35 One Man Book Club


Charity: [00:00:00] This is Loose Leaf a multi-author podcast journal, where we talk about goals, the ups and downs of writing and where we try to warn you off of our greatest pitfalls. I am so bad at doing this at the end of the podcast. I'd like to start out with announcements and reminders. Remember for the month of February, 2021, we have a giveaway going where if you visit us on facebook@facebook.com backslash loose leaf podcast, if you like the page and make a comment on the post that is pinned at the top, you can be entered to win one of two print copies of hooked by Les Edgerton.

This is a great resource that can. Help you polish those first chapters, those first sentences, and also deepen your character development transcripts are also going up on my website, charity Bradford dash river ford.com. Just click on podcast or transcripts. They're going up slowly, but they are going up.

If you are a reader, did you know that we now have a YouTube channel? We are posting all of our video recordings that we do on zoom and they are unedited. So if you like our podcast, you may find the videos of those recordings quite entertaining. You get all the stuff that we cut out from the podcast, all of us being silly.

And so check it out, just search for loose leaf author podcast, and last but not least, make sure you check the show notes. For links to all the websites that we talk about during the podcast. All right. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome back to the loose leaf author podcast. Today. We have Dan from one man book club with us and I actually, my favorite way to introduce you that I kept thinking about was you're Dan, the reading dad.

Dan: [00:02:14] That's right. That's right. That's who I am.  book club. Happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me. 

Charity: [00:02:22] We've talked to authors, we've talked to audio book narrators, and I figured, Hey. Why not get someone who reviews books and who has really grown. Like I was curious, when did you start when man book club, 

Dan: [00:02:36] how long ago?

Uh, let's see. I mean, I officially kicked off one man book club. I think it was 2017. Um, it was really, you know, just really little back then. Um, I it's it's, uh, but I've always been, um, you know, I've, I've always been a reader, first of all. I mean, I, I remember as a kid, I remember in second grade, Exactly where I still to this day remember exactly where on the shelf in the library of my second grade elementary school, where the box car children.

That's wonderful. That's my first, that's my first. That was my first, uh, first thing I remember just really loving to read the box car children. In fact, I remember, uh, for, for Christmas, I asked Santa Claus for the entire box club, children sex. The entire series. That's what I wanted to get on Christmas morning.

And yeah, I think I freaked Santa Claus out a little bit because I, 

Charity: [00:03:35] did you have any idea how many there were when you asked for 

Dan: [00:03:39] no was no idea. Uh, and, uh, I think Santa Claus, I had no idea where to buy such a thing back in the early eighties anyways. Um, but, uh, that's, that's kind of the Genesis of my reading life.

And I remember, I remember picking up my dad's. So I went to visit my grandmother, my dad, when my dad grew up and digging around through my dad's and stuff. And I found a whole box of old, uh, like original binding, uh, Hardy boy books. Yeah. A whole box. It was so cool. And I was probably like, I don't know, nine or 10 or something like that.

And I found these and they were my dad's. And, um, I could, I have them in, yeah, you can have them. So I took them and I took the whole, so I have, so, and they're upstairs in the attic right now? Um, yeah, it's super fun. So just little reading memories along my way, growing up, um, led me to the, just as passionate have for reading.

And as I, as I, you know, I got my first Kindle in 2011. 

Charity: [00:04:51] I think that's probably when most 

Dan: [00:04:52] of us did. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But the trick is, as soon as I got the Kindle, my amount of books I was able to read for years shot off like skyrocketed exponentially skyrocketed because of the ease and accessibility of books that suddenly I had, I could carry 10,000 books around in my pocket and entire library, worth of books accessible via the cloud and carried around in my pocket or in read it on any device I wanted.

So as I read more and more, I just one or to share what I was reading. And so friends would ask me for starters, I've asked them for advice and hating, and I'm like, what books should I read next? And of course I love to talk about it. And, um, I just started getting to be, and so the thing is that I never wanted to join.

I never wanted to join a book club. Okay, because I don't really want to be told what to read.

I don't want to be the one to pick what I read. And so I love talking about books.

I started women book club because no girls would let me join their book club. And yeah, honestly, that's not exactly true because I don't, I didn't want to, I didn't want to join a book club where someone else would pick a book for me that I would read it. I know that's probably narrow sided. My eyes would be opened some really cool story.

