Monday, September 30, 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.

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 13 blog tours between this Friday and Thanksgiving.  One of them is for beta testing a new writer's community web site.

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

The next blog tour book review is this Friday for Her Dear and Loving Husbund by Meredith Allard


Other Bookish posts this past week include several nods to Banned Book Week:

Danger!  Books Can Change You.
Banned Books Week: Ask Dr. Suess
Sunday Serenity #356  Banned Book Week






Thursday September 26th I posted the tour review for Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.

Move over Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, and Arthur C. Clarke.  Make room for the new kid on the block.  In Arctic Fire, Paul Byers has created a futuristic, technology thriller that can stand proudly in the company of Cussler, Clancy. and Clarke.






Thursday September 19th 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









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.
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers

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
My AWAI Copywriting course Installment 1 (of 13)


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
My AWAI Copywriting course Installment 1 (of 13)

__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
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon  --  am reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he and his wife Cynthia travel to Ireland to spend two weeks in the area where his father and grandfather immigrated from.

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

I will be participating in 13 blog tours in the next 8 weeks.  The first this Thursday:


Her Dear and Loving Husbund by Meredith Allard  --  October 4
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome -- October 10th
Review as Beta Tester for Indicated, a new writer's community web site about to launch. Mid October
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.

Read more...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Serenity #356 Banned Book Week

Banned Books Week: tell them thay can't and they gonna
moar littery kittehs
I had to make this five times before cheezburger would save it.  It kept getting stuck in the uploading stage and I gave it five or ten minutes each time.  Now I'm an over an hour past my bedtime.  So I'm going to have to forgo more commentary.  But I think the LOL speaks more eloquently than I can now that my eyes are full of sand and my brain full of haze.

Read more...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Banned Books Week: Ask Dr. Suess

more literary captions  see share caption fav
I put hours into yesterday's Banned Books Week post so I think I'll just let this captioned pic do the heavy lifting today.

Read more...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Danger! Books Can Change You.

Danger!
Books can change your operating system.
Are you sure you wish to proceed?
moar littrary kittehs
In honor of Banned Book Week a serious LOLcat, a presentation of an invaluable set of books about banned books accompanied by a rant likening book pricing structure to a form of suppression.


Banned Books Four Volume Set Published by Facts on File
Ken Wachsberger (general editor)

Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds by Nicholas J. Karolides
Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds by Margaret Bald
Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds by Dawn B. Sova
Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds by Dawn B. Sova

These are an invaluable resource for anyone needing to research the history of book banning over the centuries.  Each book begins with an overview of its category followed by brief histories of a hundred or more books that have been suppressed somewhere at sometime--many repeatedly.

Every public and school library from middle school to college should have two sets--one for the Reference Shelves and one for checkout.  Every news organization needs at least one set for those times when attempts are being made to exclude books from curriculum or libraries. So those covering the story can have their awareness grounded in the historical context of the current hullabaloo and the facts at hand.

But unfortunately that is unlikely to happen as at $60 per book that's $240 per set.  Even the one volume version is priced at $240.  They are all hardback and use library quality binding and paper so that is almost understandable but it prices them out of range for many public school and public library districts.

There are no paperback or ebook editions that one could expect to be priced affordably for the average home reference library at any of the online booksellers and tho Infobase Publishing parent of the Facts on File imprint does show ebooks in their catalog the price is hidden until you sign in and based on their statement that they cater to educational institutions and libraries I doubt I'm even eligible to have an account with them even if I could imagine being able to pay their prices.  

In my humble opinion this amounts to a form of suppression essentially excluding those below the upper middle class and the school and library districts in their neighborhoods since they are funded by local property taxes.

I know.  That rant doesn't jive with my first statement.  Well, I made that before I found the publisher's page with the price quotes.  I stand by it.  For the essence of their value is in the impact they can have on the local and national consciousness on the issue of book banning and thus on the debates surrounding every local attempt to take a book off a public shelf or out of a curriculum.  But if over 60% of the people never encounter them that value is diminished, even nullified.

Yes.  I understand that a lot of care went into creating these books--gathering the facts and compiling them and writing the overviews for each category and the histories for each book and designing the books.  But dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, and quotation books have all managed to provide affordable editions.  It mystifies me why so many publishers can't see that more sales at lower prices would likely increase profit.

This post spun off its original axis after the first paragraph.  I fully intended this to be a several paragraph rave about these information packed reference books. I still feel as enthused as ever by the books themselves but the news about the price structure shook me up.  I believe I was harboring a bit of hope for having a set for my own reference library and that has been dashed by what I learned today.  Which soured my mood and morphed the rave into a rant.

