books

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 […]


A Conversation of Thrones

A Conversation of Thrones

Something weird happened today. Or maybe it’s not weird. Maybe this is just how people talk now. I had an hour-long conversation about A Game of Thrones. I love the TV show (I haven’t read the books). Epic medieval fantasy with sex, magic, and dragons? Yes please. Given the unconventional approach to the genre, t’s a […]


Give Me a Book That Will Put Me to Sleep

Give Me a Book That Will Put Me to Sleep

Yesterday a reader gave me a book recommendation in the comments, which came at the perfect time. Here’s what’s happening: I read every night in bed for about 30 minutes before I go to sleep. My reading material has fluctuated over the years. Fiction is always in the mix, but for a while I subscribed […]


My 5 Favorite Books of 2013

My 5 Favorite Books of 2013

I’m pretty sure I read more than the 14 books I recorded on my spreadsheet, but that’s what I have to work with today. Thus these are my 5 favorite books of 2013. 5. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie: My agent gave me this as a reading assignment for my Kickstarter book, and […]


Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half

A few years ago, my ex-roommate introduced me to a blog called Hyperbole and a Half. At first glance, it appears like a site designed in Microsoft Paint 20 years ago. But if you start reading the entries, you realize that it’s actually a really well-crafted, laugh-out-loud hilarious blog illustrated with images…drawn in Microsoft Paint. […]


Your Favorite Business Book

Your Favorite Business Book

I have some good news. A year and a half ago, I wrote a dystopian novel called Wrinkle. I revised it a few times, sent it out to beta readers…and then I got really busy with Kickstarter and game design. Aside from publishing a game, my other lifelong dream has been to publish a book. As has […]


Fight Club Returns

Fight Club Returns

I was going to do a “pet please” entry about this, but this is well beyond a pet please. This is like if pet please #1 (the Amazon.com smiling box) and pet please #2 (back-to-back parking spaces) had a baby together. I’m not sure what that baby would look like…maybe an Amazon box the size […]


Thank a Writer: A Few Seconds Can Make All the Difference

Thank a Writer: A Few Seconds Can Make All the Difference

Last week I wrote a special thank you on the blog to the author who has the biggest impact on me, Roald Dahl. A few days later, I received a truly touching mini-essay from reader and frequent long-form commenter Katie about an author that had an unexpectedly large impact on her, and I’d like to […]


Thank a Writer: My Favorite Author

Thank a Writer: My Favorite Author

Yesterday I was reading the best blog on writing and publishing (check out Nathan Bransford’s blog here), and I noticed that he had an interesting premise for his daily post. He devoted a blog entry to simply thanking an author that had a huge impact on him–in this case, the author was Bill Watterson, author […]


The Best Reading Experience of My Life

The Best Reading Experience of My Life

I am in the midst of the best reading experience of my life. Remember back in the day, when Dickens released his novels one chapter at a time on a velum scroll in the town proper (at least part of that sentence is historically accurate)? Remember what that did to you as you stood there […]


Why I Love Dystopian Fiction

Why I Love Dystopian Fiction

Today I was talking to a friend and editor over at Blank Slate Press about why we enjoy dystopian fiction so much. The conversation started when I e-mailed Amira to ask her for her top 5 reasons why she likes dystopian fiction. The question stemmed from more than just curiosity; I’m currently revising my YA dystopian […]


My Favorite Books of 2012

2012 was a very, very good year for books. I had less time to read than in previous years because I spent two months writing a novel (Wrinkle, in revisions now) and all other months designing a board game and running a Kickstarter campaign for that game (Viticulture), so I was perhaps a little more […]


Best of 2012: Readers’ Choices

A few weeks ago, I asked you to fill out a brief survey indicating your favorite books, movies, songs, and blog posts of 2012. Before I launch into my personal best-of-2012 lists this week, I thought I’d give the reader responses center stage. These are listed in no particular order except that if one of […]


Tolkien Was Born in Middle Earth and Other Misconceptions

Tolkien Was Born in Middle Earth and Other Misconceptions

In 3 days, I will start to receive beta reader feedback about my YA dystopian novel, Wrinkle (although one beta reader got back to me a week ago, which was unexpected and fantastic). I’m thrilled but scared, curious but anxious. It is quite possible these readers will tell me that my novel sucks. And that’s […]


Are Books Better Than Movies?

Are Books Better Than Movies?

With my publishing company’s latest book coming out next week, I’m supposed to be excited about books. And I am excited about that book. It’s beautifully written, endlessly entertaining, and it will move you in a way that few books can. If you’re in St. Louis and want to attend the debut book signing next […]


My Favorite Books of 2011

My Favorite Books of 2011

2011 was an interesting year for reading for me. My publishing company published its first two novels, The Samaritan and Dancing with Gravity, so I’ve learned a lot by being on the flip side of the publishing world. This fall I’ve spent quite a bit of time helping a few authors who didn’t quite get […]


Completing a Trilogy

Last Sunday, I finished reading the newly released third book of David Anthony Durham’s Acacia Trilogy. I wrote about the first two books in this post earlier in the summer. I can’t really talk about the book without spoiling it, but I will say that this is a rare case where a a trilogy is […]


What’s Your Replay?

What's Your Replay?

I just finished the first book in a long time that I simply could not put down: Replay, by Ken Grimwood. Seriously, I’ve stayed up way too late the last few nights reading this book, and I just finished it. I’ll tell you what happens in the first 30 pages of the book so this […]


Click: An Online Love Story: A Man’s Perspective

Click: An Online Love Story: A Man's Perspective

A few months ago, I was asked to review a recently published novel called Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker. Given the myriad of experiences I’ve had on Match.com this past year, I thought the book was a good fit for me to review. It also helps that I love (and am thus […]


What’s Your Favorite Summer Read?

Two years ago, I read a review in Entertainment Weekly of the first book in a new trilogy by an author named David Anthony Durham. I had never heard of him, but the glowing review of Acacia: The War with the Mein hooked me, and I read the book soon after. I was hooked. Sometimes […]


The Future of Bookstores

The Future of Bookstores

I’m hesitant to admit this, but I’ll just say it: Until recently, it had been a long time since I had been in a bookstore. There are two reasons for this, and they both rhyme with blamazon.com: I do all of my book shopping on Amazon.com If I really want a book NOW, I buy […]