What Your Book Review Can Do

You love to read, don’t you? You seek books that will sweep you into another world or time or place. Books with characters you love or love to hate. The rush of reading as fast as you can or the savoring every word can leave you with a thrill. Books that do that for you are precious. And we writers dream of creating that book for you. But do you know what your book review can do for the author, for other readers, and for the book publishing industry? Yes. You, dear reader, have the power to influence a book’s success but only if you review the books you read. What is this power? The Power to Share  You’ve read a great book. Don’t be selfish. Share it.  On sites like Amazon or Goodreads, you can give the book a star-rating.  Your written review spotlights the book for other potential readers. More than 85% of buyers on Amazon check the reviews before they buy.  You’ll not only point readers like you to the book, but you’ll also thrill the author. The Power to Spare You’ve read a not so great book. Don’t be mean about it. Remember how you’d feel […]

The Sorrow and Joy of the Last Page

The writer and the reader experience the sorrow and joy of the last page. Not in exactly the same way, but pretty close. A good book drives you to that last page then, if you’re like me you sit there, hugging the book and feeling lost. This feeling comes from what psychologist and other scientists call deep reading. Most of us make pictures in our minds. We experience sorrow and joy. Science has shown that our emotional reactions are close to the same emotions as the characters we read about. The deeper, the more intense the reading–the more we exercise our brain. We become more empathetic. There are people who are not natural readers. Shocking, I know. They don’t experience reading in the same way. But, they can improve their reading skills and enjoyment. Parents reading to children is a critical step in helping poor readers learn to enjoy reading more. It’s important to read because reading increases the white matter in our brain. (A brief discussion of the science can be found here.) Reading nonfiction doesn’t do quite the same thing. In studies, reading nonfiction lights different areas of the brain than reading fiction does. Not better areas, different. Our emotions aren’t […]

Quotes in the Spirit of Christmas

My Monday Motivation and Inspiration post today is dedicated to the holiday I celebrate at this time of year. I invite those of you who celebrate other holidays to read these quotes in the spirit of Christmas and feel free to submit quotations about your preferred December holiday in the comments.  Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. –Bess Streeter Aldrich, Song of Years Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. –Clement Clark Moore, The Night Before Christmas   It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents. But there was a snowman in their basement. –Markus Zusak, The Book Thief     One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books. –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon […]