ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

BOOKS I've been reading - is your book on my list?

Hello everyone!

Thanks to you all for reading my Macbeth-ed up flash fiction for the WEP challenge. I had a lot of fun writing it and apparently those who read it thought the mean girls were a hoot.

I've been reading up a storm as usual. So many good books, both e-book and print. I can't talk about all the ones I loved in one blog post, so I'll talk about just a few today. I'm not even going to mention the James Patterson's, the Jeffrey Deaver's, and the very excellent Richard North Patterson's THE RACE, which is recommended reading for anyone interested in behind-the-scenes US elections. Woah! Boy, does it mess with your mind.  Sorry...I did mention them...

Talk about un-put-downable! The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I devoured it in a few gulps! Imagine you hide a life-shattering secret your whole life. By witholding it you sour your marriage, your relationship with everyone around you--your life is lived by hiding behind the lens of your camera.

But secrets will out in an altogether heart-wrenching way.

Mesmerizing, beautifully written, a tale of regret and redemption.


This lady can write! I've known Cathy since my days writing for #FridayFlash. Some of her stories never leave you, so haunting are they. So when I bought her debut novel, I wasn't disappointed. She's a crack up and her book is mighty funny...but also surprisingly poignant.

In the interest of time I'll paraphrase the Amazon blurb: You think you've got the world by the woo-hoo, don't you? Happily married? Oh yeah. Good kids? Uh huh. That's what Weezie Polk thought until one day the man who would never cheat on her (never, never, oh no, not him) was caught massaging bare boobies ... and they weren't hers!  I've just bought 'Friday Girls', her book of short stories.



I'm planning to go to Cuba next year if the world hasn't already gone to hell in a hand basket -- Los Angeles, Mexico City, Cuba, then a bit more of the Caribbean, before checking out Florida or New Orleans before heading back to Oz. Cuba is the main focus, so to get the research started (well, I did read an excellent book, last year-- The Island that Dared, by Derula Murphy), I picked up blogger Jo Carroll's book. She visited Cuba early this year and already has her book out. In Jo's book I found very un-Lonely Planet up to date info. peppered with personal stories from Cubaneros she met. I'd recommend this to anyone heading to Cuba.

I emailed Jo and asked her a question to accompany my shout out--

Denise: Jo, what is the difference between a tourist and a traveller?

Jo:  ...a tourist is generally on holiday. The focus is on the destination - he/she may be deeply interested in where they are, eat local food, listen to guides etc - but this journey is a pause in their normal way of being.

A traveller is more likely see the journey as part of who they are. They could no more stop travelling than chew an arm off. A tourist would miss holidays. But a traveller cannot imagine not dreaming of the next trip.

Check out Jo's blog  if you like travel books and tales.

I've been reading some sci-fi/romance lately, and this is one of the best. Written in collaboration--bloggers Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This YA book has won some prestigious awards, including:

  • The Aurealis Award - Australia's most prestigious science fiction and fantasy award for Best Young Adult Novel.
  • And it has been optioned for television by Haven star Eric Balfour and Off the Grid Entertainment. Can't wait for this.

I'm currently reading it with a Year 9 student and we both love it. 
Here's a taster from the website

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver finda strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

And it's a wonderful story. 

So that's just a few of the amazing books I've read lately. Of course my Kindle is groaning with many others. Until next time...

  • What have you been reading lately? 


Image result for images of hearts and flowersAnd congratulations to Deniz and Ryan Bevan on the birth of their daughter! 



43 comments:

  1. Cathy will be thrilled to know you are reading her book!

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  2. Sounds like a great list indeed

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  3. Hi, Denise,
    I remember when The Memory Keeper's Daughter was all the rage. I started it, but didn't finish. I know it's around here somewhere. I should get back to it.

    I agree that Cathy is funny, so that book should be fun. Thanks for listing the blogfest. Much appreciated.

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    1. You must Joy, but no doubt you're too busy writing to read much! I downloaded a couple more of yours recently.

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  4. Hi Denise,

    Right now am reading a book set in the city you and DG love :) A Movable Feast. I remember reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter sometime back, riveting. And that definition of a traveller is spot-on. Half the fun is planning the trip. Have a great week.
    Nila

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    1. OH, of course i adore A Movable Feast. I bought it in Paris at Shakespeare and Company bookshop and followed Hemingway's haunts around the city. Kinda moving.

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  5. Hi Denise ... you really do read don't you .. I must read more I seem to spend ages 'researching' which is not proper reading. I did read Ros Adams' Richard III book - an excellent children's story on his skeleton being found in a Leicester Car Park and his burial next year in Leicester Cathedral.

