Novel Links

It’s time for another weekly dose of Novel Links. In case you’ve missed the last few, you can find more Novel Links here.


I love James Patterson’s perspective on storytelling, but even more, I love that he knows there are so many different, wonderful ways to write a story.


And if you need a little tough love, here are 21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips form Great Authors.




I just finished reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and I drove to a different library across town just to get my hands on Siege and Storm.


I’m considering starting a book club at work, but book clubs are such a gamble. My friend Paula has a theory about how easily book clubs get ruined, so I’ll have to give it some thought.


This recipe for Spicy Sausage & Mixed Vegetable Skillet Pasta is already an instant classic in my house. I’m a sucker for andouille sausage.


The new lineup for ACL Music Festival is out. It’s not for me, but people seem to be jazzed about it.


A little girl power from Emma Stone. What a classy lady.


And that’s a wrap. The week’s more than half over, people. Cheers to that!


*Photo by Tony Hall


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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


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Novel Links

Another round of weekly links! On the bookish side this time.


Library Collection


I could go on and on about my love for Out of Print Clothing, but I’ll save that for another post. And their newest library collection? Swoon.


TIME Magazine’s list of the 21 female authors you should be reading.


All book lovers need good totes, and HuffPo has a nice roundup of totes for book lovers.


Gotta love a good infographic, like this one showing the most read books in the world.


All of my dreams are coming true!


The trailer is out for the movie adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. I didn’t love the book the way others did, but the movie looks interesting.


And a little BuzzFeed quiz fun. How much of a book addict are you?


We’re halfway through the week. Cheers!


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A Long Day

Sometimes real life can be just like the movies in the worst possible way. So on days like today, when everything just seems so unreal, I go home and snuggle with Lola. Or take a hot shower. Or drink champagne. Or get lost in a good book.




It also helps to think about this quote:


“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Here’s hoping that tomorrow is a better day than today. Cheers.

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Novel Links

Here’s another round of novel links that have entertained me this week:


Books and cooking! Here’s a post about being inspired to cook by a great novel.


An interesting post about being an inaccessible author from Shannon Hale. They’re not super heroes, people. They still have to do laundry and stuff.


Genius book marketing for John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Thank goodness the preparedness kit includes tissues.


These introvert stories get me every time. It’s like they can see inside my brain!


I recently saw the trailer for Le Week-End, and it looks like it has the potential to make me both laugh out loud and become a bit weepy. Definitely on my list to see.


I’m all about these simple wine tasting projects from The Kitchn.


And just because, baby elephants.


That’s all, folks.

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Writer Gear

As one of those kids who got disproportionately excited about buying new school supplies, I’m always interested in new gear to help with my writing. Now really, you don’t need any of the gear, but it’s fun. And at least for me, I like to have quality tools so I can focus on the writing without needing to find another pen or having a notebook that keeps flipping closed.

Here are a few of my favorite writery things:


1. Macbook Air – I know this is a rather expensive tool, but it’s worth way more than its weight in gold (Get it? Because it barely weighs anything… Never mind.). If you’re a Mac and a writer, I can’t recommend this computer enough. The battery lasts forever, meaning you spend less time being that annoying girl in the coffee shop who is awkwardly looking for a spare outlet. You can also get a really rad case that gives you some major bookish cred.


2. Scrivener – I’ve posted about it before, and I won’t bore you again, but this software blows Microsoft Word out of the water.


3. Moleskine Large Ruled Notebook – What’s good enough for Papa Hemingway is good enough for me. I go for the basic lined journal. It opens flat and stays that way. The paper is nice, it has a handy bookmark and elastic closure, and best of all, it doesn’t have an on/off switch, so you never have to put it away on an airplane. I keep mine with me at all times, just in case inspiration strikes.


4. Fisher Bullet Space Pen – I know what you’re thinking. Is that really necessary? And maybe it’s not, but it certainly is cool. The nice thing about the bullet is that it’s compact, but when the cap is placed on the end, it becomes a standard pen length. The ink cartridge is sealed and pressurized, so it writes upside down or sideways, and it has an estimated shelf life of 100 years, so chances are you’ll never have to buy a pen again. Just don’t lose it.


5.  Snap Backpack from Everlane – Now that I have all of this writer gear, I need a place to put it. I’m a big fan of Everlane. They make quality products at reasonable prices, and their Weekender is the perfect travel bag. I recently purchased the snap backpack in green, and I can’t wait to start carrying it around town instead of my college Jansport. It’s a little more mature, even if it is still a backpack. Hopefully people will stop confusing me for a student.

So there you have it. My writing necessities. What’s on your list?

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Bookish Finds

As a reader and a writer, I like to infuse a little bit of the bookish into my everyday life. I even had a book-themed wedding! For the new Bookish Finds series on Novel, I’ll highlight items I find that are perfect for bibliophiles.

First up, something bookish for the wee babes. I’m thrilled to pieces to be welcoming a niece in May, and I’m attending a baby shower this weekend in celebration. I’ve already purchased a precious onesie from the Paddington Bear line for Gap Baby, but my gift for the shower is my favorite bookish baby gift yet! (Briann, if you’re reading this, now is the time to go to a different page.)

I can’t wait for baby Reagan to get her hands on these adorable, beautifully illustrated board books from BabyLit by Gibbs Smith.

BabyLit by Gibbs Smith

BabyLit bills itself as “a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature.” And if I’m being completely honest, I’ve even eyed some of these prints for myself. What are your favorite bookish gifts for baby?

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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.



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Deep Breath

Sometimes I need little reminders like this to get myself through the day. This one is courtesy of my husband in the form of a coat check tag he received at a restaurant in Vladivostok, Russia last week. Word.

Coat Check

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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.




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