I thought this topic would be easy. There are tons of authors I’ve never read! But when you throw that Famous in there, well, it suddenly becomes harder to think. Because every one I think of, I think, oh, I read that one. Case in point: Nicholas Sparks. I read The Notebook and yes, it hurts to admit that. Or Anne Rice. I read several vampire books and Ramses. Michael Cricton? I read Jurassic Park. See what I mean???
There are a few though, after much though, I came up with these. Some I haven’t read because of preconceived notions. Some because I just haven’t gotten to them yet. And some I honestly hadn’t even considered until now.
1. James Patterson. Way too popular. Isn’t that ridiculous? I can be so narrow-minded!
2. Dean Koontz. Honestly, I’m not even sure what kind of books he writes.
3. Patricia Cornwell. Just doesn’t sound like something for me.
4. Jonathan Franzen. I just can’t. That attitude. I can’t get past it.
5. Ian McEwan. Despite owning SEVERAL of his books.
6. Marcel Proust. He just scares me.
7. Maya Angelou. Unless you count the poems I read in school.
8. George Eliot. Hoping to fix this soon, for I am ashamed.
9. Brian Sanderson. I hope to fix this sometime soon too.
10. Terry McMillan. I don’t think I felt old enough for her books yet, for some reason, if that makes sense, but I’m creeping up there! I’ll have to give one a go.
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So, when my grandparents told me, when I was a kid, that time would go faster and faster the older you got, they weren’t kidding were they? How is it Monday? Again? Sheesh.
Of course, when you add a new hobby to the mix, it makes time constraints even tighter, thereby making time seem to go faster, right?
So, I had a busy weekend, spent part of it Texas wedding shopping! I’m almost ready to go! Nine more days!!
I barely got to read. I spent my reading time with I Shall be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe which I’m really enjoying. I was thinking of trying to start Middlemarch but I couldn’t tear myself away from it to do it. Plus, I’m not really sure I have the brainpower for that right now. May delay that until after the wedding.
I feel like I didn’t do enough reading last week. I finished listening to Chains by Laurie Halsey Anderson, which was great, and started Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler which I’m loving so far. It has multiple narrators and I’ve never heard any of them. The two I’ve encountered so far are great.
This week I hope to finish I Shall be Near to You definitely. Since I’m putting Middlemarch in hold (yep, just decided), I think I will try a Diana Wynne Jones. I will make friends with her if it kills me!
What are your reading plans this week?
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I was thinking of posting about my
adventures misadventures adventures in drawing, probably on the weekend if not specifying Sunday, but I’m not sure what to call it. Arty Sunday? Sunday art? Misadventures with Pencils? I’m at a loss.
This return to drawing has been interesting for me. I’ve never thought I had much talent with a pencil. I’ve been told, by those who love me, that I do, but I always found that encouragement to be the sort that one gets no matter what one does. This is mainly why I quit drawing I think, besides the usual excuses of not having enough time. I didn’t (and still don’t really) believe I have any talent. Yes, I have problems with self-confidence.
What I do have is fun. I have had so much fun drawing these last few weeks. (And yes, I have enjoyed the positive reinforcement through social media and I thank every single one of you who has given me a like on Instagram or emailed or commented here. I truly, truly do. Much more so than in the past, probably because I don’t really know you? Does that make sense?) Discovering Zentangle has done so much for me. I’m having fun with it, but I also feel like I’m learning things, things I never learned in all the art classes I’ve ever had in my life. At first site, Zentangle looks exactly like what it is, doodling. But it’s doodling with control. One can use different levels of control. One can be freehand and loose, not using any tools but one’s pen and one’s hand. One can be halfway in between, using pen, hand, and ruler. Or one can be super controlled, using pencils, pens, hands, fingers, compasses, rulers, and more. I’ve done all three. And gained control I’ve never had before.
It’s refreshing to find I have some measure of control. I can actually make the pencil go where I want it to go in ways I’ve never been able to accomplish before. Don’t get me wrong, I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO before I would even feel comfortable calling myself an artist, but I’m beyond pleased with the progress I’ve made. Because at the end of the day, I have to be the one telling myself that I have talent. I love hearing it from others, but I have to be the one to say it and believe it when I hear it. Maybe someday I will.
Wow February! I don’t know about you, but I think we had a good month!
7. Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn
8. Will O’ the Wisp by Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchinson
9. Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn
10. Chew Volume 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman
11. American Vampire: Volume 1 by Scott Snyder
12. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
13. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
14. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
15. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, read by Simon Prebble and Josephine Bailey
16. Stone Arch Fairy Tales Volume 2: Secrets, Monsters, and Magic Mirrors edited by Donald Lemke
17. Y: The Last Man Deluxe Edition 1 by Brian K. Vaughn
18. American Vampire Volume 2 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
19. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
20. Chains (Seeds of American #1) by Laurie Halse Anderson
You’re right February. That was a ggrreeaatt month. To be the shortest month of the year, you sure pack a punch!
Can we just go ahead and get this out of the way? I freaking LOVE Comics February. I wish February was longer. Sure, I can read all the graphic novels I want whenever I want, but you know and I know, it’s not quite the same. I loved seeing all the graphic novels every one else was reading. I
loathed loved adding more to my miles long TBR list. There’s just magic when a bunch of people are reading the same things together at the same time. Hello Readathon!
So, favorite of the month? Did you have to ask me that? I think I’ll go with Will O’ the Wisp as just barely being my favorite GN, followed VERY closely by Saga. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson was mindblowingly mind-blowing. I have to get Forge soon. The Rosie Project was a pleasant surprise; sometimes you just need lighthearted fun and I forget that way too often. Reading The Woman in White again with so many friends was just a delight.
If I had any disappointments, I would say rereading French Milk and the Stone Arch Fairy Tales 2. They were still fun, but paled in comparison to their company.
In February, I wrote a few reviews. Yay me! In case you missed it, I reviewed:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Sure to be a favorite book of the year, if not THE favorite.
Graphic Novel February: the first half - second half coming soon. That second half went FAST.
Will O’ the Wisp by Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchinson - I came, I saw, I gushed. A lot.
Looking ahead to March, you wily month you, there are a lot of things to choose from!
First off, another month of EstellaGram!!!
Then Katie, from Words for Worms, is reading The House Girl by Tara Conklin for her Fellowship of the Worms group. Since Andi and I were already planning to read it after the wedding, this works out perfect!
Kristen is hosting the third annual Diana Wynne Jones month. I try every year, but can never get into one of DWJ’s books. I have a big problem with this, so I’m going to keep on trying because I really feel like DWJ is the author for me. We will work this out DWJ! I have A Tale of Time City, Fire and Hemlock, Howl’s Moving Castle at the ready, plus the two that come after Howl’s Moving Castle. I don’t know what my problem is, but I will break through this wall in my brain!
Other books I hope to get through:
Finish I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Linsday McCabe because it is fuh-reaking awesome and Shotgun Lovesongs of which I am listening to. Also finish Queen & Country by Greg Rucka and finish up the American Vampires that we currently have. I think the last one is out in April, so I’ll be ready for it.
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Y: the Last Man Deluxe Edition 2
and other audios yet to be determined.
I also need a classic to read and I’m leaning toward Middlemarch. There is another book out called My Life in Middlemarch that I’d like to read, but really feel like I can’t until I read the Eliot first.
As usual, I am being overly ambitious, especially considering my big trip in less than two weeks!!! Hopefully Andi will let me do a bit of reading while I’m in Texas, but I doubt it. We’ll be too busy, I’m sure! She’s already threatened me with crafts. Seriously.
What are your big plans for March? What are you excited to get started reading? And how was your February?
Y’all. I am totally butt-crazy in love with my iPad. More so that I ever thought I would be! I LOVE reading on it! And, surprisingly, I am reading more news that ever before, mainly because I found this awesome app called Zite, which gives me all the news I want. By which I mean, the topics I care about, which is as wide and varied as my reading tastes. So, I thought I would share some of the awesomeness I’ve been reading! If it’s fun, maybe I’ll make it a weekly thing!
Is Harriet the Spy the most unlikeable heroine in children’s lit? I think it depends on how you read it. I rather liked her myself, but I can also see where I wouldn’t want my kids taking on some of her more scandalous activities.
Literary Fiction vs. Genre Fiction; what’s the difference? “The main reason for a person to read Genre Fiction is for entertainment, for a riveting story, an escape from reality. Literary Fiction separates itself from Genre because it is not about escaping from reality, instead, it provides a means to better understand the world and delivers real emotional responses” This just burns me up. Genre fiction can provide a means to better understand the world and deliver real emotional responses too. This is why I hate labels. Labels are derogatory and misleading. Snobs.
Best Food Scenes in Movies : I am so watching Julie & Julia tonight because I have it, but I just added a ton of movies to my To Be Watched list.
Nebula Aware Nominees! I think I’ll move Hild up my TBR and add a few. Have you read any of these?
This Epic chart of Young Adult Retellings is EPIC. I saved it to my iPad for future reference because you know I love me some retellings.
That’s all for now! Go forth and have an awesome weekend!
on January 28, 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Buy the Book •
After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.
Fair warning. I really really really really really loved this graphic novel. So expect a fair amount of gushing. I can’t help it. I just can’t help it.
I LOVED IT OKAY?
Don’t judge me.
This is Aurora Grimeon.
This is her grandfather.
Aurora is twelve and has been sent to live with her grandfather on Ossuary Isle after the death of her parents by mushroom poisoning. Lucky for Aurora, she doesn’t like mushrooms and someone sent the antidote before she succumbed as well. Her grandfather is an eccentric man of science (honestly, I never really caught on to what he does exactly, but I didn’t really care. I’ll pick it up in a reread I’m sure.) and keeps a pet raccoon instead of having personal relationships. Estranged from Aurora’s family for years, it’s an unexpected surprise for him to suddenly be raising a twelve year old girl.
Ossuary Isle is firmly entrenched in the South. It is in the deep, deep swamp. It feels very ‘Louisiana,’ with talk of death and tombstones, mausoleums, and Hoodoo magic. As Aurora explores her new surroundings; her grandfather’s ancient mansion full of twists, turns, skeletons, and so many oddities (pay attention to what isn’t said); the foggy island full of graves, and the strange and eccentric residents of the isle, she encounters a mysterious entity known as the wisp. When people start mysteriously disappearing, Aurora takes matters into her own hands. She WILL find out what is going on or…well…die in the trying?
This. Book. Oh my gosh, you guys. This book was pure magic to me. Hoodoo magic! As soon as I held the book in my hands, I knew it was a keeper. It fit perfectly. I was enchanted by the catch on the side, like something secret was lurking inside, waiting for me to crack it open and get lost. And get lost I did. The art is magic. The words are magic. The story is magic. This book! It is SO a book for me. Being from the South, I feel like we have our own particular brand of magic, must like other places in the world like England, Scotland, and Ireland and Africa and the isles. Maybe it’s because so many of South’s ancestors are an amalgamation of these cultures; it just feels so entrenched to me. And all of that in entrenched in this book, explaining my love. I have always loved fairy tales, myths, folklore, and the like and Will O’ the Wisp has all of it in spades. I sincerely hope there will be more books about Aurora Grimeon, or at least more books by this author. This team! I now cannot imagine Tom Hammock’s words without the beautiful artwork by Megan Hutchinson.
There. I have gushed enough. I hope it was sufficient to convince you to give this one a try. Because I want you to. For me. Read this one for me, your old pal Heather. You won’t regret it!!!
Does it ever make you sad to look at a favorite book and realize you will never read it again for the first time? These are ten of the books I wish I could read again for the first time and delight that I can (and will!) read again for the second, third, and on and on times. Heck, I’ve probably read Outlander at least 10 times by now.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I need to reread this one before it DOES become a case of reading for the first time. Because I won’t remember anything.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I loved the way this unfolded. I know
if when I read it again; I’ll know what’s going to happen, as is the case with a lot of my favorite books.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I’ve read this way too many times for it to ever feel like the first time again. And that is still my most favorite title for a book ever.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker – I do not sing Alice Walker’s praises nearly enough. She reads the audiobook for this and it is absolutely stunning.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Like The Knife of Never Letting Go, I’ve read this WAY too many times for there to be
any many surprises. But you never know and this is why we reread children.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman – What a surprise this book was for me, both times I’ve read it. I reread it ten years after I read it the first time and I remembered most of it. Gaiman is such an imaginative author.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I expect there are few who could read this book and not know what’s going to happen, but it should be read despite knowing the story. It’s too important not too.
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – Yep. Read way too many times AND seen the movies. No surprises here. *sigh*
Doll Bones by Holly Black – This book literally changed my parenting. It is SO GOOD.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I mean, I would love the chance to fall in love with Eleanor and Park for the first time again. Just thinking about this makes me want to go reread it. What a wonderful surprise of a book.
What books do you wish you could read again for the first time?
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