Saturday, March 30, 2013

Feature and Follow - Most Emotional Scene

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Welllll, I don't rightly know.

There is the entire story of To Build a Fire by Jack London. I hung on every word, knowing the intensity of the environment and the direness of the predicament painted by London.

I remember crying, at about the age of 10, when I read The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, though I no longer remember the details of the story. I was a tough kid, didn't cry much but that story got to me.

Then there is the description by John Toland in Battle: the Story of the Bulge of the Malmedy Massacre. That just brings home the baseness that men can sink to during war.

Finally, there is the part of Dickens' Oliver Twist where Oliver finally learns of his heritage. For me, as one of the first adult-type fairy tale happy endings I read, it sticks in my mind with that warm fuzzy feeling one often hears about but too infrequently actually experiences.

What do you think?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Harriet the Spy

In honor of the last Thursday in Women in Literature Month, I'd like to remember one of the first strong female protagonists (and a stellar female author). Harriet the Spy was a book I got as part of a book club my parents subscribed me to. They took the base two books every month, no matter what they were; I had no choice. And I devoured every one that came.

Harriet was the first female protagonist I remember. She was precocious, smart, and energetic. She made mistakes and learned from those mistakes. I read the book three times the first year. I felt her pain and could see in the relationship of Sport, Janie, and Harriet the interactions of some of my friends and myself.

Unfortunately Louise Fitzhugh had died by the time I read Harriet and I did not read any of her other novels. However, she and Harriet are rightfully judged "a milestone in children’s literature" (Neva Grant, NPR 2008).

Anyone else love Harriet as a kid?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday - David Eddings

First apologies for being late to post this week.

I remember, O! so long ago! when David Eddings released the first book in his Belgariad series, promising a new twist on the fantasy series. I devoured each book as soon as it was available in paperback, both of the Belgariad and the follow-on Malloreon series.

I loved the books, the deep twisting characterization and the well-crafted plot. But, I do have to admit, I did not see any significant difference in these series compared to the Shannara series by Brooks, for example.or Barbara Hambly's excellent books featuring Sun Wolf and Starhawk.

Interestingly, much more recently, my son, who is a Raymond Feist aficionado among others, read the two early Eddings series for the first time - he took them off my shelf when he had run out of his own. He confirmed my impressions - very good and well worth the read, but not revolutionary to the genre.

Did you read Eddings? What did you think?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Feature and Follow - Guilty Pleasure

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My guilty pleasure would have to be reading YA books. It has been a long time since I was considered YA but I still like to read a well-written YA book every once in a while. I also like rereading old favorites to see if the story is age or time dependent. I am usually not disappointed that my old favorites have stood the test of time and are still an interesting read even many years later!

Anybody else come back and reread an original favorite five or more years later and find it just as interesting? Let me know.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Feature and Follow - Reading Outside

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I read outside only rarely, mostly because by the time I am settled into reading the mosquitoes are out (in the summer) or it's 20 degrees out (winter). I.e. it is late at night.

When I do, I like to cozy up in the shade, on the grass under a tree, on a chair, or even just back to a wall. I do enjoy it, especially if there is a soft breeze and the sun is out. 

I actually spend more time writing outside than reading, mostly in short bursts as I wait for the next event or am picking up from an activity.

What about you?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Heavenly - Profile of Online Bookseller Mostly Romance

Romance is THE most popular genre of fiction. Many online booksellers have romances for sale but one seller, Mostly Romance, has a unique format and presentation. We have chosen Mostly Romance and owner Sandi Morris for our inaugural profile of unique and superb online booksellers.

Sandi tells us that Mostly Romance has been online for just over ten years. As many booksellers, Sandi started as a reader and collector.

During her junior high years, she discovered traditional Romance in Gone with the Wind and the gothic stories of authors Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney.  Always a voracious reader, Sandi was introduced to the modern Romance genre in 1973 when a co-worker recommended The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.  Followed by Jude Devereaux and Johanna Lindsey which led to Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Suzanne Brockmann and J.D Robb / Nora Roberts.  Traditional became non-traditional as Romances included time travel, outer space, vampires and werewolves.

Sandi tells us that as authors started writing connected books she found that she "had" to read all the books in a series and that she "needed" to read them in order.

Casual selling online of part of her collection caused her to recognize that she wasn't alone in this need and also that she had a knowledge of the authors, publishers and series she could share with other readers. was born.

Mostly Romance specializes in sets, or Sandi's preferred term, bundles, of connected books. This unique method of offering books for sale sets Mostly Romance apart from most booksellers.

The bundle may be a publisher/author defined set connected by characters, locale, occupation, etc. or it may be an author backlist bundle, or it may be a bundle of books with a similar theme.Bundles may be as small as two books about sisters or as large as the seventy-one book Montana Mavericks set that was recently sold.

Mostly Romance doesn't use stock photos but illustrates each listing with scans of the actual books being offered. This is very important in this niche market because the books Mostly Romance sells have been previously owned. Each listing includes an accurate description of the physical condition of the book(s) as well as publisher description (blurb) when available.

With over 6000 listings online and a back stock of 1000s, Mostly Romance has a lot to offer.

And, since it is "Mostly" Romance, you can also find Science Fiction or Mystery sets.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Frost and Sandburg

On the Thursday night of my first poetry reading it is only fitting I pay a little attention to the only two poets who wrote poems I remember from my youth and can still recite!

Sandburg's The Fog struck me, when I was "forced" to read it in 9th grade English, by both its imagery and it brevity. Sandburg managed to capture an entire event and the feelings it inspires in 21 words.

Slightly differently, and a year later, Frost's The Road Not Taken just resonated in my core. I was the one taking the road less travelled. I was standing in that wood on a snowy evening. It was frightening and empowering at the same time.

Frost's and Sandburg's works, of course, have been published in many, many formats and by many publishers. In my opinion, you can't go wrong. My favorite versions, for their inexpensiveness, their clarity, and their ease of use, are the Dover Thrift Editions.

What do you think? Any favorite poet from your school days?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Feature and Follow - Blogging Regrets as a Newbie?

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I am afraid I have not been nearly so adventurous to have any serious regrets. My biggest regret is not having enough time to participate more than a couple times a week and taking so long to join the blogosphere.

Even though my blog's been up over 2 years I still consider myself a newbie, since it was only this year I joined a blog hop and did a guest post or had more than 50 visitors for a single post.

I look forward to learning a lot more (and I am sure I'll have oops! stories to share along the way).

Leave me a comment, even if you don't find a mistake! Thanks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Women's Lit Event - Kick-off

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I am so please to participate in the Women's Lit Event sponsored by Lost in Books.

Please hop over there to see my profile of children's author Beverly Cleary discussing her appeal to BOTH boys and girls for several generations.

A little later in the month my review of the classic Newbery winner Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink will also be posted.

While you're there see what else Becca has planned for the Event which is in honor of Women's History Month. And stop back here and at Lost in Books throughout the month for new posts and interesting tidbits related to the theme.


P.S. Need a copy of one of Beverly Cleary's books?? We have a selection of pre-read copies here, all under $5, including shipping.

As of March 1 we had two used copies of Caddie for sale through, both under $4.25 including shipping.