What Do Books And Potentially Dead Cats Have In Common?

What Do Books And Potentially Dead Cats Have In Common?

The main difference between a book and a potentially dead cat is that the cat doesn’t care what you think of it

I have lots of booky friends. Friends who read. Friends who write. Friends who both write and read – some at the same time (don’t ask me how). But no matter how well we get on; how much we laugh and wheeze together; no matter how much we agree on – there is one thing we almost never agree on: and that is the books we fall messily in love with.

Some friends make recommendations I trust implicitly. But there is one thing I am certain of: many people do not like what I love. I said before in Please Don’t Ask Me To Recommend A Book To You, It Will Only Hurt Us Both that I find it a perilous business, recommending books. I frequently find myself apologising before I’m even aware my mouth is open.

**********************

Potential Ex-Friend: Read anything good lately?

Me: Oh, yes! Good grief, yes. Gave me tingles. Kept me up until Stupid O’Clock. I LOVED this book. Best book I’ve read in ages.

PEF: Oh, wow! What was it?

Me: What?

PEF: The book you loved! What’s the name of it? Who’s it by?

Me: [muttering unintelligibly] It was, eh, Thhhhhhhhmmm Prrrrnnngring by Ffmmmlllggsstt Brrtddrrrng.

PEF: Pardon?

Me: Um, well, now that I come to think of it, it wasn’t that great. I mean, it had [insert potentially uncool factor] in it. I don’t normally like that kind of thing.

PEF: Eh?

Me: Actually, it was kind of crap. I think it was just the mood I was in at the time.

PEF: But you said…

Me: I’m sorry I even mentioned it. It was terrible. You’d hate it.

**********************

Part Where I Actually Link To The Post Title (You’re Welcome)

The reason for this is because books, like cats, are governed by conflicting theories in quantum physics. (Warning: dodgy scientific analogy alert.)

A book is an instrument of infinite potentiality because before we read it, it exists in infinite states of success or failure. Before we read a book, it could be the best or the worst we’ve ever read: we don’t know yet. But once that book is read, it remains forever in the state in which our opinion settled. People don’t go back to a book they loved and suddenly hate it, or vice versa. It is fixed in one state of being liked or not.

So an unread book could be said to exist in multiple universes; governed by all the potential scenarios which determine its end condition of being liked or disliked. But its end condition, much like an unfortunate cat in a poisonous box, depends on factors other than just the book.

These factors are taste, mood, and time. Rarely do we find the perfect book when we’re in the right mood and have uninterrupted reading time. There might be a scenario where the book is really only okay, but I have time and I’m in the perfect mood to like something. But in another scenario, a perfect book is placed into my hands when I’m competing for Miss Truculent 2017 (I want that sash), and possibly delicious characterisation and prose disappears into the chasm of my bad moodiness.

What Do Books And Potentially Dead Cats Have In Common?

We got physical, now it’s time to get mathematical

The point is that a book has more ways to succeed and fail, than merely selling or not selling.

Recently a friend recommended a book to me, citing actual honest-to-Blog shock twists, even accompanying me into a shop to buy it. She spend the next few days in a paroxysm of guilt and fear that I would hate it and blame her forever.

As it happened, I liked it so much, I ended up telling other people to buy it. But it could as easily have gone the other way. The book had a McGuffin I know some people would HATE. The fact is that all the stars aligned for that book. It was a weekend, and I had nothing on; I was in good form; it was to my taste, and had been recommended by someone I trusted. Every success factor was satisfied. But how often does that happen?

So Maybe I’m Just Not That Into Your Book. So What?

It’s a miracle that books are liked enough by anyone to be recommended to anyone else ever, given all the conditions outlined above necessary to lead to that rare state of book love. Equally, whether or not I liked your book is completely irrelevant to the quality of your book, particularly if it’s the type of thing which isn’t generally to my taste (for example, I’m not mad about extremely technical science fiction set in space, or books about soldiering).

