I’m in the middle of my writing vacation and have plenty of books to keep me busy. Here’s the pile I’m currently reading.
Pioneer Girl — Laura Ingalls Wilder
I’ve been reading Laura’s autobiography in fits and starts over the last few months, mostly because it’s annotated and there’s a lot to take in. It’s been such a satisfying look into the beginnings of the Little House series as well as a refresher on many of the topics covered in the free online classes editor Pamela Smith Hill offered during the 2014-2015 school year.
Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back — Janice P. Nimura
This was an impulse buy made before I did an Over in the Wetlands event at Bookworks. I’m a sucker for cross cultural stories and ever since reading Silence and Shogun have wanted to read more about Japan and the samurai.
Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World — Emily P. Freeman
I’ve followed Emily’s blog for years and loved A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live. This book fits perfectly into my efforts to write smart and not scared.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear — Elizabeth Gilbert
I first heard about this one last year, back when I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk on failure and creativity and paused every few seconds to take notes along the way. Another great book for this phase of my writing life.
Station Eleven — Emily St. John Mandel
Leigh Kramer recommended this book in one of her monthly What I’m Into posts. It’s about a post-Apocalyptic earth after a flu has killed 99% of the population. I loved the importance the arts played in the story as well as the complex storytelling (multiple points of view with a non-sequential structure).
Vengeance Road — Erin Bowman
Erin and I were both a part of the Apocalypsies, a group of middle-grade and young adult authors whose first books debuted in 2012. Her newest book is a gritty western which centers around a hidden gold mine. I’ve got my own hidden gold mine story in the works (minus the grit but with just as much dialect). I’m so impressed with the characterization, the setting, the language, the action. It’s plain brilliant.
The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing — Mira Jacob
Halfway through The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, my mom called to tell me I had to pick up this joyful, heartbreaking, funny cross-cultural novel set in Albuquerque. When my parents moved back to town, I discovered Mira was speaking at Albuquerque’s KiMo Theater and promptly bought tickets for Mom and me.
I’ve been reading Sleepwalker’s Guide the last two days and can say Mira is a master at dialogue, relationships, and the complexities of a family with two cultures. Plus, it’s satisfying to get little glimpses of my city here and there.
All the Difference — Leah Ferguson
Julie at the Booking Mama blog described this book as similar to the movie Sliding Doors. That’s all it took for me to check it out of the library and blow through it over the weekend. It starts with a proposal at a New Year’s Eve party and is told over the course of a year in alternating chapters. In half, the newly pregnant protagonist has said yes, in the other half, she’s said no.
Counting Thyme — Melanie Conklin
I’ve heard nothing but lovely things about Melanie’s debut, the story of a girl whose family relocates to Manhattan as her brother undergoes a cancer drug trial. Counting Thyme will be featured here next year as a Classroom Connections title.
Free Verse — Sarah Dooley
I was so impressed with Sarah’s first novel, Livvie Owen Lived Here, I blogged about it a few years back. This description of Free Verse is perfect: In this sensitive and poignant portrayal, Sarah Dooley shows us that life, like poetry, doesn’t always take the form you intend.
You Can’t See the Elephants — Susan Kreller
This book, which has been translated from German and is already an international award winner, releases in the US this month. It deals with a difficult subject, child abuse, and I’m curious how the author tackles such a heavy topic for a young audience.
What are you reading right now?