Friday Fifteen

So. It’s been a week. I haven’t felt particularly writer-y this week, and a lot of other, smarter people have already said smart things about the election and its results.

This week I was also reading 26.2 Miles to Boston: A Journey into the Heart of the Boston Marathon by Michael Connelly. I loved reading the history of the marathon and going step by step in the route and remembering all the excitement of last year. I remembered the emotions of the 2013 marathon and the bombing and how the week after felt then, too. But I remembered how even in hard times, good people prevail. We need to stay strong together and fight for each other.

So instead of a regular Friday Fifteen, here’s a (fifteen words or fewer) quote I particularly liked from 26.2 Miles to Boston. It’s from five-time wheelchair division champion Jim Knaub:

“Just concern yourself with what’s ahead–anything behind you doesn’t matter.”

Keep fighting. Keep moving forward.

Babbitt Everlasting

I was so sad to learn that Natalie Babbitt, author of the beautiful Tuck Everlasting, died yesterday at 84 years old, after a battle with lung cancer. Publisher’s Weekly has a lovely obituary about Babbitt’s life and work. In the AP article about her passing, I love this quote by her husband:

“She once said that her ambition was just to leave a little scratch on the rock..I think she did that with ‘Tuck Everlasting.'”

My childhood copy of Tuck Everlasting.

My childhood copy of Tuck Everlasting.

I more than agree. Tuck Everlasting is a book I read over and over as a kid, and I got something new out of it every time. I reread it as an adult a few years ago, and I was blown away by the precision of her writing–her craft was on point. I also write about how Tuck Everlasting stays with me as an adult and the power of children’s literature a little while back for Ploughshares.

I got to meet Babbitt briefly about ten years ago, when I first moved to Boston. She was doing a panel with Lowis Lowry and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and I got my copy of Tuck Everlasting signed. I don’t remember saying anything in particular to her (probably just “thank you for being here, I love your book”) or that she said anything in particular to me, but it was one of the first big writer experiences I had, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see her.

I’m so sorry that the world has lost Natalie Babbitt, but what a wonderful mark she’s made on the lives of so many readers. It seems appropriate to end with this quote from Tuck Everlasting:

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s Halloween weekend, which means I’ve already had at least three mini Twix bars and have seen at least one person in costume. I’ve also had a head cold for the last week, so I’m going to act like Lupin and tell myself the chocolate is medicinal. Here’s to a weekend of more chocolate, rest, and reading! Let’s kick things off with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.

Reading: The Distance To Home by Jenn Bishop
A heartfelt and thoughtful story of sisters, growing up, grief, and baseball.

Writing: …it feels like it’s going to start raining any second. Way to be, Sunshine State.
I feel like I could use a little more sunshine this week, to be honest.

Links Galore

Some good links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s appropriately fall-y here in New England, and all I want to do is wear hoodies, see all the turning leaves, drink tea, curl up with a few good books, and bake all the baked goods. Hopefully I’ll get a least a couple of those in over the weekend. Let’s kick things off with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing.

ReadingLife Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People by Camille DeAngelis
If you liked Big Magic, get Life Without Envy immediately. Must-read for writers.

Writing: …I thought, maybe it’s true—maybe this will be an adventure.
New projects are always an adventure.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Actually Read (and Liked!) Because of a Recommendation

Confession: I’m the worst at getting book recommendations. My reading list is already so long and I read more by feel than by a particular order–if I finish a YA contemp, maybe I’ll feel like a sci-fi middle grade after it, who knows?! Plus I get weirdly obstinate when people tell I “need to write” a particular book. Even if I know I’ll like it and I trust the person who’s recommending it, I don’t want my reading habits to be tied to any particular person.

That said, there are some books I (eventually) read that I can remember someone specifically recommending to me. And I actually ended up really enjoying them! So I’m joining this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, to share my list of ten books that I read because of a recommendation. In no particular order:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I never would have come across Garden Spells on my own, but a couple of librarian friends highly recommended it. Now I’ve read several of Addison Allen’s books and love them!

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
I can’t remember if a friend recommended this to me or actually gave me a copy, but either way, it was my introduction to Hale and her beautiful storytelling.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
A friend in high school recommended this to me, and I adore this story of fathers and sons and love and letting go.

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno
Walt found this quirky and sad book almost by chance, and passed it onto me afterward. We both ended up really enjoying Meno’s writing.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by by Laini Taylor
I think I was the last person to read this. One of my crit partners let me borrow her copy, and I finished it over a weekend.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
This is kind of a double recommendation, since a friend in high school recommended it to me after a teacher recommended it to her. Still one of my favorite short story collections.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
I remember a friend in fifth grade mentioning Babbitt, and this ended up being one of my all-time favorites.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters
I mostly get my graphic novel recommendations from librarian friends. This one is at the top of my favorites list!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A friend bought a copy for me, which is good because I probably wouldn’t have thought to pick it up otherwise. Ended up loving it and rereading it a couple of times.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I know, right?! I remember seeing the hardcover at my local Barnes & Noble when I was in like 9th grade and thinking, Oh, that sounds interesting, but I only had money for one hardcover that day and basically forgot about the boy wizard. Then my mom got a copy when she was travelling, read it in a day, and brought it back for me. We devoured the next two, and the rest of the series as they came out.

What books have you read because of a recommendation? Comment below or share your own post for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Quote of the Day

rilke

Currently reading (and loving) Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People
by Camille DeAngelis. Camille included this Rilke quote, and of course I had to Photoshop it into the image above.

Stand strong, trees.

(Original image: Green tree by Stanley Zimny)