Posts Tagged ‘book response’

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

I jumped around quite a bit in my reading this week. I didn’t finish much, but I’ve enjoyed dipping into and out of quite a few good books.

I finished…

Smokey Bear and the Campfire Kids – I received a code to download this app to review (coming later this week). My first impression is I like that the app is focused on reading the story. The animations are cute but not distracting.

I’m currently reading…

Poliser_SummerLettingGo_jkt_website_207_1The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – We’re still reading this a few nights a week. I had hoped we would have more time during fall break, but somehow the days still filled up. The good news is the girl is still asking for us to read a chapter together as Frankie “Beans” puzzles out the mystery that Frankie Sky presents.

again calls the owlAgain Calls the Owl by Margaret Craven – I didn’t read too much this week, but I did dip into I Heard the Owl Call My Name. I definitely want to go back and reread it again, too. I did enjoy reading how Craven got her start with writing in what was then very much a man’s world.

les-miserablesLes Miserables by Victor Hugo – I actually made good progress this week and read quite a bit. I’m up to 82%!  I might even make my goal of finishing it by Christmas. The action is picking up behind the barricade. Marius saved the day and then sent Gavroche on an errand to get him out of the way. (He came back anyway.) Jean Valjean has also showed up behind the barricade, and they are waiting for the next attack.

this dark endeavorThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel – I was looking for something spooky to get me in the mood for Halloween. This story of the young Frankenstein definitely fits the bill. Victor sows the seeds of evil quite young, even if he is motivated by love (and jealousy of) for his brother.

cryptic crinolineThe Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer – I’m listening to this one and I’m quite captivated by the young Miss Enola Holmes. She has quite a mystery with the disappearance of her landlady who lived a most surprising past during the Crimean War. And the mystery involves the Lady of the Lamp–Florence Nightengale.

Secrets of Writing High-Performance Business-to-Business Copy(AWAI) – We are back to class this week after taking last week off.

Coming up…

I think I had better finish some of the books I’m in the middle of right now.

What good books have you read this week?

Two Kids by Richard Levine: A Review and an Interview

Author Richard Levine sent me a copy of his first book, Two Kids, for me to review. He also graciously agreed to answer my off-the-wall questions after reading the book.  I hope you enjoy reading about Two Kids and learning more from Richard Levine.
two kidsTwo Kids (Firedrake Books, 2014) is about, well, two kids.  DC is tall and gawky–except when on a tennis court or softball field. She moves to Westwood with her family and becomes frieds with Rob, who is shy and awkward–except when he’s making up headlines for his life.  The two friends share a wacky sense of humor and a vivid imagination that allows them to see more than just the world around them.
Two Kids is a quiet book, and more episodic, that tells the story of a friendship. Most of their adventures revolve around friends and family. How do you deal with a dad who is so strange he must be from another planet? How about a little sister who must be channeling the devil itself with her mischief? Some of my favorite scenes include their explorations of the Overhill property and their visit to Swinburn Island (beware of the birds!) There’s an unforgettable ride in a small airplane and a fishing trip where some of them end up all wet. Not all goes smoothly, though. Each of them faces a heartbreaking tragedy during the course of the year, but through it all DC and Rob hang together.
Before you read Two Kids for yourself, enjoy hearing from Richard Levine!
1. Fishing and flying play a part in several key scenes. What adventures have you had fishing or flying?
I’m not really a fan of fishing, as I find the idea of hooking fish for fun troubling – for food, of course, is a different matter.  I have, however, been out on party boats; in fact, once when my two daughters were young, like the kids in the book, we went out fluke fishing on the Long Island Sound.  Also on the boat was my mom’s second husband, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s at the time, and, I suppose, provided the inspiration for the old man in the book who goes overboard.

 I don’t have any experience flying in small planes, but years ago a friend of ours did learn to pilot small planes and once flew his whole family out to visit us in northwest New Jersey, landing his rented plane in a small air field.  When they took off to go home later that day, it was windy, and the plane wobbled on take-off, seeming to just barely make it over the tree line.  Watching that plane take off was pretty scary – as was, I later learned, being inside the plane! 

2. DC is tall and gawky (except on the softball field, of course) and frequently stumbles into embarrassing situations. What gawky scenes have you fallen into?
I’m of average height, and growing up pretty much always was – so I was never gawky or gangly, and always had good control of my limbs.  D.C., however, of course, is another story – gawkiness was just one of those attributes I could give her (there’s so much freedom in writing fiction!) that would contribute to her uniqueness or singularity, and that I could have some fun with in writing the story.
3. Rob likes to create headlines for the events in his life. What headline would you write for something in your life right now?
Hmm.  How about:  Retired Doc Wows with Debut Novel.  That would be a nice headline, daydreamy like Rob’s headline about winning the New York City marathon:  The Kid Wins!  Kenyan Second.
4. One of my favorite places in Two Kids is the Overhill property. It reminds me of all the hours I explored the woods and pond of fields surrounding my grandma’s house as a kid. Where is your favorite place to explore?
I suppose my favorite natural place right now is a local rail trail that’s been reclaimed as a park; it’s a trail that runs alongside a stream that feeds into a lake on which water lilies float and swans glide effortlessly.  I go jogging on the trail regularly and, while doing so, have come across all sorts of additional wildlife – deer, squiggly snakes, egg-laying snapping turtles, and once even a slowly moseying bear (yes, we have black bear in northwest New Jersey!).   Another time, while jogging there, a grey heron flew directly over my head, schooling me on how big those birds really are — truly pterydactylish!  Although not quite like the book’s more secluded and expansive Overhill property, it’s still a beautiful place to jog, walk, or roam.
5. What is your favorite kind of frog?
Definitely the dart poison frogs, because they’re so cute and colorful — but because they’re so toxic, they remain my favorites just so long as the terrarium glass that separates them from me is thick enough.
6. What was your journey with this book–from writing to publishing?
The journey was long, as I’m afraid the answer to this question will be.  I got the idea for the novel several years ago, but my first draft was way too brief – a fact brought home to me when one of my daughters read it in an hour.  The novel then ballooned to 400 pages, way too long.  When friends, family, and others who read it suggested ways to improve it, my first reactions were always defensive — but in the end, I would generally come around.  Motivated by the incorrect belief that the novel was “close,” I revised it no fewer than umpteen times (often a section that I had once thought well-written would make me cringe upon re-reading it later).  If I had been smart enough early on to recognize how far from “close” it really was, I might well have just given up.  But I was blind to that and kept on revising, with the notion of trying to make every word chosen, every sentence and paragraph crafted, just right.  When I thought I had finally gotten it right (again, mistakenly), I self-published it with the title, Island Eyes, Island Skies, but months later, revised it some more, and re-published.  It received some nice reviews, and was even listed with just four other books under the heading, Children’s Fiction, on a book list in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month compiled by the Cuyahoga County Public Library (Cleveland region) in conjunction with the Maltz Museum.  Late last year, Nikki Bennett, an author and blogger who had given it a nice review, founded a new publishing company, Firedrake Books, and agreed to publish my book.  She had some thoughtful suggestions about improving it, some of which I, of course, initially resisted.  Ultimately, I came around and made the changes she suggested as well as some additional ones, including the new title.  Firedrake published Two Kids this summer, and after all the work and many revisions, I believe it’s finally the book I set out to write several years ago.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

It was a quiet reading week, but I enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people that I interviewed this week. Now I have lots of writing to do!

I finished…

forgive me leonard peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – Once I neared the end, I couldn’t stop listening. This is one of the most powerful books I have read in some time. Leonard will stay with me as well the questions this book raised. We never know how much the people we come in contact with every day might be hurting or how much our words and actions can impact them. I know I will be treating the people around me with more kindness and paying more attention.

chinese cinderellaChinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah – My heart ached for the rejection and cruelty that Adeline experenced within her family. As I read I marveled at her strength and courage and resilience. How did she do it? So many children would have withered under the acts of cruelty she lived with daily. She found strength in her Aunt Baba and grandfather as well as in her success at school.

I’m currently reading…

Poliser_SummerLettingGo_jkt_website_207_1The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – We didn’t read much last week with all the work assigned before break and the last games of the soccer season. Now that my daughter is on fall break, I’m hoping we can get back to reading every night.

les-miserablesLes Miserables by Victor Hugo – It’s still slow progress, but I’m still reading some every week. The rebels are regrouping in the barricade, preparing for the next wave of attack from the army.

again calls the owlAgain Calls the Owl by Margaret Craven – I just barely got started with this one, but I can tell I will enjoy it. Craven’s prose brings to life such a different time in the world.

Secrets of Writing High-Performance Business-to-Business Copy(AWAI) – Another couple of chapters read this week and another class down. I am learning that I enjoy this type of business copywriting more than I thought I would.

Coming up…

We have lots of catching up to do over fall break–all those projects that kept getting pushed back until we have more time. There’s shopping for winter clothes and a college visit. I hope to make progress on the books I’m reading.

What have you read this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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I didn’t read–or at least didn’t finish–as much this week, but I had an exciting week with writing. Last Wednesday I had my first story published with a byline. You can check out my profile of the Southeastern Purdue Agricultural Center in the October issue of Farm Indiana! I also submitted my second story and had three more assigned, so it looks like I will keep busy writing this month, too. There’s still time to read goo books, especially as the temperature drops and the sun sets earlier. I also published a review of In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke on my blog last week. Here’s to this week’s reading adventures!

I finished…

two kidsTwo Kids by Richard Levine – I enjoyed this story of a year in the life of two friends. Stay tuned for an upcoming review and interview with the author!

I’m currently reading…

Poliser_SummerLettingGo_jkt_website_207_1The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – I’m still reading it aloud to my daughter. We both are enjoying the time together for a few minutes each evening (when homework and soccer schedules allow). I’m trying really hard just to read and not point out all the things I love about this book.

forgive me leonard peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – My heart was racing when I listened to the chapters this morning. Let me just say without giving away too much that I love Herr Silverman and my heart aches for Leonard Peacock. I have no idea where the story will go next, but I’m pulling for Leonard.

les-miserablesLes Miserables by Victor Hugo – The action is heating up along the barricade, and Marius even had a chance to use his two pistols. I’ve made it to 77% of the way through the story. I am enjoying the book, but I think I prefer the musical.

chinese cinderellaChinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah – I started this memoir this week, and so far am impressed with the intelligence and courage the author shows. As a small child, she was unloved and unwanted by almost everyone in her household. Her older siblings blamed her for their mother’s death. Her stepmother resented all the stepchildren, but especially Adeline. Even her father ignores her except to praise her academic success.

Secrets of Writing High-Performance Business-to-Business Copy(AWAI) – Another couple of chapters read this week and another class down. I am learning that I enjoy this type of business copywriting more than I thought I would. This past week we brainstormed headlines–a very important hook.

Coming up…

I have two interviews scheduled this week, so I have lots of writing coming up. I also want to start the book a friend at church gave me yesterday, Again Calls the Owl by Margaret Craven. It’s the companion to I Heard the Owl Call My Name. I still have my grandmother’s copy of it, but haven’t reread it since I was a teen. I may have to go back to it again, too.

What has been your reading adventure this week?

In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke

in my handsI have always been drawn to read literature from the Holocaust, both fiction and nonfiction, but especially memoirs of people who lived through it. I sometimes wonder at my fascination. Why do I enjoy reading about such a dark period of history? I think reading these stories forces me to ask the question, “What would I do?” Would I have been able to cling to the best of my humanity–hope and kindness and love–as did many survivors of the ghettos and concentration camps? Would I have had the courage to help my neighbors by hiding them or sharing food? I like to think that I would, but I honestly don’t know since I have never been confronted with such choices.

Irene Gut Opdyke (with Jennifer Armstrong) shares her journey of becoming a resistance fighter and smuggler of Jews in her memoir In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (Laurel Leaf Books 1999). She didn’t start out to become a hero, but she is a hero. I don’t know how I could have survived the horrors that she experienced as Germany and Russia invaded her homeland of Poland. It didn’t matter which side of the border she was on, the conquering armies made life miserable for all of Poland, but she still found the compassion and courage to protect those who were being hunted down.

As I read, I kept coming back to Irene’s words: “You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis, all at once. One’s first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence” (143). Irene did not stop with hiding food under the fence. She listened as she served Nazi and SS officers their dinner and passed along news of raids to her friends in the ghetto. She transported Jews in a horse and buggy to hiding places in the deep forest. She hid a dozen Jewish men and women in the basement of a German officer’s house. Not bad work for someone who was “only a girl.” While the Germans may have underestimated her, the Russians considered her a dangerous Partisan resistance fighter–and she was.

I may not be faced with life or death decisions this week, but every day I am given the choice to act with kindness and love–or not. It is in making those small decisions that I can develop the habits and character that would lead to the courage to do the right thing in more desperate circumstances. I hope that I will one day show the courage that Irene did.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people  are reading.

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It’s been a good writing week. I posted two reviews this week of Pucker Up and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. I’m finishing up the profile of a gourd farm and starting on a another profile for a different publication. I do enjoy the opportunity to meet interesting people and write a bit of their story.

I finished…

in my handsIn My Hands:Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke with Jennifer Strange – This haunting, beautiful memoir is a powerful addition to Holocaust literature.  Even though she was “just a girl,” Irene saved the lives of many Jewish friends by passing along information and hiding a dozen people in the home of a German officer. I am still thinking about this quote: “You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a fefier of the SS and the Nazis all at once. One’s first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence.”

look againLook Again by Lisa Scottoline – Another fast-paced adventure with a strong mom determined to uncover the truth, no matter the cost. In this case, Ellen Gleeson, a reporter, glances at a “Missing Children” flyer and is stunned by her son’s resemblance to one of the pictures. Even though everyone advises her against it, she is determined to learn the true identiy of her adoptive son. Along the way she uncovers murder and kidnapping and puts herself and her son in danger. The plot may push the bounds of belief, but I kept turning pages late into the night to learn what happens.

I’m currently reading…

Poliser_SummerLettingGo_jkt_website_207_1Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – It’s been a busy week with soccer games and late night homework, but my daughter still asks me to read every night we can. I suspect the only reason she hasn’t picked it up to finish it off is because she’s so swamped with school work. I’m glad to enjoy the story with her.

forgive me leonard peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock – When I started this audio book, I couldn’t remember anything about it except reading lots of positive reviews when it came out–and that it was an intense book. Let me say, that when I listened to the first chapter, I didn’t expect what I found–a teen plotting a murder-suicide at his school. I’m glad I’ve had lots of time to listen this week because the longer I’ve listened to Leonard tell his story, the more I am pulling for him.  I keep hoping someone will reach out and get through to him even though he pushes away every attempt thus far.

two kidsTwo Kids by Richard Levine – This came in the mail this week after the author sent me a review copy. So far I’m enjoying the two kids–gawky D.C. and bashful Rob–of the title though the story is slow to pick up.

les-miserablesLes Miserables by Victor Hugo – I’m plugging away. I may not reach my goal to finish by Christmas, but at least I’m back in the habit of reading some every week. The rebels are building the barricade, and Gavroche is in the middle of it all. He would be completely happy if only someone would give him a gun, too.

Secrets of Writing High-Performance Business-to-Business Copy(AWAI) – Another couple of chapters read this week and another class down. I am learning that I enjoy this type of business copywriting more than I thought I would.

Coming up…

I have lots of writing to finish up this week, so my reading plans are to finish what I’m in the middle of and make more progress with Les Mis. Of course, if something good comes my way (like the latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens) I’ll pick it up, too!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

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Once again, my reading took another unexpected turn.  Last Saturday, my daughter suffered a concussion during a soccer game.  What happens when you take a high energy, active, intelligent girl and take away all screens (television, computer, ipod, phone), take away reading and writing and even listening to audio books for a week?  You have a girl who is desperate to escape boredom but can’t do much of anything.  Once the worst of her symptoms passed, she begged me to read to her. Leery of taxing her brain too much, (Mental and physical rest is the cure of choice for concussions), I read aloud some of our old, favorite picture books, without showing her the pictures.  Much of what I read this week came from that.

