Sunday, July 17, 2016

TSS - July 17, 2016

The Midwest is facing near triple digit temperatures for the rest of the week. It's a good thing I found my reading mojo again.


Without going into great detail... I find myself in the same situation as five months ago. I managed to trip over the dog and break my right shoulder. My right arm has been immobilized for the last three weeks, which means I have been confined to my house without the ability to dress myself, bathe myself, cook for myself, or write. That leaves watching television and reading. My Kindle is now my best friend.

I renewed my interest in cozy mysteries, and have read four in the past few days. I consider this research, as I have had an idea to write a cozy mystery series for the past three years. I have a lot to learn in terms of developing a setting for the cozy, an amateur sleuth, a plausible plot, a list of suspects, and a variety of red herings to keep it interesting.

The cozies I have read so far include:

  • Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett. This is my second read for this cozy, and I enjoyed it as much this time as I did five years ago. I absolutely adore the setting of Stoneham New Hampshire, and I hope to develop a similar setting (albeit an entirely different feel) in my own novel. I love the concept of Booktown, and I'm invested enough in the characters to read more of the series to discover how they develop over time. 
  • On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle. I love the idea of this book more than the book itself. It takes place at a historic coffee shop in Greenwich Village, my old stomping grounds. I thought the book was well-written, decently plotted, but somehow I just couldn't invest in the main character. And while I enjoy a good cup of java, there was too much extraneous information about coffee that took me out of the story.
  • A Pedigree to Die For by Laurien Berenson. It is no secret that I adore dogs, which explains my attraction to this title. I know nothing about showing dogs however, and I enjoyed learning the behind-the-scenes activities that take place in these venues. It's not a bad first book in the series. I like Melanie Travis, the amateur sleuth who is a special education teacher by day and a helpful niece to solve her uncle's mysterious death by night. I'm not sure I'm invested enough to read the remaining books in series. I am however, inspired to reread, Dog On It, a clever mystery from the dog's point of view.
  • Murder in Christmas River by Meg Muldoon. At the risk of letting the cat out of the bag, the idea for my cozy setting is a Christmas town. When I discovered this series, I knew I had to read it for the sake of research. While there are some similarities, mine is different enough that I think I can proceed without worry. I downloaded the first three books in the series on my Kindle and have read this first one and about a third of the second. They are clever enough, hold my attention enough, and I would give them a rating of three stars.
Kindle Unlimited:

I wrote a post this week about my Amazon Prime Day Experience, and my decision to experiment with Audible and Kindle Unlimited. While most of the Kindle books I have downloaded are nonfiction and rather short, I thought I would briefly list those I have read so far - for anyone who might be interested.

Books on Social Media:
500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy. A good basic book for those who are rather unfamiliar with social media. I must confess I did not learn much of anything new.

Shut Up and Tweet by Phil Pallen. A great book to read for free - lots of useful tips. Not sure it is worth the $9.99 price to purchase.

Books on Writing:
Master Evernote by S.J. Scott. While I downloaded this powerhouse app over five years ago, I have never taken the time to really learn it. This book covers the basics, plus gives a few helpful tips.

Write Short Kindle Books by Nathan Meunier. I LOVED this book, and will definitely add it to my personal library. Well worth the $2.99 price.

5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox. Out of necessity I have learned to use the voice-to-text feature on my computer. That is the basic premise of this book. I find this is a great way to draft and journal, but rather cumbersome for revisions. I skimmed this book rather quickly, but I am inspired to pick up Rachel Aaron's book, 2K to 10 K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Like, for $.99.

How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers by Steve Scott. A good basic book for beginner bloggers. While I don't think I write perfect blog posts, this book did not really teach me anything I didn't know already.

A Year of Creative Writing Prompts by Love in Link. I quickly skimmed this book and decided to keep it to read through more slowly and note any prompts I would like to try in the future.

25 Lessons I've Learned about Photography... Life by Lorenzo Dominguez. An EXCELLENT book. I have an idea to write a similar book, so I originally chose this one for research purposes. I plan to add it to my personal library and refer to it over and over it again. For anyone interested in photography, this is a book worth reading... And for $.99 definitely worth buying!

A Book of Expressions: Poetry and Photography to Soothe the Soul by Jeanmaire. Another book I downloaded for research purposes. I'm learning that books with photographs do not work well on a Kindle Paperwhite.

In all, I've read about ten "unlimited" books in about five days - not bad. Some I've skimmed, some I've taken notes to export, and I've purchased two of them for my personal library.

I have about 82 titles in my Kindle Unlimited WishList in a variety of genres, and I continue to add new titles every day. So far I am very pleased with my decision to purchase the six month membership.


As I mentioned above, I finally gave in and registered for a free Audible trial membership. I have three credits and I am slowly starting to create an audiobook wishlist. So far I have added such titles as A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel, Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin, and The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

Right now I'm leaning towards using my first credit to download The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larson. But before I commit, I am curious... what are your favorite audiobooks and/or narrators? 



  1. What an inconvenient injury! Hope you heal quickly. It looks like you've managed some productive reading.

    1. "in convenient injury" - I love that description!

  2. It's been a blazing hot summer, hasn't it? Carl gave me an Audible subscription for Christmas and I love it!

    1. Kathy, do you have any audiobook recommendations? I'd love to hear which ones you have truly enjoyed.

  3. I am so sorry for what you are going through but you are reading some fine books. Try to stay cool!!

    1. I am giving thanks for central air-conditioning this summer :)

  4. Oh, no! I'm so sorry to hear about your fall and injury. Hope the recovery is quick.

    1. I'm learning many lessons during this recovery, JoAnn. For example, I'm learning to depend upon others and be patient with the healing process. I'm sure I'll be as good as new by fall.

  5. Yikes, Molly! Sorry to hear about your shoulder! I hope it heals quickly and stays healed this time. Thank goodness for books, right? They are so helpful when we need to pass the time while recovering.

    1. Not only am I thankful for books Becca, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with my love of reading.

  6. I don't know if the audiobook is better than the actual book, but I wouldn't waste my money on Paris Bookshop. Huge disappointment.

    1. Good to know, Deb. I trust your opinion and will remove it from the WishList. Thank you for the honest recommendation.


Related Posts with Thumbnails