Skip to content

Do You Want To Ask Me Some Questions?

101books_03

I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. But if it sucks, it won’t be the first time I’ve had a post that bombed.

But what the heck.

The floor is yours. If you have a question for me related to 101 Books–the blog itself, blogging, anything of that nature–then fire away!

Think of this as a supplement to my FAQ section.

I still get a lot of questions in the comments and in emails. I try to answer as many as possible, but sometimes I don’t get around to them all. I’m certainly not an expert on blogging, but I’ve figured out a few things over the last two-and-a-half years.

Today, I’ll answer every single question that’s asked–which will likely be two or three, so that should be easy.

So fire away! Ask me anything about the blog or even blogging in general.

About these ads
44 Comments Post a comment
  1. Every avid reader has that book that CHANGED THEIR LIFE when they were a teenager, what’s yours?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Honestly, my teen years were sparse when it comes to reading fiction. I read a lot up until high school, but it was well after high school before I started back. In my early 20s, I remember reading On The Road by Kerouac. I read it at a transitional time in my life when I had just driven all over the country. It obviously wasn’t Kerouac’s writing that blew me away, but it was the themes and the feeling of independence in the novel that affected me. That’s when I realized that there’s something to the books that are considered “classics,” the great pieces of literature. There’s a reason they’re considered as such and it’s not just to piss of high school students who don’t want to read them. That’s probably when my true love of reading more than just modern, Stephen King-type novels started (and nothing wrong with SK. Still like him!)

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  2. What kinds of things attract you to a book? Are you partial to westerns, crime fiction, science fiction, or contemporary fiction or some other genre over others? Do you find yourself reading more fiction than non-fiction? Does writing style impact your choice, or are you more enticed by plot? Is your primary focus the story or the characters? Does what the writer have to say, if anything, through the telling as important as what happens next? I’m sure most of these factors weigh in to varying degrees, but which are most important to you as a reader? In other words, are you particular or are you more indifferent to these distinctions?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I’ll pick a couple. I’m driven by plot. I need a good plot with strong characters. If a book has that, I can forgive what I might think is loose writing. Like An American Tragedy, for instance. On the flip side, A Dance To The Music Of Time was flawlessly written, but had the pacing of a snail and made me want to poke my eyes out. Hated it. I’ve almost forgotten what genres I like because I’ve been reading from this list for the last 30 months. It has so many genres all over the place, everything from Snow Crash to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret to The Great Gatsby. But I generally like the Fitzgerald/Hemingway era, even up through Steinbeck. In between the wars.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  3. Miss_More #

    How did you come up with the idea that gave birth to 101books.net? How does a new blogger get more traffic? What’s the best & worse thing about blogging? Why are you so cool?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I’ll take it that the last question is a joke because it made me laugh! I talk a little about how I came up with the idea in my first post. But basically, I was going on vacation for a week and I wanted some beach reading. I was researching online for some good older books, and came across the Time list. That’s when it clicked. I might have recently seen the Julie and Julia movie where she cooks through the Julia Child cookbook, so that whole idea of a quest might have been fresh on my mind.

      Best and worse thing about blogging? The pressure to come up with fresh ideas every day is tough, but it’s very rewarding too. The more you do it, the easier it comes. As for traffic? I can just say that consistency, consistency, consistency is so important. It doesn’t have to be every day, but the readers have to know when to expect fresh content. Social media helps traffic, but not as much as you would think, at least for me. And guest posts! I don’t do guest posts on here but I’ve found some other blogs that have guest posters and that’s a great traffic booster that will give you the chance to write for a different audience. Some of those definitely won’t stick and stay with your blog, but some will, and that will be a boost.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  4. On The Road changed my life too. Strangely, when I went back to read it recently, It didn’t really have the same effect. Maybe because I am older, maybe because I have travelled,maybe because in many ways, I felt sorry fro him. Is there a novel that you keep coming back to and being moved every time? I think I am turning into a cliche but Jane Eyre, still keepsme breathless, even though I fight against it, and Clive Barker’s Weaveworld. Makes me shudder just thinking about it. Bloody marvellous!

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I think that’s a trend with On The Road. It’s on the list, and I haven’t got to it yet. But I’m thinking I’ll think differently about it at 36 than I did at 22. But we’ll see. Even so, it’s still had a huge impact on me at that time in my life.

      The Great Gatsby is the novel I keep coming back to. If you read any of my posts about it, then you know I’m in love with that book.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  5. Eddie #

    I love reading series books. I have read The Dark Tower (by SK), reading Game of Thrones now (on book 5). I have even read the Twilight and Hunger Games books…. is there any particular series of books that grabbed you and kept you going? Other than the Dance books of course!

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I can’t think of that many series books that I’ve read. I’ve read most of The Lord of The Rings (although it was really written as 1 book, not 3). I guess Harry Potter would be the main example. I was very leery of reading those novels, but finally took the plunge and plowed through all of them in a brief time. JK Rowling is pretty awesome.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
    • I highly recommend Stephen R. Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. Deepest, richest, most significant fantasy series I’ve read. The first six books, two trilogies, are particularly spellbinding and heart wrenching. A spectacular series. But beware. After reading these books, you’ll never look at characters or fiction in general the same way. At least that’s been my experience and that of the few friends I’ve known who’ve also read it. If you’re wondering whether this is the sort of thing you’d be interested it, check out the wikipedia site about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Thomas_Covenant,_the_Unbeliever

      Like

      February 22, 2013
    • usafroggy #

      The Kingkiller trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss! The first one is The Name of the Wind. I cannot describe to you how spellbinding these books are, but I’ll try: I read every spare second I possibly could. This is the kind of book that turns every moment into fair game–walking from class to class, brushing my teeth, tying my shoes. Eddie, and anyone reading this, I beg you to read The Name of the Wind!

      Like

      December 5, 2013
  6. Before reading the greats and after….how has your life changed? What makes you think that reading can be good for you(or even bad sometimes as it causes one to brood)? Thanks Robert!

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I think I just have a greater respect for most of these writers. You hear the names a lot, but you don’t really think much about the time and effort and pure thought they put into these great novels.

      Indirectly, I’ve learned to just manage my time better by doing something like this. Reading is just part of it. I’ve also got the blog to manage so I have to really be intentional with my time, especially with a wife and a kid.

      As for reading being good for you…absolutely makes me think more analytical and creative. I learn so much from fiction. Even the dark stuff.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  7. Do you own a Kindle? What do you think of the whole e-books phenomenon?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I don’t. And I don’t have a problem with e-books, but it’s just not my cup of tea. My wife has a Kindle and loves it, but I just prefer the old school book.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  8. What book are you most looking forward to AFTER you’ve conquered the 101 Books list?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Oh man, where to start? I really want to read 11/22/63 and 1Q84. I want to read more of Joseph Heller and Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro. I’d like to read Freedom by Franzen. I wouldn’t even mind checking out The Hunger Games. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
      • Oh all great choices! I’ve got 11/22/63 on my kindle to read and LOVED 1Q84. You’re going to be so overwhelmed, but luxuriate in the choices :)

        Like

        February 22, 2013
  9. peachyperspectivve #

    What will you read after you finish the 101 books?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Geoff beat you to that question. See above.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  10. Hello Robert, I don’t know weather you know “The Road Home” by Rose Tremain. I must say I liked it very much and we read it with my reading group and I also wrote a kind of an easy summary for English learners on my blog. But do you think it’s plausible that the main character “Lev” was able to understand Hamlet with what English he knew? Thank you very much for your thought. Best regards

    Like

    February 22, 2013
  11. Are you still happy with your choice of the Time 100 list for a blogging project? Was there an alternate project you considered?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Yeah, I think so. I also considered The Modern Library list but it seemed a little stuffier. The Time list has some variety to it and I liked that.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  12. How many edits does a typical post of yours go through or do you just publish your first draft?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I try to work ahead a little. Nothing kills my creativity like trying to write tomorrow’s post on the night before. It becomes too much of a job then. So I write the first draft about a week out (when the initial idea strikes me), and then I edit a day or two before it goes live, as well as another quick once-over the morning of. Sometimes, the editing process is quicker than I would like, but that’s just the way it is for a one-man show. Ideally, I’d have an editor look over the posts, but I can’t justify that at this point.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  13. Your bio says you were an English Major. Have you read any of “the classics,” such as The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Aristotle’s Poetics, Dante’s Divine Comedy, etc.? Thanks for opening up the floor to questions!

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Yes, I read The Iliad and The Odyssey in college. At least large portions of them. Beowulf too. I’ve never been *that* into those types of classics. I’m really more into 20th century fiction.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
      • Gotcha. I had a great prof in classics who made it “real” for me. And I was pretty “old” when I first read them, so maybe that’s why I liked them so much. For example, I enjoyed how smart Penelope was, first holding all those suitors at arms length and then testing Odysseus before letting him back into their marriage bed. I think it can be really interesting to see common threads surface in contemporary lit.

        Like

        February 22, 2013
  14. What are your favorite books out of these 101 and what are your favorite other books?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Check out my rankings to see where I rank all the books I’ve read so far: http://101books.net/my-rankings/

      But briefly, my three favorites are Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, and I, Claudius.

      Favorite nonfiction includes Into The Wild (love all of Jon Krakauer’s stuff), Under The Banner of Heaven, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Fast Food Nation, Blue Like Jazz, to name a few.

      Like

      February 22, 2013
  15. Reblogged this on Womenoclock.

    Like

    February 22, 2013
  16. Mom #

    Have you run across one …or more…that made you say Huh?! As in…why so much fuss about this book ?

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • Mrs. Dalloway. Blah. I had it ranked last until a few weeks ago. I just don’t like Woolf’s style.

      Like

      February 25, 2013
  17. How do you carve out time to blog? How many hours do you spend per week? I have young children too, and I’ve often wondered how you find the time to post so consistently! I find I’m too exhausted most days, after work and super and bedtime…

    Like

    February 22, 2013
    • I’ve somehow figured it out. Both my wife and son go to bed early, so I usually have from 8 til 10:30 at night to read/blog, plus I have about 45 minutes at lunch that I use to read. I also spend time on Sunday afternoon writing posts for the week. Once I get in the habit of doing it, it really gets easy. I can write a typical post in 15-20 minutes (unedited). Of course, the longer posts, like reviews, take much longer than that.

      Like

      February 25, 2013
      • Thanks! It really is about finding those blocks of time! I need to quit pointless surfing of Twitter etc. to use my time better, I think.

        Like

        February 25, 2013
  18. Does your 101 challenge ever make you feel constrained in terms of what you read – in other words, are there times when you really want to read something off the list but don’t because otherwise you’d never finish your list?

    Like

    February 23, 2013
    • Absolutely! I really want to read 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Plus, there’s been times where I wanted to read more from an author after finishing one of his books from the list. Joseph Heller is an example.

      Like

      February 25, 2013
  19. Are you going to continue blogging once you’ve read through your 101 books?

    Like

    February 24, 2013
    • I honestly don’t know. Part of me wouldn’t mind a little time off from the daily routine. But I know I would miss it as well. I’m not sure if I’ll just continue blogging about books in general, find another list to read, or just hang it up for a little while. Still have 2 years or so to decide.

      Like

      February 25, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Introducing The 101 Books Mailbag! | 101 Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32,259 other followers

%d bloggers like this: