Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A Good Weekend Is...

...one during which I write! Two scenes down, at 1000 words each. *pom poms waving*

And now back to reality, er, agent hunting for the completed MS.

Of course, a Great Weekend would be one during which I both wrote and mailed query letters...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

More on Reading

I've surfaced just long enough from my Harry Potter re-reads (these books are so well written and follow so well both YA and fantasy/fairy tale traditions that I may do an editorial/review post on them, simply to rave about how brilliant they are) in order to note a few other lists and events:

Jen's hosting another writing marathon over at the Forum, which I sorely need to get my rear in gear. I've submitted one more query, but haven't finished revisions based on the May exercise and need to add some more scenes to my small pile of snippets for the new novel. I'm still referring to it as 1492; based on past experience I'll need at least 10 or 20 more scenes to be able to come up with a title...

Anne and May talk about everyone's favourite reading room!

And Janet asks, also at the Forum, about the first 15 books that come to mind:

"Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose."

Here are mine:

1. The Lord of the Rings and The Notion Club Papers by J R R Tolkien
2. the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
3. the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
4. Mine for Keeps and From Anna by Jean Little
5. The Daring Game and A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson
6. the Anne of Green Gables series by L M Montgomery
7. 1984 by George Orwell
8. White Nights by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9. The Stand and Night Shift by Stephen King
10. Charlotte’s Web by E B White
11. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
12. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
13. The Secret Garden by F H Burnett
14. Ned Kelly and the City of the Bees by M Kenneally
15. The Man Born To Be King by Dorothy L Sayers

I'll tag everyone!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


The James Joyce Centre in Dublin that I visited seven years ago.

James Joyce reading.

Dull Reading

Two blog posts within a short time frame of each other have prompted me to disclose what I think is the most boring book in existence.

Snail's Tales reviews François Jacob's autobiography, calling it tedious and depressing, and Anne and May ask, when do you give up on a book?

I try hard not to start books I know I'm not going to like. This is especially difficult when you're an avid reader and everyone loves to give you books, not always from your wishlist. Sometimes, however, it works out in serendipitous ways - I almost, almost, didn't start Outlander because I thought it would be a fluffy, new book (I don't often read books that have just been published, most of my reading list is pre-1950). And then I nearly dropped it when I got to the middle of chapter one, which talked about how rationing had been lifted in 1945 England (!). Now I realise that this was a gross copy editor mistake, and nothing to do with the strength of the book. If I hadn't continued... I certainly wouldn't have discovered The Forum, new friends... the list goes on.

If I start a book and find I'm struggling... I struggle. On and on. If I can, I'll read a chapter per sitting; if not, I'll read a few pages. I even slogged through Love in the Time of Cholera.

Which leads me to the most boring book in existence: Shane by Jack Schaefer. I read it the first time around the age of 13, probably because it was on a school list (though not one of the required books). I was so bored and so annoyed that I read the entire novel again nearly ten years later, simply to see if I would have the same reaction. I did. I understand the themes, the imagery, all that. But that stump!

How much more boring can you get?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Bookshelf Meme and a Contest!

Thao's holding a giveaway of Linda Gerber's Death by Denim.

Enter here!

The Bookshelf Meme is from Thao too:
1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going.
2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Aesop's fables (in Turkish), stories from Hans Christian Andersen and tales from the brothers Grimm.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life
There's probably others but one that comes to mind is Let’s Meet on Platform 8 by Carole Matthews - I received a free copy when I bought a magazine while travelling through the UK and read it throughout my vacation.

A book you acquired in some interesting way
Well, since I always buy books while travelling, and mail order books all the time, many of them have come from different places. The Jerusalem Bible from Australia, the Penguin Romantic Poets (can't find a link to my edition) from Turkey (Antalya), The Witch of Endor (I can't seem to find a proper link to this novel) from England (Manchester), Der Ruf der Trommel from Germany...

The most recent addition to your shelves
See my book fair post below!

The book that’s been with you to the most places
The Lord of the Rings, as well as books by Charles Bukowski, Paul Auster and Marilynne Robinson.

A bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions
YA! I love reading and collecting young adult books! Especially ones from the Canadian young adult and middle-grade books community.

I'll tag... anyone who's reading this!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem; http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2017/02/bits-n-pieces-writers-houseparty.html)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2016/12/annual-books-read-statistics-2016.html
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html