Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am reading Zelda Fitzgerald's biography. I have never known much about her, but she is from Montgomery and that is hubby's hometown, so I decided to learn about her. I am only half way though the book and she is already diagnosed with all sorts of mental disorders and has proven to be brilliant, though also insane, selfish, vane and a drunk. One day, I want to have an interesting bio written about my life as a writer... Please, God, don't let it be quite as interesting as Zelda's.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I love Carol Shields. Have I told you that before? A few years ago, one of my girls (my mini-me, Sara) had to read The Stone Diaries for a class. Knowing what a reader I am, she passed the novel onto me, when she was finished. I fell in love. Recently, I snagged a copy of Carol's first novel, Small Ceremonies. I liked it even more than Stone Diaries. So, at the library, I found her second novel, The Box Garden. This one was also brilliant. Finally, thanks to a lovely Bookmooch user in Korea, I was able to get a copy of the last novel Carol published before her death.
I loved this book. From the writing style, which was classic Shields all the way, to the plot of a daughter dropping out of school to beg on a street corner holding a sign that says, simply, "goodness." Seeing the reactions of this family to their child's plight was wonderfully insightful. The reasons we can dream up for why other people behave the way they do, generally, have more to do with why we behave the way WE do, than anything that they might think or feel. We project our own values and issues onto others everyday. This book showed that so clearly, that now I am wondering how often I could avoid misunderstandings with my husband and family if I quit assuming they think and feel and I think and feel.
Everything hinges on this word, unless. It is the answer to the terrible "if." Example...
If Bob were to lose his job, they could not pay their mortgage, UNLESS Jan was able to sale her first novel and use the advance to pay bills.
Unless can save us. Unless is spiritual. Sin entered into the world through man and woman in the garden of Eden and all humanity is sentenced to death, UNLESS God does something to save us...
and He did.
I loved this novel and cannot wait to get my hands on more by Carol Shields.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Remnants: Blog Tour

Remnants is the first book written by Marisa Gary and published by Strongtower Media & Entertainment. Here is a quick interview with the lovely author herself...

What is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write is out on my lanai in the fall with the fan on, my laptop and a cup of coffee. However, I now use a desktop and have my own office in the house, so that’s a good second. I have to be alone when I write. My thoughts come so fast most of the time that I have to concentrate very hard or I will lose where I am going, and that makes me very frustrated. :)

Do you prefer to hand write or to type?

I have to type. I type 10x faster than I write and I can, of course, edit on the fly. The funny thing is, I can’t bring my computer with me to Haiti so I will have to hand write everything. That is going to be a huge challenge.

Do you have a favorite pen or pencil brand/style?

Yes! I love glass blown pens. If there is one thing I would collect, it would be those. I have a few and I love to write with them.

What is your favorite writing memory?

That’s an interesting question, because I haven’t been writing all that long. What I can say though is that when I am done writing, I go back and read what I’ve written for the first time. When I read my devotions, it’s like I’ve never seen them before and I am reading someone else’s work. It’s truly amazing to me. Not only does God give me the words, but He also lets me experience them.

Can we expect future books?

Yes! As a matter of fact, I've started writing my second book already. I hope to call it, "Here I am Lord, Send Me." It will be a devotion for missionaries. I am headed to Haiti in just a few months on a mission trip and am looking forward to see what God has planned for me to write about getting ready, about going and about serving. I'm so excited!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

My friend, Meredith, let me borrow her copy of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. She said it is one of her favorite books. And, since we both seem to love the same type of books (books that simply tell stories) I wanted to read this. I LOVED it. My first impression was "Anne Tyler meets London." Add in a touch of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (which is never a bad thing, in my opinion) and I was sold. I found myself falling absolutely in love with every character I was introduced to. I wanted to go play with these girls in this big house, even in the cold and the snow (and if you know me, you know I hate the cold and the snow).

I give this book 5 million stars.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Are You Happy/Michal

I finished 2 books this week. The first was Are You Happy by Emily Fox Gordon. I found this book on the shelf of a dollar store back when we lived in Brandon, MS. So, it was at least 6 months ago. I am thinking, it was probably last summer. The cover caught my eye, and I don't always obey the cliche not to judge a book by its cover. At least, I sometimes pick books out based soley on the design. I will then read the book before making a judgment call, but I must admit to being attracted to pretty books.

Are You Happy is a memoir, and I enjoyed it very much. I like memoirs, because I like feeling as though I have made a new friend, while reading. Emily and I shared some experiences of teasing in school and bad decision making, etc... I like how she writes.

Finishing that, I picked up Michal by Jill Eileen Smith. I had read a fictional account of the life of Michal, years ago. That book was Queenmaker by India Edghill, and I wasn't in love with it. Queenmaker painted David as a womanizing ego-maniac and Michal as sheer virtuous perfection. This newer account of their life together is much more balanced. Sometimes, the story does seem to side more with one or the other, but mostly you can see a realistic idea of how their relationship might have played out. I like Biblical fiction, because it allows me to slip freely into the stories and think about the characters as real people.

Both books are worth reading.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Choosing Books After Lent

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams was "the chosen one" for my first novel after the no-books-for-Lent experience. I was hooked, pretty much instantly. First of all, it has my favorite kind of heroine - a little girl who uses books to escape her life. In this case, Kyra is trying to escape the compound where she lives, daughter to a man who has 3 wives. Kyra, herself, is betrothed to marry her 60-year-old uncle. Having not actually grown up in the polygamist life, myself, I cannot speak to the accuracy of this novel's account. I can, however, tell you that the author is a good writer. I was drawn into the story and kept waiting for what would happen next.

Moving on from that, I picked up How To Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson. The title intrigued me, so I requested it from the Amazon Vine program. The premise of the book is that the main character, Carley, has no "passion" in her life, at least, academically. And, her parents just can't have this, in their social class and private school mentality. Her father decides to hire an author to live in their house and write a book for/about Carley, in an effort to force her to love reading. I could not get into this book. They whiny rich kids annoyed me.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Complaint Free World

The first book that has tempted me since starting this pleasure reading fast came this morning, at my Disciple study. I am considering trying out the "plan" given by the book, even though I cannot read the book right now.

A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen

In the meantime (And the meantime is God-time, Beth Moore told me today) I am eating my Italian sub and chips without reading a book.