Behind… My September Wrap-Up

October 1, 2008 at 11:30 am | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 12 Comments
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My grandfather worked in tool and die.  When he retired, he had his machines in his shed.  One of the things he loved to make the most were cribbage and euchre boards.  He gave this lovely euchre board to me quite some time ago.  Although I’m not sure how to take that on a personal level ;), it really does represent the state of my blog as the month of September has drawn to a close and October is finally underway.  Grandpa will be 91 on the 15th, so happy early birthday from your favorite granddaughter in Virginia!

September really was quite a month.  I participated in two wonderful book tours, I read 11 books (!!!!), the Literate Housewives Book Club officially started (thanks to everyone who has signed up on the forum!), we all celebrated Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and I took a road trip to see one of my favorite authors, Philippa Gregory.  While this will be a month to remember, it has left me behind on my reviews and my comments.  Hopefully October will be a good catch up month.  With my birthday, the girls’ birthdays (Ally – 22nd, Emma – 23rd), our 11th anniversary, a visit from my parents and Uncle Ryan, and a business trip to Boston, it’s sure to be eventful if nothing else.

I read 11 books this month, but I only wrote 7 reviews (including The Seamstress that I owed from August).  That leaves me 5 reviews in the hole.  I’m hoping to have those all written and published by Monday.  Here’s how my reading broke down by category:

General Fiction

House and Home by Kathleen McCleary
Will I Ever Know by Charles Henry
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader
The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey – review forthcoming

Historical Fiction

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
Immortal by Traci Slatton – review forthcoming

Young Adult Fiction

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelly Hall – review forthcoming

Short Fiction

Months and Seasons by Christopher Meeks

Non-Fiction

One Can Make a Difference edited by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Good Person Guidebook by Richard Bayer, PhD – review forthcoming
Shrink Rap by Robin A. Altman – review forthcoming

Best Read of the Month:

Honorable Mentions:

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I hope that you all had a happy and prosperous September and will be enjoying the changing of this colors in October.

#101 ~ Months and Seasons

September 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 1 Comment
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Months and Seasons by Christopher Meeks

Christopher Meeks sent me a copy of his latest collection, Months and Seasons a while back and I’ve been eager to read it.  I love the cover and the descriptions of his stories sounded interesting.  After finishing a 600+ page novel, a collection of short stories for my next read seemed like a wonderful change of pace.  For the first few stories, it was.  In the end, however, I was happy to get back to the world of novels.

I am not someone who frequently reads short stories.  It isn’t that I don’t like short stories, but novels simply are my preference.  While I enjoyed Meeks’ characters, most especially Frank in “The Holes in My Door,” I found myself wanting more.  When I finish reading a good novel, it feels like a complete experience.  If I don’t, it’s a sign that the book didn’t work for me.  With short stories, this is intensified for me.  This isn’t necessarily about the quality of the story, but about the structure of the genre.  During my reading of Months and Seasons, I kept having questions: What followed the night of the Halloween party in “Dracula Slinks into the Night?”  How did Albert’s life change after “The Sun is a Billiard Ball” finished?  Unlike, “Did Rhett and Scarlett get back together?”, they weren’t satisfying questions for me.  I don’t need (and usually don’t want) to have everything neatly tied up in a bow at the end of a novel.  I just need enough to go on to make my own conclusions.  I typically don’t find this in short stories.

Christopher Meeks is a talented writer.  If he writes a novel, I will be one of the first in line to read it.  Please don’t let my issues with short stories keep you away from this book.  I would highly recommend his short stories to those who enjoy reading short stories.

Several of my favorite bloggers have read and reviewed this collection and really enjoyed it.  Check out what’s been said about it on The Book Lady’s Blog, Devourer of Books, and Rebecca’s Reads for reviews written by readers who appreciate short stories.

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To buy this collection of short stories, click here.

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