Lessons Learned From Bloggers’ Books

Today I’m going to tell you about my midday meal ritual. Never let it be said that excitement is in short supply at The Write Transition.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Every day, like most mortals, I take a lunch break. During that lunch break, I read. Forty-five minutes of fiction equals three-quarter hours of bliss.

The following books by blogging buddies delivered my most recent bliss. I won’t post reviews per se—you can find my formal reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Instead, to keep you glued to your seats, I will lather you in sticky nonsense and share the take-home moral I gleaned from each of these enjoyable reads.

Books By Blogging Buddies In The Order I Read Them

In A Warm Wind by Erin French, I learned that Mr. Rubin is exceedingly lucky to have a wife like me, especially since I don’t wish him dead. But even though Anthea would prefer her husband in pinewood and dirt, she is the sauciest protagonist I’ve met in a while, and her well-written journey entertains as much as it shocks.

In Never Say Spy  by Diane Henders, I learned I just might be in love with a woman. Her name is Ayden Kelly. Tough, sexy, smart, and funny—and never far from a meal. But is she a spy or not? You be the judge. Except for a penis and testes, James Bond has nothing on her.

In Recipes For Revenge  by G.M. Barlean, I first had to swallow my envy for its creative inception (a “four-course” novel with four tasty recipes). Then I learned Mr. Rubin better never piss me off, because from the wronged women in this novel, I discovered some interesting culinary revenge. “Septic Salad,” anyone?

In Stories About Things by Aelius Blythe, I learned that short stories with a dark twist make me neglect my children. While reading it, I failed to whip up dinner and instead engaged in a distracted phone call with Papa John’s Pizza. Thus, my boys enjoyed the book as well, without reading a single page. Oh, and Aelius? Best. Pseudonym. Ever.

In Perigee Moon by Lynn Schneider, I learned I wanted to slap clueless fictional characters upside the head almost as much as the ignoramuses of real life. But I also learned that patience is a virtue, because over time, Luke experiences the self-realization necessary to better his lot in life. If you enjoy the works of John Irving and Jonathan Franzen, you will bask in this literary delight.

In One Night in Bridgeport by Mark Paxson, I have yet to discover my life lesson, since I’m still reading this page-turning treat. But I suspect the lesson will have something to do with the avoidance of steamy one-night stands. Especially when the outcome is a charge of rape.

Yikes! That last sentence means Connie has left the building. I have a book to read dammit!

What are you reading now? Or, if you had to choose a pen name, what would it be? Or, if you’re sick of my stupid questions, ask me one of your own.

All book images from the authors’ websites

Note: I would like to extend my sincere thank you to all of you who purchased my book and for your kind, supportive words. Thanks to you, I had the most exciting Monday I’ve ever experienced. Really, I mean that. Seeing my novel climb to #39 in Amazon’s medical thriller category was beyond my wildest dreams. Sure, the numbers will plummet—I’m not delusional—but for one day you made me a winner. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now skedaddle. You’ve made me emotional.

132 Responses to “Lessons Learned From Bloggers’ Books”

  1. Subtlekate

    I’m reading Game of Thrones. Everyone else on the planet seemed to have read it and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It’s good.
    Congrats on the numbers. I will add mine once I get through this book.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I’ve picked that book up a couple times. But then I always put it down. It’s so long and it has so many in the series. Intimidates me a bit, I guess.
      :)

      Hope you’re doing well!

      Reply
      • Subtlekate

        Doing great thanks Carrie. Was just thinking about you and thought I would stop in. They are so large and frequent. I really loved the first one though it took me a month to read it. I’ll have a break before opening the next. I plan to read your book next :)

        Reply
  2. Sword-chinned bitch

    I think it’s so great that you support all of us writer bloggers! I happen to be reading Claire Cappetta’s A Broken Ring. She’s a blogger as well. When I finish her book I’m looking forward to reading yours. Talk to you later Carrie!

    Reply
  3. GJ Scobie

    What am I reading now? I have decided to go back through my poetry collection and read the volumes I have collected over the years, picking one poet a week until I get through their work again. On top of that I’m reading Dickens A Tale of Two Cities and Trynka’s excellent biography on David Bowie called Starman.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Okay, now I’m just embarrassed. These are significantly more sophisticated that my usual literary fare. Must rush off for War and Peace…
      ;)

      Reply
      • GJ Scobie

        Aw :-) Between you and me and my book list on my blog I got to the end of the Fifty Shades trilogy so I needed to read something different :-) A friend of mine once said the only decent line in War and Peace was ‘An eagle flew high in the sky’ so I never did read it after that. I’ve always wondered whether this was true ;-)

        Reply
  4. Main Street Musings Blog

    Carrie, this is all so exciting! It’s great that you’ve been able to document the process through your blog so that you can look back one day and revisit your successful journey. Congrats!

    Reply
  5. jeandayfriday

    Thanks for all of the recommendations! I downloaded your book and it is my next book to read – I am so excited! You, my blog friend, are Amazon royalty and I need your autograph! Woohoo! :)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks so much for your interest in my book! But sadly, I am no longer “Amazon royalty.” As predicted, I plummeted faster than a bungy-jumping elephant. But it was fun while it lasted, and hopefully I can at least maintain a respectable status quo.
      :)

      Reply
  6. Smaktakula

    If I had to choose a pen name it might be something like “John Updike,” because that would already have some literary cachet.
    I’m currently reading “Obama’s Last Stand,” and inside-baseball look at the campaign (from about a month and a half-ago, obviously it can’t be too current). The Seneca Scourge is next.
    I’m listening to a book called “Fallen Glass” by Adrien McKinty and a series of lectures on Crime Scene investigation.
    I think making a book part of your lunch break is an awesome idea. I usually eat with my wife in the house (in which case we talk or watch news) or in my office, in which case I’ll watch a movie or video (I don’t have a TV in the office, so I watch stuff on my computer). After lunch I like to do a little light reading–usually a magazine (Economist, National Geographic) or a comic book on my iPad.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      I feel like after hearing about your reading collection, it’s a bit like that game, “one of these things is not like the other.” And that would be The Seneca Scourge. It’s a little more fluff than your other selections. Then again, I guess we all need fluff every now and then as evidenced by your comic reading.

      I enjoy reading political books at times, but it’s tough to find unbiased ones. But I guess that’s the point–the author getting his or her opinion out there.

      Thanks for the interest in my book and for stopping by.

      Reply
      • Smaktakula

        Don’t sell yourself short. Although I haven’t cracked it yet, I have a pretty good idea of what TSS is like.

        I’m not a book snob. Now, I am very choosy about what I read or listen to, because life is short and there are a lot of s****y books out there, but I don’t make my decision based on the type of book. The book I just finished listening to was called “Monster Hunter Legion” and it was wonderful trash.

        I know what you mean about political books and their glaring biases. Not to bite the hand that feeds, but the first book I read (I think you know what I intend by that) was very one-sided. Even though I agreed on many points, I found the way he offered his evidence to be a little deceptive, and was an affront to the scrupulous discipline of history.

        Even though “Obama’s Last Stand” is short, it’s taking me forever to read it. It’s very interesting because the author was able to get info from deep inside the Obama Campaign. The author is very good at hiding his biases. If I had to guess, I’d say he was probably pro-Obama (and I’m making that assumption because he’s a journalist; his biases have so far been not very apparent, as I’m pretty good at discerning those), but I could be dead wrong. It’s kind of interesting to be reading what amounts to a history book about events that happened in May and June.

        Ironically, the many of the comics I read are more challenging and literary than the books I listed above. Comics get a bad rap because of their subject matter; the art form (that is, sequential art) is no less legitimate than literature or art (as it is sort of a symbiosis of the two). Comic books have largely been aimed at adolescent males (but by no means exclusively!) and as such tend to feature the homoerotic adventures of buffed-out dudes on steroids and the impossibly-endowed women who love (but will never understand) them.
        Comics are slowly gaining legitimacy. Art Spiegleman’s MAUS won the Pulitzer Prize back in the 1990s, and Time (I think it was Time) Magazine considers Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons “Watchmen” to be one of the best NOVELS of (can’t remember if it’s”All Time” or) the 20th Century. I’d agree with that. It’s one of my top-ten novels.
        I have a deep and abiding fondness for comics, not simply because so many happy hours were spent reading them, but because so much of my vocabulary and writing ability is due in no small part to a steady diet of comics in my youth. Love ‘em. Grateful to ‘em.

        Reply
        • Carrie Rubin

          Oh, yeah, I have no fault with comics. For some kids, it’s the only thing they’ll read, and I’m in the camp that whatever gets a kid to read is good. And I know some are more sophisticated. Of course, having two boys, we have plenty of graphic novels in our home.

          I may have to look into that Obama book. I think I’ll put it on hold at my library. That way, when it comes in, I’ll be forced to read it instead of saying, “Later, later.”

