Thursday, 30 September 2010

Banned Books Week

Happy Banned Books Week! Go read!

Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book

What can you do to support Banned Books Week?

1. Sign up at Tahereh's page with other bloggers drawing attention to Banned Books.

2. Talk about your favourite Banned Books over at Random Acts of Reading.

3. Blog about Banned Books Week, and let Random House know at, to win a free book!

I have to say, I was surprised to see that so many of my favourite authors have had their books banned at one time or another - everyone from Lois Lowry and Judy Blume (which I knew about), to Roald Dahl and Katherine Paterson (which I definitely did *not* know about); not to mention Steinbeck and l'Engle. Or Joyce!

Imagine a world without any of these authors? To read interviews with Steinbeck and many many other seminal authors of the 20th century (Dorothy Parker, E.B. White, Paul Auster, etc.), visit Paris Review, where they've recently uploaded their archives.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Inspirational Photos Round Two

Ffirst post on inspiration featured a photo of Columbus' patron, Queen Isabella. The other day I was once more on Christophe Colombe street in Montreal, but further up, and came across the statue of Columbus himself:

The other day I was in the Rare Books section of the McGill University Library and came across this - not much to do with inspiration for my current wip, but still a nice memento of Canadian authors - Stephen Leacock's walking stick!

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Weekend's Worth of Links

Hie thee to these blogs for fun and contests:

Kate Kanyak is giving away books!

Talli blogs about creating compelling characters. I have to say I agree with her; I don't know squat about my characters until I jump into the story. Trying to develop a character in advance only stalls my writing completely - the only way to find a character's voice is to begin writing scenes.

Nathan has an amazing post - so what else is new? - about dead or absent parents in children's literature. I seem to be following the trope as my two latest novels both feature absent parents. Oddly enough, adult/guide figures abound... Why is it that teenagers can accept direction from any other adult but their own parents?

Speaking of parents, what lessons have you learned from your mother? If you have a story or essay or other vignette on this topic that you'd like to submit for an upcoming anthology, let Carol Krenz know!

And visit Kait for the latest installment of Forsaken By Shadow.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

73 Years of The Hobbit, Release of The Exile and... Advance Buzz

Edinor veren, or Joyous Anniversary (in Sindarin, I hope) to The Hobbit!

On 21 September 1937 The Hobbit was first published in Great Britain. Where would I be without Tolkien, I wonder? Not just rereading The Lord of the Rings every year, but all the other authors I discovered through him, and the links that run through his work to many of my other interests and explorations - Welsh language, history of the British Isles, poetry, and so on.

"To celebrate the hardback release of There and Back Again – The Map of Tolkien's The Hobbit by Brian Sibley, and Harper Collins are teaming up to give you a chance to win a free copy!"

If you'd like to win a copy of the book, sign up here. It's illustrated by Canadian John Howe.

It's also launch day for Diana Gabaldon's The Exile! I ordered my copy through Amazon so have to grit my teeth and wait, but if you've got your copy already, join the discussions here on Outlandish Observations and on the Compuserve forum.

Next week is Banned Books Week. Which books have you read?

Also, in case you missed it, Inky Fool has been doing a rundown of the planets in our solar system, ending with Pluto today. And I agree with their statement that "Anyone considering leaving a comment about how Pluto isn't a planet no more, can take that thought, cover it in brambles, and stick it where the sun only shines very, very faintly."

Buzzzz... writers' house party coming soon to the Compuserve forum... more information to follow... buzzzzz...

And now, here is Bilbo Baggins's favourite walking song:

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on

Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Daily Survival Kit

Le Kit de Survival, for Writers (I tweaked this from Shannon's Weekend Survival Kit).

Obvious items to include in the kit:

Contact info of beta readers, crit partners or best friends and family who love to read your stuff - because at one level or another, we're all craving feedback.

Matches from your local - pub, that is. Because to be inspired to write, you've got to go out every once in a while and not be isolated.

