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Jessica Faust’s #SummerReads

I read a lot of articles on productivity, leadership and management, and in a recent article the author talked about how adding five-minutes a day of reading changed everything for him. Instead of committing to the monumental task of a book a week or a book a month, he simply committed to five minutes. Believe it or not, publishing professionals often feel like we don’t get enough reading in. Sure we read all the time. We read submissions, our client’s books and books for others in our office, but with all that reading comes a downside. It’s a struggle to just sit down and read something that’s already been published.

So I committed myself to five minutes. It’s completely upped my reading (because once you start with five minutes it’s often hard to stop), but I also feel no pressure with only five minutes.

The last two books I finished thanks to my new plan are two very different books.

The One and Only Ivan is a children’s book that has intrigued me for years. I’ve only resisted picking it up because I feared it would be really sad. I’m not going to lie, I sobbed, but I also sobbed happy tears. This is a beautiful story that I have no doubt adults and children will love.

My second reading choice is a little [read the sarcasm] different. Crazy Love You by Lisa Ungar was dark, spooky and wonderful. I love an unreliable narrator with lots of potential gore. Okay, maybe not lots, but this definitely delivered. I was also fascinated by the idea that her protagonist was a comic book writer. There was something really interesting in that for me. I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to hear that this one should be dropped on my #MSWL

Category: Blog



  1. We moved to town four years ago after over 30 years of rural living. It was stressful, to say the least, and I realized I had given up my reading time. As an author, I consider reading part of my job. I now make a point to take a break every day at 4 PM to go out on the front deck with a glass of wine and a good book. I only have an hour before I have to start cooking dinner, but that hour has become a very important part of my schedule.

    If the book is one I particularly enjoy, I take a picture of the book, the glass of wine and the garden behind it, and tweet it. That simple act removes any guilt that I’m not working, and helps me promote another obviously harder working author.

    I was led to a career as a writer because I love to read. When my career is over at some point ( when I am 90, maybe? ) I will still have my books, and hopefully, my glass of wine.

    1. Oh my goodness, I love this idea. Need to find a way to include small children…I like to have wine with my reading, too, but if I drink before bed I don’t sleep well.
      Especially love the tweeting – such a great kind of recommendation. You may need to start a hashtag.

      My reading productivity was to stop reading books I wasn’t enjoying, even if everyone else loves them. I just…can’t. Even if they are classics in the genre that I should know about. Too many books I’m waiting to love.

  2. I read every night in bed before I go to sleep. Some nights it might be a paragraph, others a few pages, but it helps me relax and switch my brain off. It also means I read everyday.

  3. The One and Only Ivan is my tenderhearted 9-year old’s most favorite book. He’s read it numerous times since we first read it aloud together a few years ago. I find most of it depressing, so I was glad when he learned to read and could re-read it on his own. Haha.

    1. Has your 9-year-old read Wonder yet? I think it should be required reading. That’s a good one to read together.

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