Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I'm Reading Tuesday and Getting Ready for THE A-WORD

So far, April is not exactly, as the poem says, "the cruelest month" but it certainly has been the busiest! It is now officially less than a month until THE A-WORD (Soho Press) on 5/13 and less than month until the A-WORD Launch Party at Blue Willow on 5/17 and less than a week until the SCBWI Houston conference where I am once again honored to critique manuscripts, which I have been reading and pondering and scribbling notes on. It is -- as of yesterday-- also exactly one year until FINDING PARIS hits the shelves from Balzer and Bray.

In fact, yesterday Harper Collins sent me my Author Questionnaire! This always makes me both giddy with excitement and also panicked. Because it asks questions that in essence say, "What hugely famous people do you know who will say nice things about you and this book and thus make people buy a bunch of copies?" Okay, it asks other stuff, too. But that's part of it. You'd think this wouldn't phase me by now. You would be wrong.

But still! Another book! The crazy wonderful of this is NOT LOST ON ME.

But I have not  yet posted my TLA post and so that will come tomorrow. Like I say, it's been a busy few weeks.

Also just bought tickets for the Grand Ole Opry for when we're in Nashville this fall. I am on the fence about this, but I am told I will love it. So there you go.

And now on to what books I'm obsessed with this week!

  • Want a lovely, thoughtful, gorgeously illustrated picture book with an amazing story and message? Then pick up a copy of GRANDFATHER GANDHI, co-written by my talented Austin friend Bethany Hegedus and the grandson of Gandhi, Arun Gandhi. There is a post-9/11 story behind this book and it is just as moving and magical as the book itself. 
  • Still plowing my way through book 2 of the Outlander series. Jamie and Claire. Scotland! Romance! War and rebellion! Weird historical facts about lice and medicine and childbirth! Scottish dialect that sticks in my head and makes me say to the dog, "you're such a wee piggie" and then try to speak Gaelic!
  • Alternately also reading two prized galleys I picked up at TLA: WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart (to whom I shall always be grateful for blurbing Sweet Dead Life) and THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jen Mathieu, a talented and brilliant debut author from right here in Houston. (in fact we'll be signing together, along with Kristin Rae, on 6/28 at a co-sponsored event at BOTH Murder by the Book and Brazos Books!)
Both are must reads. LIARS has an enormous marketing campaign behind it so you've probably heard about it. Something has taken the main character's memory of a horrible accident and she is trying to piece things together. There is wealth and secrets and life-long friends and a love gone wrong and a powerful family and so much more. Mostly it's the writing. You may actually guess the secret early on. But Emily Lockhart's prose and style just thrill me. Such a cleverly crafted book.

Likewise for ALICE. Mathieu has hit it out of the park on her first book and it's receiving a very warm welcome. Multiple narrative voices. A small town. A girl named Alice about whom there are salacious and abundant rumors. And the truth that lies somewhere in between.

Actually it's a good pairing, these two books. And it's been interesting reading both while finishing the edits for FINDING PARIS, which is also about family secrets….

What are you reading this week?

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