July Reading Wrap Up!

Despite being on vacation for a week, I managed to read seven books for a total of 1,977 pages. That makes 56 books in 2021 so far. My lofty goal is to reach 100 total books for the year. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

  • Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood
  • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  • Good Bones by Maggie Smith
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

I enjoyed The Deep, Good Bones, and The Boleyn Inheritance the most. The titular poem of Good Bones is one I will most likely revisit a lot. The Deep was a lyrical, thoughtful Afrofuturist story based on the song The Deep by clipping., and it was also quite emotional at times.

I enjoyed The Antelope Wife the least. It was just a struggle to read. I’m not sure why, but I felt lost for much of the novel. Maybe it was due to a cultural divide, or I lost track of all the characters and plot lines. I tried hard to like it but it fell short of the mark.

What did you read this month? Was it a good reading month? Which book did you enjoy the most? The least?

May Reading Wrap Up!

I’d like to start sharing my reading list here. On the last day of every month, I’ll post a wrap up. Feel free to share yours; let’s talk books!

I read a lot of poetry this month. Which means I also wrote a lot of poetry. If I keep up this pace, I’ll definitely be able to put together a chapbook by the end of the year.

This month, I read nine books for a total of 1,950 pages. In total, I’ve read 40 books this year–67% of my personal goal! This will be the first year I read 60+ books. I’m determined to be successful.

  • War of the Foxes by Richard Siken                                                       
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke                                                                  
  • Autopsy by Donte Collins                                                                    
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory                              
  • Midnight Blue by Simone Van Der Vlugt                                             
  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen                                                 
  • This is the Fire by Don Lemon                                                             
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn                                                           
  • Swan by Mary Oliver                                                                   

Of these nine books, I enjoyed Piranesi the most. It’s such a weird little book! I loved it and wish I could visit that world. I least enjoyed Swan, which is odd, because I usually love Mary Oliver’s poetry. This collection just didn’t do it for me, though. Oh well; can’t enjoy ’em all!

What about you? Was it a good reading month for you? What book did you enjoy the most? The least?

The Forest: A Novel Teaser #2

In April, I talked about my writing goals. I’m happy to say, I’m doing fairly well on them. I’ve written about 1,000 words of my novel (it may not sound like much, but as I’m a slow writer, I think I’m doing fairly well!), and I’ve written a couple new poems. I’ve also been more active on this website. It wasn’t a goal to be, but it’s an achievement I’m proud of anyway.

It’s been almost a year since I shared the first teaser of my novel, The Forest, which is about a young girl who wishes herself into a fairy tale and gets trapped.

Please enjoy this short preview of my novel.

“There’s magic in the world, Gwen,” Papa said, his one hand gesturing towards the open window.

Gwen rushed to see. She wasn’t sure what she expected, but it certainly wasn’t the same, tired scene: The outhouse hidden between two evergreens; the dilapidated truck with the wheels missing and the front fender dented in; the chickens pecking their way across the grass, heckling each other for food. She turned back to Papa with a disgruntled sigh. “Those are just chickens, Papa.”

He laughed. “Well, of course it’s not going to show itself in broad daylight!” He dropped his voice to a whisper. “It’s afraid.”

“Why, Papa?”

Papa patted his knee. “Come here, child.” Gwen took one last look out the window, searching for a quick glimpse of magic hiding in the shadows, or perhaps sitting in her Papa’s old, rusty truck, before running over to climb into Papa’s lap, eager for another of his stories. “Magic is afraid of people.”

“Like you and me and mama?”

Papa pinched her cheek. “Exactly so. When people first came to the world, they were mean to magic. Fairies had their wings cut off. Dragons were put to the sword. So many witches burned at the stake; the sky was black with smoke for an age.”

Gwen felt tears stinging in her eyes. “Why, Papa? Why were people so mean?”

“Because people kill what they can’t understand.”