New Place to Find Great Reads: Shelfjoy

You ever have trouble finding a new book to read, though there are so many places that try to help. Goodreads helps make connections with friends and make lists of books you have read, want to read, or find giveaways for new books you like, but it doesn’t help find recommendations from people who really know what they’re talking about. Here is a place that maybe able to help: shelfjoy.

Selfjoy is a more social media style of sharing books. The experts in the publishing industry are reading the newest books and sharing their views, these are the guys who know what’s in and what’s out. These are the people who can spot the trends before they are trends. So if you want a place to help you find the greatest books before reading them just feels like jumping on the bandwagon, shelfjoy maybe a great option for you! It’s easy to sign up, looking over shelves is easy, and you’ll never have to feel left out again.

I enjoy looking through all of shelfjoy’s different shelves and options; no matter what kind of books you love most, you’ll find experts on them. They have buy links, expert reviews, and everyday reviews to help you find the best read for you. You’ll actually enjoy working with online shelves. 

 

Thief of Swords (Book Feature and Success Story)

I enjoyed reading “Thief of Swords”. It’s a good adult fantasy and a good story. This series was first independently published for just e-book. When it met with success, it was published in paperback and hardcover with a independent publishing company. So if you’re looking for a good adult fantasy and to support a good independent author check out “Thief of Swords”!

5163nh43gtl-_sx335_bo1204203200_There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.


Buy Links

Paperback

Hardcover

e-book

Audiobook

Many Genres Many Minds

I’ve recently got myself a new job that allows me to read on the job. (I know, SO LUCKY!) But I’m also a fast reader, so I’ve gone through the books really fast. As a result, In the last few weeks I’ve read books from many different genres.

How do you all feel about that?

Do you enjoy it? Why wouldn’t you enjoy it? What are you thoughts? As a reader, I enjoy comparing the two and wondering why the difference are the way they are. Why do I like or dislike them?

For example, I think I hate young adult romance, but I like these adventure themed stories. I ponder why and why others may feel differently. So what do you all think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

This is less of a blog post as much as a open discussion. What do you think? 

The Independence of Libraries

Libraries are places of magic. Every time I walk into a library, I feel my spirit lift. They are a place of possibility. A place to find independence in our reading and learning. Why? Well, to me there are three simple reasons.

  1. Endless Possibilities of Stories
  2. Endless Opportunities
  3. Endless learning

The first one is easy. If you love books and stories, you get my meaning.  Libraries have shelf upon shelf upon shelves of books. Each one has its own story, its own voice, its own message. These take us to far off places, new vistas of understanding, and opens us to points of view and understanding we could find no other way. These stories open doors for our minds we’d never find on our own. This provides a magic few other places can reach. Sure, bookstores come close. (Most of all independent ones as we’ve discussed before) But libraries open up worlds for us we could never reach unless we’re as rich as Bill Gates. This allows us to take them home for a time, learn, and start again.

Libraries offer endless, free opportunities. It’s not just the books (But that’s a huge part of it). It’s in the resources they allow. You may have wondered why we bother with offering free books to people. I mean, most of us pay taxes to run them. Why should we do that? The main reason is opens doors for those who have nothing to help them. Libraries become a center for people without jobs to look for jobs, learn, gain some training, and more depending on the funding the library in question gets to run it. I’ve seen a homeless man use the libraries free resources to get back onto his feet again. It’s amazing what these places can do to open doors for people. Poor immigrants can learn English at libraries for free to help them become an integral part of the community.

Lastly, they are endless sources of learning. Not only can immigrants learn English in libraries, everyday community members can use them to learn other languages, most in America teach Spanish, but there are other languages in some. Some libraries offer online help for language learning from Spanish to Arabic to Latin. The library is also full of free classes, books on any topic you’d want to learn about, and best of all librarians! These people have been trained in colleges for a long time to work at these places. They know how to find information in pretty much any library and any data base. They worked hard to learn how to find information to help you learn. The information you can find is really endless.

Libraries help provide endless possibilities. They are places of magic, wonder, and learning. So though why this page is all about independent books, stores, and publishing, libraries play an important part in that work. Never forget them and their powerful use.

Ebook vs. Hardcopy

This week I got the GREAT experience of finally getting a library card for my new area. I was so excited I went right down a bookshelf and got a book right away. Not only is it a great place to find free books to read, but for me it meant free books I could hold. I’ve loved eBooks since I was able to start reading off my phone, but after so long having only electronic versions, I was dying to read a book I could hold.

Let me make it clear I love both eBooks and hardcopy books.  I love that a eBook is easy to carry around because I already carry my phone around with me. I can just pick it up without the extra weight. It’s a wonderful help.