I finished….

song of the quarkbeastSong of the Quarkbeast – Combine a dash of magic, quirky characters, and off-the-wall humor for a rollicking good story where the fate of the Ununited Kingdoms once again rests in the capable hands of foundling Jennifer Strange, who just happens to be the acting manager of Kazam Mystical Arts.  Click on the picture to check out my review.

B2B Business-to-Business Quick Start Guide by Steve Slaunwhite, Ed Gandia, Pete Savage for AWAI – I’m signed up to take a class on B2B copywriting next week, and I’m trying to read as much as I can before the class starts so I can get more out of it.

Picture books I read to my daughter (who still loved them as a sixteen-year-old):

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  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
  • Mud Pie Annie by Sue Buchanan and Dana Shafer, illustrated by Joy Allen
  • You Are Special by Max Lucado, illustrated by Sergio Martinez
  • Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by James Ransome
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story by Rebecca Hickox, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
  • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China retold by Ai-Ling Louie, illustrated by Ed Young
  • The Egyptian Cindrella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller
  • The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin,illustrated by David Shannon

I’m currently reading…

summer of letting goThe Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – Since my daughter enjoyed my reading favorite story books to her this week, she asked me to keep reading aloud to her before bedtime out of a novel.  Since she has been symptom free all weekend, I told her I would if I could pick the book.  She knew I was going to pick this one (I’ve been bugging her to read it all summer), and I know she’s going to love it.

les-miserablesLes Miserables by VIctor Hugo – I’m still making slow progress.  I’m stil lin the riots following the general’s funeral. There’s a lot of talk and action in many different parts of Paris.  I suspect it all happened much quicker than the lengthy description of it all.

complete idiot's guide to publishing children's booksThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold D. Underdown – Much of the information I’ve read this week I’ve picked up from following the blogs of different authors the past few years, but it is helpful to have it outlined in one place with all the possible variations.  I knew publishing was complex, but not just how complex until seeing it all in one place.

Secrets of Writing High-Performance Business-to-Business Copy – This is the text for the class I start this week.  As I get into it, much of the information is clicking into place and starting to make sense.  Even though the terminology and focus is different, I recognize many of the writing principles as lessons I taught my middle school students.

confessions of a murder suspectConfessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – I had hoped to get through with this one, but I didn’t quite make it.  Tandy is remembering secrets that she had blocked from memory and discovering secrets about her family, but she is no closer to discovering who killed her parents.

Coming up…

This week will be busy with writing (I get to go on a road trip for an interview tomorrow!) and my class, but I hope to finish up some of the books I’m reading and dig into the stack of YA books I’ve been putting off through the summer. Which one should I read first?

Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

song of the quarkbeastA gift came in the mail this week, a gift of the best kind, a brown envelop containing a book I have been waiting for most of this year.  You see, last Christmas I had gift cards to spend on books.  Since I had been given Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer in paperback, I chose to preorder the second book in the Chronicles of Kazam in paperback, too.  The Song of the Quarkbeast (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013, Hodder and Stroughton 2011) finally released in the US in paperback this month.

That’s a long time to wait to see what the rise of magic might mean to Jennifer Strange and the motley collection of magicians at Kazam Mystical Arts Management.  It was worth the wait.  Even though magic is surging through the Ununited Kingdoms, all is not well.  King Snodd and his Useless Brother are up to their usual tricks.  This time they are joined by an evil magician who goes by the name of Conrad Blix, and the fate of magic–and the world–hangs in the balance. Who is the only one who can stop them?  Jennifer Strange, of course.

The highly capable foundling might have her hands full.  Kazam Mystical Arts Management forced into accepting a challenge from Blix.  Kazam should have no trouble taking on Blix and his few magicians, but the contest just might be rigged.  Two of Kazam’s most powerful wizards get turned into stone.  They others are being rounded up by the police.

Just like the first book in the series, The Song of the Quarkbeast is packed with quirky humor and unforgettable characters.  Blix is a villain that you will love to hate.  I loved the introduction of the Mysterious Boo. What’s not to love about someone who rescues quarkbeasts and has a deep, dark secret?  We even learn more about the transient moose and finally meet–however briefly–the Great Zambini.

