Monday, April 14, 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 (or two) in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week or two)
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)

Flannery O'Connor
Mystery and Manners:
Occasional Prose
I finished two books again this past week.  Second week in a row.  Thanks to the coaching from Ed that is helping me organize my day as well as my stuff.

Having most of the currently reading ebooks accessible from all three of my devices contributed as did the creation of small chunks of time by the implementation of new routines suggested by my husband in our coaching sessions.

The two I finished since last Monday:

  • Going to the Chapel by Rebecca Kelly 2nd in the Grace Chapel Inn series I'm reading to Mom. They are coming in the mail once a month.
  • The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.

I also advanced in several others.

As the benefits to having habits and routines became obvious I began looking for ways to recreate the habit of reaching for a book even when there might be only moments.  Keeping one or more of the devices at hand always helps.  So did leaving it on an open book whenever letting it go idle.

As I've expected for weeks the establishing and strengthening the habit of reaching for the treebook on my desk, the ebook tab on my start menu, or the ebooks on my smartphone and tablet has created a feedback loop for reading is the kind of thing that the more you do the more you want to do.

Now if only I can get the same results for book reviews.

My Week (or two) in Review:

~Other Bookish Posts:

ADDlepated not exactly bookish but it explains the impact of the recently diagnosed ADD on my life and reading has been a big part of my life so you can imagine how the things I describe can mess with reading and reviewing.  ADD is probably the explanation for my long list of books begun and not yet finished.  Then there is the issue of spending more time collecting free ebooks and fussing with their metadata than actually reading them. *sigh*
Fallen In
Engulped by a Book
Enspelled By Story

Finished reading recently:

The Road to Success in NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to a Month of High Speed Writing by Terri Main
The Nano Experiment by Richard Brawer
Where the Wildflowers Grow by Vera Jane Cook 
Back Home Again by Melody Carlson -- read to Mom in March. 1st in the Grace Chapel Inn series
Going to the Chapel by by Rebecca Kelly -- second in the Grace Chapel Inn series I'm reading to Mom.
The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt

Began reading recently:

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 Lindner  --  January 29 blog tour
The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerndt --  February 4 blog tour.
420 Characters by Lou Beach  -- library book
John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars by Roland Hughes
Going to the Chapel by by Rebecca Kelly -- second in the Grace Chapel Inn series I'm reading to Mom.
The Road to Success in NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to a Month of High Speed Writing by Terri Main
The Nano Experiment by Richard Brawer

Reading Now (Some Intermittently):


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.

This is getting to be too much even for me. So a few weeks ago I decided to prioritize five and grey out the rest and add one back for every one I finish.  

The top two are elevated above the 5 because they are commitments with different parameters--AWAI will be swapped out with the next installment 12 times and Hospice Voices, the current evening read-aloud, will take between two and three months to finish.
Feb 23 -- Will be keeping library books separate between the priority 5+2 and the inactive section showing as active when checked out and inactive when returned unfinished.

My AWAI Copywriting course Installment 1 (of 13)
Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life
by Eric Lindner  --  January 29 blog tour (February 10 have started over, reading aloud to Mom)

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.
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.)
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)
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

~Library Books
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
by Marina Warner  --  has gone back to the library.  want it back.  actually I want it on my own reference shelf
The Golden Thread: A History of Writing by Ewan Clayton This is the story of the alphabets and writing tools from the early stone tablets to the digital age.
American Heretics: Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the History of Religious Intolerance by Peter Gottschalk  The history of conflict between the major religions since the inception of America, the country whose constitution guaranteed freedom of religion.
Think: Why You Should Question Everything by Guy P. Harrison An apologia for skepticism and the scientific method.

~Blog Tour books still unfinished
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  ROW80 reading list  posted review for blog tour in March 2013  but still not finished
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.
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil  --  January 23 blog tour

The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshal -- this is a re-read.
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 Right to Write by Julia Cameron   ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff  on ROW80 reading list.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols    On ROW80 reading list as I'm reading this for an understanding of archetype, character type and the language of symbol.
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor    ROW80 reading list  This is a reread
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.
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. Part of the fun is in stopping to read the stories as the narrative reaches the point he writes them. An author bio thus 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!


The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
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.
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D.


Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson  I own this book.


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.


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 and again and again.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss Tree book ARC, 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...and over...and over
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon  --  a NetGalley ARC was reading last fall when the blog tour schedule took over and of course now I need to find a library copy

~Library Books
420 Characters by Lou Beach  A beautifully made book physically.  With beautifully wrought prose composing several dozen flash fictions told in 420 characters or less counting spaces and punctuation that were originally published as status updates on fb.  One of six fiction books I checked out in late February.

