Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge

2018-08-26

I recently recommended books based on a Facebook challenge, but I myself have not actually read a book in the last 2 years. The last book I read was called Liar’s Blade, a Pathfinder Tale’s book, apparently number 13 in the series, which I did not know until just now. Before that, the last book I read I finished in November 2014. So, how can I be recommending books to people when I am terrible at reading a book?

I actually started reading 2 books recently. I started reading V: The Original Miniseries earlier this year in February. The Nook version has 595 pages, and I’ve already read 125, so I’m on chapter 4. I also started to read Question Quest which is the 14th book in the Xanth series and I’m on chapter 8. That book has 271 pages and I am currently on page 100. So I am at least making an attempt to read.

Last night I decided I need to take the challenge since I am recommending books, so I challenged myself to read 7 books, and I added 7 books to a new Goodreads list called 2018-challenge.

2018-08-26 (2)2018-08-26 (3)

I’ve been waiting a long time to read some of these books, like for example I bought Gladiator’s Master in 2012 and it’s literally been sitting in my Nook library waiting to be read, same with Question Quest. I stopped reading the Sookie Stackhouse books after True Blood ended, and I really want to go back and finish them. Splinter’s is a book that was recommended to me by the author himself when he visited and spoke in front of a group I belong to and I bought the Nook book when I came home that night and I guess I just never gave it a chance. Then this year I bought V, and read a few chapters, but that was it. I’ve actually been holding on to Queen of Sorcery for a lot longer, I have the Belgariad volume books which has 3 books in the first volume, and I read the first book in the series in 2010 after my aunt recommended it to me in 2005, I just never moved on to the 2nd book, so I added it recently for this challenge, and since I am reading V The Original Miniseries, I figure I might as well read the Second Generation while I’m at it, you know?

The order in which I read all of these books doesn’t matter, I mean obviously I’m not reading the first one on the list. These were listed this way based on the dates they were added into my account, not based on the order I will read them. And it doesn’t matter what I read first, Goodreads will only count the book for the 2018 challenge after I’ve finished reading it.

Anyway, I had to stop reading for the night because I have been reading for several hours today, and I can only read for so long before the words stop making sense to me, so I figured I’d write this blog post instead, and hope it makes sense lol.

Have you taken the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge? And if so, have you completed the challenge or are you still challenging yourself?

Edit: I’m going to cheat a little. I added a new book to my 2018-challenge list called Zombie Day Care because according to “Details” it’s only 134 pages. A lot of the books I’ve chosen to add to my list are almost 300 or in some cases almost 600 pages long, so in order for me to read 7 books this year, I’m going to need some easier books that I can go through quicker to basically catch up.

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Recommended Books

People like to play games on Facebook, like let’s set up a thing where we recommend a book for 7 days, and each day we recommend a book, we also nominate someone to also recommend books and we keep this going FOREVER UNTIL THE END OF TIME! LOL

So I thought ok, this is actually fun, so I did it and I’ve already finished my 7th day, but I thought it would be fun to also come here and recommend each one of those books because why not?

Day 1 Harry Potter1. The complete Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I recommend this every time because these books are so easy to read, and they make you feel smart for reading books. I wasn’t a reader at all until I was in my early to mid 30’s, and I decided it was my New Years Resolution to start reading, and I did and this was the first major series I read from beginning to end without stopping. I literally sat on my bed reading these books for 8 hours at a time. Wild horses couldn’t tear me away from these books. Anyway, I guess you could say I like them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my #1 book.

Day 2 A Spell for Chameleon2. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

My friend Alyce recommended this series to me in 2009. Everything in these books are a pun or a joke. Like if they mention rolling hills, the hills are literally rolling. If they mention a sandwich bush, the bush is literally growing sandwiches. Take everything literal in this series.

There are now 41 books in the series, yes, he is still publishing new books. The first book A Spell for Chameleon was published in 1977 and the 41st book Ghost Writer in the Sky was published in 2017.

Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed in this series.

Day 3 My Heart is Within You3. My Heart is Within You by Marguerite Labbe

I discovered a website called Rainbow eBooks in 2010 and one of the first books I saw advertised on the front page was My Heart is Within You. It’s a vampire story, and I do love vampire stories, but it’s not just any vampire, it’s a gay vampire who falls in love with a college jock, because, why not? Anyway, it’s a good story. There are 3 books in what is referred to a Triquetra Trilogy. This is also the first series where I occasionally had to stop reading because the writing gave me a um… how do I put this politely… a reason to go to take a cold shower. The sex scenes are um… juicy. Marguerite Labbe is the first straight woman to ever give me a boner with her writing. Well, so much for being polite.

Day 4 Sookie Stackhouse4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I watched and loved the True Blood series on HBO, and just like most everything, this show was based on a series of books called the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was very shocked to see that there were so many differences in the books from the series. I mean, obviously they cannot make a tv show verbatim to the book, but they were almost like they were two completely separate worlds altogether, like an alternate universe if you will where Lafayette is dead after the first book, but he’s still alive in the series, and where Elvis is alive in the books and he’s called Vampire Bubba, but there’s absolutely no mention of him in the series because he doesn’t seem to exist. Thing’s like that. Anyway, if you loved the series, read the books and you will see what I’m talking about.

