Archive | January, 2014

Challenge Update, January

31 Jan

I’ve decided that on the last day of the month I will update you as to how my challenges are going. You can check out my reading challenges any time on my challenge page.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

3/13
This is my own challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. I love looking at my timeline but it does show a big gap of time periods that I have yet to fill in! Of the five books I’m reading now, one will fulfill another time period. I’ve got some work to do.

Where Are You Reading? Challenge

2/50 (+2)
Hosted by Sheila. In the challenge to read a book from every state, I’m at an abysmal 2. The only silver lining is that I’ve hit two foreign countries. Of the books I’m reading now I can add three states and one more foreign country. I guess that’s better future progress than my other challenge!

Goodreads Challenge

4/35
I’m 2 ahead of schedule! I like this pace and I’ll try to keep ahead for a while. 35 might seem low compared to my 71 last year, but I’m taking on some more hefty books this year, like Outlander and Pillars of the Earth. Lower number, still a high number of pages. I’m in the middle of five books now so that would put me at nine when I finish them!

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re not too far of pace just yet! If you want any more information about the challenges I’m doing or you’d like to join me, leave a comment and check out the links.

Until next time, write on.

Writing Stall: A Post-NaNo Funk

30 Jan

This is hard for me to admit, but I’ve written less than 1,000 words since the end of November. Just to put it in perspective, I wrote over 52,000 words in 20 days and then stopped dead. I’ve tried a short story, but there’s nothing.

This isn’t to say I haven’t edited. I’ve worked on edits my girlfriends have given me to my YA novel, but I haven’t added scenes, I’ve rearranged paragraphs and written transitions. I’ve been blogging here daily, but not adding a thing to my WIPs.

I admit this is a short post and I guess I’m trying to convince myself that a short post here will mean I have more time to write. I’ve run into this before that writing blog posts on the weekend has eaten into my creative writing time, but it’s not a solid excuse (if there’s such a thing).

Fellow writers, what do you do to kick yourself in the butt and get writing after a hiatus? What tricks are there to get my creative juices flowing? I look forward to your advice!

Until next time, write on.

Novel Girls: Parallels and Contractions

29 Jan

I love when we have a Novel Girls night and all four of us can make it. It’s kind of the best thing ever. If you haven’t yet, please go check out Nicole and Sonia‘s blogs. They are both amazing. When Katherine gets a blog, I’ll link there right away.

We read Katherine’s piece first and she had dropped subtle hints to a popular piece of popular literature. I love how Katherine generally ties in fairy tales and magic to her stories and this was no exception as the piece she’d alluded to contains both. The question this sparks in me is if parallelism and references to a popular piece of literature helps or hurts the story. (Note- I’m not sure Katherine is doing this, it just made me think of it.) I remember a book I liked when I was young called Scribbler of Dreams. The plot summary compares the book to Romeo and Juliet. But that didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less or more. In some sense, I knew what was going to happen because of the parallel, but I was still surprised at every turn. Do you enjoy a piece less if it’s a spin-off, parallel, some other relation to a piece of well-known literature? Does knowing something is a spin-off of another work make you want to read it more? I’m personally a fan of spin-offs, such as Wicked.

This is more of a general question to you, Reader. We were wondering if someone had ever written something from a first person perspective, reflecting on them self and another as ‘they.’ Almost like an our-of-body experience watching yourself. Has anyone ever heard of this?

Katherine had a great way to relate when a paragraph break comes in when doing dialogue. We all know to switch paragraphs when we have two people talking (if you didn’t, you’re welcome) but knowing where the ‘he shrugged’ and ‘her eyes opened wide’ pieces of writing belong is something I’ve never had a clear rule about. Katherine’s mantra is ‘When the camera shifts.’ When the description applies to the first person to talk, keep it in the first paragraph. As soon as the description moves to the second person, switch paragraphs. I love this rule!

Our final point of discussion is something I’ve never known when to use. When should you use contractions in dialogue and when should you not? I’ve had it as a general rule that the non-dialogue parts of a story should be contraction free, but then what about when people are talking? I tend to say things out-loud to myself to see if they sound weird as contractions or to see how I would say a given sentence. Does anyone have a rule for when to use contractions in dialogue? Does it have to do with the education level of the speaker? Does age and time period play a factor? Please leave me with your thoughts!

I love hearing from you so please leave a comment! Until next time, write on.

Magazine Gold: Jan and Feb

28 Jan

A few months ago, I won a giveaway on Gus Sanchez’s blog where I was rewarded with a free one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine. My idea is to give you, my wonderful readers, some snippets that I found most interesting from every issue. The magazine was really interesting and a great read. If you’ve ever considered a subscription, I encourage you to do it!

Some articles can be found on PW’s website.

Writing the Sex Scene by Beth Ann Fennelly. I was intrigued by this article because of its author, Fennelly, whose book The Tilted World I read a few months ago. It was in this article that I heard about the Bad Sex in Fiction Award that I posted about yesterday. Fennelly muses over the lack of a good medium between badly written passionate sex and good writing about a lack of sex.

Agents & Editors: David Gernet. Gernet offers a great amount of advice from his variety of roles in the publishing world. One thing he said that struck me the most was this: “An e-book often takes sales away from a hardcover edition when a book is first published, and the author makes less money from the e-book than from the hardcover.” This shocked me! How unfair is that to an author? Why would it matter how the book sold at all, the author should collect royalties for it anyway! Rude.

PW offers a Lit Mag database.

Magazines accepting submissions with little to no fee: Dash Literary Journal, Main Street Rag, Apple Valley Review, Kansas City Voices, The Evening Street Review, Mount Hope Magazine, Steam Ticket, and The Chattahoochee Review.

How to Make a Life, Maybe Even a Living. I might be biased toward this article, but I still loved it. Nestled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a new book store, Literati. Yes, I’ve been there with Nicole once. And of course, the store is awesome. I learned from the article that Ann Arbor is the birthplace of Borders and Literati bought the bookshelves from the closed Borders in town. Full circle! Their location was also the campaign offices for Michigan’s current governor, Rick Snyder (who is pretty  awesome in my opinion). If you’re ever fortunate enough to be in Ann Arbor and can make a stop at Literati, be sure to check out the manual type writer in the basement. The owners sometimes save what was written that day.

Writing Contests with little to no fee: Chicago Tribune, Sixfold, and The Southeast Review.

Anyone else who’s local to the Ann Arbor area might like to know about two presses in the area, Sleeping Bear Press in Ann Arbor and Eerdmans Books for Young Readers in Grand Rapids, MI.

I hope this information was helpful to you all. I’ll be looking through for some submission material soon myself.

Until next time, write on.

There is a Library Hotel in NYC. I want to go!

The Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Awards

27 Jan

I found out about these awards reading an article in a magazine which I will post about soon. Did anyone else know that this is a thing? I think it’s hilarious and if you have time, please scourge the internet looking for clips from the latest and past winners.

The award has been handed out annually since 1993. It’s purpose is “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.” Perfect!

I’ve never read a book by any of the winners (thankfully?) but I can only imagine this award does boost their sales. You can view a list here.

Reader, have you ever read any of these books? Was the description really as cringe worthy as the award implies?  Let me know!

Until next time, write on.

Tips on Writing for a YA Audience (Article)

24 Jan

I was running through my head about what I should post today and I realized I haven’t done an article in a while. I popped over to Writer’s Digest and instantly found a great article.

The manuscript I’m in the process of editing is for a Young Adult audience. I started the book when I was a young adult (14) and now that I’m no longer in this age group (23), it’s sometimes hard to think like one. This article, titled Writing for the Young Adult Audience, had some really good advice for how to jump back into my 14-year-old head.

  1. Everything is big and important when you’re a teenager. That boyfriend who just dumped you? First break-up. That fight you had with a friend you’ve known since Kindergarten? First real loss of a friend. First test you failed? Your chance at college is ruined forever. Chose to play the cello over the piano? It’s a stigma you will carry the rest of your life. I remember what this felt like and looking back it seems silly. But in that moment, it was a life or death situation.
  2. Romantic Relationships are huge. They define some people socially and can make and break friendships. Do you remember how mad you were when that girl you were friends with liked the same boy you did and he picked her? I do. It’s something that’s on the mind of a lot of teen readers (especially the girls I’m writing for) so including it is a must for popular fiction (check!).
  3. They’ve realized the dark side of life. It’s about freshman year of high school that someone in school will start using drugs or start cutting or have a bad sexual experience. Around this time, teens stop seeing the world through rose-colored glasses and the darkness of reality will start to set in. The article’s author implies that the popularity of dystopian future books is due to teens wanting to relate to a world as packed with war and economic crisis as our own.
  4. Bring theme to the forefront. Give the readers a theme the interact with and let them see the characters play with it, too. Bring it forward in dialogue and the resolution of the story.

