What I’m Reading 28th January

Woohoo, it’s book day! Also, it’s book hangover time. 😩 It’s okay; give me a couple of days, and I’ll be sucked into the next one. I mentioned book hangover to my better half, Jez, the other week, and he had no clue what it meant. I’m starting to wonder if it’s a romance reader thing.

If you don’t know what it is, this meme explains it succinctly.

[FYI: The book links are free from affiliate codes.]

The Work Read

Yip, I’m still working my way through this. I’m a slow reader, but I’m super-slow when it comes to textbooks. I have to stop to take notes, and there’s a lot of re-read to make sure the information goes in. (It would go a whole lot faster if it was in Scots, but alas, there aren’t any craft books written in Scots. Yet.)

Writing for Emotional Impact on Kindle (£4.99 )


The Fun Read

Still Lake by Anne Stuart

I’ve had a book hangover for a couple of days, as I mentioned above. I finished Nightfall by Anne Stuart and couldn’t think of stepping into a new fictional world. Damn, that woman is pure evil. I “just one more chapter”-ed myself way, way past my bedtime. And through breakfast. And then it was over 😩 Hence the book hangover.

But when I feel like I can go on a new adventure, it’ll be another Anne Stuart book. This week I’m going with another romantic suspense from her back catalogue, Still Lake.

Sophie Davis is on the road to fulfilling her lifelong dream of turning an old Vermont farm into a country inn. The fact there was a murder there twenty years ago doesn’t rattle her. But John Smith, the stranger who’s just moved in along the lake, does. The man is hiding something, and Sophie suspects he could endanger her dreams, maybe even her life.

Still Lake on Kobo (£1.49 on Kobo)

Still Lake on Kindle (£1.49 on Kindle)

The Me-Time Read

I finished reading A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock, and I have to say it set off all sorts of lightbulbs for me–storytelling wise, not going rogue spy or anything… The biggest takeaway for me was how similar the basic processes of thinking are to sequels in stories.

Sequels aren’t the same as later movies in a series. In stories, we have what is known as scenes and sequels. This is a very rudimentary explanation, so just nod your head and try not to let your eyes glaze over.

Scene and sequels are like cause and effect. Something happens, an action, and then there’s a reaction. The scene is the action part, the sequel is the reaction. A sequel comprises of the emotional reaction to what happened, the rationalisation of possible actions to deal with it, the decision of what to do–the setting of a new goal. Once that decision is made, a new scene (action section) kicks off the loop again, with the character pursuing the new goal.

Braddock shares a similar process known as D-A-D-A. Let’s have a quick look at what D-A-D-A means. D= data, A= analysis, D= decide, A= action. The data part is similar to the emotional reaction part of sequels, the analysis is similar to the rationalisation part, and the decide and action parts are exactly the same. How cool is that?

Hmm. If this reads like I’m geeking out, it’s ’cause I am. (Story theory and spy stuff at the same time! Eeee!) This was such a great read that I’m going straight into the second in his three-part Spy’s Guide series.

Book two is A Spy’s Guide to Strategy. Here’s a wee bit from the book description:

When you’re a spy, life is complex. There are long games and short games and games that don’t matter. There are enemies, allies and allies who become enemies. There’s ambiguity, lying and betrayal. It’s on you to make sense of it. Just you.

A Spy’s Guide to Strategy on Kindle (£4.63 or free with Kindle Unlimited)


Do you get book hangovers? How do you deal with them? Me, I just mope and wish for pizza. I’d love to hear your reading plans for the next week…

Until next time, take care, and happy reading!

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​

12 thoughts on “What I’m Reading 28th January

  1. Chris Hall says:

    Oh yes, I get book hangovers. Current reading: ‘One of our Thursdays is missing’ by Jasper Fforde. Brilliant! as are all his books, which are perfect for writers to enjoy (although in this novel he’s slightly sniffy about indie authors and banished our book to Vanity Island). My favourite of his is ‘The Well of Lost Plots’.

    1. I’ve never heard of him before. When writers get stroppy about indie publishers I just shrug and think about the 60-70% we get on sales. 😉
      Anyway, what in particular makes his books perfect for writers to read? I’m always interested in finding authors who are exceptionally good at certain aspects of the craft.

      1. Chris Hall says:

        Fforde’s books are heavily laced with literary references, clever concepts and outrageous fantasy. Books and their characters take on a life of their own: real-life people can jump inside books and ‘fix’ bits, characters have understudies so they can leave their books temporarily, there’s an army of clones known as the Mrs Danvers, with the same sinister character traits…. Basically the books are all a bit bonkers, but if you’re a reader and into writing craft, they are an absolute hoot (well, I think so).

      2. Oh, so it’s like breaking the forth wall. Sounds interesting!

      3. Chris Hall says:

        Exactly. I couldn’t have (didn’t) put it better!

  2. Writing for the Emotional Impact looks interesting.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It’s a great book. There are so many gold nuggets on writing a fulfilling story–I’ve made so many notes that they make a book of their own. 😜

  3. Great post, my geekie lady 🥸😘

    1. Why thank you, my kind sir! Lady? 🤣

  4. Oh yes, I do get book hangovers (great word for it!) and no, it’s not a romance thing because I’m not a big romance reader. If I want to avoid that hangover, I just have to stick with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. There are so many of them and they all somewhat relate. So that’s a safte bet. Until I want to read something else…
    Another way of coping (for me) is to get creative for a while instead of consuming the creation of another.

    You know I hear you wrt. the slow reading, especially when it comes to textbooks. Maybe we need to point Dr. Dempster to the issue with the Scots – doesn’t he translate books, too? I mean, reading a book in Scots will slow me down to an extend that I won’t need to buy any new books for the next year or so, but I’ll just get a German translation, instead.

    I loved the geek-y excursion and will come back to re-read it as I am learning, here!

    1. Yeah, I think he does some translation of books–definitely songs. I’d still be slow reading in Scots, but I’d comprehend it far easier. I bet you’re the same when reading in German.

      1. Yes, you definitely won that bet!

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