Yet a hardcopies have amazing advantages too. I feel like curling up in a nice arm chair with a book feels better than curling up with a cellphone or eReader. Plus for me and my sleep disorder it’s good to have a book that doesn’t have the blue light that keeps me up. (Or whatever color the bad light is).

I mostly feel the joy of a hardcopy book right now because I’ve been without it for so long. I find I can read longer with a hardcopy too. I don’t know why that is. I think there is a magic with a hardcopy, no matter if it’s a paperback or a hardcover. Having that weight in your hand, feeling those pages turn, the smell, the comfort of holding it in both hands really has it’s own magic.

But what do you think? Do eBooks have a unique magic too? I know I used to think so, but I’ve lost it. How would you describe it’s magic? How does it compare to the magic of a hardcopy? I want to hear different opinions. Please comment on this post and tell me your thoughts?

Indepdent Publishing Empowers Women During The Subversive Women Who Self-Publish Novels Amid Jihadist War

Diagram of the Heart

Farida Ado, 27, is a romance novelist living in conflicted and rapidly Islamicizing Northern Nigeria. She’s one of a small but significant contingent of women in Northern Nigeria writing books called Littattafan soyayya, Hausa for love literature.

Self-Publishing is powerful. These brave women prove that. In a society where women are see by most as unequal, these women are using self-publishing to change the world they live in. These women self-publish novels that are often censored and attacked by their government amid a violent jihadist war.

These women started out writing books long hand and paying to have them transcribed. Now – with the help of self-publishing – they publish books that not only bring in a decent amount of money for their families, but are calling for social change, often against the Jihadist government. Now a day, these women make between $800-$1200 per book.

But it isn’t all about the money to these women. These books portray how their society should be. Many of these women who write this books write from their own painful experiences living in a broken community. One woman had the social horror of being married and divorced twice before she was even 15 years old. One of her books is a beautiful-tragic tale told from the point of view of a polygamist man struggling as he goes from one unhappy wife to the next. It not only reviles the pain of these lives, but expresses the beauty of what their society could be in seeing all the wrong in it.

These women are amazing and inspiriting. Self-Publishing has opened doors for them that never would have been fully possible without it. Despite government trying to silence them, these women have prevailed and have inspired and given hope to many in their war torn nation.

Independence is key.  Independent books are often shunted because they aren’t “good enough” for a big publisher. But that is a big part of their power. No one would publish these in their nation, but they are making a world of difference. For these women and their readers. Never underestimate independent books. These books change the world. 

Diagram of the Heart

Books are tied up and packaged at the local market in Kano, Northern Nigeria. While Northern Nigeria is best known for Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group whose name means Western Education is sinful, there’s a small but significant contingent of hijab wearing ladies writing subversive romance novels.

Why Independant Bookstores: 3 Reasons Why

Independent Bookstores are rare these days. So rare I managed to make a list of most all of them on this blog. Why is that? It’s a long story, but it has a lot to do with eBooks and online shopping.

With those two amazing tools though, why should we bother with independent bookstores? I have 3 reasons I love and support independent bookstores.

  1. They preserve the love of books – Books take us to magical places and do magical things for us, but most don’t notice it. Libraries used to be a good place to feel that magic, but even those are slowly being taken over by other functions. (Though those functions are good and awesome – and libraries are still AWESOME – I visit my local library all the time.) It’s really in these small, unique, and book riddled stores that we find real magic we all felt when we first time we sank our teeth into a good book and lost our hearts to them. Most new readers find their start with local independent bookstores, now more than ever.
  2. They actually love their readers – This is what I feel is mostly lacking in libraries . Once there was a special bond with a reader and their librarian. A reader actually knew, made friends with, and got good recommendations from their librarians. I’ve been a part of several libraries, and maybe I’m just going to all the wrong ones, but few still have those amazing librarians left. However, each and every single independent bookstore I’ve gone to has a connection and friendship with their readers. That brings the magic out of the books all the more.
  3. They REALLY love their authors – Nothing feels better than finding a new amazing author you read often and religiously, but it’s hard to find that author you can connect with. In independent bookstores, they love their authors and will set up books, and even events, to support – not only local authors – but ones they love most. I’ve rarely seen a stand of books that had only the one author on it at Barnes and Nobel. (Unless it’s like… “Game of Thrones” and even then, it’s a series, not an author stand.) The real passionate readers are hiding in independent bookstores, ready to help you find the next amazing author.

Take it or leave it, but I firmly believe we need to stand by these amazing institutions that are our local independent bookstores. Don’t know if you have one near by? Click on this link and find one near you and see what you’ve been missing. Find your bookstore!