Monday, November 19, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
I learned much at the conference. I signed up for a non-fiction critique group July 31, and really scrambled to get 10 pages of my manuscript ready to go. Arriving at the group, the leaders had no idea who I was, and had not received my manuscript! We agreed O could audit the session. It was God's hand! As I listened to the conversation and took notes, I realized, my work is not ready to be critiqued. It needs real reworking. I intend to join the Guild, join the online non-fiction critique group, and submit my manuscript a piece at a time then.
The first day of the conference was informative and interesting. I may have found a niche for myself. I wish we could have stayed longer. We took it as a girl's trip, with my mom, two daughters (we celebrate each girl starting her period by including her on a trip: one more daughter to go), and myself. My eldest daughter and I attended the conference; she is a poet. There was a poetry critique group scheduled, however, my daughter was the only signee. She was rewarded with an hour of one-on-one time with the leader, an established poet. An excellent confidence builder for my girl! But my mom had to be home for another obligation, so we had to leave the second day of the conference. And, although there is ample opportunity for Mass, we didn't get to attend this time. We had a lovely time anyway.
I am now in a fibromyalgia flare because we drove from IN to PA in one day. I can't get my mom to understand my limitations. We did break up the trip back; after 8 hours we found a motel. We were heading to IL and 12 hours driving was a little more than mom could do. So I am in pain and fatigued. Apparently, the conference has been in Schaumburg, IL in the past. Perhaps it will be moved back. Lancaster was difficult to negotiate, we found. Still, a good time.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018
The author describes depression accurately. She also is spot on in her description of a character with Asperger's Syndrome, and what he does to compensate for his differences. I saw the final twist coming, but I am intuitive and at one time made a steady diet of books such as this in my reading life. I still stayed up way too late to read this well-crafted novel.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
During World War II, the Japanese had broken every code the Americans used. The Marines turned to the Navajo recruits to develop and implement a code based on their native language. They created the only unbreakable code in modern warfare and helped assure victory over Japan in the South Pacific. Chester Nez was one of those man who developed the code and used it in battle. This is his story.
The novel covers three days as Yu-jin struggles to recapture what happened that night, and to learn the truth about himself and his family. It's an incredibly bloody novel with a highly unreliable narrator.
Monday, July 9, 2018
July 8, 1879, De Long and 32 men on the USS Jeanette set sail from San Francisco. North of the Bering Strait they were trapped in pack ice, where they remained for two years when the hull was breached, sinking the Jeanette to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. The men found themselves marooned on the ice cap a thousand miles north of Siberia with three open boats and only the barest of supplies. Thus began their march across the frozen sea. Facing various hardships, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they struggled for the Siberian coast.
18 years later, a private detective given the task of solving the mystery of the girl known as "Lylie" is on the verge of giving up and committing suicide when he sees a secret in plain view. Will he live to tell it? And Lylie, a lovely young university student, gives a secret notebook to Marc, the young man who loves her, and disappears. After Marc reads the notebook, he frantically searches for Lylie. But he is not the only one searching for her.
This one had a twist I didn't see coming at all. A thrilling read.
Monday, May 21, 2018
This may just be my favorite of the delightful Flavia de Luce series. And it leaves plenty of room for more books to come. The children and I pass these books around as we get them; they are adult fiction, but no cursing, sex, or gratuitous gore. Flavia is a worthy young heroine, especially for unschooled kids, as most of her learning (and that of her sisters) was achieved on her own. I'm hooked!
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Nearly a century later, the portrait is given to Liv Halston by her husband as a wedding gift shortly before his untimely death. Then a chance encounter reveals it's true worth and a legal battle ensues. Was it looted during the war? Who should pay restitution? And who is the true owner?
Connor is a troublemaker, so his parents want to be rid of him. Risa is an orphan, has no utility for society, and the orphanage wants to free up her bed. Lev is a "tithe", a sacrifice his strict religious family has planned from his birth. All three are slated for unwinding. this is the story of how they try to escape their fate and the challenges and characters they meet on the way. It's a very thought provoking book. What is a "meaningful" life? Where does the soul go after death? Abortion, transplants, adoption (through the unusual practice of "storking"), and other heavy issues. The author is good about just asking the questions without inserting his own solutions, but letting the reader come to conclusions on his/her own. It is rather heavy for a young adult novel, though that seems to be the norm. I have passed this one on to my kids.
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Friday, March 2, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
This is a work of historical fiction and is meticulously researched. As an American born after World War II, at a remove from the events, I found it both heartbreaking and fascinating. It would be hard enough to have your husband serving in harm's way, but to send your children away? Yes, for their safety, yet...? Barrage balloons, blackout curtains, rationing, gas masks, bomb shelters... the rending of families. How does one prepare for and endure this sort of hardship? And there are countries where this sort of hardship is current. May I never forget.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Using Your Personality to Thrive. Informative non-fiction by David B. Goldstein and Otto Kroeger. Goes into the basics of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and how each personality tends to express self in creative works. Which tendency is strongest in each type (for instance, as an INFP, feeling is my strongest function; I should try to share my intuition instead.) Tells each type's least developed function (thinking, for me; go figure) and how to strengthen that function. How to interpret what critics say is included, as well as how each type can best overcome creative blocks. This book is so packed, actually, that I got bogged down. I was trying to take notes... it took me about a month to get through. Well worth it if you're at all interested in personality tools.
Autistic Detective Jonathan Roper Reveals a Dark Conspiracy in a Gripping Thriller. This is an independently published work of fiction by Michael Leese. It was one of the freebies on my Kindle, and I decided to read it because of the premise: an autistic detective. The book is well done, and the character of Jonathan Roper seems spot on as someone with high functioning autism. Chief inspector Brian Hooley is given the task of discovering what happened to Sir James Taylor, a highly regarded billionaire/philanthropist who went missing six weeks prior to his torso being found in an abandoned warehouse. He calls on the special investigative skills of Jonathan Roper, who has been on administrative leave since his challenges almost ruined his last investigation. Together, Hooley and Roper solve this case that puts Roper in personal danger.