Books for Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day, right? All the love in the air. All the flowers slowly dying. All the chocolate being consumed. All the Teddy bears changing hands. But what about books? What kind of person doesn’t want books today?

So here are some suggestions for your Valentine’s Day reading fix. It’ll just be some authors.

Nora Roberts.

Debbie Macomber.

Nicholas Sparks.

Danielle Steele.

Aw crap. I’m just naming random romance authors. You should read today if you want to. Maybe one of these authors is actually on your list. But contrary to what you’ve likely seen hopping around the internet in recent weeks, there is no particular book or genre you should be reading today. Once you’ve settled in and your activities for this “special” day are complete, why not take a few minutes to relax with a book?

What are you reading today?

To Pen Name or not to Pen Name; That is…a Dumb Question

Photo Credit: Kat Michels

This is another of those topics that I find myself reading way too many blog posts about. There are SO many questions that most writers will ask themselves at some point. I think I’ve written about several of these questions on here. Let me see. The question of whether to self publish or attempt to publish through an agent and traditional publisher. Coming up with the perfect title for the book you’ve just finished. Naming characters in your work. Whether or not to intentionally make your protagonist autobiographical. There are many more, but my point is that these are all valid issues that need to be figured out by the author.

The question of whether or not to use a pen name is not. It’s ridiculous. Seriously, who do you think you are? You haven’t done anything yet. So maybe you’ve written a book. Maybe you’ll clean it up in preparation to start sending out queries, but so what. Do you have any idea what the odds of that book ever making its way onto a store bookshelf? Yeah, I bet you didn’t. I’m getting off topic now.

I can only name a very small number of authors who I am aware use pen names. Lee Child. JK Rowling. Nora Roberts. Lee Child came up with his pen name because it would put him between crime writers Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie on bookshelves. Good idea. JK Rowling wrote a book as Robert Galbraith as something of an experiment to see if the book would make it on its own merits and not just her name. Another good idea. And Nora Roberts has written under several names because of the simple fact that she writes too many books to release under one name. I may be mistaken, but I think she’s written more than 200 books. Geez. I also know T. Jefferson Parker added the T in front of his name just because. It doesn’t stand for anything. And yes, I realize that a number of authors write in different genres under different pen names in an effort not to confuse their core readers, but again, these are established authors WITH readers. You’re no one.

The point I’m making by listing these few authors who write under pen names is that you are putting yourself in their company by thinking you should write under a pen name. No. Just stop.

Let’s say that you’re an unknown author who manages to secure a major publishing deal. They’re going to publish YOUR book. Why in the hell would you want a name on the cover besides your own? That’s a serious question I’m asking. If you have an answer I want you to write it in the comments because I don’t have one. Think about it. You’ll likely be telling every person who will give you two minutes to tell them about your book and they’ll ask the title so they can look it up. Then they’ll ask why the name is wrong. You’ll say you wrote it under a pen name. They’ll ask why and then think you’re just stupid.

If you’ve honestly asked yourself this question then tell me why and what you decided. I promise not to yell at you.

No offense was meant by this post to anyone. Please still like me. I still like you.

Books I Will NEVER Read

Photo Credit: Book Snobbery

I’m not a fan of bashing authors, but I’m not bashing authors really, I’m bashing their books. There’s a difference!

Okay, so I know most avid readers like myself have a number of books that will not ever be read for any reason. Not even if there’s a zombie apocalypse taking place and I’m the lone survivor with just the one book thrown on the floor in front of me. They are to remain off-limits forever and a day. Let me just give you the list.

1. Fifty Shades of anything

If you’re a fan of EL James, great. I’m not and never will be. I’ve known the very basic concept of the book for a long time now, but I just read a little of the Wikipedia page that made me want to slap someone. The first book sounds absolutely horrible. I mean, if you want to read about that stuff then partake in it yourself. Or go watch a movie. Or find a website. Do something. Don’t read about it. Makes me think you’re kind of gross. Don’t get angry at me for saying that. It’s my blog.

2. Twilight

I know Stephenie Meyer has been heavily criticized for her writing skills and the way she portrays Bella. Those are pretty much the two reasons why I won’t be reading any of the books in the series. Let me be clear, though, I would read this entire series 100 times before ever reading the first book from the above mentioned series. My reasoning for not reading these books is mostly because they don’t seem like they’d be interesting reads to me. Sure the writing may not be great and Bella isn’t the most memorable literary character of all-time, but the only book I’ve ever read about vampires was Dracula. Yes, I loved it.

