Book Review, Life, Wheel of the Year, Writing

Midsummer Book Update – 6 Months of Books

This post is going up a little later than the true summer solstice—but in my defense, there’s a lot going on! I’m prepping for my very first public reading event, and I’m super excited for it.

This year so far in books has been heart-wrenching and nostalgic and instructional. I’ve read 24 books out of the 40 I plan to read this year, so that’s good progress. Here are my favorites from the past six months, in reverse order of when I read them:

Robin Benway’s Far From the Tree
ALL THE FEELS. Seriously. Tears during my morning commute. Couldn’t put the book down. 2017 National Book Award winner.

Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes
Also couldn’t put this one down. Also many feels. The suspense is done REALLY well in this book, keeping me engaged and dying to find out what happens next on every page.

The Danish Way of Parenting
Just a really great way to start the process of breaking out of toxic American parenting culture, and find an approach that will be more nurturing and validating to your children.

Story Engineering
This was exactly the sort of foundational text that I needed way back in undergrad but didn’t have. Nonfiction, about the six core competencies of writing novels. If you’re a Ravenclaw and a writer, you should probably read this one.

Some other stories I’ve absolutely loved this year have been Sense8, QueerEye, of course, and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. I’m working hard to get my media and my writing in during my commute each day, since spending 20 hours a week commuting eats up so much of my down time. It’s a struggle, most days. I don’t have a super easy commute, where it’s just an hour on the train or something. It’s 20 minutes in the car, wait at the train station, 20 minutes on the train, wait at the bus stop, 40 minutes on the bus, walk to work. And then reverse it all to go home, and add extra time to the waiting, because the train and bus schedules are weird in the evenings. I’m not going to be able to do this forever. I can feel myself burning out. It’s much more of a struggle to get writing done, because without any down time, any alone time, my creative juices are very reluctant to replenish.

The good news, however, is that I FOUND THE TITLE FOR MY WIP! And the title for the sequel, actually. I’m really excited about it. I knew I needed a title before I went up to read from this novel at the event next Saturday, and one night it just came to me in a beautiful rush of inspiration. I’m not telling anyone the title just yet—it’ll be mine alone for a few more days, until I get up to that microphone at Shades & Shadows.

Keep reading and keep writing, ponies. Life is tough and we’re all just doing the best we can, but I feel very blessed to be able to experience such beautiful stories and excellent writing.

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