WWW Wednesday, 14-April-2021

14 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


PunjabiCurrently reading: A slow week on Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono but with a few upcoming doctors appointments, I might make more progress. TBD.
I’ve made a lot of progress with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. I’m really liking Aza’s story and this is a good reading level for me in Spanish. I’ll stick with it as much as I can and hope to finish soon.
Unfortunately still waiting on The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Not commuting has really cut down on my listening time this past year.
I’ve started another book club pick already, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. Not very far into this one yet but I’m hoping it will go quickly so I can get back to Piracy!

OverstoryRecently finished: I made a huge push on Sunday to finish The Overstory by Richard Powers in time for my book club meeting on Monday. Finally! This book was not for me by any means. I really disliked the characters and the length was a big turn off. A lot of the characters could have been cut to save on the length and I don’t think there would have been a negative impact. I felt like I was being lectured and it was a big turn off. I’m giving it Two out of Five Stars. I’ll have a review and book club reflection up next week.

RecursionReading next: My reading buddy and I decided on Recursion by Blake Crouch as our next book. I recommended this mostly because we were looking for a paperback option and I’d loved Dark Matter so much. I hope she likes it! We haven’t done SciFi yet (though we touched on fantasy) so this is new territory.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Author Event with Jenny Lawson and Neil Gaiman

12 Apr

PXL_20210411_223303171I got myself a birthday present a while back and bought a digital ticket to an event with my local indie, Literati Bookstore. They had an amazing event where Jenny Lawson was going to be in conversation about her new book, Broken (in the best possible way). I adore Lawson and have read her other two books, Lets Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy. My copy of Furiously is even personally signed, a very thoughtful gift from my brother who got to meet her at a store near his old apartment in Ohio. So hearing she had a new book was a delight. The event ticket came with a signed copy shipped to my house. It’s not personalized, but I’m still excited.

I was even more excited when I heard who was going to be conversing with her: NEIL GAIMAN! Yes, THE Neil Gaiman. Now, I’m not going to pretend to be the biggest Gaiman fan, but I’ve enjoyed a few of this books and recently watched the adaptation of Good Omens so he’s very top of mind for me. I read Good Omens in high school and since having this blog I’ve read The Ocean at the End of the Lane (and book club reflection). So the two together? This was well worth the price of admission.

imageimage (1)

A lot of the conversation focused on the relationship the two share. Gaiman was aware of Lawson when she was blogging heavily and was known as The Bloggess and the content she put there. This is the source of her first book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. Gaiman was blogging as well, using it as a ‘finger exercise’ before he got down to writing his fiction. He’s become aware of her because she’d blogged two lists, one a list of men you’re supposed to want to have sex with, and another of weird guys you’re not supposed to want to have sex with but do anyway. Gaiman appeared on the second list. He says it was the most flattering backhanded compliment he’s gotten. When Lawson was recording the audiobook for her first book, she was really nervous and texted Gaiman, asking for advice. He told her to ‘Pretend you’re good at it.’ If you’ve listened to her audiobooks, you know she kills it and this advise totally worked. She had the phrase written on her forearm for the virtual event and says she does this regularly for events. Often, someone in the signing line will cross out ‘Pretend.’ Gaiman is known well for this line and says often he’ll have someone ask him to write it on a part of their body at a signing which the person will then go get tattooed in his handwriting. One of the more mind-blowing things they talked about was that Neil will often email Jenny some writing in process and she was able to read a draft of The Ocean at the End of the Lane because he thought she’d like it (she did).

Lawson was asked about how she can write about her mental illness in such a lighthearted and funny way. She said that when something happens to her, she’ll begin to write about it, but she often has to wait until she’s away from a place of depression and anxiety before she can finish writing it.

Gaiman and Lawson’s favorite question was from an 11-year old fan who asked, “Who is your 2nd favorite Muppet?” Both agreed that Gonzo was their first favorite and that it was one of their favorite questions.

