The top 100 books of 2013 by Amazon

It would be fair for me to say that I’ve increased my reading this year.  I don’t know the exact count of what I’ve read, but it’s been more than past years. Why that is I’m not really sure.  Perhaps it’s my Kindle and all the free books there, but as I look back I realize many of the books I’ve read are from the library.

And as we end head to the last part of the year, we begin to be bashed over the head with “the best of 2013” stuff, hoping that we’ll buy it.  Just yesterday I was pushed the Amazon list of the best books of 2013. (the top book being The Goldfinch…which I’ve never heard of!)I looked through it and discovered that I had not read a single one of the books on there and there were less than 5 that I was half way interested in reading.  Does this make me a ‘bad’ reader?  Nope.  Just makes me someone who doesn’t read a lot of literature, because that’s mostly what’s on that list.  For better or for worse I like the books that take me away to another world for a bit of escape.

How many have you read on this list?  Or perhaps on the GoodReads list (I’m more likely to have read something off of this list, but if I remember correctly I hadn’t read many, but did want to read a good many more!)

Read, Read, Read

I’m sure by now the few people who follow me on Goodreads are thinking I’m researching a new career as a spy or assassin.  The past few weeks I’ve been reading like I haven’t read in a long time.  I go in spurts like this, but this one is a bit more deliberate.  I’ve found, in the past, the more that I read the more I want to write. So as I’m trying my hardest to get some sort of writing done each and every day, I’ve also been trying to do a bunch of reading.  I’ve collected about 28 books I wanted to read on Goodreads and I’ve started knocking that list down (currently at 25 I believe).  Most of them are related to spy type of things. I’m trying to find a replacement for Vince Flynn, who passed away not to long ago.  I loved his books with Mitch Rapp.  Going to miss them, but I’m discovering there’s some other good authors out there worth reading.  More on that in a minute.

So I’m still doing my 5:20 in the morning thing.  Now 5 days a week.  Three of those days are spent working out, which I think helps my focus, but the other two are spent writing.  I’ve currently got 2 stories I’m really focusing on right now.  I’m not sure what will come of them, perhaps they will never see the light of day, but one of them I’m kind of keen on putting out there for others to read.  Not sure why, but I am.  If I do decide to do anything with that, I think I’ll need to change a few things on it as some of it is a little to personal.  I’ve also got some other ideas floating around in the back of my head.  We’ll see. But for now I’m just really trying to get better at writing and get something down on paper.  I would love nothing more than to be a published author, but I’ve got a long ways to go in order for that to happen.

Here’s what I’ve read over the last month.

 The Paladin Prophecy – Mark Frost

I think I downloaded a sample of this on my Kindle and was kind of interested in it.  It’s a Young Adult book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it.  Overall a pretty good book, but I will say this.  I was about 70% of the way through the book before things started to fall into place. So you’ll have to be patient.  The first 70% is not boring, it’s just a bit of work to get to what’s happening. There is a 2nd book that is going to be released in January of 2014.



 The Lions of Lucerne – Brad Thor

This was the first book on my list of possible books to replace Vince Flynn’s series.  Super quick read and not a dull moment.  Which is good but I also find it a bit unbelievable at times.  I will however be picking up the second book and seeing how that one goes.  I suspect that the later books might be better paced.  We’ll see.




 The Gray Man – Mark Greaney

This was next on the list for a Vince Flynn replacement.  Like the Thor book above this one was very fast paced, and also a bit unbelievable, but I’ll be reading more if there is more.  I’m not sure if there is or not.




 Fault Line – Barry Eisler

I’ve read some of Eisler’s other stuff and follow is blog.  This one I just started yesterday so I can’t say much about it other than I was a bit confused in the first couple of chapters and had to do a back track to put some pieces in place.  I doubt that this one will be action all the way like the 2 I mentioned above, but we’ll see.

Places to get online fiction

This is going to be pretty brief as my brain is fried and I need to let it relax a bit before hitting the sack.  

I ran across this post on about a couple of fiction sites that I was not aware of.  I have not had a lot of time to look into them, but what I have seen has given me something to think about and to take a look at. – Read Books Online Daily By E-mail and RSS Feed – Aquired DailyLit,and puts out some fiction that you can read. Some of it is on the Kindle and you have to pay some dollars for, but not sure if there’s any free stuff. Still investigating!

Hope this helps you out on your search for online fiction.

Book Review: Another Man’s Moccasins

For a long time I was a one Wyoming author reader and that author was CJ Box.  However Craig Johnson was mentioned to me and I eventually picked up his books and started reading through them.  They are pretty damn good.  I can’t say if they are any better than CJ Box’s books, but I do enjoy them.

Another Man’s Moccasin’s is the 4th book in the series I believe (yes you can read them out of order but you’ll be missing out on some information so I wouldn’t recommend it).  This book starts a little bit after the previous.  In this one we are back in wild Wyoming where a Vietnamese woman is found dead in a field and a giant, dare I say Andre The Giant like, indian attacks Walt and a couple of his other deputies.  The book revolves around this case with a few things intertwined.

I can’t say a bad thing about it.  It was evenly paced as the other three books are that I’ve read.  Not super suspenseful in my opinion, but enough to keep me reading.  Most of the time I read books for the characters in them and these characters I enjoy. So I’d like a bit more of, but I suspect that might happen in some other books.  Overall a good run, fairly quick read.

And if you want to skip that whole reading thing there was a TV series made out of the character.  Some of the episodes are similar to the books, but that’s about it. Characters similar, story different, but still very good.  The TV series is called Longmire and season 2 will be starting up sometime this year.

I’ll give this 4 out of 5 stars!


Where the Amazon Kindle falls short

I’ve gone from loving my Amazon Kindle to thinking about it as just another device in the house.  And here’s why.  With the Kindle my browsing for a book is limited.  You see I like to browse for my books.  Most of the time I do read authors that I’ve already read, but on the few times that I read a new author it’s the cover that has caught my eye or something else.  With the Kindle, at least the one that I have, this is available on a limited basis.

Kindle does have their bestsellers list and various other books that they a promoting.  I’ve found a few books off of that that I’ve downloaded samples from, but it just didn’t have the same feel as if I were in a book store looking.  As odd as it sounds it feels like there’s a lot of work to find a book on the Kindle than there is if I’m in a book store.  In the end that’s not really true, but it feels like that.  That’s not to say don’t get a Kindle, but just be aware of this limitation.  I think that Amazon will close the gap on this and they might have on their other devices.  I have a very basic WIFI Kindle.  I think the Kindle Fire might solve this issue with their book shelf, but I’m not sure.

Another solution is to come up with a Pandora like system for books. GoodReads sort of does this, but once again I find myself not liking what I’m being matched up with.  I think there’s another level of refinement that they need to go to, to match you up with books you might like. Right now it’s a social network for readers which is nice, but not so nice for finding other books.

I will continue to use my Kindle, but my effort to ‘kill less trees’ by using the Kindle has been put on hold.  In the mean time I’m looking for that Pandora for books.  Any suggestions out there?