What Do Books And Potentially Dead Cats Have In Common?

Yes, it’s a cat in a bowl of shamrock. No, I don’t know why either. But I’m Irish and it’s a cat, so, you know, relevance

Before e-books, authors only heard from readers who liked them. They met them at readings, or heard from them by fan mail. People who did not like their books did not speak to them, or seek them out.

Nowadays, authors are subjected to numerous reviews (or attacks) from people who did not like their books, as well as those who did. Most authors (if they’re human) become fixated by the negatives.

But what I or anyone else think of your book is just not important. I know it’s hard not to take personally (and impossible if you’re actually being trolled) but there are only two instances when bad feedback should be taken into account. The first is if you have a niggling feeling that the feedback is correct. The second is if you did not get your book edited or produced professionally.

In the former instance you should seek a second opinion.

In the latter instance, if you think that publishing a book without it being professionally edited or produced is the best course of action, I’m afraid nobody and nothing can help you, and we can have nothing more to say to each other.

And now I press ‘publish’ on this post. I move from a state of unlimited potential into a fixed state of like or unlikeiness. Be gentle. Your comments determine my quantum state of Internetiality.

Or is that Internettiness?

SUPER EXTRA BONUS POST POSTSCRIPT

This may all have come about because of my latest post on writing.ie,  where I had a conversation with some unloved books on my shelf which are VERY quantum. Go and have a look (if you’re the sympathetic type)

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  85 comments for “What Do Books And Potentially Dead Cats Have In Common?

  1. May 2, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Are you avoiding working on your current fiction piece? It’s a simple question. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. May 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I think I respectfully disagree. Unless I actually can’t be bothered to read a book, I find I immediately either like it or dislike it. This post, I like very much. And I agree that a book stays in some kind of stasis of likeability after reading it. How interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May 2, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Internetiality or internettiness? Where I grew up (northeast England) a netty is an outside lav. So, I think, the latter probably wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 8:02 am

      I think we can all agree on that, John. In your neck of the woods, at least.

      Like

  4. May 2, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Your mathematical formula had me blurting on the LUAS. Now they are all looking at me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

      I think there are bye-laws against blurting on the southside Luas, Conor. Did anyone catch you? As it happens, I’m currently on the northside Luas myself. I’d ask about the bye-laws here, but I don’t want to start a fight.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. weebluebirdie
    May 2, 2017 at 9:11 am

    You’re quite right. Books are as fickle as cats. I stopped going to my local book group because they kept picking high faluting ones. I grew resentful of how much they were costing me – money better spent on coffee and Strawberry tarts. I also got angry at the books – especially the ones whose reputation preceded them. Of course, I was far too afraid to recommend any of my favourite books. I pick books I want and keep them to myself. Of course, the downside is that I’ve no one to blame but myself when I get angry at it.

    PS For a special cat treat Google ‘cats knocking over toddlers’ You’ll be amazed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Yes, a book whose reputation precedes it is in a sorry quantum state all right, Birdie. Especially if it’s won a prize. I saw posts on social media this morning, about how much people loved a prizewinning book, which made me angry. I thought the book was pretentious and mangled the English language. But what do I know? I’m only a cat worrier. Off to watch them ruin children now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • weebluebirdie
        May 2, 2017 at 11:33 am

        It’s the accompanying blurbs which make me suspicious. It’s quite rare that I agree with the masses; the Moomins are the exception, I even buy the merchandise – my Moomins mug always brings a smile. Mind you, cats bouncing off weans also makes me smile.

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 2, 2017 at 11:53 am

          Me too. It’s the way they couldn’t even be bothered making it look like an accident.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. May 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Tara waxes scatty on why you shouldn’t ask her (or your soon to be ex-best friend) to ‘like’ your book – aka adventures in ‘Internetiness’! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Of course brilliant. Because you Tara, obviously.

