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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

ReadRantRock&Roll

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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Blog: 350 Book Reviews on ThisIsMyTruthNow

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After I finished looking at all the updates on Goodreads, WordPress and my other social media accounts this morning, and posting today’s 365 Daily Challenge blog, I began writing up a few reviews for books I’d read in the past. When I finished, I realized I’d written 350 book reviews in the last 9 months. I was shocked I’d gotten that far already. Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for reading and providing feedback on all the reviews. I’m about 75% complete with finishing prior reads and hope to finish by the end of June. Below are some statistics as well as a link to the Book Review section here. This will help give you some insight into the different authors, books and genres I’ve read in case you want to go poking around in previous posts.  Thank You!

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Welcome to my collection of book reviews. My favorite genres are thrillers and historical fiction. I’ve broken the categories into the following 11 genres: (1) children’s literature, (2) classics [pre-19th century], (3) cozy mystery, (4) fantasy & science fiction, (5) general fiction, (6) historical fiction, (7) non-fiction, (8) other & about TV shows, (9) thriller & suspense fiction, (10) young adult fiction and (11) alternative fiction.

As May 2017, there are over 350 book reviews on my blog and website, ThisIsMyTruthNow. Within each menu, you will find all the books I’ve written a review for organized by genre. I first post the book review on Goodreads and then send it over to this site, where I explore more about the genre, book series and authors. Since I only started publishing book reviews in October of 2016, I have been trying to catch up on everything I’ve read to date. As a result, there are two types of book reviews being posted.

Book Review Type 1 – Full & Detailed

  • For any book I’ve read since I started this website and blog in mid-2016, there is a full and detailed book review containing the following items: author, title, genre, rating, year published, overview of the story, initial thoughts, characters, strengths, areas for improvement, similar books by this author or another author, why I chose the book and some final thoughts. There are also pictures and graphics to help provide a fun and informative review.

Book Review Type 2 – Short Summary

  • Although I have a good memory when it comes to books and authors, I can’t possible remember everything about all 500+ books I’ve read in the last few decades. For anything before 2016, if I don’t have a vivid recollection, I have a shorter version of the review with some general thoughts, the good and the bad of what I remember, ratings, and some recommendations on similar items. These are generally only 1 paragraph long and do not have pictures or graphics.

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Thanks for stopping by and perusing the site. If you aren’t sure which genre the book falls into, you can also search by author in the next menu category called “Genre/Author/Series” or you can enter the book into the “Search” box on the main home screen. If you have any feedback, please share… I love to hear from everyone, as well as get book recommendations. To see my profile on Goodreads, click here.

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog 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, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all 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. <i>Note</i>: 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 65 – Eager

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Eager: wanting to do or have something very much, keen expectancy or interest

Early on in the 365 Daily Challenge, I chose the word “curious” as a characteristic. “Eager” borders on the same meaning, but I am going to take it in a different path today. Shocking, I know… where is that consistency?

Although the 365 Challenge began as a way for me to bring interesting content to my blog, as well as explore different parts of “who I am,” the way I continue to choose the characteristic word could change with each arc of the challenge. A few examples with the last day of the week words:

  • In the first 5 weeks, it was one of my genealogical origins or ethnicity, which offered an opportunity to comb the internet for the stereotypical traits for that country.
  • In the second 5 weeks, we covered an A to Z list of various things I hate, love, fears, food, and as a hint, this Sunday’s final one will be: places that make me smile.

For the first 10 weeks, I’ve chosen all the words. I’m shocked that it’s 10 weeks on the weekend. It’s gone so quickly! But it’s also been really interactive and enjoyable.

And now… it’s time to turn the heat up a little… and I’m eager to hear some suggestions from all of you.  I’m completely open with where to go next, but the people-pleaser inside of me wants to bring content and topics that are relevant for everyone involved. You don’t have to read these posts, but for those of you who are, (1) Thank You and (2) What do you want to read about?

A few ideas mulling around in my head for choosing the characteristic word of the day:

  • Professions: choose professions I’ve had or want to have and discuss why or who I admire in those roles
  • Colors: choose colors that represent me and explore what it means or says about me
  • Quotes: Experiment with a word in a quote that means something and blog about the author, its meaning and how it applies to us
  • Cities: List the cities I’ve lived in, what was going on in my life around that time and what I loved or didn’t love about the place
  • Open to any other ideas… I just picked 4 that easily came to my mind in less than 30 seconds

I chose “eager” today because I’m keenly interested in not only meeting my own goals with the 365 Daily Challenge, but also taking the content in directions that engage in more conversation, commentary and fun. It may even become less about a “trait” and more a “noun” or “fact” that has some importance to me and to you. The goals are still the same, but the path to get there should never get static.

But most of all, I’m eager to see what brilliant topics we come up with. So put on your thinking caps as we’ve got 5 days to come up with the new twist for next week’s 365 Daily Challenge!

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.

{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.

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A very wise, important and thought-provoking post about rating books before one even reads them. Thanks to Bentley for sharing this on his blog… I am re-posting it for others to read.

Book ★ Bastion

Fair Warning: Unpopular Opinions Incoming!

I’ve been debating writing this post for quite some time now. I’ve titled it “Unpopular Opinions” for a reason. I’m fully expecting this to spark a bit of discussion and yes, disagreements, but given that we’re all civilized people with strong opinions that are all worthy of merit, I felt more and more compelled to share my thoughts.

I wanted to talk today about the state of Goodreads; in particular a disturbing trend I’ve been witnessing of people maliciously rating books before they’ve actually read them.

For the record, I also take issue with people rating upcoming books that they’re looking forward to 5 stars before the book has even been published, but that’s really not what I want to focus on here. Yes, that equally skews the ratings of any book, but I think it’s more pressing that we talk about the…

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365 Challenge: Day 54 – Nervous

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Nervous: easily agitated or alarmed; tending to be anxious; highly strung

If you are confident in every moment of your life, perhaps you are not challenging yourself enough to step out of your comfort zone. To be nervous is to express emotions that demonstrate you are uncertain, worried, fearful, concerned… and if kept at a proper level, it’s actually a good thing. It’s healthy to release total control sometimes… allowing your mind to cleanse, heal and prep for the next battle.

I’ve often thought that people who are totally comfortable in any situation are suspicious. Not because they’ve done something wrong, but I wonder what’s going on their head. Have they learned everything technique to keep calm? Do they have weak goals and objectives such that they will always meet or exceed them? Do they not push themselves to try new activities? Or are they just that good where they have no nerves to control?

On the scale of nerves, I fall somewhere in the middle, probably like most of us. I have several things I’m afraid of (that’s a post coming up soon!), but I’ve also a few where I’m completely comfortable and in my element, even though most others would be freaking out.

What makes me nervous?

  • Waiting for responses, answers, results
  • Delivering bad or disappointing news to someone else
  • People staring at me
  • Being in crowded places

What doesn’t make me nervous?

  • Confessing so much about myself in this 365 Daily Challenge
  • Public Speaking
  • Being completely cut off from any form of communication, e.g. deserted island
  • Being idle

We each have our own goals in mind, our purpose or objective for living (sometimes we actually haven’t yet figured it out). We generally know our comfort zones and stay within a small percentage of testing the waters just beyond. Some people’s boundaries feel limitless. Others feel constraining. It’s what makes us all different, able to survive and open to change.

Being nervous shows you are considering something different, something new. Sometimes we can be nervous about the exact same thing over-and-over again, but in most instances, the more you confront the issue, the less it will cause distress. Not always of course, but then again, I’m not focusing on the huge life-altering things… just the daily goings-on of life around us.

