books

My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – September 2017

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I’ve knocked the 4th entry off my Book Bucket List:  ‘Carnegie’s Maid’ by Marie Benedict. You can see the review here. In it’s place, I’ve added Didi Oviatt’s ‘Search for Maylee’ to round out the 12 options for the next vote (post with poll to VOTE will be released next week).

 

 

The book you chose for me to read in September is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (review to be posted by 10/23) and to read in October is A Court of Thorns and Roses (review to be posted by 11/7). Congratulations to everyone who voted for these books. The poll to vote for the November book I should read will be opened next week.

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Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. Click the link to access everything since the beginning of this post series.

My Very Own “Book Bucket List”

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to publish it in early 2018. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 210 – Pastimes (Top 10)

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Pastimes: top 10 hobbies that keep Jay busy, and that he loves doing 

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held

The next set of 5 Sundays covers the ‘Top 10’ of entertainment options that I spend my time thinking about or doing and this week is the “pastimes that keep me busy or that I absolutely love.” They are in no particular order, simply as I thought of them when typing. For anyone who’s read my blog before, these should be pretty obvious, but for someone new, this list will give you a sense of who I am! Then you can run the other direction if it’s not what you want to read about. Note: Writing is now a job, so I don’t consider it my pastime anymore!!!

  • Reading
    • Give me a mystery, thriller, suspense or historical book and I’m set for hours. If there’s a biography on someone I enjoy, or a non-fiction history about something, it will keep me happy all day long!
  • Genealogy
    • I’ve traced about 2000 relatives to date from all over North America and Europe. My early posts covered all my ethnicity groups and some interesting stories about my relatives. You can see one here.
  • Gardening
    • When I owned houses in the past, I spent many hours planting and weeding. It’s been hard in NYC, but with a 700 square foot terrace garden that includes 10′ trees, we’ve made it work!
  • Traveling
    • I have been all over the world, from Cambodia to Argentina, Canada to Spain. I have probably visited 35 of 50 states in America. I love exploring cultures.
  • Cooking
    • If you read last week’s post, enough said. If not, I listed the top 10 dishes which you can read here. I have less time to cook these days with my writing schedule, but weekends are usually more free.
  • TV Viewing
    • If you read the post from a few weeks ago, enough said. If not, I listed my top 10 TV shows which you can read here. I am slowing my TV viewing to only shows I really love, as my creative time needs to be focused on reading and writing, particularly when it comes to fiction.
  • Wine Tasting
    • When I lived in San Francisco, there was a monthly trip to Napa and Sonoma. I could spend all day at a few wineries. Too bad I need a designated driver to truly sample each one and enjoy myself! Champagne anyone? And while I hate to admit this aloud, my favorites were in Mendoza. The stunning architecture while drinking in a stone estate on cliffs overlooking the water…
  • Research
    • I’m an academic. I wish I could attend colleges and universities every year. I love to teach, mentor and learn. Give me a thrilling topic and I can spend an entire night researching it on the computer, never interested in going to sleep. I thrive on the challenge of learning as much as I can in as little time as possible.
  • Playing with animals
    • I’ve had so many pets over the course of my life: hamsters, ferrets, cats, dogs, fish, squirrels… went horseback riding, to the zoo… looking in an innocent animal’s eyes, knowing they love you no matter what, is unparalleled.
  • Gym
    • The gym and I were never acquainted for most of my early life. I played soccer and baseball in middle school, and I took a few required courses in college however, I was not an athlete. Sometime after college, I started working out, even buying all the equipment to create a home gym in my basement. Now I have one in my apartment building. 5 times a week. Swap off cardio and weights. Not looking to be huge, just fit and energetic. If I want to live to 120, I gotta keep everything in line! And at 120, I’ll really be only 60 cause of all the work I’ve put in. Maybe “making up stories” should have been the last pastime…

 

Which ones do you agree with? What have I missed? Make it a fun response…

 

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks

 

My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – August 2017 (Voting Time!)

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It’s been 2 months since I started my Book Bucket List and I’ve knocked the third novel off the list:  The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse. You can see the review here. In it’s place, I’ve added Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict to round out the 12 options for the next vote.

 

 

The book you chose for me to read in September is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Congratulations to everyone who voted last week for this book. Once I’ve completed reading it, I will post a book review and the September Book Bucket List update post. The target to be complete is 9/23.

