Saturday, October 31, 2009

If You Want to Write

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was just in time to get me inspired to write for NaNoWriMo. Once you get used to the footnotes (excessive), and the constant references to Blake and Van Gogh, there is a lot of inspirational advice in this book.

Synopsis: But we must try to find our True Conscience, our True Self, the very Center, for this is the only first-rate choice-making center. Here lies all originality, talent, honor, truthfulness, courage and cheerfulness. Here lies the ability to choose the good and the grand, the true and the beautiful.

In her ninety-three remarkable years, Brenda Ueland published six million words. She said she had two rules she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and not to do anything she didn’t want to do. Her integrity shines throughout If You Want to Write, her bestselling classic on the process of writing that has already inspired
thousands to find their own creative center. Carl Sandburg called this book “the best book ever written about how to write.” Yet Ueland reminds us that “whenever I say ‘writing’ in this book, I also mean anything that you love and want to do or make.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Star of the Morning

Star of the Morning (Nine Kingdoms, Book 1) Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was excited to read this book. The last few LK books I read were so "done" - Ghosts. Time travel. Witches. I was excited to see a book by her about something other. This book did not leave me disappointed. It was a little slow on the action scenes, but I thought the romance story was light enough to not take over the book. A great fantasy story. I look forward to reading the next two books in the series.

Pub. Date: December 2006

Series: Nine Kingdoms Book 1

Synopsis: Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche's king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades...
In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword-and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.

Recommended Reading:
Princess of the Sword by Lynn Kurland (Nine Kingdoms Book 3)
The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland (Nine Kingdoms Book 2)
With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson
King of Sword and Sky by C. L. Wilson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Left Bank

Left Bank Left Bank by Kate Muir

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was torn between enjoying this book and being utterly bored with it. In the end, I think I enjoyed it more than I disliked it. Although I found the characters a little flat, this story read well and was easy to sink into.

Pub. Date: July 2006

Synopsis: With the sting of a good Camembert, Kate Muir's fiction debut is a sophisticated, fun, and delightfully ironic look at family life, Left Bank style. Olivier and Madison Malin are the toasts of Rive Gauche. A philosopher and media personality, Olivier is the darling of the Paris caf├ęs with his perfectly tousled hair and mistress de jour on speed dial. An American film star turned Parisian "It" girl, Madison busies herself playing the part of the bon vivant. But when a crisis occurs with their daughter, these self-centered parents are forced to focus on something more than their own reflections. Left Bank is at once a delicious satire of Parisian pretension and a celebration of the city's alluring glamour.

Recommended Reading:
Beginner's Greek by James Collins
The Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga
Foreign Tongue : A Novel of Life and Love in Paris by Vanina Marsot

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Final Scream

Final Scream Final Scream by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even though I realized that I had read this book before (I think it was under the original title: Intimacies), I read it again. A very good suspense story, good characters and a decent plot.

Pub. Date: August 2005

Synopsis: When she was only 16, Cassidy Buchanan fell for the 19-year-old bad boy in town, Brig McKenzie—who'd had his share of run-ins with both the law and the local women. Then a terrible fire killed Cassidy's sister, and Brig was the chief suspect. Seventeen years later, an eerily similar fire seriously injures Cassidy's husband Chase, who happens to be Brig's brother. With the earlier fire still an open case, suspicion turns to Cassidy, the only person connected to both tragedies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reading People

Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior- -Anytime, Anyplace Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior- -Anytime, Anyplace by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I started this book with high hopes for finding useful information for character building in my writing. I forced myself through half the book before I gave up. It's common sense: pay attention and people will tell you everything you need to know. I did find the Appendixes quite useful.

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