How the Tepid or Too-Busy Reader Can Benefit From Publishing Trends  

In a recent poll conducted for HeadOverTales.com, 80% of respondents said that they read 5 or fewer books a year. This is consistent with some reports that reading is declining as an enjoyable hobby in our country. In that same poll, the most reported obstacles to reading more were lack of time and not knowing where to find good books. These results are interesting in the face of unprecedented growth in the overall book publishing industry. More books than ever before are available to those who want to read them, but that doesn’t change the fact that people seem to be busier than ever and overwhelmed by or unable to find those resources on the web that would match them to the books they’d most likely enjoy. So, if you’re a tepid or too-busy reader, what would help you most ? I’ve provided tips like these for making more time to read, but I think there’s more to it than that. It’s also helping you understand that the publishing world is changing a lot these days, and if there ever were a time that you could most benefit from those changes, it is now.

Why?

1. Non-fiction rules:

Self-help, memoir, cookbook, political commentary books have consistently been selling better collectively than all fiction titles for at least the past three years. This means that there are more self-help and how-to books available, which means that the tepid or too-busy reader has much more of a chance of improving their lives through what they read. Even in the face of so much content being available for free on the web, the old axiom still applies: you get what you pay for. Those self-help and how-to books that are published tend to be more impactful and richer than anything available for free. This is BookBub’s  list of the 38 best self-help books (of them, I’ve read 4); I’m working on compiling a list of my own and putting together a reading challenge for you! I’m also reading You Are a BadA* by Jen Sincero and The Self-Esteem Workbook by Dr. Glenn Schiraldi, and highly recommend both of those. 

 

More novellas and anthologies:

Whether in response to economics or shorter reader attention spans, more short stories and compilations of short stories are available than ever before, according to PressBooks.com. For the reader who doesn’t have a lot of time to read, or isn’t sure what kind of book they prefer, these kinds of books can provide either quick, easy reads or samplings of such. Anthologies of genre awards such as the Hugo Award Showcase, for example, provide a great list of speculative fiction award-winning literature, in short form.

Paperbacks aren’t going away any time soon:

Sales of book hard copies have not dived as precipitously as publishers first thought they would when ereaders and tablets first came on the scene. Some would attribute this to digital fatigue, or people wanting to reduce their screen time. Whatever the reason, this means that readers can still find paperback copies of almost any book priced competitively–and sometimes better than–ebooks, especially if one buys a used copy of a book.

A mysterious eye, set in a dark-skinned, painted face, over the title "Truth Seer"Many more self-published books (i.e., published by authors) than traditionally-published (i.e., published by companies):

Although most readers, especially the tepid or too-busy ones, don’t know how to determine whether a book is traditionally- or self-published, and probably don’t care, they should realize that knowing how a book was published can increase their chances of finding a book they’d like to read, just by looking at the cover and/or first few inside pages. Self-published books are edited and marketed differently than traditionally-published books, so if someone wants something to read that is probably more “indie” or “alternative,” they’re more likely to find that in a self-published book. Self-published books also don’t go through the extensive vetting process that traditionally-published books do, so there is a much wider spectrum of writing abilities to be found in that category as well. Thankfully, there are many more online review sites and media resources available to help them find a read they would enjoy. They just need to be savvy with a few particular hashtags and URLs, like #bookstagrammer on Instagram or #[genre] on Twitter (where [genre] equals your genre of choice). Also, I wrote about how to get custom book reviews here.

 

So What Does This Mean?

Maybe it does all come down to giving you, if you’re a tepid or too-busy would-be reader, a list of those sites, hashtags, and social media groups. Whatever the methodology, this is a truth that will hopefully one day be universally acknowledged: that everyone can benefit from reading more books, and any effort expended by you is worth it for that reason.

