Friday, December 31, 2010

Books Read in 2010

Ahhh, New Year's Eve. Or, as a friend recently said to me, "Old Year's Eve." I think that's rather appropriate, actually. I've completed my list of books that I've read this year and am quite pleased with it. I'm sure that I've missed a few books that I've read but that's okay. :-)  (I'll keep better track in 2011.)

A recent survey showed that most Americans only read ONE book a year. ONE. I find that rather sad. Books are some of my best friends. (Oh, how sad, those of you who are not readers may say.) When it's a good book filled with great characters, something in you changes. I read an awesome quote the other day.

"A book is a living thing, Willa. It soaks into your mind and heart and shapes how you think and feel. Every book you read becomes a part of you." - Coleen Murtagh Paratore

I think this is absolutely true. That's why it's important to read good books.

So. My list of what I read this year. It's heavily influenced by the fact that I had my last semester of university this spring. (Graduated, too! Yay!) Most of the "classics" on the list were required reading. I enjoyed most of them but a few...well, let's just say that I wouldn't recommend them. (I think on another post I'll put up the "Books Everyone Should Read Before They Die" article that came out and mark the books that I've read. I think that list will influence my reading choices next year.) Let me know what books you've read. :-)

**I might be adding to this list as I remember other books that I've read.**

  1. The Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
  2. Epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians
  3. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  5. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  6. All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
  7. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred Taylor
  8. The Slave Dancer - Paula Fox
  9. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
  10. The Things They Carried - O-Brien
  11. Hard Times - Charles Dickens
  12. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  13. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
  14. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  16. Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
  17. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  18. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  19. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  20. Dragon Kiss - E.D. Baker
  21. The Cupid Connection - Coleen Murtagh Paratore
  22. Willa at Heart - Coleen Murtagh Paratore
  23. The Princess Plot - Kirsten Boie
  24. The Princess Trap - Kirsten Boie
  25. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  26. The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan
  27. The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  28. Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep - Gail Carson Levine
  29. The Birthday Ball - Lois Lowry
  30. The Thirteenth Princess - Diane Zahler
  31. The White Dragon - Anne McCaffrey
  32. The Masterharper of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  33. Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
  34. Dragonquest - Anne McCaffrey
  35. Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey
  36. Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey
  37. Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey
  38. All the Weyrs of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
  39. The Fairy’s Return - Gail Carson Levine
  40. The Extra-Ordinary Princess - Carolyn Q. Ebbitt
  41. Wyatt Earp - Stewart Holbrook
  42. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders -
  43. Half-Moon Investigations - Eoin Colfer
  44. Practicing Hospitality - Patricia A. Ennis, Lisa Tatlock
  45. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  47. Coming Attractions - Robin Jones Gunn
  48. Fairest - Gail Carson Levine
  49. The Teaberry Strangler - Laura Childs
  50. Swan for the Money - Donna Andrews
  51. The Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer
  52. The Christmas Star - Thomas Kinkade 
  53. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1 - Jeff Kinney 
  54. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2 - Jeff Kinney
  55. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #3 - Jeff Kinney
  56. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4 - Jeff Kinney
  57. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5 - Jeff Kinney
  58. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010


    I've finally joined the ranks of those on Twitter. It's for my author stuff, though. Not so much about my personal life. I don't know how many people want to hear the things my kids say. Maybe I'll throw in a few as freebies once in a while. If you have a Twitter account, do you want to follow me? ;-)


    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Rain is good for something...

    So, it's been raining for the last SIX days! That is unheard of where I live! As one of my friends said, "I'm solar powered!" I can't take much more of this deluge...BUT! The good thing about rain is that it inspires me to write rather melancholy scenes. I have a scene in my third story that I've been struggling with but I was able to write a bit on it yesterday. (Someone gets seriously injured but doesn't die...) I couldn't get the feelings quite right when it was sunshiney out previously. Thank you, rain, for being a melancholy inspiration. :)

    Looking forward to Christmas! I've been a busy shopping and wrapping elf the last few days and I feel very close to being done with getting everything under the tree before the 25th. :)

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    What is "YA" and why do you write it?

    I've been asked this question a few times and I've decided to blog about it because I think it's an interesting topic.

    "YA" refers to Young Adult literature. So then the question is "What is a young adult?" Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer. Usually books are broken down in the following genres (for age groups): preschool, children, middle grade, young adult, adult. That's quite a span. Young adult books could be read by twelve year olds or for twenty year olds. And that's a problem. What might be appropriate for someone at the far end of the teen spectrum is not appropriate for someone just finishing middle school.

    I have read many YA books (even as an adult) because they are (usually) entertaining but do not have extreme violence or scandalous scenes in them. (If you know what I mean.) It really, really bothers me when I find a "YA" book where there are scandalous scenes. I want to scream at the author, "Why did you write this knowing it is going to classified as a young adult book??" I think it is SO important for parents to know what their children are reading, even if it is a YA book. If you are not a reader, ask a friend who is a reader to preview books for you. (Hmmm...I'm getting an idea for a future blog post about age appropriate books...)

    Why do I write YA books? One, for moral reasons. I believe that to be honoring to God, I must not write about certain things. Second, I want to write books that my kids can read and I won't be embarrassed that they are reading it. I also want to write books that my younger friends can read and can discuss. I believe that it's possible to write a good story without gratuitous violence or other situations.

    Why do I write fantasy novels? I love fairy tales and fantasy novels are just grown up fairy tales. I try to find some fairy tale to root my story in and then let my imagination go from there. I love the idea of another world that is similar to ours but just different enough to support the idea of fairies and magic.

    Have I written more stories? Yes, I have! :-)  I've finished my second story in the series and am currently writing the third story. The second book is (SPOILER ALERT!) about Samantha's daughter, Emma. The third book is about Emma's cousin, Holly. Things may change and the story might morph a bit but...I'm quite happy with it right now. I don't know how many books will be in the series. If I get picked up by a big publishing house, maybe they will have a better idea for that.

    I must get to "Christmas-ing" my house now. :-)

    Happy reading!