May’s Reads

                The month of May has been super crazy. I had my baby! So, understandably, I haven’t done as much reading as I would normally have done. I did manage to read four books overall, but It took me nearly three weeks to read the last one. I just happened to read two and a half before the baby came so I was able to keep on track with my monthly goal. And one of the books was on my overall reading list!

The Doll Master by Joyce Carol Oats

                This collection had me going up and down on an emotional roller coaster. I felt for the characters. I understood them. I worried for them. And I was scared of them. A few of the stories ended without a clear resolution and left me slightly frustrated. Cliff-hangers always make me angry. Others had me on the edge of my seat. Even when I saw what was coming, I hoped maybe I was wrong.

                The point of views in all the stories were very clear and well written. The voices pulled me along at just the right pace to keep me intrigued and turning the pages. In “Gun Accident – An Investigation” we are given a flash of the ending at various spots throughout the narrative, but never too much to reveal what really happened. In “Equatorial” we are told the events of each day with the overshadowing feeling of menace, even when to an outsider it would have seemed like a simple action. We feel the wife’s fear – and her acceptance. “Mystery, Inc.” gave you the impression you knew how it was going to turn out, but then as it nears the end you realize it has thrown you for a loop.

                Each one of the stories were amazing and had me interested all the way to the end – and then some.

Rose Madder by Stephen King

                This book was a lot of everything. I felt anger, sadness, pity, disgust, hope, fear, joy… I could go on. I wanted so badly for Rosie to succeed. I know how hard it is to take yourself out of an unhealthy relationship and change your life – even if it wasn’t as horrifying as her situation.

                The characters were amazing. Rosie began as the weak wife taking her beatings and developed into a thick-skinned independent woman. She took her life into her own hands and didn’t let anything get in her way, no matter how scared she was. Norman was terrifying, and he only got worse as the story went on. In the beginning he was in control and thought he was the biggest hard ass around. But by the end of the book, he was losing his mind. Rosie breaking free from him unhinged his mind and he spiraled out of control. The supporting characters Rosie befriended along the way were very vivid and easy to care about. I felt scared and sad for the ones that met a horrible end.

                The pacing of the book was good overall. Some of the chapters I sped through, needing to know what happened next. But then there were parts that slowed down to the point that I wanted to just skim until it picked up again. However, every time Normal got close to finding Rosie, I was so anxious I was almost scared to turn the page. Even when it was so far from the end of the book that I knew it couldn’t possibly be the moment he runs into her.

                The supernatural aspects of the story really held my interest and I wish there had been a little more explanation about where it originated from, but I’m still satisfied with the book overall.

The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days by Fern Reiss

                This is another book that I picked up at a yard sale and it’s a little older so the concepts in it are a little dated. It’s also geared more towards non-fiction books instead of fiction. Nonetheless, I was able to take away some good information from it. There are tons of tips on how to increase the publicity around your book and how to market to the right audience. It also tells you how to get your book available in more places and create buzz around its release. I feel like I’ll be able to use this book once I get my book out there.

Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn

                This book is a free e-book that I couldn’t pass up reading. It gives you step by step advice on how to get your book published through amazon and how to protect your rights as the author. This was a quick read, another reason I was able to get four books done this month, and made me really excited to get my short story collection formatted so I can get in published.


                What have you been reading? What do you recommend?