Goodreads Monday is hosted by Budget Tales Book Blog. “Goodreads Monday allows you to post about what books are on your “to read” lists, the progress you have made on your current books and reading challenge, and any other Goodreads news!”
Books I Finished In the Past Week:
Your First Novel Revised and Expanded Edition: A Top Agent and a Published Author Show You How to Write Your Book and Get It Published by Anne Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb
In this revised and expanded edition of Your First Novel, novelist Laura Whitcomb, seasoned literary agent Ann Rittenberg, and her knowledgeable assistant, Camille Goldin, team up to provide you with the essential skills needed to craft the best novel you can–and the savvy business know-how to get it published. Complete with updated references, analysis of new best-selling novels, and the same detailed instruction, Whitcomb will show you how to:
– Practice the craft of writing, using both your right- and left-brain
– Develop a flexible card system for organizing and outlining plot
– Create dynamic characters that readers love–and love to hate
– Study classic novels and story structure to adapt with your ideas
Featuring two new chapters on choosing your path as an author and understanding the world of self-publishing, Rittenberg and Goldin dive into the business side of publishing, including:
– What agents can–and should–do for your future
– Who you should target as an agent for your burgeoning career
– How the mysterious auction for novels actually goes down
– Why you should learn to work with your agent through thick and thin
Guiding your first novel from early words to a spot on the bookshelf can be an exciting and terrifying journey, but you’re not alone. Alongside the advice of industry veterans, Your First Novel Revised and Expanded also includes plenty of firsthand accounts from published authors on their journeys, including Dennis Lehane, C.J. Box, Kathleen McCleary, David Kazzie, and more.
Books I am Currently Reading:
Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors
Twenty-four-year-old British painter Cleo has escaped from England to New York and is still finding her place in the sleepless city when, a few months before her student visa ends, she meets Frank. Twenty years older and a self-made success, Frank’s life is full of all the excesses Cleo’s lacks. He offers her the chance to be happy, the freedom to paint, and the opportunity to apply for a Green Card. But their impulsive marriage irreversibly changes both their lives, and the lives of those close to them, in ways they never could’ve predicted.
Each compulsively readable chapter explores the lives of Cleo, Frank, and an unforgettable cast of their closest friends and family as they grow up and grow older. Whether it’s Cleo’s best friend struggling to embrace his gender queerness in the wake of Cleo’s marriage, or Frank’s financially dependent sister arranging sugar daddy dates to support herself after being cut off, or Cleo and Frank themselves as they discover the trials of marriage and mental illness, each character is as absorbing, and painfully relatable, as the last.
As hilarious as it is heartbreaking, entertaining as it is deeply moving, Cleopatra and Frankenstein marks the entry of a brilliant and bold new talent.
Progress: library book page 63 of 283 (May 8th, page 12)
The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?
Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles–the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.
Progress: Audiobook 24%
The Exorcist Legacy: 50 Years of Fear by Nat Segaloff
Since 1973, The Exorcist and its progeny have scared and inspired half a century of filmgoers. Now, on the 50th anniversary of the original movie release, this is the definitive, fascinating story of the scariest movie ever madeand its lasting impact as one of the most shocking, influential, and successful adventures in the history of film. Written by Nat Segaloff, an original publicist for the movie and the acclaimed biographer of its director, with a foreword from John Russo, author and cowriter of the seminal horror film Night of the Living Dead.
On December 26, 1973, The Exorcist was released. Within days it had become legend. Moviegoers braved hours-long lines in winter weather to see it. Some audience members famously fainted or vomited. Half a century later, the movie that both inspired and transcends the modern horror genre has lost none of its power to terrify and unsettle.
The Exorcist Legacy reveals the complete story of this cultural phenomenon, from the real-life exorcism in 1949 Maryland that inspired William Peter Blatty’s bestselling novel on which the movie is based, to its many sequels, prequels, TV series, and homages. Nat Segaloff, biographer of the film’s director, William Friedkin, draws on original interviews with cast, crew, and participants as well as revelations from personal papers to present an intriguing and surprising new view of the making of movie, and its aftermath.
Segaloff also examines as never before the keys to the movie’s enduring appeal. Friedkin and Blatty’s goal was far more ambitious than making a scary movie; they aimed to make people “think about the concept of good and evil.” The Exorcist succeeds, and then some, not just by creating on-screen scares, but by challenging viewers’ deepest personal beliefs—and fears.
Progress: Kindle 11%
Title: The Stranger Times
Author: C.K. McDonnell
Book Length: 432 pages
Goodreads Summary: There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them…
A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable. At least that’s their pitch. The reality is less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered, and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor… well, that job is a revolving door–and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.
When tragedy strikes in Hannah’s first week on the job, The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.