Musing: Christmas Novels 

  
Is it too early to read Christmas-themed books? I don’t think so. They’re a sweet, uplifting gesture in a world sometimes full of heartbreak, heartache, and tragedy. 

I’ve read a few Christmas novels already, and you can look forward to a handful of reviews this week! 

Some titles include: 

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses: A feel good Christmas romance novel

Christmas at Evergreen Inn (A Jewell Cove Novel)

Merry Mistletoe (Kindle Single)

Four Weddings And A White Christmas

Wish Upon A Christmas Cake

Musing: Wanting to Love a Book, and ‘Tisn’t Cooperating

    
So I’m reading an advance copy of The Dressmaker, and the premise is terrific. The characters crack me up with their sly humor, and my heart breaks for Tilly as she has been excluded and harassed for all of her life. I love the setting, too, and the eccentricities and quirks of small-town living. 

But the formatting. Argh. Take a look at the photo above. The first few pages of each chapter have formatting issues so bad that I can barely read the sentences. I’m sure I’m missing something important to the story. 

And the plot development is killing me. Get to the point already! It seems like the several subplots are going somewhere… But WHERE?! 

Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you ever started a book and it starts to disappoint you, but you hold out and keep reading? 

I’m already in 50%, so I’m going to finish it. But I so hope it improves, because so far it’s just a book I Want To Love. 

-calliope

Musing: The Anti-Best-Seller Reader

 

If you’re a reader, chances are you take a gander at book lists. You probably even look at a weekly best-seller list, whether it’s in the Sunday paper or via your favorite online book-seller. 

Now maybe you’re the type who reads a best-seller list and zips right out to the grocery store to see if maybe they have a few copies left of anything from the top five. Maybe you’re in a book club and you’re taking notes so you have some ideas for your next read. Maybe you already OWN those books because you like to be in the know. Maybe you and your friends have such awesome taste in books, you had a hand in a book appearing on the list. 

Or maybe you’re a rebel. 

Yep. Some of you look at that list and decide you won’t be reading any of those books on the best-seller list. You’re going rogue. Maybe you’ll search NetGalley for an obscure sounding author and hope that your future review will boost a new author into fame. Or maybe you’ll hope it won’t, and you can keep the awesome new author all to yourself. 

Hey, maybe you’ll just stick to your favorite authors… the best-seller list be damned. And if one day your personal fave appears on the list, you can say “I read her when… .”

You might be the reader who looks at the list and thinks you’re better than pop culture. You’re above it all! You can find better books, whether or not they make it onto The List. Bring ye to the library, or Overdrive, or your best friend’s blog, or the water cooler. You’ll browse and ponder and find a title you’ll love. 

I like to think of the best-seller lists as a guide for Everyman: if you’re not entrenched in the book world, you need some sort of direction when looking for a monthly read. The best-seller list can do that for you. 

As for the rebels, we keep searching for what fits us, and we hope it’s not on a list. 

-calliope 

Musing: Books I’ll Read on Vacation

 

I usually read Happily-Ever-Afters, or cozy mysteries, or rom com chick lit. But when I’m on vacation I like to mix it up a little. 

One year I read the first book in Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series… and then proceeded to buy the next 10 for kindle… and then read them all before the week was over. Recurring characters grew and developed over the length of the series, which was very satisfying. New characters provided novelty and intrigue. 

Another summer vacation I read some best selling literary fiction – not my usual fare, but so engrossing. And I felt fancy as I saw my popular choice on many other beach blankets. 

Last summer I read summer-y novels, some set on Cape Cod or Nantucket, some on the coast of North Carolina. I like to believe my reading experience was heightened by my literal beach surroundings. 

I’m planning another couple of weeks at the beach this year. On my first go-round I think I’ll scare myself silly with a psychological thriller that Urania recommends. And with 85 unread titles in my Kindle’s “suspense” collection, I’ll have plenty to choose from after that.  Vanished in the Dunes by Allen Retzky, or Murder on the Côte d’Azur by Susan Kiernan-Lewis are contenders. 

And maybe I’ll add in a book with a beachy title from another genre: The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis. It looks goooood. 

What do you read on vacation? 

-calliope

Melpomene’s Top 25 of 2014

What a year!!!! Seriously!!! I have read so many great books, that trying to pick only 25 nearly gave me an ulcer. Stressful. While many of these weren’t released in 2014, I didn’t read them until this year. But here it is:

01 top25

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1. Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park
2. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
3. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
4. The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons
5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
6. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons
7. Bright Side by Kim Holden
8. The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
9. Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken
10. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

The rest are in no particular order
11. Even the Moon has Scars by Steph Campbell
12. Becoming Calder and Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan Those two go together. They’re a combo pack.
13. Jacked by Tina Reber
14. Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
15. Red at Night by Katie McGarry
16. The King by JR Ward
17. Vain by Fisher Amelie
18. Greed by Fisher Amelie
19. Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover
20. Until the End by Abbi Glines
21. Burying Water by KA Tucker
22. Infinity + One by Amy Harmon
23. Until We Fly by Courtney Cole
24. Hate: A Love Story by Laurel Ulen Curtis
25. Letting Go by Molly McAdams

What are some of yours??

Goodbye, October … Hello, November

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On this last day of October…

October’s Party
by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”

Tomorrow we welcome November. New books… and long, cold nights during which to read them.

-Calliope