Sunday, December 23, 2012

I have a title! (And also a reading update)

My 2013 interracial historical romance novella now has a title--A Dream Defiant. I just finished my first round of edits, and I'll have much more to say about the story as its July 29 release date draws closer.

I've been busy with edits and Christmas prep, but I've managed to squeeze in a little reading time, and now that I'm off work till Jan. 2, I plan to fit in a lot more before the new year. Tune in 12/31 for my last reading update of the year, plus my top ten reads of 2012.

101) The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy Sayers. I read this once before, years ago, but I didn't remember the details. Not the best Lord Peter book by a long shot, and I kinda skimmed most of the bell-ringing arcana, but an enjoyable read. Right now it's available as a Kindle book for $2.99, so a good deal if you're looking to fill out your digital Wimsey collection.

102) Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible, by Tim Gunn with Ada Calhoun. A combination brief history of most commonly worn articles of clothing and guidelines on choosing appropriate and flattering modern versions of said articles.

103) The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan. I recently watched Ken Burns' Dust Bowl documentary and wanted to learn more, and this book was highly recommended. It's a gripping, horrifying read, and it's stunning to think such a disaster, both ecological and economic, happened in my country less than a century ago, within my parents' lifetimes, albeit barely (Dad was born in 1929, Mom in 1932). And while my parents grew up in rural poverty, at least they had the blessing to grow up in a place (central Alabama), that's actually endowed by nature with a climate suitable for farming and rich, quick-growing forests. It also gave me a better appreciation, not that I ever truly doubted it, that FDR and the New Deal saved this country and that we ought to be using the current downturn to reinforce and strengthen the safety net, not tear it down in pursuit of debt-cutting and austerity that any sensible reading of our own history, not to mention the current state of much of Europe, shows would only make things worse.

Sorry. Got a little political there...

104) The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, by Lauren Willig. Book 6 in the Pink Carnation historical spy-romance series, which are always great fun, though I often find myself skimming past the modern framing story. I particularly enjoyed this entry, since I'm fascinated by late 18th/early 19th-century India.

105) Ichiro, by Ryan Inzana. A graphic novel about a boy with an American father and Japanese mother learning about the Japanese side of his heritage, considering questions of war, peace, and atrocities committed by both nations, and, oh, getting pulled into the spirit world. Not my usual reading, but thoughtful and beautifully illustrated.

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