Finding New Favorites

The question I proposed for this week was: What is an unusual way in which you have found books or authors?

I think all of us know fellow writers and read their books, and their friends have friends who write, and so we read their books, also. Facebook has a wealth of authors and it is a great way to get to know very many. I hesitate to use the term ‘networking’, because it often connotes using other people for your own advancement, but really, I do love the ‘network’ of connections between writers.

I got into writers’ circles and back to writing in earnest by visiting blogs, looking for interviews of authors I had met. More and more blogs have opened up my world and many give away books on a regular basis. But that is not an unusual way to find books.

I have not browsed in a bookstore in years. I just don’t get around much anymore, mostly due to family obligations…and the fact that those have lead to shallow pockets.

I used to peruse all of the books in thrift shops, as well. Time and energy are now at a premium, but I had found many good books and great authors, often those whose names I had heard but whose works I had never read. I picked up a few and ended up reading everything I could get my hands on from the writers, whose reputations were often well-earned.

Anthologies are a great way to stumble across hitherto unknown authors, ones you never would have known of by any other process. Pick up one containing a story by a favorite author and you never know what other great writers you will find. On the other hand, I found that just because someone can write a short story doesn’t mean that their novels are as good. One favorite novelist has been part of several anthologies, and her works were always the best short-stories in the bunch…except once. One story by another writer just jumped out at me. I hustled to read her novels and was sorely disappointed; she should switch to short stories exclusively.

Relatives put me onto some wonderful writers. Books, series and authors that have become part of my life are ones I never would have read except that I read them with and for my niece and my grandson. From vampires to gentle wizarding worlds, ghosts girls to ancient gods in modern times and many, many mysteries with humor, I have thoroughly enjoyed a number of series which I would never in a million years have found on my own.

One son put me onto books which were part of his required reading in college. One was on the history of diseases. Really, it is fascinating, seeing how the world was different and how politics played into the control and the spread. No way would I have picked that one up, in fact, he had to insist that I start it. He was right; I was hooked right away.

I used to watch “Book TV”, a CNN channel, on weekends. It is filled with fascinating non-fiction books through book readings, roundtables and interviews. The topics ran mostly for adults, but there were some middle school books. Most were serious, many were amusing and nearly all were interesting.

I cut the cable, but used to be able to access many of the Book TV programs online, but now you must have a cable subscription to view the podcasts. It is a shame. I’d go to my local library and see many of titles on the New Book shelves. I approached the buyer and asked her if she watched Book TV. She was surprised and said yes, but I told her I could tell by the shelves.

Those shelves are where I find books and authors, too.

I also find books on my local library’s racks of books for sale. When the old library moved to their new digs, (which was the old hospital, now cut down), they sold an enormous amount of books and we picked up quite a number. We went back several times and one author’s book and its sequel were not moving. I broke down and bought them up after the third or fourth visit. I love the first book, hated most of the second. I have not thought to look the author up for more. In fact, I am not sure I still have the books. Pity.

And although I previously mentioned this, I often get involved in our local library’s events. Once I read a book I never would have chosen, but a requirement was that I needed to read an author with the same name as mine as part of an Adult Summer Reading Program. I did a review of the book by Rachel Joyce here a few years ago. Great story, well done. I also learned to “can” as a challenge, read a biography of someone I never would have read about,( but came to appreciate), and found out about women in war, (WWII and Vietnam, which are topics that are so heart-breaking, it will have to wait to be discussed.)

A few St. Valentine’s days ago I agreed to join in and go on “A Blind Date with a Book” at the library. I picked one up wrapped in brown paper, (with hearts!) I groaned when I read the title, which sounded like a ‘true confession’-type novel, but I went with it out of honor. Was I surprised! The author is now my favorite current ‘true-novel’ author .I read all of the works she had previously published. I may have done a review of Liane Moriarty’s work here, as well.
You never know what treasures you will find.

Have you ever done a library challenge?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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8 Responses to Finding New Favorites

  1. Joselyn says:

    I think the blind date with a book is such a fun idea. Glad you found something you liked.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a leap of faith, to be honest! But I like all of Liane Moriary’s work so well, I am inclined to believe that it was fate. Her storylines are complicated and her characters have more going on than at first meets the eye, but they are uplifting.There is redemption and HEAs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Our library has a reading challenges in the summer and winter. We register and if we read a certain number of books (100 page minimum) by the end of the challenge, we get a tote bag and a mug. But I haven’t done the challenge for some time now, since most of the books I read are digital copies that I purchase or get free.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What they do here is more of a multiple-choice reading/learning experience. I didn’t look into it this year and I skipped last year’s because it was ‘science’ based, pretty much of a “Mr. Wizard” experience. I was not interested in participating. They usually give away mugs, tote bags or tee shirts in weekly drawings, ( when you get the workers to sign off on your accomplishments), and in a drawing at the end, they usually give away a Kindle.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jeff7salter says:

    I’ve never tried the blind date library thing, but I like the concept. Congratulations that you felt honor bound to read your book, even though the title and apparent content did not immediately grab you. I’m betting that quite a few of participants did NOT follow-through with their “blind dates”.
    One word about networking (my interpretation): certainly true that a significant aspect is for self-promotion. But there’s also quite a bit of information exchange, commiseration, camaraderie — as well as people willing and ready to help other authors spread the word about THEIR work.
    Writing being a rather solitary endeavor, I find the networking to be a valuable part of the profession.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I agree, real ‘networking’ is fantastic; unfortunately, many have given it a bad name by simply trying to advance themselves unconscionably by using others with no reciprocation, (or actually stepping on others, dragging them down).
      “The Husband’s Secret” was the title of the book….sounds like an article in “True Confession” magazine, right? It is a book of the complexities of life and redemption.Truly well thought-out and well crafted.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard of blind date with a book but our library doesn’t do that. I always thought it would be a fun and interesting way to discover something new.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They did it for the kids but it was under a different name:plain, brown wrappers but with descriptions for them. I was really surprised at myself for actually doing it, but I am so glad that I did.


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