Joe Hill's Blog

March 10, 2017

Ideal reading conditions:
I have an easy chair in a room full of books. It's set close to a window and catches the strong morning light. I usually have the first cup of tea there and read about ten pages, sunshine on my shoulders, feet on a leather ottoman.

Then I'm back in the late afternoon for the fourth and final cup of tea of the day. By then the sun has moved to the other side of the house, so I put the side lamp on, and if it's a little chilly, find a throw blanket for my knees. I try and read for an hour most days, before moving on to make dinner. That's my favorite reading. No phone. I plug it in where I can't even hear it buzzing. Corgi underfoot for his 4PM nap.

Runner ups: in the bath, before bed, on the porch in the summer.

Your turn.
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Published on March 10, 2017 12:56 • 1,103 views

February 24, 2017

What are the best, funnest books about recreational math? Preferably at the pre-cal or calculus level? Go:
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Published on February 24, 2017 07:54 • 645 views

February 9, 2017

Hey, how many books do you guys read at once?

If you get reading too many different things at once... doesn't it feel kind of immoral?? Like you're catting around when you should be going steady?

I usually read two books at once: my primary read, and something on audio for drives. But I admit I have this brand new, beautiful, incredibly light Kindle, and was thinking about starting a third book that would just be on the device. Seems like the ideal instrument for reading in bed, especially when you've hit the point where you know you should go to sleep, but you still have a craving to stare at a screen. Better a screen with a book on it than my phone.

But: back to the question. How many books do you read at once? Can you honestly defend reading more than two at a time?
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Published on February 09, 2017 13:29 • 1,827 views

February 2, 2017

Am I the only one who feels guilty if he doesn't read a writer's books in the order they're published in?

I've read a scattered collection of Graham Greene's novels, but was just thinking I should go back through them and start in order, beginning with Stamboul Train. (No reason to go earlier than that - Greene disowned his first three novels)

Another part of me believes in a Greatest Hits approach to most writers, especially if they've been prolific. You start with the masterworks, and gradually build your way out to lesser and lesser known books... until, finally, you're paging through stuff you couldn't care less about, and you know you've seen everything that was worth seeing. Maybe that's the way to go with Greene, I dunno. I've read The Ministry of Fear (amazing), Our Man in Havana (love), The End of the Affair (overrated garbage - hate it thoroughly), and The Quiet American (an all time favorite). I guess if I was staying with my greatest hits approach, the next would be The Power and the Glory.

What do you favor? Greatest Hits or the completist approach? Follow your impulses or follow the publication order? Or something else? Should I do Stamboul Train or The Power and the Glory next?
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Published on February 02, 2017 13:00 • 543 views

January 15, 2017

I don't want to brag, but my 2017 reading is off to a good start. Three books finished as of January 15th: a novel, a memoir, and a book of poetry (with occasional essays). 1,100 pages read so far.

No, I'm not doing the Goodreads reading challenge, because I don't want to log all my books. Some of my reading is private. And NO I'm not talking about Penthouse Letters IV, geeeesus guys, get your minds out of the gutter, wtf. Besides, everyone knows the series didn't get good until IX.

So, sorry, I can't give you any information about the books I've polished off so far, but I will say that the autobiography was BOSS hint-hint.

How's it going with your own reading?
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Published on January 15, 2017 17:46 • 613 views

January 10, 2017

I desperately need to shake up my breakfast routines. Right now it's scrambled eggs one day, oatmeal the next, maybe cereal with some berries in it the day after that. This morning I made a breakfast burrito - that showed a little flash of originality. Still, I could use some help.

Can anyone recommend a cookbook dedicated to breakfasts? Keep in mind that it's hard to whip up anything too complicated first thing in the morning, especially with the pressure of getting a kid to school.

Can people even comment on a blog post here?
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Published on January 10, 2017 09:33 • 859 views

November 19, 2016

Hey. Hi. Hello. Still settling up my Goodreads account in my own bumbling way. Thanks for joining me here.

It appears my novel, The Fireman, has made it all the way to the final round of voting in the Horror category, in this year's Goodreads Awards. Okay, it's true: I'm not sure The Fireman is really horror. But boy, it sure does have some scary parts in it! Even considering that I cut out the piece where a woman burns to death and then her charred corpse is devoured by her pack of pet corgis! So maybe Horror is as good as any other category. If you felt like casting your vote for it, I'd be delighted. And if you decide to cast your vote for the other very impressive nominees, I won't be devastated. We're all winners here. You are too. YES YOU ARE.
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Published on November 19, 2016 09:58 • 1,421 views