Time to read, time to write, time to dream... I have friends whose Nanowrimo dreams are rapidly nearing completion, and others who, like me, didn't even dream of writing a novel this month... This month being November, Thanksgiving, the leadup to Christmas and more, I didn't feel like I'd ever find time, and I was right. But I did read some, and even wrote book reviews; I just didn't post them. So now, quickly, before I get busy with assigning ISBNs and uploading my own books, here are some of the things I've read for relaxation recently:
Find some coffee. Relax with me.
Children's books that I've enjoyed recently include:
The Secret of Big A by Ofra Peled is the first in a series of alphabet books. It's like a cross between a picture book and a chapter book, with enough text to read like a real story, and bright but old-fashioned color images. The question of what the letter A, and little a, might look like is fun, and the the other books promise interesting integration of letters into images. Pour a large mug of lively easy-drinking coffee to keep you going through the final section, which describes the author's and publisher's purpose.
A Heartbroken Father by Paula Rose starts the 10 year old Gracie and the save a soul prayer team series. Aimed at slightly older children, these books introduce faith, angels and God's voice and love to elementary age and middlegrade children, using good-humored, sweetly-authentic dialog, Touched by an Angel type situations, and very pleasing protagonists. Enjoy with some well-balanced three-star coffee.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech takes another wounded child on a journey, blending mystical, mystery and vividly real characters as the different absences and causes for absent parents are explored. Coming of age, coming of wisdom and coming in hope - another to enjoy with some well-balanced three-star coffee.
Then there's The Witching Well by S. D. Hintz. Another novel for mature middle-grade readers, this tale is set in a macabre world where a grandmother's neighbors might have evil intent and witchly powers. It's not for the squeamish, but it balances its scares very nicely with wisdom and comfort. Enjoy with some dark five-star coffee.
For young adults:
Jordan Elizabeth's Clockwork Dollhouse is as cleverly constructed as the mechanical device of its title, a haunting steampunk tale of corrupted power and motherless child building to a finely tuned ending. Enjoy with more five-star coffee.
Time to Live, also by Jordan Elizabeth, blends magic and superpowers in a tale of a conflicted 17-year-old protagonist, rebelling against her parents, falling in love, and powerfully protecting the innocent. Teenaged Banon is a great snarky protagonist, and the story, though sometimes confusing, is fun. It's also often dark, so more five-star dark coffee I guess.
Then there's the Aegis Chronicles by S. S. Segran--Gwen Mboya, Tony Cross, Kenzo Igarashi, and Hutar of Dema-Ki. Set in the world of the author's longer novels, these are short stories with a mature, young-adult feel, introducing characters and providing a somewhat disjointed picture of backstories to flesh out longer novels. Not have read the longer novels, I'd have to say the characters and situations are fascinating, and I'd like to know more, so they serve as a suitable enticement I guess. Enjoy with a dark five-star coffee - they deal with dark themes.
And for slightly older young adults, there's Depths of Night by Stephen Zimmer. A cool blend of history of myth, the novella brings Viking longships to life and adds a touch of magic and mysticism to a novel of men, women and monsters. Enjoy with more bold five-star coffee; it's definitely dark.
Now I need to go brew more coffee, and read perhaps, and write, perchance to dream...