If I, if I did that. But I didn't want to. So that, that combined with the idea that I love to talk about books anyway, and combined with the fact that people kept coming to me, asking you for advice, particularly for advice on what their young readers should read. Interesting. Um, yeah, I started I, so I started writing book reviews and I, and I started writing them on, on good reads and I've used various different platforms to keep them.

To, to share them over the years. Um, my focus, my focus around, um, wanting to make sure that people were aware of the content inside of books kind of evolved as well. And, um, you, we can talk about that more. That's kind of a bigger subject if you want to in a little bit. Yeah, I would 

Charity: [00:07:20] definitely, that's definitely one of the things on my list, like how you have.

Kind of your rating scale and how, you know, 

Dan: [00:07:27] in your list you talk 

Charity: [00:07:28] about 

Dan: [00:07:29] appropriate necessarily. I thought it was that turned out to be a really big part of what I wanted to make sure people were aware of. I want to make sure people were aware, you know, I want to be able to help. I'm not like a, like a sensor or anything like that.

I don't mind the content that's in the books. I just want parents to be aware of what their kids are reading so that they can have appropriate conversations with their kids. And also there's this learning adults who also want to be aware of what's in the books and not be surprised. And I kept getting surprised I stumbled books and, and some of the books my kids were reading.

And so I decided let's make this official and let's just do this. Let's just start this. And I call it one man book club because no girl blue button to join the boat club. It. And, um, it started off, I hired a guy to, to download all of my reviews that I had been saving on. Good reads. I hired a guy to, to write, uh, a theme that would download them all from good reason, which actually downloading an exit export is easy.

It's that importing up to WordPress, a blog. That was the challenge. So I hired somebody to help me upload all of them to WordPress. You know, pay them, pay them 50 bucks or something like that. And my whole backlog of reviews up onto, onto, um, onto my WordPress back in 2017. And, um, yeah, I guess kind of the rest is history.

I mean, since then I add now I realize, you know, we're on 80 a year. I review every single one. So I'm adding, I'm adding, uh, nearly a hundred reviews a year to the blog and there's a thousand. Books or authors represented on out there right now. And, um, you know, I've expanded to put conversations on, on Facebook and, uh, I'm posting daily funny book MES on a woman book club on Instagram and Twitter and on my Facebook page.

And we do, um, you know, weekly, weekly book reviews on YouTube. Then you have a book reviews on YouTube. Um, yeah, I'm pretty much everywhere and, and people seem to be enjoying what they're seeing and we're pretty tight-knit community as you know, charity and this and this book lovers world. And I think the idea that there is, uh, a resource for parents and other discerning readers to find out what's in the books, uh, without being surprised by them.

Um, I think there's a, there's a. Need for that. And so that's kind of where when member calls started and what my, what my goal is and what we did. Well, 

Charity: [00:10:02] I love that you don't read just one genre. It seems like you read wide kind of whatever comes to you that you're like, Hey, sounds good. And I wonder, do you have favorites or are there some that you just definitely don't enjoy?

Because I know, 

Dan: [00:10:19] yeah, I do. I try to be really broad. In what I read now, I often joke and I have some close book friends online that I have that. And you'll often hear me say that romance novels would bark and let's see, that's the theme. There's a distinction. So I am a broad reader. I don't love to read, but I won't read a book.

I know it is about cancer. I won't read a book. If I know it involves the children getting hurt. Those are two things that I'll stay away from. And I don't really love zombie books. They just, they're kind of gross. Although I have enjoyed a couple of them, like the grill of all the gifts is a great book that I've actually enjoyed, um, and romance novels.

So romance, let me just make sure this is clear. I have read romance and enjoyed books that are about people falling in love. When I say romance novels that are bar. If I'm talking about, usually you can tell them they are because they'll have a shirtless guy. Those are the kinds, those are the kind that I'm not so interested in.

But if there is in fact, I love romance in a book because when you have romance in a story that creates a depth of emotion to a relationship that you don't find romance in stories. Is absolutely a must. If you're going to have a book that, that reaches into people's hearts and just grab them and hold on.

So I say romance is bark only, only in joking. And I have in my mind, pictures of. Guys without shirts on the cover, I'll stay away from those. But if there's story, 

Charity: [00:11:58] it sounds like because you liked the relationship part and some books. That's just about the physical and there's no actual 

Dan: [00:12:04] that's right. I always say, I always say if it's a story with the romance in it, I'm all for it.

If it's just a book about a romance, maybe not so much. Um, you know, that's, that's kind of where that's kind of where I draw the line, but you're right. I am, I do try to read broadly. I tend to read more fiction the non-fiction. Um, because the reason I read personally is because I want to, um, You know, I am a busy guy, I've got six kids and I coached sports teams and I teach early morning Bible studies and I, and I serve in my community in a church and I hold a full-time job.

And, um, I just don't have I'm booked, uh, you know, that's a nice part. Isn't it? Um, I'm booked, but, uh, I read so I can it's it's my, it's my me time. It's my, my downtime is the time when I can relax my brain. And so I, I tend to stay more towards fiction cause I don't want to have to think too much. Right.

Right. I read that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it's interesting. I don't necessarily like it. I know, cause that's what you've done is what we say. But, but I'm intentional when I say I don't want to escape because I don't have anything to escape from. 

Charity: [00:13:23] Right. Life is good. 

Dan: [00:13:25] Yeah. It was great. I just like to, I just like the books helped me decompress and they helped me ground myself because I give an idea that I give to all of these other elements in my life.

And I use books as a way to keep myself grounded and you know, that's how I talk about it. Anyway. Um, so I deliberately don't say I use them as an escape, but I, I do know why you said it and I, I understand, 

Charity: [00:13:49] I love the way you phrase that though. That's I'm going to, I'm going to remember that and change my wording.

Dan: [00:13:55] Yeah, it was good. I don't need to escape from my life. You know, I just, I just want to stay. I just want, I just need time to like, remove the stresses, remove the things going on and just have something that's for me. And that's what books are for me. 

Charity: [00:14:09] I love it. Well, I know growing up, they were always my best friend as well.

So let's revisit real quick. This Dan, the reading, Dan, uh, dad, um, I'm just assuming this means you read to your kids a lot, like out loud bedtimes, just 

Dan: [00:14:23] well it's it's it's yes. It's that, it's also the fact that I'm a dad and I read, and a lot of people will say that they don't have time to read because their life is too full.

And guess what? I read a lot of books. Um, but I'm also a great dad. Um, it involves, uh, it also means that I do spend a lot of time reading with my kids and, um, you know yeah. And, and creating them well, one of the biggest challenges I have. In my mind is I love to read. I love to read as a kid, I've got six kids that are pretty reluctant readers and it it's crazy to me and I, and I try to balance my, you know, pushing it on them versus, you know, helping them, um, find a passion for it on their own.

And that's something that I struggle with personally, but I've had, there's been some pretty good success stories and, and, um, No, I've got, I've got one, uh, one kid, one of my kids enjoys reading more than the others, and that's a lot of fun and we have a lot of fun talking about the books that they're reading and, um, you know, my older kids spend a lot more time reading, you know, college textbooks or.

Or Instagram then books sometimes. But, but I still, you know, they still will get involved in an, in a, in a book sometimes that we can talk about that's part of it. You know, Dan, the reading daddy, I've got kids and I read to them you're right. And, um, especially the younger kids that can't escape is still like when I read to them, um, You know, I, I do.

We're always reading a book together right now. We're reading, uh, the wild robot, Peter Brown, which, um, is, this is my third time reading that book, which, Oh my goodness. I, that is one of the books I just love and cherish more than any other stories around the robot by Peter Brown. And if you want to check it out, I haven't recommended.

Um, but my kids and I, um, I reading that together as part of our school district, as this really cool thing, where there's this school, this school district wide book club, and they give every student a book and they do, they pick one book each year and all the families in our district get to read that book together.

And, um, this year they picked the wild robot by Peter Brown. And I literally cheered when my son brought the home book home because he loved the book so much anyway, or reading that one right now, we, we just finished, um, fable Haven with reading and that was, that's been a lot of fun. Uh, we've read the first with my young.

So that's usually up through like 11 or 12 that they'll sit with me and let me read a book with them. Um, with that group we've read up through before Harry Potter. Um, you can tell, I love one of the reasons I love Harry Potter is they grow with the kids. You know, you know, once you get to book five, all of a sudden it's a little bit more complex, not a harder and then follow along.

And so it's a natural plate, you know, we started it. They weren't able to keep up. They weren't as interested. So we pushed pause and we'll revisit Harry Potter, but yeah, we're always reading books together. And, um, one of the, one of the things I am an advocate of, and I highly support is the idea that, um, parents should be reading to their kids, uh, because it not only creates a bonding time for kids and parents and, and some of our happiest memories are reading books together.

Um, but also because it develops, uh, it develops the kids into readers and, um, you know, while I stayed at my kids are reluctant readers, they are all, uh, you know, pretty well read, thanks to the books that we've read together, um, that we read together growing up, uh, as they were growing up. So yeah, I know that they have some good memories of yeah.

Charity: [00:18:09] love that. Um, I know, I think I'd already mentioned that I moved a lot. Maybe I didn't, maybe it was thinking in my head, but I moved a lot when I was young. So I didn't become a reader until the fifth grade. And that was thanks to this great teacher with summer, the monkeys and where the red Fern grows.

And for the first time I was like, Oh my goodness. You know, I, I think I did use the word escape because we generally moved from state to state in the middle of every school year. And so for me, books became those best friends that I could take with me and keep, and they were the safe, steady, you know, I'm a re reader.

I will reread the same story over and over. And, uh, I think it's wonderful because my kids aren't necessarily readers either, but I think it's good that they see us reading and know that. Okay. There's a place I can go to relax that I can learn things if they're into non-fiction. 

Dan: [00:19:06] So I love that you kind of skate with the book.

Some people need to be able to escape and it's so super 

Charity: [00:19:13] important, but as a kid, definitely. 

Dan: [00:19:16] Absolutely. And some kids may need maybe even escape and some people want to escape. You know, the other thing about the other thing, uh, about helping kids, especially teenagers read. Is when they have to go take the college entry entrance exams with the ACC, uh, they can study for math or they can study it for English and they can study for science, but there's not a lot of study that you can do for.

The reading portion of the ATP and, um, you know, unless I see I've seen my kids go through it and let's say have experienced reading that reading comprehension and stuff on ACP is really, really hard. And, um, you kinda just have to be that in the habit of reading order to, to be successful. Kind 

Charity: [00:19:59] of build that reading muscle of comprehension, 

Dan: [00:20:02] like you said.

Charity: [00:20:04] Oh, that's wonderful. Okay. So let's talk about your rubric for how you rate these books and share what's in them. How did that come about? Share it with us? Uh, I will provide links so people can visit the website and see it, but I'd like to get it. 

Dan: [00:20:20] Yeah. So, you know, um, I've mentioned before. I just, I just didn't like being surprised when I read books and it's really important to me that nobody feels like I'm like, I'm, you know, uh, making books with, you know, more grownup content, negative.

It's not negative. It's just, you know, I want people to be able to choose what they want to read. And there's just, there's no rating system for books. Uh, like you'd find for movies or TV shows, it's just really hit and miss and you know, like some examples. I love Percy Jackson versus Jackson. And, um, and the Olympians was a really, really fun series.

And I still, when I finished it, I wanted to recommend it to all my young friends. And I wanted to go read a heroes of Olympus, which is an X series, and I started reading it and enjoy it. But halfway through the series, totally unexpected. There's a young man who has same gender attraction or Percy Jackson.

Which, okay. That's fine to add some elements to stories that that help with understanding and perspective, but there was no, there was no notice that that was in there. And I just thought to myself, if that, if my, one of my children I've been reading that book and came across this topic, and it's a, quite a significant topic and a focus in the late latter part of the series, I would want to know that as a parent, so we could have the conversations about it that I think would be important to have.

But there's no, there's nothing from the publisher, nothing from the author. There's nothing that explains or lets parents know that that information is there. Um, the throne of glass series by Sarah J Maas super, super popular series. Among, um, uh, young, uh, it's, it's marketed towards, uh, young adults. It's Y 18 and it's marked by room Barry team.

And you can find it in all of the high school libraries. And I picked it up and read it because it sounded like a lot of fun to me. I'm all about indie authors and authors that are self-promoting and just having them picked up. And I read Sarah Moss back when she was still publishing yourself on the internet.

And I read, I read the there's these great pre-qual novels that she wrote and then thrown in glass. And I'm with our series and it was fun and I was recommending it to people. And as it got to book three, you got a little, little more of a smart language in it. A little more sexy book. Four was even more.

And by books five, she went the, the author there's there's pornographic sex scenes in it. Very very descriptive pornographic sex scenes. And I remember getting to, is it that like 49% Mark in book five? Or like, what did I just read? And I turned it off. Like, this is not something I'm interested in, but it's, it's marketed towards, uh, teenagers.

It's published by Bloomsbury teen, and it's on the shelves in high school. Um, that's another ready player. One is another example. I love ready player one. It's a fantastic book. Uh, it's so much fun to read. And the, um, uh, the movie came out and all of these kids, I was calling, wanting to start reading it, but there's a ton of swearing and bad language ready.

Um, you know, again, if I were a parent, I would want to know that was in there. So I could make a distinction about how my kids were going to consume this funny story. Um, when I read books, I kind of like read through this swearing. I don't know, you know, like it just kinda, I don't know, kind of goes over it and it's from practice.

That's what happens. But I thought it would be fun to listen to ready player. One of my family on a run

guy who, and so I popped it in and they started listening to it and it was very, very soon the Wil Wheaton starts dropping F bombs on you. In ready to play one. And I honestly didn't even remember. No, they, they were there, but it was embarrassing. It was really funny. My wife was like looking at me like, what are we?

Um, anyway, that's what happened. And I learned my lesson cause it's a lot harder to get, um, It's a lot harder to filter out the swear words when they're audio on audio books. Yes. Um, another, I've got all kinds of, there's a book, there's a book called the rain, which is the middle of middle grade book written for middle graders.

And it was recommended to mine, middle grader by his library. Now I have a, I have a habit of reading the books that my kids read. So if they bring home a book from school, then I'm going to read it too. Cause I want to know. Okay. I started reading this book and one is on B book and two was okay. Fine.

Exactly. But it was like the level of violence in this book is like two 11. There was so much Gore violence in this book, kids perpetrated against other children, parents. Violently hurting their children. 

Charity: [00:25:30] Maybe we need to clarify for some of our readers. Exactly what middle grade is. So they have an age range, like eight to 12.

Dan: [00:25:37] Yeah. Like eight to 12. There's up in the upper middle grade. It can go to like 14, but yeah, I would think like, think like, Um, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade ish, like in there is middle grade. And there's a pretty big range of what you'll find in middle grade. But this is a book that was recommended to my middle school or middle school library, adult level of violence in this story, all of that, to say there's so many examples of times when I've been surprised by the content of the books that I read.

And so I found it. Uh, I've found that it was, I really wanted to be able to make, to make sure that other parents didn't get surprised by the books that they read. And so, um, you mentioned a rubric. How do I grade the rate? The books in my mind, it's really simple. I asked myself how old would my kid be before I want them to read the book.

And that is that, that's how I do it. And I, on my blog, you'll see reading score 10 and under 10 and off 12 and up 14 and up 16 and up and 18 and up. And, um, I will. Again, I don't, I don't want to censor the books. I'm happy for the content that they're, I just want people to be aware of what it is so they can make educated decisions on their own.

And so, while we, you know, I read a book, I think to myself, um, what age would I want my kids to be when they read these stories? Um, and I will take note of things like the number of, you know, how much swearing is there. Sometimes I will actually count the numbers where we're on Kindle and share that and I'll do stay behaved, you know, ready player.

One has like, I don't know what it is like 14 at bombs or I don't know, one F on every 14 pages or something like that. Know, I'll give that kind of a detail other times. It's just, you know, there's a lot of swearing in here or I'll watch out for some adult kind of sex or, um, fees or things like that. I'll just make some, some, some, uh, Just thinking as a parent, what would other parents want to know about the book?

And that's what I'll put into the story. It's usually focused around sexual content, language and violence. Um, but I'll also call out if there are, um, homosexual themes in this book, because I feel like that's a topic that parents may want to be aware of. Um, I'll also, you know, there, there may be some books that are great content wise, but maybe you're, I think are just maybe too long for the targeted age.

