Category Archives: Review

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I Actually Read Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland (Review 2)

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Buy Structuring Your Novel 
Borrow Structuring Your Novel

My second review is up! Two reviews in four months; I am *killing* this.

The full title for this novel is Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. It’s K.M. Weiland third book in her Helping Writers Become Authors Book and it’s the best $8 I’ve spent in 2016. I love this book and I love what it’s doing for my book. If you’re looking for a novel-specific guide to plot, you can’t do better than this.

Here are some links from Weiland to give you a taste of the material (or even just a kick in the writing pants):

The Visual Chart
The Five-Minute Intro Class
Or some Advanced Tips

It’d also be cool if you subscribe to my channel and let YouTube tell you when my new videos come out.


Actually Read Books Fiction Review Videos

I Actually Read The Martian by Andy Weir (Review 1)

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Buy The Martian
Borrow The Martian 

The first real review vlog is out, and I couldn’t be happier! Really glad that the frame rates are better, and that it is still technically January. (Though, as we all know, Time Isn’t Real.) The Martian by Andy Weir was a wonderful read to start with, if a bit of a genre enigma.

(I also bring my dog in at the end, which I enjoyed.)

Look out for my next video—the first (Over)Haul video—later this week! Or just subscribe to my channel, and let YouTube handle the rest.


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Testing, Testing

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The Martian

It was a great movie…two months ago? And the novel by Andy Weir has been out since 2011. But The Martian is going to be my first novel back on the horse. I finished my last exam for my undergraduate degree this afternoon, and now it’s time start reading (books I choose) again. The Actually Read Books challenge doesn’t start till the new year, but this should be a fun way to warm up.

Summary from Goodreads:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale