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What I’m Working On, March 12, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve done a general update, so here we are!

First of all, some exciting news! “Writers and Authors” will be running a guest blog by yours truly on March 23! Stay tuned for the link to “7 Reasons to Embrace the Author Reading.” I will also be taking part in Promo Day on May 6, presenting on editing (still working on fine-tuning the topic).

Second, a book update! I’ve been lax on reviews lately, but here’s what I’ve read since my review of Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper. (If you follow me on Goodreads, you know some of this already).

  • Kill 6 Billion Demons, by Tom Parkinson-Morgan
    • This wasn’t really my thing. However, I still can’t quite put my finger on why. The mythology behind it was really cool, though.
  • Bone: The Complete Edition, by Jeff Smith
    • I found this graphic novel positively delightful, totally touching, and so very good. It’s 1,300 pages, but worth it.
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris & David Javerbaum
    • Listened to this one on audiobook, which I loved. It’s read by NPH himself, and includes audio clips from a few events he references. Turns out, he’s done a lot in his life. The stories were great, and highly entertaining. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” part even worked pretty well in audio (it was read straight through, but with audio cues like, “listen on” and “hold tight, we’re coming to that”).
  • Cold Days, by Jim Butcher
    • The fourteenth book in the Dresden Files pulled me out of a reading slump. A gripping book, like the others in the series about Chicago’s wizard-for-hire.
  • Skin Game, by Jim Butcher
    • I had to find out what happened next. Now I join the rest of the fans in waiting for book number sixteen.
  • Portuguese Irregular Verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith
    • It’s best not to take this book too seriously. I did like it, though it’s not joining my “favorites” list. McCall Smith captures the little power wars in academia quite well. I had a hard time relating to the main character, though.
  • Bright Lines, by Tanwi Nandini Islam
    • This was so good. The first half takes place in Brooklyn in 2003, following a Bangladeshi-American family. The elder daughter (really an adopted niece) is home from college for the summer and struggling with some mental health issues and her sexuality, the younger daughter is just done with high school and navigating relationships and the desire for freedom, their friend Maya is staying there to escape her father’s overbearing rule, their father has an apothecary and harbors inappropriate thoughts about the woman next door, and their mother runs a salon and is seemingly kind of oblivious to all this. It’s one of those books that’s hard to sum up succinctly, so . . . read it.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeymi
    • It’s pitched as a retelling of “Snow White,” but it’s more than that. Oyeymi weaves a tale of an abused woman who flees to start a life of her own, a girl who’s lost her mother, how their lives come together, and what happens when that woman has a daughter of her own. Family secrets—from all sides—come to light, complicating matters even further.
  • Chi-mewinzha: Stories from Leech Lake, by Dorothy Dora Whipple, Mezinaashiikwe
    • I heard about this one at last year’s Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards, and picked up a copy at Fitger’s that weekend. This book features bilingual stories told by Whipple, an Ojibwe from Leech Lake. It features illustrations, a glossary, notes on the translation, and more. It’s a good volume for those interested in linguistics and/or Native American studies.
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, by Sarah MacLean
    • Phillipa Marbury is the “strange” sister, a bookish type more interested in her scientific experiments than marriage. She’s engaged to Lord Castleton, a nice if somewhat dull man, and she wants to be sure she knows exactly what the marriage vows mean. She enlists the help of Cross, a partner at her brother-in-law’s gaming hell, to teach her. He keeps trying to say “no,” but she’s nothing if not persistent. Besides the palpable tension in the air, it’s also quite a funny read.
  • Runaways, Volume 1: Pride and Joy, by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
    • Andy recommended this series for me, about the kids of supervillians (who are not supervillians themselves . . . I don’t think). This first volume lays the groundwork for the rest of the series, which I’m excited to get to. Even better, this series is complete at eleven volumes, which means I can read them all at once without worrying about when the next will be released!

Woo, that was a lot. I really do need to update my reviews more often. I’ll try to get back to posting on a more regular basis, I promise! Now that I’m (kind of) adjusted to my new schedule, I know where to take time for Inkstand and editing. What I’m reading now: H is for Hawk (audiobook), by Helen Macdonald; The Cat Who Tailed a Thief, by Lilian Jackson Braun; and Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.

Third, thank you to all new subscribers! (And to those who have followed from the beginning, of course.) It’s good to have you, and I look forward to bringing you all more advice, reviews, tips, publishing news, and more.

Fourth: one of my editorial assistants.


What’ve you been reading lately? Any recommendations?


Published inBooksUncategorizedWhat I'm Reading


  1. Cindy Cindy

    Thanks, Anne. I loved the sound of some of those books.

    • Thanks! They were (mostly) fun to read, too!

  2. Anna W. Anna W.

    I wish I was able to read as much as you do! I have not heard of the Bradbury book–I will have to look for that.

    Right now I am reading the January 2017 issue of National Geographic, which focuses on gender issues around the world–very interesting and right up my alley. Since I’m helping plan some Poetry Month events for April, I have several poetry books by Nebraska authors checked out right now, and am looking forward to reading those. My next non-poetry book will be Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill–looks to be quite fun, interesting, and informative!

    • It helps that a lot of the books have been pretty short! 🙂

      I hadn’t heard of the Bradbury book, either, but I was browsing the writing/reading/publishing section of Half-Price Books this morning and found it. I’m not very far, but so far I like it.

      Oooh, I love the sounds of what you’re reading. Let me know how Unmentionable is! It’s been on my to-read list for a while and looks really interesting.

  3. Lizzzz Lizzzz

    I kind of like the full-haul of what you’ve been reading! Gives lots of variety to choose from if I’m looking for something new. If only I had time for non-academic reading… In fact I’m procrastinating right now!

    • Yeah, that is a major plus of being out of school. I love having time to read more “fun” books. And it has been quite a variety lately!

  4. Anne – thanks for the latest update! I enjoy seeing what you’re reading, mostly because you’re bringing stuff to my attention that I would not know about otherwise. So thank you!

    You’ll have to let me know how you enjoy that cat mystery novel – as you probably know my wife had me read one of Braun’s last year, and it was rather delightful. Also I hope you have time to write about the Bradbury book on writing – I’d be very interested in your thoughts on that one, as I have not read it. Oh and thanks for the HPB plug – happy to help! 🙂

    Thanks for continuing to put your thoughts out there.

    • Always happy to share what I’m reading! Especially when the books are good.

      I finished the cat mystery the other day, and did enjoy it. Maybe not quite as much as the Mrs. Murphy mysteries by Rita Mae Brown, but I did start reading those younger and became attached to the characters there. I think I’ll be checking out more of Braun’s books, though.

      Still working through the Bradbury book—it’s super short, just haven’t had a chance to sit down and finish it. So far, I really enjoy it. There will likely be a full review when I finish it. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

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