Tag Archives: reading

A Drift of Quills: Terrible Books—Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

Terrible Books—Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? A Drift of Quills reads a lot of books. It’s our job. (Stinks, right?) We are bound to come across lemons now and then—and this time we’re talking about what we do with them. Do we keep reading? Throw fits? Recycle them and hurry to the next? Read on to discover our take on Books We Hate…

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

We’ve all come across them—those books that are so badly written you wonder if the author was even an earthling. Or, assuming that they weren’t hatched on another planet, if they bothered to attend grade school. Or if they live in a sensory deprivation chamber and have no freaking idea what the real world is like. The first pages of such a book are usually painful. Do you risk the agony of finishing the entire book? You want to know my philosophy?

Life is short.

I have been known to read books I don’t like, but there has to be a good reason. Like loads of wildly good reviews. Lots of awards. Inclusion on allegedly important lists. And even then I don’t always finish. Why should I? Life is short. And there are so many other, better books to read!

I used to wonder if I might not learn something from these “good” books.

Terrible Books—Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? A Drift of Quills reads a lot of books. Do we keep reading when they’re awful? Throw fits? Recycle them and hurry to the next? Read on to discover our take on Books We Hate… http://robinlythgoe.comI did! There’s no accounting for some people’s taste. This world would be a really boring place if we all liked the same things, did the same things, thought the same things. Thank goodness we don’t! And thank goodness there are a meeeellion more books to choose from when I come across drivel labeled as “an enthralling adventure bound to captivate,” “a book that touched me in profound ways,” “heartfelt,” or “unputdownable.”

I can put it down.

I can list it on my Did Not Finish list and withhold any and all fancy-schmancy stars on any review sites.

And sometimes (if the writing really makes my blood boil) I write a passionate review with lots of bolded sections and underlined phrases. Vehement outrage. And flames. I shake my fist, too, but that doesn’t translate well to paper. But I never post it. I tuck it away in a folder, and go find another book to read.

Let me point you to a few good ones right here, just in case you need some salve after writing your own fiery non-review: Flinch-Free Fantasy.


“P.S. Broaddus” width=Author of The Unseen Chronicles
Parker’s website

What to do with a book you hate? Or, even worse, a book that was just, ‘meh.’ It doesn’t even warrant the energy of hurling it against the opposite wall. It barely deserves a sigh and a shrug, and certainly won’t get a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Too much effort for a story that simply didn’t captivate.  So what do you do with that story? Are you a finisher? A staller? Or a tosser? 


Patricia RedingAuthor of the Oathtaker Series
Patricia’s website

Do I finish books that I start, but hate? I can answer this question with a single title: Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. I found Moby Dick to be utterly, incomprehensibly, annoyingly, mind-bogglingly boring—and odd—and downright awful. I hated it. Hated it! Nothing, nothing anyone could say about a color, or its significance, or what Melville may have mean to symbolize through the use of a color, could ever possibly resurrect this title for me. I found a solid 70% of the work to be complete nonsense—a waste of ink and a waste of paper. Lest I be mistaken, let me put it simply: I truly and completely abhor this work. Perhaps more than any other I’ve ever read. So… (Read on. You know you want to!)

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What do you do with the books you hate? We want to know! Tell us in the comments below!



Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Are you ready for Five Good Things #8? In Real Life, the Green Gomboo is sticking to me like glue. Luckily, there are more exciting things going on in the world than my slow-as-a-herd-of-snails recovery. Like pre-orders for Tad Williams’ new The Witchwood Crown, which comes out in June of this year. I am eager to return to Osten Ard! Have I got the first book in the new series yet? Well… no, but it’s on my wishlist!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

In the meantime, here are some recent good reads in the Blog World: Continue reading Five Good Things #8: Pencils, books, a map, a quote, food…

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: Children of Earth and Sky

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

I’m so excited to be able to read this book through NetGalley.com!

My Teaser

Teaser Tuesday: Children of Earth and SkyChildren of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
Genre: Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publisher: NAL (May 10, 2016)
Find the Author on Twitter and Facebook
Available on Goodreads and Amazon

“It was why she had a chance to do what she was out here to do tonight. She wasn’t, Danica knew, an especially conventional young woman.”
~location 297 on my Kindle (4%)


From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…

Want to Play Along?

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

▪ Grab your current read
▪ Open to a random page
▪ Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
▪ BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
▪ Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What are you reading?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Five Good Things

Five Good Things (Mar 11)

Five Good Things is such a great article to put together. I get to share some of the cool things I’ve found while procrastinating researching my own writing!

Use Scrivener to Manage Your Blog
Writing straight into your blog software (WordPress, Typepad, etc.) presents its own problems—you can’t write offline, and searching through old blog posts to find mentions on a specific subject can be difficult. Boy, has Joanna Penn got some great advice! I’m definitely bookmarking this page.

The Arcanist’s Mill – A Wizard’s Tower Map with a Twist
Jonathan Roberts makes awesome, drool-worthy maps. Lands of Ice and Fire, anyone? Check out this article, in which he shows how he mapped “a wizard’s tower with a twist – somewhere a mage with a little bit of a steampunk leaning could hide out and experiment.”

Leftovers and Palette Gremlins
As long as we’re talking about artists, I’ve got to send you over to the site of one of my all-time favorites: Michael Whelan. I hope you recognize the name from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné books, Tad Williams’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn — and the epic Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. “Leftovers are little spur-of-the-moment doodles or sketches created from paint left over from a work in progress. Most of these quickies end up in the trash, but some are kind of cool on their own and others have lead to full scale paintings.” Go see! Be entertained.

10 Engrossing Fantasy Books Like “The Lord of the Rings”
“Embark on an epic journey with one of these fantastical sagas.” Oh, darn, more books to add to my TBR (To Be Read) list… I’ll bet you can hear me groaning in dismay all the way to your house. Riiiight…

Free Chains of Honor Prequel Story: A Question of Honor
I read Lindsay Buroker’s Warrior Mage and loved it. I’m behind on the story now, but look! A free tale about how Yanko and Dak first met! I’m all over that.

Image: “Beach” by Ravi Pinisetti is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

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What good things have you seen in your world lately? SHARE below!