So you can read my books

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Have you ever NOT read a popular book?

Have you ever NOT read a popular book recommended to you?

Why not?

I told you some days ago that I eagerly awaited the new book in three series.  You know of one.

The second is SKIN GAME, the latest book in the DRESDEN FILES

coming May 27th!

On every cover, Dresden wears either a fedora or a Stetson.  He NEVER wears one inside the books.

Funny story, the publishers knew he was both a wizard AND a detective, so it made sense that he carry both a staff and wear a fedora.  Right?  Jim Butcher tries to laugh ... tries.

So why didn't I buy the books right away?

I was told to, begged to.  I refused.  A wizard named Harry in the modern world?  Really?  How unimaginative could you get?

Jim wrote the first book to prove his creative writing teacher wrong by following every one of her suggestions and rules --

and as a tweak to her nose he named his detective wizard HARRY.

Boy, would he prove her wrong.  Uh, not so much.  He is now up to the 15th book in the series, and each one is a bestseller.

Sometimes teachers know what they are talking about.

“Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.” 
"Faith isn't about perfect attendance to services, or how much money you put on the little plate.
It isn't about going skyclad to the Holy Rites, or meditating each day upon the divine.

 Faith is about what you do. It's about aspiring to be better and nobler and kinder than you are.
It's about making sacrifices for the good of others - even when there's not going to be anyone telling you what a hero you are.” 
“Even in winter, the cold isn't always bitter, and not every day is cruel.”
“You don't take your cat with you to go bird shopping. Not because the cat isn't polite, but because he's a cat.” 
“Whatever you do, do it for love. If you keep to that, your path will never wander so far from the light that you can never return.” 
“I will make Maggie safe. If the world burns because of that then so be it. Me and my little girl will roast some marshmallows.” 
“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching -- they are your family. ”  


  1. I tried reading one of those Harry Dresden books, but for my taste it was so bad that I gave up on it after only a few chapters.

    There are many hugely popular books that I never bothered with, from the Twilight books to 50 Shades to Eregon to Dan Brown's stuff--I see no reason to bother with books that sound so unappealing to me or are swamped with 'terrible writing' complaints.

  2. There are a lot of popular books that I haven't read. Dan Brown, Twilight, 50 Shades, anything Elizabeth Gilbert. And still somehow my life, and my unread pile is full.

  3. Have I ever not read a book someone else recommended? Yep. Sometimes for years and years. I can think of one occasion when I gave in and it is now one of my all-time favorite series. It doesn't usually work that way...

  4. Yup. usually, because they recommend something in a style or genre I just don't care for.

  5. "Whatever you do, do it for love. If you keep to that, your path will never wander so far from the light that you can never return.” A quote to note.
    (This is one of the mantras I aspire to)

    I was thinking of reading one of Butcher's books soon, I've seen them at the library. Just because you've mentioned Dresden before. Which do you suggest? I like suspense, and dashing heroes. I like hats. . .

    I've NOT read a book suggested by someone who I know who has different tastes than me. I might pick it up, read the blurb and a few quick lines to verify my interest, first. I consider the source.

    Hope you're getting some rest. My back is still a 'pain'. That's what I get for injuring it so many times. . .

  6. There is so much out there that is 'popular' that I don't have the time to even read all of those books.

    Like many readers, I have an idea of what interests me. If the my notion of what might be interesting crosses what happens to be popular at the time, I'll read it. The strategy worked for me recently (relatively), as I discovered the Iron Druid Chronicles.

  7. Believe it or not, I've not read any of his books yet.

  8. Ted:
    It must have been one of the first two books as he was just getting his legs under him. Luckily, the only book I could find of his at the time was the third.

    You;re right -- too little time to waste it with bad books!

    Elephant's Child:
    Somehow books I discover myself I enjoy more. I read THE DA VINCI CODE when it first came out before the hype. I liked the puzzle part of it.

    But yes, I have more than enough books to read already!! :-)

    Yes, individual tastes vary so much that seldom does one friend suggest a winning book to another.

    Undoubtedly you are right. No OLD YELLER type books for me!

    I suggest the 4th book, SUMMER KNIGHT: it introduces 15 important characters that go through all the rest of the books in ways that remind me of the way JK Rowling introduced characters in one book who became pivotal in another one down the line.

    I like the way Butcher can toss off a line that pulls you up and reflect on the truth of it.

    I am working solo this weekend again as always. Whew!

    I pray your back soon improves!

    It is odd really: I am such a loner that just because a book is hugely popular usually puts me off of it. How strange, right?

  9. Alex:
    I can believe it: you have so little free time. As I suggested with D.G. -- I think SUMMER KNIGHT is a great starting off point as Butcher has a knack of bringing you up to speed as to what has gone on before.

  10. For the most part, I don't read pop culture books, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Hunger Games trilogy, which I interpreted to be a scathing commentary on life in these United States and what it may lead to. I am sure the YA audience saw the books in an entirely different light, if not, I would be much impressed by them.

    Thank you Roland for your concern about our health here. I think about your health often and hope you are doing OK. I love Adrift in the Time Stream, BTW.

  11. Inger:
    I enjoyed the first 2 HUNGER GAMES books, but MOCKINGJAY put a bad end to the storyline ... to me.

    According to the author's talk at the end of the audiobook of MOCKINGJAY, you are right -- she meant it as a commentary on life in the U.S.

    May you and your husband soon feel much improved! I am so happy that you love ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM -- it gets so little attention from my friends. :-(

  12. Ha! Yeah, tearjerkers not for me.

  13. Never read Fifty Shades of Grey. Not my kinda thing ... no matter how popular it is/was.

  14. SouthPsw:

    I would feel like a Peeping Tom if I read 50 Shades! :-)

  15. "It is odd really: I am such a loner that just because a book is hugely popular usually puts me off of it. How strange, right?"

    Strange? Maybe. But really what drives someone to decide upon a book (other than bandwagon--because everybody else is reading it) is really a variety of individual factors.

    Even more strange is what various readers come away with based on reading the same novel. Again, based on individual factors and experiences.

    What works for you, Roland, is just right for you. There is so much out there to read--everything we'd enjoy reading (popular or not) will never be read. Just not enough time.

  16. Terry:
    It is the bane of police: eye witness accounts vary so much according to what each individual seems to see or to not see!

    And yes, there is just not enough time. I have 8 book shelves filled with books -- some of which I have not as yet read. Human nature. :-)

    Thanks for responding to my reply to you.

  17. I recently read The Paris Wife (a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage), a best seller recommended to me by my critique partner. I took the recommendation seriously because the book is outside both our genres, and she suggested it simply because she thought it was a good read.

    As a rule, my taste doesn't run to best sellers and never has. Probably why the best seller list has ever been a goal of mine. Still, as a writer, it's important to understand what sells, and if possible why, so I try to read the pop favorites. I've read the Twilight books (awful as they were), and the Dan Brown books (someone needs to whisper show don't tell in his ear), and although I've never been able to get past the first third of Fifty Shades (the story is derivative, the writing abysmal, and the sex put me to sleep), I have made several sincere attempts. I've mentioned before I thought the conclusion to the Hunger Games was brilliant. I am riveted by truth on the page. Many readers are not. I hope there will always be books that appeal to every taste.

    VR Barkowski