Books - to be inspired by the best, to learn from those who explain the craft, to escape into new worlds, to research... Even if your To Be Read pile grows out of control.

Your favourite pen and notebook - failing that, I've taken note pads, napkins, the verso of papers at work...


Additional items:

A gift card from your favourite coffee place - ah, fuel.

Music (like the Blue Rodeo playlist at the bottom of this page).


A distracting game - Tetris, Bejeweled, Minesweeper...

Don't forget, Kait Nolan's Forsaken by Shadow - Part 8 here!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Closed Circuit by Marte Brengle

Small town stories make for in-depth novels and Marte Brengle’s debut Closed Circuit is no exception.

Lyric, Iowa and the electronics repair shop on the northwest corner of the town square set the stage for mystery, drama and romance. A sticky hot summer has barely begun when Ruth Peyton discovers that her landlord has sold the building where she lives and works – to Adam Tallbott, someone from her past that she’d rather not speak to ever again.

Not only that, but there are rumours flying that he’s bought other buildings around town, and is planning to raze them all. Or build a supermarket. Or dig for minerals. Gossip runs wild and all too soon Ruth finds herself in the thick of it, as Adam tries to win his way back into her life.
Can she play him long enough to find out what he’s really up to – without losing her heart to him in the process?

Brengle has created an entire cast of characters for Lyric who soon become as familiar to the reader as their own friends, and the story is told in an omniscient voice that allows their individual traits to shine through. There’s Chet, the kind curmudgeon who works with Ruth – determined to solve his own mystery in the town – Jodi, femme fatale, who gets her comeuppance the first time in one hilarious scene involving a too-short skirt – and a few shady characters running – or trying to run – a pot growing operation. Plus Grace, Eleanor, Eddie...

The next book in the series is called The Dutchman’s Puzzle and will continue the story of Lyric and its inhabitants – I can’t wait! Find the books (print or Kindle) here and here.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Researching Historicals...

Deborah Raney had a recent post about why she doesn't write historicals, explaining - in a nutshell - that she would get bogged down during the drafting process "second-guessing myself on every single word" wondering if she was being anachronistic or using the appropriate term for the simplest tools or articles of clothing.

To this I say, bring on the square brackets! Diana Gabaldon talks about this a lot, and it really works. While you're in the midst of a first draft, as long as you have a basic concept of your time period, you don't need to get bogged down in details. If I write "she looked at him across the lantern in his hand" I can just square bracket [lantern] and come back to it later, to see if it ought to be an oil lamp, a candle or what have you.

Of course, if you're not a stickler for accuracy, you could write a book like this one. (Please click on the link - I promise you won't be disappointed!)

In case you missed it, Google had a Doodle for Agatha Christie's birthday on the 15th:

Also, join the discussion at Ink Spells: Where Are the Adult Heroes in Kidlit?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Review - Susan Bischoff's Hush Money, and an Award!

Hush Money, by Susan Bischoff!

If you could have one talent, what would you chose? Super vision, total recall memory, the ability to read as quickly as Star Trek’s Data? Susan Bischoff’s debut novella Hush Money explores a world where talents are inherited, not chosen, and must be hidden at all costs. Unless you want to be sent to a government run State School? As protagonist Joss might ask...

The characters’ voices ring through loud and clear and the story’s heroine is strong without making the male protagonist seem wimpy in comparison. There’s definitely something to be said for reading outside your comfort zone; I don’t normally read paranormals but was drawn into Joss and Dylan’s world from the first page. Hush Money is a fast-paced tale with a fantasy element that's both consistent and believable, and a romance that's sweet and realistic, especially when... ah, you'll have to read it yourself!

The ending echoes Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies in that it both wraps up the main plot yet leaves the door open for further adventures. Readers will eagerly anticipate Susan Bischoff’s next book in the Talent Chronicles, tentatively entitled Heroes 'Til Curfew. Look for her books here.

Yahoo! Thanks to Zoe for the Lovely Blog Award!

I'd like to pass it on to the following bloggers:

Zan Marie

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ten for Tuesday - Interesting Links

X varied links for your Tuesday viewing/reading/listening pleasure:

1. Come 1 December, Talli Roland is hosting a blogsplash to celebrate the release of The Hating Game as an e-book, ahead of its UK hard-copy launch in early 2011. Visit her blog to sign up!

2. The latest installment of Kait Nolan's Forsaken by Shadow is up, here!

3. New songs by Ryan Bevan, here.

4. Struggling to write a difficult scene? Get a kick in the rear from Write or Die. "Putting the Prod in Productivity".

5. If you're stuck in full on procrastination mode, you can't do better than to head over to Tahereh's page and read the 100 steps of How To Write A Novel.

6. Banned Books Week is coming up. What will you be reading?

7. International Literacy Day was last week. What did you read? Claire had an insightful post in celebration, The Power of Words.

8. And for those of you writing historicals... Jason Goodwin on getting details right, and wrong.

9. Have you heard of the Page 69 Test? Marshall McLuhan once suggested that you should choose your reading by turning to page 69 of a book and, if you liked it, then you should read the book. There's an entire blog devoted to this; here's a list of the authors featured to date.

And.... Number 10... Treat for the day, if you haven't yet seen it... Unexpurgated artwork from Diana Gabaldon's soon to be released graphic novel The Exile, here. Careful if you're clicking through in public!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Fantasy Writing Places

Lola had a post recently, a beautiful post, taking readers on a tour of Fantastical Writing Places.

I think her fairy dust got to me, by which I mean the post inspired me to think of some places that I'd love to write in. Before that, though, an announcement: Linda Gerber's latest, Trance, hits bookstores in less than a month and she's offering a super duper countdown contest!

Where's your fantasy writing spot? My short answer: the Mediterranean.

Long answer... Perhaps a sailboat docked near Spain's Costa Brava:

Island hopping along the Cote d'Azur, towards Bonifaccio, Corsica:

Then along the Italian islands, round the tip of Sicily, out into the greater sea. Dolphin, seal sightings... And then, the Greek islands. Finally docking in Kusadasi (though it's a lot more crowded now; this photo is from about 30 years ago. That arrow on the card points to the hotel next to my grandmother's house):

Come to think of it, this is the same trip my protagonist Rose takes in 1492. Except she's not on a pleasure cruise, and her final destination is Constantinople, not Scala Nova (aka Kusadasi). If she had gone to Scala Nova, it might have looked something like this:

Friday, 10 September 2010

Recipe for Börek!

Here's the recipe for the börek I promised to bring to Karen G's BBQ Blog Party!

Ingredients (metric)
a glug of vegetable oil
1 beaten egg
250mL milk
mix the above ingredients and set aside (include a baking brush) (if you find yourself running out, you can always add a bit more milk)

1 box phyllo dough (defrosted if using frozen) (the boxes of phyllo dough I buy come with 8 sheets; my two pans are small so I cut the 8 sheets in half, leaving 8 sheets per pan.)

250g Turkish or Bulgarian white cheese
handful of parsley, finely diced
mix the above ingredients and set aside (include a spoon)

Any size pan will do, but you should preferably have a rectangular one to fit the shape of the dough. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan. Lay the first sheet of dough in the pan and brush gently with the oil-egg-milk mixture. Repeat with three more sheets. Fold the sheets in half if your pan is smaller.

Spread the cheese-parsley mixture across the top sheet.

Cover with another sheet, and once more brush with the oil-egg-milk mixture. Repeat with three more sheets. Pour any remaining mixture over the top.

Let sit for up to half an hour and bake at 350F for up to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

There are variations involving ground beef or potatoes or spinach, but any börek goes great with other BBQ fare such as watermelons, and can be served with beer or wine.

