Although I find my time for reading and writing has decreased before winter break, once we are headed toward New Year’s, I expect to dip into many exciting new books and re-visit some old friends too.
On my list for reading and reviewing is Northwest genius Tom Robbins, Tibetan Peach Pie. Jitterbug Perfume is one of my favorite books, and Tibetan Peach Pie is supposed to be a kind of memoir.
I hear that Stephanie Barron has a new Jane Austen mystery called Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas that I’m so eager to read. I’ve got Paris Street Style, a Guide to Effortless Chic and How to Speak Brit on my wish list, as well as nearly any book in the Bas Bleu catalog.
I just picked up a copy of Charles Finch’s The Laws of Murder from the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, where I attended a signing for Rachel Bukey’s Leap of Faith and Waverly Curtis’ The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice. I also picked up a copy of Rat City by Curt Colbert for a fictional trip into Seattle’s Noir past. If you are an anglophile, Charles Finch’s Facebook page is a source of ever-flowing posts of beautiful images of England and reading suggestions.
More for the anglophile includes Love Nina, a nanny writes home by Nina Stibbe, for its lovely peek into a wonderful bookish family and writerly London neighborhood told by the young and funny, fresh from the country, nanny-narrator. This is a book well suited for any English major, for its humor about the books Nina is struggling through while she gets her English degree. I feel like I probably missed out on some of the funniness, because I am a communications major and haven’t slogged through some of the tomes she had to. I am very thrilled to hear that Nick Hornby is working on a movie script for this book.
For living the good life, I whole-heartedly recommend, Jennifer L. Scott’s, Madame Chic at Home. Her ideas can help you see the way to transform your daily life into one that feels like you are rewarding yourself throughout the day. By setting out your coffee cup the night before so that your morning begins with a thoughtful gesture toward yourself, to playing music during the day. There are many tips to making you feel that you aren’t just living life, you are creating a life well-lived. I’m sure the ideas will be especially potent during winter break for me, as I have less time to write, (writing being the thing that makes me feel instantly fulfilled), so I will make a conscious effort to elevate the things I am able to do. This book is also a wonderful gift to yourself for inspiration on how to start the New Year off well. Her excellent website is here.
Speaking of writing, I have been listening to YouTube videos on my phone by Joanna Penn. She has interviewed many interesting people from writers to book publishers and is pleasant and professional to listen to. You can visit her page here. Listening to podcasts/YouTubes are a way to get my writing fix in while doing dishes or driving through traffic. They are a great way to stay connected to the writing energy inside of you. One book I got after listening to Penn’s podcast, was Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland, a well-thought out book on what techniques or approaches in plot and character make the biggest impact on readers and entertainment consumers. This is one for commercial writers who like to plan things out.
On Boxing Day, our writing group is planning to meet and exchange gifts. I hope to hear an excerpt from Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert’s joint project, Waverly Curtis’ holiday e-book, A Chihuahua in Every Stocking set in Seattle and a Northwest town in the mountains.
I remember getting this ornament below as a gift a few writer’s gift exchanges ago and love it hanging on my tree. But the real gift of being connected in groups, blogs! and online is having writers as friends to cheer us along this challenging but rewarding path of the writing life.