It Takes a Group to Enjoy a Story

I can hear you saying, of course it doesn’t. Reading books is usually a solitary experience, unless you’re reading bedtime stories to your kids. I enjoy the books I read on my own, however, I think my experience is enhanced when I can then discuss the book with someone else. It heightens the pleasure to share the details, to compare what parts you liked the best, what you didn’t like, and whether (or at what point) you guessed what was going to happen. It lets you relive what you enjoyed. This was brought home to me when I watched a couple of movies Saturday night with some friends. Even though we had all seen the movies before, it was fun to see them again and talk about what we liked about them—to remember parts we had forgotten and to hear lines we had missed before. Good stories always give you more each time you read, or watch them. There are new discoveries to be made. And enjoyment shared is...

Bathroom Book

I just finished my current bathroom book Libromancer, which was fabulous. Nowadays I seem to do most of my reading that way. I picked up the next book from the library stack I usually have available. I ordered Year Zero based on a review I had read. I’m a sucker for humorous science fiction and as there isn’t much out there, I was looking forward to seeing if this lived up to the review. The first line is “Aliens suck at music.” If you can make me laugh with the first line, you’ve got me hooked. I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a fair amount of time in the bathroom. I may even have a bout of diarrhea coming...

Discovering New Authors

It’s always a pleasure to find a new author whose work you enjoy, but how do you find them in the first place? Word of mouth is probably the most reliable. Family and friends who share similar tastes are often a good source. I appreciate a friend lending me a dog-eared copy of a favorite book. I take their enthusiasm with me and dive between the covers hoping to be transported to a new world. The majority of the time I’m right there with them and I’m happy to recommend the book to other friends. Occasionally, I’m disappointed. The book doesn’t live up to my expectations, however, I think that is more often than not because the book was overly praised by a friend. It made me expect perfection, and lets face it, no book is perfect. I’m guilty of overpraising a book myself. I’ve been singing the wonders of one of my favorite books, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor, for the past year. But a friend recently told me she thought it was just okay. Mea culpa. It’s a wonderful book, but I’m afraid I enjoyed it so much I probably made it sound like the second coming. It’s like falling in love. At first you can’t get enough and you have to tell everyone about it until they are sick of listening to you. I’m looking forward to reading Lani Taylor’s next book Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel which is due out in November. I promise to be more reserved in my recommendations for it if it’s as good as I hope it...