It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Dec. 13)

Read:

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch – This is a very funny book with a very silly plot. If you like to laugh out loud at smart mouth characters and run breathless from action scene to action scene when not stuck in traffic for 45 mins. then this is the book for you. I have to admit it was the fabulous cover art by Dan Dos Santos that drew me to this book (SIDE NOTE: Dan Dos Santos has done the cover art for my friend Diana Rowland’s new book Secrets of the Demon out in January – an excellent book, by the way), but it is the laughter that will get me to pick up the next one. Wonder if it will feature any Giant Earwigs?
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Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal — For all of you out there who love Jane Austen and find something slightly missing from all the supposed sequels which increasingly feel like fanfic, GO FIND THIS BOOK. It has all the hallmark of Pride and Prejudice that you love, while being its own book. It is a quiet fantasy story that is simply enchanting. I was so sad when it was done. I wanted to further explore this world that was at once familiar and strange all at the same time. I hope the author will give us a new book set in this world. I would love to follow the web of glamour she’s weaved down a different path to explore how it effects every aspect of that life.

Fugue Macabre

Fugue Macabre: Bone Dance by C.J. Parker – This book is by a friend of mine. I loved the first one Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance and book two did not disappoint. I am sad to say that it took me forever to finish reading it due to technology problems ( right tech, wrong format eBook, etc.). I thought I could put it on my NOOK, but I must have done it wrong. I finally finished reading the book on my iPhone, and I thought I was going to hate that as an experience. But, once I was caught up in the action of the story I totally forgot I wasn’t holding a book. I was “flipping” pages as fast as I could. This is the story of three friends ( who formed a strong bond in Ghost Dance) that head down to the Louisiana Swamp to defend a shape-shifting population under threat from both internal and external forces.  They need a leader and Bobbie Luckman must step into the role she was destined to play. I like what the author has done with world. She has built a whole mythology full of prophecy, spirit warriors, and visions that carry you to this world wind plot. Also, she has included enough back story to make book two stand alone, without sounded repetitive to those who have read book one. There are many gems in the colorful side characters. I hope the next book comes out soon. I’d love to find out more about Rhonda!  So far, Bone Dance is an eBook only title, but it is available in lots of formats from the publisher (linked above) or from Barnes & Noble and Amazon in their respective formats.

READING:

I am finding it very hard to concentrate a single book right now. The three book above constitutes my reading from all the weeks I’ve been missing from the It’s Monday party. I’ve lots of things half started, so who knows. I could finish any of those! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.

Blogs:

I have read lots of blogs.

Check out Beck’s Book Picks’ review of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball. It sounds awesome, too bad it doesn’t come on audio. I could see this as a perfect Christmas travel listen.

I was reading Forbes.com about a young literary agent who doesn’t tweet. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but the article introduced me to one of his authors — Jane McGonigal, a game designer whose upcoming book is titled Reality is Broken. I think the PW quote is what really got me interested. They said the book is “As addictive as Tetris,” which happens to be my favorite game. I looked up Jane McGonigal and found a TED video by her. I love TED videos. They are a series of inspiring lectures by people passionate about their ideas. That passion is contagious. I’ve embedded McGonigal’s video here, but I think she has a neat idea. It has made me curious about her book which someone described as a manifesto. (In the video she said we like people better after we’ve played a game with them. I immediately thought  board games in the break room. I wonder if I could convince people it’s a good idea?)

Speaking of manifesto. Seth Godin is another person I follow because he also has that contagious passion with his ideas. He is starting his own publishing powered by Amazon company, to not only publish his and other people’s manifestos, but to change the way readers and publishers interact. He calls it the Domino Project powered by Amazon. I have enjoyed several of Godin’s books, esp. Linchpin, and I look forward to seeing what his does with this new experiment.

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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 like ask all the guardian angels and the Heavenly Father to look down on us favorably this holiday season. It reach out to those in need and ease their suffering, esp. my friends and family. )

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (July 12)

Read:

The Pearl at the Gate by Anya Richards – This was a novella really. Very steamy sex book-ended by the “she’ll hate me if she knows my secret”/”he think a horrible if he knows what I like” relationship that plays out exactly like you expect for the opening paragraphs. Not bad, just predictable.

Death of a Pirate King by Josh Lanyon -This is book 4 of the Adrien English mysteries. Adrien is a bookseller/mystery writer who always seems to find himself in the soup when a dead body turns up. He’s got a glitch heart, a sharp dry wit, a touch and go relationship with his cop boyfriend Jake Riordan, and a real instinct snooping. I like this series because it fun, with the right mix of romance, sex, mystery, and annoying relatives.

Reading:

Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon (VERY excited about this! I plan to start this book as tonight.)

The Accidental Sorcerer by K. E. Mills (in the middle of the audio, about half way through and the story is starting to pick-up)

Fugue Macabre: Bone Dance by C. J. Parker ( put on hold to finish the library book)

Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley ( the library book that I’ve to finish REALLY fast, only a few days left on the check out.)

Free eBooks:

Author Brian James Freeman is giving away his novella The Painted Darkness  for free at http://www.downloadthedarkness.com/, for limited time, before the publication of the book in print. He asks a neat question in his “Extra” features.

Author’s Afterword: “Did I Really Commit ‘Career Suicide’ by Giving The Painted Darkness Away for Free?”

What do y’all think? Will people still buy the print book? Will it be like review copies and just drum up advanced business for the book?  Personally, I think the last one has some merit. I’d love to hear you thoughts.

Author Seth Godin, is giving away a “personal addendum to Linchpin“, which is the best Business book I’ve read in a while. It is one of those title that you read and it gets you all fired up to start doing things. I bought it one audio and will probably reread it when ever I feel stuck. It’s my staff pick at work this month!  Click here to read his blog post about the addendum and download Insubordinate.

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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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Linchpin & Salons

I like audio books like Linchpin by Seth Godin, they help charge my personal batteries and press me to do something. I’ve enjoyed several of Godin’s books, but I think Linchpin is my favorite. I don’t know why. Maybe, because they remind me that change is possible from any position or point. Maybe, because them help me reaffirm that my art is something real. That doing what I love is something I should be doing.

When I listened to Godin’s Tribes,I remembered feeling fired up, but not really knowing what to do with that energy. I often feel like paralyzed by choice. That I want to do everything and don’t know where to start. Then I’m reminded to just start! Doing the work. Producing something and getting out the door is the point or at least the start. Godin calls it your art, your real work.

He talks about fighting the distractions and the Lizard Brain. As he gives his examples, I can see them at work in the life around me.

Sunday, I hosted a Women’s Book Salon. One person attended. My friend Toni Orrill, who has a deep faith. We’d both chosen to read about women who led religious lives.  I’d read about Margery Kempe and she’d read about St. Teresa and about a missionary’s wife who’s name is escaping me at the moment (I’ll have to ask again).  As she was telling me about St. Teresa and ‘soul work’ the words she was using to describe this where the same words that Godin had used in Linchpin.

It was so odd to here these echoes in my mind. One about building your inner castle and working on your soul while fighting the distractions or serpents. The other about finding your true work, your art while fighting the distractions of modern life and your Lizard Brain.

We talked about these parallels for a while before delving back into the lives of the women we’d chosen to read about and the back to our own lives. It was a great conversation.

I always want to read everything. I become curious about the stories presented to me everyday. When the stories and ideas come together like this (I can’t help imaging spider webs in my mind) it is like a magic moment that gives me an amazing amount of energy that I can’t wait to channel into new projects.

What charges your batteries? What ideas have come together for you lately?

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Seth’s Blog: Wondering around

I just read this: Seth’s Blog: Wondering around. It is awesome! We most certainly need more “Wondering.” I often chide myself for not asking more questions, but some how wondering seems different, more fun. What are you wondering about?