A,B, C and 1, 2, 3: A Round up of Readings

Man o man have I been reading some good stuff! 
Problem is, I don’t like to ‘take notes’ while reading a good book…that means that I often end up getting ready to blog about what I’ve read with nothing but thoughts of ‘that was so GOOD!’ to show for it! I’ve been trying to at least stick a post-it note on the page where I read something I’d like to go back to but, truly? When I am really into a book, I just want to read and read–if the book I am reading causes me to disappear into it, mission accomplished!
I read ‘Sarah’s Key’ by Tatiana DeRosnay–such a poignant, stirring story. I was hooked by this book in that not only did I want to know what actually happened, I wanted to read it from Sarah’s perspective and witness her feelings. 
Likable, appealing characters are THE hook for stories,in my opinion. Make me like at least one or more of your characters, and I will weather just about any story plot in order to spend time with them.
An advance copy of Harlan Coben’s ‘Shelter’ found its way to me last week. Again with the likable characters…I liked Mickey’s plucky, realistic self right away and wanted to see him through this adventure. An easy read, yet far from a ‘simple’ book, I think the YA audience will enjoy this one to be sure. Mickey and his friends are teens you might find anywhere in America who have bonded amid their circumstances. They give their all and make determined, unselfish choices in order to save another friend’s life. His Uncle Myron is supportive and interesting in his own right. I might have to read the other books this author has written that feature Myron. The ending to ‘Shelter’ was a surprising one and I’m hoping it means we’re going to see more of Mickey and his support cast.
Here are a few of the many good posts geared toward writers that I have read online as of late–
there are always SO many:

*This is such a well written/well said piece by Christina Katz: Success on Twitter is how strongly you can stand in the stream of popular opinion and still express something contrary because it’s true for you: http://tiny.cc/u1ugq

*An interesting perspective on getting your writing prioritized and going for the day: http://socialmediamercenary.com/why-i-never-do-my-most-important-task-first
*Excellent post by author James Scott Bell about writing back story into the beginning of your story: http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2010/11/great-backstory-debate.html
*Great post for those days you think your ideas have flown the coop: http://theblueinkwell.com/where-do-you-find-inpiration-for-writing/