Category Archives: reading

A water color of a single red rose, growing in the middle of a spooky cemetery at night.

Favorite Author

If frequency, or number of books read is any indication, then my favorite author is clearly Stephen King. And, even without counting, if you asked me, that’s the answer I’d give you.

I can’t say I’ve loved all of this books. However, I read the entire Dark Tower series twice. I also really enjoyed The Talisman, Misery, and many, many others. One of his most recent novels, Fairy Tale, is excellent.

Coming in a distant second is Piers Anthony. I read approximately 24 of the Xanth novels. I feel like I read a few more than that, but I think the names might be familiar because I had intended to read them, not because I actually did. Xanth #47 will be published this year, so it looks like I have some catching up to do! I also loved The Incarnations of Immortality series, as well as some of his other, shorter series, although I’m not sure I finished those either.

Third on the list is Louise Penny, with the beloved Inspector Gamache books, followed by Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, which I adore.

Today’s art is Stephen King inspired, a water color of a single red rose, growing in the middle of a spooky cemetery at night.

Today’s #Bloganuary prompt: Who is your favorite author and why?

Books That Changed My Life

This is an interesting prompt for me. The answer to the question “Has a book changed your life?” is clearly yes. The interesting parts lie in what books, and how.

In high school, my English teacher gave me Watership Down and The Sound and The Fury to read for book reports. I loved the former, it’s one of my all-time favorite books, and I was not too fond of the latter. However, both deepened my appreciation for the English language and literature–both capital L Literature and regular old literature.

The most recently impactful book would have to be Adam Grant’s Think Again. I was going through a rough time at my job, and I was in the process of interviewing for my now-current job with Automattic. This book gave me the courage to re-think my situation and to make the bold leap to leave a company I’d been with for 15 years.

A book in progress that I feel will be highly impactful when I finish and put it into practice is Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. I’ll be sharing a review with my thoughts on this one soon.

Other impactful books are the books that inspired my Four Pillars of Health series:

Also, I feel that any book well read changes me. As I read, I absorb a little bit of it, and I may change in myriad ways. I learn, and I become curious about new and different topics.

And lastly, I would be remiss not to mention The Animal Manifesto, which is partly responsible for my decision to become a vegetarian.

Today’s #Bloganuary prompt: Has a book changed your life?

Reading challenge complete!

I’ve reached my reading goal of 20,000 pages (and then some) with a few days to spare!

This year, I set a reading goal based on pages instead of number of books. Since book length can be so variable, pages seems like a better comparison of how much I’m reading, year over year.

Also, a goal based on the number of books caused some bad behaviors. I was avoiding really long books and reading a lot of short stories or novellas towards the end of the year, just to keep the book count high.

This year, my longest read was The Golem and the Jinni, at 819 pages. My shortest read was A Gift from the Sea, at 130. That’s quite a difference!

In 2020, I read 104 books but only 800 pages more than the year before, when I read 82 books. In 2013, I read seven more books than in 2014, but only 250 pages more. In 2016, I read one book more than the previous year, but actually came in with 650 fewer pages!

Looking at this data, it seems clear that counting the number of books is misleading!

Now that I am no longer hyper-focused on book counts, I’m looking forward to jumping into some longer picks. For 2023, I want to re-read The Stand (1,358 pages), and finally get around to the latest Outlander novel, Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone (960 pages).

Bonus trivia! According to Goodreads, the longest book I’ve ever read is A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6). I’ve read 18 other books that have over 1,000 pages (four of those are Outlander novels, another four are Stephen King, and three are GoT novels).

What are you looking forward to reading in 2023?

Book Cover forEmily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Emily Wilde is a professor and the leading expert on faeries. She is compiling the world’s first-ever first encyclopaedia of faeries. She is most herself while researching or in the company of books and doesn’t seem to fit in with others.

Emily travels to a remote village to complete her encyclopaedia, where she is joined by a colleague/rival, Wendell Bambleby–much to her displeasure. Wendell is the opposite of Emily in many ways. Where she is unkempt and lacking in fashion, Wendell is stylish and sophisticated. Where Emily has alienated the locals, Wendell makes fast friends. And it’s a good thing he does, otherwise these two would be in big trouble!

This book fell short for me because it centers on Emily and her research and spends less time directly on faeries. While faerie lore and stories are sprinkled throughout, I prefer when the faeries and their world are front and center. I will admit though, that I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

This book is perfect if you’re looking for something new, like books about socially awkward people, and (of course) if you like books about faeries.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.