Unless you'd like to have it with coffee, which I mention only to ask, has anyone else noticed Charlie's mug on Two and a Half Men? His coffee mug, that is. He always uses the same one, there's always fresh coffee in the pot, and when he's not drinking alcohol, he's sipping coffee. Yum yum!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Self-publishing - Another Round of Debate

Before the Internet (remember those years?) self-publishing was a murky, expensive exercise. You sent the MS of your beloved book to a company by mail, they bound and printed it and you paid for every copy then turned around and tried to sell it or push it on family and friends.

At least, that's how I think it used to be.

I never paid much attention to it before; the few books I've read that were self-published back in the day were very badly edited and had plots and story lines that went nowhere. Let's not even get into historical fallacies...

Post-internet, self-publishing is a different dimension altogether. Writers now have not only many more options for the formats of their books, but since information on the publishing process itself, not to mention editing and marketing, is so widely available, there is no longer the easy excuse of "I didn't know about that!" for putting out a badly written, unedited book. As Kait Nolan explains, formatting and editing are NOT hard and must be done.

Many authors who market their own work want to be sure they're putting out the best possible story they can, and work hard to build online platforms and polish their work prior to publication.

They might even hire an outside editor, such as India Drummond (shameless plug).

The issue still stands though: Are readers likely to choose self-published books by authors they don't know? And does traditional publishing give you more of a platform for attracting readers?

I find genre and format are very important considerations. To put it bluntly, I write MG and YA; I doubt I could market such books entirely on my own. If my latest wip turns into straight romance and loses most of the YA elements when I reach the editing stage, I might consider an online publisher that also offers print options; marketing romance would be vastly different. To put it bluntly, I think I could handle an RWA conference much more easily than addressing a group of kids at a school. But those are my shortcomings, and only relate to self-publishing on my terms.

For others, self-publishing - or indie - is the best choice available, for many reasons. And many more.

And reading all those reasons why others have chosen the indie route, I'm thinking I don't have many excuses left for not looking into self-publishing.

Except that the current wip isn't finished and the completed novel needs more beta reads :-)


By the way, I owe a recipe for Karen G's wonderful Labour Day Weekend BBQ Blog Party - look for it Friday. And I'm still doing the rounds of blogs, got at least 25 more to visit!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Auto Summarize Your Novel For Fun and No Profit

If you haven't yet seen Joel Stickley's How To Write Badly Well, you're missing lots of fun reverse writing tips.
His most recent post mocks Word's Auto Summarize feature, something I didn't know existed. It's a completely useless programme, seemingly, but good for a few laughs.

Here's Out of the Water, distilled from 65,069 words in 4,734 sentences to 20 words in 20 sentences. 'Sentences' used here, by Word, in the loosest possible terms:

"Rosa!” Rosa! "Rosa?"
"Rosa! "Rosa!” "Rosa! "Rosa! Rosa!" "Rosa! "Rosa?" "Rosa. "Rosa!" "Rosa! "Rosa!" "Rosa!" "Rosa! "Rosa –"
"Rosa?" "Rosa."

I also tried the 25% summary option and got more repetitions of other characters' names with a few grins and smiles thrown in. Wasn't that fun boys and girls? At least I know I'll be getting rid of all those grins when it comes time to edit...

Thanks to all of you that have come over from Karen's BBQ Blog Party and followed me!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Reading Habits of the Stars - Last 24 Hours of Blog Party

Sunday! You've still got 24 hours to enter Karen G's Blog Party BBQ!

Forty days till Linda Gerber's Trance is released! For great contests, visit her blog now.

And now... something long :-) What are your reading habits? Courtesy of Michelle!

1. Favourite childhood book?
Turkish fairy tales and folk tales

2. What are you reading right now?
Lots of books on Ottoman History, rereading An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, and just finished Lord Rochester’s Monkey by Graham Greene

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Ah, none, but my Amazon wishlists are loooong (here and here)

4. Bad book habit?
I make notes in pen and pencil...

5. What do you currently have checked out from the library?
Well, I’ve got lots borrowed from friends, such as a few Philippa Gregory books

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Not yet...

