Should I do This?

People are becoming more and more politically active, but not everyone is outspoken and open about it. I’ve just read multiple reports of people doing something great. They’re buying dozens of copies of books like 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and In The Garden of Beasts, but guess what they’re doing with the books they’re buying? They’re giving them away!

The stories I’ve read about have included anonymous buyers who simply ask that the bookstore give the books away while telling the lucky readers to stay aware. Every instance has resulted in every book being taken. I want to do this.

I’m not sitting on a pile of cash to buy dozens of books to give away, but again I’m willing to make a sacrifice to get people reading and start conversations. It would definitely be on a smaller scale than the ones I’ve read about. Maybe 10 copies of 2-3 books. But I wouldn’t want to stay in the shadows. I’d want to do the whole thing myself. I’d want to hear what people have to say about the topics in the books and how they relate to current ongoings.

I’m already sending three books to the White House with a message to President Trump. What do you think about doing this too?


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I’m not Surprised

I told y’all last week that 1984 had catapulted to the top of Amazon’s bookstore. Well it’s still there. And it’s been followed by a number of dystopian classics that people feel may give them some insight into what’s happening today.

It Can’t Happen Here. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Brave New World. Fahrenheit 451. Animal Farm.

One might say these books are always selling fairly well. Sure. But not thousands of copies that are required to stay in the top 10 on the website for several days.

Have you had any thoughts to read any of these books once more? I have. I own two of the titles mentioned and read 4 of them.

An Unlikely Bestseller

Becoming a bestseller is not an exact science. Sometimes Oprah will mention a book and sales skyrocket. Or an adaptation causes a surge. But what about a book published decades before that sells well throughout each and every year? Not bestseller well, but well enough to require reprints fairly often. You know the books I’m talking about. Classics widely read in classrooms all over the country.

It turns out that current events can also cause a book to jump off shelves if people believe it may have some resemblance to what’s going on in the real world. Enter 1984. It’s the top selling book on Amazon right now because many believe we might be entering a world not much different from what Orwell describes in the book.

I’ve read it. But I think a reread may be in order. Perhaps I’ll take a page from Kellyanne Conway and start using alternative facts to describe things.

Have you read Orwell’s 20th century Classic? See any resemblance to what’s happening right now?

Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 1984 by George Orwell

So what happens when you set up a YouTube channel to talk about books when you haven’t read a single page since January? You put the pedal to the metal. When I uploaded my first video I’d read something like 60 pages of 1984. Now I’m finished and have a new video for y’all.

I want to say a couple of things before you watch. First, this is my first REAL video, so I anticipate that I’ll get a little better as I go along. Second, I didn’t talk about any of the terms from the book like Big Brother or thoughtcrime or doublethink or any others. So I’ll just talk about them a little bit here. I actually didn’t like them, any of them. I think Orwell was the first use Big Brother, perhaps? And obviously we all have an idea as to what it means now, but I wasn’t really in love with any of the terms that were used in the book.

I think that’s it! Now watch and tell me what you thought of this book.

PS: I’m playing around with editors and I couldn’t figure out how to edit out the very end of the video. *sad face*

 

How Important is the Last Line of a Book?

I was surprised last week when I came across a post about the last lines of books. I hadn’t really thought of it, and y’all should know by now that I’ve thought of everything about books to write on here. I have ideas on my phone from months ago that I just haven’t decided to post. Anyway, I’d link back to the original post about the final lines of books, but I never remember blog names or post titles if I don’t already follow them. Sorry stranger, but I think you got a Like from me.

Have you ever thought about the last lines of books? I mean, I can’t tell you the last line of any book. Oh wait! Yes I can!

Thinking.

No. I can’t. Harry Bosch spoiler is about to follow this sentence so turn your eyes if you don’t want to know! At the very end of City of Bones Harry Bosch retires. There’s a code for it that he uses in one of the very last lines of the book. But I can’t think of it. That’s about as close as it gets for me. No other last lines even come to mind. Not even from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which I just finished earlier today.

I played this game a long time ago when I wrote about the first lines of books, so let’s play it again this time. I’m going to try to guess what the last line of my book is, without cheating. Okay, let’s see.

Guess

“Jerk!” And with that Sydney was back to her old self already.

Actual

“Jerk!”she said as she punched me hard in the chest. Sydney was back to her old self already.

I was pretty close, right? I’d say that it’s okay. I don’t think it’s remarkable, but I also don’t think it’s the worst thing in the history of writing.

You can feel free to critique my last line, but that’s not really the point here. I’d like to know whether or not you believe a book’s last line to be particularly important.

PS: 1984 was voted as my next read by you all. It just narrowly defeated Gone Girl and Catch-22. So that will be my next read and there’ll be a forthcoming post once I finish it.

How Helpful are Writing Books?

stephen_king_on_writing

Okay guys, time for a bit of honesty. It is 3:51 in the morning as I sit here and write this. I’m sleepy. So I’m going to make this quick.

I’ve never read a writing book. I didn’t even know they existed before I started on WordPress, shows you how much I get out. And there’s one writing book that I’ve seen mentioned over and over again. You probably know it. Maybe. Stephen King’s On Writing. I have no idea if this book is any good, but I do know that about a gazillion bloggers on WordPress have read it. Maybe you’re one of them.

So, have you read any writing books? How helpful have they been for you?

PS: A few days ago I asked y’all to pick my next read, right? It turns out that y’all are indecisive. Yesterday was going to be the last day that I looked at the votes, but guess what? Gone Girl and 1984 are tied! So if you haven’t already voted in the poll, please do so today! Just click here.

Want to Pick my Next Read?

You guys should know by now that I’ve been trying to read some books from the Amazon list. I say Amazon list because I assume you know that the editors at Amazon about a year ago released a list of 100 books everyone should read in a lifetime. I’ve been slowly working my way through some of the books on there since I found out about it.

Now I’ve decided to pick a handful of the titles and ask you guys which one I should read next. I’d prefer that you only consider the books I’ve selected because I may do this again at some point later in the year and I don’t want to start a discussion about every book on the list. So, I’ve picked five that I think most of you will be familiar with and all I want is for you to pick one. You can go ahead and make a case for any book in the comments, but you can vote easily in the poll.

I know a minimal amount about three of these and know nothing about the other two. I’ll start reading the top choice within a week, so there’ll be a few days to get some votes in. Poll time!

The Top Ten Books of 2014…on Twitter

BookVibe has compiled a list of books most mentioned on Twitter in 2014. Might as well just get into the list because I’m sure you’re more interested in the ten books than any preceding comments I have.

10. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

I suppose it would be unwise to think that a list like this wouldn’t include some classics, right? I mean, don’t high school kids have to read this? Maybe?

9. 1984 – George Orwell

I don’t know if high schoolers are reading this, but I’m not particularly surprised by it.

8. Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton

Hey. This is a definite surprise to me. It’s obvious that this made the list because of the new movie coming out next summer, but it is still nice to see people talking about it (even though we’re coming up on movie four and there are only two books.) But I read this in high school and then read the second one. Enjoyed both.

7. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

Haven’t read this one, but I know it’s popular. My only question is if her real name is really Rainbow. And I actually know the titles of all of her books even though I haven’t read any of them. That’s cool.

6. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

When a book is adapted into a major movie that immediately gets some awards buzz going, well it’s hard to imagine a world in which Twitter isn’t right on board with that. Still haven’t read this, though I’m about 90 percent sure I know what happens. Eh.

5. Hannibal – Thomans Harris

Okay.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Obviously an American classic, but wasn’t this book just released as an e-book for the first time this year? Maybe that helped?

3. Looking for Alaska – John Green

I would have to go back and take a look at my banned books post, but I think this made the list. Cause I know it was published a few years ago and I figured that two of his other books would make this list over this one. Hm. What do I know?

2. A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

There is absolutely nothing for me to say about this. Who wouldn’t expect this?

1. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Well it sure looks like John Green is right at the top of the literary world at the moment. Heck, this is the only book on the list I read in 2014. And he has another movie coming out next June. And is there anyone out there who doesn’t think his other works will be adapted at some point? Doubt it. I still would just like to mention that I have the same initials as John Green. Cause that somehow matters. This book actually had more than double the mentions on Twitter as the second book on the list. Sheesh.

So that’s it! The top ten books of 2014 on Twitter. Any surprises?