Category Archives: For Readers Only

Links for Readers v1.2 February 2018

Today’s post is all about book clubs, specifically links to finding or starting a book club.

How To Find a Book Club

Almost anywhere you live, you can probably locate a book club. Libraries and bookstores typically host them or offer meeting space. You can also find clubs near you at Meetup, where you might even find a perfect fit, such as this Fantasy/Sci Fi club in Houston.

For various reasons, you might prefer an online book club.

Oprah famously encourages reading and participation in book clubs. (As an indie author, I’m happy to see that Oprah’s Book Club includes independently published books in its reading list.)

Here’s one that’s new to me: an international club called The Girly Book Club. They’re online as well as having chapters in 80 cities.

Incidentally, I’ve discovered that the Texas Talking Book Program, which serves people who are visually impaired or otherwise unable to read, has a phone-in book club that meets via conference call.

How To Start a Book Club

On its site “I Love Libraries” you’ll find guidelines from the American Library Association.

More tips can be found in “How To Start a Book Club That Doesn’t Suck” at Book Riot.

Sign up on Meetup , create a group and invite people to join.


One of the real perks of being an author is getting to meet with book clubs. I thoroughly enjoy the conversation that typically veers from Compromise With Sin’s Discussion Guide to participants’ own experiences. I love meeting with people in person, but I’m also available to meet via Skype, FaceTime or phone.


I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into another room and read a book.

–Groucho Marx

Links for Readers, v1.1 August 2017

More links for the well-connected reader:

Book Goodies

Book Goodies is a web site with the tag line: “Find Great Books, Bargains, and Freebies.” And it lives up to its name. You’ll find book reviews, interviews with authors, podcasts, KDP Countdown deals, free books, and more. (I recently did an interview on Book Goodies.)

You can also sign up for the “Deals and Steals” newsletter, delivered to your inbox daily.

Midwest Book Review

While the New York Times and other big hitters primarily review books from the mega-publishers, Midwest Book Review focuses on small press publishers, self-published authors, and academic presses.

Established in 1976, Midwest Book Review is committed to “literacy, library usage, and small press publishing,” accepts no advertising, and relies on  volunteer reviewers. Interested? Here’s more info. 

Both readers and writers will find a wealth of information on the site, but be prepared to wander about, especially when it comes to pinning down actual book reviews. Enjoy the stroll.

Free Kindle for PC, Mac,  iPad, and Android 

Did you know that you don’t need to own a Kindle device in order to buy and read Kindle books? There’s a free app you can download from Amazon so you can read books on your computer, iPad or even your phone.

I have an early Kindle, the kind that you have to wind up, so I’m really enjoying reading books on my new little Lenovo computer. With its eleven-inch screen, it’s almost as handy as the Kindle. And because I own the device, my Kindle library shows up on my computer.

Go here to download the app.


Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.

–Mark Haddon

Links for Readers, v1.0 May 2017

When you’re not reading a book, sometimes the next best thing is reading about books and authors and such. So from time to time I’ll post links to sites and other resources for you to check out. This week I’ll present three: Goodreads, Bookforum, and Fantastic Fiction.


Goodreads is like a sprawling megacomplex, offering book reviews, author interviews, Kindle Store eBook deals, and so much more. But what sets it apart from other readers’ sites is the community where you can let people know what you’re reading and what you think about it, and see what Facebook-like friends are reading. In addition, you can join a special interest group that engages in discussion about books, book themes, and much more.


Not only can you read about books, authors, and publishing industry news at Bookforum., you can also watch videos of readings and interviews with authors. Here’s one called “Conversations: Louise Erdrich, Author of The Round House,” which, by the way, is a novel I highly recommend. Set on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, it’s the story of a thirteen-year-old boy’s search for justice following a white on Indian crime.

Fantastic Fiction

When I asked my friendly neighborhood librarian about her favorite reading blog or website, she recommended Fantastic Fiction. I was a little wary–sounded to me like its focus was limited to fantasy. Not so. This site offers information on more than 40,000 authors and 500,000 books. Say you’re a fan of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and looking for book #10, The Hard Way.  At Fantastic Fiction, you can see the books listed in order of publication and see thumbnails of book covers, something I’d find helpful because I usually forget the title of the last book I’ve read in a series. You’d also learn that a Jack Reacher book is coming out this month and another in October.

When you click on a book title, your screen will display the cover in a large format that I really like. Want the book? You can order from listings for used copies or jump to Amazon.


I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson