Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What I Am Currently Reading

I am just starting to work on outlines for new writing projects (too secret to divulge at this point, of course!), and I'm grateful for inspiring literature to read during this idea stage. I have a stack of books to read for the world lit class I will be teaching this coming school year--far more than I can possibly complete during a busy summer--but I shall at least sample most of them!

Such as Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather. A most unusual book! I doubt any modern publisher would look twice at such a novel, for it is quite episodic, broken into sections of two or three chapters, each presenting an adventure or episode in the life of Bishop Jean Marie Latour, a missionary priest in New Mexico in the mid-1800's. The characterizations in this book are marvelous, and the descriptions make me want to see New Mexico again. Which is odd, since I cannot say I was terribly fond of the place during the six months I lived there back in 1988. I do love Southwestern architecture and artwork, however.

I started reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell aloud to our son while he worked on projects for his drawing class this spring . . . but we didn't make much headway, and and now Pete will graduate next weekend. We completed The Pinhoe Egg earlier this semester, but I think Pete lost interest in poor Mr. Norrell. I have read the book before, around eight years ago, and it definitely is a hefty tome. Not sure I will finish it again on my own.

On my Nook, I am reading Paradise Valley, by Dale Cramer. Confession: I am decidedly not a fan of Amish books, as a rule. But this one is set during the 1920's in northern Mexico--quite a change from the average bonnet book, I believe. It is still free on Nook and Kindle, if you're interested.

And for research purposes I am studying Napoleon Bonaparte, by Alan Schom. My husband is a great reader of biographies, particularly those of military leaders. Although biographies are seldom my first choice of reading material, I do enjoy them on occasion. This one is rather interesting, and I am learning much information that should come in handy for Book #2.

But you know what? As soon as I finish one of the above books, I intend to chuck scholastic achievement and dive into The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. I have fallen rather behind in that series, and a little mindless fluff will do me some good. Heh.

So what are y'all reading these days?

Oh, and um, yes, I am having a "mother-moment." I was supposed to send in a baby photo for Pete's post-graduation party and picked this one. Wasn't he cute? I embroidered that "P" and the penguin on his hoodie-jumpsuit . . . seems like just the other day.

What happened to my baby? He kind of grew up, and now he is a tall young man with a beard. But then, raising them to be adults is the point of parenting, after all. :-)

(Okay, end of mother-moment. Back to author mode.)


  1. Awww, that's such a cute picture!

  2. I thought of asking for some reading suggestions, although I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle that list yet. I would like to read about Napoleon Bonaparte. I enjoy reading history, but that's a part of history I'm not very familiar with. I am looking forward to reading your Book 2. By the way, I am re-reading UNITL THAT DISTANT DAY and enjoying it every bit as much (although I do miss Hannah's voice interpretations). I love the bits of wisdom you put throughout.

    The picture of your Pete is adorable. It's so amazing how fast their growing years go by, but yes, the point of parenting is to raise them to be adults (grumble, grumble, smile). Thanks for sharing. I love mother-moments...there the best!

    1. ...they're the best! (It drives me crazy when I make those mistakes.)

    2. Heh--I make those mistakes too, which is especially cringe-worthy since I am a copy-editor. Heh. "Copy-editor, edit thyself!"

      I'm so glad you're enjoying my book again. I've been afraid to open it, since I tend to see only errors at this point. Time will (hopefully) give me better perspective on the story! I'm enjoying writing the next one so far--only on chapter 2, but it's a start! The hardest part is getting into the head and viewpoint of a new character. But the challenge is also part of the joy of it. :-)

      Yeah, I do not recommend Napoleon as light-reading material! I'm already bogged down. Ha! I finished Paradise Valley and actually bought book #2, even though I have a large TBR pile already. So, if you have an e-reader, I recommend this free e-book! It was a very pleasant surprise.

  3. Oh I am really excited and eager to get to know and read about your next novel, Mrs. Stengl. This would be so exciting indeed!!

    Your current book readings sound fascinating. I am currently reading "Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens and "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis :)

    I love biographirs actually! They just have to be very good ones ;)

    By the by, I am not so sure if this will interest you, but here goes anyway :).

    Last Thursday, my blog, Fullness of Joy had its 3rd birthday :). To celebrate the event, I am hosting a blog-party of "special magnificence" throughout the week, and as a cherry-top icing a fun giveaway for three winners to end it all. It will be a week long tag series, with every day or so I'll be making different literary-themed topic tags, about different genres such as the classics, fantasy, mystery, children's, etc . . which everyone can join in with. And I am dearly hoping you would - it would thrill me very much and also it should prove some fun, I think :)

    Today's topic is "Historical Classics" :)

    I hope you can join!