Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a Friday Fifteen, partly because November was a dumpster fire and partly because I was in a reading and writing slump (mostly related to the general dumpster fire-ness).

ReadingYes Please by Amy Poehler
Fresh and funny and honest; I want to be friends with Amy and her friends.

Writing: …I know what to do if there’s a fire or earthquake or killer bee attack.
New MC is prepared for anything.

Translating Hagrid’s Accent

I love this fascinating look at the complications of translating Harry Potter into an international bestseller and maintain its sense of British-ness and wordplay.

Also, I totally didn’t realize that that was how Quidditch got its name.

No matter where you may live and what languages you may speak, we can all feel part of the wizarding world.

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:

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!

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been saving: