Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top 10 Books That Will Make You Think…

By QBR fan Marla 

Top 10 books that will make you think…(those I’ve read in 2011 and 2012)

I struggled to decide what type of top ten list I wanted to do. Then I realized – I’ve read quite a few books over the past two years that have made me think about something – many things – on a deeper level. I like to dig into books whether fiction or non-fiction, whether superficial or deep, and look for an author’s possible intent. What underlying themes might they have wanted us, as their readers, to uncover? Was there an ulterior motive behind the story? Is there something to be learned? Reading is a rich and wonderful activity/hobby, and while I love to escape, I also love to learn so I thought what better list to create than a top ten of books that make you go HMMMM.
This list isn’t in any order and is by no means exhaustive, but it does represent some of the most thought provoking books I’ve read over the past couple of years!

 1.   11/22/63 by Stephen King
Leave it to Mr. King to get the wheels turning over such a controversial topic. Not only does he make one think about the JFK assassination (and all the corresponding WHODUNIT), but he also begs the question, would changing the past, even if for what we think is good, eventually make things worse? Is there indeed a ripple effect when things happen in this world – how far do your seemingly insignificant actions and decisions ripple throughout the world/universe?
 2.   Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
How would you live your life if it were your last day? We’ve all heard the advice to live each day as if it were our last, but what if you found yourself not only on your last day, but reliving it over and over. Additionally, you’re a teenager – what do you do different? How interwoven is your life to all those lives around you – those close to you, those you dislike, those you don’t even know.
 3.   Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham
A nightmare no man could ever imagine – suspected of the brutal murder of your own wife and child – is faith enough? Can forgiveness be given – is it even deserved? One man fights for his freedom, for his soul and for his faith.
 4.   Crank by Ellen Hopkins (the series)
Parents – have you done everything right? Have you loved enough – disciplined just right – been available? How does the star student become an addict? How does a family recover?
 5.   Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Christians this book will put you in a place that questions – how do we love the God that loves us? Do we love or do we go through motions? How much is enough – is there such thing as too much?
 6.   Raising Abel by Carolyn Nash
There is so much to think about in this one – how do children recover from abuse? Can they ever really recover 100%? What do we, as a society, do with the children and parents of abuse cases? Are the consequences fair? How do we make them fair if not? Who pays the price?
 7.   Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (the series)
Images – so much about life is about images. Who are we? Who are we supposed to be? Who do we want to be? Who do our loved ones want us to be? Who does society tell us we are? How do they all balance – or do they not?
 8.   The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
So much of life centralizes around food in our culture – holidays, celebrations, emotions, activities, family time and so on. What happens if you can’t eat – literally cannot put anything past your lips without fear of dying? What happens to those holidays and those traditions? How does one even live/survive? What about relationships – what happens to the relationships affected by any severe illness?
 9.   The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
How do the beautiful, talented, or otherwise really live? Is life as perfect on the inside as it appears on the outside? Can love ever be achieved in someone who simply cannot love themself? Can 2 people with equal amounts of self-loathing come together in love? Can the two negatives essentially make a positive?
 10. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Hatred. Through the decades it is refocused, repurposed and found in society. Where does hatred stem? Is it jealousy? Fear? Why do we hate what we don’t understand? When and how do we learn from our mistakes? As a second theme – can lost love be found? Can a person have more than one true love and/or soul mate?

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Top 10 List by QBR Fan Danica Winters

Top Ten Favorite Books:

10. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. If you are a writer, you must read this book.

9. Janet Dailey, Calder Saga. I’m a sucker for books that are set in Montana.

8. Sandra Brown. There are so many great books!

7. Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding. I believe that Helen must have been watching my life in order to write these books.

6. The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. Need I say more?

5. Yellow Raft on Blue Water, by Michael Dorris. It is a story that will rip your heart out.

4. A Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R.R. Martin. He seems like a wonderful person and he has a gift for writing powerful and engaging characters.

3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. I think this book has to have a place on all romance writers top ten list.

2. All Charlaine Harris’ books. This includes, but not limited to, The Sookie Stackhouse Series. When I was starting as a writer I sent Charlaine Harris a message and she was kind enough to reply. This gracious gesture inspired me more than she will probably ever know.

1. Fool’s Crow, by the late James Welch a fellow Montana author.

Danica Winters is an award-winning paranormal romance author. Her latest release, Curse of the Wolf, will be available in paperback July 2012.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Don't Miss Facebook Postings - Create an Interest List!

If you’re on Facebook, then most likely you’ve done your fair share of “liking” fan pages. It can be addicting, and once you become a fan of one page, you suddenly find other pages to like as well. Now your feed is overloaded with posts and you know you’re missing what you want to see most.

There has been a lot of talk/postings on Facebook about fans not seeing all of a page’s posts in their feed. Well I can tell you that I tested it and it’s true. Facebook has conveniently made that possible and efficiently solved that problem by offering admins the opportunity to pay to get your eyes back. No thanks. Here’s a better way to see all the posts from your favorite pages; Interest Lists.

Below I’ll show you step by step how to create one. Once you’re done, your lists will appear in the Interests section of your bookmarks. Simply click the list's name to see all the recent posts and activity from the Pages and people featured in the list, without overwhelming your main news feed.


Go to one of your favorite fan pages and hover over the like button. When you get the pull down menu select “New List.” A pop up window will automatically show that page and you just have to 
click "Next." Then name your list (here I named my list "Book Lovers Pages") and click “done.” Now the list should come up as an option whenever you hover over any like button. If you go to another page, you can hover over the like button and select that list to add to.


Now you are probably thinking it’s too much work to go to each page to add them to your list. Yes, there is an easier way to add more pages. One way is to simply hover over any fanpage name that appears in your regular feed. You should see the little pop-up window with the like button. Then hover over the like button and it will let you select your list there.


Go to your home page and scroll down the left side column. Since the list is new you may not see it at first. You may have to click the “more” button. Click on your list and all the posts from the pages you selected will appear in this refined news feed search.


To quickly add more pages to your list, look at the right side of your screen while on your list (screen shot above) Facebook will have suggested pages in a list and you can simply click "add" to put them on your list.

Interest lists are a good way to not only make sure you see all the posts from your favorite pages, it also keeps you organized and can save you time from filtering through excess posts.

Add Quickie Book Reviews to your Facebook List!

If you have problems with these instructions or with seeing the pictures, feel free to post below and I'll try to answer any questions.