Like, like Morgan Crow, for example, wonderful content appropriate book. Absolutely. A lot of fun, but it's like over 500 pages and that's going to be hard for a, you know, uh, Lower graded reader, like ten-year-old reader to, to pick up and read that book. And so I want parents to just have the tools that they need to feel to make educated decisions and I'd make those decisions.

Or I make those ratings just based off of my experience as a dad. And where would I want my kids to, um, how old would my kids be before I wanted them to read that book? Specifically around the sex scenes. Usually I'll ask myself how comfortable would I be reading this out loud with my teenage daughter?

Yes. And that's kind of how I, that's kind of how I grade those teens. 

Charity: [00:29:02] I love that you keep saying it's not a censorship that you just want people to be aware. And I think kind of the unspoken thing is hoping that. If parents are aware, they can have those conversations that you're talking about. You know, if their children, if they're like, okay, I'm okay with my child reading this, but that they can have that conversation because that's a relationship builder between parents.


Dan: [00:29:27] And it's also 

Charity: [00:29:29] build our society with no tolerance and love and. 

Dan: [00:29:33] Yes, absolutely. Right. I I'm, I'm an advocate for kids reading, whatever they want, as long as the parents are comfortable with it. And I always tell my kids too, if they want to read a book with grownup stuff and have to be okay, talking to me about it and, you know, So in that, that's why I do it.

That's what it's all about. That's wonderful. 

Charity: [00:29:52] I, I think it's a great tool. Like you said, for parents out there, I know you've grown a lot. You said you're now pretty much anywhere people can find you. And I'm part of the book group on Facebook, sorry, the Facebook group. And, uh, one of the things I like is people are actually very vocal.

They are willing to share with they're reading. They're willing to come on and say, Hey, I've got a 10 year old. He's interested in dragons per se. You know, do you have books that you suggest and people just come. I love the community that you're building. 

Dan: [00:30:26] It's so fun. It's a lot of fun because I finally had a place where I can talk about books.

Yeah. It's a blast. Um, you know, we're the, I always say the more people that come, the better conversations we can have, um, and everyone's welcome to come. Workers are welcome to learn. You know, commenters are welcome to comment and you know, it, it's just a really, really fun place to be. There's two Facebook pay.

There's a Facebook page of one man book club. And Ashley, you can, you can follow that page and get caught up in the latest book reviews and I'll post the fun means or other information off. I usually often post, uh, uh, ebook sales on from Amazon there as well. Um, you can see there's great information there.

If you want to get engaged and have the conversation, then you want to join that. They. A group called let's talk books by women book club. Um, and it's affiliated with it. That's what we have a lot of fun conversation. Yeah. It's lot of fun. If you, if you, if you look, you might talk about books and you want to come get some great book, ideas, come join us over there.

We have a really, really tight and fun team. And 

Charity: [00:31:37] I know you've got the 20, 21 reading challenge that 

Dan: [00:31:40] you've just started. I do. Yeah. You know, one of the things that I find is one of the, so I often say that reading is fun, but helping others read is joy. That is what really makes me happy. And so, um, as I thought about what kind of reading challenge we could, I could sponsor for 2021, I came up with the idea that read happier reading challenge, because let's read a half year let's let's elevate our reading game.

And the whole premise is set a achievable goal. One, uh, a couple of thoughts on achievable goals. You know, you often want to set a stretch goal for things. I don't really going to stretch and try to stretch myself. I am an advocate of not having stretch goals. I'm an advocate of having achievable goals for me.

Because there's nothing worse than it being like November and December. You're missing the middle of the holiday rush. And you're like, I really wanted to achieve my book reading goal by too busy. And that's why I'm just going to read really short books that I don't care about starter. It's kind of the voting happier.

It's not reading happier. So set an achievable goal. You know, you can hit because the feeling of achieving a goal is fantastic. And then, um, another element is, uh, to record or track. Your goal. So whatever method you want, you, um, use good reads, use a notebook, use Excel, whatever. There's several resources where you can actually tracking, I use good reads, but track your reading goal.

