Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Reading!

I have been on a big reading kick lately. Every night after Little Lawns goes to bed I end up staying up way too late reading, and then I'm tired all day so I have to drink coffee but then it keeps me up all night and on and on. I'm trapped in a vicious cycle, but I'm getting a lot of good reading done in any event.

I'm leaving for summer vacation this week - living my dream of spending summers up North and giving my daughter the same childhood memories of summer that I loved so much. This makes me so happy.

Summer is about reading. I am a summer reading fanatic and always looking for new books to devour, so please, please bring on the suggestions.

Here's what I've read and liked so far. Remember, I only talk about books that I like. I do this because as a writer I know how it feels to invest so much in a piece only to have people publicly trash it. It feels like shit and I don't want to bring that energy into the world. I got a bad review on my book on Amazon last night and although I have a very thick skin about that stuff, I was still like, really? You took the time to write a review on a book you didn't even read? Yes, someone gave me a shitty review admitting that they didn't even read the book and that based on the sample, they could see why I was "forced to self publish." Pissed me off. So, I don't want to be that person. Therefore, only books I like.

Read and Liked:

 Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom - by Sara Benincasa. This memoir was unlike any other memoir I have ever read. In a good way. Honestly, it doesn't have too much of a plot, except I guess, recovery from mental illness, but who cares? I don't need a plot if the author is funny and engaging, and Benincasa is. Reading this book feels like hanging out with someone really cool that you'd love to be friends with and having them tell you about the past few years of their life. It was totally entertaining and interesting. You'll love the part about the wackos on the yoga retreat and there are even smoothie recipes. I kid you not. I want more from this author and fast.

Sheri Booker's  Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home. Really interesting memoir about working in an inner city funeral home in Baltimore. I heard an interview with the author on NPR and immediately liked her and wanted to know her story and I knew zero about funeral homes, so this was fascinating to me and much more literary than I expected. It also wasn't as funny as I'd hoped, but it was a very good read and the author really pays attention to language. There were some beautiful, poetic lines and a cadence and lyricism that reminded me a bit of poetry slam. I liked it. 

 On the Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life by Rupinder Gill is a lighthearted memoir about a funny girl from a strict Sikh upbringing in Canada who vows in her 30s to do all the stuff she missed out on as a kid. This book didn't get such hot reviews, but I thought it was sweet and lighthearted and I really enjoyed reliving Gill's childhood with her. She has a sharp sense of humor that I really appreciated and I love the theme of the book. It's never too late and you're never too old to play, to fulfill your dreams (even the simple ones). What could be bad about that?

Reading Now

Right now I'm working on Anton Disclafani's  The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel. This is historical fiction, not usually what I read, but it's also Southern Gothic, full of sex and scandal and is a coming of age story so I couldn't resist and to avoid spoilers I'll just tell you that a young girl is in trouble and sent away to a riding camp in the Carolina mountains in the 30s. I'm liking this one quite a bit so far and I think my grandmother is going to love it. It's definitely in the vein of Kaye Gibbons or Sue Monk Kidd, so if you like them, you'll enjoy this book as well. Similar heroines and settings.

Queued up in the Kindle

 The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. I don't know how I'll like this one yet, but a ton of people have mentioned it to me lately and I keep seeing word of it online, so I figured I'd give it a try. I know for sure that Mommom will love this. It's up her alley and sounds like a lot of intrigue and deception going on, so could be good. We'll see.

The Best Summer Reading of All (OF COURSE!)

 Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat by Me!!

Now available in paperback, kindle, on the Nook and on iBooks! Yay! So far I've gotten so many nice reviews and emails and messages from people and so many of you have been kind enough to share it on facebook. Thank you so much! Please keep sharing and spreading the word. I really feel like if enough people can see it and be convinced to try reading it, that this can really take off and it really is a perfect summer reading book.

Also, please email me the editing errors you find so I can fix them. I have already fixed a bunch. Kindle users can re-upload the newer, fixed versions for free. 


Sara Benincasa said...

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria-
I'm a long time reader from the Midwest. Can't wait to read your book, although I don't have a kindle.
I notice your amazon bio has all your family's names, etc. I am trying hard not to sound weird, but maybe you want to be careful of your privacy? (PS, I live far away from you and am almost old enough to be your mom. That's why I worry.) Jenna from the midwest

Melanie said...

After reading this blog post, I was curious about how many stars you were getting in your reviews on Amazon.... Let's see..... 13 people give you 5/5 stars. Four people give you 4/5 stars, and one person (the one who didn't actually read the book) gave you 2 stars.

So, if I was someone who didn't know you from Adam, and I was trying to decide whether to read your book or not, I would assume, first of all, that the person who gave you 2 stars would have given you 4 or 5 stars if they had actually read the book, and secondly, I would assume that the book had to be great based on the extremely high scores of everyone else.

I think it's telling that no one has given you 1 star, not even the unfair person who reviewed the book w/o reading it.

I also think it's significant that you didn't get any 3 star ratings, because there are a lot of people in this world who have an attitude of "Meh" about almost everything they encounter.

That's my analysis. Overall, you should be very, very proud and don't worry about that one review, because it definitely won't keep people from purchasing the book.

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