The article’s really great and helped me think about what a reader will want from my book. I recommend it.

Reader, let me know what you think. How do you get into the head of your target audience? What are some things you incorporate to engage your reader?

Until next time, write on.

Book Review: The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch (4/5)

23 Jan

I haven’t done a First Reads Book Review for a while so I’m excited to do this again. I won a copy of The Last Enchantments from the Goodreads First Reads program.

This book counts as Foreign Country: England (UK) for my Where Are You Reading? Challenge and as 1990-Present for my When Are You Reading? Challenge. This is book number 4 on my way to my Goodreads Challenge of 35 books. You can view my Challenges page to learn more.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch.

Will has decided to leave his life and girlfriend in New York to do a year-long study at Oxford. He’s leaving behind not only his girlfriend, Alison, but his budding career in politics after John Kerry lost the 2004 election. He meets his roommates, Tom and Anil, and numerous new friends including Ella, Anneliese, and the ephemeral Sophie. Soon after his arrival, Will is unfaithful to Alison, going home with a girl from the bar. He feels guilty, but doesn’t come clean to Alison. It’s only when he has a romantic moment with Sophie and admits that he likes her that Will finally takes a break with Alison. He tells her that for them to be able to have a clean break, they should remain chaste for a few months, just to make sure there’s no jealousy or rebounds. Alison complies and we wouldn’t have a story if Will didn’t sleep around.

He bounces from girl to girl, thinking of futures with Sophie and Alison both. Having lost the guidance Alison provided, Will is unsure what to do after his year at Oxford. He accepts two jobs, one in Ohio and one in London and is not quite sure where he should end up. All of his friends around him are making plans for the next year and falling in love and Will seems to be floating between worlds.

Rating this book was hard for me. It was a very compelling read and I found it hard to put it down. At the same time, I hated most of the characters. Tom was arrogant, Sophie was a tease, Alison was clingy, and Will couldn’t make a decision to save his life. I felt like throwing the book across the room when I finished it and I would have if my husband hasn’t been asleep. I wanted to give it three right away, but having such a strong emotion about a book means that its worthy of one more than I think.

The book left me very thankful of the life I have. I’m about the same age as the main character, Will, but am much more settled and happy with myself. Will seemed very lost and jumped around looking for meaning and acceptance in everything that passed him by. He seemed much younger than he was because of this.

A lot of Will’s time at Oxford was focused on his romantic endeavors. He was dating Alison and then Jess and then Sophie and then no one etc. Ultimately, he found that his romantic partners didn’t define him. He tried different jobs that didn’t interest him either. Eventually, he was able to return to what he loved, politics, back in the US and there wasn’t a single romantic tie to hold him to what he wanted. I think the author was trying to encourage us to be on our own and be ourselves when we’re young, because there’s really no better time to do what you love.

A reoccurring theme I saw was trying to find where you belong. Will isn’t British but finds a niche for himself at Oxford where he can catch on to the traditions and lingo quickly. Then he realizes that he’s not comfortable outside of Oxford when he visits London and sees people who don’t go to the University with him. When he goes home to see his mother, I think he finally felt at home for the first time and realized that he wasn’t finding a place he belonged but rather was running away from a home that had disappointed him. I’m glad he finally went back home. I’ve heard it said that if you live someone for five years, going back to where you lived before is difficult because it’s no longer your home. I don’t think Will really wanted to be British.

I can’t recall another book that this reminds me of, but it makes me think of author Ursula Hegi who wrote Stones from the River. She had lived in Germany for so long that she felt German instead of American. I think her books reflect her deep love and understanding of the German people.

Writer’s Takeaway: A minor thing, but I found a few capitalization errors in this book that really distracted me from the text. When sending out ARCs, it’s good to check this first.

This book kept moving forward, which I really liked. It was character driven, which I’m not a huge fan of and the lack of a central plot action disappointed me a bit. While I was frustrated and mad at the characters, I didn’t care about them. Will could have ended up eaten by bears and Sophie sold into sexual slavery and I think I would have been just as frustrated. The character’s decisions were so sporadic and spur of the moment that I was frustrated. Will said twice that he made major decisions without really explaining why or what had triggered his sudden decision to make them. I found that really frustrating.

Overall a compelling and interesting read. I’m not sure I would recommend it but it was interesting nonetheless. Four out of five stars.

Until next time, Reader, write on.