 

The torso of a robot holding a white kitten, under the words "The Talos Principle"

Video Game Deal/Review: Talos Principle – Puzzling Yet Relaxing

Sometimes us Mom Gamers want to be able to game and relax at the same time, after a day, say, of chauffeuring, making dinner, helping with homework, etc. Most video games are not meant to relax–but Talos Principle by UI Entertainment does, while also being fun. It’s a puzzle game full of progressively-harder mazes that the player has to overcome to win. And it’s only $29.99 on Amazon!

What Is Talos Principle About?

From GameFaqs.com:

As if awakening from a deep sleep, you find yourself in a strange, contradictory world of ancient ruins and advanced technology. Tasked by your creator with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles, you must decide whether to have faith, or…ask the difficult questions: Who are you? What is your purpose and what are you going to do about it?

Who Would Like Talos Principle, And Why?

You have to solve the puzzles to discover the story; it’s not laid out for you at the beginning. The graphics are satisfactory, but not cinematic or fancy by any stretch, and it did freeze on me occasionally. There are a good variety of environments, as dictated somewhat by the storyline. The music is wonderful, peaceful, with a “new age” kind of feel. The story is told through subtle clues revealed by the creator’s voice and various computer logs.  The puzzles that make up the storyline include elements that start off simply enough. For instance, at the beginning, the player uses “jammers” that look like industrial tripod-mounted cameras to stop wandering bomb balls, freeze turret guns, or open force field gateways. As the player progresses, it encounters not only jammers but also laser connectors, laser-disrupting boxes, and other contraptions. Even though I found several levels that seemed impassable. I kept trying until I figured out the right path, timing, and configuration of devices. Then, I felt like a genius.

Gamers who like brain teasers will like Talos Principle, as will “non-gamers” who’re just looking for something to do to keep their mind active while letting their body wind down. My teenager would be bored by this game, if he had time to play it after school, homework, friends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Forza. There is no swearing, sex, or even violence that I’m aware of, unless you count your robot avatar being blown up if it makes a wrong choice in a puzzle.

What’s The Deal?

Talos Principle for PS4 is $29.99 on Amazon (used for $15.99).  It’s only available on PS4.

THE ULTIMATE JOB SEARCH GUIDE in white letters over a blue background.

Top Ten Job Search Tips From The Ultimate Job Search Guide

In my months-long job search, I’ve learned a lot of things. I knew job searches could be hard because I’ve experienced that, but I’d forgotten how hard they could be.  I’ve learned that these days, it’s all about getting past the resume database, making yourself stand out, which can be difficult in a crowded field. Everything’s done online. You upload your resume, submit an application, and then check your email and your phone every five minutes for an invitation to interview. In this environment, you’ve got to work hard to stand out, and every tool you can use to help you do that matters. One tool I highly recommend is Martin Yate’s Ultimate Job Search Guide. To demonstrate why, I share ten of the top tips Yate shares, and a deal you can’t afford to pass up if you’re looking for a job.

Top 10 Quotes/Job Search Tips From The Ultimate Job Search Guide

  • a resume clip artMake a discoverable resume:

“When recruiters are searching for talent in resume databases or on social networking sites, they invariably do so with a specific job description in mind. [Their] software scours the database and builds a list of all the resumes that contain any of [the] descriptors or keywords [found in that job description.] It then weighs the list. Those resumes with the most frequent use and greatest total number of keywords rise to the top of the list. Mentioning keywords in a Professional Skills/Core Competencies section at the front of your resume, and then repeating them within the context of the jobs in which they were used, will increase your ranking in recruiters’ database searches.”

  • Consider the 70% Guideline:

“In your search for jobs, don’t throw out opportunities because one line in the job description speaks of skills you lack. If you meet [at least 70% of them], you are a good candidate.”

  • Target resumes for different jobs:

“The one-size-fits-all resume…doesn’t work anymore; you have to have a resume focused on a single target job.”

  • Compile a Targeted Job Description:

“Collect a half-dozen job postings for your chosen primary target job…then review [them] and find one requirement that is common to all six. Of these six, choose the most complete description of that particular experience/responsibility/skill/deliverable, paste it [to a document as your main heading], and put the number 6 in front of it to signify that it is common to all six job postings. Underneath this, list additional keywords used in the other five job postings to describe this same requirement.”

  • two stick figures seated at a table facing each other, with empty speech bubbles above both their headsShow your potential employer that you can think from their side of the desk by going through the PSRV Process:

“At some level, every job exists for four major reasons:

1. Problem identification

2. Solution envisioning, including strategy and tactics

3. Results projections

4. Value understanding (usually in earnings or productivity enhancements)”

Your resume should show how you solved problems for past employers.

  • Save your resume under a name that is more descriptive than “resume.doc.”

Show that you understand that it becomes part of your messaging when you submit it by naming it something like “Sales Manager/ABC Corp.doc.”

  • cubes of popular social media platforms' iconsSeek recommendations:

“LinkedIn doesn’t recognize your profile as complete until you have three recommendations, and the more you have, the more discoverable your profile will become. The easiest way to get recommendations is to do them for your colleagues and then ask them to reciprocate.”

  • Like and follow company pages:

“A recent study of corporate recruiters found that 87 percent of those who used social media as a recruitment tool said that the best way to get on [the] company radar is to ‘Like’ the company’s page.”

  • a golden hashtagSearch by hashtags:

“You can use hashtag terms to find job opportunities and profession-relevant information. [This] increase[s] your visibility with recruiters who are looking for people like you with hasthtags like:

#resume

#[yourjobtitle]

#[akeyskill)

A Google search of popular job search hashtags also revealed these:

#jobsearch

#jobhunt

#jobopening

#hiring

#nowhiring

#resume

#job

#jobs

#careers

#employment

#HR

#humanresources

  • Follow experts:

“Following experts prominent in your profession gives you content to retweet that adds to your credibility and puts you in good company. By consistently sharing intelligent commentary on your profession and its issues, you might not become an overnight industry expert, but you will be taken that much more seriously by those who could hire you. Here are some good sites for finding those experts:

Twellow

Wthashtag.com

Muck Rack

Twiangulate

Moz.com

Who Would Benefit Most From Reading The Ultimate Job Search Guide, And Why?

The tips above are just a few of those provided in the first 90 pages of this almost 400-page book. What I like most about The Ultimate Job Search Guide is that it lists hundreds of actual interview questions, and goes through how you should answer them and why. Anyone who’s looking for a job can benefit greatly from reading this book. Make sure you get the one published in 2017; it has the most current information.

What’s the Deal?

On Amazon, you can get a new paperback copy for $11.22. It’s very much worth it, my friend.

 

"5 sci-fi or fantasy books that non-sci-fi or fantasy fans will enjoy," over the covers of those books.

Five Science Fiction/Fantasy Books for Non-Science Fiction/Fantasy Fans to Enjoy

Since I founded a blog that focuses on science fiction/fantasy books, you might think I’m biased towards them. From that, you might conclude that I don’t understand non-science fiction/fantasy fans (let’s call them NSFFFs). You might even think that I couldn’t–or even shouldn’t–recommend books to them. I have, however, been a member of multiple NSFFF book clubs, and reviewed a long list of NSFF books. I unite with book fans everywhere who love good writing and want to support the unique medium of books. In that spirit, might I recommend five books that even the staunchest NSFFF will like, for those universal reasons.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

an old man staring into the distance, with a Newbery medal under the titleThe Giver is the kind of book you read when you need something quick but thought-provoking. It’s the original dystopian novel, the book that came way before The Hunger Games and Matched.  Because it’s told from a twelve-year-old’s perspective, it’s refreshing while still illuminating the darker corners of human nature. It’s now available on ThriftBooks.com for $3.79.

 

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

A woman in a regency ball gown cloaked with lights, behind the words "Shades of Milk and Honey"This is a beautiful historical fantasy romance, kind of like Jane Austen or Josi Kilpack meets Harry Potter. And you can get it on BetterWorldBooks.com for $3.98 with free shipping.

