I know, I know. I live in Arizona. I have NO right to complain about the cold. I spend 3/4 of the year wishing it were colder, to be honest. But this morning, when it was about 20 degrees and we still have no heat in our house, I thought, dang. It’s cold. We worshipped the space heater for a while, I’ve got the oven turned to 450 degrees, and I open it every few minutes to let the hot air blast out of it. We’re wearing sweaters. I’m going to have to bake something today. Again. Bread? Cinnamon cake? Baked potatoes? More cookies?
Phooey on no heat. And I’d go into why I’m too mad at Marvin the Heater Fixer to call him again, but it is too long of a story for a blog. It’d need to be my next novel.
So, I’ve been weathering the cold by disappearing into books. Since the cold weather set in, it seems like my TBR pile (to-be-read) beside my bed has been shrinking quite nicely. And with the return of my Kindle (after it was so sadly smashed last summer), it’s been nice to have the e-reader option back again.
Right now I’m reading a bunch of manuscripts for writer friends, but when I need a break from editing, I am going back and re-reading C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. If you haven’t picked that up before, it’s great. And it’s not about divorce at all. (Or I doubt it’d be my type of story.) It’s a kind of a fantasy about a bus ride between Hell and Heaven, and for some of the characters it’s a round-trip. I love seeing Lewis’s incredible insights into man’s foibles and hangups. I’d forgotten how good it is!
I’m also reading Dissension by Adrienne Monson on spec, a vampire book. (Vampires are generally not my thing, but it’s a great plot!) Plus a biography of C.S. Lewis. And a couple of other books. I like having several books going at once.
With the e-reader I’ve been having a good time reading the books of an author I met online, Jolene Perry. I love contemporary teen stuff, and she’s great at it. They’re the kind of book I can stay pulled into even when kids are practicing piano and watching Phineas and Ferb in the same room. So far I’ve gone through Insight, and Spill Over, and The Next Door Boys, which is an LDS novel. Luckily she’s got more books. Don’t you love it when you find an author you like and then you find out he/she has a bunch of other books? It’s great.
Here are some more of the books I’ve read lately:
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson (read on the Metro and the plane back from D.C. Fabulous Regency romance. Super clean. Delightful twist.)
Variant and Feedback by Robison Wells–great dystopian teen series. Totally loved it.
Aura by Rebecca Talley, another writer I met online and a good, clean contemporary teen fantasy.
A few by Sarah Dessen: Someone Like You, Along for the Ride, The Truth About Forever. Of those, Along for the Ride was my favorite. As a mother, I kind of found Someone Like You revolting–the daughter who made good choices all her life goes off the rails? Not the kind of book a mother of three daughters should ever read.
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag and A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. Do I love Flavia de Luce, the 11 year-old prodigy and mystery solver on her father’s estate in 1950s England? Yes, I do. She’s got the best voice I’ve read in yeeeears. I’m taking my time with this series, spreading the reading out so I can savor it.
Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelyn Van Draanen. This I just grabbed off the YA shelf in the library. So funny and fun. I do love a good YA.
Sermons in a Sentence by John Bytheway. Fabulous. And delightfully brief.
The Book of Mormon. The Pearl of Great Price. Now I’m in the Old Testament again.
J is For Judgment by Sue Grafton. I listened to this on tape while I was painting the living room. I do think the heroine of this series, Kinsey Milhone, is one-of-a-kind.
Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo. I can’t believe it took me this long to finally read this book. It changed me. It was wonderful. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought of it since I read it. Hundreds.
The Dating Deal by Melanie Marks. Okay, this is my favorite LDS YA I’ve read in a long time. I loved it.
Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson. Okay, this is my favorite LDS chick lit I’ve read possibly ever. So fun. So delightful. So hilarious.
Shaking Down Santa by Susan Corpany. This book was just the perfect way to top off my Hallmark Cheesy Christmas Movie Binge. I loved the characters and all the wit. Susan makes me laugh. A lot. And I am dying to see this turned into a movie. (Get on that screenplay, Susan.)
I also read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Charlie St. Cloud, Persuaded (by Jenni James), The Fourth Nephite (by Jeffrey S. Savage), and some other nonfiction books. Plus the editing projects, which have been actually really good!
I guess it wouldn’t bother me if the weather stays cold for a couple more months.