Monday, January 27, 2014

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)

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Flannery O'Connor
Mystery and Manners:
Occasional Prose
My Week in Review and Upcoming Weeks:

Fifteen tours in eleven weeks last fall was over-committing on top of NaNo, holiday prep and all the duty I have here at Mom's.  Thus I was unable to finish ten of them before posting their reviews.  It shames me. I loved every one of them too so I'm anxious to finish them.  I finished three in late December:

Ghost of Lost Eagle by Dean Sault
The Return by Melissa Douthit
Sinnerman by Jonathan M. Cook

I made it one of my goals for January to finish the remaining 7:
Bookish posts in the last week:
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor
Blood Drama by Christopher Meeks -- currently reading and nearly finished
Head Games by Erika Rummel
Woman On Top by Deborah Schwartz

I'm probably not going to make it so I'm extending the goal into February and will keep this list here to monitor my progress.

This goal fits well with my goal to finish as many crochet WIP as possible.  That was where most of my December effort went as I frantically worked to prepare Christmas gifts.  I did not get them all finished in time and have continued doling them out since and will continue through the next several weeks months.

Two blog tour reviews went up last Tuesday and Thursday:

Where the Wildflowers Grow by Vera Jane Cook -- January 21 blog tour

Small town Georgia, 1960. Passions and secrets marinate in a simmering summer heat.  Instead of a single protagonist like Sassy in The Story of Sassy Sweetwater to get attached to and to view the events through, Cook has given us a large cast of at least a dozen well drawn and differentiated characters (The Cassidy family of four and all those caught in their gravity well) whose secrets entwine their many lives like bindweed with some of the most insidious vines being those secrets individuals keep from themselves until they've gained a choke hold on their hope and happiness, their very lives and those of their nearest and dearest.


Organic Beauty With Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo  --  January 23 blog tour

With several personal experiences behind me I needed no further proof that essential oils were essential to health and happiness when the blog tour invite for this book landed in my email.  I was excited by the blurb description and this book, unlike some, totally lived up to its blurb.  It is jammed packed with recipes for personal hygiene whose names are drool worthy.

I suggest not reading this book while hungry.

Another blog tour goes up tomorrow:

Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life by Eric Lindner  --  January 29 blog tour

And another next week:

The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.

Finished reading recently:

Ghost of Lost Eagle by Dean Sault
The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats by Constance Corcoran Wilson
The Return by Melissa Douthit
Sinnerman by Jonathan M. Cook

Began reading recently:

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)
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon -- reading aloud to Mom several evenings a week.
The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshal -- this is a re-read.  It is one of the ebooks packaged with the Marshall Plan writer's software sent to me by Evan Marshall in exchange for sharing my experience on Joystory.
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor
Blood Drama by Christopher Meeks
Head Games by Erika Rummel
Woman On Top by Deborah Schwartz
Where the Wildflowers Grow by Vera Jane Cook -- January 21 blog tour
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo  --  January 23 blog tour
Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life
by Eric Lindne  --  January 29 blog tour
The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.

Reading Now Intermittently:

__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 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     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   ROW80 reading list
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 2013.  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 2013  but still not finished
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D.
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.
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  --  just got this back from the library November 13 after a month hiatus
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)
The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshal -- this is a re-read.
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil  --  January 23 blog tour
Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life
by Eric Lindne  --  January 29 blog tour

__Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Was listening to this while working on this Xmas crochet project in 2012 and have had to restart it several times and get pulled away again again.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another 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 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.
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.  -- Tho I posted my review for the tour I had not quite finished it
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome   -- Again had to post review before finishing the story
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor
Blood Drama by Christopher Meeks
Head Games by Erika Rummel
Where the Wildflowers Grow by Vera Jane Cook -- January 21 blog tour
The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:


Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life by Eric Lindner  --  January 29 blog tour
The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.

___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.

Jan Karon's Mitford series. 
The short lighthearted chapters of these books are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams.  I've been reading them aloud to my Mom during my visits here for nearly two years.  

I decided some time back to wait until we finished them all and do one review for the entire series.  We are currently on the last one. In the Company of Others, book two of the Father Tim series, featuring the same lead character having adventures beyond Mitford after his retirement from Episcopal priest duty.
  • At Home in Mitford 
  • A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  
  • These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.
  • Out to Caanan by Jan Karon  Book Four of the Mitford series.
  • A New Song by Jan Karon.  The fifth Mitford book.
  • A Common Life: The Wedding Story by Jan Karon
  • Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon  reading aloud to Mom
  • In This Mountain by Jan Karon
  • A Light From Heaven by Jan Karon  --  have been reading this to Mom in the evenings.  It's the final book in the series.
  • At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.
The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff  a library book
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.
Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
Good in Bed by Jennifer Wiener
Certain Girls by Jennifer Wiener (sequel to Good in Bed)
Joyland by Stephen King
Rose Fire by Mercedes Lackey

Another series for which I'll probably do a single review. I think there is a 5th book out now so I may wait until I can get my hands on it.  These four were loaners from my niece.

  • Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
  • Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
  • Legacy by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
  • Spellbound by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Boys Will Be Joys by Dave Meurer.
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson   ROW80 reading list (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)
Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills onetime fiction editor at Esquire.
 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 this ROW80 check-in post which 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.
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)


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.







Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:


My Friday Forays in Fiction featured another one of my LOLcats displaying a literary quote along with a kitteh's spin on it.

The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats
by Constance Corcoran Wilson

Adorable!

I loved this Dr. Suess-ical story and got so caught up in the rhythm and rhyme I couldn't seem to compose my review without it.




Woman On Top by Deborah Schwartz.  I've long touted my theory that story has the power to change you in lasting and profound ways. Woman on Top just might have done that for me. It triggered a personal epiphany and if Kate's story has the sticking power I sense it does it could be the spark that keeps the vision lit and the impetus to move toward it.

If that isn't a good reason to read this story, I don't know what could be a better one.




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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