 

 

The Cost of All Things, by Maggie Lehrman

Four people walking along a beach, silhouetted by a setting sun, under the words "the cost of all things"Goodreads says it’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars.”  It’s  $3.95 in BetterWorldBooks.com with free shipping.

 

 

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein: The painting of a naked man, twisted so that only his back, right knee, and anguished face show.Most of my NSFFF friends who read contemporary or historical say they do so to immerse themselves in the here-and-now or the past, to learn, to understand people better. In that sense, Frankenstein is an excellent read, one that provokes plenty of ruminations on human nature. And it’s free on Kindle.

A Thousand Pieces of You, by Claudia Gray

A black-and-white city skyline, then a different city skyline upside down beneath it, in front of a swath of color. On top of it all, the words: "A Thousand Pieces of You"Romance, lest you think that all science fiction/fantasy books are without it. Good romance, and, as I said here, a compelling, fast-paced plot. Like The Cost of All Things, it’s $3.95 on BetterWorldBooks.com with free shipping.

 

 

 

 

A small glass crown, upside down, with blood dripping from it, dripping over the words "Red Queen"

Book Review & Deal: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, a Powerful Read

I went to St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend to visit my brother and his wife and their two kids, and I had long layovers going to and coming from, so guess what I did? I read. Three books. One of them was Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I’d heard how good this book was for years, but it had honestly sat on my bookshelf for a good while. I’m super glad I finally took the time to read it, and that I was able to find you a deal on it so that you can read it too!

What is Red Queen About?

From Goodreads:

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Who Would Like Red Queen And Why?

Because it deals with monarchical power structures and has magic in it, it’s similar to Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson, Traitorborn by Amy A. Bartol, and its sequel Secondborn. Anyone who liked those books would like Red Queen. I’m definitely seeing a motif in all of these books, one that seems to extend into reality a little bit these days: it’s not good to bestow too much power on one person or group of people, because it’s hard for anyone to handle too much power without becoming greedy or hungry for more, and because that always makes everyone else feel disenfranchised. What do you think?

The writing is crystalline, meaning that it’s clear and multi-faceted and sharp. The emotion is tense throughout without being overwrought. The plot is big and far-reaching but still personal. Trust me, it’s a good read. Also, you’ll probably have the buy the sequel, Glass Sword.

What’s the Deal?

Get Red Queen for $4.66 on ThriftBooks.com.

Visual?

via GIPHY

A quote from Red Queen: "The sun begins to rise behind Cal's head, framing him against the dawn. It's too bright, too sharp, and too soon; I have to shut my eyes."

 

"The Fifth Wave" in big letters, with a human figure silhouetted against a setting sun, walking toward that sun through a grove of trees.

Book Review and Deal: The Fifth Wave, a Beyond-Intense Read

I’ve called books “intense” before, like Genesis by Brendan Reichs and Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis, but The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey takes the cake.  It is about the end of the world, so…how could it not be really intense? If you saw the movie, you’d know what I mean. The book is more intense than the movie, if that’s possible, despite its picture-less medium, because of the world-building, character, style, and plot construction. Basically, it’s a really well written book, and definitely one for an adrenaline-junkie reader like me. And I found it for $3.98 with free shipping!

What is The Fifth Wave About?

 

From Amazon:

After the 1st wave [of alien invasion], only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

What’s The Deal?

On BetterWorldBooks.com, you can get a used paperback copy in very good condition for $3.98 with free shipping!

Who Would Like The Fifth Wave, And Why?

As I said, the “world building,” or Yancey’s ability to make such a wild, destitute state seem real, is thorough and vivid. Cassie is a fully flawed but vibrant character, so it’s not hard to follow her through her really rough journey. The story is told with style, and every scene contributes tightly and succinctly to the advancement of the plot. It takes real skill for a writer to be able to do all of those things AND make a book as intense as The Fifth Wave, so my hat goes off to Yancey. Anyone who likes nail-biting, heart-pounding reads will like The Fifth Wave.