My husband could hear me laughing a floor away during this amazing event. Please consider checking out Literati no matter where you live. Their virtual events are open to all and they ship to all 50 US States.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 7-April-2021

7 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


mil vecesCurrently reading: Not much on Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono this week. I was away on my Babymoon (best. idea. ever) with my husband and limiting screen time in favor of some print reading. I’m sure I’ll be back to it soon.
I’ve returned to Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green! With most of my Spanish reads, this will be a bit slow but YA seems to help a lot so I’m optimistic about making it through in a reasonable time.
Still waiting with The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Hopefully soon.
I can’t wait to finish The Overstory by Richard Powers. I’m getting down to the end of it and it will feel so good when I’m done, but I’m just waiting for the end now.

Better

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Expecting Better by Emily Oster late last week! Felt great to finish another book so quickly and I’m really glad I read this one. My review posted yesterday if you want to check it out! It seems a lot of my friends with young kids or who are also pregnant have read this one. I might have even stumbled upon a pregnancy I didn’t know about because of a Goodreads review! I feel like a detective.

Reading next: I’m still debating this one. My reading buddy and I might pick up again soon since we’ve got a lot of momentum. I might need to pick up a book club read. Or I might need an English book to grab when my brain is too fried for Spanish. So I’ll leave this blank one more week to let my life settle and see where I need to go.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Book Review: Expecting Better by Emily Oster (4/5)

6 Apr

When we found out I was pregnant, my husband very sweetly ordered me a copy of this book. He knows I’m an anxious person and didn’t want to get me a pregnancy book that detailed all the horrible things that could happen when you’re pregnant. Instead, he focused on a realistic, data-based information and that’s exactly what Oster delivers. It’s even better that she has a sense of humor about it.

Better

Cover image via Amazon

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster

Summary from Amazon:

Pregnancy—unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood—can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. Pregnant women are told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee without ever being told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are similarly unexplained. Moms-to-be desperately want a resource that empowers them to make their own right choices.

When award-winning economist Emily Oster was a mom-to-be herself, she evaluated the data behind the accepted rules of pregnancy, and discovered that most are often misguided and some are just flat-out wrong. Debunking myths and explaining everything from the real effects of caffeine to the surprising dangers of gardening, Expecting Better is the book for every pregnant woman who wants to enjoy a healthy and relaxed pregnancy—and the occasional glass of wine.

This book was refreshing. It’s great to hear that a lot of the ‘rules’ of pregnancy, while founded, are a bit overdramatic. I’d been avoiding even a sip of beer and longing for a Jersey Mike’s sandwich for the past five months and it was refreshing to learn why I’d been told to avoid these things. Oster is a very intelligent woman (I get why she didn’t put Dr. on the cover, but PhD would have been founded!). Her knowledge of medical research and ability to read into it helped me make some decisions about how I’d behave during my pregnancy that I feel a lot more comfortable with. I check the mercury levels of a fish before I order it, but I also demand a sip of my husband’s wine while we’re visiting Michigan wine country.

Oster bases her book on her first pregnancy with her daughter. She takes you through the decisions she and her husband were faced with at each step and it was easy for me to follow along. I’m in my second trimester and had all the memories of conception and first trimester, while sharing her fears of third trimester and labor. She’s highly relatable and her audience can easily find themselves saying “Yes, exactly!” while reading. She portrayed herself in a favorable yet relatable light that was fun to read.

Oster

Emily Oster Image via the author’s website

I enjoyed her deep dive into food restrictions, which is something I’ve struggled with. I’ve reduced my caffeine intake, but there’s some nights that baby kicking keeps me up and I need that second cup of tea. I’m worried about hurting baby! But reading her research and understanding where limits are made me feel a lot better. The same goes for the occasional sip of wine (I’m writing this from the hotel of my Babymoon in Michigan wine country) though I avoid a whole glass as Oster prefers. Undercooked eggs are a favorite of mine (over easy is the BEST) so understanding the risks of having an over easy egg were great, rather than avoiding them completely. I feel good about having one now that I’m in my second trimester, though I probably would have avoided it earlier on in pregnancy!

The section on weight gain was difficult for me to read. I’ve always been hard on myself about my weight and I ditched scales completely about four years ago because they were creating an unhealthy obsession. I’ve finally gotten to a good place and have felt good about my weight and body image. Then came pregnancy where I’m weighed all the time and people have judgements to make about how much weight I’ve gained. It’s very stressful for me and Oster’s section increased that stress level. I’m not looking forward to my doctor’s opinions on my weight gain or lack there of. I eat when I’m hungry and I can tell when Baby started to need more food so I feed them. I’m staying as active as I can and have been eating healthy. If that’s not enough, so be it. I liked the conclusion Oster eventually came to, but the process stressed me out!

Oster wanted to take control of her pregnancy and I really enjoyed hearing about how she did that. I think the ‘rules’ she researched were ones that a lot of woman accept without question and I was glad to learn the reasons why. Some of them are blanketly applied unnecessarily and it was helpful to understand why these rules exited and how they would apply specifically to me and my pregnancy.

Writer’s Takeaway: Using her personal experience made this book very relatable. If Oster had not used anecdotal experience or followed her own questions and decisions about pregnancy, it would have come off as a cold list of facts about pregnancy myths instead of an intimate story that read like a memoir at times. She connected well with her audience.

This was a great book to read during pregnancy and helped me understand the wisdom and folly of pregnancy rules that I should follow. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts: 
Emily Oster’s new book “Expecting Better” challenged by FASD experts | CanFASD 
Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and What You Really Need to Know | Ready Mommy’s Book Reviews 
Expecting Better- By Emily Oster | Rambling Writer 
Expecting Better | MeReader 

Challenge Update, March 2021

1 Apr

I have so many books going at once right now that it’s hard to feel like I made any progress this month. Two ain’t bad, but I’m hoping for a windfall in April to make me feel better about it all. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Two physical books! What a change from other months. And I’m caught up on reviews. I’m almost proud. I just wish that list was longer.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
Nothing new this month, but I’m not concerned. Being half way through a challenge after a quarter of the year has passed is pretty good and I’ll take it.

Goodreads Challenge

8/45
Hm. I’m now two books behind schedule. I’m not a fan of this, I’ll be honest. Between not running and being at home a lot due to an injury, I’m not getting in a lot of audiobook time, which is usually my fastest read. It doesn’t help that my current audiobook is 22 hours. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about finishing some other books here in the near future.

HalfBook of the Month

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was just brilliant and I’d be remiss not to include it as my Book of the Month. My reading buddy and I loved this one and we met much more often than we ever have before, even with the craziness of life getting in our way at times.

Added to my TBR

I’m down a bit to 38, and nothing new added this month! I’ll be adding a few in the near future so I know that won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 31-March-2021 (My Birthday!)

31 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Lateral

It’s my birthday! I hope to find some time to read more today (and eat cake).

Currently reading: I got through a chapter or two of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono while waiting at my doctor’s office this week. It was great to get through a chunk of it. I think I’m getting close to the end but the page count is making me think I’m only half way done. I think there’s a lot of images toward the end that will go quickly.
Still nothing with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green but I think I’ll be back to it soon!
I can’t wait to get back to The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I need a fun read and I’m sure this will be one!
The Overstory by Richard Powers is starting to feel like a bit of a slough. It’s well written, but it’s a bit preachy and really long. I’ll be happy when I’m done with it, honestly.
I’ve made good progress Expecting Better by Emily Oster and really enjoying it. I love the research Oster did about conventional pregnancy rules and myths and how well she explains what she’s found. It’s helping me feel more comfortable with my pregnancy and making decisions about it.

HalfRecently finished: I flew through The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett after my last meeting with my reading buddy. We were both chomping at the bit to get through it! Great read and I was able to post my review on Monday. I gave the book a full Five out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I’m going to leave this blank one more week and give myself time to catch up on the double-duty reading I’m doing before I think about what could be next for me.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (5/5)

29 Mar

I’m not sure how my reading buddy and I are so consistently lucky to find amazing books. We found a real gem with this one. I shouldn’t be so surprised with the press this one has gathered and that it was the top seller of 2020 at my local bookstore. What an engrossing read.

