How I Write: secrets of a best-selling author by Janet Evanovich and Ina Yalof ISBN 978-0312354282
cover art from “How I Write” by Janet Evanovich and Ina Yalof
This is another book I listened to on audio book and it was fun.
Janet’s daughter, Alex, has been her web-master since the beginning and has kept a page for questions about writing. Ina Yalof is a professor of English who lives in New Hampshire where Janet used to live. So this book is written like a group of ladies gathered around a table drinking coffee and eating coffee cake. Alex poses the question from the web site; Janet answers the question and at the end of the chapter Ina inserts her blurb from the non-fiction realm. When examples are needed, they are pulled from Janet’s Stephanie Plum Series and are read by Lorelei King — reader of the Plum series and she is just extraordinary.
This is wonderfully light and humorous — I wouldn’t say this is the intellectual capstone of the publishing industry but she uses her wonky sense of humor and love of life to share insights on what works for her. She encourages people to just sit and write. Plow through the self defeating ideas that are wont to distract beginner writers. Janet candidly shares that the first three novels she wrote are still in her desk drawer, but they are written and complete. She also shares that it took her ten years of constant rejection to get published.
This is recommended for people interested in writing but needing a slight humorous boost to get their butt in the chair. Maybe a person who has stopped a story because of some life experience. This book is also for people who love Janet’s other books and just want to understand a little more about how she does it!
Posted in Adult Non-fiction, books on CD | Tagged advice, Alex Evanovich, How I Write, Ina Yalof, Janet Evanovich, Lorelei King, publishing, Stephanie Plum, writing | Leave a Comment »
I am probably the only person on the face of the planet who never read “The Series of Unfortunate Events” until this winter. Somehow this sort of missed my pile and when it did come into the remote vicinity I thought … my kids’ father died years ago, do they need to hear about unfortunate things? I like adventure and happy endings. I like handsome heroes who win in the end. A series of unfortunate events sounded depressing — life is depressing enough when I read I want escapism.
cover art from “The Bad Beginning”by Lemony Snicket
But somehow the kids (ages 11 and 13) decided that we needed to listen to the series and since all thirteen books have been published, thankfully we didn’t have to wait for any. We listened to the whole series and though Lemony Snicket himself read some of the earlier works, Tim Curry read the majority of the books and OMG, he had too much fun reading these books. The books themselves are great, they really are — the combination of reading and humor and word choice are just plain great … Tim Curry is a performer of amazing talent and the voices he gives everyone are just priceless.
These books are listed for age eight and up — so we are rather late in listening … but the humor is there and readily available for all reading levels.
Posted in books on CD, kids fiction | Tagged Klaus, Lemony Snicket, Series of Unfortunate Events, Sunny, Tim Curry, Violet | Leave a Comment »
The Healthy Green Drink Diet: advice and recipes to energize, alkalize, lose weight and feel great by Jason Manheim ISBN 978-1616084738
The Healthy Green Drink Diet by Jason Manheim
I first learned about green drinks a year or two ago when I read a book by Victoria Butenko. She is a vegan / raw foodist who believes that if you follow the diet of the chimpanzee — mostly greens, then fruit/vegetables and some nuts — then you will get all the nutrients you need. She is very interested in getting the exact nutrient levels of all kinds of greens: from lambs quarters to kale and she shows that some of these greens are full of great nutrients.
So when I saw this book on the shelf I had to take it out. Jason also makes some great points: an acidic body is more likely to exhibit disease (Otto Heinrich Warburg’s Nobel Prize winning research), boosting immune system, and weight loss.
The American Cancer Society tells us we need to eat 5 to 7 servings of fruits and veggies every day with some greens. If you counted what vegetables you ate today would you have succeeded in the Cancer Society recommendations? I would have — for I just drank my green drink for lunch! Roughly 2+ cups of kale, a pear, an apple, and some frozen tropical fruit blend. Two quarts of green drink was my lunch. I love it and it is so easy. Some days I will serve a green drink with dinner as well. I keep an assortment of spinach, mixed salad greens, kale and collards in my fridge and I always have organic apples and pears on my counter in easy reach of the blender. My kids will tell you that some blends are better than others — but amazingly enough, they always drink them. (editor’s note — dandelion greens are full of amazing nutrients but a little goes a long way in the flavor department!)
So when I picked up this book — I was looking for recipes. I sort of open my fridge and see what I have. These were great to look through and I hope to keep track of some of them to experiment with in the future. I am sure my kids will appreciate it!
