Mailbox Monday & What’s New (#IMWAYR) – 1/29/17

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Mailbox Mondays are hosted by the ladies over on the Mailbox Monday blog.  Hop on over to see the rest of today’s linkups and show them some love!


Hello my loves!  Happy Monday!  I hope everybody got through the weekend alright – I know for some of us, it’s been a struggle… physically… emotionally… politically…. But I digress!

I know last week I said I was done ordering hard copy books for a while, but last Wednesday, I panicked a little bit.  This was part “state of the world” and part “I’ve just started reading 1984“.  In my frenzied stupor, I’ve ordered five new books, and two of them arrived on Friday!

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That vivacious background is courtesy of the Fantastic Beasts scarf from January’s “Loot for Her” Loot Crate.  Isn’t it marvelous?

I’m a bit ashamed to say I didn’t have a copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  I do have the audiobook, but it’s not the same.  Especially not in the case of this book.  This book is high on my list of favorites, being as it is the story of a dystopian future where our lives are controlled by the government and books are illegal.  I’ve got the 60th anniversary edition.  Four years ago, the publishers held a contest for cover art, and this design won.  I think it’s stunning in its simplicity, and a great representation of the book.

A few years ago, an incredible cover for Fahrenheit 451 began crawling across the web with a similar simplicity and message as this 60th anniversary edition one.  It was designed as a project and never intended as actual design, but it’s blunt and stunning nonetheless.

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Elizabeth Perez’s design is a book that can be literally set on fire, the ultimate homage, and irony.

The second book, Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, is a dystopian novel many may not have heard of.  It’s old – in fact, the only reason I know about it is I remember watching the film adaptation with my father (a huge fan of classic sci-fi).  I liked the movie as a kid, and I’ve been meaning to look into the book for years.  I’m excited to finally have a copy!

Logan’s Run is set in a world where everyone is killed at 21.  Of course, they make it sound nicer than this…but dead is dead.  That’s about all I recall about the story, so it’ll be good to find it again, fresh and new.  Apparently, Hollywood thinks so too, and a reboot was still in the works as if of last year.  I have a feeling darker dystopias are about to get really popular, so it’s a good time for it….

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Yay, 1970s special effects.  The reboot should be less cheesy…maybe?

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It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.  It’s a great way to catch up on all the literary ins-and-outs of the previous week, and see what everyone is up to.  Check out this week’s linkup!


Last week, I flew through the rest of The Name of the Wind and Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos.  I’ve spent the last few days telling everyone I’ve come across who I know reads to look into Patrick Rothfuss – now I understand why my friends so enthusiastically told me to read the book!

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler (Audiobook)

Early last week, I started listening to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler.  I think it’s wonderfully written, enough so that I would pick up another book by this author.  I picked up Z on a curiosity – I don’t know much about the Fitzgerald’s, but I am enchanted by the 1920s and they were the heart of it.  What I’ve listened to so far tells me that they were passionate, flighty, and absolutely impossible to satisfy.  Neither was ever completely devoted or unloyal to the other.  Scott seems like a lousy husband, but it may just be perspective, since the story is told from Zelda’s POV.  My favorite scene so far was at the beginning of the book when Zelda arrives in Pennsylvania Station and wants to lie on the floor to look at the architecture of the building.  Her childlike fascination fades fast….

1984 by George Orwell

As soon as I finished Theodosia, I jumped headfirst into 1984 by George Orwell.  I’ve only read this book once, as a freshman in high school, but I’ve been meaning to reread it for years.  I won’t sugarcoat this – with all the goings-on in the United States this last week, it feels oddly comforting to be reading Winston’s story, almost as though (dramatically) it’s a guidebook for what is to come.  I think that’s why I’ve been hooked on dystopias lately – scouring for an escape into a world that is growing frightfully similar to my own…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make much headway into 1984.  My lunchtimes – when I normally read – have been littered with interruptions and distractions.  I’m hoping to steal a little extra reading time in the mornings.  This is not the sort of book I can simply breeze through – there’s a lot of density to it, and I want it all to sink in.

Otherwise… my husband and I are still listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling.  We’ve just reached the part where the Fat Lady is torn up and Black’s inside the castle!  I keep watching my husband to see if he is enjoying the book as much as I do – Prisoner is my favorite in the series – but it seems this one isn’t his favorite.  Oh well.

I haven’t made any progress in Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath this week.  This is not a judgment on the book – it’s my bedside table book and I’ve been so wrapped up in the goings on in the world this week that Twitter has usurped my reading time.  It’s not something I’m proud of.

Finally, I did listen to two more lectures in Myth in Human History by the Great Courses.  It takes me an extraordinarily long time to get through these courses, because I end up replaying them.  They are interesting, and I would prefer to be able to take copious notes on the subjects to lock in the information… unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t allow for that kind or commitment, so I’ll have to end up reviewing the course a couple times.  For now, there were lectures on Egyptian creation myths and the story of Adam and Eve.  I really like the way the lecturer breaks down each story with a gentle but firm hand to show the various elements.  He never argues theology, just shows the elements of each story in a respectful and informative matter.  It’s a difficult line to tip-toe and Professor Voth does it marvelously.

Well, mes chers, that’s all my news this week!  What is everyone else reading?  Is anyone else as suddenly entranced with dystopias are me?

Finishing Books – #BookBloggerHop

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Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy on Ramblings of a Coffee Addict.  This week’s question is:

“How many books have you started, but just couldn’t finish?”

Check out the linkup to see everyone’s answers!


It’s difficult for me to put a book down.  I know how much work goes into writing them.

There’s the drafting.

Then the editing.

Then the redrafting.

Then submission and cover letters and inquiries and reading and rewrites prompted by agents, editors, publishing houses.  There’s title changes, cover releases, marketing, promotion, book readings and signings.  A lot of work and love goes into a story, so much that tossing it on a whim feels unfair.

Self-publishing has changed that for me.

I know, I know.  It’s unfair.  The writers have to do all that work themselves, or pay someone to do it for them.  The thing is – as a writer, I don’t believe that we’re necessarily qualified to edit our own work.  We’re close to it – we know the characters’ motives, but aren’t always able to see if we’ve made them clear to the audience.  We’ve seen it a gazillion times – we’ll glaze over typoes and poor wording.  We’re attached, and a better copy comes out when a skilled, impartial party takes a whack at the editing.

Every book I’ve dropped – and I think there’s only been about five – have been self-published.  Every one of them were sloppy, ridiculously cliched, and poorly plotted and designed.  Shallow.  I don’t feel bad about dropping a single one of them.  Just because one can publish does not mean one should.  At any rate, I’ve got a few hundred books I definitively want to read, and I need to use my time wisely.

Books I struggled to reach the end?  Don Quixote was a real challenge.  I was ready to put Theodosia down, too.  There have been dozens of non-fictions that were so dry I dragged through them like it was torture.  But I finished them all.

Present a book with the incorrect spelling of your/you’re and a love triangle with two incredibly handsome men after just breaking up with this guy who cheated on you and you’re moving into an incredible house and… no.  I’m done.  I’m sure at some point, this will have something to do with ghosts like it said in the blurb, but I’m not going to stick around that long.