    Probably one of the three wisest things I’ve ever heard was during an all-guy conversation about being single and fixing each other up. Specifically, why hadn’t we much, which led to an uncomfy pause. Then one of my friends spoke: “Your friend says ‘I’ve got the perfect gal for you’, but it’s never true. What they’ve got is someone who was ALMOST the perfect gal for THEM. And now they feel bad, so…” To which I can only add, “this, and also books”.

    Just because you’re dying to know Tara, I’ll spill. The second wisest thing I ever heard was a fellow who preached “the optimum level of stress is not zero”. That is a Buddha burger on brioche, you ask me.

    And the absolute number one wisest thing anyone ever said to me was, without question, whatever my lovely wife uttered just before she said “did you get that?” while I was trying to write.

    Liked by 4 people

    • May 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Those are excellently wise pronouncements, Will. So wise, in fact, that I intend on passing them off as my own quite shortly. I’m sure you won’t mind. I might just run it by your wife first.

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm

        Tell me what she says, will you? Whenever I ask her to repeat it I just get the Eye-Roll of Renunciation and the Long-Suffering Sigh of Expended Patience.

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm

          Surely not… Not the EYE-ROLL OF RENUNCIATION AND THE LONG-SUFFERING SIGH OF EXPENDED PATIENCE. My sympathies, friend. Glad you’re here to tell the tale nonetheless.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. May 2, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Good article (anything that goes a bit quantum with cats is a bonus) but can I potentially add another element to your equation? Namely, “Expectation Factor”.
    Bear with me on this cos I’m going to talk about cars for a sec. Back in the 90s VW bought Skoda (somewhat unfairly considered a joke brand even though it was easily the best car maker in Eastern Europe). Then, around the time the Skoda Octavia appeared (basically a bargain version of an older Audi A4) Skoda could be found in the top ten of driver satisfaction surveys. Yes, the cars were reasonably reliable, comfy, cheap, etc. but what pushed it way up the charts was the fact that the owners were pleasantly surprised that they weren’t crap; they were actually quite good.
    The main point here is that the owners had lowered their expectations (against, say, a Mercedes) and the Skoda scored great brownie points. Conversely, Range Rovers are having a torrid time…
    Now, here comes Tara’s Friend, gushing about how wonderful a book is and how Tara really ought to read it because it’s THE BEST THING EVER!! Aren’t you expecting it to be at least a bit good?
    Two of the most pleasant reading experiences I have had came from reading books that friends had written (one is a hilarious foul-mouthed cynic from school who wrote “Accidental Ironman” about accidentally running marathons, as opposed to accidentally joining The Avengers, and the other is a fellow blogger, Matt Kincade, who got his first book published last year). I bought ’em because I like to support mates but didn’t expect much. They were excellent (and I said so on Amazon – 5 star reviews).
    I may have been Skoda’d.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Right. Gotcha. So when I glanced this morning at the first few pages of a book I hadn’t wanted but had been given, my first reaction (“Why hasn’t this shite been edited?”) was because the person who gave it to me told me how wonderful it was and not because it was unedited shite? Hmm. Well. Could be, I suppose…

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        Ah, well, no matter how hard you try (or not) the shite will always show.
        (I can feel a washing powder ad song opportunity here…)

        Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      As long as we don’t write 5-star reviews for books (or Skodas – I remember those jokes. And Ladas, right?) we don’t like written by friends of ours, Nick, I don’t think it matters. Thinking a book by a friend is excellent would be like me thinking a book about an army building a futuristic weapon in space is excellent. If something is so improbable as to be almost impossible, surely it deserves at least 5 stars for shock value alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm

        Of course, it goes without saying. Which is why I didn’t say it 😉
        I started reading those books thinking “These will probably be shite but I feel I ought to read them”. If they had been actually shite I would have quietly buried them in a charity bag (which isn’t very charitable of me, thinking about it). The fact that my expectations were reversed probably made me think they were better than they possibly were (I still stand by the 5 stars though). Weirdly, my rave reviews may now make people expect unrealistically great things. I may have inadvertently “Range Rovered” them.
        😮
        And what’s wrong with futuristic space army weapons? Have you not seen Rogue One? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm

          I haven’t, but that’s not to say I don’t like war in space on film, because I do. But in books – nah. Too much. Sci-Fi is a very visual thing for me, which is why the über-techie stuff doesn’t do it for me in print. I am sorry to hear you might have Range Rovered your friends, even if it does sound like you ran them over, which for some reason I find amusing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • May 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            [guffaw]
            Now that you mention it…

            And yeah, you’re right about the visual elements; the sci-fi I prefer to read tends to be “characters within a situation” rather than “Look at my big weapon”.
            Ooh, Matron.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. May 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I totally agree with your formula, Tara, which is why the few mediocre reviews never bothered me. Taste is huge, but timing and mood play a large part in book enjoyment. One of my favorite things is finding a reviewer who has similar tastes to mine – at least that hurdle is handled. The rest is up to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      If you can manage to find the right reviewer, Diana, I believe your grail quest has ended 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. May 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Interesting, clever, and funny in parts too, Tara. And I agree. We bring ourselves to a book — mood, phase of life, etc. I’ve had to apologize to some books, (and their authors). And a letter from a reader is never underestimated – my book got to them at the right time and place!

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks, Cynthia. And to be fair, I’ve often had exchanges with friends where we both say things like “it was the wrong time for me to read that”. All the same, I’m trying to remember an occasion when I heard that from someone, and afterwards going out to seek that book… and I can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. May 2, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Recommending books to friends or family is a dangerous activity – but so is being on the receiving end of books from the same source. People get offended if you don’t love the book they loved – they somehow think you are passing judgement on them and their tastes…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Or they’re just feeling injured, because you don’t love what they love. I do confess that when someone slags off something I loved, I often keep my mouth shut instead of defending it. (It’s probably because I’m too busy fighting someone else online about important stuff, such as the best way to ice a fruitcake.)

      (In case you’re wondering, the answer is never. Fruitcake should not be iced. It’s an abomination.)

      Like

      • May 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm

        You’ve just offended a significant part of the british population 🙂 How are we meant to enjoy Christmas cake without the icing????

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 3, 2017 at 9:23 pm

          You’re supposed to ENJOY Christmas cake?? Go on out of that. That’s just crazy talk.

          Like

  12. May 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    You know, this year I have finally decided to get active on Goodreads, which I joined forever ago, but I have to say, consistently letting people know what I’m reading, and how much I liked it (or didn’t), fills me with anxiety. Every time. Probably because I’m a little judgy when I see what my friends have chosen to read and respond to. I don’t know how book bloggers do it. But I suppose it has helped me prepare for the inevitable negative reviews on my own book. It all seems a little arbitrary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      Even reading your comment fills me with anxiety, Sarah. I hate people knowing what I’m reading, which is why I always lie. I hope negative reviews aren’t inevitable in your case. Sometimes they don’t turn up!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. May 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    And that’s the number one reason why I’ve never wanted to join a book club – there’s not enough time to read what I want to read, I would hate to have to read a book someone else thinks I would like. On another point, it has happened a couple of times where I have read a book and only enjoyed it the second time, (LOTR and Jane Eyre, now two of my favourites) however, I was possibly a bit young (or a bit slow) to appreciate them the first time round.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Good point, I’ve had a couple of second-time round books too. It’s generally when I’ve felt the time wasn’t right or I was too young. But it also meant I felt nothing but ambivalence the first time round.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. May 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Hate cats, useless at maths.