If you’re totally confused right now, don’t worry.  Jasper Fforde excels at the kind of humor that introduces random things that somehow make sense in the end.  Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride.  The only down side is now I have to wait for the release of The Eye of Zoltar.  The sneak peek in the back is just enough to leave me wanting more.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

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My reading week took a surprising turn–not at all what I expected to read. We also had a weekend filled with soccer, and I chaperoned the girls’ soccer team on their overnight tournament. I’m glad to be home and hopefully get back to a more expected reading and writing week.

I finished…

The Federal Election Commission Campaign Guide – A friend asked me to serve as treasurer on her campaign committee for Congress. Before I accepted, I wanted to know what I was getting into.  Let me just say that reading through all the rules, laws and guidelines for federal campaigns was eye-opening. I value even more Susan’s campaign that does not rely on extensive fundraising, but on talking with people directly.

I’m currently reading…

les-miserablesLes Miserables by VIctor Hugo – I didn’t get too far this week.  I only made it to 73%.  The story got bogged down with political theory about the differences between revolution and insurrection.  We did see the funeral of the beloved general that incited riots and Gavroche is a part of it all.  I like that kid.

complete idiot's guide to publishing children's booksThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold D. Underdown – I’m taking my time with this one to absorb the information.  One of the most valuable parts of this book is the resources included.  By the time I’m done, I’ll have sticky notes sticking out all over.

confessions of a murder suspectConfessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – I’m not sure what I think of this one.  I’m intrigued enough to want to finish to find out who murdered the parents, but the narrator is a bit much.  She addresses the listener/reader frequently, and it seems almost overdone, especially when she’s dropping what seem to be obvious hints and claiming that “this is a story for another time.”

song of the quarkbeastSong of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde – I’ve been waiting for this one since just after Christmas.  I received a paperback of the first book, The Last Dragonslayer, for Christmas. Since I started the series in paperback, I preordered the paperback for this second book in the series, and it just came out in the US.  I love Fforde’s wordplay and humor, and so far I’m loving Jennifer Strange’s second adventure.  Magic is indeed on the rise again, but that doesn’t mean the Kazam’s problems are decreasing. If anything, they face even more trouble.

Coming up…

I definitely will be finishing up the books I’m in the middle of here.  My goal is to catch up on some blog posts as well.  I have several good books I’ve been reading that I want to share.

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Menor Texts gave the meme a kidlit twist.  It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve read and reviewed the last week and plan what you want to read next.  Join up with us and discover what good books other people are reading.

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I finished:

murder at the vicarageMurder at the Vicarage by Agathy Christie – Doing lots of mowing this week gave me lots of time to listen to this audio from SYNC YA.  It was a delight to listen to.  I love Miss Marple and her keen observations–though if I lived in her village, I’d probably think she was a busybody when she turned her skills on my life!

and the mountains echoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – This is my favorite of the three Hosseini books I’ve read.  The end was bittersweet, and I definitely wanted to read more about some of the characters.

save meSave Me by Lisa Scottoline – Everything that could go wrong when Rose volunteers at her daughters school does go wrong–bullying girls, an explosion, a missing/injured child, lawsuits and possible criminal charges.  Then Rose turns into an amateur detective and brings the true bad guys to justice.  I liked it.

I’m currently reading…

les-miserablesLes Miserables by VIctor Hugo – I’m up to 72%, but the story is bogging down with more political theory and lots of mooning over each other by Marius and Cosette.  In this section, I’m most impressed with Eponine’s bravery.  She protects Marius and Cosette from a gang of six robbers (including her father) who have just escaped from prison.

complete idiot's guide to publishing children's booksThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold D. Underdown – I’ve just started another text in my crash course on freelance writing.  Now to start getting all these ideas that are swirling around my head down on paper and out into the world.

Coming up…

confessions of a murder suspectConfessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson – I just transferred this one to my iPod to listen to while I run and do other mindless tasks.  The heat and humidity kept me from running this morning, but I have something to listen to when I do get on the road!

I’ll continue reading the books I’m in the middle of.  I also have another book by Lisa Scottoline that I will start.

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