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Kathy, it depends on several things. If it's a Kindle freebie, it has to catch my attention pretty quickly, or if anything about it annoys me, I dump it immediately. If it's an author I had read before and liked, I'll be more patient than with an unknown author. I have read so much fiction in my life, I bail on that much faster than on non-fiction. If it's a book I have paid more than a couple of dollars for, not too common, I will usually stick it out, even if only as stupid tax, unless it turns out to be really, really dreadful in some way.

I've been off work a lot lately, so I've done a lot of reading and listening. I left #8 out of the last list.
8. M.v. (Molly) Hughes - A Girl of the 1880's. Autobiography. 4 stars
12. MV Hughes - A London Home of the 1890's. Autobiography. 4 stars
13. George Mahood - Every Day Is a Holiday. 5 stars - very funny. I really enjoyed this one.
14. Hanna Holmes. The Secret Life of Dust. Audio, 5 stars. A re-read.
15. Ian Mortimer. A Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England. Audio, 5 stars.

I found both non-fictions (14-15) very interesting and worth the time. Even worth the time a second time around with the dust book.

Every Day Is a Holiday - a guy decides that for 6 months he will celebrate at least one (or more) of the odd little holidays that litter the calendar, most of the special interest - like dill pickle day (not in the book, but that sort of thing.) It was light, really fun read.
 

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15. Gordon Grice - The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators

Grice is a fine nature writer, and I enjoyed this one. There were chapters on black widows, mantids, tarantulas, recluse spiders, rattlesnakes, pigs, and canids. I found the creepy crawly chapters most entertaining and interesting and learned a lot. There were some gruesome bits - these are predators, after all - but a keeper now for my physical books. I can imagine rereading at least parts of it someday.
 

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~Kathy, I give it about 5 chapters since it sometimes takes time to lay out background info in biographies and histories and other non-fiction works, as well as the generally slower pace of classic fiction. I'm not as generous if it's a contemporary written fiction book. If, by chapter two, I'm not interested enough in the main character, the setting or premise, or the style of writing is poor or distracting, I am out. I don't want to waste my Me Time on a bad book.

Even if I choose to stop reading a book I've started, I still count it as a book read and rate it as 1 star on GR. This helps me remember which authors/premises to avoid in the future and helps the recommendations feature work better. To know what you like, you also have to know what you don't like. :) I can't think of any occasion of the thousands of books I've read, that a book started off so badly that I wanted to stop but I pushed through anyway and it actually got better. Has never happened to me so I stopped forcing myself(for the most part anyway). My latest attempt was last year trying to push through "Outlander". I knew going in that it was poorly reviewed for the beginning and that I'd have to get 1/4-1/3 into it for it to pick up(according to reviewers). I read a little over half and gave up. It didn't get better. I cared even less then than I did in the beginning.

So yeah, trust your instinct and get another book that's fun to read. ;) ~
 

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That is a good point about books not generally getting better.

I have found a few where I like the second half better than the first, but those were ones where I liked the first part okay. Like the first half might be 3 star and the second half might be 4 star.

I don try to at least get past the set up though. A common thing is that something bad happens to the character at the very start of the story which sets the story in motion. So the first part is sometimes a darker or more depressing tone than the rest. For example, maybe a story starts with a breakup but the bulk of the story is about finding a new love. If you ever read vampire romances, sometimes the story starts with the character dyeing.

Sometimes a story can be a "growth" story. These can be either awesome or annoying. A growth story is about a person becoming a better person. However, it generally starts out with the person being unlikable and/or pathetic. They get better, but if the improvement takes too long it gets annoying. Also, it is hard to tell if I have picked up a growth story or the main character is just a [censored].

Anyway, I quit the book I started on. Now I am reading a book that is the second part of series. Since I like the first one, the odds were good. The series is called Awakening. It is a fantasy about two young women growing into their magical powers. Also, lots of people are trying to kill them.

I also finished off a non-fiction books called "How full is your bucket?" It can basically be summed up as "having a good attitude is good." It lists reasons and of course lots of examples. "Sue was laid off from her job and diagnosed with cancer but she never gave up her positive attitude." I get a tiny bit annoyed with examples like this for some reason. Anyway it was short. Hmm...it probably is not a good sign when "at least is was short" is listed as a redeeming feature of the book.
 