Posted in Adult Non-fiction | Tagged American Cancer Society, cookbook, fruit, green drink, Jason Manheim, recipes, vegetables | Leave a Comment »
Phoenix Endangered (Enduring Flame, Book 2) by Merecedes Lackey ISBN 978-0765355072
cover art from Phoenix Endangered by Mercedes Lackey
I enjoyed this trilogy very much and have actually restarted it to listen with my kids because I thought that with dragons and magic and elves … this was right up their proverbial alley.
That being said the second book is not the most thrilling of books — there is a lot that needs to be studied, there is a lot Tiercel and Harrier need to see and do. There are many people that need to be introduced to get the pawns in play. In my opinion, there is similarity with the original Star Wars trilogy. People like “The New Hope” because that is the first and you meet all the characters and people like “Return of the Jedi” because that is the dashing conclusion and it has Ewoks; however, somehow “Empire Strikes Back” has swamps and teaching and it seems slower. “Phoenix Endangered” has no swamps … it is all desert. Sand, sand and more sand and very special mage made wells.
I listened to this story on audio book and it is very well read. Because of that my spelling of strange city names or characters may be inaccurate!
Tiercel and his dragon partner, Ancaladar, start working together in earnest. All the battle training and spell work keep them busy whenever they are not in a city for Ancaladar cannot come into cities.
Harrier meets with an annoying unicorn — Kareta. Kareta gives him the three books in the previous novel and sticks around for awhile to try and encourage (or rather nag) Harrier in learning more about the wild magic. To be a Knight Mage he needs training in swordsmanship — but since they are traveling in the desert looking for the lake of fire from Tiercel’s dream, finding a teacher is not one of his top priorities until they come upon a wounded man and Harrier heals him.
The reader meets Shaiara a leader of her people from the desert.
We also learn more about Bisochim and his dragon. His fear of her death and what he chooses to do to protect her and with whom he makes pacts. This is a very good story — it continues the changing relationship between Tiercel and Harrier. However mostly — this book sets up everyone to be in place for the next exciting adventure!
Posted in Fantasy | Tagged Ancaladar, Enduring Flame, Harrier, HIgh Mage, Kareta, mage, mage price, Mercedes Lackey, Phoenix Endangered, Shaiara, Tiercel, Wild Mage | Leave a Comment »
Sheila Connolly will be here in June … mark your calenars and read one of her books before she comes, she writes three different series so you are bound to find something you like!
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Changes: the Collegium Chronicles (Book 3) by Mercedes Lackey ISBN 978-1410444172
Changes by Mercedes Lackey
Mags is still at the Collegium training to be a Herald with his friends Healer Trainee Bear and Bardic Trainee Lena. This book reveals a great deal more stress in family relationships.
Healer Collegium has to move heaven and earth to convince Bear’s family that it is more important for Bear to be at the Collegium because of his gifts and talents as opposed to going home to be part of an arranged marriage hoping to procreate children with the Healing Gift.
Bardic Trainee Lena needs to confront her famous father who seems to be stealing others works and claiming them as his own, using his Gift in unethical ways which can cause him to be banned from Haven … where he so desperately wants to be because of his attachment to the limelight.
All of this familial angst makes Mags very happy that he doesn’t have any family.
There seems to be a raising level of angst in the whole city and anyone with any kind of empathic gift can sense it. People are on tinder-hooks and then Mags finds a room deep in the castle with a stone table. Anyone who has read the Last Herald-Mage series will remember this stone for it was a focus for mage gift in the kingdom. This stone is balance and Mags, using his Gift of Empathy, can use this stone to find balance again.
In this installment of the Collegium Series — relationships between friends deepen and the characters continue to mature both on the field and in the classroom. We eagerly await the final work in this series for we still need to discover the history of Mags and why the bad guys still want him!
Release date: October 4, 2011 | Series: Valdemar (Book 3)
Enter the thrilling third volume in the epic Collegium Chronicles.
In Mercedes Lackey’s classic coming-of-age story, the orphan Magpie pursues his quest for his parent’s identity with burning urgency-while also discovering another hidden talent and being trained by the King’s Own Herald as an undercover agent for Valdemar. Shy Bardic Trainee Lena has to face her famous but uncaring father, one of Valdemar’s most renowned Bards. And Healing Trainee Bear must struggle against his disapproving parents, who are pressuring Bear to quit the Healers’ Collegium because he lacks the magical Healing Gift.
Each of the three friends must face his or her demons and find their true strength as they seek to become the full Heralds, Bards, and Healers of Valdemar.
Posted in Fantasy | Tagged 978-1410444172, Companion, Dallen, Herald, Herald Trainee, Mags, Mercedes Lackey, Valdemar | Leave a Comment »