Posts Tagged ‘books’
I’ve done my favorite books of the year.
I’ve announced Vintage SciFi Month. See the bottom of this post for an important message*. (I’ve even started reading ahead of time for Vintage Month! never done that before!)
not much else to do but publish some boring statistics of my blogging year.
I reviewed 91 books. about 10 of those reviews were over at SFSignal.
I conducted around 40 interviews, here, at Apex Magazine, and also at SFSignal.
I got to attend some really fun conventions: ConFusion, AnimeMidwest, Context, and Grand Rapids ComicCon.
I learned how to use Netgalley. I am *not* an early adopter, so this was a huge deal for me. Files magically showing up on the kindle is sorcery, i tell you!
Including book (and a few movie, manga and tv show) reviews and a few commentary columns about geeky stuff, I wrote approximately 104,000 words. That’s slightly more words than Ender’s Game, and slightly fewer words than Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. nice.
The happiest of Happy New Years to everyone, and a huge thank you for goofing off with me on twitter, commenting on my posts, telling me about your favorite books and authors, and putting up with me when I simply would not shut up books I was excited about and geeky events I attended.
I’ll see everyone in January! when it’s time to turn back the clock!
* regarding Vintage SciFi Month radio silence: I am a jerk and didn’t e-mail back a lot of people who voiced interest in writing guest posts. I still would love to have you write something. Can be anything scifi-ish or fantasy-ish that is from 1979 or earlier: books, author bios, tv shows, movies, book cover art galleries, radio shows, award winners, geeky events, a short list of suggested books and/or short stories, etc. Send your guest post to me at redhead5318 at the gmail place. comment below or tweet me if you have questions.
As usual, I have attempted to not bring more books into the house and failed miserably. It might sound counter intuitive, but the more books that are piled up on the coffee table (and under the coffee table, and on the corner of the kitchen table, and on the table next to the bed), the less inclined I am to want to purchase more.
But, sometimes I can’t help myself. And then beautiful books show up in the mail, and before I know it I am surrounded by the happiness that is new books that have come to live in my house and be loved by me.
Here are my newest babies:
From Del Rey/Randomhouse comes a gorgeous edition of The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord. this is her follow up to The Best Of All Possible Worlds, but they can both be read as stand alones. Stay tuned for January, when I’ll have not one, but two articles about her new novel. I’m more than a little excited!
From Orbit (you know, the folks who spoil me rotten?) comes The Mechanical from Ian Tregillis. I had no idea he had a new novel coming out! But I sure was excited to pull this ARC out of it’s envelope. The Mechanical comes out in March, and so far the only thing I know about it is that since it has Tregillis’s name on it, I want to read it.
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.
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?
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:
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).
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 (I’m reviewing Hawk for SFSignal)
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
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?
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.
- Talk 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.
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.
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.
then I checked the mail, to find these beauties:
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.
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.
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.
Here’s to hoping my brain is in high gear review writin’ mode pretty soon!
I tweeted this earlier today:
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!