Friday, February 3, 2023

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett: Book Beginnings on Fridays, First Line Fridays, The Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop


Friday Book Friends: Book Beginnings on Fridays, The Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop... I've been intending to join these fun book memes for many years, and I finally got around to trying these out on Fridays in December.  I plan to continue participating in 2023.



Today's Featured Book 

 Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries 

by Heather Fawcett

Genre: Fantasy

Published: January 10, 2023

Page Count: 320 pages

Summary: 

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party—or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, muddle Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.




 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY is hosted by Rose City ReaderWhat book are you happy about reading this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) on BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY! Add the link to your blog or social media post and visit other blogs to see what others are reading.

Happy Friday and welcome to the FIRST LINE FRIDAY, hosted by Reading is My Superpower! It’s time to grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line.



"Shadow is not at all happy with me. He lies by the fire while the chill wind rattles the door, tail inert, staring out from beneath that shaggy forelock of his with the sort of accusatory resignation peculiar to dogs, as if to say: Of all the stupid adventures you've dragged me on, this will surely be the death of us. I fear I have to agree, though this makes me no less eager to begin my research."







THE FRIDAY 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. To play, open a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on your e-reader). Find a sentence or two and post them, along with the book title and author. Then link up on Freda's Voice and visit others in the linky. 


"For the first time, he looked at me as if I had surprised him. I guess he'd never had much reason to bargain with mortals when he could simply sing them senseless and then drain their hearts dry."






The purpose of THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, and befriend other bloggers. THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer   


February 3rd - 9th - What was your favorite genre to read as a child? Do you still read that genre, or do you read something else now? (submitted by Mark @ Carstairs Considers)

Magical stories! 
Edward Eager's books, 
like Half Magic and The Time Garden and Magic by the Lake.
A Wrinkle in Time.
Fairy tales.

I loved magical stories when I was a kid.
I still love them,
but I have a hard time finding them now that I'm a grownup.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Authors Yiyun Li and Matthew Salesses at Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series





Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series
Monday, January 23, 2023
Congregation Emanu El
Yiyun Li and Matthew Salesses





Matthew Salesses: "On the other side of wonder is grief."




Yuyin Li: "My student says, 'I want to write about trauma.'
'Oh no,' I say. 'Keep it murky.'"



Matthew Salesses: "You'll never exhaust the mystery of being alive."

Yiyun Li: "The Three Little Pigs---that story is about free will.
One pig chooses to have the straw house.
All my characters are stubborn.
They may choose the straw house."



Yiyun Li: "I'm a strong believer that people are not knowable.
I will never know my characters."

Matthew Salesses: "I don't know you and
you don't even know yourself."




From the Inprint Website:

YIYUN LI, a MacArthur Fellow, has been described by Salman Rushdie as “one of our major novelists.” She is the author of nine books, including the novels Must I Go, Where Reasons End, and The Vagrants, the short story collection A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. About her profound meditations on grief and loss, The Washington Post writes, “Li has stared in the face of much that is beautiful and ugly and treacherous and illuminating – and from her experience she has produced a nourishing exploration of the will to live willfully.”

She joins us to share her new novel The Book of Goose, a story of fate, art, influence, and intimacy between childhood best friends. When Agnès receives news of Fabienne’s death after years of estrangement, she is forced to reconsider Fabienne’s fraught role in helping her escape their war-ravaged town and launch a successful writing career. According to Sigrid Nunez, “Any new book by Yiyun Li is cause for celebration, but now more than ever do we need the clarity and humaneness of her vision.” Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages, and her honors include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Windham Campbell Prize, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Award. Li is a contributing editor for A Public Space and throughout the pandemic led a virtual book club on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. She was born in Beijing and serves as the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

MATTHEW SALESSES is “definitely a writer to watch” (Robert Boswell). A former Houstonian, Salesses received an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship and the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing while earning his PhD from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. He is the author of four novels, including I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, The Hundred Year Flood, and the PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear. He has also written a nonfiction book called Craft in the Real World, which explores alternative models of the writing workshop for marginalized writers and was greatly informed by his time teaching Inprint Writers Workshops. About the book, Laila Lalami in The New York Times writes, Craft in the Real World “is a significant contribution to discussions of the art of fiction and a necessary challenge to received views about whose stories are told, how they are told, and for whom they are intended.” Salesses was named one of Buzzfeed’s 32 Essential Asian American Writers, and his essays on adoption, race, and parenting have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR Code Switch, and Salon.

