Five lessons I learned from what I read in 2011

January 10, 2012 § 4 Comments

I read oodles (the technical term for it) when I was in elementary and middle school, a lot in high school, and not terribly much in college (aside from what I was reading for classes, which took the majority of my reading energy). Fortunately I’m rectifying that error, by reading more than ever these days. The ‘real’ world, with mortgages and bills and full-time jobs isn’t all glamor and glitz, but it’s one major redeeming quality is a total lack of homework. I’ve taken advantage of the extra time in my life (and the fact that my wife who is in grad school still does have homework in the evenings) by reading more this year than in the previous eight years combined.

Since I began writing seriously, the way I read books has changed significantly, for better or worse. I’m more discerning of everything from adverb overuse and cliches to strong and original characters. Most of the books I read « Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: The Warded Man by Peter Brett

September 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

I started this in the car on the way to vacation, and my wife didn’t hear a word from me for the next two days. The Warded Man takes place in a world where no one ventures far from their homes during the day for fear of being caught outside when the sun sets. Each night, demons rise and brutally attack anyone not sheltering behind warded walls.¬† It’s primarily the story of Arden, a farm boy who’s tired of hiding from demons.

It’s not the best written story out there and the title gives away a major plot point that comes late in the book, but it’s Brett’s debut novel so I’ll cut him a healthy amount of slack. I can’t say what pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go, it could have been the unique magic system, or the frightening world, or the slowly mounting tension, but I loved The Warded Man and would recommend it.

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