Day 5 Belgariad5. The Belgariad by David Eddings

When I visited my Aunt Louise in Texas for Christmas in 2005, we spoke about how I loved to read now, and she recommended these books to me. To me, these books are very similar to the Lord of the Ring’s, but it seems to be more like a Dungeon’s & Dragon’s type of story, which is what I like.

I’m not gonna lie, the first book Pawn of Prophecy is really hard to read at first, but once you get started, you will be able to read it all the way through, and it might even be difficult to put it down. I bought the Belgariad Volume 1 and 2 and so far I’ve only read the first book, but I will be getting back to reading them because I did like the first book.

Day 6 Cirque Du Freak6. Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan

I saw the movie Cirque Du Freak The Vampire’s Assistant, and I thought it was a really good movie, I mean that’s on my top 10 movies too. But the books are 100% better. There are 12 books in the series and they take you on the complete journey of this character and his friends. You are there with Darren every step of the way, and in your mind, you are one of his companions on his journey.

The movie jumps from scene to scene really fast, blink and you might miss something, the books take things a bit slower and you get more details that you never got to see in the movie.

Day 7 V7. V: The Original Miniseries by Kenneth Johnson and A.C. Crispin

When V The Original Miniseries aired in the early 1980’s, I watched it with my family. Most of my family didn’t really care for it, but for some odd reason it really brought me and my mother closer together when it became a weekly series. We watched it every week, just her and I and the rest of the family watched whatever else was on TV in the other room, whatever that might have been. It was probably something sappy like Dallas or Dynasty lol.

Anyway, when I discovered there was a book, I asked my mother for it and she bought it for me and I think I only read half of the book. I had a lot of trouble reading because of my dyslexia, but I got as far as I could and I was very proud of myself. I bought that book again at a book store in 2005 and I still have it.

This is a new cover for the Nook ebook and the listing says that the V novel is finally back in print, with an all-new, never-before-seen revised ending. So that’s why I bought the Nook version. There is another Nook ebook called V: The Second Generation.

Those are my 7 days worth of books, or series of books, that should keep you busy for a long time lol. I have a few more honorary mentions, I’ll just post the picture. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog post, happy book reading.

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set

HT Night

I don’t normally review books or advertise for books unless I really like a book or I know the author personally or on social network websites, but I wanted to type something up for this particular series.

H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set is available for the Kindle and the Nook for only .99 cents as of this posting.  Amazon estimates it at 886 pages and Barnes & Noble doesn’t actually say how many pages it has.  I bought it on my Nook and it actually shows 1921 pages.  What’s interesting, or odd, is that when I turn the page, it will flip about 2 or 3 pages.  I am on page 98 and I hit the button or swipe the screen to flip the page and it will say 100.  I find that unusual behavior for my Nook because sometimes I might be on the same page number for 4 pages.  So my guess is that this author formatted the ebook very strangely to make it show 1921 pages and flip 2 pages at a time.  I formatted mine to be sheet of paper size 8.5 x 11.  This author probably formatted it at 4×6, I’m guessing.

I read some of the reviews on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble and have seen so much negativity towards not just the author, but their writing style.  I agree it’s a bit odd, but everyone has their own writing style and their own skill level, so I am not going to grade this writer because he had the gumption to write a long fiction novel which is more than I can say.  Actually, more than just 1 fiction novel because I see he has many more stories on Amazon.  I do recognize what some of the reviewers are saying though because I see a lot of strange things as well, but I don’t hate it.  I look at it as like one of those B movies that you see from the 60’s and 70’s and even some of the B movies on SyFy like Sharktopus lol.  I don’t mean to sound harsh towards the author, but that’s what it’s like to me.

I haven’t read the entire series, but I’m sure it won’t take very long to read.  It says in the title that it is 8 books, but when you are in the ebook you only see 4 titles.  In the contents you see that it is sectioned into 8 parts. I click Go to > Chapter > eBookVersion1_split_1 (that is actually how it shows up on the contents), it goes right to page 256 which is the 2nd page of chapter 32 of the first book.  I don’t get why this author didn’t format the ebook chapters properly.  It is split up into 8 sections, but there are actually only 4 ebooks in there.  That’s rather misleading.

Here is a picture of my Nook showing the cover page with the title that says it is 8 books on the top and saying it’s only “FOUR NOVELS” with each book title under “VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES.”  That is not 8 books, so where are the other 4?  You can’t sell a 8-book box set with only 4 books and call it 8 books and section it off into 8 sections.  People aren’t stupid.

ht night nook

Well, it’s only .99 cents on both the Kindle and the Nook so with all of it’s formatting and misleading title saying it’s 8 books when it’s really only 4, it is still an interesting story and it’s easy to read. I actually don’t (or haven’t yet) seen any flaws in the story or seen any misspellings or any other errors so I’m not listening to the negative reviews about that. The formatting doesn’t really bother me as much as it would seem. Perhaps the 8 books were combined so 2 books are actually 1 book, who knows. I find the writing style easy to read and the book is hard to put down. I said it was like a B movie, but it’s really not that bad. I’d say it’s a higher caliber.