Related Post:
Book Review: “The Last Enchantments” by Charles Finch (ARC)|Scribbles and Wanderlust

Book Club Discussion: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

22 Jan

My book club met last Monday to go over Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. It seemed like it had been forever since I listened to the audiobook and I found myself a little lost during the discussion. Luckily not all of the other participants felt the same way and we had a great discussion!

I’ll start off with Bradbury himself. A newcomer to our group was very well informed about him because of some research she’d done before coming (thank you!). Bradbury couldn’t afford college after high school and instead of being taught to write by a teacher, he taught himself by going to the library three times a week and reading as much as he could. (As a side note, I love stories like this that can make me turn my nose up at all the MFA ads I see in writers’ magazines. Ha!)

The Martian Chronicles was originally published as short stories and eventually, Bradbury wanted to publish them as a collection of short stories. He was living in LA at the time and he thought the collection would do well. His problem was that his scene was limited to those he knew on the West Coast and when he took the manuscript to a publisher in New York, the publisher was skeptical. He was told that no one wanted to read short stories and the publisher said that though the writing was good, it couldn’t be published as written. Not one to be discouraged, Bradbury spent the night writing segues and connecting the stories into a more fluid narrative line and went back the next day. He must have impressed the publisher! (Please note that my one-page Google search is not confirming this. I apologize if it’s wrong.)

Our moderator asked us to talk about our feelings on Science Fiction and this book before we started. Personally, I’ve never thought to myself “I’m reading Science Fiction” when I pick up a book but as people talked I realized that some of the SciFi titles they were mentioning were books I’d liked. I guess I’d always considered myself more on the Fantasy end of the SciFi/Fantasy genre. We talked about how there is a wide range of SciFi that goes from humanistic to techie. This was more on the humanistic side because it really didn’t delve too much into scientific inventions of the future. (I think this is what I prefer.) The only issue we raised is that it seemed unrealistic that they could import so much building material to Mars in rockets. Then again, it seems rather farfetched that there are people living in Mars to touché Mr. Bradbury.

The book was originally published in 1950, which is really important to consider for a few historical reasons. First, space exploration was in its early stages. Sputnik would not be launched for another 7 years and Neil Armstrong wouldn’t walk in the moon for nearly 20. However, Mars was known to have had canals of water in its history. These canals play a really prominent role in Bradbury’s book.

As the stories were written for magazines before publication, one knows that they were most likely written in the mid to late 40s, at the tail end of and following World War II. The end of the book involves a huge (presumably) nuclear attack in which the planet is destroyed and all life exterminated. We related this to guilt that Bradbury felt for the atomic attacks on Japan. At that time, many people felt the end of the world was all around them because there was war on most continents and civilian deaths were high. One of our participants mentioned that many of the women must have felt vulnerable because their husbands, sweethearts, fathers, brothers, and sons were off fighting overseas.

The other relations to the time we were able to make were the displacement of Native Americans in the US and the way in which the Mars settlers pushed the Martians away from the canals and the treatment of blacks under Jim Crow laws being similar to the way the settlers ignored and mistreated the Martians.

One of our members had a copy with pictures in it, which the rest of us were really jealous of. Her favorite depiction was from the short story Silent Towns and it was a drawing of Genevieve, the woman who annoyed Walter so much he shunned human contact for the rest of his life. Maybe that’s a negative outlook on dating on Bradbury’s part.

Before we get to overall opinions, I’ll share some chapter-by-chapter thoughts our group had. The story The Green Morning was interesting to us because of the reinterpretation of Johnny Appleseed. The character, Benjamin, wanted to become Appleseed in a way. His mission was the help make the air more breathable by planting trees and increasing oxygen content. Some of us wondered if the wood from the trees he planted helped build the new buildings on the planet for latter settlers.

My favorite story, and our moderator’s, was Usher II. I’m a big fan of Poe’s short stories so it was great to hear all of the references to the stories within this one. Someone pointed out that it seemed Bradbury’s other book, Fahrenheit 451, was referenced as well because there had been a mass destruction of literature back on Earth that was just starting to creep onto Mars as well. We found it ironic that the censor that came to destroy the house was killed in the same way one of Poe’s characters is killed in The Cask of Amontillado. If he’d been able to read the banned and burned books, he would have known he was about to be killed.

