Why I haven’t read your book

I usually try to read books written by my friends, but I often fail. Here are the main reasons why.

If you make friends with enough unpublished writers and stick around a few years, you find yourself friends with a lot of published writers. And because you’re a supportive friend, that means a lot of books you want to buy and read.

I always start with good intentions.

I like you. I want to buy your book, read it, love it, and leave a helpful, honest review on Amazon for your future fans to find.

Usually I manage the first step quite well.

The second step is harder. The third even harder.

Please allow me to offer some possible explanations why I haven’t read or reviewed your book.

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Sebastian and Rain lament lock-down and their inability to read

Like everyone else living through the pandemic, Sebastian and Rain are shaken by what’s going on. A banana might be involved.

If you’ve been around a while, you might remember Sebastian and Rain, my writer half and my reader half. Usually they rant or rave about books and occasionally throw grapes at each other, but it turns out they have opinions about other things as well.

I’ll hand over to let them explain.

Sebastian: I should start by saying this was not my idea. I wanted to have a nice literary discussion about a book.

Rain: Do we ever have “nice literary discussions” about books?

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Popular fantasy novels I plan to read

A dozen popular fantasy novels that I plan to read and my rationale for deciding to read them. Sometimes I had good reasons, sometimes not so much.

Last post I promised to talk about the popular fantasy novels that are next on my to-be-read list.

I’m setting out read a string of fantasy novels (perhaps venturing into sci-fi) that have been very popular, because who doesn’t want to read great books. Oh, and hopefully to learn stuff.

Few fantasy novels have as many reviews as the mega-popular general novels I’ve read recently–I was aiming at books with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon–so this time I’m going for books with over 500 reviews.

Okay, Harry Potter and the ASoIaF books (Game of Thrones and its sequels) have a lot more reviews, but I already read those (give or take).

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More mega-popular books I enjoyed reading

A summary of my foray into mega-popular books and what I learned from them.

Some time ago I set out to cleanse my palate by reading a collection of extremely successful books.

Books I read

From my original list I successfully read (links to my reviews):

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (11,198 reviews). Awful.
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (57,762 reviews). Compelling.
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (14,300 reviews). Delightful.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (43,944 reviews). Depressing.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (2,876 reviews). Entertaining.

Books I didn’t read

I failed to completeĀ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (27,246 reviews). Yes, it was a beautiful and poignant book about war and humanity and all that, it just didn’t interest me very much.

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Not a review of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

After Sebastian and Rain get a few things out of their system, they talk about The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon. Teenagers, romance, fate, and all that stuff.

Rain: We’ve read so many books recently that we haven’t talked about that I don’t know where to start.

Sebastian: Whose fault is that?

Rain: Hey! I wanted to blog.

Sebastian: You were so pleased with yourself having blogged twice a week for a year that you let your personal problems get in the way.

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