books

Have You Read “An Ember in the Ashes”?

Have You Read "An Ember in the Ashes"?

Even though I’m a 36 year-old man, I’m a sucker for great YA dystopian fiction. You know, Red Rising, The Hunger Games, etc. It’s a pretty short list, unfortunately. Just recently a friend introduced me to An Ember in the Ashes, and I fell hard for it. The writing is excellent, the story is gripping, the world […]


What’s the Best Novel You’ve Read This Year?

What's the Best Novel You've Read This Year?

I almost didn’t read what is now one of my favorite books of 2017. A few months ago I was browsing Amazon in search of a fantasy novel when I noticed a book called Age of Myth. Both the name and the cover art screamed “generic fantasy,” so I almost moved on…but then I noticed […]


My Favorite Books of 2016

My Favorite Books of 2016

Looking at my list of books read in 2016, I’m surprised to see that there are only 14 books on the list. I read every night, so why so few books? I think it’s because a lot of these are long books. Books that take me 1-2 months to read at my pace of 30-45 minutes per […]


Have You Read Seveneves?

Have You Read Seveneves?

Remember when The Martian was the hottest book around? I’m hesitant to say that “everyone” was reading about it and recommending it, but it was one of those books that kind of felt that way. Well, while I might be a few months too late, I think Seveneves is 2016’s The Martian. Before I say anything else, I […]


Have You Read the Best Harry Potter Book?

Have You Read the Best Harry Potter Book?

Until a few days ago, I thought the best Harry Potter book was #6 (The Half-Blood Prince). Now imagine how my world has been turned upside down by discovering that not only have I not read the best Harry Potter book, but it’s not even written by JK Rowling. More on that sacrilege statement in a […]


Which Type of Show Are You Most Likely to Binge Watch?

Which Type of Show Are You Most Likely to Binge Watch?

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of “binge watching” for years now. I think it started becoming a thing when entire seasons (and series) of shows became available on DVD, and Netflix has taken it up a notch by releasing entire seasons of new shows all at once. I don’t think I’ve ever technically binge-watched […]


What’s a Reasonable Timeframe for Spoilers in Different Forms of Media?

What's a Reasonable Timeframe for Spoilers in Different Forms of Media?

Yesterday a friend mentioned an interesting Facebook post to me. A person had posted that they were defriending someone because they had casually written a Game of Thrones spoiler 3 days after the most recent episode aired. (They could have just unfollowed them, but I guess that was worth the price of friendship to them.) It […]


The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts

When was the last time a book caught you completely by surprise? I can’t remember how I heard about The Girl with All the Gifts, a speculative novel by M.R. Carey. I had a sample on my Kindle, and I started reading and couldn’t stop (until I fell asleep). I’ve looked forward to reading it every […]


The Clichéd Opening Scenes of Newbie Novelists

The Clichéd Opening Scenes of Newbie Novelists

I recently ran out of novels to read. This wasn’t for lack of trying. I love that I can sample pretty much any book on my Kindle. I simply haven’t been able to get into any of those books. This situation will soon change, with book 3s of several trilogies–Mistborn, Red Rising, and The Emperor’s […]


My Favorite Books of 2015

I think I’ve enjoyed the act of reading more in 2015 than any other year. I’ve found that it’s crucially important for me to read fiction every night to help my brain switch from work mode to dream mode, and as I’ve discovered more great books to read, the prospect of climbing into bed to […]


Mistborn: The Trilogy I Should Have Read Long Before Now

Mistborn: The Trilogy I Should Have Read Long Before Now

If I had a time machine, I would travel back to July 31, 2007 to tell myself to read the first book of the Mistborn trilogy on the day it was released. You might say that’s a waste of a perfectly good time machine, but it’s worth the trip. The book is that good. The trilogy is superb. […]


The Day My Niece Lost Her Name

The Day My Niece Lost Her Name

A few months ago I read about a children’s book that was making headlines in the adult world for its innovation. The headline caught my attention–what could make a picture book newsworthy? The book is called The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name (there is a boy’s version as well), and it’s made by a company called […]


I Wrote a Book and It’s a Real Thing

I Wrote a Book and It's a Real Thing

I’m without words. Which is ironic, since the reason I’m without words is that I’m now a published author. Like, I have a book with only my name on the cover filled with words I wrote, published by a real publisher. I’m not boasting. Trust me on this. That’s not what I’m trying to convey […]


Book Review: The Emperor’s Blades

Book Review: The Emperor's Blades

It’s pretty rare that a book is so good that I’ll devote an entire entry to it instead of waiting for my “best of the year” post to talk about it. The Emperor’s Blades is too good for me not to write about it. I came to this book in a roundabout way. I was seeking the board […]


Would You Live in Someone Else’s Body for a Day?

Would You Live in Someone Else's Body for a Day?

I recently finished reading a remarkable book called Every Day by David Levithan. It’s about a person named A who wakes up every day in a different person’s body (he’s 16, so the bodies he occupies are also 16) within a few hour’s radius of the previous day’s body. A can access the person’s memories […]


If You Know This Book, You Win

I don’t know why this book popped into my head today, but I haven’t been able to figure it out, and I hope you can help. When I was in fourth grade, I read a book written at the same level of (and in the same style as) books like The Phantom Tollbooth and Roald […]


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

How would you react if you lived to a ripe old age and passed away…only to regain consciousness as a baby with full memory of your previous life? What if it happened again, and again, and again? What if you learned you weren’t the only one? That’s the basic concept of The First Fifteen Lives of […]


My Favorite Books of 2014

My Favorite Books of 2014

After only reading 14 books last year, I more than doubled that number this year (29). I’ve found that reading fiction is the best way for me to turn off my brain before I go to sleep, so I’ve gotten wrapped up in a lot of great books. Here are my 5 favorites: 5. Redshirts by […]


A New Kindle in My Bed

A New Kindle in My Bed

Nearly 6 years ago, I got a first-generation Amazon Kindle (around $400 at the time). I loved it right away, as you can tell by this blast-from-the-past blog entry. Over time, that love has grown even more. Who would have thought that a device that looks like it was designed in the 1970s would work […]


The Next Hunger Games: The Red Rising Trilogy

The Next Hunger Games: The Red Rising Trilogy

A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend that I wished the next big book series would come along. It’s been a while. For voracious readers of speculative fiction like me, we had Harry Potter for about 10 years, then The Hunger Games, then a bunch of knock-off dystopian fiction. Sure, along the way […]


The Heart Does Not Grow Back

The Heart Does Not Grow Back

Almost 5 years ago, I decided to start a publishing company. No, this isn’t Stonemaier Games I’m talking about. The company was a book publishing company called Blank Slate Press. A few writer friends and I decided to try to discover great new novelists and publish their work. My contribution came from a local writer’s […]


Patrick Rothfuss Is a Rock Star

Patrick Rothfuss Is a Rock Star

I’m currently wrapping up the first draft of my Kickstarter book to send to my agent and editor. I’ve been too busy trying to finish the text to think about what will happen after the book comes out, which could include a short book tour. So when I went to a book reading, signing, and […]


Must-Read Book: The Magician’s Land

Must-Read Book: The Magician's Land

3 years ago, I discovered a book called The Magicians. Written by Lev Grossman, the book follows an 18-year-old boy as he applies to a school of magic and searches for a Narnia-like world that even his most powerful professors don’t believe in. It was a rare work of literature that is not only beautifully written, but also […]


The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

Tonight I watched the movie adaptation of the wonderful book by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars. The movie officially comes out tomorrow, but there was an advanced screening tonight, so I figured, why not? Actually, I did have one hesitation: The Fault in Our Stars is about teenagers and is read widely by teenagers (over 10 million […]