Posts Tagged With: Lian Dolan

Interterm Reading List

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It is officially the end of Interterm this week. The students are back, regular classes are in session. That probably means that I should post my reading list for this school season. Yes, I’m not in class anymore. Still, I’m working at a college and the year seems to divide itself naturally into these sections. The reading list is smaller than the others, I’ll admit, but Interterm is short. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, here is my official Interterm reading list with reviews:

1. Consider The Lobster – David Foster Wallace: His writing is excellent, but I can’t get over the conviction that he’s embellishing the truth for a better story. I’ve caught him in a few.

2. Elizabeth The First Wife – Lian Dolan: Super smutty like promised, but a bit contrived. I still loved it because the girl and the guy get together in the end. I’m terrible that way.

3. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding: So excellent, with an endearing and neurotic main character you just have to love.

4. Lives Like Loaded Guns – Lyndall Gordon: The life of Emily Dickenson and her family. Heartbreaking, makes me glad I’m not a Victorian woman, and impossible to put down.

5. The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published – Arielle Eckstut & David Henry Sterry: Lots of interesting stuff to ponder. Makes me think that a lot of my instincts about just putting my writing out there are right.

6. Power of Three – Diana Wynne Jones: One of her best, I think. You know it’s one thing and then it morphs into another entirely. Clever and fun. I couldn’t put it down.

7. Shadows – Robin McKinley: Written from the 1st person POV of a rather gushy high school girl, but that’s its only flaw. I am otherwise IN LOVE with this book.

8. Nine Coaches Waiting – Mary Stewart: Oh another that I have re-read to death. It’s Raul mostly, I’ll admit, but the setting is beautiful, the suspense heartbreaking, and the end perfect.  So perfect!

9. On Writing Well – William Zinsser: In the absence of teachers, I have books… this confirmed a lot of my already held assumptions and clarified a bunch of questions. Clever read, and helpful.

10. Beauty – Robin McKinley: Loved all but the very end. Happily Ever After doesn’t quite satisfy when the rest is so sophisticated, and when I had such a deep affection for life pre-Happily Ever After.

11. Pegasus – Robin McKinley: It’s ½ a book, and it ends SO traumatically. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful setting and a beautiful concept. I’ll be picking up the next ASAP, please write fast! 🙂

In other news, my book list is stacking up horribly fast, no thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals. For the first time in a long time, my to-read list is more than ten books long. I’m in the middle of Inkheart right now, far enough in to know that I love it, but not far enough to have more of an opinion than that. Then there is In Cold Blood, a book about German fighter pilots and how they felt about working for Hitler, seven romance novels (hey, it is February…), Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter, and Tom Zoellner’s new book about trains. I have a feeling I’ll be adding sequels to that as well. It’s overwhelming. I practically need the smaller commute I’m seeking, just for the extra reading hours. That is also a story I’m sticking with.  We’ll see how it goes when I post Spring’s reading list…

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Fall Reading List

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In the interests of being fair to summer, I’m posting my Fall reading list complete with short review of everything I read.  I know it’s December now and WAY past Fall, but the fall semester just ended here, so I consider myself legit.  Also, books make GREAT Christmas presents and there’s still time to order stuff from Amazon.  Barely.  I should really get on that…

So anyway, here’s everything I’ve read since the semester started in late August:

  1. The Hero and The Crown – Robin McKinley (I’ve read about gals that I want to be, but never that I wanted to watch like I want to watch Aerin.  Fascinating main character, kick ass story.)
  2. Chalice – Robin McKinley (I just want to move into this world and tend bees.  Can I?)
  3. The 4:50 From Paddington – Agatha Christie (Just as I’m certain, CERTAIN, I know who did it, it turns out to be someone I didn’t want to consider.)
  4. The Name of The Wind – Patrick Rothfuss (Although well written, it reads like a D&D campaign.  I prefer to play them, not read about them.  The writing is such that I’ll finish, though.)
  5. Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief – Rick Riorden (This reminded me a lot of Going Bovine, but Going Bovine was much better written.  Not bad, not the best of its kind.)
  6. The Big Drop: Homecoming – Ryan Gattis (Nods to Chandler and Fante, but is totally its own thing.  The best argument for character driven narrative I’ve ever read.)
  7. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson (Reads just like her blog, which I can’t read in public because I can’t stop laughing in inappropriate ways.)
  8. Midnight In Austenland – Shannon Hale (A re-read.  For the third time.  This is likely to become one of those books I can’t read anymore because I’ve memorized too much of it.)
  9. Kneenock Rise – Natalie Babbit (My favorite in fourth grade. It goes too fast now, but reading it out loud helps, and also made me notice her foreshadowing and savor her word choice.)
  10. Story Book High, Book 1 – Shannon Hale (yes, I know… a book produced by Mattel?  But Shannon Hale.  I was torn.  It wasn’t bad.  At times it was even hilarious, if you like puns. I do.)
  11. Aunt Maria – Diana Wynne Jones (You read, and you think ‘what the hell is happening?’ but all parts fall into place by the end.  This is why I love her. Also, because Aunt Maria is creepy.)
  12. Self Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson (This “updated” version is really reduced to a quaint quote book by the new stuff interspersed between Emerson’s essays. Doesn’t do him justice.)
  13. The Wave in the Mind – Ursula K. LeGuin (I loved her essays on growing up in 1930’s California and on reading, and then I read her essays on rhythm in writing and fell in love more.)
  14. Fortunately, The Milk – Neil Gaiman (Wumpires and a time-traveling stegosaurus?  Yes please.)
  15. Let’s Get Visible – David Gaughran (Because I’m thinking of self-publishing.  Still undecided…)
  16. Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes (In the beginning Johnny is an asshat, and in the end he’s a sap, but between is good.  Plot is very coincidental, though.)
  17. The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien (So well written, and just full of the fear of war.)
  18. Persuasion – Jane Austen (A re-read, and a book I love.)
  19. Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch (This is the book that made me decide NOT to self-publish.  I’m not that cool.  I don’t have the mad skillzorz it would take to do it well.  I suppose it’s good that I found this out early.)
  20. Helen of Pasadena – Lian Dolan (total smut in the best way, and extra fun because I know some of the main locations.)
  21. The Kings and Queens of Roam – Daniel Wallace (Heartbreaking and fable-like.  It’s beautiful, but I’m not sure I’ll finish it.  I’m not sure I can take it.)
  22. Candyfreak – Steve Almond (I think I might be in love with this man… mostly because he’s even more of a sugar freak than I am, but also because he’s hilarious.  Don’t tell Brian – although he probably suspects.  I’ve been reading him snippets of the book for days.)

I also just bought Consider The Lobster and Elizabeth the First Wife, but I’ll finish those after the requisite deadline for reporting what I’ve read.  Those will be the first on the Winter Interterm reading list.  I’m very excited, especially about Elizabeth the First Wife which promises to be extra smutty.

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