It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Sept. 20th)

Author Interview:

If you haven’t stopped by this week, please check out my very first ever author interview: 5 Minutes with Pamela Ewen

Read:

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley — I really enjoyed this middle grade novel, which I picked up from BookMooch.  The publisher says ages 10-14, but I think it has appeals for older readers as well, esp. those who enjoy rewritten fairy tales and legends. You can read my review here.

Reading:

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis — this one is a little confusing and I’m not really sure where it is going yet. I picked this up from BookMooch.

Acquired:

The Barnes & Noble boxes arrived this week. Yay, Birthday gift cards.

To feed my Nero Wolf obsession, I got three books about the series. Fan guides of a sort. I can’t wait to start going through them. I also received, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions and Death’s Duel by John Donne. I’d been watching 84, Charing Cross Road and listening to Helene Hanff talk about Donne’s essays, which I’ve never read and decided that it was time to remedy that. I like a lot of Donne’s poetry, so I’m looking forward to the essays.  I also picked out Blackout by Connie Willis, because I really enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog and I heard a wonderful interview with her talking about the title. And lastly, I got These Children Who Come At You with Knives and of other fairy tales by Jim Knipfel, which I don’t know a lot about, but it sounded cool.

Blogs:

While the contest is over, I thought that The Lost Entwife’s review and enthusiasm for A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka was contagious and I have added this title to my Wish List.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

( On a personal note I’d like to thank St. Jude, St. Rita, the Blessed Mother, and Heavenly Father for all the prayers they’ve answered in the last month and to continue to ask for their help and blessings.)

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Review: The Folk Keeper

The Folk KeeperThe Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

This is the story an orphan girl who learned real early that boys get the better end of the stick. So she cut her hair, changes her name, and passes herself off as a boy. She also, through a mix of natural talent, gossip, and bribery won herself the position of The Folk Keeper. The one person who is in charge of keeping THE FOLK (faeries, brownies, hobgoblins, and the ilk) at bay down in the dark cellar. Suddenly, she is summoned to a strange old man who wants to adopt her. Still insisting she’s a boy, she agrees if she can be the new Folk Keeper of the manor. Looking to hold on to her vision of power by being the Folk Keeper at such a large estate, aspects of herself and her secret powers begin to change. Secrets to her past begin to unfold. It is interesting the way she comes into to her own. The whole story is told in a collection of diary entries.

I really liked this story. This novel takes place in a historical setting where the old magic was alive. The boy we meet at the beginning has quiet a ruthless in his out look on life and very defensive of his position as Folk Keeper. But, pride of position and a chance to increase the power he had created for himself leads him to accept a dying man’s offer. We soon learn that he is a she, hiding in a world that she has created. The boy is a cloak, the hardness a mask. I love the way this book was written. The diary entries serve as a place for Corin/Corinna to tell us about her the hard shell and illuminate the cracks as they appear for us to see and for her to discover. There is some stuff I could say here about lost bits, but I hate to give too much away.

“I tried to speak, but the furniture of my mind had all been rearranged, my words neatly folded and stored out of site.” P36

I really liked the language that Billingsley uses to build her world. Corinna’s got a really great voice and manner of writing for someone who had to bribe a fellow orphan to teach her to read and write.

“Like pieces of a Kaleidoscope, the ladies and gentlemen fell into patterns of color on the Ballroom floor.” P77

This is a great book and one I would recommend. I first heard about it at the Things Mean a Lot (check out her review) blog. Maybe I should say that is the first time it registered. I’ve passed the book almost daily on the book shelves, but never picked it up.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (July 26th)

Read:

Accidental Sorcerer by K. E. Mills — this was pleasant enough audio, but I wasn’t sufficiently thrilled to pursue the second book. I’m kind of glad it’s over.

Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon – I really enjoyed this novella. Check out the review below.

Plays:

The Wedding Singer: the Musical at Le Petit Theatre duVieux Carre which is one of it not the oldest community theater in the United States! They are getting ready to start their 95th Season.  The Wedding Singer was wonderfully cast and produced. It followed the movie closely.

Reviews Posted:

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon

Reading Now:

I am reading too many books at one time and rather than repeat all the half-finished book from earlier weeks. I’ll just mention that I need to re-check out from the Library the eBook I was reading. The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag ceased to open (as expected) once my 14-day license expired.

Pursuing the first chapters of The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge I ran across the word myrmidons, which means a loyal follower, esp one who blindly follows orders.

Co-worker loaned me a copy of George Mann’s Ghosts of Manhattan which reminds me a lot of THE SHADOW. It seems to be picking up.

The C. J. Parker book I am reading Fugue Macabre: Bone Dance is soon to be a print book.

Books Received in the Mail:

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley (via BookMooch) because of a great review on Things Means a Lot.

Slow Reading by John Miedema (purchased via BN.com)


Cowgirl Rising: The Art of Donna Howell-Sickles by Peg Streep (purchased via BetterWorldBooks)

The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge by Patricia Buncker (ARC from publisher via ShelfAwareness)

Thoughts:

Does anyone belong to a Literary Society (I belong to the Northshore Literary Society) of some type? Not a book club, but an organization that promotes literacy in their community, brings in guess speakers, apply for grants to meet goals?

Our Literary Society is trying to expand and more formally organize and I’m looking for suggestions.

What are your formal goals?

What are your favorite activities?

To what to you receive the best public response?

Any other advice?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Wish List:

Primal Picnics: Writers Invent Creation Myths for their Favorite Foods (With Recipes) ed. by Jennifer Heath

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

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