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Now it’s time to select the book I will read for October 2017. Below is the poll with 12 options, which will be open until September 6th, 2017 for you to choose. Good Luck!

 

Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. My Very Own “Book Bucket List”  —  Click the link to access everything since the beginning of this post series.

 

About Me
I am a writer and have signed a publishing contract to launch my first book, Watching Glass Shatter, in November of 2017. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – July 2017

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It’s been 1 month since I started my Book Bucket List and I’ve knocked the second one off the list:  Katherine Arden’s The Bear & The Nightingale. You can see the review here.

 

In it’s place, I’ve added The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas. Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. My Very Own “Book Bucket List”  —  Click here for the on-going detailed Book Bucket List.

Please take a look and help me decide which book I should read in September to satisfy this mini-challenge. You can vote in the poll below until August 28th, 2017. The poll is at:

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 163 – Inventory

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Inventory: a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building or container

 

 

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People who own or run a business often take an inventory to understand how much product they have available at any given moment. Sometimes it’s weekly or monthly, others at a random interval or annually for determining a true financial picture of the business. As I lay in bed this morning, I wondered why people don’t more frequently think about doing an inventory of their life. We have many ‘products’ around us that are essential to our survival and happiness. Sure, we take inventory of toiletries or groceries, so that we can purchase whatever supplies we need on a fairly regularly basis, but I’m pushing the limits here with my definition of inventory. Life is important. Valuable. Why wouldn’t we want to know where the important things stand on a more frequent basis?

Most of us would agree that apart from whatever reasons we as humans exist, a major component of our life is to be happy and pursue goals to help further the planet and society. To do so, we should want to have the best plan or approach in each of our individual lives. So why not keep a running inventory of the things that we need to achieve such goals? When I think about the areas of life we could apply such logic, it includes friends, hobbies, keepsakes, dreams, passions and feelings. When you take it down a level lower, perhaps it’s volunteer programs, books, movies, flowers, foods or vacations. Most of this seems obvious, given we all do these things informally without realizing it. But when I took a moment to think about the inventory of my life this morning, I wondered what it really said about me. Am I maintaining stock in the appropriate places to have inventory at maximum levels?

In the world of friends, have I surrounded myself with the people who I enjoy being around and want to socialize with? Or have I retained people in my life who I feel almost forced to continue a friendship with? Do I have friends in each of my passions or hobbies? If I answer no to these questions, then there’s something wrong with my inventory. If I enjoy reading mystery books, shouldn’t I have a few friends who love those things too, so we can bond and grow and have fun together? If I want to be friends with people who have done things I want to do, but I’m stuck seeing people out of some odd sense of duty, maybe I’d be happier if I reorganized the deck to align things in a more proper manner.

I would suggest the same approach for all the rest of the things in my life. Or your life. Knowing where you stand in comparison to where you want to be is essential to forward momentum, positive change and ultimately happiness. While I’m not suggesting we embrace anything too formal in our approach, or even throw out the baby with the bath water, I am saying it might be time to prepare our own inventory of where we are today and where we want to be in regard to all the things that make us happy. In my world, I tend to comb through these things in my head every so often, which is helpful for a large guiding force towards my end goals. But I’m not actively measuring it or verifying at proper intervals that other people or unexpected consequences didn’t get in the way or throw things off balance.

An example for me lately is reading. I love to read. I have too many books in my TBR. I have too many sitting on my physical bookshelf waiting to be picked up. But I haven’t prioritized it among everything else going on in my life. But I could do a quick inventory and set some goals for myself and get to at least one of those books each week, as in the end, it will make me a happier guy. Completing an inventory can be hard. It can be easy. But it starts with two things: (1) what do you have and (2) what do you want. With those two items, you can solve the puzzle. My initial thought was to treat it like a plan, a path or a line of sorts. There is a start and a finish point. As I drafted this post, it occurred to me, more from instinct, that it’s not a line. There isn’t really a true start and end when it comes to pursuing things in your life. Life has a start and end, but in between, it’s rather continuous.

