Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

It's been a slow couple of weeks on the reading and review front.  My focus has been on adapting to the realities of the lifequake that hit me in late January which included doctor and social service appointments, getting my stuff organized and a new workstation created and broke in here at Mom's where I'm going to be for several more months.

I didn't even do IMWAYR? last week since there was nothing new to report but this week I will be participating in two blog tours:


Creature Features by Tim Rowland  Review Mar 12 Tuesday
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  Review Mar 14 Thursday


I had an ARC come in snail mail and another in email and I have doubled down on reading in the last week even though I've not finished many of them.

Finished reading:

These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.  I'm reading this series aloud to Mom in the evenings. We finished this one over a week ago and are half way through the next one.

Pie Town by Lynne Hinton

Those are the only two I've finished in the last two or three weeks but I've been reading a lot more in the last week and am closing in on the end of several--especially NF

Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Most of these I plug away in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week or even every other week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.


Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)

Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)   ROW80 reading list
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler   ROW80 reading list

And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them. Since this is an author bio this will also be on my ROW80 reading list )
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and tecniques of fiction I'll be adding this to my ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list. Have finally taken the strikethru off as I retrieved this from home Thursday
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious this will be on my ROW80 reading list
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.   ROW80 reading list
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!   ROW80 reading list
Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  for Blog Tour Review Feb 8.  The review is up but I'm not finished.  This is a very difficult read for me at this time and irony of the events that fell on the same week I was scheduled to review this book did not escape me.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  for an upcoming blog tour   ROW80 reading list
Creature Features by Tim Rowland  for Blog Tour Review Mar 12
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D. a library book
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson  I own this book.  Was rereading his essay on friendship this week
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  This Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.   ROW80 reading list
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron   ROW80 reading list


OK Seriously.  It is now time to start knocking some of these NF off as I did for the fiction over the last couple of months.  By limiting my starts of new novels I guess I was just transferring my need for 'new' to the NF list and now I've got too many to give proper attention to in any two weeks.

That paragraph is kept intact from the last IMWAYR? and I not only did not follow through I've added several more!!

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Was listening to this while working on this Xmas crochet project and have not gotten back to it since Christmas.  If I wait too much longer I'm going to have to restart it yet again.  Or at least back up a ways to reorient.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another a Tree book ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before 2011 NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.)
Out to Caanan by Jan Karon  Book Four of the Mitford series.  Am reading this aloud to Mom in the evenings when she is here.  She often spends the weekends at my brother's home in Portland.
Appearances and Other Stories by Margo Krasne  blog tour Review Mar 21

My Year as a Clown  by Robert Steven Williams  an ebook I got free at Bookbrowser and thus consider an ARC



Seriously.  I need to reinstate the rule of one novel at a time. --a line I wrote weeks ago when there were several more novels on that list and in the spirit of my New Year Resolve to finish more things than I start I've resisted starting any new fiction that isn't for a scheduled review and have been making steady gains in knocking titles off this list.  But not getting the review for them written unless I had a scheduled one--tsk tsk..  I have relaxed a bit and allowed new fiction starts.  In fact the last listed I started weekend and it wasn't even an ARC.

But I've really got to start writing the reviews!!  Seriously!

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

Creature Features by Tim Rowland  Review Mar 12 Tuesday
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  Review Mar 14 Thursday

Appearances and Other Stories by Margo Krasne  blog tour Review Mar 21

___Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:

Whenever I'm not pinned to a date like with the blog tours I do very poorly at getting reviews written in a timely way after finishing books and the longer I wait the harder it gets.  This is an issue I'm working on and hope to get a system in place to smooth the track from beginning book to posting review.  But that will mostly have to wait until I'm back home where my time is more my own.  This final week at Mom's and the first week or so I'm back at home are going to be full and unpredictable  So much for that theory.  So much for having anything like predictability anytime soon either.  So I guess that means I have to figure out how to solve this problem in spite of that issue or give up on it altogether.

