Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's in the Mail... More book reviews

Is it possible to be numerically dyslexic? I sent a submission packet in the mail--a rare occurrence for me since paper weighs and postage costs money so I usually only go in for email submissions. But I really wanted to try this one. It was worth the effort of printing (or getting someone else to print--my printer's still broken), enveloping, carrying, paying for tracking etc. The only problem is, I switched two digits in the zip code when I wrote the address on my nice bright Priority Mail envelope. I checked it twice (wrote it twice too). I even switched on the computer and looked up the address to check it again before I drove to the Post Office. But I didn't spot my mistake. So now my nicely tracked submission package has stalled in cyberspace. It got within 20 miles of its destination, the zip code error rendered it undeliverable, and it was forwarded, or even fast-forwarded, into the nearest black hole. Visits to the PO, phonecalls to 1-800, and long-distance calls gave me the following useful information: misaddressed packages go to a central clearing house where they're resorted, slowly, and maybe three weeks later are either returned to sender or sent on to the corrected address. So much for Priority Mail, but as they frequently reminded me--making me feel like an incompetent featherbrain in search of a new pair of glasses--"That's what happens if you can't write the correct address."

Ah well. I can still read. So put some coffee on and plan your next trip to virtual bookstore with me:

Let's start with some self-help-ish books:

Burn Wild, by Christi Krug, is a thoroughly enjoyable book, smoothly written, full of genuinely helpful hints for living and writing creatively. I love it! Enjoy its elegant prose and deceptively simple ideas with a 4-star elegant cup of coffee.

The Me Myth, by Andrew Griffiths is another thoroughly readable self-help book (I'm having well-helped, well-read week). The author's had a distinctly interesting life, but applies his lessons learned convincingly and caringly to the everyday lives of readers in a thoroughly enjoyable way. More elegant prose. More deceptively simple ideas. More 4-star elegant coffee.

Confucious cat says, by P. R. Mason probably doesn't really qualify as self-help. But hey, those smart aphorisms might come in handy sometime. It's good fun, to be enjoyed with bright lively 2-star coffee.

I posted a review of Spin the Plate by Donna Anastasi last week, but it probably belongs in this list too. Fiction rather than self-help, it still has lots to teach about self-worth and recovery. Enjoy with a dark intense 5-star cup of coffee.

So... now for a couple of thoroughly enjoyable children's books:

Dart and the Squirrels, by Nicole Izmaylov is filled with middle grade humor and told from the point of view of a delightfully cynical old dog. Great fun. Enjoy with some 2-star lively easy drinking coffee or give it to those hard-to-please boys to read.

Aimed at slightly older, or more mature, young readers, Operation Oleander, by Valerie O. Patterson tells of teenaged army kid who's sponsoring an Afghan orphanage. When soldiers die in a bomb attack at the orphanage, adults tell her to stop her sponsorship, and Jess learns with her readers that life is a lot more complicated than it first appears. Wise, informative, and haunting, this is one to enjoy with some richly complex 4-star coffee.

Then there's Untraceable, by S. R. Johannes teen action adventure with a girl's viewpoint, violence, thought-provoking ideas, and a really neat backcountry survival theme. Enjoy with some dark intense 5-star coffee.

There's more, but I need my lunch... More book reviews on Saturday perhaps?


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