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:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! This weekend I’m doing a writing retreat with my crit group, so I’m psyched for a weekend of fun and productivity (and not only wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants). Let’s get things started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingWonder by R.J. Palacio
I’m like the last person to read this, but so sensitive and touching.

Writing: I’m running faster than I have in months and I could run forever.
Protagonist in the new draft is on the upswing.


Happy Book Birthday to The Light Fantastic!

Fellow Candlewick author Sarah Combs is one of my favorite writers and people in the world. Her debut, Breakfast Served Anytime, got me teary because it was so beautifully written and so full of love and hope and feels. So obviously I’ve been way excited for her next book, and I am thrilled to say that The Light Fantastic is out today! A little about the book:

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

I’m so excited to see how Sarah brings together these viewpoints to craft a sensitive and thoughtful story of grief and anger and pain and hope.

In case that all sounds awesome to you, too, friend and fantastic book blogger Ginger is celebrating The Light Fantastic‘s release with a giveaway! Inspired by one of the book’s associated discussion questions, Sarah and Ginger are sharing their lists of five good things/things that matter. Check out their lists and sign up to win a copy of the book!

Even though I’ve already ordered my copy, I want to share my list of five good, real things. In no particular order:

  • The smell of bread baking, the magic of seeing how such simple ingredients can become something so delicious.
  • When a song comes on the radio and you have to turn it up and sing along and make ridiculous emotive hand gestures.
  • The first sip of coffee.
  • Jokes you have with loved ones that go so far back, you don’t even remember exactly when or how they started.
  • When you’re watching a movie, sneaking a glance at the rest of the audience and seeing them engrossed in the story.

Head over to Ginger’s to share your five, enter her giveaway, and most importantly, get yourself a copy of The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! It may be September, but it still feels like summer in the Boston area, and I’m using that as an excuse to write outside and have as much ice cream as possible. Here’s a look at what I’ve been writing and reading, in fifteen words or fewer.

Reading: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Marchetta is a master at balancing comedy, drama, and extended family stories. So my jam.

Writing: “I doubt they’d let you handle a deadly weapon like a lacrosse stick.”
My main character’s got a history of sports-related violence.


Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! I know that in a few months I’ll be dreaming of summer again, but for now I’m so done with heat and humidity and I need fall to start asap. (Either that, or I need to find a way to spend the next few weeks reading by a large body of water.) Until then, let’s get the weekend started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer:

ReadingThis Side of Home by Renée Watson
Touching look at growing up, growing apart, gentrification, and the people who make a neighborhood.

Writing: “You’re either going to start dating or bite his head off like a praying mantis.”
One or the other.