Recent Reads, Bradbury and George, and Hedwig!

Tolkien Conference! Celebrating 75 years of The Hobbit. And Surrey Writers' Conference!

I wish I was attending both, especially Surrey; it would be so exciting to pitch a story 'live' for the first time. Scary, but exciting.

I've been doing well with my schedule - only ten pages of editing left (ROW80)! And don't forget my Show me the Words! contest. I'm adding another feature to the contest - for an extra entry, head over and watch the Whisky Trench Riders' single Driftin'. You can like it or share it, too, if you wish, but the important thing is the views - the band is trying to hit 1000 views before the end of the month.

We've lost two authors and inspirations this week, Ray Bradbury and Jean Craighead George. Neil Gaiman has some touching tributes to Bradbury, and here's the New York Times on George. I have to admit I've only read one of her books, My Side of the Mountain - she has 99 others that I haven't read yet! The film version of My Side of the Mountain was filmed in and around Knowlton, not far from Montreal.

I've been lucky lately, winning lots of books. Just finished Linda Jackson's The Lie That Binds, which I'd won off Sara, and am about to start Who Writes This Crap? by Joel Stickley, the genius behind the How To Write Badly Well blog.

Before we left for vacation, I read the wonderful Go Ask the River by Evelyn Eaton, which I'd recommend to everyone.

"The haunting story of the great female poet Hung Tu, who flourished in the ninth century during one of the great periods of Chinese literature. The daughter of a Government official far from the capital, on the Silk River, she was, most unusually, brought up with her brothers, whom she far outshone. Falling on evil times, her father sells her to the best Blue House on the Silk River.

Hung Tu's poetry and calligraphy bring her great renown, and the story traces her rise from Flower-in-the-Mist to Official Hostess at the court of the governors of the Silk City, and her love affair with the poet Yuan Chen. Set against the backdrop of the scholars, poets, officials, and warring factions of ninth century China, this wonderful story reconstructs one of the great periods of China - turbulent, cruel, yet with a sense of beauty remarkable by any standards and in any age. Go Ask the River is a tale not only of historical China, but of the human struggle to discover how to be alive.

'Throughout runs the Taoist Philosophy - the Eight Signs of the Golden Flower, the meaning of Tao, the place of women in Oriental society. Hung Tu emerges as a vibrant figure, radiating a sense of beauty, balance, and well-being' - Montreal Star' [another Montreal connection!]" (description from Amazon)

Speaking of Montreal, I've got sunrise photos for Joshua, who always shares his mornings with us:

looking south, towards the former planetarium

same shot, but if you squint you can see the Canadian flag atop the building

I seem to be full of books this weekend. Here, for instance, are two random quotes about writing:

"When I was a child I read books. My reading was not indiscriminate. I preferred books that were old and thick and hard. I made vocabulary lists." - Marilynne Robinson, sounding like me

"[Secret window, secret garden] seemed to me as good a metaphor as any for what writers - especially writers of fantasy - do with their days and nights. Sitting down at the typewriter or picking up a pencil is a physical act; the spiritual analogue is looking out of an almost forgotten window, a window which offers a common view from an entirely different angle... an angle which renders the common extraordinary. The writer's job is to gaze through that window and report on what he sees." - Stephen King

And one about life: "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." - Ray Bradbury

Also, I couldn't resist sharing this photo from the Ecomuseum, of an owl who might be Hedwig:

Which books have you been reading?


Nadja Notariani said…
Hung Tu is a poet I've not heard of...thanks for introducting me!
I so enjoy when a little history is woven through your updates, Deniz.

As for reading, I've been catching up on some light reading, but have nothing of real interest to share. Game of Thrones is on my summer reading list, but I need to have no distractions during that series!
alberta ross said…
will put that book on my list of books on wish list - sounds very good - have just read Game of Thrones - great stuff - hoping to start the second one next weekend - great post:)
Hi Deniz .. Go Ask The River - sounds a fascinating book and one I must add to my list ..

