Because reading is hot.

I had an interview at some point this year in which the interviewer, potential boss, asked me if I had any personal blogs or sites that I maintained. Did I lie and say “no” like a reasonable person? No. No. I did not. I said “er, yes. I have a photo blog and a book blog.” Ears perked up, posture corrected, pen ready to write: “Book Blog? What’s it called?” Did I come to my senses and say something like, “Books that I like and other things?” No, I, apparently am incapable of lying and said, “um, booksforhotties?” in a questioning, hushed tone. He repeated it, laughed, and wrote it down on his already 25 page dossier he had going on me. This was one of those epic interviews that went on for 2 hours. I tried to breeze back into normal interview talk about my web skills, etc., but I do believe I’ve revealed this hardly-updated blog to a potential employer. So, um, hi Scott! What books do you like?

In other news: HAI! I haven’t updated since MARCH! That’s a long time. But, I actually love this blog and books and writing and talking about books so I couldn’t bring myself to delete it. I’m way behind on reading too. I’ve been reading more lately, but I went through a whole long period where I wasn’t doing much, but looking at the internets. I HEART Etsy, and making Treasury Lists, and I am waiting impatiently for my invitation to Pinterest! SO, as always, what are you reading? What do you recommend?

I finished Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis not very long ago. Which I liked, and so did The Kid. Adventure, talking animals, bad queens, and bandits, what’s not to like?

And, I just finished Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan (of The Strain fame), but to be honest I wasn’t into it. It’s all about jacked up Boston boys who rob banks and when one of them decides to leave the neighborhood and his friends to start a new life with a person he so happened to kidnap in a bank robbery, things start to fall apart. I read the whole thing, but I just didn’t love it. It was fantastically written in parts, especially from the point of view of the protagonist, but the female characters were so cliche: the absent mother, the whore, the victim, the saintly teacher. Barf.

So, come back hotties! Tell me what you’re up to!

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I’ve not finished any of the books I listed in my last post. I told you I am experiencing a bit of ADD when it comes to reading so far in 2011, right? I did manage to finish a book, but it’s not on the list. It was the 3rd book in the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley A Red Herring Without Mustard, which was just as good as the first two in the series. Flavia is still precociously solving mysteries and loving chemistry. She’s still 11.  That said, Red Herring and the rest are lovely cozy mysteries with a heroine you can root for. I had pre-ordered that book months ago, and forgot about it and then it showed up in the mail. Which, as we know, is AWESOME! Who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail that you forgot about? It’s like sending yourself a present. Really.

And now that I’m done with Flavia, I am not reading any of those books listed below either, instead I’ve got a book called The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Which came used from abebooks.com and (The Book Man). And speaking of surprise presents that you get in the mail, The Winter Sea was wrapped in a page from a magazine with an image of Prince Charles kissing Princess Diana. Lovely touch. The Winter Sea came recommended on a number of lists. So, thanks  Book Man. You can’t get that kind of awesome in an electronic format.  No sir. Please keep your Kindle over there, mmmkay.

The Book Man also has Bookstore Dogs which makes me want to road trip it to Canadia.

Birdie in the Bokstore




Birdie in the bookstore

Originally uploaded by Steven & Monica

Favorite local, independent bookstore: Valley Booksellers in Stillwater, MN. They have birds, and if you ask nicely they’ll run the train that’s on the ceiling! What’s your favorite indie book shop?

Super Mon’s Last Stand

Where have you been? I’ve been hanging out with my kid, who, as many of you know, busted up his leg real bad which required two surgeries (the third is in two weeks), an external fixator and pins, a week in the hospital, and is now homebound in a wheelchair for two months while he heals. I returned to work, and much else is back to normal, but I feel a like the high of stress of all that happened is not fully diminished enough for me to relax and sit down with some tea and a book. Winter is typically marathon reading time for me. I’m missing it, which may be a clue that I might be ready to start again.

No, I haven’t gotten much reading (or god forbid, writing) done. I know this will pass. I am, after all, Super Mon, a SUPER READER. In the meanwhile,  I’ve begun the process of amassing my book pile next to the bed for when my concentration returns. I’m not even going to bother trying to promise that I’ll be a regular blogger. I mean, I hope I will be, but I wasn’t doing much blogging before The Kid’s epic fall. What are you reading? Anything good? I’ve got these books in the hopper:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Is this a good book? It’s been on a lot of lists last year. I don’t know if it’s my kind of story, but I’m checking it out anyway)

Kitchen Confidential by the indomitable Anthony Bourdain

Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma by Brad Warner

Buddhism For Dummies by Jonathan Landaw and Stephan Bodian

The Everything Zen Book: Achieve Inner Calm and Peace of Mind Through Meditation, Simple Living, and Harmony – by Jacky Sach and Jessica Faust

and

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby (which I intended to read last year, but didn’t get to it)

I Love The Library!

How’s the writing and the reading going, Hotties? I am writing away for my NoNaWriMo project, but I am feeling behind already and destined to not hit the 50,000 word mark. I’m behind mostly because I am so distracted with all the other stuff I want to read and watch that doesn’t involve me sitting down at a computer. A great wave of homebodied-ness has seized me since we turned the clocks back and mostly all I want to do is read under a blanket or watch movies. Under a blanket.

Not helping with need to retreat to under the blanket is an email from my local library saying that I currently have 18 items on the hold shelf, ready to be picked up. Whoo Hoo! It’s like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one! 18 items at once is a lot, even for me! I LUF The Library! Don’t you?  Some of these items are not for me. Some are for The Kid, or for Wolverine. We use only one card in our library-loving family (usually) because we tend to check out A LOT of items (see above) and having them all in one place, on one list, is easier to keep track of . On the list are things like: The Thing (for Wolverine), Indiana Jones Lego Wii game (for The Kid), and The 39 Steps (for me). Additionally, The Big Ass Book of Home Decor,  an audio book of The Hobbit,  and more.

I am the tracker and keeper of all information that my family needs: appointments, dr. office numbers, lists, calendars, passwords, pins– you name it.  Take for instance, The Kid. He had a library card before we moved. However, he doesn’t have an email, so when his book became overdue, I had no way of knowing (since all information must flow to me through the interwebs). And, The Kid isn’t very likely to remember the due date, or where he put the book he checked out, for that matter.

I think I love the library and the internet so much for the same reason. Excess of information. I tend to be addicted to information overload. Libraries and the internet are perfect for my addiction! And, it’s especially awesome that you can access the library ON THE INTERNET!! Did you know this? Go there right now, with your library card (make sure you pay your fine) and request something. You will receive a happy email that says, “Your hold of Come Let Us Be Merry: Traditional Christmas Songs from Scotland and Ireland is available for pick-up!” And you will go there and get it, and you will be so happy!

Hello Hot Stuffs!

Happy November 1! November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I think it’s a great project for we motivated Hotties! Get out your pens, or dust off your keyboards and sit down and write! EVERY DAY!  Last year, I told myself I would do this this year, and I almost forgot, except I thoughtfully put it on my calendar. Here’s to planning ahead! Woot!

The NaNoWriMo website is SLOW to crawling today to timing out all together, which seems very promising. Maybe there will spring forth a plethora of new novels from this very cool project. Anyway, if any of you hotties have a novel just waiting to come out, you should start writing and we’ll share our stories next month!

Andrea King Collier at She Writes has a list for how she’s getting started.   She starts by telling her agent, and by not telling her family. Both of those things sound nice, but I don’t have an agent, and I already told my family. They seemed OK with it, but it’s only the 1st day, and I haven’t locked myself away to write yet, so we’ll see. Collier is blogging her experience too, so it’s a double whammy of NaBloWriMo and NaNoWriMo together! Which I will do here as well!

I like her idea of using her camera and shooting video as she goes. She discusses it as potentially being a “multimedia failure” but I am all for that idea. She also made a basic plan of how her month of writing would go. I think this is wise. Especially if you’re like me and LOVE the grand ideas, but sometimes end up getting sabotaged by reality.

Here’s my steps to success ( I only have 9–I’m a little odd):

1) Write.

2) Write about something new. Not half-finished and left to rot in my hard drive, but new.

3) Take pictures or shoot video to inspire me.

4) Find a partner real quick to write with. (Any takers?)

5) Block time on my calendar every day for writing.

6) Create a massive soundtrack of all my favorite music to listen to while writing.

7) Share my progress with you. (Yikes! and double yikes!)

8) ignore, or at least put off, the compulsion to edit.

9) Create a private space to write in.

 

Day 1: The Beginning

Books 4 Hotties is Back!

Hotties hold on to your hats! Books 4 Hotties is back! Newer, better, prettier, and of course, hotter, than ever before. It turns out we all still really like books, and talking about books, and eating whilst talking about books. And some of us also like drawing and painting and taking pictures too, and other creative pursuits. See? Smart, Creative, and Hot!

I sent out an email asking peeps if they want to resume book club and received THUNDEROUS replies of “Yes!” and “WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?!” And, “I can’t meet then, but I can then.” So, without further adieu: we’re resuming. But, with some differences!

It is my vision to make B4Hs more visual and crafty. What does this mean exactly? Well, we can read literature, sure, but wouldn’t it be awesome to get in touch with our arty sides and read books that are visual or about making art? And, then get inspired and make stuff like a visual journal? So, we shall go on photo shoots,  visit  museums, lectures, plays, places that are interesting, or new. We will learn about other artists, and make stuff.

WHAT? you say? Not me! I don’t draw and paint! Psshaw, I say to that. The blank page or canvas can be intimidating, for sure, and that’s where the books we’ll pick come in to gently guide us away from the savage beast of the inner critic. Also, you don’t really need to draw and paint, you can write and doodle, take pictures, sew, whatever you get inspired to do. The point is to do it, and to support each other, and create and strengthen the community of super hotties that you are!

Book 4 Hotties 2010-11 will being with reading

An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory

Our first assignment is to begin reading this book, and to start a visual journal and bring it along to our meeting which will be the weekend of November 19. If you feel at a loss about what kind of things to create, or not sure what to do, just bring your blank book and some pens or paint and see what happens!

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