    Interesting selection you've given us ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Ha Hilary. That's just a tiny peek into what I've read lately. Had to share a few. That Ros Adams sounds intriguing. I adore researching too, and it's a bonus when a book can be counted as research.

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  6. Denise - many. many thanks for the shout-out for my Cuba book. I'm humbled to be is such wonderful company as The Memory Keeper's Daughter!

    And thanks, too, to Nilanjana for recognising my travellers.

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    1. I did adore that book. Took me awhile to get into it and i pretty much hate the ending, but oh, well...

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  7. Great list. I really enjoyed These Broken Stars.

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    1. Who could not, eh Natalie? Great to see you back.

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  8. Wow! What a fabulous surprise! Thanks so much for the write-up, Denise! And thanks also for the recommendations - I'm going to give these books a read! oxox

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    1. Enjoy your break! Hope you're finding time to read.

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  9. I've been reading up a storm as well, enjoying this new Kindle Unlimited promotion on Amazon. I've discovered some amazing authors, like Karen McQuestion and Susan Shoenberger.

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    1. I haven't read them yet Karen but am interested.

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  10. You could be reading my book but I don't have one so I guess you aren't me I am reading a lot of Kerry Greenwood books at the moment

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    1. You and me both Jo-Anne. Enjoy your reading.

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  11. I didn't realise These Broken Stars won an Aurealis. I'm gonna have to read it now :)

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  12. I never thought about the difference between a tourist and a traveler before, but that's a great definition of both!

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    1. There is a big difference, I think. Jo nailed it.

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  13. The Memory Keeper's Daughter was an intense read. Very literary and beautifully written, but I can't imagine living a life of lies like that. I love your ideas about the difference between a traveler and tourist. Certainly, the two would see the same thing through very different lenses.

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    1. Me either, Shell Flower. But it was a beautiful read.

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  14. I'm critiquing, again. Glutton for punishment I guess. I want to read Law of Nines, by Terry Goodkind. That would make my daughter happy.

    Speaking of daughters, I read The Memory Keeper's Daughter a couple years ago. I agree, un-put-downable. What a secret to have to keep all those years.

    I hope you make it to Cuba next year.

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    1. Glad you liked TMKD Donna. Critiquing, good for you.

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  15. Oh! I did read one of those--These Broken Stars. I even got it as an ARC. I enjoyed it, but not as much as some of the other books I was reading at the time. It was a bit too gritty for me. What can I say? I read YA for a reason. =)

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    1. We all have differing expectations for YA. I can see what you mean.

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  16. I have These Broken Stars on my TBR list. Lately, I've been reading a lot of ARCs and PDFs for authors to review. Next I'll be reading Butterman Time Travel Inc. and then the proof I got for Induction Day. :)

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  17. I consider myself a traveller. I don't want simply to see a place, I want to set down my camera and experience/be a part of it. Yes, I'm always thinking of the next journey.

    Just finished Lev Grossman's The Magicians. I enjoyed the book and the core message: getting what we want in life doesn't guarantee happiness because true happiness comes from within. The book is tagged as Harry Potter for Adults, which I think is misleading. Harry Potter for adults is Harry Potter. Accept no substitutes.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Glad you're a traveller too, VR. And thinking of your next journey...I like the sound of The Magicians.

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  18. Sounds a great list Denise. I'm catching up on reading. I had to forcefully stay away from your shelves of James Patterson,Jeffrey Deaver and Jeffery Archer, otherwise I would still be there-reading all!

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    1. Ha Ha Nas. Just as well I don't need much sleep.

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  19. I read Memory Keepers Daughter after reading some terrible reviews of it. The readers did not like it, but I fell in love with the story. It really grabbed me.

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    1. Me too. I guess most readers didn't like the ending.

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  20. I like how the one author notes the difference between a tourist and a traveler. It would be more fun if it didn't end and traveling was a way of life.

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  21. HI, Denise.

    SO true about an tourist and traveler.... Like you, I'm no tourist! LOL. Your trip sounds AMAZING... and I WILL get to Florida to meet you! If I'm not there already.... still stuck in Chicago .... BOOO.... But I guess I need to be here now. God is keeping me here for some reason. Maybe just to help out Melissa while she goes through her cancer. It's a very worthwhile reason...

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  22. Hi Denise!
    I was Googling to find a recipe for some hazelnut brownies I used to make all the time (I know I've tweeted about them before!) when I came across your congratulations message. I'd missed it at the time. Thank you!

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