Book Two

The second book is very much a favorite and one I try to reread every couple of years. Sometimes I’ll start with The Hobbit, but mostly I just start at chapter one and read through the complete Lord of the Rings. I know technically it’s considered three books, but Tolkien had written it as one and I read it that way. After all, who can read just The Two Towers without the other two? I certainly can’t. Even though LOTR is a gateway drug to fantasy and further to science fiction, I still need to keep it around.

Tolkien created a world I love to get lost in. I love everything about it, but don’t ask me to pronounce Elvish. I can’t do that very well. I used to have more editions and prettier ones than what’s pictured below (next to one of the two college textbooks I have remaining), but as long as I’m able to read it, I’m happy.

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Book One

These are in no particular order, but since last month was PRIDE, I figured I would start with one that means a lot to the kinda scared, closeted kid I was when I first read it.

I first read Fried Green Tomatoes in the early to mid 90’s or about the time the movie came out. It was pretty eye opening for someone from a small town in Mississippi during the birth of Grunge. This book gave me Idgie and though there’s not a lot that we have in common, there are a few big things we share: disdain for women’s clothing and a love for Ruth being the two most prominent. It was amazing and the first time I had anything close to a real role model in print.

Fannie Flagg has grown a lot as a writer, but this book remains a favorite. It’s about friendship, love, and barbecue and it’s written in a nonlinear style. At 20 or thereabouts, it was everything I could have wanted in a book.

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10 Books

There’s this thing going around Facebook where people are listing so many books that personally touched them. I’ve really liked those posts as it’s very interesting to see what books friends have chosen. I decided to pick ten and share them here. As a constant reader as well as a writer, I appreciate the books that have left their marks on people, even if I didn’t always like them myself.

There are books that we love, that we visit again and again and these are the books I plan on listing. I have a separate list for scholarly books, books that I read through the course of school and still have feel the lingering effects of them. It’s the difference between best and favorite.

Starting tomorrow I’ll detail the list of favorite books. I’ll try to include pictures from my personal library when applicable. Some I no longer have due to natural disasters and moving and other events.

Be safe.

New Release

Two years ago the drought broke and I started writing again. I had not written in a long time, at least not consistently. In that time period, I’ve managed to finish three novels. I’ve just published the first to Amazon.

I had published three already, ones that I had written several years ago. I really did not care to much if they did well or not. I was testing the water mostly. This one though, I feel as if I just sent my baby off into the world. I’ll have very few ways of knowing if people like it. I feel almost the same as when I walked my daughter in for her first day of school.

Anyway, available now is Murders at the Lille Mansion. It’s a mystery. I have a sequel planned. Actually I have several parts to the sequel written, I just stopped it for Nanowrimo and finally finished that project. It’s now in final beta.

Be safe everyone.

Five books ahead

In my Goodreads Challenge, I’ve read 10 out of the 30 I had set as a goal. My wife was surprised I had set the bar at 30 and not at more. Honestly, I may increase it. There are so many books out there that I want to read and so many more that I may not know about yet. But of course with a full time job, a wife and kid, three dogs, one cat and a writing habit it does make it a little difficult to squeeze things in to a day.  Even editing and revising my own work seems to take a backseat to everything else though that’s mostly because I feel as if I don’t get the story on paper it’ll never happen.

Anyway, the books that count toward my goal this time were a few graphic novels. Some people think graphic novels are cheating, but I don’t. I also read god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. This book was informative and full of knowledge and a little condescending. Apparently that’s Hitchens in a nutshell.

I finished a what if retelling of an American Fairy tale as well, The Secret of Sleepy Hollow by Andi Marquette This reevaluated the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and provided a sweet lesfic romance. I liked it.

I am having a hard time finding a few of my personal goal books at my local library. Don’t tell my wife, but I may have to order one or two. As we get closer to the midyear point, I’ll reevaluate my goal and perhaps make it larger.

That’s it for this edition. Stay safe.

 

 

Cross off two more

I recently finished two more books and while they count toward my Goodreads goal, they don’t count toward the list of books I had compiled to read this year. That’s ok, it’s only March. Wait, March? Wasn’t it just January? I guess it is true that the older you get the shorter the years get.

So I read Backwards to Oregon by Jae and was completely blown away by the fact that she’s German. It’s a very well researched and detailed novel and I loved the characters.  I wish I had been as impressed with the other book I read, How to write Pulp Fiction.  That one was more of a composite of other books and interviews. I will say that at least it’s helpful to have it all in one place.

As to the status of my works, well I got a rejection notice for my lesfic romance novel. It’s just the first so there are many more to get 🙂 It’s a bit of a confidence let down, but writers are the ultimate rejection letter collectors. Besides, I’ve got three works in progress, two to revise and a couple of short stories that are trying to get my attention.

Until next time, stay safe.

The Man in the High Castle

I’ve read three out of 30 books so far for the Goodreads Challenge. This time I finished The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. Maybe its the current climate, but it’s hard to read dystopian fiction right now, especially this type of what if speculation.

The book takes place in a reality where FDR was assassinated before Pearl Harbor which allows Germany and Japan to win the war and divide the US between them.  The Nazi regime has exterminated almost all those of Jewish descent as well as most Africans. The American South has revived slavery and the American spirit has been demoralized. It’s not a pretty picture.

Looking back on it from this end of time it is of course very dated.  The characters are not very fleshed out, especially the females (both of them).  While I do now regret reading this book, I don’t imagine it’s one I’ll ever read again.  I will try another book of PKD’s though.