Friday, February 27, 2015

The Cephalopod Coffehouse: Best Books of February

It's the last Friday of the month, which means it's time to reveal the best books of the month. It's part of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse:

I'm very proud of myself this month! I read four books, which is especially impressive since February is such a short month. As a result, I had a great reading month! Here are the great books I read in February.

It starts with Cindy Callaghan's Lucky Me. Cindy rocks for two reasons: one, she writes for my publisher, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin M!x. Second, her book has been made into a TV series, which has been picked up by Amazon Prime. That's the best thing ever!!! So...I indulged in her July 2014 release:

February was the perfect month to read Lucky Me because I can tell you about it now--right before St. Patrick's Day. If you're looking for an Irish-themed read for March, this is your book! Meghan McGlinchey is very superstitious--so superstitious that when she receives a chain letter, she has to respond. It can't hurt to forward it on by email, right? Wrong! If you have a tween girl in your life, get her this book as a St. Patrick's Day gift. She'll love it!

If you're a regular around here, you probably know Cathrina Constantine. I'm happy to say she's not only a great blogger, but an amazing writer, as well. I plan to read her latest book, but in the meantime I read Wickedly They Come:

The book kicks off with a major action scene, pulling you in right away. I don't want to give too much away, but Cathrina's main character, Jordan, could give Buffy a run for her money! I can't wait to read Cathrina's latest.

I also read The Chemistry of Fate by my blogging friend Meradeth Houston. Check out this enchanting cover:

First I have to emphasize that paranormal isn't really my thing and I loved this book. It is, first and foremost, a romance and a new adult one at that. You couldn't help but root for Tom and Ari (the Sary!) from page one all the way to the end. Plus, it's only $.99!!!

Next up is This is How It Ends by Jen Nadol, which I read as part of an ARC tour. Yay for ARC tours because one book can travel around the country, meeting many readers along the way. This tour introduced me to an amazing book:

This is just the kind of book I love. A little bit of supernatural, a little bit of murder mystery. A group of kids glimpse the future through a pair of binoculars...and that's where the adventure begins. Jen has created a great group of relatable characters. I was glad I got to read it! It reminded me of the Harlan Coben books that are my eternal addiction.

What was the best book you read in February? Want to join in? Enter your link below and post your favorite book(s) of the month.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why Are We Still Getting Phone Books?

When I walk out my front door and look down at my porch, there is one thing that annoys me more than anything I can think of:

When I worked in an office, someone would bring stacks of them. They suffered a fate similar to these phone books.

You see, it's 2015. Even searching for a phone number on our computers seems like an outdated concept. I don't know anyone who goes to the phone book when they need information.

So why are we still receiving these outdated paper-based books? And why won't the phone company let us opt out?

I looked into it a while ago and learned we're getting phone books because, simply put, we're part of a demographic. If the phone company can promise it's delivering 600,000 phone books to the residents and businesses in a city, for instance, that phone company can sell ads like these...

Apparently nobody told the goldfish people that 600,000 people will never see that ad because, guess what?

Yep. Nobody's reading the thing anymore. It all seems such an environmental waste, right? You'd think the businesses would get wise to it, but I guess phone book salesmen are super convincing.

What do you do with your phone books?

UPDATE: If you want to know the real reason you're still getting phone books, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Introvert or Extrovert: Which Are You?

Throughout my life, I've been confused about the answer to one of life's most often-asked questions:

This is especially true if you minor in psychology, as I did. You're constantly taking tests and analyzing your own personality as part of your daily coursework. I graduated without ever learning the answer to the question.

My mistake was in assuming that an introvert had no social skills whatsoever. An introvert would sit quietly, introspecting, while an extrovert would be chattering away. All too often, I've found myself fitting that "chattering away" description.

Finally I came to terms with the difference. It's not about how you behave when you're face to face with other people. It's about how you feel when you're face to face with other people.

An extrovert feels energized and happy when around other people. An introvert feels energized and happy being alone. Two very distinct differences. Nervously filling silence while standing at the cash register at the grocery store does not make you an extrovert. It just means you're conforming to societal norms.

What's interesting is that writers don't have to be introverts to succeed. There are quite a few extroverts in the field. They tend to excel at marketing and promotion, loving the feeling of sitting at that table at bookstores, signing books. They also are more likely to be typing away at Starbucks, comfortable being surrounded by other writing extroverts.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?