It’s been a ‘bookish’ few weeks around here as the Graduate packed up and moved into his own space. Change is exciting, though the process of integrating change can be a messy one. And things did get chaotic as we helped him sort and toss and pack and schlepp his belongings across town to his new place. We sorted through a lot of books. A LOT of books. It was like a snapshot of his growing up years as we paged through picture books, early readers, teen novels and his more recent adult reads, including a number of educational textbooks.
At the same time, I accepted an assignment to write an article on almonds. Since I have to develop a healthy recipe using raw almonds, I gravitated to my large cookbook collection. I lost several hours and took another trip down memory lane flipping through vegan and vegetarian cookbooks purchased on trips over the years. Each book was a reminder of a country we once visited and a stage of life now gone – a time before we had our kids when vegetarianism, at least at home, was viewed with skepticism and veganism was barely understood.
Times change. Kids grow up and move on. Vegan dishes are on just about every restaurant menu these days. But books? Books – electronic or paper, fiction or non-fiction – remain pretty much the same; they’re still informing, still entertaining and still providing some much needed escape. Here’s what I’m reading this month:
At the gym: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
On the Kindle: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Before bed: The Dogs by Allan Stratton
Books read to date in 2017: 35
Reading time is at a premium right now as the garden calls. The tomato plants are taking over the greenhouse, and so are the peppers, basil, sweet peas and a few restless eggplants. Normally everything is in the ground by now but things are different this year. After weeks of not being able to work outside much, of wearing a hat and a heavy coat to walk Team Sheltie, we’re now outside in t-shirts and capris. Seemingly overnight we’ve gone from October-like cold to July-like heat. The garden is confused. Some beds are still heavy with moisture while others are sprouting weeds faster than I can pull them. Consequently I’m working outside most evenings until sunset trying to get on top of things. Here’s what I’m reading when I finally come in for the night.
On the Kindle: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
At the gym: The Happiness Animal by Will Jelbert
Beside the bed: 100 Best Plants for the Coastal Garden by Steve Whysall
Books read to date in 2017: 32
I’m excited to announce that my next Laura Tobias title MILLION DOLLAR BLUES is now available for pre-order. This is book one in the Girls Who Dish series and it’s about what really happens when you strike it rich. Here’s the synopsis:
Take one 75 million dollar lottery win. Toss in a struggling restaurant and a weasel of an ex-husband. Spice heavily with one true love. Is it a recipe for disaster or the recipe of Temple’s dreams?
Winning the lottery will help Temple turn her restaurant, GIRLS WHO DISH, into a world-class establishment. Except, everybody wants a piece of lotto pie: her mother, her daughter, her best friend . . . and the furious staff members who didn’t win and sue for their share.
As Temple struggles with a case of MILLION DOLLAR BLUES, she’s blindsided by the return of her first love, James LeShan. Now a successful lawyer, James will help Temple out of her legal mess . . . but he has something much more personal in mind for the two of them.
If you’re interested in pre-ordering for your e reader, you’ll find the book here:
I like the switch back to standard time. I know; I’m in the minority. But I like that extra hour of sleep, and I love that it gets dark a little earlier too. Outdoor activities are put aside for indoor pursuits like reading. There are few things cozier than shutting the curtains, lighting a candle, and opening a book. Here’s what I’m reading this month:
On the Kindle: Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell
At the gym: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story by Dan Harris
Beside the bed: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
Books read to date in 2016: 71
It’s been a year since I relocated my writing space from a cozy bolt hole in the basement to an office on the main floor of our house. I knew it would be an adjustment but I was looking forward to paring down, cleaning up and starting fresh. My old space was small and L-shaped with a single window overlooking my herb garden. My new office has higher ceilings, a large window that lets in more light, and a symmetrical shape that lends itself well to lots of shelves and two desks – my walking treadmill desk and a more traditional sitting desk. Team Sheltie loves that I’m upstairs. They love it so much that they’re in the office whenever I am. Luna dozes on the rug beside me when I write and Trace guards the door. He is the patroller of noise. He doesn’t like it; he’s convinced it’s out to get me; and he’s sure that barking his disapproval will make the noise go away.