Half

Cover image via Amazon

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Summary from Amazon:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

The characters Bennett created in this one are really remarkable and made me fall in love with the book early. It’s tough to decide how you feel about Desiree or Jude from the beginning, but I loved Early almost immediately. Then you learn about Jude as an adult and her amazing relationship with Reece and by then, I was head over heels with these people. I’m never sure how I feel about Stella and Desiree but the supporting characters were easy enough to love that you wanted to keep reading about everyone. The story became a lot less about Desiree by the end and I didn’t even mind.

The characters in this book felt very real to me. Especially Desiree and Jude. I felt that the struggles they had were very grounded in the reality I’m familiar with. The things Reece and Stella went through were a little more niche but the story was told in such a way that you cared and sympathized with them. I thought it was really incredible what Bennett was able to do with this story and a situation that seems so otherworldly at times. I really applaud her storytelling skills.

Reece ended up being my favorite character. He was so loving and devoted to Jude that it broke my heart. I think his struggle to love himself was one of the best arcs of the novel and I loved how he let Jude in and let her help him in the end. I was always rooting for them and when I thought things weren’t going to work out, I was devastated. I think Reece was a great character to parallel Stella and talk about a chosen identity in another way that worked well.

I found myself relating best to Jude. Maybe it’s because I feel like I knew Kennedy growing up, or because I went off to college on my own or because she was a determined woman. She was a great character and I liked her arc of finding a place she fit in and learning to love who she is no matter what others think of her skin. Her relationship with Barry was great and I think a big part of how she came to be as confident as she was.

Bennett

Brit Bennett Image via Wikipedia

Jude’s time in California was my favorite. I liked how she developed relationships with Reece and Barry while she was in school. How hard she worked to balance school, track, and job was amazing and I respected her so much and fully believed she’d crush med school with that work ethic.

Stella’s story was a bit hard to read at times. You want to feel bad for her because she’s clearly depressed, but something held me back from sympathizing with her. I think it was because I felt like she abandoned her family and I didn’t understand how a person could do that. I also didn’t understand how she could bite her tongue and lie to Kennedy the way she did. It started to upset me by the end.

So much of Stella and Desiree’s lives hinged on how they were perceived. This started to branch out to the people around them. Jude was viewed unfavorably by her classmates because her skin was dark. Kennedy and Reece struggled with how they saw themselves and it affected relationships they had for much of their lives. There were a lot of parallels in this book. Most obvious was Stella and Desiree but Reece and Stella were very similar. Early and Jude had a lot in common as well.

Writer’s Takeaway: Bennett didn’t hesitate to write about things that can be hard to talk about. She wrote about race, gender identity, and abuse without holding back. As a white woman, this book helped me empathize and realize the choices some people make to change how I perceive them and how influential that can be. I think hearing more stores from people who have different experiences than me helps me realize what can and should change in our world.

This book really took me for a ride and I enjoyed it a lot. Five out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | The Geeky Bibliophile
The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett | A Bookish Type
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Of Books and Reading

WWW Wednesday, 24-March-2021

24 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Not much with Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono this week. Swimming’s been put on hold because of a pregnancy complication that will hopefully resolve soon and will let me get back in the water. Fingers crossed!
Paused with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. Hang on.
Regrettably also on hold with The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I wanted to get back to this sooner but my book club audiobook is taking a lot longer than anticipated. Grumble grumble.
The aforementioned book club pick is The Overstory by Richard Powers. This book is epically long and I feel like my baby might be born before I finish this book. (Seeing as I’m only at 20 weeks, this is still a possibility.)
I’m loving and rushing throubh The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett with my reading buddy. We met over the weekend to discuss the first half and I’m already closing in on our next chunk. I had a lot of rest time this weekend to read and it helped me get ahead a bit.
I started Expecting Better by Emily Oster and it’s going faster than I thought which is a welcome surprise. Oster is very funny and clearly well researched which is making for a fun read. I’m not as nervous about trying a sip of my husband’s beers on our upcoming babymoon now!

