Monday, September 23, 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:



Various events conspired to shift my focus from reading to writing in the last month,  from emails to copywriting course work, to poems, to LOLs, to NaNoWriMo prep.  But now that is about to shift back to reading.  Or at least widen to include it.  I don't want to drop the other balls I'm juggling but I must add reading and reviews back into the mix as I'm committed to a dozen blog tours between this Thursday and Thanksgiving.

Last Thursday I posted the blog tour review for Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad. This is a delightful fix for all of us Monk addicts

The next blog tour review is this Thursday and is for Arctic Fire by Paul Byers

So stay tuned.  I should be posting IMWAYR? every week through the end of November at least.

And I'll be doing something for Banned Book Week sometime this week.  I'm hoping for either Tuesday or Wednesday.
.


Finished reading recently:

Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by by Bailey White I thought this was a novel and getting set to put it in the fiction list below when I thought to check out its page on Goodreads and discovered it is a memoir.  It's short little vignette chapters and easy to read font made it ideal for taking with me to doctor appointments.  Which is how I managed to finally finish it.
Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad.
At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  was reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.  We started nearly a month ago and I forgot to put it on this list.  We will probably finish Tuesday evening.

Began reading recently:

The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin  My sister bought this book for herself and we are both reading it.  We both have a passion for how brains work.
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon -- one of the new library books and also a NetGalley ARC that timed out on me months ago.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner about the influence of the Arabian Nights stories on western literature, art and culture.  One of the new library books.
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon  --  a novel and a NetGalley ARC
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.  a NetGalley ARC
Arctic Fire by Paul Byers

Reading Now:

__Non-Fiction:

Most of these I plug away in these 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 read in them so infrequently.



Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton  ROW80 reading 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)
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   ROW80 reading list  Net Galley ARC a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels.
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols   ROW80 reading list  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
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley   ROW80 reading list  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.   ROW80 reading list  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!
Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  for Blog Tour Review Feb 8.  The review is up but I'm not finished.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  ROW80 reading list  posted review for blog tour in March but still not finished
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D. a library book
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson  I own this book.
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor    ROW80 reading list  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.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron   ROW80 reading list
It's Not About You by Max Lucado.  I found this on my own shelves while packing up my personal library.  It was one of the last gifts I received from my Dad in 2005 the year he died of cancer.  It has a lovely inscription in his handwriting on the inside front page.  And I was reminded how I'd promised him to read it.  My bookmark was less than half way through and I could not remember if I'd finished it and just left the bookmark in or not but I doubt it.  So I've pulled it out to put on front burner.
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch  I pulled this off my sister's bookshelf awhile back.  It is over a thousand pages in smallish font.  So it will be on this list for a long time.  I find it exhilarating that my mind seems ready to tackle text that is so dense in info and complex ideas again.  There is only one other book on this list that fits that criteria, The Act of Creation, and I've not pulled it out very often in these last months but am now finding myself yearning toward it again.   Good signs.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent.  Also found on my shelves.  I won this in a drawing during the Sweating for Sven writing challenge in 2007.  It made me blush and I kept it hidden in the recesses of my bookshelves but I think I've gotten over that.  Tho I admit it is hard to pull it out and read in it now that I'm back at Mom's.  But since Valentine's Week all my new story ideas have been for romances.  Not my usual thing.  But hey, you gotta take what the muse sends or she'll stop sending.  Setting aside the erotica aspects, this book is full of good story structure advice as well as romance genre specific advice.  I'm exploring the idea of writing a love story.  Hmmm.  Not sure who that is that just said that.
The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy
by Emily Bazelon -- one of the new library books and also a NetGalley ARC that timed out on me a couple months ago.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
by Marina Warner
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.  a NetGalley ARC


__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.  I'm going to have to restart it yet again.
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.)
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon  --  a NetGalley ARC
At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  am reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.  We started nearly a month ago and I forgot to put it on this list.  We will probably finish Tuesday evening.
Arctic Fire by Paul Byers

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

I will be participating in 12 blog tours in the next 11 weeks.  The first this Thursday:

Arctic Fire by Paul Byers  --  September 26
Her Dear and Loving Husbund by Meredith Allard  --  October 4
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome -- October 10th
The Return by Melissa Douthit -- October 21
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price  --  October 30
Ghosts of Lost Eagle  -- November 4th
Sinnerman by Jonathan M. Cook -- November 7
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylore  --  November 12
Blood Drama by Christopher Meeks  --  November 15
Head Games by Erika Rummel  --  November 19
With Friends Like These by L. Hunter Cassells  --  November 25
Woman On Top by Deborah Schwartz  --  November 25