It’s a circle. There may be a point on the circle where you begin, then you travel 360 degrees until you get back to that same place you began; however, the cycle doesn’t end. You can keep going around and around as much as you need to tend to your inventory while you are still on the planet focused on achieving your goals. Let’s not make this effort something that feels like work or a difficult task. Let’s make it something we feel helps lay the next few steps on our path towards the future we want as opposed to the one that just happens based on how the day progresses. I will start next week with two things:

(a) Cozy mystery books

  • I love to ready cozy mysteries, and I have tons in my TBR but no one to share them with. A few online friends I chat with enjoy them, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about them. So if any friends want to participate with me, let’s pick a few books to read together for the rest of the year and have fun talking about them.

(b) Meditation

  • I am generally a very relaxed guy. A few things will set me off, but underneath the calm exterior lurks the jitters over not being able to accomplish all that I want to. I have no tools to help navigate those nagging reminders. Exercise doesn’t always help. Food does temporarily. But I don’t have any other tools to find a way to expel those nerves. I need to find a few things to place in a bag of tricks that will help relax me, provide a calm retreat or learn how to meditate. I’m open to suggestions.

How about you? Any thoughts on how you’re managing the inventory of your life? Areas you want to participate with me during this little re-adjustment in our life circle?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

What’s a Spoiler??

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My friend Mischenko has started an amazing conversation about spoilers in book reviews. You should definitely check it out… so many comments already from all her followers. Great perspectives in this post. Nice job! #spoilers #bookreview #awesomepost #reading

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Spoiler is typically defined as a person or thing that spoils something, but it’s not that easy is it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spoilers when it comes to book reviews. On Goodreads, there are people that will straight up lash out on others for including spoilers in their reviews, but just what exactly is considered a spoiler?

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I recently reviewed a book and compared my review to somebody else’s review on the same book and they had many labels for spoilers that I really didn’t consider spoilers at all. It made me reflect on my review writing and I’m questioning if I’m giving out too much information about the content.

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TAG: TBR Books

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Many thanks to Noriko @ BookfiendSite for tagging me on the To Be Read (TBR) Books tag. It’s been a lot of fun, but her site is so much more fun than this tag. So click the link and check out all the marvelous book reviews she’s posted!

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Questions:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

  • I don’t. I’d go crazy if I tried. I add books to it all the time. I limit myself to a few outstanding books on NetGalley at any one time, so I can stay focused on those. I get at least an ARC a week from publishers, so I have to read those. And any new releases from my favorite authors get shifted to the top. Otherwise, it’s whatever I can get free or whichever book my friends push the hardest for me to read!
  • I know I’ll never get to everything on my TBR, so I created my Book Bucket List. It’s a list of the top 12 books I want to read, and I must pick one a month from it. After I read the book, I am allowed to add a new one. I keep track here.

 

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

  • Mostly print books. I will find a few e-books, but it’s rare I search for those. I think most items on my TBR come from Goodreads Giveaways, NetGalley or friends’ recommendations.

 

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

  • I read about 10 books per month these days, given I’m also building my blog and working on my own novels I’ve either written or about to publish. It gets divided usually as follows:
    • 2 NetGalley
    • 2 Publisher ARCs
    • 1 Favorite Author
    • 1 Goodreads Giveaway
    • 1 Book Bucket List
    • 3 Whatever My Friends Push on Me the Most

 

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

  • The first book I added to my Goodreads TBR was Memoirs of a Geisha, on January 7, 2012. I still haven’t read it, though I’ve seen parts of the movie. It wasn’t high on my list, which is why it’s probably been there for the longest period.

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A book that you recently added to your TBR.

  • I added Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker just this week. I’ve seen so many good reviews, I had to give it a shot. I might check NetGalley to see if it’s available.

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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

  • The Revenge by Jayne Hannah. I love the title but especially all the angles and shadows in the photo.

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A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Only because I saw the movie, and while it was good, I think the book would lose the suspense factor, which is my favorite part. There are tons of other ones I want to read.

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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

  • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. It’s the third in the Kingsbridge Series and he’s my favorite author. How could I say no?

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas. At least everyone who reads this genre has read it but me.

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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. There are so many and they are so long. I’ll never get thru my TBR if I pick huge books.

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read.

  • Citadel by Kate Mosse. It’s the third in a trilogy, and I loved the first two. I didn’t even know until last year she wrote a third several years ago.

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The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf.

  • 1247 — someone please help me

 

Tagged

 

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.