When I’m nervous, I tend to either hide or bark… not like a dog (wouldn’t that be amusing), but as in become a bit mean or aggressive. My responses will be short and it comes across like I’m snapping at someone — often the person who is trying to help me. It’s a natural reaction, I do realize it. Perhaps because we feel comfortable around that person, it’s easier to relax our mind over the things we are nervous about.

Rather than discuss the tools and techniques to calm us down, I’m more apt to question why we are nervous. I prefer getting to the root or source of the problem. And not necessarily by going to other people, but by thinking over the situation in my own head. There are absolutely times when you need someone else’s help, but there are also times when you just need some uninterrupted time for yourself to ponder.

Let’s take my nerves over delivering bad news… I believe it’s because I don’t want to hurt someone. I feel ill-equipped to fix his/her pain. I fear retaliation or losing the friendship. But when you push deeper… think about where you fit in with the overall issue that you need to cover. Consider what happens if you don’t confront / discuss it. Picture the end game when the situation is resolved. Focus on where you want to end up rather than what’s happened in the past to initiate the delivery of the bad news. It’s also important to outline the goals of the conversation. Don’t wing it. Have the beginning, middle and end worked out. Consider the paths the conversation could take. Have some positive things in your back pocket. Work through it enough on your own, or even with someone else, until you feel prepared to address the situation.

Your nerves won’t go away. And that’s a good thing. You want your nerves to be on a bit of an alert — not a high one — but enough so you retain your humanity when bringing up difficult topics. It’s worked for me on some occasions, but I don’t always practice it. Sometimes… I’m just scared shitless (yes, I said that aloud… but you know the rules… once I type it here, the only changes I can make are to grammar and spelling)… and I am a Nervous Nelly. Or is it Nellie? Let’s free-form away from this discussion… where did that saying come from? I need to go look it up. And I think that’s a wrap… or is it rap?  Another thing to look up. Yikes, I’m a little nervous I’ve made a fool of myself with this conclusion today. Ciao.

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.

365 Challenge: Day 53 – Writer

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Writer: a person who writes (marks letters, words, or other symbols on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement) books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation

After 50+ days of posts, and covering various characteristics such as creativity, reader, poetic, and lister, I’m sure you realize I am a writer. And if those weren’t clues, the amount of posts on my blog should be the true tell-all!

I do not plan to duplicate my thoughts on how I love to feel pen and paper in my hands, or type on a keyboard or use my creativity to bring life to characters, plots and settings. That’s all obvious, as you can see in the above clip… and BTW, I have never seen that show, but I loved the expression on her face when she said the words.

The reason I chose writer today is because I realized I’ve been so focused on reading, blogging and searching for a new job, I’d forgotten to focus on writing the last month. I spend a few hours each week researching literary agents who are looking for the type of fiction I write, and I customize my submissions prior to sending them off. BTW, it’s not an easy task. Each agent has a different preference, ranging from 5 pages to the entire manuscript, a query letter to a full synopsis, an author bio to links to your personal website. It’s a full-time job just preparing all that.

But in truth, I love it. There are days when suddenly it’s after 6pm and my significant other is on the way home… and I’m like… what did I accomplish today? Truth be told, I can usually tell roughly around that time how active Ryder (shiba inu dog) is… meaning if he’s throwing his stuffed toys at me on the couch, I know he needs play time. If he’s napping on the couch next to me, he wants me to keep working.

It’s the life of a writer. And it makes me happy. But it’s all about steps. And I’ve prepared my list of steps — overly generalized — but you get the point.

  1. Decide to focus on this as your career.
    • Done!
  2. Write the book.
    • Done!
  3. Search for agent.
    • In Progress
  4. Sign with agent.
    • Future
  5. Find publisher.
    • Future
  6. Sign with publisher.
    • Future
  7. Publish book.
    • Future
  8. Find fans and make them happy!
    • This should be happening the entire time, not only at the end.
    • In Progress

As you can see, I’m in the early stages for some of these steps. And I’m about to get focused on the next book. The outline is mostly written, so it’s about time to put the finishing touches on it and then begin writing the first chapter.

