Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes




We are all huddled together around the hearth. Here, in a great cauldron above the fire, the men of the manor are making a thin stew with the carcasses of mice and hedgehogs.

-- Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes,  due out in January, but available for pre-order.  You can read the first chapter on kindle now.

In the brutal winter of 1377, a group of English peasants set out from their village on a risky trek to London to beg the king for justice.  Five village children had died in a mysterious house fire.  But is the culprit among the band of villagers on the 200-mile journey?


Part Canterbury Tales, part Game of Thrones, Sinful Folk is a terrific adventure based on a true story.  Watch the trailer for Sinful Folk.






Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event. 



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mailbox Monday: Merry Hall and Cookies


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday!  I was thrilled to host in December.  Have a very happy New Year!

MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event.  It looks like the idea now is to return Mailbox Monday to its permanent home, so check back there next week to make your first MM post of the New Year.

MY THEME THIS WEEK: RESOLUTIONS

Will you make any book- or blog-related new year resolutions? Please share!

MY RESOLUTIONS: My resolution is to get this blog more integrated into social media.  In particular, I want to do more with my Rose City Reader Book Blog facebook page, because I think there is potential there to use it to post interesting short bits in addition to linking to the blog posts.

With that in mind, please "Like" my Rose City Reader Book Blog facebook page! If you have a blog-related facebook page, please leave a link to it in a comment and I will be sure to "Like" your page as well.

MY BOOKS: I got some books for Christmas this week:



Merry Hall and Laughter on the Stairs -- the first two volumes of a trilogy by Beverley Nichols. I somehow ended up with the third volume, Sunlight on the Lawn, but asked Santa for the first two to complete the set.

The Merry Hall Trilogy was first published in the 1950s, but Timber Press of Portland issued this nifty facsimile edition in the late 1990s.



The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest's Celebrated Bakery by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson.

I'm not a bread baker, but Grand Central has the best cookies I have ever eaten so I have long wanted this cookbook. Yum!

YOUR BOOKS

What books came into your house last week?  Leave your link below or in a comment.  If you don't have a blog but want to play along, leave a comment listing your new books.






Saturday, December 28, 2013

2014 Challenge: Chunkster Challenge


COMPLETED!

I read six books, as I had hoped to do. There is still time to reach my stretch goal of eight before the challenge ends.

The CHUNKSTER CHALLENGE was started by Wendy at Caribousmom and is now hosted by Vasilly at 1330V. The sign-up page is here.

The basic idea is to read books with 450 pages or more. 

They have changed the rules some this year.  For the first time, apparently beaten down by the fuss, they are allowing e-books and audiobooks.  I'm a traditionalist and I understand the spirit that motivated the original "paper books only" rule, so I am going to limit myself to big fat paper tomes.

Also gone are levels at which to sign up.  This is now a self-motivating challenge.  My goal is to read six chunksters in 2014, with a stretch goal of eight.

BOOKS FINISHED

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. At 1168 pages, this was a massive chunk of a book.  This omnibus edition contains the three books of the trilogy that made Undset a Nobel Laureate: The Wreath, The Bride, and The Cross.  As engrossing as the story was, I think I've had my fill of medieval Norway for a while.

Murder on Board: Three Complete Mystery Novels (The Mystery of the Blue Train, Death in the Air, and What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw) by Agatha Christie.  Two of the mysteries in this omnibus edition featured Hercule Poirot; one featured Miss Marples.  All were entertaining as can be.

The Rich are Different by Susan Howatch.  My hardcover edition had exactly 800 pages.  Although some pages were longer than others, overall the story moves at a brisk clip, following the financial and romantic adventures of New York investment bankers from the free-for-all of the 1920s, through the Great Depression, to the eve of WWII.  Howatch is the master of shaggy, intergenerational sagas -- she really knows how to spin a tale.

A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell.  This 780-page novel is a fictional biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero in the story of Rome in the days of Julius Caesar. It is great history, packed with political philosophy, just don't expect a book version of HBO's Rome.

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing.  I loved this novel about creative, strong women living in Africa during World War II and London in the 1950s, criticizing their men, questioning their careers, and quitting the Communist Party. That is, I loved it until the last 150 pages or so of my 600-page addition, when I felt it became repetitious and muddled.

A Wanted Man by Lee Child.  I love all Jack Reacher books and this was no exception.  All 600+ pages when by in a blink.

A Man of Parts by David Lodge.  This fictional biography of H. G. Wells focusses on the many love affairs in his life.  It was very good, but felt much longer than its roughly 450 pages.

MY BOOK POSSIBILITIES

There are many chunksters already sitting on my TBR shelves that may finally get my attention this year.  I am going to start with the first three because they cross over with my personal TBR challenge I call the 2X14 Challenge:

The Stories of Vladamir Nabokov (720)

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (960)

More Matter: Essays and Criticism by John Updike (928)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (862)

Redemption by Leon Uris (848)

The Charm School
by Nelson DeMille (816)

Ancient Evening by Norman Mailer (800)

The Life of Noel Coward by Cole Lesley (608)

UPDATED: November 17, 2014

Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 Challenge: 2X14 and Mt. TBR



2X14: A PERSONAL TBR CHALLENGE

CLOSE, BUT DIDN'T FINISH

I am doing the Mt. TBR Challenge again this year, but to give it a personal spin, I decided to read 28 books, one from each of the separate shelves of my TBR bookcases.  This means reading 21 fiction books and seven non-fiction. Instead of picking any book that looked good from each shelf, I picked the 14th book on each shelf.

This formulaic selection process yielded a random assortment of books. There are a couple of prize winners on the list, a few classics, some pop fiction, and a bunch of crazy stuff that tells me I either have diverse and wide-ranging taste or I need to clean out my TBR shelves!

These are the books in alphabetical order by author.  I am planning on reading them in this order, but I might switch things up as I go.  This isn't going to be a big book review year for me because I opened my own law practice in March so my time and attention are taken.

The Society Ball Murders by Jack Albin Anderson (FINISHED)

Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg (FINISHED)

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy (FINISHED; reviewed here)

A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (FINISHED)

Murder on Board by Agatha Christie (an omnibus edition with three complete novels: The Mystery of the Blue Train, Death in the Air (aka Death in the Clouds), and What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw (aka 4:50 from Paddington)) (FINISHED)

The Life of the Party by Irvin S. Cobb (FINISHED)

1939: The Last Season by Anne De Courcy (FINISHED)

The Glassblowers by Daphne du Maurier (FINISHED)

Sister Age by M.F.K. Fisher (FINISHED)

Nickel Mountain by John Gardner (on the BOMC Well-Stocked Bookcase list(FINISHED)

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (FINISHED)

French Women for All Seasons by Mirabelle Guiliano (FINISHED)

Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen (FINISHED)

California’s Over by Louis B. Jones (FINISHED)

Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis (FINISHED)

A Man of Parts by David Lodge (chunkster) (FINISHED)

The Truth About Lorin Jones by Alison Lurie (FINISHED)

Saul Bellow: A Biography of the Imagination by Ruth Miller

Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosley (FINISHED)

The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (chunkster) (reading now)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (FINISHED)

Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter (PEN/Faulkner winner)

If a Pirate I Must Be…: The True Story of "Black Bart," King of the Caribbean Pirates by Richard Sanders (FINISHED)

Delicious by Mark Haskell Smith (FINISHED)

The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan (FINISHED)

Towards the End of Time by John Updike

Captain Nicholas by Hugh Walpole (FINISHED)

For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance, edited by Victoria Zackheim

WANDERINGS

I've been working diligently through the above list, but I drifted often to other books on my TBR shelves that caught my attention with more force.

Style by Kate Spade

Summer Lightening by P. G. Wodehouse

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor

The Pearl Diver by Sujata Massey

Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

Prague by Arthur Phillips

Daughters-in-Law by Joanne Trollope

Risk by Dick Francis

Bonjour, Happiness! by Jamie Cat Callan

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maria Kalman

A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

The Rich Are Different by Susan Howatch

The Life of the Party by Irvin S. Cobb

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding

Snobs by Julian Fellowes

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Unset

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

Deception by Philip Roth

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

Memento Mori by Muriel Spark

One of Ours by Willa Cather

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes



COMPLETED

I signed up at the Mt. Blanc level to read 24 books because that most closely corresponds with my personal goal, but I might make it to the Mt. Vancouver 36 book level. We'll see.

Well, as of November 17, I have more books to finish than I will get to for my personal 2X14 challenge, but I've read 50 books off my TBR shelf, which means I've already made it to the Mt. Ararat level of the Mt. TBR Challenge.  I guess I am proving to be a voracious but undisciplined reader this year.

UPDATED: December 31, 2014. I finished 23 of my 28 2X14 books and a total of 52 books off my TBR shelves.  So I fell short of my personal TBR challenge but climbed far higher on Mt. TBR than I thought I would. I plan to finish the remaining five book of my 2X14 list in 2015.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Beginning: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes



THANKS FOR A GREAT YEAR OF BOOK BEGINNINGS!

PLEASE JOIN ME ON FRIDAYS IN 2014 FOR MORE BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

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 now has a Facebook page. I plan to 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, or click the button over there in the right hand column. 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, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I am trying 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.

MR. LINKY



MY BOOK BEGINNING




In the end, I listen to my fear. It keeps me awake, resounding through the frantic beating in my breast. It is there in the dry terror in my throat, in the pricking of the rats' nervous feet in the darkness.

-- Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes,  due out in January, but available for pre-order.  You can read the first chapter on kindle now.

Based on a true story, Sinful Folk is a mystery and adventure tale set in England in 1377.  A group of villagers, including the narrator Mear (a former nun disguised as a mute man), set out on a desperate mid-winter journey to London to seek justice for the death of five children in a suspicious house fire.

It sounds like a cross between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Game of Thrones. Watch the trailer for Sinful Folk.

2013 Challenge: Mt. TBR Final Checkpoint


COMPLETED!

I completed my Mt. TBR Challenge! 

For the final checkpoint, the challenge host, Bev from My Reader's Block, asks participants to provide the following information: 

1. Tell us how many miles you made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you've planted your flag on the peak, then tell us and celebrate (and wave!). Even if you were especially athletic and have been sitting atop your mountain for months, please check back in and remind us quickly you sprinted up that trail. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting adventures you've had along the way.

I signed up at the Mt. Vancouver level to read at least 36 books.  I waived from the top of that peak sometime in early September or so.  For the year, I read a total of 53 books from my TBR shelf, which means I made it to the top of Mt. Ararat.

My most challenging adventures were Independent People by Halldor Laxness (Nobel winner; reviewed here) and The Tin Drum by G√ľnter Grass (reviewed here).  My most enjoyable adventure was The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy (reviewed here).

2. My Life According to Mount TBR: Using the titles of the books you read this year, please associate each statement with a book read on your journey up the Mountain.

Are you male or female?: Bootlegger's Daughter
Describe yourself: She's Come Undone
Describe where you currently live: On the Edge
If you could go anywhere where would you go?: The Groves of Academe
Your favorite form of transportation: Parachutes & Kisses
What's the weather like?: A Taste for Death
Favorite time of day?: The Hour
Your relationships: Independent People
You fear: Mortal Causes
What is the best advice you have to give?: Care of the Soul
If you could change your name, you would change it to: The Vicar of Nibbleswicke
My soul's present condition: A Glass of Blessings 



2014 Challenge: Sign Up Post for the European Reading Challenge



This is my sign up page for the 2014 European Reading Challenge!
TO SIGN UP OR SEE DETAILS, GO TO THE MAIN CHALLENGE PAGE,
OR CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE.

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour.

It's my challenge, so I am signing up at the highest level, the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) level, to read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

MY BOOKS

So far, I have read the following:

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (Norway)

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy (Greece; reviewed here)

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (France; reviewed here)

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes (United Kingdom; discussed here)

Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (Italy; Ancient Rome, really, but . . .)

Prague by Arthur Phillips (Hungary, despite its title)

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera (Czechoslovakia)

Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Holland)


Some other possibilities for 2014 from my TBR shelves include:

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (American; Russia)

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie (American; Russia)

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Dutch; Holland)

Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (Polish; Nobel)

How German Is It = Wie Deutsch Ist Es by Walter Abish (Germany; PEN/Faulkner)

I, the King by Frances Parkinson Keyes (American; Spain)

UPDATED: November 1, 2014

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mailbox Monday: Murder and Poetry


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday!  December is a busy month, but getting to host MM makes it all the more festive for me.

MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event (details here).  Marcia is looking for someone to take over tour organizing duties.  Many people have volunteered, but I don't know that there is a final plan for 2014.

MY THEME THIS WEEK: HOLIDAY READING

Do you plan do do any reading this Christmas week? Which ones? Please share!

MY READING LIST: During Christmas week, I like to read a chunky classic from the "Great Yarn" school of fiction.  Classics go along with holiday traditions and I am never in the mood for a thriller or anything depressing.

This week, I am reading Kristin Lavransdatter, the historical epic, set in 14th Century Norway, by Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset. I have an omnibus edition that contains the entire trilogy.

MY BOOKS: I did get a couple of new books this week:



The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan.  This is the book I asked Santa to bring me, but I got an early copy from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. Happy me!

This third book in Dolan's David Loogan series is actually a prequel to the first two books, Bad Things Happen (reviewed here) and Very Bad Men (reviewed here).  I loved both and can't wait to read this new one.



Tomorrow Too: The Brenda Monologues by Don Colburn, published by Finish Line Press.  This is Colburn's fourth book of poems, these based on the true story of a young woman facing breast cancer while pregnant. 

Colburn first wrote about Brenda in a series of newspaper articles for The Oregonian.


YOUR BOOKS

What books came into your house last week?  Leave your link below or in a comment.  If you don't have a blog but want to play along, leave a comment listing your new books.






3 Days to Christmas!




Saturday, December 21, 2013

Announcement: 2014 European Reading Challenge

The 2014 European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015


It's time for the 2014 European Reading Challenge!  The SIGN UP PAGE is ready.  The challenge starts January 1, 2014.

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour.

Sign up here

2013 PARTICIPANTS

The 2013 European Reading Challenge will wrap up in just over a month, on January 31, 2014.  Participants still have plenty of time to link to their reviews on THIS PAGE and their wrap-up posts on THIS PAGE.

4 Days to Christmas!



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Beginning: The Dean's December by Saul Bellow



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 now has a Facebook page. I plan to 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, or click the button over there in the right hand column.  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, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I am trying 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.

MR. LINKY



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Corde, who led the life of an executive in America – wasn't a college dean a kind of executive? – found himself six or seven thousand miles from his base, in Bucharest, in winter, shut up in an old-fashioned apartment.

-- The Dean's December by Saul Bellow, one of my very favorite authors. I enjoy Bellow more and more.  His dense, chewy prose takes time to get through, but that makes me feel like I am living the story along with the characters.

And, yes, I am reading this now because it has December in the title.

6 Days to Christmas!



Monday, December 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Brave on the Page



Perfect sentences come to me when I'm out walking. I'm not intending it or waiting for it, but something about the steady pace, the absence of doing-ness, seems it to draw things up: the start of a story, a way of saying something I'd been reaching for, a connection of all the ideas in a piece I'm working on.

-- from "Move" by Jackie Shannon Hollis, one of the 42 essays in Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, edited by Laura Stanfill, published by Forest Avenue Press. Essays from Oregon authors about living the writer's life. 

I often have the same experience of figuring things out while I'm out on a walk.  Solutions to complicated legal issues and case strategies come to me when I'm walking around. I've read that, because walking involves both sides of your body, it activates both sides of your brain, resulting in creative, holistic thinking.  I don't know if that is scientifically sound, but I like the idea of it. 





Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event. 

9 Days to Christmas!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mailbox Monday: Oregon River Books


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday!  I am so pleased to host in December.  It's a crazy-busy time of year, but I love the festivities!

MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event (details here).  Marcia is looking for someone to take over tour organizing duties.  Many people have volunteered, but I don't know that there is a final plan for 2014.

MY THEME THIS WEEK: BOOKS AS GIFTS (RECEIVING)

Do you hope to get any books as gifts this year? Which ones? Please share!

MY GIFT BOOKS: I hope Santa brings me a copy of Harry Dolan's new mystery, The Last Dead Girl. I would also like the first two volumes of a trilogy by Beverley Nichols. I somehow ended up with the third volume, Sunlight on the Lawn, but would like Merry Hall and Laughter on the Stairs. Since I don't think Santa reads my blog, I've sent him an email with the details.

MY BOOKS: I got couple of new books from OSU Press this week:



Meander Scars: Reflections on Healing the Willamette River by Abby Phillips Metzger. The lush cover is gorgeous and I am looking forward to reading this book of essays inspired by Metzger's lifetime of up-close exploration of Oregon's main river.



Bridging a Great Divide: The Battle for the Columbia River Gorge by Kathie Durbin. There have been battles over every man-made change in the Columbia Gorge -- dams, freeways, bridges, hotels, casinos, houses, and now the view-spoiling, bird-killing wind turbines.

Durbin spent years as a journalist writing about these challenges and changes, giving detail and depth to her readable history of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.


YOUR BOOKS

What books came into your house last week?  Leave your link below or in a comment.  If you don't have a blog but want to play along, leave a comment listing your new books.



10 Days to Christmas!




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Beginning: Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse




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 now has a Facebook page. I plan to 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, or click the button over there in the right hand column. 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, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I am trying 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.

