Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What To Read?!?

You know the feeling. You come at last to the end of a wonderful book. The finale is satisfying, but you have that empty feeling...your friends are gone, living happily on in their own alternate universe without you. The only cure is to find a new universe to jump into and join in the fun-but which one? Assuming you're not making your way through a sequel, how do you find a new book to read that's a wonderful as the last?

Sure, sometimes you already have a book in your sites, but what if you've used up your 'must read' list? Where do you go? Of course, asking other readers what they are reading is a good start. If you are on Goodreads you can join one of their many Goodreads Groups of fellow like-minded readers and follow their advice, comments and reviews. One group I particularly follow is the Women and Books group.

Naturally, Goodreads itself offers so many reader reviews of a wide variety of books that can aide in your search. Just visit the site and search your interests. They even host Giveaways-and who doesn't like winning a free book?!

Another resource might be visiting the online book review page for your local newspaper-or any paper whose reviews you appreciate. I find the Wall Street Journal has the most incredibly extensive reviews-it's almost like reading the book itself!

You might also follow a book review blog. I have several I enjoy checking in on, but one of my favorites is Shellyrae Cusbert's Book'd Out. She's a book reviewer and blogger in Australia whose volume is truly prolific! I particularly like her It's Monday, What are You Reading?' posts. She lists what she read last week along with her goals for the coming week.

I hope that gives you some new resources, but I'd love to know where YOU look. I always need a good book to read!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spammers Are Endlessly Entertaining For Writers!

So...I received an 'urgent' email from my 'cousin' in Wisconsin. She was stuck in (the) Ukraine and needed my help. Or, more accurately, my money. Yeah, well, I gotta wonder just how stupid these Eastern European scammers think Americans are. I guess some of them are gullible, or what I like to think of as too kind-hearted because they wouldn't keep trying this stuff if they didn't get nibbles-and cash.

Anyway, before I hit the tab to alert my service about the obviously deceptive email, I just have to read through it and giggle here and there. It's the writer in me! These guys know just enough English to show how un-American they are. Here's the original version, with highlights of the troublesome spots, along with my 'American' comments in red:

Good morning (Hi!)

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform(tell) anyone about my trip, because it was impromptu(you mean last minute?). I had to be in Ukraine
(most American’s don’t know you don’t say ‘the’ anymore)for a program (are you an actor? dancer?). The program was successful (uh-huh...), but my journey has turned sour.(how distasteful) I misplaced my wallet on my way back to my hotel after I went for sight seeing(I can sooo hear the eastern European accent here-trying not to profile, naturally!). The wallet contained all the valuables I had. Now, my passport is in (the)custody of the hotel management pending when (until)I make payment.

I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 5-7 working(business) days to access funds in my account i (even an IPhone auto-corrects this!)am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run(turn) to now. i will be indeed very grateful(really appreciate it?!) if i can get a loan of $2,750 USD($ means USD and where the heck are you staying, The Kiev Ritz?!) or any amount you can afford from you(redundant). this will enable me sort my hotel bills and get my sorry self back 
home.(haha...delightful attempt at American ‘lingo’) I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full (aka, pay you back)as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance(that’s ‘help’ in Rio Linda). Please, let me know soonest (cute) and I need you to keep checking your email because it's the only way I can reach you.(ah...sure)
Thanks so much

Almost impossible to read this without an accent, isn't it? Those are just my 'off the top of my head' comments, but can you be the first person who can tell me the BIG 'tell' that shows up throughout, especially in the last paragraph? And if you know the Rio Linda reference you get extra points!