          And thanks for making me realize that the acronym for The Seneca Scourge is the same as Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Pehaps this is appropriate…

          Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you, Stacie. But sadly, the plummet I predicted has occurred. I am one book in a sea of many. But that’s okay, because it was fun while it lasted!

      Reply
      • Smaktakula

        Well, just having the wherewithal to see this project from an idea to a permanent (as permanent as anything is) testament to that notion sets you apart from the great bulk of humanity.

        Reply
  7. runningonsober

    Thanks for these great titles and tid-bits! Yours is next on my reading list. I’m *almost* done reading the Game of Thrones series. And by almost, I mean I’m 10% into Book Five, so I have about 900 pages to go…

    Reply
  8. kateshrewsday

    Hi Carrie, what a lot has happened while I’ve had my head buried in the new job! I am late buying, must dash off and purchase: congratulations on the number 39 slot – surely that must be a cracking start? I wish you virality (is that even a word?) – may your book travel on the fleet winged feet of recommendation…

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, yes, that word-of-mouth thing would be lovely as the #39 moment has come and gone!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in my book. Hope the new job is going smoothly.
      :)

      Reply
  9. Kourtney Heintz

    Most of my day goes to reading and revising my own book, but I am sneaking in Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray and feeling immensely grateful for the simplest things in life.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, I think I remember you talking about that book on your blog. It’s hard, because we all love to read but our writing takes us away from the hours we’d like to be reading. Or at least that’s the case for me.
      :)

      Reply
  10. David Stewart

    Great reviews! I’d love to read your book, Carrie, whenever I get through with my current book. Unfortunately, it’s War and Peace, but it’s going… :)

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      War and Peace?! Wow, you have my respect. Compared to that book, my novel is an Archie cartoon…
      ;)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Reply
      • David Stewart

        So are most books. :) I’m glad it’s a good story or it’d be impossible. Your book is available in e-book format, right? I can get it for my Kindle.

        Reply
  11. acflory

    I’m reading a book by a fellow aussie called Terra Nullius. Um that’s what the book is called, the author is T.D. McKinnon.:)

    Reply
  12. aeliusblythe

    Wow, Thanks for saying such nice things about Stories About Things. (And I feel bad for not seeing it before now!) Tell your children sorry about dinner – though I can’t think of any kids that mind pizza!

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      You’re welcome. And no, they certainly didn’t mind the pizza. It was a Saturday evening; I was reading your book; and I just didn’t feel like cooking.
      :)

      Reply
  13. 4amWriter

    Wow, I love seeing these books by fellow bloggers. I am sooo far behind on my reading. I really need to be whacked over the head sometimes with posts like this, so that I know what I need to read in order to stay relatively hip.

    Congrats on #39–I know that’s not the case anymore because I read the comments–but still, #39 is amazing and really speaks to how well it was received out of the starting gate. You must be so proud of all of the hard work you’ve done. Now it’s just another leg of hard work. Marketing!

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you! Ahh, marketing. I’d much rather be writing. And each little marketing thing takes a lot of time, so it’s not like you can do everything at once. You want to get the word out everywhere all at once, but unless you have a big NY publisher who’s promoting your book like it’s the next big thing, you have to be patient and chip away a little each day. Sigh…

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Reply
  14. El Guapo

    A nice introduction to these. I’ll be checking a few of them out.
    And some bloggers will now add your book to their lists like this!

    I’ve just started reading yours…

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Well, that’s wonderful to hear! I hope you enjoy it. But even if you find it a ho-hum read, it’s still better than catching my flu strain.
      ;)

      Thank you!!

      Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      Yes, “Septic Salad” was my favorite phrase from GM’s book!

      Sadly, the number 39 has come and gone, but it was fun while it lasted. Now I have to figure out how to maintain a respectable momentum.
      :)

      Reply
  15. Madame Weebles

    I have to admit that I was sort of disappointed that you didn’t tell us what you eat for lunch while you’re reading. But the books you’ve recommended sound excellent, especially the one by our very own Diane Henders. I really have to get my butt in gear and read the books of my bloggy faves.

    Reply
    • Carrie Rubin

      My midday meal is as boring as my midday routine and often consists of a lovely bowl of berries, yogurt, and granola. This is accompanied by some toasted bread, followed by a treat of some sort. And while this may sound like breakfast to some, it is my Rainman meal of choice…
      ;)

      Reply

Hey, good lookin’, what you got cookin’?

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