I've been swamped in British information recently .. Chelsea, Jubilee, Horses, Picnics and food, et al .. and it'll all get bundled out into more posts in the coming weeks - before the Olympics starts ..

Cheers - that book does look interesting .. Hilary
Wow- the photos are lovely, and the quotes are amazing. I have not read My Side of the Mountain, (and feel terrible that I haven't).
Go ask the River sounds amazing. Fascinating, and especially because I know almost nothing of that time period.
Lena Corazon said…
Thanks for the book recommendation -- it sounds wonderful. I'll definitely be adding that to my TBR summer pile.
Go Ask the River sounds like a really good book. Just put it onto my TBR list. :)

Great pictures!
Marte said…
So glad you liked Go Ask the River! :) Evelyn Eaton's best novel by far, although Quietly My Captain Waits (a best seller in 1940) is a good read too.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the shout-out, Deniz. :)

Go Ask the River sounds like a book I'd like to read, so I'll be ordering it for my summer list. I'm currently reading There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz, and it is very eye-opening. I recently read Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, which was very inspiring, so I will be ordering his wife's book soon to read as well.

And thanks for visiting my blog. :)
Nas said…
Hi Deniz,

Go Ask The River sounds a fascinating book, thanks for the introduction.

Sad about Ray Bradley and Jean Craighead George- RIP.
S.P. Bowers said…
I wish I could go to Surrey too. Someday maybe we'll meet in person there!

I've just finished Left to Love. I didn't like it quite as much as the first book but it was still pretty good.
Anonymous said…
Those are two big losses. :(

Go Ask the River sounds like a fantastic read.

I love that owl picture.

Have a great week, Deniz.
Talli Roland said…
Love the Montreal shots! I haven't been reading much but my own stuff these days. But now that I'm done, I'll be on a tear again!
LR said…
Love the little owls!

I was said to hear about Ray Bradbury. Just recently I picked up my "Zen in the Art of Writing" by him for the first time in a while. What great wisdom in there, generously shared with the "aspiring" writer. :)
Jessica Bell said…
Go Ask the River looks fabulous! Thanks so much for the rec. :)
Robyn Campbell said…
Adding Go Ask the River to my TBR pile. It sounds absolutely wonderful. How come I haven't read it? Love those quotes, Deniz. The Stephen King especially. Bodacious! I was so very sorry to hear of Ray Bradbury passing. :(
Vicki Tremper said…
I love the clouds in your photos. I'm reading middle grade at the moment: J&P Voelkel's Middleworld, Book 1 of The Jaguar Stones. And then I need to get through some of the books on my Kindle, I think.

Happy Reading (and Editing)!
Anonymous said…
Great morning shots. And yes, I can see the flag. I noticed it before you pointed it out. Thanks!
MTeacress said…
I haven't heard of George...I should take a look at her stuff. I also haven't heard of Go Ask the River. Thanks. :)

How have you been? Have a good week!
Deniz Bevan said…
I'm avoiding Game of Thrones, Nadja and alberta. It'd take up all my days and nights!

British info sounds fun too, Hilary!

Thanks KO, Lena and Eagle!

Thank *you* Marte - I love Eaton's work. I'd never have known her if it wasn't for you! Love the Canadian connection too [g]

Thanks for the recommendations, Linda!

Thanks for coming by, Nas.

I hope so, Sara!!

Thanks, Medeia.

Ooh, what're you going to read Talli?

I'm trying to find a copy of Zen and the Art of Writing, LR!

Hope you like it, Jessica and Robyn!

Love MG, Vicki. I'll look that one up.

Oh good, thanks for letting me know Joshua - couldn't tell if it was too small or bright or what.

Hope you have a good week too, Michelle!
Beverly Diehl said…
I did finally get my Kindle issues worked out - so I will be finishing Roni Loren's "Still Into You" erotic romance novella. Excited (in more ways than one).

Your books sound good, too.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Beverly! I've got Roni's book on my Kindle for PC :-)

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