I came close to deleting everything after the first paragraph and returning to the original intent.  But when rereading it and encountering the line comparing this price-jacking to suppression itself I realized the relevance of the rant to the Banned Book Week theme and decided to make it part of the discussion.



Read more...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Arctic Fire by Paul Byers

Arctic Fire
by Paul Byers
Fortress Publications
Available in: Print & eBook
412 Pages

Move over Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, and Arthur C. Clarke.  Make room for the new kid on the block.  In Arctic Fire, Paul Byers has created a futuristic, technology thriller that can stand proudly in the company of Cussler, Clancy. and Clarke.

I admit that this is  not in the top five of my favorite genres but I was swayed to participate by two things: Byers was raised on the Columbia River and it couldn't be too far from where I grew up since his bio speaks of watching the ocean going ships pass by and they don't travel much beyond the City of Portland about 40 miles up river from Longview where I grew up.  Add to that the fact that this is in my husband's top two favorite genres and there was no way I could pass it up.  That is why I chose a tree book over the ebook which I now prefer for the ability to enlarge fonts so that I could pass it on to him after the review.

Once I started reading I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing.  Many, maybe even most, of the technology based thrillers tend to focus so intently on the statistics and specifications of the things they describe they can sound like tech manuals for several pages at a time and in spite of all the detail the reader still can't get a clear image of the thing in their head.  Byers, though, has mastered the art of the metaphor and simile.  He uses them to good effect in setting the mood of a scene scene and establishing a character's, well, character.

I just can't resist giving a few examples:

From the stern, two young sailors spilled into the control room like puppies trying to run across a linoleum floor.  p4
Furniture that had once graced the elegant first class lounge now bobbed up and down gently like giant bathtub toys.  p.12
The guilt and anguish came charging back like a wild animal, threatening to trample his heart again.  p30
Suddenly the seed of a wild thought was sown.  He knew he should have stopped and torn it out by the roots, but instead, he watered it with desperation and a plan soon began to flourish.  p35
The waiter...flipped off the cover to reveal a petite lobster tail worshiped by a congregation of bacon wrapped scallops.  p56

Another thing Byers does well is use multiple point's of view even in a single scene.  This can easily devolve into a disorienting 'head hop' that yanks the reader out of the story but when done right it can give the reader the sense of having the point of view of a deity.  On a scale of one to ten with ten representing deity I found Arctic Fire at least an eight.

I was going to give a little plot synopsis next but this is already late going up so I think I'll let the publisher blurb suffice.


From the Publishers:

Wealthy entrepreneur Nigel Cain has devised an efficient new way to bring the earth's most precious resource to the masses - clean water - by transporting massive man-made icebergs from the frigid arctic and delivering them literally to the doorsteps of millions.
Gabriel Pike works at a small engineering firm that has been awarded the task of giving the final safety approval to pilot the first gigantic block of ice into New York harbor.
A consummate showman, Cain has built a fabulous 5-Star hotel and casino high atop the iceberg so his celebrity guests and media elite can cover this spectacle from beginning to end. Pike is whisked away from his work-a-day world and dropped into the lap of luxury where he's expected to simply rubber-stamp his inspection.
A brutal winter storms ravages the iceberg and exposes structural inconsistencies and hidden agendas that fill Pike with serious doubts about the true intentions of the project.  But a grisly double homicide on the ice puts the inspections on the back burner and sends Pike's life spiraling out of control when he's accused of being the jealous murderer in a lover's triangle.
But Pike soon discovers that there is far more at stake than just his life. He uncovers a conspiracy more heinous than anything he could have imagined - a plot that will level a city, change the political face of America, and whose shockwaves will be felt around the world. Fate rests in his hands - if he can survive long enough to take action...


