Monday, August 1, 2011

L - August 2011

Ta da! Here's the new, improved cover for the forthcoming Under the Skin. I'd love to hear your opinions, either here or over on my (almost) daily blog where I discuss the changes and why I think they were made.

It's been brutally hot recently and I'm busy in the beans and tomatoes -- canning and freezing  as well as drinking copious amounts of minty ice tea. To work outside past ten or eleven in the morning is to court heatstroke-- not that the kitchen with a canner steaming on the stove is much better.

But with the coming of August, it always seems that relief is, if not around the corner, at least on the way.
In other Big News, Silverbell presented us with a beautiful pure Jersey heifer calf.  Clover looks like a deer...and is a dear.
 And I spent a week teaching at Wildacres Writing Workshop -- a wonderful, reasonably priced retreat just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I recommend it to all you writers of prose and poetry -- an amazing experience.

MARY says: What did you think of The Help, which everyone seems to love?  I thought it was too simplistic, not nuanced enough.  Though I sort of enjoyed reading it, as in--"what's going to happen next?"  Here's a book you might enjoy--My Dream of You, by Nuala O'Faolain.  It's about an Irish travel writer living in London, who is writing a book about an Irish peasant accused of having an affair with his English landlady during the potato famine in Ireland.  And about the writer's life as she's writing the story.  Also, Olive Kitteridge, actually a collection of short stories with the same characters showing up in most of them.  I loved these.

Carol writes: I just finished The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and liked it very much

Deana the Queena says.
Lamb by Christopher Moore was very enjoyable, and led me to read more of his books about vampires in San Francisco. I just finished Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, an historical novel about the leper colony there. The story doesn't focus on Father Damian, about whom much has been written, but on the lepers and how the colony changed from the late 1800s through modern times.
Earlier this week I read "the Housekeeper and the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa, a novel about memory, math, and making a family. I highly recommend this.

Jon Michael says: Louise Erdrich's A Plague of Doves,

I highly recommend this one!  She is a powerful medicine-woman writer.

I checked out her new short story collection, The Red Convertible.

Just finished Cutting for Stone which was great in spite of head hopping,
info dumps galore and a rich array of O.R. blood and gore, some of which
I just had to skip over. Still a remarkable saga @ 650+ pages.

From Barb in Missouri
  The awful heat we've been having this summer has kept me inside a lot,so I have had lots of time to catch up on my reading. I have recently read 3 books, by an author new to me named Gayle Brandeis, titled Delta Girls,Self Storage and The Book Of Dead Birds.All three have unique plots and characters and I enjoyed them all. Another book I recently read is Every Last One by Anna Quindlen.This is a story of before and after a violent act against a family takes place.A good read but intense in parts.

And I fell head over heels in love with a book that some of you were carrying on about a while ago -- The Art of Racing in the Rain really grabbed me. I read it and talked about it HERE, and then a week later read it again.
Here's a slide show of random shots from July. Click on pictures to biggify.

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Anonymous said...

I'm so looking forward to reading your new book, "Under the Skin," and will go on over to your blog to explain the reasons for the changes in the cover.

I completely agree with Mary about the poor writing in "The Help." I'm still not sure why that book got so much hype.

"Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter," by Tom Franklin, was really a good read, particularly well-done was the sense of place (Mississippi) and the interaction between the two main characters. I liked how the story of their relationship with each other unfolded very gradually. There's a mystery involved, but it's actually fairly obvious.

Vicki, you have so much energy to be doing all that garden stuff---my hat's off to you!

Deana the Queena

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, yes, Deana -- I agree about Crooked Letter --it was part of my reading for the Edgar awards last year and I had to promise never to review it or discuss it. But it WAS one of the six finalists - out of over 500.