Tag Archives: novels

Book Abandonment, and Why It’s Okay


Readers often feel a sense of guilt when abandoning a book. It could be simply that we’re not quitters, determined to finish a project or task no matter how unenjoyable. We’ve committed to this book, checked it out at the library or paid good money for it at the bookstore, and we are damn well going to finish it. Even if it’s the last thing we do.

Maybe we’re also competitive or, if you will, gluttonous. We want to read as many books as we can get our hands on. We’ve told ourselves we were going to read X amount of books this year (I’m currently behind on my personal 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge). If we can simply push through this book, it’s one more toward that goal, but in doing so, we end up slowing ourselves down.

The reasons we choose to give up on a book vary. It’s naive to assume that because you like a book everyone else you know will too. Reading is subjective. Sometimes your favorite blogger or Goodreads reviewer will fail you.

Here are a few reasons it might be time to let a book go.


Three Tips to Beat Writer’s Block

It happens to us all – we’re in the middle of a piece of work and it is just inspired. Everything flows. The words fit perfectly. The idea is seamless and flows like the Nile forming an oasis in a desert of blank pages.

And then the phone rights. Or you get an email alert that snaps you out of the zone. Maybe someone knocks on the door. Whatever happens and then the zone is gone.

Writing all of a sudden becomes like pulling teeth – painful and extraordinarily uninspired. Things on the page that were once beautiful now turn to pure dung and nothing you do seems to redeem the words on the page or match the perfection of what came before.

Pictured: What it feels like to write after you’ve lost the flow.

I do advocate having a set time to write and minimizing interruptions during these writing periods, but that doesn’t mean that an inspired state of mind doesn’t help with the workflow, and when that streak is gone, it can seem impossible to begin to write again.

These three tips help me get back into the flow of writing once I’ve lost it, and hopefully they’ll help you too.

Alan Rickman Reads

When I read, I don’t hear my own voice in my head. Generally, I’ll hear someone with a British accent. Why? Because I like the way it sounds.

And, after watching some of my favorite movies like Sense and Sensibility or, you know, any Harry Potter film, I get Alan Rickman’s voice stuck in my head. For about a week on out, his voice echoes in my head as the voice of every play, poem, and novel I read.

And now I’m going to get Alan Rickman’s voice stuck in your head too. Youtube – beautiful, wonderful Youtube, has entire playlists of Alan Rickman just reading stuff, like poems and excerpts from novels and plays. My favorite reading, because the only thing I love more than Alan Rickman’s voice is Shakespeare’s works, is Alan Rickman’s reading of Sonnet 130.


Why I Thought Middle School Was a Nefarious Ploy to Abandon Children in the Wild

I read a lot as a kid. As I was entering junior high school, I had already finished all of the Goosebumps series of books and moved onto R.L. Stine’s Fear Street novels.

Beyond the watered-down horror, I had also finished all of the Choose Your Own Adventure books (reading through every adventure option, of course) at my local library, along with a handful of classics like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, James and the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web, Black Beauty, and a whole slew of other books.

I read, and I read a lot, and I read for fun. When I entered junior high, the horror, fantasy, adventure, and whimsy all made way for a series of books about children stranded on islands and having to survive without adults.

Sounds fun, right?

Except, why now? I would ask myself. Why would we have to read three novels in a row with survival without adults as the central theme?

2015: A Moviegoers Guide to Book-Based Movies in January and February

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that prefer to read the book before they watch the movie or those that prefer to watch the movie and then maybe, when they find time, read the book. Whichever kind of person you are, this list of book-based movies can give you the opportunity to either read ahead for the upcoming year or to put these books away and enjoy them in 2016.

Out January 16th, Still Alice

Lisa Genova writes a compelling story Alice Howland, a mother and scholar, and her early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The movie stars Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart.

Out January 23rd, The Mortdecai Trilogy

Kyril Bonfiglioli originally wrote this black comedy in the 1970s about Charlie Mortdecai, an art dealer with ties to the London underground. In total there are four complete books and one incomplete novel. The movie stars Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ewan McGregor.


Overwhelmed at the Festival of Books

A few weeks ago, I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Although I have always been a bibliophile, I have never had a chance to visit this event. Something always got in the way. Not this year though. I was lucky enough to attend day one of the festival with my wife and my infant son.


The festival of books took place on the campus of the University of Southern California on the weekend of April 12 and 13. This was the 19th year of the event and the second year in a row that USC has hosted. More than 150,000 people of all ages attended the festival making it “the largest and most prestigious literary event in North America,” according to the LA Times.

Let me begin by saying that it was great to see such a large turn out for a festival whose main focus was literature. It kind of restored some hope for humanity in my mind. I mean, to be honest, I knew people still read, but I didn’t think they really cared about literature. I hate crowded places, but it was pleasant to share the day with thousands of book lovers.