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~Oh I dislike having Miss Pollyanna Sunshine rubbed in my face too. Not that I think an author is lying with false examples or that the subjects aren't really and truly happy in their circumstances. I just don't care for the "Why can't you be more like your sister" tone. It tends to make a reader feel guilty rather than inspired. Probably because the examples are usually vague like "she focused on positive things". Thanks....that really helped. :/ ~
 

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I am not having good luck with fiction books lately. I was fairly deep into a the second book of a series. I liked the first book, I was enjoying the second book. But then it took a direction I really did not like. One of the main characters had just got married. Then - less than 24 hours after the wedding - she met this other guy and....

It made me wish for a physical copy of the book so I could throw it across the room.

The self help/advice books are a little like are garage sale to me. Sometimes there is lots of good things. Sometimes its all junk. Sometimes its mostly junk, but you find a few good things there.

One of the areas I am looking into is ways you can help various physical and mental conditions without taking medicine. I am including both traditional medicine as well as herbal cures and supplements. I found a little gem in a book that was mostly junk. It said do not be discouraged if something works one day, but not the next. In medical trails, a medicine is considered a success if it helps even 30% of the time. This has helped me to feel optimistic about things that do not work any time.

Unlike medicines, which sometimes loose their effectiveness over time (requiring higher doses or different meds), mental techniques generally get more effective the more you practice.
 

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Several things will make me dump fiction really fast. One is if the character is too much of a [censored] - thanks, Kathy, for that perfect description. He/she may be redeemed eventually, but I probably won't care enough to find out. Also, I really don't care for thrillers, so if a book - this is usually sci fi - starts out with violence and mayhem, it bodes ill for the rest and I usually don't pursue it. If an author is clearly setting things up, I'll give him time to do that before I decide. My all time favorite writer, Terry Pratchett, often begins novels that way. A friend described it as "setting out all the pieces on the board." Then things begin to move.

I will also drop it pretty quickly if my reaction is "ho hum, not again!" That comes of decades of reading, I think. I learned to read in first grade and have been an avid reader ever since - 60 years now. How many plots are there, after all? Actually most of these don't get past sifting through the blurbs. And speaking of blurbs, I'll swear 90% of fiction blurbs end with "... and his/her life was changed forever." That has become a real turn off for me, and I would love to have the phrase outlawed. It may be true, it may be a brilliant book, but it's hard for me to get past the triteness of that to actually give the book a shot. Sometimes I will, but not often.

Non-fiction I'm more patient with because it's usually a subject I interested in or think I might be.

I've done little but read for my days off work this week, after unavoidable housework, so I got through quite a bit. No crafting. The audio was rather blah (a re-read), but the other two were very interesting. The ship book was a can't-put-it-down.

17. Slim by Design by Brian Wansink - the one Spirit Deer recommended.
18. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler - audio
19. The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome by Jim Carrier.
 

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I have started a new fiction book that seems promising.

It is fantasy book with a modern setting called Fairy Metal Thunder.

It starts out with a teen age boy in a struggling band. One day he seems a goblin stealing his mother's jewelry and chases the goblin into fairyland. While he is there, he steals some magical instruments to try to help his band out. Meanwhile the fairy he took them from is sent into our world to get the instruments back. Letting magic leave fairyland is a major crime, and the fairy is in big trouble.

I think it might be a plot I have not seen before, which is rare thing.
 

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~How do you all choose which books to read?

I fondly remember my homeschooling days in the 90's when libraries had so so so many books on the shelves. I'd choose a subject, walk to that section(looking for direction on the computer if needed first)and then just fill up my arms with interesting looking books.

Things changed by the time I got married when our libraries eliminated over 50% of their books in favor of computers and social rooms. It seemed like there were only ever a few books available on any subject and almost all new and as shallow as a magazine article. And no inter-library loaning. :( So I relied on knowing a particular title I wanted to borrow and just getting that if I could, which wasn't often in our poor county. I'd hear about those books through social websites or friends or bookselling sites with reviews. The amount of books I read plummeted.

Moving to our CO library system was a dream come true. Well, almost. The libraries still have astonishingly few books on the shelves so browsing in person is almost always a bust, but there are insane amounts in the system. So I browse genres, subjects and authors on Goodreads and Amazon and search the title on our library site. I put it on hold and get it less than a week later or up to 3 months with very popular books. I think they keep 90% of the books in the back on or on the Bookmobiles between libraries. It's a fabulous system between libraries although I really miss in-person shelf browsing. More surprises that way.