Another story we discussed was Night Meeting where one of the settlers runs into a Martian and the two talk about the city they see before them. The settler, Tomás, sees a dead and abandoned Martian city where there is no life, while the Martian sees a vibrant and thriving metropolis where he himself is heading to see his friends. Was the Martian dead? Did the two exist on different dimensions? One theory we had was that the Martians had continued to live on the plant but had projected to the minds of the humans with their telepathy that there were no more of them. While the human settlers built their own towns and lived on the planet, the Martians lived there, too, without notice and able to continue their lives uninterrupted. (Side note, I love this theory.)

To bring up Silent Towns and Genevieve again, we found it ironic that the woman who chose to stay on Mars so that she wouldn’t be judged by those around her for watching Clark Gable movies and eating chocolate with her hands ended up being judged by the only other man on the planet. On top of that, she was judged so harshly that he ran away as to never see her again. Ouch.

Okay, time to talk about some overall themes and opinions. We saw that art was a big part of Martian culture, including the beautiful cities they had created. When Bradbury was writing this, the Nazis were raiding museums and destroying art, but like the astronauts destroyed it in this book. Again we see the parallel between Bradbury’s experiences and the story.

Some members thought the book seemed a little ‘preach-y’ as far as talking about world peace and protecting the environment. I tend to agree a little, but I really enjoyed those stories, such as Usher II that didn’t preach as much.

We asked ourselves if the book was pessimistic or optimistic. I personally thought it had a pessimistic tone. The 50s were a pretty pessimistic time and I think the story reflects that. It also seems that Bradbury sees the worst in humans as most of the characters in this book show deep human flaws. One of the last paragraphs shows a much more optimistic view. In The Million-Year Picnic, the father is talking to his sons and tells them that they can form a better standard of living on Mars and now that the Earth is destroyed and there’s not much of an option left, he’s still glad they’re there. I think it’s a positive image of reawakening, saying that it’s not too late for us as humans to start over.

There’s also a strong theme of nostalgia in the book. In The Long Years, Hathaway has created a family for himself after his real family dies. This reminded me of the movie Cast Away where Tom Hanks’s character talks to a volleyball to have someone to interact with during his long time alone on the island. In The Third Expedition, the men see their dead relatives and are so overcome by love and happiness that they abandon their mission to see their families, which are really Martians using their telepathy to trick the settlers. When the Martians bury the bodies, they still weep for the death of their ‘family members.

Another theme we discussed was fear. The humans feared the Martians and the Martians feared the human settlers. This reminded one of our members of racial discrimination such as Jim Crow laws and the recent Trayvon Martin case. I suspect Bradbury himself was anti-discrimination.

Freedom was a big theme in the book. The blue orbs that the priests try to convert have given up their bodies and they are free because they don’t have to die. They have sacrificed feeling and control for self-preservation while the rest of the culture died. The people who came to Mars were trying to get rid of their earthly baggage and be free to start again. Ironically, many of them didn’t leave it very far behind them. In Way in the Middle of the Air, the blacks start to come to Mars, trying to be free of the oppression they’ve felt on Earth economically and socially.

Writers Takeaway: This was a great discussion to have after my continuing discussion about what makes a short story. My fellow bookies felt the second half of the book flowed better and was less ‘staccato.’ The second half tended to have more of the short segues to lead between stories and I think this helped.

Bradbury was able to imply a lot in his writing without stating it, which I think is a good thing in science fiction. He didn’t have to explain how there came to be hotdogs and soda fountains on Mars, they were just there. We could imply that they came on the big rockets and that there was some sort of monetary system established on Mars that the settlers were using to get their new goods

A lot of us liked that there were characters that were brought back in repeated stories because it helped connect the short stories and helped us learn about the men who had come exploring on an alien planet.

It was overall a great discussion. We’ll be reading Annie’s Ghosts next which I’ve already finished and you can read my review here.

Until next time, write on.

Related Posts:
The Martin Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury- A Thesis|Yashvir’s Blog
The Martian Chronicles in retrospect|Jim Reilly’s Blog

Book Review: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (3/5)

21 Jan

My first audiobook of the year is done! The women of my book club had mentioned reading this book and how much they enjoyed it so i decided to grab it myself. My mom loved it, too. I wasn’t in love with it, but I really enjoyed this book.

This book fulfills “Foreign Countries: Egypt” for my Where Are You Reading? Challenge and “Pre 1400” for When Are You Reading? Challenge. This is book 3 of the year on my way to the goal of 35.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Dinah is only briefly mentioned in the Bible as the son of Jacob and sister of Joseph. Anita Diamant gives us a sweeping life story of this woman and her life growing up in the 1700s BC. Dinah is the only daughter of Jacob and beloved by her mother and three aunties, Jacobs other wives. The women covet their time spent in the Red Tent, where women spend their monthly time. The women pass to Dinah their knowledge of raising children and living with men, glad to have a girl to pass this knowledge to. One of Dinah’s aunts, Rachel, is a midwife and Dinah apprentices herself to Rachel, learning the skills and tricks her aunt uses to deliver a live child to its mother.

Dinah meets and falls in love with the heir to a local principality and for the first time, feels that she is her own woman. Her brothers object to her marriage because they know the bride price will add to the family wealth and that the oldest son will be richer than the other brothers. In their anger, Dinah’s husband is killed, leaving her alone and with child, too angry to rejoin her family. She travels with her mother-in-law to Egypt and raises her son to be a famous scribe.

I loved the description of ancient life in this book; it really stuck with me. Things that today seem so rough and primitive were very normal in Dinah’s everyday life. Diamant did a wonderful job of bringing the life of these people to life in a respectful way. The first person point of view really helped this.

The one thing that I thought seemed off to me was the level of autonomy that Dinah had. Her mother and aunts did not have as great a level of freedom as Dinah seemed to have in her later years and this is because Dinah was an accomplished midwife. Though this seems logical, I felt the story was a little feminist  and showed a more modern idea of feminine freedom because of Dinah’s position.

Dinah’s story is about forgiveness and family. In her childhood, she feels that her family has been betrayed by her grandfather, Laban, who lords over her father Jacob and will not let the younger man have his own life. When Jacob is finally able to leave, he does so without looking back because Laban has not asked for forgiveness. After her husband is murdered, Dinah too runs away from her father without looking back. When Joseph is to return to Jacob for his sons to receive the grandfather’s blessing, she is overlooked. Her brothers and father do not recognize her and she feels shunned. Right before she turns to leave, her brother Judah comes to speak to her, having recognized his sister. He gives her a token of remembrance of their mother and Dinah is finally able to forgive her brothers and father, knowing that they have not forgotten about her and still love her. This is a forgiveness her mothers were not able to give to their own father and I think Dinah is glad to have forgiven Jacob.

When I think about it, this book is really Biblical Fanfiction. Dinah is mentioned briefly in the Bible as the daughter of Jacob but not much else is known about her. I always raise an eyebrow when something that is published could really be counted as fanfiction. Reader, what’s your opinion on published fanfiction? It’s a topic of interest to me.

As far as other discussion points on this book, I’m sure there are many worth of mention, but I really didn’t like this book very much and I’m not the best person to discuss it further. I’ll put some related posts below that you can explore for some other reader’s opinions.

Writer’s Takeaway: I loved this book from a historical fiction point of view. You man know, Reader, that I’m a big historical fiction junky and this time period is not one that’s available very often. It was obvious that Diamant did her research and brought to life an era long since gone. This book is a wonderful example of well executed historic writing.

As I said, the book was good and I enjoyed it, but it’s not memorable for me. There were too many characters for my taste and a lot of them ran together. Three out of five stars.

Related Posts:
The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant|Novel Insights
Pitching The Red Tent: Anita Diamant on Marketing Her First Novel|Historian’s Notebook
Book Club Review: The Red Tent, Anita Diamant|OpallaOnTrains
Book Review: “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant|The Faery Inn

When Are You Reading Challenge?

20 Jan

BlogImageBigI’ve been inspired by the Where Are You Reading Challenge hosted by Sheila on Book Journey. I love the idea of expanding one’s writing horizons and I want to do something similar. So I decided to host my own challenge. I created a page here where you can read about it but I’ll give you all a snippet right now in hopes that you’ll join me.

The challenge is to read 13 books that are all set in different ears of world history (there’s even a future category). There’s no prize if you win but my lovely husband (who designed the image) will create a winner image, too.

The challenge goes from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014 so you can count books finished since the beginning of the year. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this challenge is perfect for you! If you’re not… there was never a better time to try it.

As it’s a holiday here in America and the motor company is very patriotic, this is it for my post today. No work, no post- that’s my motto! I’ll use the day off to get ahead on posts, though, because I’ve got a bunch of ideas coming up.

Again, please consider joining me. I’d love to see what historical fiction books you find and you’ll get to make a super cool timeline like mine (see it here). You can also follow my progress here.