Category: What I’m Reading

To Read, Or Not To Read

At the recent APLFF New Fiction Confab (more on that later), an interesting question came up, one that I think most of us readers have considered. If you start a book, and you just don’t like it, do you soldier on or do you cut your losses and walk away?

I used to be the former reader, trudging through all number of terrible books, and there were many. In the last few years, I decided that my time was worth more than that, and I’ve started putting books down.

 

Books & Books by Jeremy Piehler

 

So what kinds of books do I put down? Two notable ones come to mind, only because they’ve received lots of love from friends, family, bloggers, etc. The first, The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls, I just couldn’t finish. I saw Jeanette speak at a charity event, and she was utterly charming. But for some reason, the book was just too much for me to stomach, and I had to walk away.

Another book I put down earlier this week was the second book in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone saga, Days of Blood & Starlight. I don’t know if it’s too much fantasy for me, or if it was the transition from Prague to some other world, but this book just did not keep my interest. And when I start skimming, I know it’s time to reevaluate my choice.

What about you? Do you ever walk away from a book? I must admit, I find it a little liberating.

 

*Photo by Jeremy Piehler

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Family, Non-Fiction, Quotes, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Novel Links

Similar to other link roundups around the web, I’ve decided to share novel links on Wednesday, be they novel-related or novel in general (see what I did there?). Without further ado, your novel links for the week:

 

An interesting discussion about books by female authors, recommended by female authors from Elle. More of this, pretty please.

 

I just finished reading Lexicon by Max Barry. It’s such a novel concept, but the ending, and some of the characters, fell a little flat for me.

 

I’m now reading a galley of Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Interested in adding up your Instagram follow list? Epic Reads compiled a list of 19 Young Adult Authors to Follow on Instagram.

 

In preparing for our trip to Spain (eeeee!) I’m watching these DVDs and laughing hysterically. Also, Claudia Bassols is divine.

 

Enjoy a bevy of wonderful tweets from the charming Anna Kendrick. I suspect she’s my long-lost best friend.

 

This video of Kristen Bell singing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” is perfection.

 

My favorite cooking blog, The Kitchn, just started a series on The 9-Bottle Bar, and it is wonderful.

 

Enjoy!

Posted in Adult Beverages, Authors, Novel Links, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized, What I'm Reading | Leave a comment

New Year, New Resolutions

Life is back in order after a very hectic holiday that included some very high highs (finding out I’ll have a niece, Reagan, come May!) to some very low lows (a death in the family on Christmas Day). As such, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for reflection or resolutions.

My plate is full, as always, but as an introvert, I have to carve out time to do the things that are important to me, or run the risk of terrible burnout. Knowing that, I’ve created some new resolutions, and revisited some old ones.

1. Dedicate time to writing at least five days a week, whether it’s a blog post or a writing project.

2. Record all of the books I read throughout the year. This was a fun one for me last year, so I’ll be doing it again. You can follow my progress under “What I’ve Read.”

3. Continue renovations on the condo. Things are moving right along, and I have even more big plans for this year.

4. Cook more often, and try new recipes. This remains on the list. I tired a few new things last year, but it’s time to test out all of that fancy kitchen equipment from the registry.

5. Be open to new friendships. This is always a goal for me, but I want to be more intentional about the people I spend time with, especially since I’m so protective of my time.

6. Make healthier choices. I’m never going to be a health nut. I have too many guilty pleasures for that sort of lifestyle. But I do want to make healthier choices, even if it’s just drinking more water and getting on a regular schedule with barre classes.

7. Achieve balance. Overall, this is what I’m going for. More play, less work. More quality time with the people I love. More calm, less stress.

So that’s it. And my motto? Here it is, courtesy of Emily Ley.

 

EmilyLey_StandardOfGrace

 

Posted in Books, Family, Introvert Tendencies, On Writing, Resolutions, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Letters from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Call me a snob, but I appreciate McSweeney’s, not only for the work they produce, but also for they way they encourage young writers. I’m pretty much on board for anything that comes from the mind of Dave Eggers. And have you seen their packaging? Divine.

McSweeney's #19

On Friday afternoon, they hooked me with a tweet that said: “An Open Letter to the Mix Tape Made for Me By My College Boyfriend, Now Deceased.” Intrigued, I clicked through, only to learn about the long-standing column “Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond.” Naturally, I proceeded to read no less than eighteen of the submissions.

I’m still picking my favorites, but if you’re looking for a quick read, I recommend the following:

And just for good measure, a  post about the “lovable, comic-book inspired, sans-serif badassery” that is Comic Sans.

 

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Summer Reading and a Visit to the Country

My job comes with many responsibilities, and I’m learning a lot as I take on this new role. Among other things, my job requires that I travel occasionally. While I wouldn’t want to make it a daily thing, traveling occasionally for work can be exciting, even if it’s only to small, remote locations. One sure way to get acquainted with coworkers is driving through the cornfields of Oklahoma in a base model rental car during a thunderstorm.

While preparing for the trip, I naturally packed reading materials. After a few bad experiences with my Kindle in airports, I always bring paper books in my luggage as well. This time I went for two of my favorites: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. I never enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea, but Jake Barnes gets me every time. There’s something supremely romantic, yet utterly depressing about these sad, lost expatriates surviving Paris and Pamplona.

However, for this particular trip, I gravitated towards Bradbury, possibly because of his recent death, or possibly because this book takes me back to the hot Texas summers of my youth. If you’ve shied away from Bradbury because of the science fiction label, this book will make you reconsider. The way Bradbury describes the start of summer in the mythical Green Town, Ill., as told through the eyes of 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding, is magical. I can smell the freshly cut grass and taste the tartness of the dandelion wine.

I try to read this book every summer because it brings me back to simpler times before work and obligations got in the way of a joyous, carefree summer. As we drove through the sprawling Oklahoma countryside, I could almost remember.

Posted in On Careers, Travel, What I'm Reading | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment