Category Archives: Books

Books I’m reading, audiobooks I’m listening to.

I stopped reading

For the third time in about a month I heard someone described their process of skimming a book. Seth Godin told Gary V he reads a book until he “gets the joke”, and then he puts it down. I heard someone else describe their process of reading the beginning, the one chapter with the meat, and maybe the conclusion. If you do this can you really say you read the book?

I have a point of no return with books. It’s somewhere around a third. If I’m a third of the way through and I realize I don’t like the book, I’m stuck. I’m in it until the end. In fact it’s rare for me to stop reading a book at all. I think I can name all of the books I’ve read only part of in the last ten years – A Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and The Satanic Verses. When I gave up on that last one I tweeted, “I’m halfway through the Satanic Verses. It’s beautifully written. Every paragraph is like a poem. I have no idea what it’s about.”

I don’t normally read biographies but I picked one up because it was about a person I’m interested in and it’s by an author I know I like. I don’t know exactly when I started reading it but I know I’ve moved three times since then. I never read one book at a time so I’ve read a bunch of other books since then. I’ve read at least one other book on the same topic in that time. But this one is dragging on. It just won’t end. Sitting down to read it feels masochistic at this point. But I’m more than halfway through… just stick it out.

I mentioned this to Chrissy last night and she made a radical suggestion. “Stop.”

Well I’ve thought about it, and I decided to give myself permission to stop reading this book. I don’t feel good about it, but there’s a stack of books on the table I really do want to read. Time to move on.

mario warp zone
Did you really beat the game?


Best of Podiobooks, Part 2

Here it is, the long-awaiting follow-up to my wildly popular Best of Podiobooks, Part 1.

Golden Age of the Solar Clipper by Nathan Lowell – Science Fiction
Trader Tales 1: Quarter Share
Trader Tales 2: Half Share
Trader Tales 3: Full Share
Trader Tales 4: Double Share
Trader Tales 5: Captains Share
Trader Tales 6: Owners Share
Shaman Tales 1: South Coast
I rarely reread (or listen) to books, and I’ve never reread entire series before. The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper will soon become the first series I’ve read (listened to) twice.

The Vatican Assassin Trilogy by Mike Luoma – Science Fiction
Vatican Assassin
Vatican Ambassador
Vatican Abdicator
Alibi Jones
Another brilliant series. It’s amazing that this stuff is free. I was originally just intrigued by the title, but I quickly got sucked in to the story.

Ancestor by Scott Sigler – Science Fiction
I don’t know how this didn’t make the first list, but I’m kind of glad it didn’t so I get to include a Scott Sigler book here. Sigler’s is the only horror I read. Sci-Fi-Horror.

65 Below by Basil Sands – Fiction
When I finished this one I immediately bought the Kindle version, which is apparently a bit different. I haven’t read it yet.

This list feels a little shorter than Part 1, but I think if you add up the total listening time it’s pretty close. Guys like Bill DeSmedt, J.C. Hutchins, Scott Sigler, Mike Luoma, and Nathan Lowell have set the bar so high it’s hard to justify putting stories I thought were just “good” on a Best Of list.

As I said last time, if you enjoy these books support the author and keep a good thing going by donating through the Podiobooks page. The author gets 75%.

Loading Up on Podiobooks

The iPod ran dry so I’ve loaded up once again on Podiobooks.

3 Dooms of America by Eugene Fairfield
Science Fiction

The Gearheart by Alex White
Steampunk   (yay!)

Must Not Sleep by Michael Brownstein

I also accidentally downloaded The Servant and Soothsayer by Michael Brownstein through the iTunes store. It looks like that ones isn’t a Podiobook but it is a free audiobook available through iTunes.

Vatican Assassin – Remastered by Mike Luoma
Science Fiction

Vatican Ambassador by Mike Luoma
Science Fiction

Vatican Abdicator by Mike Luoma
Science Fiction

Alibi Jones by Mike Luoma
Science Fiction

Total Running Time: 2 Days, 22 Hours, 14 Minutes, 31 Seconds.

South Coast

And when you finish the Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper you can listen to South Coast by Nathan Lowell, A Shaman’s Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper : Volume 1.

Otto is Richard Krugg’s only son and heir to the Shaman’s gift. The only problem is Otto doesn’t want it. He wants to be a fisherman. When company policies force unwelcome changes onto his life and threaten even the security of the village, Otto discovers that being a shaman isn’t optional.Jimmy Pirano is caught between the devil and the deep green sea when new production quotas are handed down from corporate headquarters. Locked into a century of existing practice, Jimmy is forced to find new ways to fish and new places to do it in or face the very real possibility that Pirano Fisheries will lose the St. Cloud franchise.Join Otto, Richard, and Rachel Krugg as they struggle with what it means to be the son of a shaman. Cast off with Jimmy, Tony, and Casey as they navigate the shoals and shallows of corporate fishery along the South Coast.