Monday, July 20, 2015

Why You Should Meet Authors (+ A Year of Living Prayerfully Review)

I've been to a few author talks, and I find that after meeting the writer I'm automatically more warm-hearted towards their work. When you put a face to that name on the cover of the book, it changes how you read the book. You can imagine the person writing it. You've talked to the writer and seen their passion. You can imagine the heart that went into the work. You tend to stop holding the real person you've met to the incredibly high standards that you usually have when reading a book by an author you know nothing about.

It's healthy for us rabid readers to meet authors. It keeps us from getting too cynical about books, and reminds us that authors are people too. I've definitely been guilty of ripping apart books on Goodreads or on SOI, but the more authors I meet (regardless of the quality of their work), the more I temper my public criticism of books that I don't care for. Meeting authors reminds me to be grateful for the incredible service they do us readers.

The latest published author that I met was Jared Brock. I met Jared "Jay" Brock after he spoke at our church one Sunday night. He was the genuine sort of guy. You know, the one who talks to you like he's known you forever because he's interested, not because he wants to sell his book (even if that was his ulterior motivate, he hid it very well, haha). Originally, I wasn't going to buy his book, but after talking to him and having my heart warmed, I wanted to support this author. So I bought his book.

This was one of those cases where I would have loved his book without having even met him.


I don't want to do a full fledged review, but I did want to offer a little insight into why I thought this book was so great. I thought a list was the perfect, brief option for that. So without further adieu, here's a list of why I liked A Year of Living Prayerfully:
  • Brock has got a great voice and sense of humor 
  • Brock isn't afraid of exploring the fringes of Christianity in search of truth
  • As a mix of memoir and reflection, it was easy to read, and didn't read like a prayer manual. That being said...
  • I learned some valuable methods to introduce to my own prayer life
  • As Brock is from Ontario, some of the places he mentioned were familiar which was neat (us Canadians have got to stick together!)
Having an experience like this just reinforces the importance of meeting authors. Not all author's you'll meet will write great books, but meeting them will help humanize the people that create the works that we all enjoy so profusely.

Have you met any authors? Did you have any experiences like me? Did you have a negative experience? Any authors you want to meet? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments!

Reading: The Unlikely Hero in Room 13b by Teresa Toten for the Make Me Read It Readathon
Listening: All Sons and Daughters
Watching: Rookie Blue

13 comments:

  1. I've met a few authors in my time, though I haven't gotten around to reading any of their books yet. Still, I can see how that personal element would improve your way of tackling a review. Glad you liked A Year of Living Prayerfully!

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    1. I had a teacher recommend that I always read some of an author's work before I go hear them talk. It was good advice, but I don't always follow it, haha. So many books so little time!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I have not met any authors actually (mostly because I've never been to BEA or anything and most book tours don't reach Canada, but I can definitely see how that affect when you're writing a review. It's sort of like when you read a book from an author you like, but more I guess.

    BTW Yeah Canadians! I love it when there are Canadian references :)

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    1. Yay Canadians! I'm always happy to see another one of us in the blogosphere!

      I haven't been to BEA or any really famous book tours, but I do try to make a point of seeking out smaller authors who speak at smaller, local venues. I usually have never heard of them before, but it's a great way of discovering new authors.

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  3. I've met about five authors. :) I truly enjoyed each and every one! I agree with what you said.
    ~ Sanjana
    peridotcove.blogspot.com
    P.S. Speaking of books, I just posted a book recommendation list over on my blog!

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    1. Five authors? Wow that's great! I'm glad that you had a positive experience with each of them:)

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  4. Sounds like an excellent book! I just started (this morning) a book called Why We Pray by William Philip. Prayer life is both the most important and - for me - most difficult part of our walk with God, so the more encouragement we can find, the better. I'll look out for this book.

    I've never met any authors. Authors have come to my school before, but I've never had one on one chats with them. Sadly. Very, very sadly.

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    1. I totally agree with you on the importance of prayer! That sounds like an interesting book; I'm going to have to check that out. Thanks for mentioning it:)

      Hope you get to meet some authors in the future!

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  5. Meeting the authors does change your view of books for better or worse. Once you do it, breaks a barrier so to speak. That writers are humans and not gods. XD Sort of like when you meet your first celebrity. I've met several of both and it really helps one get perspective when you meet these people you've known of for a long time in person.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Learning that authors are humans and not gods was a huge step for me as a reader. It really helps put things in perspective. You're totally right.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. I can imagine how meeting an author would (if they're nice!) make you like and forgive their work more. I'm "meh" to the whole thing, though. I mean, I don't necessarily DESIRE or LONG to meet any authors, but if you dragged me to a meet like, "ITS GOOD FOR YOU" I wouldn't object. XD lol great post! I've never really thought about this before, tbh. :S

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    1. Thanks!

      At first I felt the same way, but after meeting a few for school, I realized that I really enjoy it.

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  7. I haven't met any authors with published works(that I know of). I'd love to though, and I can understand how that could change your mindset. I know I've definitely been guilty of being harsher than I needed to be in my reviews. It's good to think about the person behind the book sometimes.

    Also, A Year of Living Prayerfully has my interest piqued! Going on my to-read list, I think. :)

    Ally @ The Scribbling Sprite

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