In Need of Standalones

There once was a time in which I only tried to find standalone novels to read. I didn’t want to be sucked into a long series that would take forever to get through.

At some point that philosophy went right out the window. Though I do currently have quite a few standalone novels, I’m looking for more. Why? Because I don’t think it’s necessary for an author to devote multiple books to the same character in order to write quality stories.

I think a good mix of standalone and series books helps equalize one’s reading. So tell me, tell me! No genre or author limitations.

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New ‘Game Change’ Book, Miniseries to Document 2016 Presidential Election

Remember Game Change? The HBO movie adapted from the book about the 2008 election. I’ve probably seen that movie a few dozen times.

The authors wrote a second book in their series after the 2012 election. And now they’re continuing after the most recent election. HBO has already contracted the rights to adapt the forthcoming book into a miniseries.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie that followed the 2008 election. HBO typically does these types of projects quite well. My expectation is that the new miniseries will be no different. I anticipate several books, movies, and documentaries will come out in the years to come about what happened on election night and in the months leading up to the election.

Have any interest in the book or HBO miniseries?

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Need a Sequel

Today’s topic is standalone books that NEED a sequel. But it’s time we take a trip down memory lane.

I first began buying my own books in high school and college. I know at that point in time I’d started reading a handful of series, but I always tried finding standalones. At the library. At the bookstore. Or online. I’d search for hours to find a standalone I wanted to read. I often successfully found one. I discovered several of my favorite authors this way.

But as time has passed on I’ve had to change up my strategy. Now whenever I happen to be looking for something new I’m searching for the first book in a new series. This isn’t inherently worse, just different.

All this to say that once upon a time I wanted to read as many standalone novels as I could, but now I’m reading a million series at once. I’ve never read a solid standalone I felt needed a sequel. Not once. And some of the best books I’ve ever read have been standalones.

So my answer to today’s topic is simple: A good standalone shouldn’t need a sequel. What do you think!?

On Completed Series

Have you ever stopped to think about all the series you’ve read? Especially the ones you’ve finished. Well I just did. And guess how many I came up with? Two.

There’s always a chance I’m missing some, but I think I’m pretty spot on. Merci Rayborn and The Hunger Games. Those are the only book series I’ve read from start to finish. It probably sounds crazy, but it really isn’t.

I’ve written on here before about the length of series you’re willing to read, and I remember several people saying that four or five books is just too many for a series. I thought it was garbage back then and I still think so today.

The majority of the series I read are 10+ books. Spenser. Bosch. Alex Cross. Jesse Stone. Elvis Cole. Alex McKnight. And several I started and never finished. Mystery writers tend to write long series, and I have no issue with that as long as the writing stays top notch.

Do you have any idea how many aeries you’ve completed?

My 2015 Reading Biography

I did this last year. Now I’m doing it again this year.

2015 was rather rough on the reading front. 10 books. Just ten. I have no excuse. I started off relatively strong with four books in January and then it was all downhill from there. Here’s the breakdown:

Best month: January
Books in a series: 4
Rereads: 0
New-to-me authors: 5
Books from Amazon list: 4
Most common genre: Mystery
Authors read multiple times: 0

I think that’s it. I don’t really have much to pick from when I’m only looking at ten books. I’ll do better in 2016, right? I sure hope so.

Also, I’ve added a new page to the blog titled “2016 Reading Challenge” that’ll show the progress of my challenge throughout the coming months. So don’t forget to take a peek.

How was your year of reading?

There’s a new Harry Potter Book

No, there is not an eighth book in the series that you don’t know about. There isn’t a spin-off for one of the characters. And there isn’t another book that takes place at Hogwarts that has nothing to do with Harry and company. But there IS a new book. It is a fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And it looks great!

I first saw the book on display at my store maybe last week? And I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was some kind of condensed, lower reading level edition. Then I opened it up and realized that it is the ENTIRE book! I didn’t buy one. And I’m not going to because I have the whole series already and I don’t need my copy to have fancy illustrations, but I bet you know someone who would appreciate how nice this book is. I think it’s the sixth best selling book on Amazon right now. And it’s sold out. But if you want to get a look at these pretty books, then go into your neighborhood Half Price Books and take a look!

What do you think of the first book in the series being fully illustrated after almost two decades?

PS: The reason some of my posts focus on what’s happening at Half Price Books is because I see so many things during the course of the week that I think are perfect for the blog. No one is paying me to write these. Like I found out yesterday that Rick Riordan has started a new series. I find things like this out all the time. Sometimes I share them with y’all and sometimes I don’t.


On this day in 2014 I published A New Writing Project?.

 

Auto-buy Authors

I’d never heard this particular term until I got on WordPress. But to me auto-buy authors are the authors whose books you buy without thinking about the series or reviews or anything. You just buy the book because it’s something new you haven’t read from one of your favorite authors. If I’m using this definition, then I have none.

I don’t buy books as authors write them. And I don’t think I own every book written by any particular author. I started most of the series I read long after they initially began. Even my favorites like Harry Bosch and Alex Cross were started more than a decade after the first books in the series were published. But I understand that if you’re caught up with an author’s series, then you’ll likely pre-order or buy their new book on release day. I can understand that. I think it’s a little different story when people do that for every James Patterson novel because you’re talking multiple books a month rather than one or two a year.

The one thing I do have in common with everyone else and their auto-buy authors is that if I’m reading a series I enjoy, then I won’t be checking to see what the next book is about before buying it. So I guess I auto-buy the next in the series? Which is what I imagine most people do. What if you read Half Blood Prince and didn’t much care for it, was there any chance you weren’t going to read Deathly Hallows? No. Of course not.

Do you have any auto-buy authors? I think I auto-buy series, but not authors.