It is cold and snowing like the wrath of God outside

…so you may be interested to learn that BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES Vol. 1 and THE SANCTUM OF THE SPHERE are both free ebooks at Amazon through Sunday.  It’s a good weekend to spend inside reading, yes?

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More later, but I figured I’d make sure this was out there.

Ten more stars!

I’m having a good day, as two of my books picked up five-star reviews today over on Amazon.  There’s a short one for Sanctum of the Sphere and here’s another for Skylights.  Check ’em out!

In which I get reviews

Sanctum_72dpiMy brother, for those of you not aware, actually started teaching just before I did and is still a teacher in Illinois.  I opened my email yesterday to discover that one of his sixth-grade students had done a video book report on Skylights and had asked my brother to share it with me. I wish to hell I could post it here, but not only is her name on it, but she includes the name and picture of another student when she talks about who she might recommend the book to. So, sadly, I can’t share it.  But it’s really cool!  And thank you to the student I can’t name who did it!

What I can share is the five-star review that blogbuddy and frequent commenter here Hilary Custance Green wrote for The Sanctum of the Sphere.  Thank you to Hilary as well.  Sanctum has historically been my redheaded stepchild as far as reviews go; the reviews it’s gotten have all been positive– all five on Amazon are five-star reviews, and it has the highest average of any of my books on Goodreads as well– but for whatever reason it has had a lot of trouble attracting the (still not terribly impressive) quantity of reviews my other books have gotten.

So, naturally, I think everyone should buy it and review it.  Right now.

On reading and books and 2016

51yHchbYJTL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_A couple of things:  first, The Sanctum of the Sphere is free today at Amazon.  Have some other e-reader?  Email me or leave a comment (you have to provide an email address for that anyway) and ask for a copy for whatever your device is.  No problem!

Second: my Top 10 New(*) Books I Read in 2015 post is coming soon.  Previous editions are here and here.  I’m probably going to wait until after Christmas, but since I’m into my mostly-annual Lord of the Rings reread and therefore nothing on it is likely to change, if I end up with nothing to say sometime this week I’ll get it done earlier.  One way or another, coming soon.

Third: I’ve read 99 books in 2015 so far, and it’ll probably be 101-102 by the end of the year.  37% of those books were by women or people of color.  I’ve been interested in increasing the number of books by women/POC that I’m reading, mostly as a way to find new authors, and I’ve been going back and forth on how exactly I was going to do that, from “I will read no books by cishet white men during X months in 2016” to trying to set an arbitrary number, and now I think I’ve come up with a slightly softer method:  I’m going to double that percentage in 2016.  Slightly more than that, actually, as my goal for this next year will be that 75% of the books I read will be by women or people of color.  I think white gay or trans men will probably count too, but as I don’t intend to do research into the sexual presentation/orientation of the writers I read, unless I somehow already know someone is gay I don’t think it’s going to add too many books to the total.

Probably easier to just say I’m limiting cishet white guys to 25% of my reading and leave it at that.  The main reason I’m not doing a blanket ban, either for all or part of the year, is that I follow a fair number of indie authors, and I don’t feel like carving out an exception so that I can read Book 5 of The Yellow Hoods when it comes out.  Easier to just say “I’m going to double how many I read” and leave it at that.

New books only, by the way.  Rereads aren’t counting toward the total.

Do you have any reading goals for next year?

Not quite dancing in the streets yet…

…but we’re getting there.  The Sanctum of the Sphere is still free at Amazon until late tonight!  Download it while you still can!

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