Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Kait Nolan's Riven, CC Humphreys' Jack Absolute, Whisky Trench Riders on CBC Songquest, and Blogging Buddy Links

Quite hectic in daily life lately, and I've fallen rather far behind in blog comments. I visit everyone, but hardly seem to have the extra few minutes to log in and leave a reply.

So I thought I'd share a few interesting posts from recent days right here:

Zan Marie has a lovely Thanksgiving post and a set of links to some helpful tips for authors

Sara has a great idea for a Thanksgiving tradition and also shared the hilarious Pearls Before Swine cartoon about refreshing Amazon feeds...

Pam's got an adorable dog, great photos of Montreal's history, and a link to a new book about Laura Bradbury's adventures owning a vineyard and guest houses in France

Lara's got snuggly kitties, fun photos, a contest, and a gorgeous award from Al/Father Dragon

Lynne's got some great book quotes. My wishlist keeps growing!

Susan has a new book coming! Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian: "A teenage boy who has a power he calls tunneling -- he can sense where anyone in the world is (and what they're seeing) by holding something they own -- comes under the uncomfortable attention of the U.S. government, and suddenly has to balance normal life with psychic-spy life."

Jo has some awesome technical tips about craft and Regency research

Finally, Will shared a video of the recent commemoration of C S Lewis in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey, featuring Doug Gresham, Michael Ward, and Walter Hooper

I've read two great books this past week:

The Blooding of Jack Absolute by C C Humphreys

I've read about the adult Jack Absolute, but discovering him in his youth somehow endears me to the character all the more. Humphreys captures the feel of the era, starting with Jack's childhood in Cornwall, then moving to his teenage years in London, and then to Canada, so well.

It's always a treat to read books set in a landscape I'm familiar with. I suppose readers who live in London or New York feel this way all the time, but I don't often get to read a book set in Montreal and Quebec! Humphreys' characters come alive on the page; you feel both immersed in the historical time period yet as if you might run into any of these characters on the street tomorrow. Loved the way Jack confronted his parents with his desire to become a poet!

Riven by Kait Nolan

A new book in the Mirus series! It was exciting to have followed Kait's progress on this book from drafting through revision hell, on her blog, and then to see it all come together. This is just the sort of romance I enjoy reading, sweet without being over the top and obvious (love it when the characters have some real tension going on), and full of twists that make me think 'I never saw that coming!' or 'now that's an intriguing choice!'

For you writers out there, this story is a great example of seamlessness - every scene flows into the next, with revelations and tender moments coming naturally out of the storyline. I hope I can pick up on this when I enter my own revision hell next month...

And yes, Kait is the creator of A Round of Words in 80 Days, and that's going to be my goal as soon as NaNoWriMo is over (I'm hoping to write the last 3,000 words tonight!) - edit the life out of Druid's Moon. My NaNo story will need at least another 30,000 words, though, so I'll keep drafting that. And I've also got to pull Captive of the Sea out of the text file I typed it up on, into Scrivener, and start shaping it into chapters. Then print it - and more editing!

Speaking of books I'm reading, I also got a lovely birthday present!

And look! Terry Lynn Johnson has a new book coming:

"Victoria Secord, a fourteen-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods is entirely up to her.
The author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself, and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure." (from Amazon)

I pre-ordered it and got a box of swag (how I love that word), including a puppy!

Cascading Swag

Voting has begun in the CBCMusic Hockey Night in Canada SongQuest!

Please vote for Whisky Trench Riders (just click on the blue 'vote for this artist' button every day from now until 11 December) to have their song chosen as the next great hockey song!

"The winner will record a studio version of your song with Canadian rocker Joel Plaskett. Then, their track will air in a prime-time montage at the beginning of a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast."

Whisky Trench Riders have already been featured as a pick of the week, and had a snip of their song played between double header games the other night, with Ron MacLean praising it!

Here's the official band video of the song:

Meanwhile, here are some 'artsy' photos my mother took. So pretty!

What's your favourite sports song?

Have you read Kait's Mirus series (she's also got a new contemporary romance out!: Be Careful, It's My Heart) or a book my Humphreys (his Constantinople is still on my wishlist!)?

Gotten any good swag lately?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Miranda Kenneally Promo!, ROW80, Writing Wrap-up by Decade, Wishlists and Research, and Joe Hill in Pyjamas

Yearly goals!

A long long time ago, I came across a year-by-year wrap up of writing and other events written by an author some of you might recognise (she said cheekily). I was inspired to do the same and hinted that I might post it, but never did.

So now, four years late, here is a brief wrap up by year of all my writing (some of the years and stories overlap a bit here and there). I originally meant to have school and travels and family and reading lists as well, but that'll have to wait. Also the list doesn't mention every writers' houseparty we've had to date.

2000: Some poetry. Some book and music reviews and essays in university newspapers. Probably some short stories. Nothing to sneeze at, unfortunately.

2001: Year-long travel column in Bizim Anadolu

2002: Started my YA novel An Arnavutkoy Spring, which takes place in Istanbul c. 1910

2003: Continuing work on the first draft of An Arnavutkoy Spring

2004: Year-long book review column in Bizim Anadolu

2005: These memory exercises are hard! I don't remember what-all I was writing in 2005. Maybe I was playing at translating Tolkien into Turkish. Who knows?

2006: Joined the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. (I should mention that this was a direct result of reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Thank you, Diana!)

2007: Started MG/YA The Face of A Lion! Wrote a short story called He Ain't Heavy and submitted it to the SIWC Storyteller contest. Started this blog.

2008: I spent the year working on The Face of A Lion, writing and editing and researching. Wrote a couple of columns for Bizim Anadolu.

2009: Finished The Face of A Lion and began sending it out to agents! Started a new novel, set in 1492 (Out of the Water). Wrote a few columns and books reviews for Bizim Anadolu. Wrote two short pieces for the staff newsletter at work.

2010: Lots of editing and research for The Face of A Lion, and then in the summer, the Cherry Hill and Constantinople writers' houseparties happened. I began drafting Out of the Water in earnest. Also had a dream of a story that finally saw the light of day as my 2013 NaNoWriMo project.

2011: The year of Out of the Water - endless drafts and editing and research and query preparation. NaNoWriMo project was Rome, Rhymes, and Risk, which I typed up later in the spring.

2012: Drafted a paranormal novella, Druid's Moon, over the summer, as well as a short story called At Summer's End. NaNoWriMo project was Captive of the Sea. Wrote a very rough draft of a short mystery that takes place in time between Out of the Water and Captive of the Sea. Reworked two very old pieces and shared some ancient writing snips on the blog.

2013: Shelved all other stories in order to edit and query Druid's Moon. Typed up Captive of the Sea. NaNoWriMo project is Alice and George's story (the dream from 2010!). Wrote a short story called Where's There's Life, which was shortlisted for the SIWC Storyteller award. Wrote a vignette on New York City, which I hope to submit to Vine Leaves.

ROW80 is going well - my main goal on the To Do list was to keep up with NaNo and I've been doing much better than I expected at getting words down. It really does help to make writing a daily habit and not let others distract you for at least an hour a day, no matter what!

2014: I hope this will be the year of edits and queries. I'd like to have a lot more polished works under my belt, rather than so many stories shelved to edit later. Which means I had better enjoy my drafting highs while I can...

Tweeting about writing in your pyjamas with Joe Hill. As you do...

Wishlists. I have wishlists every where. Links to books saved in my various emails, a list of Books To Get in my work email, Amazon US and CA wishlists, and so on. I'm adding another one here: all the books on Neil Gaiman's American Gods (incomplete) bibliography that I haven't read yet. So many fascinating titbits of folklore and American lore and intriguing portholes to aspects of American history that hardly ever get discussed. I need more reading time!

Here's a book I saw at a New York City flea market...
But they were charging way too much.

As if I had all the time in the world, I just signed up for an online course from Future Learn!
I do need it for research, after all.

Speaking of research, I found some great travel and railway guides as part of my research for Alice and George's story, set in the summer of 1914 near Knowlton, Quebec (in the weeks leading up to England and Canada's declaration of war):

Some people were aware of the need to save the forests even back in 1922

Driving directions up to the Windsor Hotel in Montreal in 1914!
I'm not sure what "with trolley" means - turn in the direction of the trolley? Watch out for the trolley?

Also took a photo of our neighbourhood war memorial near Remembrance Day:

Montreal West

I've got lots of other New York photos - and some secret photos of the upcoming Tobey Maguire film Pawn Sacrifice, which turned Montreal's Notre Dame street into a 1950s Brooklyn avenue for a weekend! - that I'll be sharing now and again...

I've also got a Miranda Kenneally promotion to share!

From Sourcebooks...

They're from two different worlds, but Savannah isn't exactly one to follow the rules. . . get the next contemporary novel from blockbuster YA novelist Miranda Kenneally: RACING SAVANNAH!

Right before her senior year, Savannah's father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider -- no matter how many others don't want a girl around the barn. But she's also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner's son. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah is not going to let someone tell her a girl isn't tough enough to race. Sure, it's dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack.

We've put together a fun campaign to thank readers for pre-ordering: send us your proof of pre-order and we'll send you this fabulous horseshoe key chain!

A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for US and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

Here's how to get your charm:

1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.).

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to Put "Racing Savannah Pre-Order" in the subject line. Don't forget to include your home address (US and Canada only please) so we can send you the horseshoe key chain! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book -- not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out.

4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

And in other book news, Paul Blackwell has won the 2013 Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature!

Do you have travel or book photos you'd like to share?
How do you keep your wishlists organized?
D'you ever look back over your long-term projects?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Write What You Know, featuring Kevin Brennan, and Mini Book Reviews (plus, Learning from Books!)

Author Kevin Brennan is visiting today!

Write What You Everybody Knows

A few months ago I read an item in the New York Times called "Should We Write What We Know?" by Ben Yagoda. It stuck in my head, not because of the too-cute anagrams for Write What You Know that Yagoda came up with ("Write What You Wonk", "Write What You Own", "'K?", and "We Throw a Wink T' You") but because of the superficial wisdom of the whole idea. This is probably the most quoted and least useable piece of writing advice you'll ever hear, yet there are very few writers, fiction writers anyway, who abide by it.

(I'm not much of a fan of "Show Don't Tell" either, by the way, since you can pick up just about any respected novel and point out all the Tells. It's a matter of finesse. If you can finesse breaking a rule, then I say break it to your heart's content!)

To me, Write What You Know is a restriction, a boundary. It's a little like the saying, Place is destiny, which is one of the more depressing thoughts you can have if you're born in, say, Gaza, or Cleveland. If we are limited literally to writing about the things we know, then the best of us have only a couple of decent novels in us before we run out of material. (I guess Faulkner is the exception that proves the rule...) Of course, we can venture out and learn things and have new experiences, but the core of what we really know is probably wrapped up in our childhood lives, our families, our personal experiences, and our professions. We extrapolate from all of them.

On the other hand, when a writer tries to write about something she has no direct experience of but has learned from books or experts, it often shows in the writing. Authenticity is a key ingredient in novels -- a little ironic, since they're entirely made up. But it's a fact. If a fantasy set in some mythical kingdom is peopled with characters who don't ring true on some level, it won't succeed in drawing in the reader. And if a book about a CIA operation in Afghanistan seems cut and pasted out of news articles and memoirs, no reader will take it seriously enough even to be entertained by it.

So the writer is left with quite a dilemma.

In my new novel, Yesterday Road, I write about a number of things I have little or no direct experience with, but I hope that I've done enough research (and hidden it well enough) that most readers will enjoy the story and characters and find authenticity in them. I also use locations I've never been to and that certainly aren't real in the sense of places you can visit. They serve a purpose in the narrative, yet they seem real. Only people who actually live there might say, "It's not like that at all" -- just as people can rightly say that New York is nothing like it's depicted in "Sex And The City."

Write What You Know is probably best interpreted on a more figurative level. Instead of taking it to mean that you can only write about the world of your own experience, peel it apart and give yourself permission to infiltrate the humanity of your characters, whatever their occupations or histories.

For instance, I'm working on a book with a first-person female protagonist who's a doctor. I'm not a woman or a doctor, but I think I know exactly where she's coming from and I can hear her voice as I write her. Am I asking for trouble? I guess we'll find out, but my approach to her is through her personhood, her motives, her relationships. A capable writer ought to be able to work with these elements and create something real and authentic.

Yagoda's ultimate conclusion on the matter is probably more apt than I wanted to give it credit for. "We Throw a Wink T' You", as twee as it comes across, introduces the reader who will share the book with you. If you can keep her in mind, if you can take her seriously and keep from insulting her intelligence, and if you remember that she wants to like what you're offering, you'll probably find that you can depart from what you know and write not just from experience but also from sincerity.