He joins us to read from and talk about his new novel The Sense of Wonder, “equal parts a love letter to the intricate art form of basketball; a blade-sharp page-turner that delves deep into the rotten heart of America; and an ode to K-drama and the liberating power of love” (Laura van den Berg). According to Catherine Chung, “Matthew Salesses’s new novel is so freaking good I can’t stand it. Blistering, confident, full of swagger and heart, it is also an exhilaratingly smart treatise on race and our collective imagination that lays bare our limitations before blasting joyfully past them.” Salesses was adopted from Korea at age two and teaches creative writing at Columbia University.





For more photos, link up at Wordless WednesdayComedy PlusMessymimi's MeanderingsKeith's RamblingsCreate With JoyWild Bird Wednesday, and My Corner of the World.


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

It's a New Year, So Shall We Try for Happy This Time?

I have 359 books on my Happiness Shelf at Goodreads, and 298 of them I've rated either four or five stars.  

Reading about happiness, you might say, makes me happy.

I've read a lot of books about happiness. Perhaps I'm a bit of a happiness book expert. So I thought I'd share a few with you from my Happiness Shelf.

Stock image for Anna Karenina for sale by SecondSale

Some books are obviously on the shelf as a case of What Not to Do. Anna Karenina, for example. If you are interested in becoming happier quickly, I'm not sure it would be in your best interest to read an 864-page book on how to be miserable. So, let's skip Anna.

Stock image for Potato Pants! for sale by SecondSale

Some books are just a delight to read. Potato Pants by Laurie Keller is one of them. Though I'm not sure Potato Pants would be delightful for everyone...Maybe strike Potato Pants from your list for right now, but don't forget about silly picture books for a snappy burst of joy.


Let's move on...

Stock image for Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience for sale by SecondSaleStock image for The How of Happiness : A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want for sale by Better World Books

If you are wanting some in-depth books about happiness, let me suggest Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the founders of the positive psychology movement, and he's very good at explaining the eight characteristics of the peak experience of flow. Or you might like the very-thorough, well-researched The How of Happiness by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.  

Stock image for The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun for sale by Gulf Coast BooksStock image for 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 for sale by SecondSale

Perhaps you are just getting started on your happiness journey, and a big tome is too much right now. I'd suggest you start with The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun or the readable 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works by Dan Harris.

Stock image for Better Than Chocolate: 50 Proven Ways to Feel Happier for sale by SecondSaleStock image for Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused All Day Long (The Five Good Minutes Series) for sale by boyerbooksStock image for Be Happy (Deluxe Edition) : A Little Book to Help You Live a Happy Life for sale by Better World Books: West

I keep some of these books on my shelves at home for some quick mood-boosting: Better Than Chocolate: 50 Proven Ways to Feel Happier; Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused All Day Long; and the most condensed book of all, Be Happy: A Little Book to Help You Live a Happy Life.

Stock image for I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations for sale by SecondSale

Okay. I think that's about it, though I personally think the world would be a much happier place if everyone would read (and put into action) I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening). Just a thought...Maybe something to keep in mind after we all become a bit happier first.



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.    

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Sunday Salon: Born a Crime

 






You told me it was amazing, but I didn't believe you. Forgive me. I've read too many over-hyped celebrity memoirs, and I thought Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was just another one of them. I was wrong, and you were right. Yes. Amazing.

If you want to venture into the world of great classics and great literary fiction, but you are worried about getting bogged down in pages and pages of text...you might take a look at Great Short Books: A Year of Reading Briefly by Kenneth E. Davis. Davis reads and shares some...well, some Great Short Books (capital letters earned).



What I Finished Last Week:


The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf (1001 Children's Books You Must Read)





Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Nonfiction: Memoir)

Great Short Books: A Year of Reading Briefly by Kenneth C. Davis (Nonfiction: Books-about-Books)





What I'm Reading Now:

Adam Bede by George Eliot (Chapter-a-Day Classic)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Classics Club)

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (Creativity Challenge)

Mistress Masham's Repose by T. H. White (1001 Children's Books You Must Read)

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg (Creativity Challenge)

Making Comics by Lynda Barry (Creativity Challenge)

The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li (Recent Fiction)








Last week I posted here at Readerbuzz:







I got out Monday night to hear authors Yiyun Li and Matthew Salesses read from their new books at Inprint in Houston. I will post about their readings later this week.









Happy this series has returned.



