Recently finished: With all the books I’m in the middle of, it should be no surprise I haven’t finished anything. I’d be ecstatic to finish anything this next week but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Reading next: I’ll try to finish something before I make any plans for the future. That all seems too far away at this point.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 17-March-2021

17 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I got through another chapter of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono on an unlucky Friday morning when I had to wait fifteen minutes for a lane. Oh well, there was an upside so it’s all fine.
An even longer pause on Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green is coming. Stay tuned.
Also on hold with The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee but I’m really hoping to return to it soon because I was really enjoying it.
I’m still working on The Overstory by Richard Powers and I feel like I will be forever. This is taking a long time to get into so I’m slogging a bit. I hope it turns around soon and I can push forward.
I’m focusing on The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett just now, hoping to get to the next stopping point that my Reading Buddy and I have agreed on. I’m enjoying this, though it took a turn different from what I expected. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Recently finished: I finally wrapped up Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson! The review went up yesterday so you can all see my thoughts. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars. Parts of it were amazing, Five Star territory, but there were some elements that dragged a bit and brought it down for me. You can’t win them all.

Reading next: I still think I’ll grab Expecting Better by Emily Oster before I return to Green. It’s a good time to be reading this and Green can wait until after baby arrives and still be relevant.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Book Review: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson (3/5)

16 Mar

After having so much success with Writing Fiction for Dummies, I wanted to see what other knowledge I could flush out of the series and kept this Dummies book on my radar. I’m glad I did because there was some good insight here into how the YA market is different. Halverson also focuses on some other parts of the life of a writer that Ingermanson and Economy didn’t touch upon which I found helpful.

Cover image via Amazon

Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson

Summary from Amazon:

With young adult book sales rising, and bestselling authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer exploding onto the scene, aspiring YA writers are more numerous than ever. Are you interested in writing a young adult novel, but aren’t sure how to fit the style that appeals to young readers?

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies gives you tricks of the trade and proven tips on all the steps to write a YA book, from developing an idea to publication.

  • Unique writing exercises to help you find your own authentic teen voice
  • Tips to avoid when submitting manuscripts
  • How to break into the flourishing young adult market

With the help of this step-by-step guide, you’ll have all the skills to write an inspiring and marketable young adult novel.

Some of this book was great and really helpful while others seemed to be a bit too much of a personal experience to be really helpful. Halverson’s opening chapters about finding motivation and time to write were very generic. I would have appreciated them more if this had been my first book on writing and not my third. I was really looking for YA-specific advice and this wasn’t filling that need. When she started talking about MG and YA differences and how to get past a gatekeeper, I was intrigued. Halverson gives a lot of solid advice about the submission process as well which I don’t remember other books giving as much detail about and I appreciated that.

Deborah Halverson
Image via LinkedIn

Halverson had some good advice about things to add or exclude from a YA novel to help not only appeal to young adults but to be a book that adults will want young adults to read. I don’t remember hearing a lot of advice with this bend before and I liked it. For example, don’t avoid romance but don’t include anything sexually graphic. While teens might be intrigued, no librarian is going to hand a fifteen-year-old a book with that content. She breaks down the YA market into understandable age groups as well and will talk about when different topics are more or less appropriate.

Halverson’s advice on the process of writing seemed very vague and personal at the same time. She had descriptions of what worked for her and how she finished her novels. However, she was also somewhat vague about the process of outlining, how to do revisions and character motivations. I might be making unfair comparisons because Ingermanson and Economy did this so well that anything else was doomed to feel like it fell short.

Halverson is a professional writer and her advice is for those looking to make writing a full-time job. I’m not sure that’s for me, but she does give some good time management and work-life balance advice. I think one of my latent fears of publishing is that I won’t have time to do it justice. But that seems like a fear to realize a long way off, not something to stop me from trying.

Writer’s Takeaway: This book has inspired me to start some revisions for my WIP and I’m excited to share that I have started another round of revisions. Many readers have said that my male protagonist was strong but the female needed a bit better motivation at the beginning. Let’s see what motivation and advice from Halverson can do to get me pushing forward.

A helpful book, but some parts were more helpful than others. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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