I have neglected the blog this month in favor of doing a final revision of Love Over Easy based on beta reader feedback. It was my first experience with that kind of criticism and it was hard. My lovely editor, Kenny Baldwin (who is also my brother), walked me through it and made me feel better. I’m afraid I was a bit of a diva. But the book is better than it was and I’m so excited to share it with the world starting tomorrow!

I read several mediocre books this month and a couple really great ones.

I read The Word is Murder a while back and loved it, so I had high hopes for this YA novel by Horowitz. I was disappointed. It was a very straightforward chosen one story line. The protagonist was fighting against a satanic cult trying to use a nuclear incident to unleash some demons on the world. I have the same problem that I do with most satanic cultists which is: why do they think that they’re going to be spared from the evil they unleash? It never makes sense to me. In any case, this book was unremarkable and I didn’t even hand it to my daughter.

This book made me want to spend the summer at a beach house. It made me glad that I have a best friend that my daughters can love and confide in. Aside from that, I was mostly confused and irritated by it.

In an admittedly accurate depiction of the fickleness of teenage girls, the main character flirted and begged for attention from every boy in the book. It made me want to bang my head against the wall and say ‘girl, go figure out who you are and what you love. stop worrying about boys so much.’

I’m reminded again that romance just isn’t my genre and while I love my novel that comes out tomorrow, I won’t be writing any more romance. 🙂

Barbara Kingsolver writes literary fiction and its not everyone’s cup of tea. I was devastated when I picked The Poisonwood Bible for book club and not a soul liked it the way I did. I usually find her brilliant and evocative and her writing beautiful and poetic. I didn’t love Unsheltered.

It’s a contentious book about a family in several different kinds of crisis at once. The parents have failed both financially and at raising a close and loving family. It also flashes back a hundred years to another dysfunctional family embroiled in a debate about Darwin.

I think that the book is supposed to be a commentary on humankind’s hubris and unwillingness to adapt to ideas that make us seem less important in the grand scheme of things, but it was so disjointed and political that the overall theme was lost in the noise.

This one came recommended to me by a friend, so maybe I had high expectations. It was good, a steampunk coming of age adventure. I liked the characters and thought there was a fun undertone of who to trust and what to believe.

For some reason it was overall just okay to me. I don’t think that steampunk is really my thing. I listened to it, so maybe that was a factor, but I felt like it was slow in spots. I thought it was wrapping up a couple of times then it kept going. I will hand it to my daughter though, who I think will enjoy it.

At the beginning of quarantine a friend recommended the Masterpiece show The Durrells in Corfu. She said it was light-hearted and fun and perfect for these stressful times. I rather enjoyed the show and when I realized that it was based on a real family I got curious and discovered that the show is loosely based on this book.

As is usually the case, the book is a million times better than the movie. This book is like a boy version of Anne of Green Gables. Gerry is enamored with his surroundings on Corfu, particularly the wildlife, and writes about them charmingly. I laughed so hard out loud several times reading this book and insisted on reading portions out loud to my husband who laughed too. I have a sudden desire to get a pet tortoise. Or to move to Corfu. I’m planning on bullying my book club into reading this book. It is absolutely delightful.

This book was so timely for me. It’s all about why we should be creative and how we can free ourselves from the natural fear of other people’s opinions. The section devoted to why we shouldn’t take our work too seriously really stuck out to me. I have been working on my novel, Love Over Easy, for eight years. Perfectionist tendencies and wanting my work to somehow mean something prevented me from putting something that I felt was trivial out in the world with my name on it. And Love Over Easy is definitely trivial, a fun little love story that will make you laugh, but that’s okay. I appreciate Gilbert’s book because it helped me solidify my thinking about why and how I put my work out there and made me excited instead of scared to continue writing.

Tune in tomorrow for Love Over Easy’s launch! I’m so excited.

1 Comment

  1. Shelly May 1, 2020 at 5:55 am

    It amazes me how much you read… and then how much you can remember of what you read. And woohoo! Today’s the day!


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