Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! This week has felt like nine weeks long, so I’m super excited to be heading into a long weekend of fun with some great friends. Let’s head into the weekend with a couple of fifteen-word (or fewer) book reviews.

Ana of California by Andi Teran
My favorite kind of adaptation–gets the spirit of the original, but expands the world.

My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
Felt like it went off on a lot of tangents; too personal to be helpful.

Competition and Camaraderie

running-573762_640I’m always finding connections between running and writing. Recently, I was listening to an episode of the Runner’s World podcast, in which they talked about the recent attempt to break two hours in the marathon.

Around 30-minutes into the episode, they talk about how the pacers in this attempt were special in that they were all elite athletes–ie, runners who are used to focusing on their own goals and winning races. For this race, elite athletes were running to support someone else’s goal, in the hopes that one of the three competing runners would break the world record. Runner’s World columnist Alex Hutchinson, who was there for the attempt, talks about how the pacing runners were so supportive of the competing runners, and how this isn’t unusual for the running community. One particular thing Alex says about this:

“Everyone wants to be the best, but everyone wants everyone else to be their best, too.”

This really stood out for me as a great way to frame the idea of professional competition and camaraderie, particularly in the writing world. As much as I love to support my fellow writers, I’m also totally guilty of feeling jealous of other people’s successes (mostly because all you see on social media is SUCCESS SUCCESS SUCCESS over and over and over).

runners-752493_640But I also want other writers to be writing the best books possible–the world would totally suck if only one person got to be the best writer, and everyone else wrote meh books. I’d way rather live in a world where I’m always striving to write the best books I can, and in which everyone else is doing the same. We all end up pushing each other and challenging each other and inspiring each other.

And unlike professional running, there doesn’t have to be one winner per race. Okay, so only one book can win some award every year, but every book can be someone’s favorite. The more awesome books out there, the more everyone wins.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everybody! I’m spending some time in an old project today, and trying not to melt in the heat because Boston suddenly realized that spring is almost over so it better hurry up with this warm weather. Let’s get the weekend started with some book reviews in fifteen words or fewer.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Beautiful take on friendship and first crushes and loss and hope, with Stead’s gorgeous writing.

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L.A. Meyer
Fun and historically interesting, but for girl-on-a-ship, Charlotte Doyle still gets my vote.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
More an exploration into people who love octopuses. Not as scientific as I’d hoped for.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s been a week of ups and downs, but I’m trying to keep the good stuff in mind–like flower-y raincoats and good friends and long walks and pups and, of course, books. Let’s head into the weekend with a few book reviews in fifteen words or fewer.

The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs
Aka “Writing So Beautiful It Makes Annie Cry in Panera.” Combs = contemp YA feels.

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
A lovely send-off to Tiffany Aching books. Terry Pratchett, I wish I’d known you sooner.

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
A touching novel in verse about family and art and grief and home.

Links Galore

Lots of  links I’ve been saving:

Kidlit for Cancer Research

This time next week, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber team. I ran with Dana-Farner last year, too, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

But for charity team runners like me, fundraising for a great cause is even more important than the race itself. On the Dana-Farber team, we raise money for innovative cancer research at the Claudia Adams Barr Program, where scientists use this seed money to fund creative and dynamic projects that could make major lifesaving changes for patients and families. I know way too many people whose lives have been affected by cancer in some way, and I’m so honored to be part of these efforts to support science and fight cancer.

Right now, you can help support science and fight cancer AND win some awesome writerly items. What more could you want? Check out Kidlit for Cancer Research, in which some fantastic writers and agents have donated signed books and query/first page critiques! There’s some seriously awesome stuff like:

The auction closes tonight, so get your bids in now! 100% of funds raised go to groundbreaking research at the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everybody! It’s been a week, and for some reason it’s snowing again, but that’s a good excuse to stay inside and talk about what I’ve been reading in fifteen words or fewer.

Irises by Francisco X. Stork
Touching story about sisters, sacrifice, grief, and moving on.

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Another fantastic Tiffany Aching book; excellent look at fear and violence.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Powerful and moving account of the amazing black women who got us to the stars.