But I’ve also completed the first book. Took me about 4 months from start to finish, including working with 5 beta readers who helped provide feedback along the way. And then 5 other people read it and provided a few thoughts… all overwhelmingly positive, which helped push me even more.

I even created a website to start promoting the story and interact with potential readers. I’d love it if you took a look and provided some feedback. I’ve posted the prologue and first two chapters, as a teaser. If you hate it, tell me. Honestly. If it’s so-so, let me know what didn’t work. That’s how to improve. If you love it, share it! That’s all I ask. And if you’re not interest, that’s OK too. You can even read the chapters and choose not to reply. No pressure. You can find it at:

https://theglassfamily.wordpress.com/

What does this have to do with traits and my 365 Challenge?  It’s all a learning process, and since I’ve confessed to being shy, this is forcing me to put myself out there and connect with people rather than hiding behind a door or wall. And while online is a bit of hiding, you have to start somewhere. And after 50+ days, I’ve more than met my goal at letting people get to know me even more. It’s rare I’m an armadillo anymore…

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.

365 Challenge: Day 52 – Wasteful

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Wasteful: using or expending something of value carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose

At different points in our lives, we all say aloud (or hear someone else tell us) “that was wasteful,” referring to something just done that we carelessly minimized when others so desperately needed it. Often we should have known better, but we do it anyway without thinking about the consequences because it’s become habitual. That said, as much as it is habitual for many of us, there are several people who work hard not to be wasteful and teach this to children at a young age.

To kick this one off… a few places I recognize I am wasteful — not all the time, but enough that I should call myself out.

  • Water
    • I run the water the entire time I’m washing dishes, rather than try to use only the amount needed and re-use where appropriate until the final rinse.
    • I leave the water running when I brush my teeth when I should leave it off  until the last second.
    • My showers are entirely too long and often run for a minute or two for the water to get hotter before I get inside. I should deal with the cold, stand to the side and wash my hair.

 You don’t care about my bathroom habits?

  •  Energy
    • I tend to leave lights on when I don’t really need them. Sometimes it’s for the dog, but a little goes a long way.
    • My building keeps the heat on from October thru May, and because I get so hot, I open the windows which likely makes the heat work a bit harder since I’m on the top floor. Can’t really change this…
  • Time / Money
    • I spend way too much time watching TV or on the computer when I should be out with people, in nature and learning.
    • Time is money, and therefore I’m wasting earning potential and income.
    • I can be frivolous when spending and should save more or donate more.
  • Food
    • I sometimes eat too much. And we all know how to fix that. (Shh… don’t say it aloud or it may come true)
    • I make too much food when I cook and am not good about eating leftovers.
    • I buy stuff, it expires, and I end up throwing it out. I need to be more pragmatic and plan meals in a better way.

And if they can do it, so can I!

Not so bad admitting faults, is it? I’m sure that only touches the surface of the areas where I’m being wasteful. And quite honestly, some of those are easy fixes that I should be more consistent about in the future.

Sometimes I get caught up realizing how unfortunate it is that I haven’t fixed this sooner, especially knowing the limits of these resources across the world. And while these posts are not meant to make anyone feel guilty or to preach, sometimes a gentle reminder helps implement positive changes. And that’s all I’m intending here… for any reader including myself.

This is me talking to myself right now!

Life is complicated. We should all figure out how to be part of the continuous cycle of improvement. And when we don’t work in jobs or volunteer in roles where we have direct impact on re-cycling, re-use or proper waste disposal, perhaps we should take 5 minutes a day to focus on it as a human being who cares about the world around us.

It begins with learning this as a child, so it feels almost inherent. Good habits will occur and help propagate even better ones with each year and generation. But there’s no time to start like the present if this hasn’t been built into you already. And with that, I’m off to see how to tone down my wasteful usage of time — it took 30 minutes for this post and I’m supposed to be down to 20 minutes a day at this point. Ugh… I hate missing the target.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.