If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many

August Guest Bloggers

8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe

August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Learnin'

I love reading.  Just like my fellow WWK bloggers here--and all of you who come to visit--reading is one of my favorite ways to unwind.  The benefits of reading are immeasurable (though I'm sure some scientist has found a way to quantify them).  Whether you need a break from your everyday reality, or want to be able to discuss the latest bestseller with friends, books are a great way to spend your time.

One of my favorite benefits, however, is the knowledge I gain from reading.

Now I don't mean to imply that I read textbooks or biographies on amazing people from our world's history; I'm not one who can learn something that way.  Quite honestly, within five minutes of reading something specifically designed to teach, either the words on the page become all jumbled, or I doze off.  But when a book imparts some wisdom in an enjoyable way I can actually retain the information.

Which is astounding, since I appear to have horrible reading comprehension.  When I took all those tests in school, Comprehension was always my lowest score, and I still have issues with it.  I've read the Harry Potter books several times, but still have trouble remembering in which book certain events or characters were introduced. 

I may not always remember where I learned certain bits of information, but I definitely get a thrill of "A-Ha!" the moment I glean some factoid from a book.  Devil in the White City was rife with interesting little tidbits, and some of those I actually remember; like that Cracker Jacks were invented for the 1893 World's Fair, as was the Ferris Wheel.

Even a book like The Da Vinci Code had some great information to impart.  Regardless of whether or not you believe the information about Jesus Christ or paganism, there were some interesting facts in there.  For instance, I had seen The Mona Lisa in person before, but I had never heard of the Sfumato style of painting that was used to create it.  How could I, when I didn't study art?  All I knew when I saw the painting was that it was much smaller than I'd thought from seeing it in pictures.

Around the World in Eighty Days taught me some geography, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea gave me more information on different types of fish than I could ever hope to have needed in my lifetime.  I'm even reading a book now in which I've just learned what the roles of Gaffer, Grip, and Best Boy do with regards to movies, and that was all given to me in a “throw away” scene in the book; it’s not necessarily integral to the plot.  Yes, these are all things I could've learned by doing some research online, but I enjoy it more when such knowledge comes to me in a fortuitous way.

My mom has even mentioned how she'll learn of something through a book or movie, and shortly thereafter will see a question on Jeopardy (her favorite show) that somehow references her new found information.  She loves when those moments happen.

How about you?  What cool facts have you learned from reading fiction?


Jim Jackson said...

I have to admit I treat "facts" in fiction the same way I treat "facts" on the Internet: interesting, but need to be verified.

Even well-written fiction sometimes has stuff wrong, but that said, I do enjoy those, "Really? I didn't remember that." moments. (Note I didn't say, "Really? I never knew that." My mind has gotten to the stage where I can't say for sure what I did or didn't once know, but since forgot!)

~ Jim

Alyx Morgan said...

I know what you mean about not always remembering what you did or didn't know before, Jim. I'll have moments where I "learn" something, but I have a vague memory of having learned it before.

Gloria Alden said...

I love reading, too, Alyx. I rarely leave the house without something to read in case I'm delayed some place.

One of the things I love about my book clubs is often a book is chosen that I've not heard of or one I've heard of, but might not have picked. Do I always enjoy them? No, but most of the time I do, and if it was one I didn't care for, the discussion in itself about the book is interesting.

As for facts learned, often I have those little bits of flotsam and jetsam floating around in my brain and have no idea where they came from. After a long lifetime of reading it's hard to remember where they've come from or even if they're accurate. In fact, I contribute my wild searching in my mind for words or facts to the amount of said flotsam and jetsam floating around in my brain. :-)

Dana Fredsti said...

Not only do I find fun factoids in my fiction reading, but I also have gotten wonderful inspiration and/or uplifted by certain thoughts/philosophies that a particular character or narrative shares. Sometimes one line just speaks to me in a way that helps me in every day life. I love reading more than just about anything!!

Kara Cerise said...

I enjoy learning when I read fiction, too. Sometimes I’ll have to put down the book to research and learn about the fact. Devil in the White City inspired me to read more books about the 1893 World’s Fair.

Warren Bull said...

Reading fiction is also a great way to learn about other cultures.

Alyx Morgan said...

Good on you for reading books through your club, Gloria. Every now & then I think I want to join one, but I'm rather picky about what I want to read, so I don't know how much enjoyment I'd get out of reading something that I wouldn't have checked out myself.

Alyx Morgan said...

I agree, Dana, that a single line in a book can sometimes make my day. I think I enjoy music more than reading, but not by much.

Thanks for visiting today.

Alyx Morgan said...

You're right, Warren, that reading is a great way to learn about other cultures. It's a nice way to feel like you've traveled there.

As for stopping to research some fact, Kara, I think I would find it too disruptive to stop reading a book just to research some fact. But maybe it would be good for me to keep a little notebook & jot some things down.