What they are saying:

"A madman's insatiable quest for power could level a major American city and kill thousands, ushering in a New World Order.  Arctic Fire is a thrill-ride that will leave you breathless." - Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of INSTINCT and THRESHOLD
"Audacious and ambitious, Arctic Fire burns with action, and chills with the possibilities of what the future may hold. A thriller not to be missed!" - Sean Ellis, author of INTO the BLACK
 "A new twist on a classic battlefield ploy finds an iceberg controlled by a megalomaniac on a collision course with NYC. A provocative blend of fact and fiction that explores issues surrounding a critical natural resource, fresh water, Arctic Fire is bound to leave readers thirsty for more."-Rick Chesler, author of kiDNApped and WIRED KINGDOM
"We're running low on fresh water. What do we do? Let's move an iceberg! I love the premise!! From the opening pages until the thrilling end, Arctic Fire is a heart-pounding adventure filled with risks, action and suspense. With engaging characters and a compelling plot, you will be hard pressed to put this novel down. Just when you think you know what is going to happen, with who and what, the author delivers another surprising twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The character are concealing and manipulative, yet believable. The rush of adrenaline is well-rehearsed with each operation, leaving the reader frantically turning to the next page, desperate to find out what is going to happen next.
This is the first work I have read of Paul Byers, but he reminds me a lot of Clive Cussler with a twist of Brian Freeman - which is an excellent pairing! Arctic Fire is a novel that showcases his effortless feel for narrative as well as his flawless instincts for suspense. I can't wait to see what Byers has in store for us next. I definitely won't want to miss it!"-Mindy Hines, Minding Spot Website
"When I was first asked to review Arctic Fire I laughed out loud. I've always wondered why someone didn't just do this exact same thing to help the countries that go through droughts so I was really looking forward to reading this one and I wasn't disappointed. Arctic Fire is a fast paced read that I finished in just one day. I fell in love with Gabriel Pike from the first chapter and was dying to know just what sinister plot Cain had in mind. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves suspense thrillers." - Monie,  Reading With Monie Website
"An awesome mystery/thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I really liked all the characters in this book and the mystery of a homicide. Wonderfully written! If you like a mystery with lots of thrills, you will love this book."- Sherrie Plummer, Sherrie's Books Website

Paul Byers grew up in Oregon on the shores of the mighty and mysterious Columbia River, and spent endless hours daydreaming on the beach in front of his house, making up stories about the ships from exotic ports all over the world that steamed up the river - what secret cargo might they be carrying; did they harbor spies who were on dark and exciting missions?

Later in adult life, he moved to another mysterious and provocative city - Las Vegas, just outside the famous Nellis Air Force base. After work he would sit on his porch and watch the fighters take off and land, igniting his imagination with visions of secret missions and rich speculation about what could possibly be hidden at Area 51.

After moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Paul worked for the Navy and took every opportunity he could to speak with veterans from WWII to the Gulf War, listening to them swap stories and relate the experiences of a lifetime.

So it is this combination of a passionate love of history, a vivid "what if" imagination, and a philosophy of life that boils down to the belief that - there are few things in life that a bigger hammer won't fix - that led Paul to become a writer of exciting, fact-based action-thrillers. His greatest joy is leaving his readers wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins.

Author Website
Paul on Facebook
Paul on Goodreads

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 


So Many Precious Books Sept 2 Review & Giveaway
Book Lover's Library  Sept 3 Review
Book Lover's Library  Sept 4 Interview & Giveaway
She Treads Softly Sept 4 Review
Books, Books, & More Books Sept 6 Interview & Giveaway
Cheryl's Book Nook Sept 9 Review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books Sept  10 Review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books Sept 11 Guest Post
My Shelf Confessions Sept 12 Review
My Shelf Confessions Sept 13 Interview & Giveaway
Green Mountain People Sept  18 Review
Thoughts in Progress Sept 18 Guest Post & Giveaway
Romance & Inspiration Sept 19 Review
Bloggin Bout Books Sept 20 Review
The News In Books Sept 23 Review
The News In Books Sept 24 Guest Post
Sweeps4Bloggers Sept 24 Review & Giveaway
Tales of a Book Addict Sept 25 Review
 Joystory Sept 26 Review
fundinmental  Sept 27 Review & Giveaway
Recent Reads Sept 30 Review & Giveaway
DWED Oct 1 Review

http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/

Read more...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crossed Eyes and Knotty Thoughts

mayja bleenk, dat google?
moar funnee kittehs  share   caption   vote
It's way past my bedtime again.  My eyes are crossing and my brain feels like a Celtic knot.  I spent the entire day wrestling with the issues that have been plaguing all of Google ap related activities for over a week now.  Slow page loading, slow uploading of images, refusal to save or publish posts, refusal to save or send email, constant disconnections from Google Chat, continuous error messages that mostly told me to check my network connection.

I couldn't help but wonder, if it was my internet connection causing the problems then why was it only Google aps and Google sites having the issues?  But still I followed the advice.  I performed trouble shooting via my computer's help and troubleshooting protocols and then I performed trouble shooting via Google help pages.