~Blog Tour books still unfinished
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor
Head Games by Erika Rummel
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome


___Blog Tours:

___Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews (non blog tours):

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 was reading them aloud to my Mom during my visits here for nearly two years and I decided some time back to wait until we finished them all and do one review for the entire series.  We began the first one spring of 2012 but had not finished before I went home after my November visit.  My sister had taken over in December and had finished book 1 and started book 2.  As soon as I caught up to where they were last January (2013) I took over mid book 2.  

Feb 10 2014: We just finished the last one, In the Company of Others, 
  • At Home in Mitford 
  • A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  
  • These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  .
  • Out to Caanan by Jan Karon 
  • A New Song by Jan Karon.  
  • A Common Life: The Wedding Story by Jan Karon
  • Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon 
  • In This Mountain by Jan Karon
  • A Light From Heaven by Jan Karon  --   the final book in the Mitford series.
  • At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  Father Tim series first of two.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series having adventures beyond Mitford after his retirement from Episcopal priest duty. In this one he returns to the town he grew up in. 
  • In the Company of Others by Jan Karon  --  Father Tim series second of two.  In this one he and Cynthia have a several week vacation in Ireland from where his father and grandfather had immigrated
Grace Chapel Inn series published by Guidepost which I'm now reading to Mom. New volumes will come in the mail monthly. We are loving it.  Maybe even more than the last half of the Mitford and Father Tim volumes.  Three sisters ages 50, 62 and 70 inherit jointly their family home after their father's death.  A Victorian in a very small town situated next door to the church their father pastored.  They decide to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast so they can afford to keep it and live in it.
  • Back Home Again by Melody Carlson 
  • Going to the Chapel by by Rebecca Kelly

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

  • The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean an ARC
  • 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
  • The Road to Success in NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to a Month of High Speed Writing by Terri Main
  • The Nano Experiment by Richard Brawer

  • 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.


___Reviews and Bookish Posts:

April 7 -- But I went beyond that this past week.  I started a book in my Kindle library by impulse on Wednesday and scarfed it down in three days.  Several three to five hour reading sessions were involved along with more than a few of those small slices of in between times.

It wasn't even on any of my lists!  Spontaneity!  Typically so unlike me.

I was combing through my Kindle library with my Nexus 7 looking for all the books I had begun on the computer to get them downloaded onto the device when I noticed one of the NaNoWriMo advice titles and decided to add all of them as well.

One of the books I swept up was called The Nano Experiment.  I was surprised when I opened it to see it was fiction.  I thought it must be a NaNo participant sharing his NaNo project.  But it was awfully good writing for a raw rough draft.

I soon realized it was a thriller and I was sucked in to ten hours of reading over three days.  I was halfway through the story before it hit me that it had absolutely nothing to do with NaNoWriMo.  The story premise was about unauthorized human experiments with NaNo technology created drugs.  Such a doh!

Fallen In
Engulped by a Book
Enspelled By Story

John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars by Roland Hughes -- March 11 blog tour

John Smith is in his 80s and has lived in the bunker built and supplied by his family since he was eleven and the World that Was ended.  As he puts it, the Universe decided it was time to reboot.

It's been over 60 years and he has been discovered by scouts from one of the organized enclaves who have now sent one of their twenty-something female reporters to interview him about the the Microsoft Wars and the end of the World that Was.

Library Loot from today's visit--Fiction
Friday Forays in Fiction -- author quote on LOLcat with kittehs 2 cents worth

Friday Forays in Fiction

Looting the Library Brought home ten books.

Nexus 7 in Keyboard Case

Friday Forays in Fiction: Reading Hungers  -- it's mine now. No more schlepping back and forth to the library and restarting it 3-5 times a year.
A Nexus of Aspirations -- Another one has fallen off my Lust List
Friday Forays in Fiction: Quote -- a quote, a poem, a LOLcat
Sometimes You Just Gotta --  Did you hear the clatter as this 25 year resident of the top notch of my Lust List fell off?
This Is Just Wrong!  A lit cat LOL

Author Interview with James Zerndt for his, The Korean Word For Butterfly blog tour. Feb 11

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

I was in my late twenties when I was first introduced to novels featuring the interplay between two or more cultures.  It was the late eighties and one of my Literature and Creative Writing professors (Lawson Inada, later Poet Laureate for Oregon) assigned us a book by an Amer-Indian woman.  Silko?  I was entranced and began to seek them out and have continued to favor them ever since.  Trust me when I say, James Zerndt compares favorably with some of the best I encountered with his The Korean Word for Butterfly.  I am grateful to him for introducing me to the Korean/American relationship.

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

Eric Linder has given us a treasure in Hospice Voices.  He has taught us how to see beyond the visible evidence of physical degeneration and grief over imminent loss to the beauty of the souls preparing to pass on.  He has tapped into the power of storytelling to show us those souls as they sort through their memories and emotions in their attempt to find meaning in their life and share their insights or define the essence of their 'I' and see recognition and validation in the eyes of those, like Eric, with the patience, compassion and courage to bear witness--to listen and observe with neither prejudice nor prescription.

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.

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

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


____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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