I love good nonfiction picture books, but I don’t purchase a lot of them–I’m writing fiction, and so most of my book budget goes toward good examples of that genre. Every now and then, though, I come across a nonfiction book I can’t leave at the store. Keith Negley’s Mary Wears What She Wants was […]

Humiliation in Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea Trilogy

I know, right? Humiliation? But I have been hunting for the right word as I try to explain to my husband what these books are like, and, really…the thing that is making them feel like something new is the way Joe Abercrombie humiliates his heroes. Or, if I’m looking at it from more of a […]

Story Genius’ Misbelief in Paul Acampora’s HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION

I’m blogging about the writing craft in one of my newest favorite books today over at MG Lunch Break. Check it out. 

Peter Brown’s THE WILD ROBOT: Seeing Yourself in a Book that is Totally Not About You or For You

I just read Peter Brown‘s The Wild Robot. By the time this post is live, I’ll have discussed it in a virtual book club this weekend, but we come at our books as writers looking at the craft and I don’t think that discussion and this post are going to overlap much. Because, as good as it […]

Ann M. Martin’s BETTER TO WISH

As usual, I’m a little behind. I found Ann M. Martin’s Better to Wish, Book 1 in her Family Tree series, on the bookmobile shelf, but apparently, Book 2, The Long Way Home, already came out in October. Which makes me happy, because I can keep reading that much sooner. I didn’t have huge expectations […]

Friday Five: What I Love about Linda Urban’s HOUND DOG TRUE

Quick note: If you’re interested in guest-blogging here about your critiquing experience, or your thoughts on critique groups, check out my earlier post here. It’s kind of like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me…: You win for yourself AND another person. Okay, it’s not Carl Kasell’s voice on your answering machine, but it is a copy […]


I just finished reading The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, by Jeanne Birdsall. I love all the Penderwick books–they take me back to reading Edward Eager’s books and Mary Nash’s Mrs. Coverlet books when I was young. They also make me think of Elizabeth Enright’s books, which I didn’t find until I was in my forties […]

YA Historical Fiction Challenge: THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS

Let’s just start out with the basic statement: I loved this book. I love the idea of two women walking cross-country from Washington to New York in 1896. I love the idea of their doing it with  no cooking utensils, plans to work for food and lodging along the way, and a bet that–if they […]