Posts Tagged ‘books’

h1

Best Books of the Year

December 3, 2018
books on bookshelves

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Back Again: A few of my favorites books of the year (some were published before 2018- it just took me until now to read them). They are in no particular order.

Middle Grade:                                             

Louisiana’s Way Home; Kate Di Camillo

The Someday Birds: Sally J. Pla

One and Only Ivan: Katherine Applegate (how did I not read this until now?)

Young Adult:

Written in the Stars: Aisha Saeed

We are Okay: Nina La Cour

Dear Martin: Nic Stone

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: Rachel Lynn Solomon

Adult Fiction:

The Great Believers; Rebecca Makkai (this is #2 on the NYTIMES best books of 2018- see below)

Nightingale: Kristin Hannah

Sing Unburied, Sing: Jesmyn Ward

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

Why I no Longer Talk to White People

The Recovering: Leslie Jamison

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot

Educated: Tara Westover

Here’s a link to the top 10 2018 favorites from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/books/review/best-books.html

As always… it doesn’t matter what you read, just read!

Happy December, y’all!

Advertisements
h1

Quotes!

June 29, 2016

 

IMG_2927

Barn with Art Installation at Djerassi

If you have that unconquerable urge to write, nothing will stop you from writing. –Theodore Dreiser

You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. – Ursula K. Le Guin

Writing is physical work. It’s sweaty work. You just can’t will yourself to become a good writer. You really have to work at it. –Will Haygood

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. –Confucius

h1

Books in Nica

May 17, 2016

Choosing a book, or many books, to read on vacation can be challenging. Will I be in the mood for a mindless beach read? Will I want to learn something and discover personal growth? Should the book be work related? Completely literary? In the end, I almost always choose a bit of everything. In my line of work, reading is as important as writing.

In April, my family traveled to Nicaragua for two weeks. We had lots of time on planes, in the airport, on the beach, waiting at restaurants, siesta-ing, and even during the middle of the night when temperatures hovered near 90 with no air-conditioning. Thank God for e-readers!

Lots of people ask me for reading suggestions, so I’ve listed what I read in Nicaragua. However, I think it’s important to prepare for a trip and read a related book or two before arrival. I began with The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli, and while on the plane I devoured a collection of short stories set in Panama: Come Together, Fall Apart, by Cristina Henriquez.

This next selection was chosen because I wanted to read adult literary fiction. I picked A 100 Foot Journey by Richard Morais because it’s set in three different countries. Because I was traveling to a foreign land, I could appreciate the nuances that come with cross-cultural living. Next, I read My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, which is new and on many best seller lists. I love Elizabeth Strout, and the book did not disappoint. I also love Chris Bohjalian’s and was surprised to find Trans-Sister Radio, a book of his that I hadn’t yet read. Given the debate about gender-neutral bathrooms, it’s a book that everyone should read RIGHT NOW.

By reading, 250 Things you Should Know about Writing by Chuck Wendig, I did a little work, right? And because reading middle grade and young adult is also part of my job, I read I will Save You: Matt de la Pena, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky: Heidi Durrow, and This is Where it Ends; Marieke Nijkamp, but they were all so good that I can’t call it work.

Personal growth and well-being are always part of my routine, and I read parts and pieces of these four books: Awakening the Energy Body: Kenneth Smith, Defy Gravity: Caroline Myss, Courageous Dreaming: Alberto Villoldo, and Dark Nights of the Soul: Thomas Moore.

Did I have a favorite? Nope. Each served their purpose for different reasons, and I enjoyed them all. Developing a selection of books to read takes a bit of planning, but it’s well worth it.

We also took phones away from our kids, and they balked as only teenagers can. But guess what? They read—a couple of books each! Parents shouldn’t be afraid to pull technology from their children. Of course, kids will complain; that’s their job. No one said parenting was easy. But here’s the upshot: reading improves writing skills ten-fold, triggers receptors in the brain, and offers new worlds, an escape, a welcome respite from an overly stimulated world. Parents can’t mandate books like teachers can, but if kids don’t have an alternative; they’ll read. And odds are? They’ll like it.

Happy reading on your next vacation! Summer anyone?

 

h1

Winter Writing Quotes

February 1, 2016

Need some midwinter inspiration? I hope these help.

Write you story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. –Neil Gaiman

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing. –Melinda Haynes

When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees. -Kenneth Kaunda

If we have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever that language is.-Mahatma Gandhi

h1

Reading Intention

January 18, 2016

The end of a year is filled with ‘best of’ book titles. Last year I composed my own list, specific to young adult literature. This year I couldn’t—not because I didn’t have any, but because I couldn’t remember. Welcome menopausal brain.

Some folks in the literary world set intentions for their reading practice; a bookish resolution of sorts. I’m jumping on that train and plan to keep a log, listing all the books I read in 2016. From time to time, I’ll post a couple of updates so you can follow along or join in. Thus far I’ve finished Brene Brown’s, Rising Strong; Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic; Raymond Carver’s, Cathedral; Emma Mills’, First and Then, and am in the process of reading Theo Pauline Nestor’s, Writing is My Drink; and Ha Jin’s, The Bridegroom: Stories.

Hopefully, next year I’ll be able to check my log and offer up my best book list like everyone else.

Now if I can only remember where I put my pen.

h1

Books with Impact

March 1, 2015

About six months ago, I was nominated to list 10 books that impacted my life. Unlike the ice bucket challenge, this was one task I could handle. Although narrowing it down proved difficult, I managed to create a list of great reads that, after reading them, left me ready to step into action and/or personally changed my beliefs in some way.

In no particular order, here’s my list; six months late.

The Year of Magical Thinking: Joan Didion
Zeitoun: Dave Eggers
Phenomonal Woman: Maya Angelou
Stolen Lives: Malika Oufkir
Olive Kitteridge: Elizabeth Strout
Speak: Laurie Halse Anderson
Two Boys Kissing: David Leviathan
A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens
Awakening: Cate Chopin
The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings: Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

I nominate YOU to share your list here!

h1

Best of 2014

January 5, 2015

In the spirit of last month’s year-end, best of lists, I’m doing my own top ten YA favorites that I read in 2014. Note that not all these titles were published in 2014 (although most were), but rather, I read them in 2014.

In no particular order:

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson
The Butterfly Mosque: G.Willow Wilson
Noggin: John Corey Whaley
Reality Boy: A.S. King
Two Boys Kissing: David Leviathan
Tease: Amanda Maciel
Belzhar- Meg Wilitzer
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Neil Gaiman
Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell
Pointe: Brandy Colbert

Share Yours!