Friday, 12 September 2014

Big C Bloghop, Thanksgiving in Geneva, ROW80, and a Song

Happy thanksgiving!

No, it's not a joke. Yesterday was the Jeûne genevois holiday here in Geneva, the fasting day which is a holiday in all of Switzerland but falls on a different day in Geneva.

The tradition began back in the 16th Century, apparently, as a way to show solidarity with the suffering of the Huguenots in France. Wikipedia doesn't say why, and I haven't delved further, but it appears to be a somewhat recent tradition to have plum pie on this day. Sounds yummy to me!

It's interesting to think of all the titbits and trivia I've learned since we first moved here. I wrote a brief article on them all for the Turkish newspaper Bizim Anadolu.

I'm posting early for the Big C Bloghop, hosted by the wonderful Michael di Gesu.

The goal of this bloghop is to compile an anthology to help towards Melissa's treatment. "For this anthology post on Sept 15 a story about cancer. We are trying for comical, uplifting, inspirational... Let's give cancer a big kick in the pants! All posts will be included in the anthology so please edit it as best you can. Thanks All!!!"

I don't have one specific story, just a lot of warm memories of friends and family. It's scary, in a way, how many people we each know that have been and are affected by cancer. I like to say affected instead of afflicted because I try to see something positive in every situation. I'm on my annual reread of The Lord of the Rings and there's a great line by Sam, quoting his father: "Where there's life there's hope...and need of vittles."
Speaking of food reminds me of one specific memory: a great aunt who was diagnosed with cancer the summer of our wedding and told she didn't have much of a chance... She just congratulated us over Skype the other day on our ten-year anniversary!
I hope that was short and sweet. Sending Melissa lots of {{hugs}}

And now for a brief interlude, a song about good times:

I'm excited, too, because I've gotten some steady ROW80 work done, typing a few hundred words per day of last year's NaNo story. I won't think yet about all the editing it'll require... Hope you hop over to Michael's and join in the anthology!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group, New Brenda Novak, and a Snip

Can't believe it's September already! Where does the time go?

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day today!

We make all these schedules at the start of the year and then...well, real life does happen. But that's one reason the Round of Words in Eighty Days goal setting is so flexible. As founder Kait Nolan says, it's the writing challenge that knows you have a life!

Another aspect of real life is that sometimes your muse can fade. At that point the goals you've set can either hold you to task or make you feel doibly guilty that you can't achieve them without any inspiration.

One thing I might try, since real life is keeping me from editing (and a few of my other goals), is to not feel so guilty if I start drafting another story!

I've got two or three ideas I'd like to explore but I've been putting it off, thinking I shouldn't be drafting new stories while so many others need editing. But that's very self-limiting, isn't it? If I've got time and space to write (especially since I draft with paper and pen, and what could be more portable?), then why not go ahead?

No need to feel insecure!

In fact, I've already written a very brief scene of a dystopian idea, as part of the August exercise on the Forum:
"I've lost control."
What'd you say?" Sam glanced up from across the table, then shut his book and slid it to one side, obviously more than ready to give up the pretense that they were studying.
Summer hadn't realised she'd spoken aloud. She lowered her eyes to her own book and muttered, "I've lost an earring."
She'd been fingering her earlobe, running a hand on her collar, but forced herself to stop and wait a second. No sense drawing undue attention from the nearby tables. Someone might pick up the earring-microphone and hear a crackle of static.
The cameras saw everything and there'd be no missing the reaction on the face of someone who thought they were trying to help a fellow student and discovered a spy instead.
She didn't dare meet Sam's gaze, but copied a line from the text into her notebook, turned a page in the text, and made a tiny annotation in the left hand column, as though marking her place for the next study session.
This single bit of carelessness could cost her entire mission. If she couldn't recover her link to control, she'd have to rig up another method of contact. Otherwise she'd be trapped in the Domed City.
There weren't enough teams available for control to spare a search and rescue mission for idiots who couldn't even keep their communication devices screwed in.

Twisting in her seat, to face the nearest camera full on, Summer finally looked at Sam. She was pleased to see he'd kept up an act too. He was slumped over his closed text, doodling in his notebook, the very image of the lazy boyfriend who'd rather be out partying than studying and who certainly hadn't heard a word she'd said.
"I've lost my earring," she repeated, enunciating for the benefit of the watchers behind the cameras. "Help me look."
She dove under the table. If the device wasn't here, or caught on her clothes, or up in her dorm -- any place she'd been in the last hour -- that meant only one thing.
It had fallen when they'd snuck out to explore The Staring House.
Not fallen; she wouldn't lie to herself. She had lost her only contact with control. They wouldn't send a search party, but they'd deploy a replacement team as soon as possible in order not to jeopardise the mission, and then her failure would be discovered.
She refused to allow that to happen. And she would not let herself be captured, at least not without leaving behind more information than the team before her had been able to gather.
Communication with control or no, there was no other choice.
The Staring House must be infiltrated.

I'm also in the middle of another exciting Brenda Novak book, this one a standalone historical romance: A Matter of Grave Concern:

"When Maximillian Wilder joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but he has to gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could bring.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene and protect her, no matter the risk to his plan . . . or his heart."

Hope everyone's having a less insecure day! I'll try to visit many of you but might not have enough time to comment everywhere...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Exciting News!

Funny thing about social media -- posting announcements across various platforms when a major event takes place. (Which makes me wonder, why do we say "change my status update" instead of "update my status"?)

Harking back to my Belated Announcement...A joyful development from last week!:

Not quite the usual A Round of Words in 80 Days update I suppose...

Hope everyone else has had an exciting week!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fun Blogfests Coming Up!

There are two really good ones coming up, one in September and one in October.

September's is hosted by Ninja Captain Alex!

"Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

On Monday, September 22, post about your favorite unknown –-


Post about one or all four – dealer's choice!"

I'm thinking I might not have time to do this blogfest on the day, so I'll quickly note four items today!

Movie: Waking Ned Devine

Band: Marion

TV Show: If you haven't started watching Outlander -- based on Diana Gabaldon's wonderful series of books -- what are you waiting for?

Book: I could pick so many! Anything by Somerset Maugham makes a fascinating read. Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose is absolutely lovely. And for 50s/60s nostalgic humour, playwright Jean Kerr's book about city-dwellers who move to the suburbs with a passel of kids is great fun!

There's even a free version online: Please Don't Eat the Daisies.

Visit Alex's blog to add your name to the linky list.

October's blogfest is hosted by the lovely Joy Campbell!

"In 2013, several writers shared some heart-warming posts in which they wrote about real-life heroes. If you participated last year, you're welcome to write about another person who has touched your life in some way or create a flash fiction or opinion piece.

It's easy to participate. On October 20, post approximately 300 words about someone who has encouraged or inspired you. Your hero may be a friend, spouse, teacher or writing buddy."

Visit Joy's blog to add your name to the linky list.

Looking forward to seeing everyone's blogfest entries in the coming months!

As part of my ROW80 goals, I did manage to type up all the Wallace transcriptions. They just need formatting and then I can send off this batch.

Hope the writing and editing is going well for those of you getting more work done than I am!
Do you have other fun blogfests to recommend?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Tara Tyler's Beastly Survey, Save Your Writing!, Three Things I Write, Brenda Novak's Latest, and ROW80

Have you ever lost some of your writing?

Asking because I missed posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group last week, and I happened to see this tumblr post by Neil Gaiman just now:

I haven't lost writing in a while, thankfully, except for last week's Wallace fiasco. I've heard horrible stories of authors changing the names of their Scrivener files and then being unable to locate them. Mine was two different things: text in PlainText on the iPad that didn't sync to Dropbox because the wifi was not on, but that also for some reason did not save in the PlainText app itself; and the next day myself highlighting all the text and trying to click on "copy" and then realising I'd pressed the letter n by accident, and then pressing two more buttons before I discovered where the "undo" button was (and undo on the iPad only goes back one step), thereby losing everything I'd typed in that session.

That was nothing, however, a mere loss of some transcription of an already-printed text. Losing actual writing hurts much more. One major incident I can remember is when I had a book stolen. Before I left the office for the day I went into the washroom and put my purse and book down on a chair in the entrance. When leaving, somehow I forgot to pick up the book, which was a crazy thing to do because it was stuffed with bits of paper with story scenes and ideas scribbled on them. I went back first thing the next morning, and my book was gone. Neither the cleaning service nor security was any help. Who steals a book with notes-to-self in it? I'll never get those scenes back!

The IWSG tip is therefore Save Your Work! And make sure you have backups. One thing I learned while visiting places with slower internet is to periodically highlight your text and copy it (this is especially useful for when blog comments go wonky). That way if you're in the middle of a heartfelt reply and the internet crashes, you won't lose your wording. Unless you have your Firefox settings set to not save copied text when the browser closes - another thing that happened to me last week!

In more exciting writerly titbits, Stephanie had an interesting post the other day on three things I write and three I don't.

Three things I write:

Historical romance - my mainstay. I love exploring historical eras I've always wanted to read about, and romance is what makes the writing most interesting, especially since I'm a pantster.

Middle grade/Young adult - I love reading these genres. So far I've only written one full length novel with a younger main character. It's mostly middle grade; I don't think I've tried a story yet that explores young adult themes.

Short stories - This isn't a real genre, of course. So far I've written a realist fantasy, a historical murder mystery, a historical literary piece, and others. Short stories, when they come, are always out of left field for me.

Three things I don't - yet:

Poetry - I used to write poems all the time but it's been years - at least since the last time I read Stephen Fry - that I've been able to express myself this way.

Dystopian - I haven't tried it yet. But I've got a story idea rattling around in the back of my head. The first ever snip from the story is up as part of the August writers' exercise on the Forum right now! Another ROW80 goal for this round met!

Fantasy - I've never tried this before. I've got one brief glimmer of a story idea. But it's not set in a world of my own creation, even, so this'll be a back burner idea for a long time.

Speaking of fantasy, I'm a Goblin Girl!

Take Tara Tyler's fun Beastly Survey, part of her promotion for Broken Branch Falls, book one in the Beast World series.

I got to read Brenda Novak's latest Whiskey Creek story, The Heart of Christmas, this week!

I really enjoy catching up with this town's residents with every new book. The circle of friends who hang out at the Black Gold coffee shop are a great group of characters, each with an interesting back story, and with intriguing circumstances in their lives. I'd been wondering about Eve, owner of the bed and breakfast, for a while, so it's been great to see her side of things (especially about her relationship with Ted, who ultimately was in love with Sophia not Eve).

The story builds really well, from the moment when Eve wakes up: "There was a naked man in her bed." From there it's a seamless set of actions and consequences, centred around stranger-in-town Rex's dark and dangerous past, which is determined to catch up with him.

Eve finds herself falling for Rex, and thinks she can overlook the troubles he's been facing -- but only if she can help him evade the danger once and for all. That is, if Rex can only trust her -- and his feelings for her -- long enough to let her help...

Any new books that you'd recommend?
Which genres are you more used to writing?

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Beach! Plus Blogging Ideas, WWI Centenary, and ROW80

For the first time in a long time I've... got nothing.

I've mentioned all the intriguing books on my wishlist and TBR piles... I've celebrated other bloggers (and I still owe so many visits!)... I've gotten a little further on my main ROW80 goal of typing up the Wallace letters (following another wrangle with losing text on the iPad, this time through my own fault)... I've mostly caught up with or at least minimised my daily life task lists (I still carry too much paper and too many to do lists and general stuff in my purse)... I'm starting to get the hang of things more and more at my new job (can't believe it's been four months already!)... and the weather has gone back to lovely dry warmth and sunshine after a weird two weeks of cloudiness and rain.

This is usually about the time I make the mistake of signing up for a blogfest, to give me a theme to focus on. But then I fall further behind in commenting!

There is one main event this week, of course, and that's the centenary of World War I. I think of Tolkien, in the prologue to The Lord of the Rings when he says "To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939... by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead."

Oddly enough, I'd never searched for Tolkien memes before. Found this neat one just now:

Here's a war memorial in Geneva:

And the post-war attempt at peace, with the founding of the League of Nations:

I've looked up blog post ideas before when stuck for something intriguing to say. Here are a few that sounded good:
"Make Something -- Show us how you make your lasagna in a video. Show us how you organize your files on your computer. Take us through in a way that WE can do the same when you're done.
Share Five Friends -- Show us five friends' blogs and give us a blurb on why you like them.
Talk Slowly -- Teach us a difficult tech concept, piece by piece, with analogies, and drawings made off napkins or Flickr pics.
Five Tools I Use -- Show us your web toolbox (add or subtract as needed).
My Mother, My Daughter -- Doesn't have to be exactly this, but the idea is to interview your parent and your child, and ask them five questions to compare their perspectives.
A Cause to Connect -- Share your social cause of choice, and give us a background, the challenge they face, and ways to connect and be helpful.
Without Words -- Can you post a story told completely in pictures? How about sounds?
Conversations With Past Masters -- Seek out a journalist or a radio veteran or a former TV personality and interview them on how producing media was in their day, and what they see coming out of this social media space.
Secret Experts -- You know lots about how to be a digital citizen. You just don't realize that others DON'T know it. Share some tips for people coming online and engaging in social networking."
Book and writing ideas:
Read a classic that has always been on your list.
Write for at least 15 minutes every day.
Reread your favorite book from childhood.
Attend author readings at your local bookstore, library, or literary centre.
Reread your old work.
Read a best-selling mystery. What can you learn from a well-paced page turner?
Find some of the best humor writing and see what makes you laugh out loud. Then give yourself a humor writing assignment.
Get an anthology of poetry and read the same poem twice every day -- once in the morning, and once at night. Does coming back to it in the evening change it?

Meanwhile, there are actual beaches in Geneva!

Some are along the Rhone river:

Swirling colours where the Rhone river meets the Arve river

And some are right on the lake:

We also discovered a temporary Canadian-Quebecois food stall, complete with smoked meat sandwiches and poutine:

What other blog post ideas do you have? What's your go-to post theme?
Hope everyone's having a sunny week!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Whole Lotta Books! Dahl, Tolkien, Rogan, Nolan, and Martignetti, plus My ROW80 Check In

Book chat!

It's the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings!

Penguin's hosting a contest that involves a year's supply of chocolate, a trip to New York City, and tickets to see Matilda the Musical. Matilda was always my favourite Dahl story. Enter the contest or take part in the other celebrations on the official Roald Dahl site.

There's a 60th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings that's just been released -- I want it mostly for the updated reader's companion. One way you can celebrate this anniversary is by quoting some of your favourite lines on Twitter with the #FR60th hashtag. Here are a few of mine:

In other book news, the paperback of Barbara Rogan's A Dangerous Fiction is out now!

I reviewed A Dangerous Fiction back when I read the hardcover and was full of praise - for the tenseness of the mystery, the vivid characters, and for being set in New York City! I love it when a story's location is as real as the story's people. Read a sample on Barbara's website, and I guarantee you'll be hooked!

And yet another release -- Anthony Martignetti, author of Lunatic Heroes (which I reviewed a couple of years ago) and Beloved Demons, has some new short stories out!

For those of you busy writing (I'm doing okay on my own ROW80 goals -- had a minor setback last weekend when the batch of Wallace letters I'd typed didn't save at all, argh! but I'm back on track now), author Margaret Buffie has a great post on why your novel's first line should grip the reader. She quotes some wonderful first lines from some of my favourite books.

And author Kait Nolan has been on fire recently with two brilliant posts, one on entitlement in writer culture (vs helping each other), and another on whether superhero powers are a finite commodity - do male heroes have to lose power in order for female heroes to rise?

Plus she has a new Meet Cute short romance out!

Once Upon a Coffee

Which new releases or anniversary publications would you recommend?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Revisiting the AtoZ with Photos and Trivia on Switzerland, Zombie Attack!, and ROW80

Guess what?

I learned something new and relearned something old this past weekend.

The something old is a fact that I'd forgotten: Freddie Mercury lived in Montreux, Switzerland in the last years of his life and even owned a recording studio there. Apparently he used to say "If you want peace of mind, come to Montreux." There's been a statue of him by the lakefront since 1996 and there's a Freddie Mercury Memorial Day held there every September. We'll have to visit!

The new-to-me fact is that the Deep Purple classic Smoke on the Water is all about Lake Geneva!

Usually I'm really good with hearing and memorising lyrics, but you know how sometimes you think you know a song so well that you actually don't pay much attention to it? Yea, that. I mean, the opening lines to the song are "We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline, to make records with a mobile, we didn't have much time."

I'd never paid attention before! Here's the Wikipedia story:

"...on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple had set up camp in Montreux, Switzerland, to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio -- referred to as the 'Rolling truck Stones thing' and 'a mobile' in the song lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as 'the gambling house' in the song lyric).

On the eve of the recording session a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theatre. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on 'King Kong', the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun into the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the 'some stupid with a flare gun' line. ...

The 'smoke on the water' that became the title of the song ... referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Deep Purple watched the fire from their hotel. The 'Funky Claude' running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire."

All this Geneva talk reminds me of the A to Z Challenge, so I thought I'd share a few more photos with you all.

Zombie attack!

Jet d'Eau close up - those ducks don't seem to mind the shower

View of the other side of the lake

The Jet d'Eau looks a lot smaller from a distance

On  a really clear day you can see the snowy white tip of Mont Blanc

War memorial

Lovely lakefront restaurant in Bellevue, about twenty minutes up the shore from Geneva

You can still see the Jet d'Eau from here!

Sunflowers in Meyrin, close to the border with France

As for ROW80, I'm halfway through one of my goals - typing up the latest batch of Alfred Russel Wallace letters.

This set includes letters from his son, who left England to work in the United States in 1897. It's fascinating reading about his day-to-day jobs as a telegraph line and pole repairman out along the Colorado railway tracks. I had no idea that British people at the tail end of the Victorian era called their parents Pa and Ma, and referred to adults as grown-ups -- but apparently the latter comes from Austen and Dickens!

What fun facts have you learned this week?

Hope everyone's easily meeting their writing goals!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Book Reviews, Andy Capp, Blogs I Miss, and ROW80

Good thing I added reading to my ROW80 goals!

I finished The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling the other day, and would highly recommend it, especially for fans of detective stories. I love the authors characterisation.

Then I read My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk, a brief biography of Andy Capp's creator Reg Smythe written by his niece. The book is interspersed with quotes from conversations with Smythe, and has a really 'close' feel, as if you're reading about one of your own distant family members.

The best part for me were the two aspects that could also relate to writing. The first was the glimpse of Smythe's complete dedication to his work. Even with a full time job, he would come home every evening and spend hours on his strips, sometimes working with a timer - one strip every half an hour. If he finished earlier, he carried over that time to the next strip. Day after day, without fail, even after he'd achieved a certain level of success.

Then there's the 'fresh fish sold here' test for clear and concise writing. In Smythe's words "...the fishmonger takes out 'sold' because customers know he's not giving it away, then he takes out 'fresh' because it implies his fish aren't, then he omits 'here' because if anyone is reading the sign it means they have found him... That leaves 'Fish'. Simple and to the point."

An intriguing titbit was learning where Andy Capp's name came from: after fiddling with a few name combinations, Smythe decided on Fred Capp, but then thought more about what sort of man he'd be, a "right pain and a definite handicap to anyone" - and that's how he became Andy Capp.

Just for fun, here're a couple of screenshots of some classic Andy Capp:

Thanks to everyone for coming by during the Songs of Summer blogfest! Can't wait to discover all your songs, too.

Haven't had a chance to visit many blogs this past week or so, and there are quite a few I miss! Here are a handful of blogs and bloggers I'd love to catch up with:

So many blogs, so little time!

Any other blogs that you would recommend?
I'm always looking for book recommendations, too!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Songs of Summer Blogfest, Books I'm Reading, and Round Three of ROW80

Time for another round of A Round of Words in 80 Days!

I'm going to carry over my main goal from the last round, which was to take part in the June exercise over on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community.

Speaking of which, one long-standing forumite and one forumite who hasn't been around in a few years got together on Twitter the other day:

For my other goals, I'm going to include items that have to be done, in the hopes that they will get done:

1. Transcribe the latest batch of Alfred Russel Wallace letters
2. Finish knitting a baby blanket and start a new project, a gift for a friend
3. Read!

I'm in the middle of four books at the moment:

1. My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk, a biography of Reg Smythe, the creator of Andy Capp
2. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
4. Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford

Has anyone read Parade's End (or each of the four novels that it's comprised of)? I'd really like to discuss and learn about some of the nuances of the British class system that I think are going over my head.

I have to finish these because I just added another four books to my wishlist today:

1. How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran
2. Rosie's Rescue by Raisa Stone
3. two short stories, "Zoo" and "Door Jamb" by Anthony Martignetti
4. American Interior: The quixotic journey of John Evans, his search for a lost tribe and how, fuelled by fantasy and (possibly) booze, he accidentally annexed a third of North America by Gruff Rhys (of the Super Furry Animals)

Not to mention all the books I keep adding to my Kindle app...

11 July is the Songs of Summer Blogfest!

Hosted by Armchair Squid, Suze, and Cygnus.

Post your top five favorite summer songs – and explain why they're you're favourites.

Here are mine (three songs and two albums):

The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count, by The Divine Comedy

It's about summer!
What more could you ask for?
"I'm in love with the summertime..."

Margarita, by Whisky Trench Riders

Romance by the sea...

You Held the World In Your Arms, by Idlewild

You know how sometimes you hear a song and you have no idea what it is or who sings it but you must find out? This happened to me over a decade ago with this band, with this song.
And it was summertime!

The first song on this album was a huge hit in Turkey many summers ago, and Sezen Aksu herself is one of the grande dames of Turkish pop music. My sister and I had this album on tape and listened to it endlessly.


This is the playlist I created for the Help! album to benefit War Child.
It's a good sample of some of the bands I loved during the 90s and reminds me of all the times I spent listening to their albums during summer vacations (well, all year round, really), as well as all the friends I made thanks to these bands and their music.

I hope you share your favourite summer songs!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta read!
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
  • Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman:
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here:
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at