Yesterday Road is available at:

Also available at iTunes via your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Kevin's little short story collection, Our Children Are Not Our Children, is also available at the above outlets. His first novel, Parts Unknown (William Morrow/HarpCollins), is available at his blog.

Follow Kevin: Blog Facebook Twitter

Thanks for visiting the blog today, Kevin!

I think that's a great way of looking at 'write what you know'. I love the idea of peeling apart experiences and characters to get at the hearts of them. It reminds me of the way Diana Gabaldon talks about 'onion' characters (as opposed to mushrooms and hard nuts).

Meanwhile, I'm taking a leaf out of Zan Marie's book and featuring mini reviews today!

Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak
Christmas is a time for remembering.
Too bad not all memories are pleasant! Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town's Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.
But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he'll never come back-until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he's left her to face all the townspeople he cheated.
Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can't bring himself to abandon her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.
Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?
The best part of this story was the tension between the hero and heroine and the slow way they learned to forgive and understand each other. The heroine, especially, was not one I thought I'd like (based on how she appeared in the previous books in the Whiskey Creek series) but now I can say she's my favourite (besides Callie from When Summer Comes)!

Because the build up was so gradual, and painful for the characters, as they grew and learned more about themselves and each other, I really expected an explosion of sweetness at the end. Does that sound funny? I wanted a satisfying denouement, where I finally got to enjoy their being together.

That wasn't a spoiler; this is romance, after all -- but this next bit is: It seemed a bit odd for the ending of the book to focus on the downfall of another character.

Yet since this book is part of a series (even though each one can be read as a stand alone), I'm really excited for the next one, where I get to see these characters on the sidelines. If you've read a book or two in the series, you'll know what I mean when I say I can't wait to see Sophia and Ted sitting together in a booth at Black Gold!

Meanwhile, I also read three older books this week:

A Room Made of Windows by Eleanor Cameron

This is one of those young adult novels from many years ago that makes you wonder why YA sounds so much younger now. The book is in distant third pov and there are lots of scenes where not everything is spelled out, and the reader has to work out what's happening. I used to read these books when I was younger myself, so why would a book like this be considered difficult for today's readers?

An interesting connection - I'd heard before of the controversy surrounding the Oompa-Loompas in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But it was only when I Googled Cameron after finishing this book that I learned it was her, with the support of Ursula K. LeGuin, who got Dahl to change them from "the abused, half-naked, African pygmy slaves into their current incarnation as dwarves of mysterious origin whom Willy Wonka adores" (Wikipedia's phrasing).

The entire history, in essays and letters is available on the Horn Book website.

The book mentions a publication for children called St Nicholas, which is real. I saw a copy a couple of weeks ago at the New York Public Library, which was having an exhibit on the importance of children's books:

They also had the real Winnie the Pooh characters!:

Another kids' book I read:

Clarence Goes to Town by Patricia Lauber

Such an adorable story! I was shocked to find out that the author has written one hundred and twenty-five books and even won the Newbery, and yet there's no Wikipedia page about her! I asked Forgotten Bookmarks if she had any Lauber in stock, and she does, so I'll definitely be ordering some.

Speaking of things I didn't know, I also read:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I had no idea - or had forgotten if I'd ever learned - that the Channel Islands were occupied during the Second World War. This is just the sort of book I love, a wartime story of heroes and villains who are simply ordinary people doing the best they can at the time. Featuring adults and children and animals and a landscape that's part of the story. I wish the author had written a pile of other books.

I've also been doing non-fiction research -- here's my ROW80 and NaNoWriMo update! -- reading about automobiles, train travel, kitchens, broken legs, bathing, evening pastimes, and more in 1913-14 in the Dominion of Canada. As of yesterday, I'd cracked 20,000 words in the NaNo story. And over the weekend I had one of those serendipitous moments that happens while writing: an aviary features largely in the NaNo story (despite all of your help the other day, I still don't have a proper title!), and I was a couple of chapters in to Cameron's novel when she started describing an aviary! So that's how I learned that birds can sharpen their beaks on bits of cuttlefish.

As if that wasn't enough, I'm currently reading and hope to review here: The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge; The Blooding of Jack Absolute by C. C. Humphreys; and a book I just won this weekend!: Shadow Spinner: Collection 1 by Andrew Leon.