But with this feast comes the gluttony. I have over 30 books on hold that I will probably get in the next two weeks. I just have to stop myself sometimes and not put any more on the hold list. But there are so many books I want to read! So hard!

So how is everyone choosing what to read?~
 

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Last night I finished Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand it was very good.

How I choose what I am going to read well it comes down to what kind of mood I am in. I like to read all kind of different books whether it is a good mystery to historical fiction to a love story.
 
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I often browse the free books in genres I like for the Amazon kindle.

I also use the "people who bought this also bought this" feature in Amazon.

I go to science fiction conventions (the also discuss fantasy books) and get recommendations from there.

I look at other books by authors I like. And many books are in series so that can make it easy to find things.

For non fiction, I use the browse the on-line learning center at work or search by subject on kindle. Sometimes I will see things recommended on line for non-fiction I will check out. Especially for craft books, people will mention them on line. Sometimes the author is even in the group.
 

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~Just went past 20 books read today. All the home improvement,carpentry and gardening books lately have been a snap to read while streaming literary adaptation movies. :D Marked a few projects in the good books that I'd like to do and returned the duds to the library. I may have to up my goal this year to 200 books.~
 

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I got rather board with the fiction book I was reading. The plot seemed potentially interesting, but the characters just seemed a little flat and boring.

I thought they might pick up some depth after a bit, but it does not seem to be happening.

I have a couple books I have read a tiny bit of. One seems promising. I just got the preview of it, but will probably get the book.

Another one I read a tiny bit of could be interesting, but seems to start out a bit gloomy. And the male lead is supposed to be gruff on the outside, but sweet and vulnerable on the inside. At least that is how the lead female character describes him. But so far it seems to be what is called an "informed attribute." But I am willing to give it a little more of chance.

An informed attribute is when the narrator, or another character says things like "Joe is a really nice guy." But you do not see Joe acting nice in the story, you only know he is nice because you were told he was. Of course this can be used with any characteristic. Common ones seem to be nice, "a great guy," and smart.
 

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~Show don' tell, right Kathy? You know when an informed attribute really really really gets under my skin? When it's tied to a described physical attribute. Red hair and a temper is a common one, even if we never see any temper from the character. Urg.~
 

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How to find books? I could read the rest of my days, I think, with what is already in my Kindle and audio collection. Sigh. So little time. But it doesn't keep me from adding. I scan through the Kindle listings on ereaderiq.com sometimes, and lately have been using bookbub.com - they seem to have different lists. I picked up a few of the inexpensive deals, usually 1.99, from bookbub. Like others, I will do a topic search on Amazon to see if anything looks interesting.

I bought a fair number last year from betterworldbooks.com, a great site if you don't know it. I've bought from their used and closeout books. Most are 3.98, some a bit more, usually less if you buy a certain quantity. All shipping is free, though you can donate .05 per book for carbon offset. Purchases are tied to (mostly) literacy causes that benefit. After you run a search, you can also filter by condition. Unless there is a book I'm really, really wanting, I filter by "very good" or "like new" and books have been in quite good condition. I've bought almost entirely non-fiction there, because that is usually expensive on Kindle. I don't use the library much because getting around is more and more difficult and that's just one more stop and more walking.

Some finds are just the fortuitous "stumble across" type. Sometimes I also look at the "other customers bought..." thing on Amazon.

20. Consider the Fork by Bea Wilson (audio). History of kitchen utensils and cookware. So-so.
21. Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. Interesting, recommended by Spirit Deer.
22. Garden of Marvels by Ruth Kassinger.

The last is sort a history of botany that sounds deadly dull, but it was fascinating. I loved it and read and read and read. I learned a lot and was entertained. Highly recommended for both plant and non-plant people.
 

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I am around half way through a book called Enchanted, Inc.

It is a modern day story of a woman who works for a magical corporation. It is a light hearted book that moves at a relaxed pace. The main characters are pretty likable.

I picked up a couple of craft books and I am not sure how to count them. There are about crafting as a spiritual practice. One is called Zati, Weaving a Life. The other one is called Soul Dolls. There are instruction for projects, but also a fair amount of words about crafting as a spiritual practice.
 
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