Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 Reading, Books 64-66

Incidentally, I'll go back to food/cooking blogging once the following two conditions have been met:

1) Our dishwasher has been repaired (part is on order, Sears repair person scheduled for July 5).

2) I've turned in the edits on my 2015 historical romance, now titled The Freedom to Love. They ended up more extensive than expected, since the editors want me to add material I'd planned to make part of a sequel, and they're due July 14.

But I'm still reading, at least.

64) Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

(I'm not counting this one toward my summer reading competition, mostly because it took me about 45 minutes to read it, but also because a certain daughter of the house needs to get her butt in gear and start finishing books already, and I don't want to get so far ahead she gets discouraged. But it will count toward my year's tally, because, dang it, I'm still shooting for 150.)

My husband, who's also a creative type (UX designer by trade, but also an occasional blogger and regular podcaster) loaned me this quick little set of essays on creativity. Much of it resonated with me--the idea that ALL work is derivative in the sense of having antecedents, but our uniqueness arises in how we combine our lifetime of influences into something our own, along with combining analog and digital processes, since despite my love for my computer, part of my writing process always involves notebooks and index cards and whiteboards.

65) Saints by Gene Luen Yang

This is part of a two-book set of graphic novels telling the story of the Boxer Rebellion from both sides...and I read it out of order, since apparently the other book, Boxers, gives fuller context. But my daughter had this one with her at the baseball game today, I started paging through it while waiting for the game to start...and here we are. 

It's a moving story of an unwanted child who finds refuge in a Christian community. I thought it handled the character's faith especially well, managing the tricky balance of neither being preachy nor Christian-bashy (yes, I know that's not a word).

66) Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

The other part of the Boxer Rebellion graphic novel set. While it definitely gives you the fuller context of the story, I think Saints is the one I'm more likely to re-read, since Vibiana in that book is a more relatable and sympathetic character than Bao in this one, who does terrible things even though I completely understood the motivation behind them.

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