Here's a great sign I saw at the New York Public Library:

Do you write what you know?
What was the last 'classic' YA you read? How do you think they compare to today's books?
What have you learned recently while reading?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Guest Visit from Talli Roland! Also IWSG, ROW80, NaNo, and Montreal Photos

Posting a day early because I've a special treat and I couldn't wait!

Talli Roland is visiting today!

Thank you, Deniz, for hosting me on your blog today!

One of my all-time favourite places in London is the South Bank, where the London Eye, the National Theatre, and the Royal Festival Hall are all located. It's where Mr TR and I met, where we had our first kiss, and where we got married. But apart from those wonderful memories, it's a beautiful spot -- like the London you see in movies. Standing on a walkway by the Thames, you can gaze out across the city, taking in the dome of St Paul's, the Millennium Bridge, and the Tate Modern.

Simply magical.

Mr TR and I re-enacting the proposal. 
Every Christmas we spend in London, a walk along the South Bank is part of the holiday ritual. London is quiet and peaceful; the air crisp and cool. When I decided to write a Christmas novella this year, I knew straightaway where I wanted to set it. Lucy, my main character, takes to the South Bank to mend a broken heart. Where else?

I love these lights - so romantic. 
St Paul's on Christmas Day, complete with Christmas tree. 
If this part of London can't heal your hurt, I don't know what will.

For Lucy, the best Christmas present is forgetting the past. Eager to banish the ghost of Christmas past – when her boyfriend dumped her on the streets of Paris – Lucy is determined to make this the best Christmas ever. She rallies friends and family for an epic celebration that just happens to fall on the same day as her ex’s festive wedding. Furious at how she’s been treated, Lucy can’t help relishing the party v wedding smackdown.  But when the wedding is threatened and only Lucy can help, can she find the spirit inside to save the day, or will this Christmas be even more disastrous than the last?

Available on Amazon UKAmazon US.

Thanks again Talli! It's always thrilling to have images to go with a book -- I can just picture Lucy standing where you are!

I read Last Christmas a week ago, and couldn't put it down once I'd started. I feel like I know Lucy so well, having followed just a few weeks of her life over her shoulder -- I know romance stories don't work that way, but I really hope there'll be a sequel featuring her and a certain other character. Or maybe they could make a cameo in another book?

The story weaves through Lucy's emotional changes so well that you feel like you're growing along with her, and there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments too. At one point I thought I'd correctly guessed at a reversal that was coming, but boy was I excited by what actually happened!

Just for fun, in honour of the band in the story, The Dirty Mondays, here's my Happy Mondays playlist (last two songs are missing):

Meanwhile, it's November! Which means many things, including Knitting Month, and NaNoWriMo!

Denise figured out how to get a neat word count comparison widget; there it is on the right -->;

And J A Bennett hosted a NaNo blog hop this past weekend, featuring the Spirit of Christmas anthology.

So pretty!

If you're not NaNoing but in the midst of editing or querying, Spencer Hill Press is hosting another Query Contest!

My main goal for this month is to finish my NaNo story, of course, but in honour of ROW80, and the fact that our goals should be manageable and measurable, I came up with a more detailed list for our Forum November Goals check in:
"I'll make a long list too. I like doing this because by the end of the month I've at gotten at least one item done, so I don't feel too badly:
1. angle for more overtime editing at work
2. knit one Christmas blanket and items for at least five upcoming babies
3. do NaNoWriMo!
4. post at least once for the November X
5. keep up with the blogging and book reviews
6. complete beta reads!
7. make some headway on Christmas gifts
8. find a costume for a masquerade party I just got invited to
9. organise something in the house (clothes to donate? toppling TBR pile? all those saved bits of paper?)
10. edit the vignette I wrote last month and submit it somewhere
11. read!
12. organise photos from the last couple of months for blogging and to share with family/friends
13. promote the Whisky Trench Riders concert on 23 November and their SongQuest entry!
14. transfer the newly typed Captive of the Sea to Scrivener and divide it into chapters and print it
15. write another article for Bizim Anadolu"

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

If my long list above doesn't make you feel better about completing your own projects, then I've got something sweeter: A rainbow!

I submitted the rainbow to the local news site and it appeared on their page!

A few other autumn Montreal images:

View from the first car of my commuter train

Our building lobby on the first day of the Assembly


Early morning...

If you haven't already participated in the blog hop, what's your NaNo wish?

Have you already started reading Christmas or other holiday-themed books? (I'd definitely recommend Talli's!)

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