The World of Reading

Let’s begin a Jolabokaflod!

The small country (329,000 people) of Iceland boasts it has more writers, books published and books read than anywhere else in the world. Can you imagine that? To those of us who are “Book People”, this is astonishing! A tradition we can all be envious of is Jolabokaflod – the “Christmas Book Flood”. Christmas Eve is a time of giving books and stores are sold out long before the special night.  Each person receives at least one print books (not ebooks) along with chocolate to enjoy for the rest of the evening when it is tradition to spend the night reading. It wasn’t long ago that all TV stations in Iceland stopped broadcasting from 6pm-10pm because everyone was reading! The book season kicks off in September when each family receives Bokatidindi, a catalog of new publications from the Iceland Publishers Association distributed free to every Icelandic home.  By early December book stores are sold out. Because of this amazing tradition, Reyckavik has been named by the United Nations as a “city of Literature” and it host the international children’s literature festival and the international Literary Festival. Icelanders have a grand history of storytelling.  The Icelandic Sagas written around the 13th century…

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Reading about a Cop’s Cop.

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within.                     ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together                                                              John Hickman’s Black Bear Killer. Reading about a cop’s cop. Nothing like being a cop and writing a mystery about a cop. You just feel that Sheriff Dell Hinton is the real thing. Author John Hickman, a 25 year veteran of law enforcement, told me, “Dell is basically my alter ego. If I had continued in law enforcement, my ideal retirement job would have been as a Sheriff in a small, rural community.” The crimes and investigations may have a ring of reality…

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Old Fashioned Biscuits and a Great Book!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together.     Dirt: The Story of Two Orphans by S. L. Dwyer The opening is stark. Thirteen-year-old Sammy Larkin comes across his parents, hanging from the rafters in their barn.  Left to take care of his seven-year old sister Birdie is hardly his only problem. The Larkin family lives in Texas County, Oklahoma during the height of the Depression’s Dust Bowl and in one of the worst hit areas. Sammy’s parents left a total of $.66 for the children, thinking that they would go to authorities and be safely placed in foster homes. Author Sharon Dwyer wrote to me, “I had to imagine what could be the worst that could happen during that time for kids. Times were difficult enough without having this type of…

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Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Melissa

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today, Melissa is haring her thoughts about promoting books o social media and much more! indieBRAG: How do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? I usually find my print books by visiting my local book stores and browsing the shelves. I tend to find my ebooks by browsing Goodreads. Social media and books isn’t something I’ve grown accustomed to yet, but that’s probably because I spend so much time on my computer for work that I’d rather get out of the house and explore. indieBRAG: Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search, on sites such as Amazon? I don’t actually search Amazon…

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Creating a story is an art-a new series!

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? I have created a new series to discuss this matter on behalf of indieBRAG. If you are an Award Winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, we would be delighted for you to participate in this new and exciting series. Please contact me at layeredpages@yahoo.com for further information and to set a post date. We would love to hear from you. Thank you! Stephanie M. Hopkins indieBRAG Team Member

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Alison

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Alison is sharing with us her thoughts about authors promoting on social media.  indieBRAG: How do I find books and what do I think of social media and books? I find books through personal recommendation, social media and reviews in mainstream media. Not all social media is effective at promoting books and authors need to experiment to find out what works best for their genre. indieBRAG: Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites such as amazon? I will go to an author's website and social media to find out more about them and what else they've written. I don't choose a book directly from a retail site;…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Antonella

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Thank you for talking with us today, Antonella! indieBRAG: How do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? I find books in different ways, but I actually prefer reading books recommended by my friends. I think it is a waste of time to start books and then not finish them just because you don't like them. That's why I always welcome recommendations by people who have similar tastes similar to mine. I like reading about books on social media, it is an excellent way to get to know news works and authors. indieBRAG: Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites such as…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Stuart

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Stuart shares with us a little about his reading habits, reviewing books, how he finds books, and much more. Thank you, Stuart for sharing with us today. indieBRAG: How do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? Via a variety of routes. As a bibliophile, I have a tendency to buy more books than I have time to read, so my shelves currently hold around 120 volumes I have yet to read. Also, I review on my website, so I’m often approached by authors, their agents, or their publishers, to read/review books. I’m as selective with these as with any other: sometimes books offered leave a lot to be desired!  I use Goodreads, and recommendations come via that site. Sometimes another…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Susan

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today we are talking with Susan.  Susan, how do you choose a book to read? Choosing a book to read is the beginning of an adventure and what I hope is a great relationship between me, the characters and the author.  Which title is appealing? Does the opening paragraph grab me?  Does the last paragraph conclude the book well? (Yes, I’m a peeker at the end of the book!) Does the author’s bio contain a tidbit that brings me closer to that person?  Do I know and like other works of the author or has the book been recommended by a friend or website that I like, such as indiebrag. How much does the cover and title matter? A good cover will make me pick up the book.…

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