Guess what?  The Google help pages were all loading slow or coming up with errors so that was a frustrating hurry-up-and-wait process.  Especially so when they dole out info in short paragraphs with multiple choice responses that are links to the next suggestion or question.

I feel I got a significant education through the whole process so I can't objectively say it was a waste of time just because I haven't solved the problem yet.  But it still feels like a waste of time since I did not work on any of my other projects so got further behind.  With all this going on for over a week I haven't stayed on top of my inbox so I've lost ground on that project.  I'd had it whittled down from 12K to 1220 about ten days ago and now it is back up to 2900.

Was hoping to put up a post in honor of Banned Book week today.  But was unable to do the research for it.  I was also hoping to get tomorrow's blog tour review at least partially prepped before I went to bed so it would be easier to get ready to publish in the morning.

Not to mention I still need to finish the book.  But not tonight.  My eyes are on strike. So the best plan is to go to bed now and hope I wake up raring to go before dawn.

Read more...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Day for Remembering and Gratitude

Keep Flapping Your Wings
more animals  see share caption
Today is the day each year that I am remembering with gratitude the lives of the two significant men in my life.  It is my husband's birthday into this world and my Dad's birthday into the next.  It was this day in 2005 that my Dad lost his battle with cancer.  And I'm fairly sure that was the last time I was apart from Ed on his birthday.  As I am this year.

The picture above I captioned at cheezeburger.com to send in his Happy Birthday email.  The picture below is from our high school yearbook.  Ed is the player on the left.  This was 1976 around a full year into our friendship.  Friendship morphed into something more when he came home on leave from the Marine Corp in August of 1977.  We married in December of 1978.


Below is, I believe, the last picture ever taken of my Dad.  About 5-7 days before the end.  It was a day or two after this that the events of one of my favorite stories about Dad happened.  The family--Mom, Dad, my sister--were on a conference call with me who was living in Phoenix OR.  My sister was trying to get across to me without being explicit in Dad's hearing that I better come soon if I wanted to see him again before the funeral.  I remember thinking that I wanted to wait until after Ed's birthday which was about five days away.  I can't remember if I said that out loud.

We were wrapping up the conversation.  Dad had already left the table where they were gathered around a speaker phone.  Suddenly Mom was calling his name and then her voice faded into the distance.  My sister and I continued to talk and at that point she did get explicit.  But before I could respond the sound of Mom and Dad's muffled voices were getting closer again.  Mom's sounding plaintive and Dad's growly.  Then my sister abruptly ended the call saying, Gotta go.  Dad's trying to go outside.

Richard Wayne Coon
d. September 24, 2005
The compilation of the photo with the hymn was done by Carri.
It was one of Dad's favorites and we gathered around his bed singing it to him on his last night

Carri shared the rest of the story in an email later that evening.  Dad had got it into his head that he wanted to go see Levi's pumpkin.  That's Carri's son, 11 years old at the time.  Dad had been watching that pumpkin grow all summer and it was an impressive size by then.

Well Levi's pumpkin was in the back yard and to get there you must take two steps down from the kitchen door into the garage and exit onto the an uneven slab of concrete, cross it and take one step down onto the landing of the stairway then ten steps down to the patios which was another uneven slab of concrete to cross before reaching the edge of the grass.  The pumpkin was on the far side of the back yard which meant twenty feet of turf to cross, clumpy with weeds and ankle high grass.  Yard work had not been high on their priority list for several weeks at this time.

Carri told me that when Dad had left the table he had headed into their bedroom and they thought he was going to lay down as being up and about was quite tiring for him by now.  But he came back down the hall with his walker and wearing his hat.  That's when Mom had called his name and left the table to go to him.  But unable to talk him out of it she was helping him out the back door when my sister realized she had better join them as nothing good could come of a nearly blind woman helping a weak man with a walker down stairs and across uneven terrain.

So they slowly and carefully escorted him out to the backyard and got him sat down in a lawn chair a few feet from the pumpkin where he sat had stared at it until the sun had dropped below the roofs of the neighbors' houses and an evening breeze kicked up.  Dad had almost no insulation under his skin by then so he was finally convinced it was time to go in and they all began the long slow trek.

That was Dad's last foray outside.  The memory and the story could bring smiles and even laughter over the next weeks and months as one or the other of us would recount it always emphasizing how determined Dad had been to go outside just to sit and watch the pumpkin grow.

Read more...

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.

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