Posts Tagged ‘read’


Best Books of the Year

December 3, 2018
books on bookshelves

Photo by Mikes Photos on

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:

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

Happy December, y’all!



June 29, 2016



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


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.


Summer Reads for Strong Girls (and Boys too!)

June 16, 2013

If you have daughters who’ve read Pippi and Clementine and need more summer adventures starring strong girls, suggest they try a few of the following middle grade novels:


Destiny, Rewritten

Mighty Miss Malone

The Goose Girl




Hunger Games

A Summer of Sundays (releasing July 9)

I really don’t like to turn books into a boy girl thing, so in addition to the above, both genders might like these books with boy characters:

The Graveyard Book

Maniac Magee

Rich Riordan series

Al Capone Does my Shirts



Peter and the Shadow Thieves

The Five Ancestors Series

The Maze Runner


Take Charge of Your Writing

April 28, 2013
  1. Carve out time to write, even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day.
  2. Create an atmosphere for good writing habits (no laundry allowed).
  3. Be flexible. If you can’t focus on a chapter, write a character sketch instead.
  4. Observe.
  5. Read.
  6. Subscribe to a new blog.
  7. Join a critique group.
  8. Sign up for a class or a workshop.
  9. Edit your work, again.
  10. Write.

The Win: blogging for prizes

August 28, 2012

I never win anything. Wahhhhhh. But recently, my luck flipped.

This summer I caught up on my blog reading and funny enough, one mentioned my name. One of my favorite blogs about writing and publishing, YA HIGHWAY, announced me the winner of a new Kindle Touch and three YA novels. All I’d had to do was answer a few questions. Not bad.

Besides the thrill of the goods, the win made me realize that reading blogs matter, especially blogs in your field. Like most people, I don’t have a lot of time. Three kids make sure of that. However, I do subscribe to about a dozen blogs, send them to my Google Reader, and read them at the week’s end. In this way I keep abreast of recent publishing news, discover new agents, find out what books have been reviewed, and even win prizes. Twitter may be the latest, greatest, social networking tool, but I still believe in a blog. They aren’t books, of course, but blogs offer more than a few tweets. If you want to write well, you need to write and read often. Find yourself a good book, a blog, or a newspaper article (they do still exist) and study the craft as well as the content. You may not win a Kindle, but reading will serve you well.



May 28, 2012

Although it might not be official, in my book, summer’s here! Bring out the white jeans, the tanning oil (whoops, I meant sunscreen), and the nostalgia.

One of my favorite summer memories involves a rainy day in Michigan at a tiny cottage my family rented for two weeks every year. Sunny days were spent in the lake or sitting on a dock reading Archie comics, but the rainy days weren’t bad either. I’d find myself curled up my bunk-bed reading the scariest, most exciting book I’d brought with me. As cold rain pelted the old tin roof overhead, I’d get lost in Amityville Horror or some other haunted house that came alive on the page.

In honor of the summer read, I salute the thriller. I don’t read many of them anymore, so my list involves oldies and classics. Enjoy the horror!

The Shining   

Eye of the Needle

Silence of the Lambs

Are You in the House Alone?

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold


In Cold Blood

Andromeda Strain

War of the Worlds


Count of Monte Cristo

Silence of the Lambs

And then there were None

A Time to Kill

The Stand



Marathon Man

The Hunger Games