the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘books

So, I have this issue with e-books.  I forget I have them.  it’s an “outta sight, outta mind” thing.  I know one of the benefits of an e-reader is that you can carry a bazillion books around with you, and they don’t take up any space and they don’t weigh anything, and they don’t fill up your house and make people worry you might be a hoarder.

 

but you see, that’s part of my problem with e-books. I don’t see ‘em, so I totally forget that I have them, don’t prioritize them, etc. this is a bad thing. like, a really bad thing.

Random kindle image swiped off the interwebs. Mine looks like the one on the right.

Random kindle image swiped off the interwebs. Mine looks like the one on the right.

 

My brain interprets the word book as a physical object that is experienced. Something with weight, something that has a certain amount of heft, something that requires a bookmark.  the act of reading is a very physical, whole-body experience for me. what’s the texture of the paper? how much does the book weigh? is the cover shiny or matte? (Matte is better, for TMI reasons) What’s on the spine? how is it bound? is it a “fancy” limited edition or special edition book? what’s the typesetting like? does the ink come off on my fingers? (i love it when that happens, btw) How old is the book? where did I get it? Who do I know who has read it before? how long have I owned it? When I’m reading for a review, I like to take notes on a piece of paper and use that paper as my bookmark.  The answers to those questions don’t matter, because they are not questions that are answered with your voice.  All of these things are part and parcel of my physical experience with a book, and it’s the uniqueness of the heft of the thing, the cover art, the spine, the binding, where it came from, the act of writing notes, the for lack of a better term the mental impression that makes looking at a tumble of words on a page into “reading”. And the experience of reading every book is completely different, making the mental impressions different.

 

still with me?

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My bookshelves are overfull and sagging.  I’ve resorted to stacking books on top of the bookshelves, and against the wall in the bedroom. Here’s one such group of stacks:

10-29 stack o books

If you look closely, you can see there are stacks behind this stack.  I’ve read maybe half of these books.  My reward for getting through my reading plans* for November will be that I can start making progress on the unread books in this stack (highest priority is the Bear and the Watts).

sfNovember_banner_02a

As it’s SciFi November, I’ll be focusing on science fiction reviews and interviews this month, although we all know I’ll sneak in some fantasy, and probably some other random stuff too.  My November reading plans look like this:

Regeneration by Julie Czerneda and Hawk by Steven Brust

 

Regeneration by Julie Czerneda and Hawk by Steven Brust (I’m reviewing Hawk for SFSignal)

Nov reads 2

Unseaming by Mike Allen (did you see his guest post?),  Heretics of Dune (dust jacket was lost a long time ago) and Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson

the genome (2)

And on the kindle I’ve got an eArc of The Genome, the newest novel from Sergei Lukyanenko.

 

*for those of you who don’t know me, “reading plans” usually go out the window as soon as I see something shiny. That Sergei Lukyanenko eARC is a perfect example of Shiny.

 

what are your  plans for this month? do they get upended by something shiny as easily as mine do?

I’m about to close up a very successful give away (you should totally go check it out!). Doing giveaways can be very daunting, it’s like baking bread. You do the kneading, you sit around while it rises, you’re pretty sure you measured everything right, it looks good when it comes out of the oven, but you have no way of knowing if it’s a success until you rip off that first piece and pop it, still steaming, in your mouth. Good bread, or bland over cooked bread?

cut bread

Looks good so far.. . .

My first give away was a disaster, I don’t think I got a single entry. Worst. Loaf of Bread. EVER. Here are some tips, and things I’ve learned along the way about how to make your book give aways successful. Because I like sharing. And giveaways are actually very fun!

 

The Why, the What,  and the How

Why should you do a give away?

  • A publisher is offering you a giveaway copy of a book you enjoyed/want to promote
  • You have duplicate copies
  • You have a bunch of ARCs that are sitting around
  • You want this book to get into the hands of another fan.

