Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

1. Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning. Nice to read a first novel by a fellow Floridian, Danette Haworth. Violet's got a voice that's appealing and true. Great cover on this book, strong characters, and set in a sleepy little town in Florida.

2. What I Saw and How I Lied. I'm reviewing this one for the Christian Science Monitor, and my first reading didn't impress me that much. But, hey, the book won the National Book Award. I gave it a second read. And now a third as I write the review. I think this book grew on me and even the peachy-keen slang became an inseparable part of the appeal. Plus, I don't know a teen reader who will resist the cover.

3. Truth and Beauty. When I got the exciting news that I will be a part of Ann Hood's nonfiction workshop next month at Eckert College, I immediately went to the library and looked for the "suggested" reading list books. But I found Truth and Beauty on my own bookshelf. Ann Patchett is a favorite writer of mine. I think Bel Canto might be my top recent fiction book. The writing here is topnotch, but the subject matter is tough. I'll never be able to write like Patchett, but I'm hoping I'll learn a few tricks at the Writers in Paradise conference in January.

4. The Blues Route by Hugh Merrill. My so-far-pretty-vague-but-will-be-better-by-Wednesday (when it's due) topic for Writers in Paradise is The Blues and The Delta. I have a whole stack of books, and this is just one of the more helpful ones.

Now, back to work.

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