Some Favorite Books from 2019

Without description and with only a hint of organizing, here’s a list of (some of the) books I read and loved in 2020. Picture Books Pluto Gets the Call, written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Laurie Keller Maximillian Villainous, written by Margaret Chiu Greanias & illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow Mary Wears What She Wants, written […]

A List of Books I Couldn’t Find

Yesterday, I went book shopping. I went to one of my favorite stores, where they are wonderful and helpful and where I almost always find something I haven’t seen that looks like something I want to read. I was looking for a book to give as a gift. But it’s not a big store, and they […]

Recent Reads

It’s been a busy year. And, yes, I know it’s only February. But I haven’t yet got to the place where I actually feel settled into 2017. Part of that is, of course, from the election outcome and after effects. Part of it is that California is having quite the winter, and I’m not quite sure whether I’ll […]

Saturday Six: Books on the Way

You know how, every now & then, you look around and you have nothing to read. Yes, I know, even in a house with shelves lining all the walls, shelves that are definitely fully stocked. It happens. And then there’s the flip side, when there are dozens of books you want to read, and–suddenly–life happens, […]

Kenneth Oppel’s HALF BROTHER

I picked up HALF BROTHER yesterday and finished it this morning. I am a big fan of Kenneth Oppel’s Airborne series, and I can tell you that this book is about as different from those books and from his Silverwing books as anything could be. And I loved it. Writing any book is hard, but […]

Looking for an Unlikeable Hero You Love? Read CRACKED UP TO BE

I hear about this all the time–either in question or statement: Can you create a non-nice hero that your readers like? You can create a non-nice hero that your readers like. And I always find myself searching through my memory for an example. No more. I just finished Courtney Summers’ Cracked Up to Be, and […]

Friday Five: Books I’m Waiting For

I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately, and it’s part “comfort food” and part waiting, I think. I’ve got some books on order and there are more that aren’t out yet (could some of you PLEASE write more quickly?!). So today’s five is a few books that are on their way…from a few days […]

Jordan Sonnenblick: Perfectly Imperfect Heroes

My son and I have recently discovered Jordan Sonnenblick’s books. It wouldn’t be wrong to say I’ve/we’ve been on a Sonnenblick-binge of reading. Here are the books we’ve fallen in love with so far: Zen and the Art of Faking It Notes from the Midnight Driver Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie The heroes of all three […]

If You Write It: Eoin Colfer, AND ANOTHER THING, & More

Last night, I drove my son up the peninsula to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. It’s a fantastic store–it used to be my bookstore when I lived further north, years ago–but I hadn’t been there in years. It’s still as great. But last night just felt extra special, and I’ll tell you why. We were there […]

Reading for Writing

This week I isolated one of my worries about my current WIP–the worry that I don’t (yet!) know how to convey the tension the story needs and deserves. I’m not the most comfortable person with tension. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, books were invented for me (yes, for me) to escape life’s stresses. […]