Thursday, January 28, 2010

Still taking that journey

The Take the Journey reading challenge continues, and I've added extra points by visiting blogs of other readers, but I'm still only in the 100 club, with not much chance of reaching 200 by February. I found lots of good recommendations of books to add to my to-read list, but I already have more than plenty books waiting on my shelves.

I received an amazing book from the Permanent Press a few months ago which I've reviewed on my gather page. It comes out next month, and I highly recommend it. The Chester Chronicles by Kermit Moyer is one of those rare books that I really didn't want to put down - I found myself beginning to reread it as soon as I got to the end. It's not short stories, but every chapter's a complete, beautifully crafted and very satisfying story in itself. It's not a memoir, but the tales bring the 50's and 60's to vivid life. Army brat, Chet Patterson grows up to be a young man through the pages, so maybe it's a coming of age novel; but it's more than that. It's funny, poignant, tragic, delightful, absorbing... and I'm really glad I got the chance to read it.

Meanwhile, for light reading, I had a children's book called the Portal to Forever, by Bonnie Sullivan Raymond, which I've reviewed for Poetic Monthly. You'll have to download, or buy, next month's magazine to read my review. It's a fun story with sorcerers, dragons, elves, magic and time-travel, plus all their inherent problems. But it's a quick read with a really delightful sense of humor and a fascinating plot.

For non-fiction I received a pre-release copy of Mary DeMuth's memoir, Thin Places, which also comes out next month. I already know that I love Mary's writing - A Slow Burn was an incredible read - the sort of book where an aspiring writer keeps thinking "I wish I could do that." Her memoir is a slower read, engaging the reader on a journey of self-discovery; inviting us into the author's own painful memories as a way of seeing how God turns the darkest places into the "thinnest" - into places where the eternal slides healing power into the stuff of our lives. I've not finished it yet, but I'll post a review when I do.

Meanwhile there's this February challenge due to start with our local writing group. What made me think I could write book 3 of Hemlock in just a month? If I'm away from my blog for a while, and fail to reach that mythical 200 points in the reading challenge, I guess you'll know why.

5 comments:

Sun Singer said...

I think I would really fall behind on this challenge. You've read some interesting books, though.

Malcolm

Cold As Heaven said...

I like thin books, then I can read more books by more authors. Sometimes I enjoy the 1000-page books of John Irving or Tolstoy as well, no doubt. But i really appreciate authors who can write great stuff in few words, like "The Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway.

Laura Eno said...

I don't see how people (and I count you among them) can be so prolific at blogging and writing and reading and...all the other things in life. Whew! I manage to post a story once a week and call it good.
Is there an 'extra hours' store that I can buy time from?
How do you do it?

Helen Ginger said...

It's difficult (or impossible) to do everything. And you're doing a lot. Do what you can on what you love and don't stress. My advice. Hope you're better at following it than I am.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Cold As Heaven said...

Comment to Laura Eno above:

Yes, I have found there is an "extra hour store"; try to manage with 4-5 hours of sleep at night, and you'll get that extra time you need to read and write; works quite well when you get used to it. There are more fun things do do than sleeping ... >:)