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Posts tagged ‘What I Got From the Bookstore’

What I Got From the Bookstore – Spring 2019

 

New stuff from the bookstore!

My dad knows me well and got me a bookstore gift certificate, so I recently put it to good use. All the books are non-fiction this time around. This is a bit different from my usual reading, but this year I wanted to read different kinds of books, such as biographies, writing books, etc. There was a time when I devoured every writing book I could get my hand on. The writing life genre is still one of my favorite subcategories of non-fiction. I’m always fascinated by other writers and how they navigate this world.

 

Thrill Me – Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy

I haven’t started reading this yet, but it has been in my Amazon wish list for a while. When I saw it on the shelf, I decided to go for it. I’ve read a few of Percy’s works and follow him on Twitter. Plus there was an endorsement from Karen Russell on it. When one of your favorite writers likes another writer, you buy. (One of my personal beliefs.)

You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

This is a follow-up to her first book entitled You are a BadassI didn’t realize it at first, but no worries. You don’t need to have read the first to understand the second. I found Sincero’s writing funny and relatable. This book is all about firing you up to make more money and be unapologetic about it. While money is not the most important thing in life, it is necessary and wanting to make more shouldn’t be shamed. Notice in my last post I wrote about getting paid for my stories? This book just reinforced my ideas about writers needing to get paid. The myth of the starving writer is a damaging one and I want to make sure that I never fall into that category.

E -Squared by Pamela Grout

I’ve always been interested in the law of attraction. I had heard the general idea of it and watched a few videos on YouTube where someone says how they “manifested” $1,000 in 24 hours (or something like that). But this was the first time I bought a book on the topic. Grout breaks down the idea into 9 “experiments” that you can try in your everyday life. I tried a few and one did work (One didn’t and I haven’t tried any others). It was an interesting read and I have tried in my everyday life to be more conscious of the energy I’m putting out in the world. Grout, too, is funny and the book had a casual, friendly tone to it. I think I may pick up some of her other works later.

Happy reading everyone. Hope you get some fun stuff from your bookstore!

Thoughts on Reading

I know I’m preaching to the choir here…

We all know the importance, the joy, and benefits of reading. But still there are people who don’t do it. I remember learning (from some source I can’t recall) that most people only read one book a year. My aunt, who is a professor, says that her students don’t read. Not the news, not books, not even magazines.

I guess I am lucky I come from a family of readers. I remember my mom having a tower of books next to her and my father’s bed. My dad was a comic book lover and still has a bunch of Conan comics somewhere in their house. Also, for years my parents were faithful subscribers to the Washington Post. Even now, they will still buy a Sunday paper and read on a lazy afternoon.

My grandmother was also a professor (psychology) and a big reader. After her death, my mother and I combed through her bookshelves taking many of the books she collected over the years. There wasn’t any pattern to her collection, only things she had bought because she liked them. My mom told me my grandmother had a knack for leaving her paperbacks at the bus station after she had read them. She wanted to give books away to anyone who would want them.

During that clean out, I was to lucky recipient of a fabulous gift. My grandmother had gotten Gwendolyn Brooks to sign her chapbook.

My mom: “You should have it.”
Me: “Really?”
My mom: “Yes. You’re the writer. I think it is best that you take it.”

The rest of the family agreed and now it is one of my favorite literature pieces. One day I will have to properly frame it.

Brooks Pic

So you see how weird it is to me that there are some who don’t read.

But I think there is hope. The emergence of cheap (or even free) e-books is a blessing. I don’t buy what those reports say about e-book sales slowing. There are a lot of writers who are putting out books with no ISBN numbers and they don’t get counted. Plus, what about people like me who frequent used bookstores? I don’t buy a lot of new books, preferring instead to read a lot of older books that I missed. I read maybe 5-6 new books a year out of the twenty or so that I read. So far I’ve only read 2 (in the middle of my 3rd right now.)

Plus, I live in a good area for reading. There are lots of indie and chain bookstores, a large literate public who celebrate books, and demand from that community. I’m sure there are other places that aren’t as nice (but they can be).

So cheap books and a good environment do go a long way towards getting more people to read. Sure there are some who will never do it. For them music or movies are what get them excited. I’ve known a few people who see all the indie movies and don’t understand why more people don’t watch those instead of the latest superhero flick. Or that friend who detests the radio and listens to obscure bands with gusto.

But those who are like me, someone who likes movies, TV, and music, but connects best with books, reading will always be important. The stories connects over the decades and the story you love may be a story your kids love too. My aunt (in her sixties) and I love Sanderson and were gushing over Shadow of Self yesterday. These connections are so precious.

I wish more people understood that about reading. It’s not a chore, or punishment to read. Not all books are boring or long winded. Maybe you’ll never love the classics, but hey that latest mystery has got your name all over it.

Here’s my reading pile. I can’t wait to dive in.

Atwood & Galbraith

What I Got From the Bookstore – Summer 2014

Since we all agree that my goal not to buy books was a silly, dumb goal, I decided to share a few of the books it picked up this summer. Wit the exception of Long Hidden, I bought all of these at second-hand stores. That is my favorite place to go to look for books. Sure it would be easier to just order from Amazon, but the hunt is part of the fun. Plus, most used stores price all of their books the same. So my Neil Gaiman was only $2.

And I didn’t have to pay for shipping.

First up is Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I have never read this one, so this was a nice find.

Books Summer 2014 006

Next is an anthology, The Norton Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery. This anthology has a selection of short stories from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I feel like this is a textbook I would’ve gotten in a class (if I had a science fiction class). Still it’s a nice shelf book that I can dip into every now and then.

Books Summer 2014 004

The next book As She Climbed Across the Table is from one of my favorite writers — Jonathan Lethem. I remember a friend mentioning this story to me years ago, but I never got around to reading it. So glad I finally found a copy. I’ve read many of his short stories, but I haven’t gotten to his novels. Looking forward to reading this one.

Books Summer 2014 002

This next one, I can’t read right away. Why? Because it is Book 2 of a trilogy. Still, I wanted to get something by David Anthony Durham, since I collect minority scifi. I might have to hit up Amazon for the first one.

Books Summer 2014 001

And finally, this last one, Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, I had to order from Amazon. It was published earlier this year and when it popped up on my Amazon recommended list, I jumped on it. I remembered the call for submissions, but I didn’t have anything available to submit. I hope there are more in the future.

Books Summer 2014 003

So far this fall is looking quiet. Margaret Atwood has a new book coming out in a week or so. I will be getting that (of course), but nothing else is grabbing me. However, I glanced at Locus magazines forthcoming list and let’s just say February 2015 is very exciting.

Short Story September is going well. Writing like crazy. Also stay tuned because I have some very exciting news coming down the pike.