Good Thing #1

"I lovu you"
My granddaughter Annie added the second heart 
to my new Back-of-the-Pantry Chalkboard the last time she visited. 
Now I can't bear to erase it.




Good Thing #2

Not a rare bird, I suppose, 
but the first time this little guy was in my backyard:
Ruby-crowned Kinglet.



Good Thing #3

On the wall behind the authors
at the synagogue 
where the author reading was held this week.




I'm happy you joined us here at the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 


Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.

        

My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 

Friday, January 27, 2023

☂ Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life ☂ by Amy Krouse Rosenthal at Friday Book Friends: Book Beginnings on Fridays, First Line Friday, The Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop

Friday Book Friends: Book Beginnings on Fridays, The Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop 

I've been intending to join into these fun book memes for many years, and I finally got around to trying these out on the Fridays in December.  I plan to continue participating in 2023.


Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life: A Memoir: Rosenthal, Amy Krouse:  8580001353500: Amazon.com: Books

Today's Featured Book 

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Genre: Memoir

Published: January 25, 2005

Page Count: 240 pages

Summary: 

How do you conjure a life? Give the truest account of what you saw, felt, learned, loved, strived for? 

For Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the surprising answer came in the form of an encyclopedia. In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life,  she has ingeniously adapted this centuries-old format for conveying knowledge into a poignant, wise, often funny, fully realized memoir.
 
Using mostly short entries organized from A to Z, many of which are cross-referenced, Rosenthal captures in wonderful and episodic detail the moments, observations, and emotions that comprise a contemporary life. Start anywhere—preferably at the beginning—and see how one young woman’s alphabetized existence can open up and define the world in new and unexpected ways.
 
An ordinary life, perhaps, but an extraordinary book.




 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY is hosted by Rose City ReaderWhat book are you happy about reading this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) on BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAY! Add the link to your blog or social media post and visit other blogs to see what others are reading.

Happy Friday and welcome to the FIRST LINE FRIDAY, hosted by Reading is My Superpower! It’s time to grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line.


"I was not abused, abandoned, or locked up as a child. My parents were not alcoholics, nor were they ever divorced or dead. We did not live in poverty, or in misery, or in an exotic country. I am not a misunderstood genius, a former child celebrity, or the child of a celebrity. I am not a drug addict, sex addict, food addict, or recovered anything. If I indeed had a past life, I have no recollection of who I was. 

I have not survived against all odds.

I have not lived to tell.

I have not witnessed the extraordinary.

This is my story.

                                                        ---Amy Krouse Rosenthal, age 39

                                                                                                Chicago

                                                                                             June 2004"

                                                          







THE FRIDAY 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. To play, open a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% on your e-reader). Find a sentence or two and post them, along with the book title and author. Then link up on Freda's Voice and visit others in the linky. 




My Review of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life


REVIEW

I've read and reviewed 6,846 books at Goodreads (as of today) and this book is probably #13 or #14 on my list of my very favorite reads ever. I'd give it ten zillion ✩✩✩✩✩✩✩s, if I could. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life is a memoir, and it's a kind of a picture book for grownups, and it's a history book for those of us of-a-certain-age, and it's a book that is full of Very Wise Thoughts. 

Amy was actually the Goddess of Creativity...Creativity dripped out of her fingers every time she wrote and it spilled out of her mouth every time she spoke and it surged from her body every time she moved. 

"Make the most of your time here," she told us, almost as if she knew something was in route for her before the doctors did.

So, okay, this isn't much of a review, but, hey, I honestly just lead a rather ordinary life myself. Still, I'd urge you to grab a bit of that life-force that was AKR and read this book. And then watch her little TED talks and view her little videos and you might even read her picture books. And then GO...GO AND MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME HERE.

 





A Little More About Amy Krouse Rosenthal...


Amy died in 2017. She was 51. She had ovarian cancer. She wrote lots of my favorite books including Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life for grownups, but she also wrote lots of my favorite books for children including Little Pea and Yes Day. She also created lots of wonderful interactive celebrations (take a look at some here). I was delighted to meet her several times at author events. Here is the last photo I took of her. She was autographing her most recent book, Textbook Amy Rosenthal:








The purpose of THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, and befriend other bloggers. THE BOOK BLOGGER HOP is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer   


January 27th - Feb. 2nd - Do you prefer to read in a quiet or noisy setting? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

That's easy.....VERY, VERY, VERY QUIET. Please do not come into the room and disturb me. There should be no sounds coming from the tv or computer. QUIET. COMPLETELY QUIET.