) What Makes a Memorable Hero?
2 ) Have you been bitten by the Jane Austen bug?
If I missed one you liked, or if you have suggestions for topics you'd like to read about, please comment!
If you are interested in new books, I am targeting to have one out in the first half of 2017. Watch for updates in the newsletter or join the conversation on Facebook!
Wishing you a great 2017!
Stock up on E-books this July and Save!
My books are on sale, and there are thousands more.
Try a new author or genre!
I was reading a post (on LinkedIn) about Switerland's referendum on a guaranteed minimum income. The article mentioned it was a development needed for future societies -- when robots and Ai have taken all the jobs.
A scary thought.
What are people going to do when all this technology takes over the functions people previously performed?
Sounds like science fiction? Maybe a story starter?
Maybe not -- if you look at history, there have been many changes caused by advances in technology, some with good effects and some not so good.
Like the printing press -- might have put scribes out of business, but accelerated education, so more could read and it increased the demand for writing
Industial revolution -- craftsman and women replaced by machines, created jobs that were less skilled, but lowered the costs of goods
An extension of that was Henry Ford's assembly line. It increased production and Henry Ford saw they he needed to expand the market, so he increased wages and the demand fueled the rise of the auto industry.
Later labor unions further increased wages and benefits as well as working conditions. The 50's and 60's saw prosperity in the middle class -- roads, great schools and other things were built.
Then computers -and later, PCs - began doing many repetitious tasks that had previously been done by clerks.
The Internet was developed, giving people (like me) access to an audience.
Blogging, (ruined journalism, some may say). Self publishing flourished, and the rise of "free" created new business models and ways of marketing.
Now artifical intelligence is here. There is software that already writes press releases and other types of regular reports. Software that writes code.
Where is this all going? What are people going to do?
Ray Bradbury had an uncanny forcast for the future with his walls of television and people walking around with shells in their ears. ( And sports obsessions.)
What would he say now? Any new Bradburys out there?
Let me know if you've read any forward looking sci-fi recently.
And thanks for reading.
Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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