Did I mention that the retired neighbor across the street has set up a work station in his driveway and regularly uses his power saw for a project I’m pretty sure is due for completion sometime in 2022?
There may be a set of noise cancelling headphones in my future.
When the noise gets to be too much, I escape into a book. Here’s what I’m reading this month:
On the Kindle: The Cinderella Weekend by Jenny Mills
At the gym:The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
In the evening: The Heart’s Code by Paul Pearsall
Books read to date in 2016: 55
The sweet peas are blooming though they’re a little confused. They don’t know whether to produce long, sturdy stems with deliciously scented blooms or short, stumpy little wisps with rather ambivalent flowers. I blame it on the weather. It was hot for a while but then it cooled off. As I write this, we’re in for a few days of rain. I’m not bothered. Sweet peas love cool, moist weather; the rain keeps the forest fire threat low; and an indoor day or two means more time to curl up with a book.
Here’s what I’m reading this month:
At the gym: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
On the Kindle: Anything for You by Kristan Higgins
Beside the Pond: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
Books read to date in 2016: 40
The seed catalogues are arriving and so are the seeds! We’re trying some new things this year – pepper varieties generally only found in Mexico, a few Mexican herbs, and some new (to us) tomato varieties too. And that’s only what we’ve ordered so far. There will be more. I love the promise of this time of year. There’s anticipation but not much hard work. Although the greenhouse is an absolute horror show and it’ll require some cleaning and prepping before it’s ready for seed flats. For now, though, this year’s garden is more of a dream and less of a demand. And that means I still have lots of time to read.
Here’s what I’m reading this month:
On the Kindle: Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
At the Gym: After You by Jojo Moyes
In Front of the Fire: My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
Books read to date in 2016: 11
The leaves have pretty much fallen from the trees, our apples have been harvested (and turned into crisps and pies), and later this week we set our clocks back an hour to standard time. Many people don’t like the fact that it gets darker earlier, but I don’t mind. It means it’s lighter in the morning, which makes it easier to get up. Not only that, the darker evenings are a perfect time to curl up and read a book.
Here’s what I’m reading this month:
Beside the fire: The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
At the Gym: Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger
On the Kindle: Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison
Books read to date in 2015: 70
As authors, we love it when people buy our books. But from a personal point of view, I can’t buy every book I want. It’s not practical or possible. For one thing, my house won’t hold many more bookshelves and, for another, my Kindle is quickly reaching capacity. I know I’m not alone. But even if you can’t buy an author’s book, there are a number of other things you can do to support them.
Write a review. Leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads is a huge help to authors and other readers too. There’s nothing like a recommendation to encourage someone to pick up a book. And, honestly, having someone read our book is almost as good as having them buy it.
Tell others. If you loved a book, spread the word. Tell your friends. Let librarians know. If it’s not in circulation, ask them to order it. Make a point of telling booksellers if you enjoyed a book too. It’ll help them when they need a recommendation for a customer.
Use social media. Mention a book you liked on your blog. If you’re on Facebook, share the title in your status update. If you’re on Twitter, send out a tweet about how much you enjoyed it.
Contact the author. Authors love hearing from readers and most of us are pretty easy to find. Drop us a note through our website or via Twitter. Let us know you enjoyed our work. That kind of feedback is literally priceless. And it’s appreciated far more than you could ever know.
I can’t say I’m a huge Kindle devotee. I probably pick up physical books twice as much as I power up my Kindle. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate having it. I do. With its back lighting and relative weightlessness, it’s great for reading in bed at night. It’s also wonderful and indispensable when I travel (No more trying to cram a week or two of reading material into a suitcase). So I’ll be loading the Kindle with books for this Sunday’s departure to Ontario. Although, given my schedule, I suspect I’ll be too busy (and too tired at the end of the day) to do much reading. But I can’t imagine traveling without something to read.
In the meantime, here’s what I’m reading before I leave:
On the Kindle: Best Friends Through Eternity by Sylvia McNicoll
At the Gym: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Beside the bed: Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir by Samantha Verant
Books read to date 2015: 31