Good Read Hunting

Because I’m a voracious reader and passionate about books, friends keep asking me for recommendations and tips about what to read.

Let me give you an example: The other day, a good friend of mine called me from London. It was one o’clock in the morning. The conversation went something like this:

‘I’m flying back to Sydney; 25 hours in the air. How tedious! I’m just in front of the airport bookstore. Can you suggest something for me to read on the way? You know what I like …’ said my friend.

‘Do you know what time it is?’ I interrupted, reaching for my watch on the bedside table.

‘Sorry, mate; I forgot about the time difference …’

You have no idea how often this happens to me. I always try to do my best, but it isn’t that easy to find something suitable on the spur of the moment; especially half asleep at one in the morning! I’ve tried to encourage my friends to give me a little more notice and send me emails with their requests. It rarely happens.

The next day, I was sitting at home by the fire with my editor talking about books we’d just read, when this topic came up.

‘There’s a simple solution to this, you know,’ she said.’

‘There is? Please tell me.’

‘Why don’t you post a book review or recommendation on your website say, once a week or so?’

‘You mean a blog, recommending exciting books to read?’

‘Exactly. Keep it short and informal, like a chat. Just as we are doing right now.’

‘A fireside chat, perhaps?’ I suggested, joking, ‘about books?

‘You got it. That way all your friends have to do is visit your website, and follow your blog; simple! Your recommendation is right there for all to see. Anywhere, anytime.’

‘Not bad, but we can’t have fireside chats in summer,’ I said.

‘You are being difficult! Call it a stroll in the garden, something like that. You always sit in your garden and write—correct?’ She had me there.

‘We need a catchy name,’ I said.

‘You’re the wordsmith; you’ll think of something.’

‘How about Gabriel’s book review?’ I teased.

‘How original. I know you are baiting me. Get serious, and put on your thinking cap.’

 

Very little editing was done that afternoon. Instead, we finished a bottle of my favourite red wine between us, and finally came up with this:

 

Good Read Hunting

In a moment of weakness I agreed to give it a go. I hope I won’t regret it. I must confess, the idea began to grow on me. I was reading a lot anyway —across many genres — and I like talking about books and authors.

So, from now on, I will do some serious good-read-hunting, and try to come up with one new book recommendation a week. In winter we’ll have fireside chats, and for the rest of the year we can take strolls through the garden or, on rainy days, sit in my attic and talk about books. And it won’t be just new releases we’ll look at. We’ll revisit some of the classics and other, often long forgotten favourites. And most importantly, we’ll have fun!

If you like the idea and you’re interested, may I invite you to visit my blogs on my website or, better still, subscribe, and you’ll be notified when a new one is available. If I do my job properly, there should be some exciting recommendations and reviews for you to enjoy.

So, please stay in touch and let me know what you think about this crazy idea. If you don’t like it, blame my editor!  After all, she put me up to it.

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