Thursday, 30 June 2011

Books Read in June

June's been crazy in terms of reading where I have been reading A LOT of different books, hence finished less. I have been all over the place, between Kindle and Paperbooks, but enojying it. 

1. Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay - 04/06/11
2. Notes on Writing Weird Fiction - H. P. Lovecraft - 08/06/11
3. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss - 17/06/11
4. Next Logical Step - Ben Bova - 22/06/11
5. Zen in the Art of Writing - Ray Bradbury - 26/06/11
6. How to Write a Great Query Letter - Noah Lukeman - 30/06/11

Monday, 27 June 2011

New Series - WR Recommends

Hi Folks, 

You know I love doing series on this blog. This one is different - there will be no guest posts in this series - at least not in this original version. I might modify and invite people bit later on. 

Summer's here, and while many of us read pretty much the same all year around, a lot of people have more reading time in the summer, so it's a perfect time to do this. In this series, I will recommend up to 10 books in various genres. These are in my opinion "MUST READ" in these genres. 

These lists will be based on simple rules:

  1. I have personally read these books
  2. I put these books in "totally amazing" category. I had to narrow it down, because otherwise my recommendations would be endless. 

Disclaimer: I'm sure there will be books I will miss out (pretty hard to remember them all), but that happens. 

I would of course love it if you guys join in, in the comments, with the books you recommend, and if you have read any on my lists, and what do you think of them! 

Friday, 24 June 2011

All About Editing - Emily Gee

I first came across Emily's book in a random browsing session on Amazon, but since then I have bought all her fantasy books, and absolutely love them, so today's post is all the more exciting for me. 

Here is Emily's post:

Do you love editing, or hate it, or somewhere in the middle?
I wouldn't say that I *adore* editing, Dolly, but I do enjoy it. There's a lot of satisfaction in tinkering with paragraphs and sentences--moving them around, cutting a bit here, adding a bit there--until they read the best they possibly can. (Can you tell I'm a word geek? )

Do you edit as you go? Or do you start only after the first draft?
I edit as I go. For my latest book, I tried not to edit at all during the first draft (i.e. the Fast Draft method), in the hope that it would help me write faster, but the end result was that I was much slower! It took many, many more passes through the book to pull it all together and to get some spark on the pages. So I've gone back to editing as I write. Yes, the first draft takes longer, but on the flip side, it's pretty polished and doesn't need a huge amount of editing.

Any tips you've learned from your experience?
Different methods work for different people. Some writers swear by the Fast Draft method (i.e. don't edit at all while writing the first draft), others (like me) work best by editing as they go. My advice would be to experiment. Discover what works best for you. Don't stick with one method just because other people have said it's the best one!

My only editing tip would be to print out your work. You see so much more when you're holding the pages in your hands than you ever do when you're reading on screen. Yes, it uses more paper and ink, but the end result is a much better book!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

This is a way over-due post, but doesn't mean I don't appreciate the award. Thank you so much to two lovely ladies, who both gave me these award on their blogs. Diane  and Karin. They both followed slightly different rules for passing on the award, so I'm just going to go for the middle ground. 

1. LInk back to the person who gave you the award (done!!)
2. Share 7 things about  yourself
3. Pass the award on to other Versatile Bloggers
4. Let those Bloggers know that they have got this award 

Seven Things About Me
  1. No matter how fast I read, I always wish I was a faster reader (while keeping quality of course)
  2. I don't feel at all bad about saying that between books and people, most of the time I prefer books
  3. I'm glad I picked up a habit of journaling regularly relatively early in life, though I still regret that it wasn't early enough
  4. I don't like to read or write in the garden, no matter what the weather. I would much rather sit indoors
  5. I love computers (including work laptop, now I have four of my own) 
  6. I like spicy food
  7. If hermit was still a profession, I would be so tempted to join it

Award Goes To:
1. Jamie Debree who truly is a versatile blogger
2. Kirsty at Overflowing Library
3. Carol at Random Writing

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Fantasy Reading Challenge

There are so many books I want to read that even a lifetime doesn't seem enough, so instead of following generic lists, for my favourite genre, I'm starting a challenge to read 103 fantasy books that I haven't read yet. There is no deadline for this, so if you like reading Fantasy, I invite you to join in. Read as many as you can - or even just a handful that appeal to you.

If you've read some of these, or are joining in the challenge, leave comments as you progress, and we can exchange thoughts. If you think others might enjoy this, please blog/twitter/facebook about it with the link. The more the merrier!! 

P.S. - I've included following books in the challenge simply because I already have these books. There are many more I want to read, but figured, let's focus on what I've already bought. 

  1. Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay
  2. The Darkest Road - Guy Gavriel Kay
  3. The Summer Tree - Guy Gavriel Kay
  4. The Wandering Fire - Guy Gavriel Kay
  5. Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay
  6. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
  7. The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
  8. Dragonfilght - Anne McCaffrey
  9. Dragonquest - Anne McCaffrey
  10. The White Dragon - Anne McCaffrey
  11. Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
  12. Mistborn: The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson
  13. Mistborn: The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson
  14. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians - Brandon Sanderson
  15. The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
  16. Beyond the Shadows - Brent Weeks
  17. Shadow's Edge - Brent Weeks
  18. The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
  19. The Black Prism - Brent Weeks
  20. A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
  21. A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin
  22. A Storm of Swords - George R. R. Martin
  23. A Feast for Crows - George R. R. Martin
  24. The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers
  25. Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson
  26. Deadhouse Gates - Steven Erikson
  27. Memories of Ice - Steven Erikson
  28. House of Chains - Steven Erikson
  29. Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson
  30. The Bonehunters - Steven Erikson
  31. Reaper's Gale - Steven Erikson
  32. Toll the Hounds - Steven Erikson
  33. Dust of Dreams - Steven Erikson
  34. The Crippled God - Steven Erikson
  35. Ship of Magic - Robin Hobb
  36. Mad Ship - Robin Hobb
  37. Ship of Destiny - Robin Hobb
  38. Fool's Errand - Robin Hobb
  39. Golden Fool - Robin Hobb
  40. Fool's Fate - Robin Hobb
  41. The Warded Man - Peter V. Brett
  42. The Desert Spear - Peter V. Brett
  43. The First Betrayal - Patricia Bray
  44. The Sea Change - Patricia Bray
  45. The Final Sacrifice - Patricia Bray
  46. Cygnet - Patricia A. McKillip
  47. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
  48. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
  49. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
  50. Replay - Ken Grimwood
  51. Blade of Fortriu - Juliet Marillier
  52. The Dark Mirror - Juliet Marillier
  53. The Well of Shades - Juliet Marillier
  54. Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie
  55. The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie
  56. The Sentinel Mage - Emily Gee
  57. The Jewel in the Skull - Michael Moorcock
  58. The Mad God's Amuel - Michael Moorcock
  59. The Sword of the Dawn - Michael Moorcock
  60. The Runestaff - Michael Moorcock
  61. Lover Eternal - J R Ward
  62. Lover Awakened - J R Ward
  63. Lover Revealed - J R Ward
  64. Lover Unbound - J R Ward
  65. Lover Enshrined - J R Ward
  66. Lover Avenged - J R Ward
  67. Lover Mine - J R Ward
  68. Lover Unleashed - J R Ward
  69. Moon Called - Patricia Briggs
  70. Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs
  71. Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs
  72. Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs
  73. Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  74. River Marked - Patricia Briggs
  75. White Night - Jim Butcher
  76. Summer Knight - Jim Butcher
  77. Side Jobs - Jim Butcher
  78. Small Favor - Jim Butcher
  79. Proven Guilty - Jim Butcher
  80. Grave Peril - Jim Butcher
  81. Death Masks - Jim Butcher
  82. Dead Beat - Jim Butcher
  83. Blood Rites - Jim Butcher
  84. Changes - Jim Butcher
  85. Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher
  86. Academ's Fury - Jim Butcher
  87. Cursor's Fury - Jim Butcher
  88. Captain's Fury - Jim Butcher
  89. Princep's Fury - Jim Butcher
  90. First Lord's Fury - Jim Butcher
  91. The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
  92. The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
  93. The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
  94. The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan
  95. The Fires of Heaven - Robert Jordan
  96. Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan
  97. A Crown of Swords - Robert Jordan
  98. The Path of Daggers - Robert Jordan
  99. Winter's Heart - Robert Jordan
  100. Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan
  101. Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan
  102. The Gathering Storm - Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
  103. Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Books Read in May

This year is going pretty well in terms of reading. I've no doubt that I'm going to kick-ass of my 80 books target, since I've finished 49 books by end of May. But it's been fun, and since my reading list is endless....I still feel that I am not fast enough. But practice makes perfect :-)) 

  1. Sixty-One Nails - Mike Shevdon - 01/05
    First book in the Courts of the Feyre series. I really enjoyed it. C. E. Murphy blurbed it as a Neverwhere for grown-ups, and I agree. It's different from a lot of my usual fantasy because the hero is a middle-aged, divorced, single parent - hence, your everyday man - who rises to his newly discovered Feyre heritage.
  2. Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer - 07/05
    The latest in Artemis Fowl series - and again, loved it. Artemis Fowl is my favourite young hero (yes, even more than Harry Potter - because while I love Harry Potter series more, I would much rather prefer Artemis' company than Harry's).
  3. Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris - 08/05
    The latest in Sookie Stackhouse. Another series I enjoy. But "Dead to the World" still remains my favourite book in the series so far.
  4. Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich - 10/05
    I have enjoyed Stephanie Plum series by Evanovich, so I thought I would try something else by her. This is slightly fantasyish - in that it has magic, but not too much. I liked reading it, but didn't find it as laugh-out-loud funny as Stephanie Plum. So in terms of review, I would read more in this series, but not necessarily run out to buy when it comes out.
  5. Matilda - Roald Dahl - 12/05
    I admit to a great shame here - until now I've never read any Roald Dahl. But then blame that to my foreign upbringing. There weren't Roald Dahl books around where I was growing up. So Matilda has been on my reading list, ever since I saw the movie Matilda (which I love). And I really enjoyed this book. Dahl's writing is FANTASTIC. I loved it so much, I had to read another book by him.
  6. The Twits - Roald Dahl - 15/05
    Love the insults in this book. Hilarious. Though didn't like the story so much - certainly not as much as Matilda.
  7. Dark Lover - J. R. Ward - 20/05
    Since a lot of people rave about Black Dagger Brotherhood books, I thought I would give this a go. So a mixed review about this - I liked the story, and I liked the characters - but not the writing. Especially not the dialogue. It was just too...well...wrong. Every guy speaks the same - and it doesn't match their history. But characters are compelling enough that I will read more books in this series, and hope that it improves over time, as it happens a lot since all new authors have stuff to learn after their first book.
  8. First Five Pages - Noah Lukeman - 21/05
    Interesting book about first five pages, and the kind of things that might make an agent or an editor stop reading your book.
  9. The Road to Bedlam - Mike Shevdon - 28/05
    May for me, began and ended with Mike Shevdon. This is the second book in Courts of the Feyre series, and again very good. Especially last third of this book was very good, in terms of plotting and pacing, and I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next.