Oh boy, I’ve really had it with Facebook. Having the social and info posts I want to see in my timeline controlled by a faceless algorithm and putting up with hate posts and comments so constant I have to unfollow people I care about have taken a toll. I’m in the process of shrinking my base page down to family and real-life friends. Most of my posts involving books and reviews, blog post and article links, dogs and cats, and fun stuff will go on my author page. If you’re still on Facebook, I hope you’ll look me up and Like and/or Follow me there. If you have an author page, leave the link in the comments below and I’ll make sure I Like and Follow you as well. My author page will be the best place to see what I’m reading and what I’m writing about here or at the Blood-Red Pencil blog. (By the way, my post on “What is a Sentence?” will appear on BRP on Tuesday, the 10th.)
My schedule-do-over plan also includes a major calendar clean-up, which means I’m clearing space for more writing, more exercise, more reading, and more fun stuff (especially photography, watercolors, and music). A friend has declared a sabbatical for herself. I like that approach. The first thing I’m doing is clearing my calendar of some of the meetings I attend each month. I want to look at my calendar some weeks and see blank pages.
Now on to the book I’ve been reading. Every time I go to the library, I pick up one of two books by authors I’ve not read before. When I spotted this Five Star Frontier Fiction novel on the new fiction shelf, I added it to my checkouts. That book turned out to be one of the best reads of 2018 for me so far.
The Carroll Farm Fight
By Greg Hunt
Five Star/Cengage (February 2017)
Set in southwestern Missouri during the Civil War, the novel features a man working his family farm and planning for a good life with the woman he wants to marry. That hard but calm world crashes when Confederate soldiers come north from Arkansas with the intention of confronting the Yankees moving south. When they take their war to Carroll’s farm, they destroy everything in their path, including newly sprouted crops, buildings, and all the animals that Carroll had not let loose into the woods. Eventually Carroll is taken prisoner. His escape leads him to the neighboring farm where his intended bride is hopefully waiting to hear from him. The devastation there, however, is worse, and the woman he loves, as well as her sister, have been kidnapped.
The action moves fast, and the writing is excellent. I finished the book in two days because I could not put it down. Highly recommended.
Romantic comedy, especially sexy romantic comedy, is not usually on my reading list. These novellas by C.K. Wiles, however, are too much fun to pass up.
Stage Bound (Curtain Call Book 2): A Romantic Comedy
By C.K. Wiles
First of all, if you haven’t read the first novella in this series, I recommend you start there. I reviewed Showtime Rendezvous previously, and since it introduces the characters so well, it’s a great place to start. After that, you definitely will want to read Stage Bound which takes the small theater and its management and employees a different direction.
There are elements of the thriller in this novella to add depth to the plot, plenty of erotic scenes to stir up your senses, and a surprise ending that will make you ask when the next novella in the series will be released. This is a fast, fun read for those of us who need to lighten up a little. I was given an advance copy of this book for proofreading and was so distracted by the excellent story I often forgot I had a job to do. Most enjoyable.
These days I read mostly mysteries and thrillers along with general fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. My first love is a great series set in an interesting location and with an intriguing main character. That’s why I’m hooked on this next series.
Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
By Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books (9/11/18) — Available now for pre-order
I received an advance copy of this book from the author. The fourth novel in the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series, Burning Ridge puts main character Mattie Cobb and her dog Robo in serious danger of dying from a deadly poison attack. When Mattie is then abducted, it’s up to veterinarian Cole Walker to save Robo and then become his temporary handler as law enforcement agencies band together to find Mattie in time. Hanging over their heads is the knowledge that Mattie’s brother has just been found ruthlessly murdered. Mattie, dealing with the kidnapper/murderer, discovers shocking information about her family that will carry into the next book in the series. Honestly, I can’t wait. Margaret Mizushima is an excellent writer and story teller. This whole series is highly recommended.
I’m a political science junkie and can’t resist a lot of current books as well as those focused on political history, although I tend not to review many of them. I’m making an exception for this book by Van Jones because (1) he’s a really smart guy and I have a strong suspicious he’ll be running for some office one of these days, (2) he’s one of few public figures I’d like to sit down and have a conversation with, and (3) in spite of some bad assumptions at the beginning of the book, Jones shows an unusual understanding of both progressive and conservative goals and a broad knowledge of historical cross-party efforts to solve major problems.
Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together
By Van Jones
Ballentine Books (October, 2017)
Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook
Regardless which side of the political divide you live in, you’ll find things to criticize about Beyond the Messy Truth. You will also find a wealth of information, anecdotes, and observations that get you thinking about fixing broken things and finding solutions to the stalemate caused by anger and mistrust.
I enjoyed reading about the musical genius Prince and his ability to think outside the box, come up with a program to help youth of all backgrounds learn a new and valuable skill, and quietly work with others, including Van Jones, to implement the program. I recommend the book for everyone.
It’s going to be another hot day and a hot week in Northern Colorado. A lot of you in various parts of the country know what I’m talking about. When it’s too steamy to do something outside, just like when it’s too cold/snowy/icy in winter, I figure that’s a great time to read. Today I’m enjoying a tall glass of iced tea and a techno-thriller called End of the Road by LS Hawker.
What’s at the top of your reading list this weekend? Do you read lots of genres or generally stick to one favorite? Do you read much nonfiction? Anything you’d like to recommend?
Karen Whalen says
I would like to redo FB too but haven’t had the time or energy. I try to keep my FB time to a minimum for all the reasons you state and kudos to you for clearing your calendar to do the fun stuff. Life is too short to do otherwise. Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ve added some to my to-read list.
I’m just doing a little bit at a time on Facebook….it’s taking forever. Facebook is tough, though, because the company software keeps throwing stuff in that newsfeed that I don’t want to see and have no way to control except post by post.
The book I’m reading now, End of the Road by LS Hawker, is one you’ll probably have on your reading list if you haven’t read it already. I’m just getting into the thriller part and am having trouble putting it down to do other things.
Margot Kinberg says
I don’t blame you for being fed up with Facebook, Patricia. It’s getting more and more out-of-control, isn’t it? I do use it to keep in touch with far-flung friends, and to pass along my blog posts and such. But I don’t go down the rabbit hole – it’s really getting bad.
Glad you’ve had the chance to read some good books lately, and I’m happy that you’re working out a schedule that works better for you.
Hey, Margot! Just want you to know I’ve been reading your blog in my email which is why I haven’t left many comments lately. I always count on you to introduce me to authors and books I’ve not read yet.
I thought I could tough Facebook out until the craziness stopped, but it’s just getting worse. I’m thinking of playing with photos on Pinterest to rest my brain. 😀
Margot Kinberg says
Thanks, Pat. I really do appreciate your support of my blog.
Susan Gourley says
I have thought about giving up on Facebook many times. I end up staying but often don’t stop in for weeks. I keep up with my nieces and nephews over there.
Good morning, Susan! I know, it’s so tempting to bail out of Facebook completely. However, I have cousins all over the country that I want to stay connected to, and this is the best way. If I relied on phone calls or email, or (heavens) snail mail, for individual contacts, I’d never catch up.
Madeline mora-summonte says
I am very glad I’m not on Facebook….
I’m reading Book 6 in the D.I. Kim Stone mystery series by Angela Marsons. As much as I want to rush through them because I enjoy them so much, I keep the next book in the series on hand for when I’ve hit a reading slump and need something I know will be excellent. 🙂
Hi Madeline! I haven’t read anything by Angela yet. I’ll check it out. I like the idea of having several books in a series to binge read this summer (while I’m mostly goofing off). 😀
I am reading Kaufman’s The Fat Lady’s Low, Sad Song, which you just sent me.
I needed a break from history, much as I enjoy Goodreads WWII History group.
I read in so many different genres that I can’t keep up with all the great recommendations I get from friends and from other writers. My Goodreads “Want to Read” list keeps getting longer and longer.
Hope you enjoy Kaufman’s book. Let me know…
L. Diane Wolfe says
I’d love some blank space on my calendar.
I am following your author page. I think that’s why I don’t spend much time on Facebook. There are some crazy people out there.
Crazy and mean people! I’m not willing to put up with it anymore.
Thanks for following my author page, Diane. I’ll be keeping it nice and friendly and very bookish..
Patricia cox says
I haven’t had an entire week off since I retired! I think I’ll have to arrange that somehow. I like the idea of separate Facebook pages for personal friends and family and an author page for all things authorly.
The thrill of a week or two each month with nothing to do but please my self (and hubby, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat, of course) is something I’m looking forward to.
If this Facebook change doesn’t work, Patricia, I’ll be moving on to other social media venues. For now, I’m gradually cleaning out the regular page and focusing on the author page. We’ll see what happens.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
Glad I’m not on Facebook. It always sounds like drama.
This weekend wasn’t bad, but it’s been both hot and humid here.
I tried everything to get free of the drama, Alex, but Facebook is more intent on controlling the flow of info than they are in connecting users in a constructive way. I love some technology, but this is ridiculous.