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Many at once!

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Nope! Links and links...

9. Least favourite book you read this year?
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?
Not counting rereads... Quite a few of them. L'Elegance du Herisson, all the Dorothy Sayers books, Looking for Alaska, and so on.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Every once in a while, on recommendations...

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Anything! But I don’t usually read paranormals, biographies (love autobiographies!), new SF, romance or chick lit

13. Can you read on the bus?
Bus, train, plane, anywhere, even if it makes me nauseated – driving home from Boston last year, reading An Echo in the Bone the week it came out, I kept having to pause and look out the window to settle my stomach, but simply could *not* stop reading.

14. Favourite place to read?
HMS Sofa

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I’ll lend anything as long as it’s not a rare edition or a signed copy, and if the borrower takes too long to return it, I’ll buy myself a new copy!

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Never. Never crack the spine either.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
All the time...

18. Not even with text books?
What do you mean not even? I always write in books!

19. What is your favourite language to read in?
English, Turkish, French, Welsh, doesn’t matter.

20. What makes you love a book?
Strong characters, historical detail, travel, etc. etc.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
There are so many I’d like to recommend but most of my friends don’t read the same type/genres...

22. Favourite genre?
Big Books

23. Genre you rarely read but wish you did?
What do you mean, wish? If I want to read it I’ll read it!

24. Favourite biography?
I’d rather read an autobiography any day (Lindbergh, Christie, Dahl, etc.) but I just read Lord Rochester’s Monkey by Graham Greene and rather enjoyed it.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
My mother has a copy of Colour Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson; I've skimmed it a few times...

26. Favourite cookbook?
Anything by Jamie Oliver!

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year?
I'm going to plug our forum house party story, hosted by ZanMarie! It got me writing like nobody's business - more words in the last month than I've written all year!

28. Favourite reading snack?
Latte, latte, latte!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience?
Not so much hype as, making the mistake of reading reviews of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before reading the book. Everyone kept commenting on how angry Harry was and while I didn’t quite agree, it tainted my view of him for a little while.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Rarely. They never address what seem to be the salient points and spend way too much time summarising the book rather than reviewing it.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I’ll temper it with positive comments.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
At the moment, Spanish, Hebrew, Ladino and old Ottoman script, for research purposes Otherwise, I wish my Welsh was fluent.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
War and Peace and Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov (even though I love Notes from Underground, White Nights and The Double)

35. Favourite Poet?
Bukowski, cummings, Blake, Rochester, Tolkien, the Romantics, Parker, Eliot, Canadian poets from between the wars, etc. etc.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
Er, not from the library, but well, you should see my bedside table...

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Never. I'll skim, at least - non fiction at any rate.

38. Favourite fictional character?
Just one? Sheesh. There’s Sam Gamgee, Severus Snape, Earendil the Mariner, Charlotte the Spider, and lots from other YA books.

39. Favourite fictional villain?
Um, if they’re villains why would I like them? They might be very well portrayed, like Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnett or Sauron and so on, but they’re not a favourite of mine... I suppose I’ll say Snape, since, you know, he’s not quite a villain :-)

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation: YA and lots of it. Also poetry and The Lord of the Rings

41. The longest you've gone without reading: 2 seconds? I read everything, street signs, cereal boxes, train notices, ID info on my laptop, everything!

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish: There are a few. Atonement, by Ian McEwan, most recently. I reread Shane once just to see if I could figure out why I despised it so. Still not sure, but I doubt I’ll ever try again!

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel: Funny Farm, perhaps. But I haven’t read the book!

45. Most disappointing film adaptation: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Q&A by Vikras Swarup, the list goes on and on. On the reverse side, Crazy Heart the movie was much better than Crazy Heart the book.