And then there's monthly. Check-ins where we report on our goals. We need a kick in the pants. We need a kick in the pants. We just need a Pat on the back and have a Pat on the back. But the third part, the part that really, I think, elevates the reading happier is that I want everyone to share what they read and share their thoughts about the books.

That period. And so I have created a now share Harvey wants, I would love it. If you would share your book reviews with me, because I can seek those book reviews and post them on one man book club and add them to the collection there. I consider one, that book club, a resource for readers, and there's a database there that's searchable and that's categorized where you can go find the books that are eight that are agent content appropriate with book reviews.

And so I obviously cannot read every single book in the world, but if we can get a group of group together to release a lot of books and the reviews, we can cover a lot of ground in that way. So part of the read half your challenge for 2021 is share your book of these with me. And a lot of people read without writing book reviews.

That's okay. I think you'll be happier if you share it. So I created a really easy template that people can use to answer a few book questions and, um, Once you answer the questions answered. It's just three or four simple questions to talk about. That prompts you to talk about your book, what you liked and what you didn't like, and what content did you find there?

And then I can take that and post it onto the book women book club. And all of a sudden your book review is now, you know, archive for all of history, for people to find, um, and help them find books that they're going to love, or maybe books that they're going to hate. 

Charity: [00:34:45] As he, as an author. I love that you are encouraging people to share what they're reading because.

Most people don't and, uh, you know, the way the world works for authors, they need those reviews. So I appreciate that. And I know last month I did two books or it wasn't January. And what I loved is the email comes to me too. So everything that I sat and answered questions I have, and I do write reviews and have quite a few posted on, on Amazon and good reads.

But it's hard to kind of tell people it's really easy to write a review. Because you're, it's not a book report like we used to have to do in school. It's seriously just saying, you know, I really enjoyed this. I'm not quite sure about this, but yeah. You know, and, and it's as easy as that. And I saw your step-by-step question here.

Dan: [00:35:36] It's yeah. I'm so glad you found it helpful. I'm I, you know, I think it was a thing that people are a little bit scared of me. Where do I start? When I read a book review and I always say, Your broker, if it's something that they can read on the back of the book, then you probably don't need to include basically what people are reading a book review to, to get a general idea of what the book's about and you know, what you thought of it and what they, what, what do you want other people to know?

If you were picking that book, what would you like to know about the book? And that's, you know, that's why I say if you take, if it takes more than two minutes to read what you wrote, then your book review is too long. 

Charity: [00:36:13] Well, and I know personally, when I go looking for a book to read. I read the two and three-star book reviews first.


Dan: [00:36:20] Yeah, absolutely. 

Charity: [00:36:22] As I'm looking for, those are where I'm going to find, there were explicit, explicit sex things. Cause I don't want those. I'm like, okay, I'll pass, you know, the heavy language. And it's usually where people will say, you know, I do take a little bit of, kind of with a grain of salt when they say poorly written, I'll read a couple of more to try to yeah.

Gauge where the medium is of that is because that's so 

Dan: [00:36:43] subjective, but yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm right with the charity that the, um, that there's a, I wrote a post, uh, that I often share with people that you can find it on my mem book club, but it's essentially sticks tips for picking books. You'll love that books you're going to hate.

And, um, yeah, it's, uh, it's so, so I am a good book picker. I have a lot of experience and I rarely pick books that I don't like. Uh, and I have a specific method that I use to make sure I'm picking the books that I can go into like a Netflix book on eight. And one of them is looking at good reads and looking at good read ratings.

Also look at an Amazon rating, but I find that the Amazon ratings are a little more generous than the ratings on, on good reads. And so I'll read it. I'll look at the rating, the good reason. And you're right. I will look at a couple positive reviews, but I found the biggest source of knowledge and the.

Less positive reviews. Yes. Um, and I'll read a few of them and if I see a pattern, then I can start getting a sense of, you know, if the book is good for me or not. Yeah. Then that was my magic number on good reads is 3.7. If it's below 3.7, I usually won't read 

Charity: [00:37:53] it. I made a kind of a rating system for when I do it.

And, uh, and then I use movie ratings for how clean they were, but my rating sometimes I'm like, eh, it's not really a four, but it's not really a three and 

Dan: [00:38:07] 3.7. Know the other thing that I did was I found it necessary to define what my book to help me stay consistent in my ratings. And so I, I, you can find us on the blog too.

