Monday, January 22, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Sam's Theory and More

Three very different books came into my house last week. How about you?



Sam's Theory by Sarah Mendivel. I am excited about this book. It's a YA fantasy novel written by a therapist as a creative way to help young people heal from trauma. What a brilliant idea!



A Florentine Death by Michele Giuttari. This is the first book in this Italian author's series featuring Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara. It's perfect for the European Reading Challenge.



Wise Virgin by A. N. Wilson. I love campus novels an this one looks great, although it never crossed my radar before.




Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Beginning: Lord Mullion's Secret

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING


The Mullions were still quite comfortably off, although they no longer managed to pay their way in the entirely unobtrusive fashion they would have wished. Twice a week, and through the greater part of the year, they were obliged to turn Mullion Castle into a Stately Home. 

-- Lord Mullion's Secret by Michael Innes. This 1981 mystery features portrait painter and reluctant amateur sleuth, Charles Honeybath.

It counts as my first book for the 2018 Vintage Mystery Challenge in the Silver category.





Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





Monday, January 15, 2018

Mailbox Monday

What books came into your house last week? I got three, completely different books.



Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, compiled by Shaun Usher. I loved Lists of Note and this compilation of remarkable letters from the same creator is just as wonderful.



Bel, Book, and Scandal by Maggie McConnon. This is the third mystery in McConnon's Belfast McGrath series, featuring an Irish-American wedding chef and amateur sleuth.



Patriotism Is Not Enough: Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, and the Arguments that Redefined American Conservatism by Steven F. Hayward. OK, not a book for everyone, I understand. But I enjoy racing down a wonkish rabbit hole every now and again.



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Beginning: The Tsar of Love and Techno

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



I am an artist first, a censor second.

I had to remind myself of this two years ago, when I trudged to the third-floor flat of a communal apartment block, where my widowed sister in-law and her four-year-old son lived.

-- From "The Leopard," the first story in The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra. I am so glad my friend Mary Chomenko Hinckley picked this for our book club, because it's not one I would have read otherwise. It is a collection of nine interconnected stories of Russian and post-Soviet life.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Author Interview: Deborah Reed


Deborah Reed's fourth novel, The Days When Birds Come Back, launches this week. She has written three previous novels: Olivay, Things We Set on Fire, and Carry Yourself Back to Me, and two popular thrillers under the pen name Audrey Braun. Deborah splits her time between Germany, where she codirects the Black Forest Writing Seminars at the University of Freiburg, and her home at the Oregon coast.



Deborah recently talked with Rose City Reader about her new book, her writing, and her own reading life:

How did you come to write The Days When Birds Come Back?

Honestly, I came to it painstakingly, right through the center of a very difficult time in my life. I was living alone on the Oregon coast, when my neighbor mentioned that the man who renovated the house I was renting had such integrity, which was clear by the craftsmanship of the place, and there was something about her mentioning him in this context, combined with my own life’s circumstances that sparked the magic, which I’ve never been able to explain, and pulled me into writing this story.

The theme of coming home to heal or regenerate runs through all your novels. How does that theme manifest itself in your new book?

I’ve noticed that too. I think moving quite often ever since I was a child probably plays some role in stirring up that theme. But there are so many ways to come home. In this novel it is both the physical and emotional return to the origin of one’s life and one’s self, and each prove to be problematic for the main characters, June and Jameson. Each holds a place of grief and tragedy, and the desire to look away or run away is matched by the desire to heal in the way we can only heal in the solitude that a true home provides.

Did you know right away, or have an idea, how you were going to end the story? Or did it come to you as you were in the process of writing?

I didn’t know how it would end until I arrived at those final pages. This is always the case with my endings. I’m never quite sure until I get there, in the same way the reader can’t be sure until she is turning the final page. I find this very satisfying, not to know for certain. But I do carry a hope all along that things will turn out well for the characters. It doesn’t always. In my novel Olivay the ending was a bit controversial, even to me, and yet it was the only ending I felt possible for that particular story.

Why did you choose an Emily Dickinson poem for the title of your book? Does Dickinson’s poem connect to your story or hold a personal meaning for you?

Yes. The poem is about the warm days late in fall that feel like summer has returned. It’s confusing to things that grow and to birds that may have already begun to fly south. This theme of knowing where to go and when is also one that runs through my novels. In The Days When Birds Come Back the question becomes whether or not this is right time to come back. It has the appearance of what is right, but that could be false hope or an inability to read the signs.

What did you learn from writing your book – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?

Frankly, I was most surprised by the fact that I could write it at all. At the time I was suffering through a terrible illness that included various types of migraines and vertigo and this went on for nearly a year. And this while at the same time living through various stages of grief, and learning to love someone new. The fact that I wrote the book I wanted to write to its completion, astonishes me still.

Were books an important part of your household when you were growing up?

They were for me, but not particularly for my household. With every new school I attended, I got to explore the new library and check out new books, which thrilled me every time. What I remember most was being hooked on Nancy Drew, and when I finished reading the entire series I read the Hardy Boys. After that, I strangely segued into philosophical stories, like Jonathon Livingston Seagull, The Little Prince, and Siddartha.

What I realize now is that these books moved me deeply, they had the power to make me afraid and to worry over mysteries outside of myself. They held the capacity to sway me toward wonder. And all these years later I find that what I want to read and write are a mix of that mystery and wonder.

Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by the authors you read?

Some of my favorites are Marilynne Robinson, Gerbrand Bakker, Per Petterson, Kate Atkinson, and William Trevor. I’m sure my writing is influenced by theirs, but I also seek out writing that does what I try to do with my own, so it’s hard to say which comes first. I love writers who portray a strong sense of place, and whose pacing is rhythmic in a way that speaks to my ear.

What are you reading now?

A novel, Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty, and a memoir of sorts called, The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits.

You have a terrific website and are also on Instagram and Twitter. From an author's perspective, how important are social networking sites and other internet resources to promote your book?

I think it’s become an industry standard for writers to have a presence on social media, and readers have come to expect that they can find a writer without too much trouble. My experiences with readers have been overwhelmingly positive, so for me this has worked out well, and I’m grateful. I’m more than happy to respond to readers who have taken the time to read my work and feel compelled to reach out to me. I also think the capacity of the Internet to share links and info on writers and their work has widened writers’ audiences tremendously, and everyone benefits from that.

Do you have any events coming up to promote your book?

I do. I’ll be reading at Powell’s Books in Portland the day the book comes out, January 9th, at 7:30 pm. And on the 12th I’ll be reading at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle at 7 pm. My website lists the other readings and events to follow.

What’s next? Are you working on another book?

Yes, but it’s too soon to talk about!


THANKS, DEBORAH!

YOU CAN BUY THE DAYS WHEN BIRDS COME BACK ON LINE AND AT MAJOR BOOKSTORES, OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOK SELLER TO ORDER IT!


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