Books I Borrowed or Bought (and think you should too)

Getting on Goodreads

Are you on Goodreads? I am. Almost a year ago now I decided to join. I wasn’t really looking for yet another online presence to look after, but I decided to join because I wanted to track the books I’d read and, maybe more importantly, to remember the ones I wanted to read.

And for those reasons it’s been great. I can look back and see all the books I’ve read since I joined and feel a sense of accomplishment. I also love being able to come across a book mention and add it to my virtual to-read pile. Then, when I get to the bottom of the book stack I have on hand, I just look at my list and pick from that.

But of course sooner or later there’s the whole rating and reviewing thing. So far I only use the stars to rate books because I don’t really like reviewing books. I see myself as a book recommender rather than a reviewer. Plus, I feel uncomfortable about reviewing another writer’s book because I have some inkling of the work that went into it.

Sometimes I don’t give a book a rating. Why? Sometimes it’s as simple as I just don’t know what to say. I may have enjoyed it for the most part but something about it bugs me. Or maybe the book I read previously was so awesome the next one in line was bound to be less in comparison and so I’m not sure I’d be giving an unbiased rating. Or sometimes I just don’t know how many stars to select–I just can’t decide. And for wafflers like me there doesn’t seem to be a half a star option. Or did I miss it?

I do enjoy seeing what my friends are reading. I’ve added several to-reads from their selections. And being able to have an author profile there is pretty cool, too. It’s another place to appear with your author hat on while never leaving home. All in all I’m glad I’m there.

If you’re there too, please let me know. I’d love to connect over books with you.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

In Search of the Thief

I found myself earlier this month chauffeuring my son to a hockey thing that was over an hour’s car ride away. Imagine my delight when he brought along a book to help pass the time.

He was reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, a book I’d already read and recommended to him. (Why yes, that is me feeling a moment of parental satisfaction.) On the way home he begged for some ice cream so we stopped at a McD’s off the highway. After we got back on the road and the ice cream was devoured, he went to pick up the book where he left off.

But the book was nowhere to be found.

He searched as best he could while seat belted in but no luck. I assured him we’d find it once I pulled over. So I did just that. We searched and searched. No Thief under the front seats, not under the middle seats, not in the door pockets, not in the glove box, not wedged under the crap on the tray between driver and front passenger.

Gen had gone missing. With one chapter to go.

In addition to feeling acute sympathy for my son being denied the ending of a good book I couldn’t bear to think that perhaps we’d abandoned Gen in the McD’s parking lot some 35km back down the road. My poor book, perhaps lying there abandoned at the mercy of seagulls and tires and the weather. That’s no way to treat a good read. On the other hand, it would be about a half hour back. Then another half hour to return to where we were. I waffled. My son said he’d just buy me another copy of the book. But it bugged me too much.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave it.

I had to know if it was back at McD’s lot. I had to attempt the rescue. So back down the road I drove. I parked near our former parking space only to watch a big old beige Buick pull into the spot. The view of the pavement was now obstructed, plus it was getting dark, so it would be tricky to see if The Thief was lying there. Um, could we go looking around under the car without looking like thieves ourselves? Well, no. We looked suspicious but we did it anyway.

No luck. No book.

So it was back into the Odyssey, me feeling disappointed the whole 35km back to the turnaround point and further on up the road. Maybe someone else had picked up the book and was enjoying it. That was somewhat comforting.

We arrived home, unloaded all the junk from the car… and found The Thief tucked inside the folded down 3rd row seat.

All that for nothing? Yes and no. I guess just like a good book, it ended well. And there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in that.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

What Was my Favourite Read in 2010?

You’d think I would’ve posted this earlier what with all the end of year wrap up lists. Well, it’s not the end of January quite yet, so better late than never.

I’m normally not comfortable speaking in superlatives, but one title did stand out for me amongst a long list of good books I read in 2010.

Which one? Fire by Kristin Cashore.

Why? This book gave me the best reading experience of the year. It was the one I couldn’t wait to get back to. The one that made me stay up waaaay too late while reading it. The one that took me away from the setting in which I was reading it: a round trip bus ride to Toronto. Nothing like the experience of trying to hide the fact that you’re crying on public transit. It was the book’s fault–honest!

Looking forward to crying over many more good titles in 2011.

© Lizann Flatt,
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.