‘Tis the day after 15 April 2017, a pleasant holday for getting together with family and, for many, a reaffirmation of faith. The preceding day (the 15th) is not a holiday and has many locally generated unofficial names. Some of them are even not obscene. I’ll just stick with Tax Day (capitalization is my choice). The date is a deadline by which many US citizens and residents must report their earned income to the US Federal Government so that they can voluntarily pay a sum of money (Tax) determined by the Government. This is an over-simplification because there are many exceptions (loopholes) as to required filing dates. It remains a deadline and for those who can’t work to deadlines (writers?), the existence of yet another deadline can produce stress.
It is also the date I determined I want to return to daily blogging. Prior to 15 April, starting on the first of March, I was busy fulfilling bureaucratic requirements to obtain a visa and work permit for my continued stay in Indonesia. Those requirements are detailed in a shifting regulatory environment that might make a US citizen welcome working with comparatively stable, but still arbitrary, IRS decision makers. I also want to do something a bit different based on publications I observed during my sporadic reading activity in March and the first part of April 2017.
I downloaded a sample of The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) by David J. Costello. The complete review can be found here If You Could Live Forever … 28 Feb 2017. The sample I read led me to believe that I was going to read a story largely based on WWII. This was not the case and I was not the only one to make this mistake. I noticed that many Facebook and Twitter comments made by those who read only the sample made the same mistake.
In an attempt to fight the accumulation of a lot of books on my TBR shelf, I try to make a practice of downloading a sample of a novel before I commit to a purchase. My attempts are only partially successful; I find some samples to be nothing more than a table of contents. Others present a strong beginning with great hooks to entice the reader and then go into a stall for several scene-setting, descriptive-beyond-belief chapters. These experiences lead me to not always download a pre-read sample. I am left with having to judge a book by its cover. We know where that leads as far as a reliable indicator of content.
Therefore I am going to experiment for a few days. I will download a sample, read it, and post a review. The following day I will post a full review and make a judgment as to whether the sample was valuable in the sense that it gave a prospective reader (me) an accurate impression of a book’s content.
And on … to what I hope will be some interesting reading.