___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.

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.
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.
Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
Out to Caanan by Jan Karon  Book Four of the Mitford series.
Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
A New Song by Jan Karon.  The fifth Mitford book.
Legacy by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Spellbound by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
A Common Life: The Wedding Story by Jan Karon
In This Mountain by Jan Karon
Good in Bed by Jennifer Wiener
Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon  reading aloud to Mom
Certain Girls by Jennifer Wiener (sequel to Good in Bed)
Joyland by Stephen King
Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills onetime fiction editor at Esquire.
Rose Fire by Mercedes Lackey
A Light From Heaven by Jan Karon  --  have been reading this to Mom in the evenings.  It's the final book in the series.
Boys Will Be Joys by Dave Meurer.  my sister bought this one for me after finding me standing by the book rack reading it while waiting on her to exit the restroom at the truck stop in Rice Hill OR on our trip home last May.  It's a Father's musing (Erma Bombeck style) on the vicissitudes of parenting.
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson   ROW80 reading list (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)
Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by by Bailey White
At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  am reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.  We started nearly a month ago and I forgot to put it on this list.  We will probably finish Tuesday evening.

Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:


moar kittehs  see   share  caption
my Merlin & my new Library Loot
Recently my sister cut me loose at the library with her card and in the days following my posts fixated on the new library loot:  that night's post was a picture and a list of the haul, then for the ROW80 check in I created this LOLcat featuring the stack and my Merlin,  then for Sunday Serenity another picture of the books.  This time with the mug of bookmarks as I prepared to select just the right ones for each of the six non-fic.  And try to decide which novel to start first.  Still working on that one.



I participated in the blog tour for Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats by Angela Shelton.

I participated in Ms Shelton's tour for The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton last November and opened my review thus:  "This is a truly lovely story.  If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this--whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88."  Need I add that I was ecstatic when asked to join this one?

 Anyone who has read many of my reviews knows that I'm not generally a gusher but there is something about these Tilda stories that taps into the deep reservoir of glee that was a natural aspect of my early childhood but has been buried deep by the traumas and worries, the failures and furies of fifty years.  Reading these stories, I feel as though I'm trying on happiness like a hat and hope like a pair of sunglasses.  I can't help wishing I had a Tilda hat as I'm sure it would make the anxiety, depression and blood pressure meds I'm now taking moot.

 I participated in the blog tour for The Story of Sassy Sweetwater by Vera Jane Cook.  This story was as sweet and sassy as its narrator and title character. But not the sweet of syrup, no, more like the pucker-power sweet of a persimmon. The sweetness is in the delicious prose, the pucker in the dark plot and the sassy in its protagonist's stance towards her life.






I captioned a pic at cheezeburger.com with a quote from William Styron for a quickie quote post: How to Acquire More Lives Than a Cat.  That LOLcat and similar ones I'd created brought me to the attention of a group on cheezeburger.com called JeffCatsBookClub which has its own profile created for the purpose of collecting bookish and other story themed LOLs.  It's a story lover's treasure trove.

I posted about JeffCatsBookClub with the image of the 'library card' they issued me on Sunday.  Anyone into the IMWAYR? meme would likely also get a kick out these.  And if you have a cheezeburger profile and like what you see, just make a friend request.

BTW my profile at cheezeburger is Joystory

There were two other quickie quote posts in the last couple of weeks: Just LOLlygagging.  and  Lonliness is Feeling Embraced by the Empty.  I used to feel embarrassed by these, thinkng of them as lazy cheats and not real posts but now that I know they are giving pleasure to those who encounter them I guess I'll own them and even flaunt them a bit.


New Arrivals:

By snail mail:

By email:

from NetGalley



ARC in waiting:

Tree Books:


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
Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman by Minka Pradelski

Ebooks:

____By email:


Troubled by Scott Nicholson

____From Net Galley:


A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
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  [the  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I have just nabbed a library copy]
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  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I am watching for a library copy]
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano  [the  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I am watching for a library copy]
Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson
Kinslow System Your Path to Proven Success in Health, Love, and Life by Frank J Kinslow
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Joe Dispenza
Women, Sex, Power, And Pleasure Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want by Evelyn Resh
All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition by Louise Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz
The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton,
The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton,
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
Directing Your Destiny by Jennifer Grace
Hiding in Sunshine by John Stuart and Caitlin Stuart
I Am: Renewal from Within the Garden by Lucie K Lewis
The Book Publisher's Toolkit by Independent Book Publishers Association
The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
Why Priests? by Garry Wills
Why we Write by by Meredith Maran (Editor)
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.

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

0 tell me a story:

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