Book Review

Reading and a Quartet of Books

Reading and a quartet of Books

Have you ever begin to read a book and you don’t feel the connection? Reading is more than a connection and books are more than medium.

Our first instinct is to blame the book or the author: “Not a good book,” “I didn’t like it,”  “The author is bland,” whatever your expression we start ramming against the ones without a voice or representation at that moment.

I have felt that way, and I bet you have too. That feeling does not come from the book we are reading or because of the author; it is because of us. Yes, because the way we are feeling at that moment. Sometimes, our feelings get in the middle of our actions and behaviors without us even realized they do. For example, have you tried to read a book at night after a long day of work, and you fall asleep after just reading one page? Is it because of the book? No. But our first instinct, again, is to say “I can’t read,” “Reading is boring,” “The book is not good.” The truth is we could not read because you were tired, not because of the book.

From my personal experience, when I stop blaming a book for my ineptitudes, I have enjoyed my reading even more. And just to be clear, even after you have tried to read and liked a book, but the topic or the “feeling” of the book is not in tune with you, it is a wise to stop reading. After all, reading should be a guilt-free pleasure.

No Bad Books

For me, at least, there are no bad books. Writers have to start somewhere! The time and effort invested in writing a book; the work and research they do; writers/authors live and breath writing, it is their work. I know, you are thinking “they get paid for that”, not until they sell the books and even then is not a get rich quick scheme. What I am saying is that we are easy to judge a book and author, without seeing what really goes behind the scenes.

I agree that some books are like a young fruit that needs a little more sun to mature, but its the author, not the book. And, that author matured by writing that book.

We, as readers, judge the book as the book, not as a complete work of art made by a person. Take Stephen King, for example, he wrote the Bachman books as a way to have more books published in the same year, but also he wanted to know if “Bachman” could make it to stardom as he did for himself. Well, the Bachman books sales were fair with feeble reviews that did not provide a great following. After it was discovered that Bachman and King were the same, the book sales soar with extraordinary reviews. So, were the Bachman books so bad before they were associated with Stephen King? No, they were the same books judge by its cover.

Anton Ego, food critic, from the Pixar movie Ratatouille sums it best:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

 

The bold part of the quote applies directly to our topic, but I quoted all of his speech because although he is talking about food, it applies to any kind of creative work.

 

Anton Ego Ratatouille

 

 

A Quartet of Books

Long overdue reviews of four books I had the pleasure to read last year. I know, shame on me! The authors trusted me for a review of their books so here are the reviews.

Book One:  Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva

Happier Thinking Lana Grace Riva

This is a small book that you can read in one sitting. It is easy to follow and comprehend, no complicated words, and she uses a smooth voice. You feel a friend is telling you about her day but delivers a great message! Each chapter presents a thought on how to apply happier thinking to your life. Also, she gives plenty of example of everyday situations where you could lose your marbles but she “offers” choices for you to think about the outcome you want the best.

I’ve read the book, since I got it, about four times. Like I said previously, is a small book and is a great read when you need a lift or a reminder when you are feeling down or lost. One of my favorite quotes of the book is:

It's perfectly ok to just feel sad sometimes. ~ Lana Grace Riva @LanaGraceRiva Click To Tweet

Powerful, don’t you think? In the world, we live now,  “being happy” is a must to show you are in control this phrase gives us breathing air.

You can follow the author on Twitter and give her your support.

 

Book Two and Three: The Last Success Principle by J.D. Bloodstone

The Last Success Principle JD Bloodstone

 

I joined two books in one because I want to talk about three books by J.D.: Awaken the Balls Within, The 10 Habits of Highly Ballsy People, and The Last Success Principle. I’ve done a review of his first book Think & Grow Balls!, you might want to read too.

The first two books were in digital form while the last one was a paperback, and is a compilation of his three previous books. While all of them are related and each of them is unique, is The Last Success Principle that provides a better and complete message of success, will, discipline, and motivation.  Also, one major difference is he loses the word “balls” for synonyms in the context he used in his previous books. This 280-page book is full of encouragement for you to improve and accomplish your goals. For this, he writes:

The secret to possessing an indomitable will is simply to get started... to take action. ~ J.D. Bloodstone @jdbloodstone Click To Tweet

Perhaps you have heard a variation of that phrase before, but the beauty of it is the word will. It is your will to thrive that will differentiate you from the rest. The book will provide you with a great boost of empowerment. After reading it, you will feel ready to conquer the world!

You can follow the author on Twitter and give him your support.

 

Book Four: The Last Titan by Craig Wainwright

The Last Titan Craig Wainwright

 

This a futuristic book that has action, a love story and aliens. The book is detailed, you read the expression on their faces to the poses of their bodies, which is good because is like a movie playing in your head as you read. You need to pay attention to follow the story, I found myself going back to reread a few pages back because I missed a detail. The author presents the characters by themselves at first and then their story together begins, I believe is a good way so you relate to them and you liked them from the start.

It is a complex book because of the details but is a great read. I can compare it to Star Wars, because of the characters and some of the settings, and also the idea of worlds beyond ours. I would recommend it for people who enjoy sci-fi books, I bet they would have a great time reading this book. And even, if you are not into sci-fi, because of the details the book is worth reading. I will re-read it again, as I know I will enjoy it, even more, a second time around.

Wainwright is already working on book number 2 since the story seems to end in a beginning. And as many of us, you will find yourself wanting to know what the future yield for the power couple of Omega and Andromeda. One phrase I love in particular, mostly because of the irony, is at the end when Omega responds to Andromeda:

I'm not British ~ Omega, The Last Titan by Craig Wainwright @Omega2026 Click To Tweet

Wainwright had this book on his mind for 40 years and worked for it the past 15 years to make it a reality. It is a life work put in a 374-page book. Personally, I admire him for that. Remarkable job, Craig!

You can follow the author on Twitter and give him your support.

 

Giveaway

As a way to ask for forgiveness and to celebrate the work of these accomplished writers, I am doing a giveaway of their books, preference of the winner. All you have to do is to write a comment below and follow each of the authors on Twitter. I would like to say that supporting indie authors is something we should do as book lovers, and not just look for books from renowned authors. I have the same stance with bookstores and libraries, support your local small bookstores and libraries.

I will pick a winner next Friday, January 11th. Good luck and happy reading!!

Edel

 

Related: Let’s Talk About Books

 

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(12) Comments

  1. I love this! Supporting local and india artists is great, and I love to read local as well. Just picked up a book written by a runner who lives in my town who used our local running community and running as a way to get through his divorce. Will definitely check out these authors 🙂

    1. Edel says:

      Thank you, Jen. That’s awesome! Share his book with us. It could apply for a book about a hobby, since it has running, or recommended by a friend in our Book Challenge. You should definitely check them out!

  2. I really love this post. I know exactly what you mean when you’re talking about not being into a book or having tried to finish the same book several times.
    One of the ways I have begun to overcome this is by reading in the morning. And then just for a specific amount of time and 1-2 chapters at the time.
    It gets me reading every day and I have a different attitude about reading.
    Great job!

    1. Edel says:

      Thank you, Trine. Yes, reading just one or two chapters at a time will get the “job” done and you will not feel pressured. I read during the day, whenever I find a time, with the kids around is not so easy. At night is the most peaceful time for me, but sometimes I fall asleep, that’s when reading at least a few pages made me feel better. Read on!

  3. Love to read book reviews and discover more books, I am planning to do book reviews on my blog too

    1. Edel says:

      Awesome! Thank you for reading mine. Please let me know when you are start to do reviews, to share the love. These authors are great, you won’t be disappointed.

  4. There’s a book I gave up on reading last year. But I keep hearing good things about the book that I might give it another try. Like you said, maybe I wasn’t reading it at the right time and with the mindset of giving it a chance.

    1. Edel says:

      Thank you for reading! I’ve been there and I’ve been surprised by how I love them after I tried them again. Happy Reading!

  5. Oh, Happier Thinking! It sounds very Sunny Side– and it’s going on my reading list!

    1. Edel says:

      It does! It’s wonderful you found a book here. Thank you for reading, Elease.

  6. Hi! Sorry for the delay, I got my calendar messed up and forgot to update here the winner.
    Congratulations Lusine! You are the winner of a book of your choice from the ones reviewed on the post. I will contact you privately for details.
    Thanks all for reading and commenting!

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