Posts Tagged ‘great books’

Carolyn Reads

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

I’ve been sneaking in a lot of reading lately. Here, in no particular order is a list:

  • Scoundrel by Zoe Archer: Loved this book! The cover is great and the hero and heroine were lovely. Lots of action!
  • Rebel by Zoe Archer Also loved this book, but I didn’t like the cover as much and for some strange reason whenever I looked at the cover, I kept thinking, that’s no Scoundrel cover. And that’s even though I think Nathan might actually be hotter than Bennett Day from Scoundrel.
  • Stranger by Zoe Archer Ah, Catullus Graves! The brilliant inventor falls in love! I have seen the cover for this book and liked the cover lots. This book is more magic-y than the others.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Yeah, I know, I’m late to the party on this one. I read it in two days, I think. Put me firmly on team Peeta, thank you. Present tense which I HATE but she pulls it off. I’m now clear on where I stand on the violence issues that have been discussed in re this book. I am in support of this book and its political and social message. The violence is not gratuitous, it serves a purpose. And we get a female character who is the most skilled, the most fit and the most clever about surviving. Thank you.
  • The Duff by Kody Keplinger I heard about the sale of this book some time ago which was notable because the author was I believe 17 at the time. I remember thinking that the editorial excitement over the book seemed at odds with such a young writer. Well, I can now tell you that the excitement was justified. I LOVED The Duff. It’s a fun story that has some pretty adult themes in it. The writing is first rate.
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson This book has been in the news because of Prof. Wes Scroggin’s claim that the book is soft core porn in the scenes in which the heroine is finally telling us about her rape. Before I go on about that, which I will, let me just say that Speak is a powerful book on every level. Here’s what Prof Scroggin’s says is soft core porn: The heroine relates to us how powerless she was unable to stop the boy who raped her and how emotionally devastated she was during and afterward. Apparently, Prof Scroggins is turned on by reading about a boy having sex with a girl who does not consent. How else could anyone for a moment think something like that was porn? His claims say more about his sexual fantasies and his massive lack of understanding about violence against women and the damage it does.
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding This book won the Pulitzer prize, and I admit I picked it up with some trepidation because, well, there are a lot of acclaimed books by men that leave me cold. But so far (not done yet) this book is just lovely.

And now, back to work. What have you been reading?


Various And Sundry Things

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I have been revising My Immortal Assassin into a much better book. Possibly a book unrecognizable by any one who read it before. Almost done. Almost.

Tomorrow, I’m mailing out various prizes etc. So tardy. But I’ve been revising like mad. The pain. Oh, the pain. But also, oh the good feeling when you fix something . . .

I’ve also read two really amazing books. The first one is A Bad Day For Sorry by Sophie Littlefield. She’s a fellow San Francisco Bay Area RWA chapter member, so I know her which is cool. A Bad Day for Sorry has been nominated for an Edgar. (Because it’s a mystery, though there’s some strong romantic elements in it.)

This book seriously rocks. It’s a debut novel, too. Go read it. It’s Edgar nominated for a reason.

The other book is A Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliasotti.

I seriously loved this book. It’s just overwhelmingly good. I felt like I was living with the characters. It’s steampunk but let me tell you, the romance is beautifully done. There’s no sex on the pages, but I defy anyone not to get sniffly at the romantic ending.

But here’s the thing. I read the book because I’d heard it was good. You hear things, you know? A friend whose opinion I really trust recommended it, too, so my usual silly resistance to Books I Keep Hearing About got worn down and I read it. And then I remembered hearing that the author was having trouble selling a second book.

WTF? Really? What is wrong with the people over at Juno Books? I went off to her website and I thought I saw that she was still looking for an agent. (What? That’s another mystery to me.) But now I can’t find that so maybe it’s not true. ETA: Found it: Clockwork Heart Sequel: Looking for an agent

The sad thing is that poor sales can doom additional books sales from an author even if the published book is amazing. Were sales for A Clockwork Heart not robust enough to get a second sale? Criminal if true.

I just know I want to read more novels by her and it seems I can’t.


A Fit of The Vapors? Oh, My!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

This story about a 1543 copy of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) selling for $2.2 mil. Yes, amazing. I think I would have been shaking just to be in the same room with the book. But check out the other books this guy collected: Einstein, Darwin, Karl Marx, Sir Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler.



Ends and Odds

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s originally self-published MY STROKE OF INSIGHT: A Brain Scientist’s personal Journey, tracking her experiences after a blood vessel exploded in her brain and she watched her mind deteriorate — losing the ability to walk, talk, read, write or remember — and then fought her way to complete recovery, aided by her understanding of how the brain works as well as her mother, to Clare Ferraro at Viking, at auction, for publication in May 12, 2008, by Ellen Stiefler at Stiefler Law Group (world).

About a month ago, I posted a link to her speech on this subject in this post. The speech is riveting. I can’t wait for the book.

I finished Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer. Fantastic. I gushed about it yesterday. Yup. Fan girl. I’ll just say this now: If Sherman Alexie keeps writing books like this, I expect a Nobel one day. Don’t laugh. I predicted Toni Morrison’s Nobel. Sure, it was obvious from Beloved that she was a major writer. You’re probably saying to yourself, Carolynn, any idiot could tell that about Morrison. I’m saying the same thing about Sherman Alexie. I have Reservation Blues on tap.

Now I’m reading Lynn Viehl’s Evermore because it was on the top of the pile when I left the house this morning. Pretty darn good so far.

And NOW I’m going to bed to read some more.



Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

There’s a lot I like about the new blogger, but I have to say it now takes freaking FOREVER to login. And sometimes it just doesn’t at all. I just wasted almost 10 minutes trying to get logged in. grumble!

I’ve been reading my son Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass books, we’re on Book 2, The Subtle Knife. Brilliantly original. And today, as I was reading I came across a line that made me just stop. It took my breath. The two women talking are powerful, far-seeing witches pledged to watch over the protagonist, Lyra. Lord Asriel is Lyra’s father and he’s already changed the world, possibly not for the better. The two witches are talking about Lyra’s companion, a 12 yo boy…

"He’s strange," said Ruta Skadi, "He is the same kind as Lord Asriel. Have you looked into his eyes?"

"To tell the truth," said Serafina Pekkala, "I haven’t dared."

To me, that’s an amazing exchange on so many levels it just defies trying to convey it. But talk about making your words work for you!

I’m still working though paper copy of Magellan’s Witch and making some important deletion, notes and tweaks. More at it tomorrow.