Caffeinated is being taken over by other bloggers and today we have Rita from My Home of Books to share a discussion on authors and books. Grab a blueberry muffin and some hazelnut coffee and settle in. My Home of Books offers a very eclectic taste in book reviews. I love Rita’s finds in the mystery and romantic suspense department. Be sure and checkout the blog! Thanks for being here today Rita….
Hi all! It’s Rita @ My Home of Books filling in for Kimba as she takes a much-needed break from posting. I’m glad to be able to help her out because this blog, The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, is one of my favorite go-to review blogs around the blogosphere. Kimba is also known as an extremely helpful person, who gives advice to new and struggling bloggers, and book recommendations to all. I told Kimba that I wanted to post today on the following topic:
Does your love (okay, warm fuzzies) for an author color your decision on whether you pick up that book, make you more lenient in your ratings on their subsequent books, or have you pick up a title in a genre is untried/disliked/not in your comfort zone?
My personal answer to this is a resounding yes! It might not always be fair, but for me there are certain things I like to check out before I read a totally new-to-me author. I look at their Goodreads page (if available), their Amazon author’s page (if available) and their own personal website (which should be available). I’m happy when their photo is attached because I enjoy making that personal connection to the person at the other end of my reading experience. If they post an informative or humorous blurb on those pages, even better! I even sometimes track down their social media and check their twitter, Facebook, whatever. Reading little quips from the author, stories about how they evolved into their writing career, or even them prattling about their gardens & kitties can make the person behind my books a richer experience. This may all sound hokey, but if you have so many choices to pick from, you have to have a system for choosing the right book for your own taste. Never mind that everyone and his cousin is reading “X”, if it doesn’t grab me then it’s not for me. Covers also play into my decision, but more on that another time 😉 The personalization of the author behind the unknown book is frequently a tool I use to determine my to-be-read list. Granted, this isn’t foolproof and I have read some author bios that sound meh, offer little personal info, and might not have a photo…but the books turned out to be very good for me. I want to concentrate on the positive, so no author-bashing here in your comments or mine.
Case in point for me, in which the authors sealed the deal ahead of reading:
Robyn Carr: She has a sweet face with an open smile, has a friendly website with lots of information about herself, her books, and how she got started in the industry. I love how she shares on her site about being bedridden with a difficult pregnancy and friends brought her armloads of books to read to pass the time. She decided after that to pursue her newfound dream of writing. She admits to writing about strong women in tough situations and that gives me a clue as to how her plots will evolve. No simpering, male-dominated women in her series! Before even picking up a book I know that I have a good chance of enjoying it, then the crowning touch is all the rave reviews from bloggers that I depend on for recommendations. I’ve since realized that I do like her books based on two that I’ve read just this month.
Lisa Scottoline: A fave author for many year. She also has a happy, smiling face on her website, gives information for book clubs, contests, newsletters, events. I like that behind her suspenseful stand-alones, she also has a wicked sense of humor, and that is evident in some of her memoir books, and the fact that she and her grown daughter write a humorous column for the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper called Chick Wit, a “witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective”. She has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America (no small feat) and teaches a course on Justice and Fiction at her alma mater, University of Pennsylvania Law School–sounds like something I would want to attend!
Harlan Coben: Here’s an example of finding an author totally on my own without any input from anyone, because I wasn’t yet blogging and my family and friends are not big on reading fiction, nor discussing it. I just was wandering around Amazon’s site, clicked on one of those “customers who bought this item also bought…” showing a book cover of his and read the blurb, then the reviews below. went to his website and read some of it, and decided to take a chance. First, the author photo. He’s not movie-star handsome, but he looks like the kind of guy you’d like to sit and have a coffee (or a beer) with and listen to his stories. He’s an “everyman” from his photo to his bio to the main characters in his stand-alones suspenses. He doesn’t live in Hollywood, New York, or Chicago; he lives in New Jersey still, for goodness sake! His wife is a pediatrician and they have a whole bunch of kids. On his twitter recently he posted a ‘humble brag” that he just got his flu shot at Walgreens and is watching NFL football on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. And also: “no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, writing still doesn’t feel like a job”. I love this guy!
Just a few examples…if I had the time I could go on and on with more authors who appealed to me before their books were ever purchased or borrowed. There are so many others, mega-stars and less-known authors: Chris Bohjalian, Tess Gerritsen, Laurel-Rain Snow, Lisa Regan, Emily Croy Barker, Rachael English, John Grisham…I need to stop, but you can fill in the blanks with your own selections.
Which author can you think of who caught your eye before you ever read their book– with their photo, their fan base, their bio, and gave you confidence that their book would be right for you?
Enjoy your reading! Rita
About Rita and My Home of Books
Be sure and explore Rita’s My Home of Books blog. Rita is a very social blogger, and reads a little of everything. Her favorite reads fall into the mysteries, police procedural, suspense thrillers, small-town romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction genres. She always has some great discussions, unique features and participates in a few weekly memes. Rita prefers to get her caffeine from tea whether it’s hot or cold. She spends time daily visiting and interacting with fellow book lovers and always adds to any discussion. Now go, go stalk her!
Be sure and leave some caffeinated love below and tell Rita Does Your Love of an Authorof, or Lack Thereof, Affect How You Feel About a Book?