3. Divergent

I think some of you may be thinking how I’m putting this series of books in with the other two. What I’ve read and heard about this series of books has mostly been that the first two books were pretty good and the last one was disappointing. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve read. Those have nothing to do with my decision not to read this series. There’s only one reason why I won’t read these books. It’s going to sound crazy, but oh well. I won’t read them because of all the comparisons they get to The Hunger Games. THG is my adult obsession. I LOVE those books. LOVE them. You’ll recall that I named the trilogy my favorite series ever in a previous post. Well, it’s because of the very slim off chance that I like Divergent more than THG that I won’t read them. I’m in love with Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss and Effie and Prim. I don’t want that to be overshadowed by Veronica Roth.

4. Anything written by a celebrity

I fully realize that most celebrities who ‘write’ books don’t actually write them. They have the help of a journalist or author or someone who actually writes the book for them. It’s not that I think the books are poorly written, it’s that the books are generally bad. For instance, I don’t have any interest reading about the whole rags to riches stories that so many athletes claim. It’s great that you went from food stamps when you were little to millions of dollars a year in salary, truly, BUT you won’t find me reading about it. I’m not including former presidents in this group. I think their books would be rather interesting to read. I look forward to reading George W. Bush’s book at some point. Not necessarily because I’m a supporter of his, but because his presidency was the first of my life that I actually understood a little about what was going on.

5. Anything with seductive people on the cover

I mean, come on. What’s the point? I work in a store that carries a very selective section of books. You’ll pretty much only find the major bestselling authors there. The ones I can name off the top of my head who I can recall seeing this past weekend are James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. BUT half of the books that I don’t recognize the author names have half-naked people on the front. It’s annoying. Won’t ever be reading those books. Not a one.

This would be my reaction to reading any book on the list.

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

Okay, so I know my list wasn’t exactly a list of particular books so much as it was a list of types of books I won’t read. But that’s it. Do you have any books that you’ll never find yourself reading? Tell me why.

In other news, I just passed 500 WordPress followers less than a month after reaching 200! You guys seriously make me happy.

World’s Ten Bestselling Authors Since 2001

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

I first saw this story tweeted a few days ago. I tried to guess who would top the list before clicking through. My guess was JK Rowling. It took about half a second for me to come up with her. Even though so many authors have written more books during that time period than she has, I thought Mr. Potter and friends would be enough to catapult her to the top. I won’t tell you if I was right or not. You’ll just have to continue reading!

10. Jeff Kinney

Now you may not know him by name, I do, but he’s the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. I’ve never read any of these, though the first in the series is on the Amazon list so I’ll be reading that one at some point. It’s very understandable that one of the bestselling children’s authors today would make the list.

9. Janet Evanovich

Another author that is understandably on the list. Her Stephanie Plum novels are as popular as any. Another author I haven’t read.

8. Nicholas Sparks

All of this guy’s books are seemingly made into movies. So obviously he’s selling A LOT of books, right? Haven’t read him.

7. Dan Brown

Honest question, what does he even write about? I know everything with his name on it becomes an instant bestseller, but I have no idea what his books are about. The Da Vinci Code and Inferno are the two that I know the names of. I just did a quick Amazon search and his books look like nothing I would be interested in. Author number four I haven’t read.

6. Stephenie Meyer

I just threw up in my mouth. I’m not going to say anything other than that I haven’t read any of her ‘books.’

5. John Grisham

Hey look, we have the same name. And last initial! I haven’t read any of his books, BUT I have A Time to Kill on my shelf waiting for my reading pleasure. It’s long. Like really long. I’ll read it eventually.

4. Dr. Seuss

No commentary needed. First author I’ve actually read on the list.

3. Nora Roberts

I know she writes A LOT of books but I haven’t read any. I’m sure they’re quite good.

2. JK Rowling

UH OH. Who the heck could pull the upset?! Think! Think! Think! Read the first book of Potter. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I was slightly surprised by her not holding down the top spot. All of these authors are great, all of them, but she’s one of those authors who will be remembered a hundred or two hundred years from now. Harry Potter will never be forgotten. I guess we can only continue on to the final name on the list.

1. James Patterson

Ahhhh of course. I was surprised by Patterson taking the top spot, but I wasn’t shocked by this. If you aren’t a fan of Patterson’s, you should know that he has several series ongoing. He utilizes the writing of ghostwriters whom he credits as co-authors and every one of the series is a bestseller. Every one. He has six of them. And standalone novels. He has nine books scheduled to be released in 2014.

Photo Credit: In Other Newz

So there you have the list of the world’s bestselling authors since 2001. Were you surprised by any of the names on the list? Or any of the names who didn’t make the cut? Let me know!

Read the original article here.