Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Have you ever had someone ask you "What kind of books do you read?" I've been guilty of asking that question myself. It seems to be a good conversation-starter, finding out if someone likes the same genre of books you do.

But how many of us, really, read only one or two types of books? We might have a favorite genre or author, but I think it's a pretty safe bet to say most of us read a variety of books.

For my job, I read a lot of middle grade books--all genres. I receive on average about 30 books a month in the mail. I can't read all of them, so I send several to my reviewers and pick out one or two titles for myself. My time is valuable to me, so I'm pretty picky about which books end up on my immediate TBR list. And if I start reading a book and discover it doesn't tickle my fancy, I have no qualms about setting it aside for something else.

I also love young adult books. But I am also a sucker for a really good adult historical novel--or sci/fi--or horror! Okay--I pretty much read everything.

So the real question ought to be "What about a particular book makes you pick it up and read it? And what makes you KEEP reading?"

Right now, I'm reading a middle grade novel called HOODOO by debut author Ronald L. Smith. Several things hooked me about HOODOO:

*  THE COVER -- With hundreds, thousands of books being published every year, covers start to run together. A cover that is distinctive will immediately pull away from the pack. I like images that spark the imagination and give you a teaser into the story. I also love unique fonts.

* THE PREMISE -- Hoodoo is a black boy growing up in a 1930s southern town steeped in folk magic. Just the concept alone is different, and I love books with diverse characters and settings.

*  THE WRITING -- HOODOO is really well-written. The voice of Hoodoo is clear, and I was hooked
from the first chapter.

Another book I'm reading right now is KISSING TED CALLAHAN by Amy Spalding. I bought the book because I know Amy. But I'm reading because it is so doggone funny! Her cover is like peeling back the skull of a teenage girl and observing the strange workings within. The characters are a hoot!

I recently read TEN by Gretchen McNeil. The cover--deliciously creepy. The story--scary as hell! I loved it!

Maybe the bottom like is that I like books that are GOOD! Books that are different than anything else out there!

So...what kind of books do you like to read? Or, um, I mean--the book you're reading now, or just finished reading, tell us WHY you love it!

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