In a dry spell writing wise. I’m editing Frozen Heart (and thinking about changing the title to Frost. Thoughts?) and really struggling to get things done. I keep thinking I’ll break through but I think a lot of the stressors of the past few months have made it hard for me to work. I feel like the space in my head that I usually devote to writing is being taken up by other things. It’s hard because writing is usually a way to escape from whatever’s stressing me out, but lately it hasn’t been working so well. Any advice from fellow writers? I feel like there’s a sense of shame we feel when this happens: like we should be more disciplined or just better somehow. Is that true or is it just counterproductive thinking?
- Exploring The StoryGraph and still not sure how I feel about it. Is it supposed to be different from Goodreads? Because it feels very similar? For the record my StoryGraph profile is here and you can find me on Goodreads here. Feel free to follow, friend, connect, whatever.
Growing kind of frustrated with the fact that there are now about 8,460 streaming services out there. I’m interested in one or two shows on each. Is there any way to watch the show without subscribing to the whole service? I don’t want to end up spending $500 a month on streaming services! At the moment I just subscribe to Netflix. Is there another service that I should be subscribing to?
- Making themed book lists when I get stressed. Weird things like “books about witches” or “books set at sea” for the most part. It’s oddly soothing. I’m thinking about posting them on there. Should I just same them for Top Ten Tuesday when I don’t like the topic, or post them independently?
- American Royals by Katharine McGee -Trashy fun
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid- I can’t decide if the characters in this one annoyed me because they were poorly written or because they were well written. But it did present some interesting questions and situations.
- Lock Every Door by Riley Sager– A bit of a let down after some other, better work by Sager.
- Three Girls and their Brother by Theresa Rebeck- Someone on Goodreads said that this was like The Catcher in the Rye meets Project Runway, and in an odd way that’s perfect to describe this satire of the the fashion and entertainment world as seen through the eyes of four teens thrust into the middle of it.
- Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdich- Really intriguing premise that never lived up to its potential.
- The Group by Mary McCarthy- I had been wanting to read this for a while and sadly it didn’t live up to expectations. I started watching the film, but about an hour in, I didn’t feel like it added anything to the book. I didn’t feel like I was getting anything more out of it, so I called it quits.
- The Runaway Royal by Lindsay Emory- I was hoping for something light and fully but this just fell flat.
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman- Enjoyable and tense. I was disappointed in some of the changes made to the film adaptation. The writing in the book felt very cinematic and I don’t think those changes were necessary.
- Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards- I didn’t like this quite as much as I liked the first volume of her memoir, Home. But I did like it, and I was pleased that she discussed her writing career and the inspiration behind some of her novels.
- Final Girls by Riley Sager- This was really fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
- The Good Witch– I’m not usually a Hallmark Channel Girl (the occasional Christmas movie aside) but I did enjoy this series, mostly for the magical realism vibe, which I wish we saw in more shows. The show did get saccharine in larger doses though.
- Impostors– This one was witty and fun but suffered the same problem about being slightly too much in larger doses.
- NOS4A2– I only watched the first three episodes (because that was all my preview would let me watch without subscribing the the streaming service!) but I thought it was intriguing. Maybe I’ll read the book and then if I like that take the streaming plunge…
- The Order– I recently started this one on Netflix. I’m only a few episodes in and I’m not too impressed so far. Has anyone seen it? Is it worth sticking with?
- Movie Watching:
January 21: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf
I decided to be pretty literal about this and go with the physical books placed on my actual shelf most recently.
2.The Blue Rose By Kate Forsyth– My friend got me this for the holidays this year. She knows that I’m a big fan of Kate Forsyth, and this is her latest. I’m looking forward to starting it soon.
3. White As Snow by Tanith Lee- I found this in a secondhand store recently and I was excited because it’s been on my TBR for a while: it’s a combination of a Snow White retelling and Persephone/Demeter/Hades story. Lee is a really underappreciated writer IMO.
4. A Beggar’s Kingdom by Paullina Simons– I won this in a goodreads giveaway, but then I realized that it’s the sequel toThe Tiger Catcher. Since I don’t have that one yet, I want to wait until I do, before I read the second one.
5. The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra M Gilbert and Susan Gubar– This was another secondhand find. I used it a bit for several classes in college because it has some amazing criticism regarding female 19th century writers. I’d love to revisit it at several points as I read things now. It’s not really a book you read cover to cover in one sitting. It’s more a book you refer to and read a chapter here and there.
6. The Visitors by Sally Beauman– Another secondhand shop find. I don’t know anything about this one. I just picked it up because it looked interesting. Hopefully it is.
7. Panchinko by Min Jin Lee- I actually read this one already. It was about a Korean family living in Japan in the 20th century. It was really interesting in that it dealt with a historical time and place that I knew almost nothing about.
8. Sapphire Skies by Belinda Alexandra– I got this from a secondhand shop too (they have paperbacks for $1 so I always figure, even if it turns out to be bad, what do I have to lose?) and it looked interesting so I decided to give it a shot.
First of all, if you are reading this and have not yet voted, do so now. This post isn’t going anywhere. It’ll still be here when you get back.
November 6: Backlist Books I Want to Read
There are a lot of backlist titles that I want to read. These are really just the top ten that came to mind!
1. Sing to Me Of Dreams by Kathryn Lynn Davis– I really enjoyed some of Davis’ other work (Too Deep For Tears trilogy, Child of Awe) and I am curious about how she handles a different setting/culture from much of her other work.
2. Silence and Shadows by James Long– This has been sitting in my Amazon cart forever, and I’ve never actually read it. It’s about an archaeologist who is working with a woman who reminds him of his late wife. At the same time, his brother in law has been singing a song about a Saxon princess who also resembles the coworker and the wife, and the archaeologist makes an important discovery that may tie all of these characters together.
3. Hearts and Bones by Margaret Lawrence– This has also been on my TBR for ages. It’s set in post Revolutionary war America and it’s about a midwife who is drawn into a murder investigation. It’s a combination of a few genres I like (historical fiction, suspense) so hopefully it’ll be good.
4. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis– I really like Connie Willis’ other Oxford Time Travel novel The Doomsday Book, and I’ve heard from some fans that this one is even better, so I’m looking forward to reading it!
5. Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn- This interracial romance has been in print since 1966. A copy of it has been sitting on my shelf for about two years.
6. The Group by Mary McCarthy– This was a major bestseller and National Book Award Finalist when it first same out in 1963. It’s about eight friends from college making their way in the world. It’s been compared to everything from The Best of Everything to Sex and the City. I’m curious to read it as see how it holds up.
7. Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow– This story of a female spy during the Revolutionary war was written in 1959 and has been compared to Gone With the Wind. I suppose that the comparison also comes from the fact that it’s about a southern heiress who has some kind of romance. Regardless it’s sitting on my shelf and it looks like it could be fun.
8. Bird Box by Josh Malerman– I vaguely remember reading a good review of this when it came out. I put it on my TBR and never got around to it. Then I saw the trailer for the movie coming to Netflix in December. I’d like to read the book before then.
9. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey– This may be the record holder for book that’s been sitting on my shelf for the longest. It’s on pretty much every “best fantasy books” list on the internet.
10. The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard– The Cazalet Chronicles has been on my TBR for a long time. The fact that it’s a five book series always holds me back from getting started.