    (But loved your shelf of shame)

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Well in your case, Depterness, the cat is definitely dead. It’s okay. I don’t really mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

        Oh no. If this was in real life, I’d probably smile inanely & hope that wasn’t bad thing & would try to steer the talk to something I can might know something about. Like Leo Sayer songs. I must check if The Master ever wrote one about cats.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. May 2, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I have a hard time recommending books or movies as I agree so much is dependent on a combination of personal taste, time, and mood. The one book I am utterly not afraid to recommend, Good Omens, only reached that status by being never returned to me after loaning it out. So I bought it again. And loaned it out. And bought it again. The fact that I have re-bought this one book more than four times simply because not one person could bear to return it tells me it is a quality read. Either that or I really don’t have trustworthy friends…

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Well, it’s hard to get good friends these days, Allie, so you might hang on to them. Unless, that is, they have been re-loaning your books to other people. This would mean they were monsters and must be cut out of your life immediately.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. May 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I started reading this and telling myself, “she’s just killing time.” Are you? Or are you just talking out loud? Whichever it, Tara, it is a good exercise to keep the mind always occupied.
    I don’t usually recommend books, but I don’t mind hearing of great reads by other, and checking them out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Of course I’m not killing time. Killing cats, now, that is another matter…

      Like

  17. May 2, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I always think that, if you’re in any doubt, you shouldn’t comment. So I won’t…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. May 2, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Why is it whenever someone uses quantum theory to explain, say, a blocked toilet or how British democracy isn’t, I fall back on the uncertainty principle which states that it’s all guff but jolly clever and made of super small stuff that will get in your socks. Now can anyone explain why liking books is like washing socks? See, you put in a load of washing, analogous to opening a book a mate has recommended; you press start – and here’s another thing, why do washing machines have more than four programmes? No one ever uses the remaining 27, the colourfast wash for things that once stayed up but now sag and something called ‘delicates’ which was last used to describe my grandmother’s bowels after a vigorous and ultimately unsatisfying round of gin tummy – and off you go churning you way through the pages, up and down and round and round and then, when it’s over there’s one sock missing. Or biros? Was Douglas Adams right and there’s a parallel universe for biroid life forms? Maybe that’s where these rogue socks go? See, you can like a recommended book but the risk is you’ve missed a sock in the process which had you focused on the washing and not the machine you wouldn’t have lost. Of course the bigger question is how come you can lose a sock but not a pant, since it doesn’t matter how many pairs of pants you put in they always come out in pairs. If someone could graft the adhesiveness of a pant onto a sock, we’d enjoy literature more. Just saying… Oh and isn’t ‘a cat in the shamrocks’ an old Irish saying meaning, roughly translated, you can’t go blaming your farts on someone else stepping on an over-ripe toad?

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Good grief, Geoff. I tried to reply to your comment, but a parallel universe exploded. I could go on, but it would be like trying to whip a wellington boot with a very small tornado. Which would be fine, if it weren’t for the fact that I may not sleep ever again for thinking about the pants problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. May 3, 2017 at 12:14 am

    After reading this blog I doubt I’ll ever give a friend a book as a gift. To be fair that’s a relatively small group, but I prefer not to make it any smaller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I think that is a wise course of action for everyone, Armen. Unless, of course, your work in the criminal justice system, it’s a book of evidence, and you’re about to get a friend acquitted.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. May 3, 2017 at 4:39 am

    I just loved the paragraph about getting your book professionally edited. I laughed out loud. You’re pretty witty.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

      No, thank you, Anthony. Every time I get a compliment like that I have it laminated and distributed to each member of my family in an effort to get them to start reading my blog. So far it hasn’t worked, but every lamination counts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 3, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        I guess your family doesn’t understand the concept of relative success–successful because your relatives read it. Thankfully, you have got lots of followers. If your family doesn’t read your blog, they’re the ones missing out.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. May 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I sometimes have this habit of starting a book not really liking it and ending up loving it. Perhaps it’s due to these factors you mentioned… interesting… But, if I love it straight away I tend to love it to the end…

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 3, 2017 at 9:59 am

      That’s interesting, Marje. We’re living in an age when we’re told we absolutely have to grab people within the first line/paragraph/chapter, but I’ve also found it’s worth persevering sometimes (having said that, there would have to be a good recommendation behind persevering with something I’m not that keen on…)

      Liked by 1 person

  22. May 3, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Love the Schrödinger’s Cat comparison 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. May 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    It’s ok if they hate your favourite book. Just don’t rush out and buy eight copies of it for all your favourite people, like I keep doing, and then hate them for hating it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      That is very wise wisdom indeed. But where do we draw the line I wonder with the number of copies? Six books? Three? None? I might err on the side of none. Nobody likes me anyway.

      Like

  24. May 3, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Internettiness is a brilliant loaded word. I did this once. I felt so passionately that everyone should read Half the Sky by the journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn that I bought copies likes smarties and kept giving them away. I was quite shaken when one person came to my door to return her copy (rather than lose it in her book pile), saying, disapprovingly, that she unable to read this kind of stuff. It’s a very positive book about individual women overcoming extraordinary violence all over the world. My other discovery as a writer, is that no matter what you have written, people read their own story. They will rename individuals, choose their own main characters and generally interpret your story entirely according to their own life life events. I’m very good at smiling, nodding and making sympathetic noises.

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 4, 2017 at 11:51 pm

      This is so true, Hilary. And not just your story – other people’s too. I recently had a conversation about a story I recommended to a friend like this:
      Her: I liked it.
      Me: Oh good!
      Her: But I didn’t like the ending. It was a shame she was dying.
      Me: What? She wasn’t dying, she just decided not to go back to America!
      Her: But the last line… wasn’t that saying she had cancer?
      Me: Jaysus. I’ll have to read it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. May 4, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend. When I asked him what kind of music he enjoyed, he said, “there’s no good or bad music; there’s just a right and wrong time for it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  26. May 5, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    I think you are over-thinking it. When someone seeks your book recommendation, they are bowing to the powers of the Oracle… your part in the deal is only to suggest. That is your only responsibility. Their part in the deal is to read it. Once the words of that publication enter their brain, it becomes an entirely personal internal reaction, one you have no control over. You’ve played your part, exactly as requested, the rest is up to them. One thing writers and readers don’t need is book-guilt. Book envy is bad enough. And there’s too much guilt floating around as it is. Might I suggest, however, that you light an incense stick and try a bit of meditation before making your book recommendation prophecies, just so you can have peace of mind in knowing you did everything possible to match the right book recommendation with the right person? Then you can more easily leave the guilt behind. Oh dear… maybe it’s me who’s over-thinking it.

    As for book reviews, well I think I’ve written quite my thoughts on reviews on your blog once before, quite poetically if I remember rightly. And as repetition is such a no-no for writers, I’ll just bow out at this point, oh holy book oracle.

    Actually, I’m reading a book right now which you might like…

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Oh Ali, I’m so glad you’re about to recommend something to me! Because lately I have this feeling that if only I could read the right book everything in my life would come good. Having said that, if the book you recommended turned out to be the wrong one, it could just ruin my entire existence. No pressure, no need to overthink it, etc. You’re so kind!

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

        Actually… I don’t know if I dare, now. You made me over-think it! 😣😁😂

        Liked by 1 person

  27. May 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Oh how I wish you’d missed out the first ‘i’ in soldiering in this sentence:

    (for example, I’m not mad about extremely technical science fiction set in space, or books about soldiering)

    There would have been such a good riff on what you’ve got against soldering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 9, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      How did you know, Chris? I never told anyone about the incident from my childhood involving the soldering iron, the knight’s helmet, the clothes hanger, and the Shih Tzu. I’d be obliged if you could keep it off the internet, however. I’ll riff on the soldering part with you offline.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. May 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    My cat wants you to know he took offense at your title but he did really enjoy the picture with the shamrocks and kitten. 🙂 p.s. I really enjoyed the post.

    Like

    • May 10, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Good stuff, Jack! Tell your cat no felines were harmed in the making of this analogy. Not even the lion which I used to intimidate the kitten into the bowl of shamrock.

      Liked by 1 person

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