I have the, what is the value of a star? I call it. And so I'll say if it's a five star, this is what it means to me. And so, um, anyway, I found that's important. Another tip for picking books. You're gonna love, um, this, I tell the people all this all the time, when you, if you want, wanna, if you see a series you want to read, um, look at the rating, look at the good reads rating of all the books in the series.

And what you'll see is, um, if, so, imagine you're you pick an history and you love it. You're going to go read the next book. But what happens if you don't like the next book? So if you're a serious fan, you love the first book, the second book, it's going to get a lower rating and the third book and so on.

Does the ratings, the ratings of books, subsequent books in the series are a much better indicator if you're gonna like the book, then just the rating from the first book. So like fable Haven, for example. The ratings get better with each book so that the fifth book has wonderful rating. And the first book has a good one, but not as good as the last.

And each book is stuff's for me better. Meaning the hands liked what they read, but if you go look at like divergent, for example, lots of people love the first book, but the ratings are nose diving in the subsequent susceptible books in the series. Um, divergent, by the way I failed, I didn't take my advice and read the series and I

hate that series. 

Charity: [00:39:49] I think that's also an indicator, whether people continued reading. Because the ratings could go down because they lose 

Dan: [00:39:56] interest. Yep. And so, um, yeah, that's just another kid. If, if I see that the series has worsening ratings and reviews as the booklet, I probably wouldn't even start it without reading books out there.

You're going to love you don't need to waste your time with books that you're not gonna like, yes. 

Charity: [00:40:18] Oh my goodness. Well, I know we're kind of winding down on our time, but I. What did to also give you the opportunity to share if there's anything else that you're just passionate about outside of reading that you just like, I want people to know about this, 

Dan: [00:40:35] you know, uh, I have a lot of passions, but the one that I, the one that I am most passionate about is reading.

And there's a place that I focus my time outside of my family. It's it's in, uh, it's in reading and it's in helping people read. I I'm an advocate of libraries. I'm an advocate of, um, literacy programs. I'm an advocate of. Um, helping parents feel enabled to help their kids find books, to read and an advocate of helping people, um, discover the books that they're going to love instead of getting stuck in books that they hate.

If you need someone to tell you, it's okay to stop reading a book and consider this as it don't have to finish the book you don't like. So stop reading it. It's okay. Go find something else, find something that makes you happy. Um, that's where my passion is, is about, is about helping people discover books to read without being surprised by the, that they find the inside.

Charity: [00:41:40] I love that. I really love that. Um, I'm going to make sure I've got a whole list of links that we will include in our notes so that people can find you wherever they are happy being as well as uncle get the links for this six tips for picking books, because I think that's going to be super helpful for people.


Dan: [00:41:59] Yeah. There's another one out there. I'll point you to two, that's called, um, you know, 10 tips for a busy dad. How to read more books. That's another good one. Um, that, uh, I think people might enjoy it as well. You know, it's all about, it's all about how to find it's all about finding the time to read it.

And really the big, the big trick is to change your mindset about re reading is a lot of times people say reading, you know, I don't have time to read what they mean is I don't have an hour to devote to sitting down and zoning out and only spending time reading a book. That's not what reading has to be reading is reading is filling in your in-between times.

Yes. Um, and so there's time to watch 

Charity: [00:42:39] TV. Yeah, 

Dan: [00:42:41] that's right. It's all about prayer, about prioritizing, prioritizing. Anyway, that's another post-its up on the blog. I think that people will enjoy wonderful, 

Charity: [00:42:53] wonderful. Well, we're going to do that. And it's so funny because I was just thinking. We like to sign off by saying, uh, keep writing or start writing.

But I think it would be more appropriate this week to say, keep reading or start reading. 

Dan: [00:43:08] Yeah. And I find my out happy reading. Happy reading. Yeah. They'll have you reviews. I love it. 

Charity: [00:43:15] Thank you so much for being here and I hope that you continue to have happy reading. 

Dan: [00:43:21] Thank you, Jerry. Thanks for inviting me.

It's been fun. I will talk to you later. See you out on Facebook, I guess. Yeah. Yes.

Charity Bradford. 

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