A few tips on writing a great GiveAway blog post:

  • Put the word “give away” in the post title. You want people skimming their readers, or Feedly, or whatever to see right away that there is a give away involved.
  • Show the cover art of the book. Put in the blurb that’s on the back of the book. If you reviewed the book, link to your review. Link to the author’s website if you want.
  • author blurbTalk up the book! What subgenre is it? Who might like it? Is it being advertised as similar to Game of Thrones, or the Sookie Stackhouse books, or satire or horror, or something else? Scalzi or someone else really cool blurb it?
  • If you didn’t read it, or don’t plan to, it never hurts to link to or quote some positive reviews of the book. Again, you are trying to build excitement.

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and when I say “goodies”, I mean books.   It’s been one of those weeks where I just want to curl up in a ball with a book (or six) and hibernate.  So i did.

nexus

A business trip last week with lots of down time (not to mention 2 hours stuck on an airplane each way) meant I had plenty of time to read. Finished Tobias Buckell’s Hurricane Fever, and got half way through Nexus by Ramez Naam.  Was craving laziness, comfort reads, and aliens when I got home, so zipped through Issola by Steven Brust and got a good start on Migration by Julie Czerneda.

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then I checked the mail, to find these beauties:

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Echopraxia I won from a giveaway over at Bibliotropic, and I’d requested Gleam from Jo Fletcher Books. The Watts I’ve been drooling over since I first heard about it (Blindsight will, as one blogger put it, will “blow your mindhole”), so yeah, I’m just a little excited about Echopraxia. And this Gleam book just looks hella fun.

Scale-Bright - Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Then I checked my e-mail and the twitters.  Accepted a review copy of Bastion Science Fiction Magazine #6, and was in the right place at the right time to get a review copy of Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s Scale-Bright.  And Scale-Bright? it’s gorgeous.  Do you like edgy, gorgeous prose, mythology that shimmers and glints like the surface of a summer stream, and frustrated deities? If yes, you’re gonna want Scale-Bright.

bastion-SciFi August

What does all this mean for you?  That hopefully I’ll be kicking out some smart reviews soon!  oh, and did I mention I’m frying my brain over my review of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs?  Sometimes when I’m reading a galley, I’ll dog-ear a page that’s got something I want to remember. Here’s what the book looked like after 1st reading. 2nd time through I wrote down a list of page #s I wanted to remember. That list was very long, and didn’t include any of the already dog-eared pages.

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Here’s to hoping my brain is in high gear review writin’ mode pretty soon!

I tweeted this earlier today:

orbit stack

You should totally go through your house and find all your Hachette books and post a photo! On your blog, on twitter, on facebook, on tumblr, anywhere!  I was hoping my stack would be as tall as I am, but alas, it wasn’t. Means I need more Orbit books!

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I never get caught up on all the stuff I want to read, because I keep buying more stuff. that I want to read.  Such is the life of a book-aholic.

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Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker – I am slowly filling out my Kage Baker Company collection.  She’s one of those authors who I just collect. period.

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories – Couldn’t say no to this one!  this one is especially interesting because it’s from 1989. It’s a short collection, I read the whole thing in an afternoon.  I should probably write a review, yeah?

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle – can you believe I’ve never read this? nope, me neither!  I suppose I better see what all the fuss is about.

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hot damn that was a lot of responses to my post yesterday on how we decide what to read next!  just…. wow!  Thanks to everyone who responded, it’s going to take me a while to respond to everyone’s comments, please don’t hate me too much.

There was something that prompted that post.  I ordered a couple of titles I’ve been meaning to buy for a long time. I requested a few ARCs from publishers (I try to only request something that I KNOW I am going to read). I found some old stuff I wanted on paperback swap.

Everything showed up at the same time, nearly gave the poor mailman a coronary.  and this doesn’t include the three other ARCs I requested, which should show up any day.

Thanks to an Amazon giftcard I   purchased:

Miserere 3 parts dead

I did specifically request the Jon Sprunk, but the others were just happy surprises. Sent to me by very kind and friendly publishers:

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2014 Hugo Awards

I reviewed some Hugo nominated stuff. Click here for the list.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.