46. The most money you’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
A few hundred dollars...

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Hardly ever. I like tables of contents though.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Historical inaccuracies, no convincing voice.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes! By genre and author.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I keep ‘em all – and buy extra copies of ones I like to give as gifts.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
See bedside table reference...

52. What's a book that made you angry?
Gone With the Wind - I love the book but darn it, Scarlett takes so long to realise she loves Rhett...

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The City in the Egg by Michel Tremblay

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Rereads of YAs I’ve read countless times.

Finally, in honour of question 27, here's Lord Rochester in the flesh - with periwig, of course:

Friday, 3 September 2010

10 Ways To Know A Story Was Written By Me - and Blog Party Continues

Woo hoo! Fabulous Blog Party / BBQ / Labour Day Weekend Fest going on over at Karen G's. Sign up and visit lots of blogs to 'find a bunch of awesome new followers'!

A propos of the word awesome, click here to join The Society for the Appreciation of the English Awesomesauce, aka Lord John Grey. I've even made a badge :-)

And Kait's next installment of Forsaken by Shadow is up, here!

And now, to business. Writerly, business that is. Susan's got a great post on 10 Ways to Know A Story Was Written By Me.

Here are the rules:

"Fellow authors, spread the meme:

1. Write a blog post about ten ways you know a story was written by you.
2a. Then comment on this post with the link to your post!
2b. Or just write your answers as comments, below. But that’s less fun.
Like chain mail, but with blog posts. Easy as that."

Here are my 10 Ways:

10. There's a Tolkien reference in there.

9. Someone quotes a line of poetry at some point.

8. Formal dialogue saturates the first draft, creeps around in the second, and is hopefully eradicated after that.

7. Someone somewhere mentions Wales - or Celts, at least.

6. Lots of grinning. 'Nuff said.

5. There's at least one paragraph of expository omniscient writing.

4. Cats.

3. The sea figures prominently.

2. The themes generally involve a journey of some kind.

And the number one way to know I wrote the story:

1. There's at least one word in another language, if not ten...

Labour Day Weekend BBQ Blog Party!

Oh boy! Party time!

The Labour Day Weekend BBQ Blog Party starts today, here at Karen G's. Head on over to her site for the official rules.

Question: are you a chunk writer or a linear writer? And if you're a chunk writer, like me, do you leap back and forth all over the story, or write in order. And, if you write in order, do you look back? Or are you surrounded by fog and shadows as you move forward?

Pub crawl! If you'll be in Montreal on 21 September, why not join the Mordecai Richler Pub Crawl?

"You will visit two Crescent Street watering holes that were once among the favourite haunts of the writer who gave us classics like The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, St. Urbain's Horseman, and Barney's Version.

At each location, several guest speakers - including [Montreal] Gazette cartoonist Terry Mosher aka Aislin, Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein, Giller Prize founder Jack Rabinovitch, and the author's son Noah Richler - will share stories about the celebrated wordsmith.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the new Mordecai Richler Writer-in-Residence Program at McGill [University]."

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Teaser Thursday

Got this one from VR Barkowski, and it links back to Should be Reading, though I'm doing Thursday instead of Tuesday. (Love that Gryffindor-esque drop cap!)

Everyone's welcome to join; the rules are:

Open your current read to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page (DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure not to give too much away!)
Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Mine's a little different because I'm reading a few books at the moment (list below), so I've elected to post a teaser from a non-fiction one. Also, Im posting one sentence only, cos I happened on a looong one:

"In twenty years the Genoese were swept from the Black Sea, leaving their ship designs and their naval titles fixed in the Ottoman mind, so that an Ottoman admiral was called Kapudan Pasha, and the Ottoman navy constructed galleons with heavy cannon after the Genoese model, and galleys, too, the most effective and terrible of Mediterranean ships, in which men worked the oars in chains, and whose presence could be smelled from a mile away over the water."

from Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • beta read! (JB)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • 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***
  • 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
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • 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