I am updating my status on this series on Goodreads and here they are.  I have to admit that I do like this book.  Although, I have noticed a few errors here and there, but it is still good.

Goodreads Updates:

6/29 – “This isn’t going to take very long to read. It’s actually quite addicting. I love that I can actually understand everything and I don’t need to use the dictionary on my Nook lol.”

7/2 – “I just finished the first book Moon Dance and I absolutely loved it. It was so easy to read and very difficult to put down. Now I am about to start the 2nd of 4 books in this “8” book series (LOL) called Vampire Moon. (25% done)”

It’s Totally Tuesday at Rainbow eBooks

I love Tuesdays because that means that Rainbow eBooks has a sale on all of their new releases, which mine happens to be, new that is and on sale at 15% off.  It’s regularly $6.99, but you can buy it today for only $5.94.

Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald – Totally Tuesdays at Rainbow eBooks

If you have a Nook just download the epub file, if you have a Kindle, download the mobi file.  If you don’t have an ebook reader then you can download any file, mobi, epub or pdf.  They all work with PC if you have a PC ebook reader.

My Book Is Finally Finished, but…

My book is finally finished being edited and is ready to be published.  It took me 2 months to write it, but then it took me another 4 months to edit it.  I have been working for at least 8 hours a day to get it right so there are no mistakes.  It is ready, but not ready because I may have made a mistake with the copyright.

I copyrighted it on November 28th 2011 and I uploaded my unfinished book and the cover, but haven’t taken any other action, besides uploading the current revision of course.  I’m not sure if I was supposed to mail it to them or not.  It still says pending so I’m not sure when it will be completed.  I don’t want to take any chances with it so I won’t publish it until the copyright has gone through.

I said I was going to publish it tomorrow, January 1st 2012, but now I have to wait until January 2nd when I can call the copyright office and talk to someone.  This really sucks but my hands are tied.

That will give me another opportunity to read the book one last time to make absolutely sure there are zero mistakes.  It sucks because I have read my book about 20 or 30 times.  I have never read a book this many times before, and since it’s my life story, I have to relive it again every time I read it.  I just want to be done with it and move on.

Anyway, I will update this on Monday when I have spoken to someone at the copyright office.  If my claim has expired because I didn’t mail a printed copy, then I will have to copyright it again and mail it to them and wait for god only knows how much longer before I can publish it.  I’m sure it won’t take that long though, I’m hoping I can upload it on Monday when I get off the phone with them.  I can’t make any promises though.

Now that I am finally finished editing, I can finally enjoy playing Lord of the Rings Online again.  WOOHOO!

Final Edit Of My Book

My book is nearly completed.  I have finally finished editing it but I have to read it one last time to make absolutely sure that it is right before I publish it.  While I was editing chapter 40, it occurred to me that I may have left something out of chapter 20.  I went back and as I was reading a few paragraphs to find where I needed to add, I found 4 errors.  That means that I am not completely finished.

It only took me 2 months to write it, but it has taken me 4 more months to edit it.  I never knew that writing a book was so difficult.  It really makes me appreciate the hard work that writers and editors do.  I am constantly remembering things that I want to add, discovering discrepancies, spelling, grammar errors and redundancy.  Writing is hard ya’ll!  LOL.

I had a good laugh today because when I finished editing the book, I had lost 15 pages from the ODT (OpenOffice) file.  It was originally 182 pages and now it’s 167.  The epub file on my Book had 289 pages, but edited it has 302.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that I lost 15 pages in the ODT file, but gained 13 in the epub file.

What happened to all of those page numbers is that I had too many paragraphs because I split too many thoughts up.  I combined the paragraphs which made me lose pages.  I also deleted a ton of things, but then I also added some things which gave me 5000 more words.  I think that was why I gained 13 pages in the epub file.

My cover is finished and I have shared it with a few people to get some opinions.  So far I haven’t had too many complaints.  It was my 4th or 5th cover design job.  I liked the first couple of covers, but none of them really stood out as much as the final cover does.  I am really happy with it and that is all that matters.

I uploaded the epub file so that I could read it one last time on my Nook.  I hope I don’t find any errors, but if I do, I can jump on the computer and find where they are and fix them.  I have never read one book so many times on a white screen until now and it’s killing my eyes.

I have spent a lot of time on this book and have started feeling bad for my family because of how I talk about them.  But then I look at a picture of my step-dad and realize, I’m writing this because of him.  He never cared enough about me to stop beating me, or enough to not hurt my feelings with his words every day my whole life, so why should I give a rats ass about his feelings?  The arrogant nasty look on his face in all of his pictures is all the motivation I need to keep going.

I didn’t just write this because of him, I wrote it because I want to show what life was/is like for gay people.  What bullying does to gay children, whether it’s the parents doing the bullying, or the children in school or both at the same time.  I want to share my first hand experiences and give a message to the gay teens that it gets better.  I hope that it opens eyes and helps someone who may need advice on how to cope with it.

Anyway, the book will be published after Christmas this year so stay tuned for the blog post announcing it.

Thank you for reading.