That being said, there is a fair amount of the depiction of death, as you can imagine, so the faint of heart should not read this book.  I can’t provide you with exact “nutrition fact” numbers of that or the swearing, positive themes, or negative themes because I only have a physical copy of this book and didn’t underline all of those things when I read it. I’d have to go back and read it again, underlining as I go, which I’m willing to do…when I get more time.

 

Writerly Advice: Save the Cat…No Seriously: Save It!

If you’ve been writing  fiction for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat series of books. They’re books that were originally written to help screenwriters improve their craft, but became quite popular among writers of many creative disciplines because they provide a very accurate, concise, and some would even say easy plot model. As you know, constructing a plot from nothing can be difficult. These books, especially the first one, provide a way to do so without inducing paralyzing anxiety. I dare say that they’re a necessity for every writer who wants to get published.

What’s In Save the Cat?

A tabby cat dangling from a rope, with the words "Save the Cat: the Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need" above it.In Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need, Snyder describes 15 “beats” or benchmarks that every plot needs to have, no matter the medium it’s displayed in. Whether words or moving pictures are used to tell a story, it should always start with an opening image and progress through

  • Theme Stated
  • Set-up
  • Catalyst
  • Debate
  • Break Into Two
  • B Story
  • Fun and Games
  • Midpoint
  • Bad Guys Close In
  • All is Lost
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Break Into Three
  • Finale
  • Final Image

All of these benchmarks—aptly described in the book—should lend themselves towards showing the main character doing something, being proactive. This could mean saving a cat, going with Hagrid to Hogwarts and leaving a known life behind, or undergoing a makeover to become an undercover beauty queen. It’s the essence that defines who the hero is and makes the reader like him or her.

What’s the Deal?

On Amazon, a paperback copy is $16.05. If you go through Thriftbooks however, you can get it for $8.97! You have to get the paperback version so that you can mark it up and make notes. Mine has notes in most the margins and lines connecting paragraphs with other ones.

For that, you get not only wonderfully practical descriptions of each of those beats, but also:

  • the four elements of every winning logline
  • why your hero must serve your idea
  • how to use a plot board
  • how to get back on track with proven rules for plot repair
  • a checklist to see if your main character needs more “oomph.”

Who Would Like Save the Cat, And Why?

As mentioned, anyone who’s serious about writing The Greatest Book of All Time. It’s designed, Snyder says, primarily for writers who intend to pitch/query agents in  mainstream movie-making and publishing. I think that’s because it’s based on the premise that you’ll use one- to two-sentence descriptions of each of those beats to pitch to agents. Although there are many, many plot models out there—three-act structure, hero’s journey, dramatica, etc.—this is the one I’ve found to be the easiest and smoothest. It’s a compromise between totally outlining and just “pantsing” it: enough structure (and the right kind of it) to get your story started, but not so much that it overwhelms your creativity before you even start writing a book. It’s also very helpful in showing the main character proactively progressing through the book’s plot, not just reacting to various crises.

Book Review and Deal: The Knife of Never Letting Go, a Powerful Read

Oh, so much to say about The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness! Anyone who loves really intense reads with lots of voice will love this book.  Let’s start with first things first:

What Is The Knife of Never Letting Go About?

From Goodreads:

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

Who Would Like The Knife, And Why

As mentioned, anyone who likes really intense books with lots of style and strong characters. This book has some tremendous strengths. The characterization of Todd Hewitt, the main character, is so skillfully accomplished, for one thing. We’re are able to understand a lot about him and his world simply by the way he speaks, his flashbacks, and his reactions to the few other characters that make up his existence during this book. There are so few books with good characterization these days that to find this was a treat.