At Home in Mitford and A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)
The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan This was a Net Galley ARC.  It will be archived on Net Galley on January 8th it's pub date and tho I finished it last week I was unable to get the review posted and now I have the two blog tour posts to put up this week so for the third or forth time I'm not going to get my feedback recorded at Net Galley before the feedback page for the item is closed to me.  tsk tsk tsk.
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon  This was a NetGalley ARC but later I picked it up for Kindle when it was free on Amazon.  I began it in Adobe Digital Editions and when that timed out on me switched to the Kindle for PC.  This was a memoir of an addict's decent into the abyss and rise back out again and was quite engrossing.
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff  a library book
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)

Losses by Robert Wexelblatt an ARC
After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I did but probably not to the same degree.  And its continued.

These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.  I'm reading this aloud to Mom in the evenings.  We had one chapter to go the night before my quick trip to Phoenix OR and we haven't got back to it yet.  She got back late from my brother's last night and tonight dinner was late and my sister and I were tied up with filling out forms online.  We will definitely be starting book four as soon as we finish this one.
Pie Town by Lynne Hinton



Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:






Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley Blog Tour Review  Feb 20  by the same author as Before You Say I Do Again 



The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young. Blog Tour Review

Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  Blog Tour Review 


Scammed by Art Maines   My blog tour review for this combination personal testimony and how-to manual for helping an elderly parent recover from the depredations of a scam and protect them from future exploitation.

Encounters with Flannery O'Connor


Khanh Ha author of Flesh Guest Post:

4 Things You Should Know About Writing Fiction


My ROW80 Check-In posts have been primarily on the theme of making more room for fiction reading for the last two weeks.  Saturday's is a musing of the lessons learned and applied and intentions going forward.  Including protocols to be put in place that should increase the number of book reviews going up here.

ROW80 btw is a writing challenge blog hop/support group emphasizing setting goals and aiming for them but recognizing when circumstances can't be helped and learning to adapt the goals.  I've made massive adjustments to my habits since I joined in April but at such an incremental pace I barely noticed.


Flesh by Khanh Ha  Review posted last Wednesday.

Flesh is a very dark and disturbing story and yet, still, suffused with hope like a sandy shore on the edge of a dank jungle shimmering under a full moon....The prose often has the cadences and imagery of poetry and shifts between scenes having the surreal quality of dreams and those with fast-paced action. Khanh Ha's meticulous attention to detail in every scene, his dedication to bringing all five of the senses into play is yet another way he engages with the theme and in this way draws the reader in and tethers them by the sinews and fibers of their very flesh. This story grips and won't let go even after the last page is turned.



New Arrivals:

By snail mail:

Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an american Metropolis by Mark Binelli  This one was waiting for me when I got home to Phoenix last November and I kept forgetting to add it here.  I brought it back with the other ARCs awaiting reviews on the late February trip.

The Autobiography of Us    This was waiting on me in Phoenix February 21 so I brought it back with me along with all of the ARCs still awaiting reviews

The Abundance by Amit Majmudar  This was the first that I had sent to my Mom's address.  It arrived late last week.

By email:

Appearances and Other Stories by Margo Krasne  for a March blog tour

from NetGalley
there were several I got access to but have not downloaded them yet so I won't count them here yet

ARC in waiting:

Tree Books:

Most of these I left  behind when I left home for the five week visit at Mom's in early January but now that the visit has been extended indefinitely I retrieved them on our February 21/22 trip down to Phoenix along with the rest of the things I foresee needing over the next couple months.

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean  read this over a year ago now but still need to review.  It's an emotional block due to the nature of the story being so close to personal experience.  I need to get over it.
The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks
Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an american Metropolis by Mark Binelli

The Autobiography of Us   
The Abundance by Amit Majmudar


Ebooks:

____By email:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  have at least finished reading it now
Troubled by Scott Nicholson
Losses by Robert Wexelblatt  have read but not yet reviewed


____From Net Galley:


A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  have read but not yet reviewed
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon  have read but not yet reviewed
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
With or Without You A Memoir by Domenica Ruta
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan have read but not yet reviewed

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

1 tell me a story:

Shelleyrae 3/12/2013 10:12 PM  

I think I need a book like What to do when there is too much to do!

Wishing you a great reading week!

Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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