MR. LINKY



MY BOOK BEGINNING



At the open window of the great library of Blandings Castle, drooping like a wet sock, as was his habit when he had nothing to prop his spine against, the Earl of Emsworth, that amiable and boneheaded peer, stood gazing out over his domain.

-- Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse, from Chapter 1, "Dark Plottings at Blandings Castle."

I love P. G. Wodehouse! I've read several of his books, including most of the Bertie Wooster novels and short stories, but I never read his Psmith books. The "P" is silent, like in ptarmigan or psychology or, as Psmith once explains, Pshrimp.

My library recently got several new audio editions available for instant download. They are particularly good to listen to. I have also recently gone back and started reading his books in chronological order because many of the earlier books are available in free Kindle additions.

13 Days to Christmas!







Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Five Faves: Campus Novels


There are times when a full-sized book list is just too much; when the Top 100, a Big Read, or all the Prize winners seem like too daunting an effort. That's when a short little list of books grouped by theme may be just the ticket.

Inspired by Nancy Pearl's "Companion Reads" chapter in Book Lust – themed clusters of books on subjects as diverse as Bigfoot and Vietnam – I decided to start occasionally posting lists of five books grouped by topic or theme. I call these posts my Five Faves.

Feel free to grab the button and play along.  Use today's theme or come up with your own.  If you post about it, please link back to here and leave the link to your post in a comment.  If you want to participate but don't have a blog or don't feel like posting, please share your list in a comment.
 
FIVE FAVE CAMPUS NOVELS
 
Ivory Tower novels are big favorites of mine.  I don't think I could name five absolute favorites, but here is a list of five I really liked.  There are many other possibilities on my Campus Novel list.
  •  Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov




14 Days to Christmas!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Put an Egg on It by Lara Ferroni






Still, it was many years before I thought adding an egg to sandwiches or pizza was a good idea. I don't quite remember what prompted it, but I do recall vividly that I was sitting in a plaza in Rome when I finally decided I should try an egg on a pizza and discovered what I been missing all those years.

-- from the author's Introduction to Put an Egg on It: 70 Delicious Dishes That Deserve a Sunny Topping by Lara Ferroni, published by Sasquatch Books

I have the same fond food memory of ordering a pizza in Italy and having it arrive with an egg on it. It was a mind-bending experience for a 19-year-old. 

This is a terrific cookbook! Full of simple but delicious recipes and lots of gorgeous, mouth-watering pictures. Perfect gift!






Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event. 

16 Days to Christmas!



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mailbox Monday


Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday!  I am so pleased to host in December because it just adds to my general giddiness this festive time of year.

MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event (details here).  Marcia is looking for someone to take over tour organizing duties.  Many people have volunteered, but I don't know that there is a final plan for 2014.

MY THEME THIS WEEK: BOOKS AS GIFTS (GIVING)

Will you give books as gifts this year? Which ones? Please share!

MY GIFT BOOKS: My gift book of choice this year is Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed.  This latest novel from Deborah Reed is an aching but beautiful  family story that you can get lost in.  Perfect for anyone who likes mother/daughter themes or books by Anne Taylor, Barbara Kingsolver, Anita Shreve or other popular but substantive women authors.  

Of course, there are plenty of men and a few women on my list who wouldn't read a mother/daughter story, no matter how excellent, on pain of death.  They'll get a lump of coal.  And a copy of Harry Dolan's new mystery, The Last Dead Girl.

MY BOOKS: I did get a couple of new books for myself this week.  They are completely different from each other, but both look very good:



Worthy Brown's Daughter by Phillip Margolin. Available now for pre-order; released January 21.

Margolin writes fast-paced contemporary thrillers like his hugely popular Gone, But Not Forgotten and the recent best seller,  Capitol Murder.

Worthy Brown's Daughter is a departure for Margolin -- it's a historical drama set in 19th-Century Oregon involving a freed slave trying to rescue his 15-year-old daughter.  There is still a murder, a complicated plot, and all the exciting twists and turns readers expect from a Margolin thriller.




The Art of Selling Real Estate by Patricia Cliff.

Cliff offers timely, practical advice for real estate sellers, whether seasoned professionals or newcomers. 

While focusing on real estate, Cliff's book is a guide for anyone in sales, with her goal to show how to make yourself indispensable to any transaction by being a consistent, authentic, remarkable deliverer of a high level of personalized service.


YOUR BOOKS

What books came into your house last week?  Leave your link below or in a comment.  If you don't have a blog but want to play along, leave a comment listing your new books.




17 Days to Christmas!





Advent-appropriate vintage postcard for a Christmas Sunday.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...