books

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 […]


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 […]