And the plot is nail-bitingly intense, kind of like Glimmer, yet well-paced,  like Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall. It can be really tricky to portray a realistic, relatable main character without slowing down the plot. It can also be really tempting to construct the plot entirely out of life-and-death situations to keep up the breakneck speed. But there are calmer, more philosophical moments that balance the intensity.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of things that I really didn’t like about The Knife that kept me from giving it a resounding 10 out of 10 stars. There was one point in the book that felt a little unrealistic to me, but I won’t specify which for spoilers’ sake. Most of all, though, the ending did not work for me. Though it did resolve the central conflict, it was completely unexpected and unsatisfactory. It was a total cliffhanger. Of course, I did fall for it, and immediately went out and bought the second book. Thankfully, I really enjoyed both the second and third books in this trilogy.

What’s The Deal?

You can get a used copy in very good condition for $3.99 in Thriftbooks.com.

Nutrition Facts, Anyone?

Swear words (d*, f*, sh*, g*d*, h*): 9 + 1 + 1 + 10

Sex: none

Violence (from CommonSenseMedia.org): “Lots, and quite grim and gruesome, including a man who has part of his face torn off, a man who beats and stabs a boy, a dog killed by breaking its back, children killing, and a girl shot in the belly. There are many injuries with realistic consequences, and many deaths. One especially gruesome climactic fight involves breaking of bones, snapping of gristle, crushing of eyeballs, and lots of blood.”

Positive themes: 0

Negative themes (sexism, violence is the way to solve everything): 2

Visual:

via GIPHY

"A knife is...a choice."

 

A woman's face, with part of it blurred, staring. Over her lips is the word "Whisper"

Book Review: Whisper is a Crisp Read for $3.99

Have you ever heard a book described as “crisp?” For some reason, that’s the adjective that first comes to mind when I think of Whisper by Lynette Noni. It’s suspenseful and a little bit scary, not fast-paced enough to be called “brisk,” but nail-biting and tense, with a narrative style that moves you quickly through the story. I recommend it for fans of suspense, fantasy, and science fiction books, as it has elements that will definitely satisfy all of those groups.

What Is Whisper About?

From Goodreads:

“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me.

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different…an anomaly…a monster.

For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.

What’s The Deal?

You can get it on Kindle for $3.99. Very much worth it.

Who Would Like Whisper?

As mentioned, anyone who likes suspense or sci-fi. It reminded me strongly of Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi, since it starts off almost exactly the same way.

Nutrition Facts, Anyone?

Profanity (sh*, d*, f*, g*d*): 7

Sex: none

Violence: some

positive themes (helping others, familial love, etc.): 2-3

negative themes (vindictiveness, revenge, selfishness): 4-5

The white words: "There are no whitewashed walls here, no silence of forgotten dreams, no nightmares of unending futures. Instead, here there is life."

 

 

Frankenstein: The painting of a naked man, twisted so that only his back, right knee, and anguished face show.

Book Review: Frankenstein is Fascinating and Free

Reading a classic book is not the same as reading something published relatively recently. You go in with different expectations, and sometimes maybe even with a  sense of obligation: “I’ve got to read this book so I can sound like I’m well-read” or “I’ve got to read it for a class.” I challenge you to read a classic book of your own free will and choice at least once a year. It’ll be like looking back through time, a way of gaining a “multi-generational awareness.” It can be quite fascinating. Case in point? Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It’s a fascinating story, not just because it’s 200 years old.

What Is Frankenstein About?

From Goodreads:

 At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but, upon bringing it to life, recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature he created turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. [It was] an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only [because it] tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever

The styles of storytelling have definitely changed in the almost 200 years since this book’s original publication; it was almost 100% narrative, which got tedious. But there is definitely more to the tale of Frankenstein that I’d originally thought.

What’s The Deal?

The Kindle version is FREE.

Who Would Like Frankenstein, And Why?

Anyone who wants to read a good book. I’m not a particular fan of the horror genre, but this was pretty tame.