Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Like A Good Mommy...

 …I just sent my child off to middle school.  What? You ask.  Yes, I’ll repeat it: I just sent my first child off to middle school.  My first child being a manuscript entitled The Rose of Coracus

Authors often use the metaphor of birth and child rearing for their manuscripts and I’m beginning to understand it better.  Luckily, birth to maturity doesn’t take eighteen years for a manuscript.  But I have toiled quite a bit on preparing my child for the ‘real world’.  My manuscript already survived elementary school; that was the five months of critiques during the writing workshops at Hamilton.  I just spent the last few months preparing my child for the rigors of middle school and now have sent it out to my trusted readers for further critique.  Have I prepared it well, giving it all the necessary skills (and commas and plot arcs) to do well?  We shall see, but like a good parent I now must step aside and see what happens.  I will not be a helicopter parent.  My child can speak for herself (and hopefully interest and move my readers).

I know my manuscript will still need me.  We’ll have revisions to do yet in preparation for high school, college and beyond.  But, someday, hopefully in the foreseeable future my child will spread its wings (and find a publisher) and leave me with an empty nest.  I may cry a bit, but those are happy tears.

Good thing I have many other children to pay attention to.  They’re just a mere twinkle in my eye, or, at the most mature, toddlers.  Quite a handful.

And so, dear readers, I’ll update you with Christmas cards and family photos…my children do grow up quite fast! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Halloween is this weekend!  Yay!  For anyone who doesn’t know me (because everyone who knows me already knows this) I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world (Reese’s! Skittles! Candy corn! I love them all!).  I also love dressing up.  Question: What is there not to like about Halloween?  Answer: Nothing. 

The most difficult part of Halloween, though, is figuring out what you’re going to be.  If you need last minute costume inspiration, check out this link (Thanks to Mediabistro for sending it my way).   As a Book Lover, I LOVE these ideas.  Sometimes it’s difficult to be a literary character because they’re not as recognizable as a movie/tv character (as in, don’t dress up as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast if you don’t wear one of the Disney recognizable gowns).  In third grade I dressed up as Jo March from Little Women for a Halloween-themed birthday party.  Everyone thought I was a cook because I wore an apron and carried around a journal (those uneducated eight-year-olds!).  Yet, the suggested costumes are so creative and easy to make (a big plus in my book!).  And a unique costume is a great conversation starter!  I wish I had seen this article sooner (my boyfriend and I have already settled on Popeye and Olive Oyl) but maybe next year I’ll be Elizabeth Bennett…the empire waist dress is a piece of cake to make!

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween…rock those costumes and eat lots of candy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Top 100 Children's Novels

I just (belatedly) found out that this past week was ALA’s Teen Read Week.  So, in honor of the week encouraging teens to read and visit their libraries, I borrowed this wonderful list of classic MG and YA books.  Which of the Top 100 Children's Novels have you read? I put mine in bold. I have some major work to do…

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997) *
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999) *
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937) *
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart (2007) *
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959) *
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990) *
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995) *
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935) *
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958) *
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003) *
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000) *
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice Though the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9) *
24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007) *
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932) *
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003) *
21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)*
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977) *
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978) *
10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908) *
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993) *
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - Rowling (1997) *
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)

(Thanks to this blog for the list/idea)

How many have you read? If you want suggestions for best reads, I put a star next to my favorites.  I’m at 54 books read, so obviously I have a lot of catching up to do.  And, for the record, I counted The Thief even though I just began reading it last night.  But I'm sure I'll soon read more books on this list, because, for me, every week is Children/Teen Reading Week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I was going to start this post saying that I’m the Queen of Procrastination, but on second thought I realized that my generation is the entire ruling class of procrastination.  How could we not be?  Easy access to all types of technology and social media was created just when we were on the cusp of adulthood…and thus, during our college years we learned how to procrastinate with those new tools.  We’re experts at stalking people on Facebook until something new comes on the newsfeed, needlessly commenting on photos, staring at Twitter and perfecting our next 140 word update, polishing profiles.  This very blog is my newest method of procrastination…I mindlessly check the stats countless times a day and just a few days ago I spent an hour adding labels to my past blog posts so now they come up in the right hand column.  Such a productive use of time.  NOT.

My guess is that this procrastination talent comes from the fact that nearly everyone of my generation CAN NOT SIT STILL.  Maybe we all have a little bit of ADHD.  Maybe we’ve just been raised in a world where there are soooo many options we just need to do them all.  I am so guilty of this.  Sit down and watch a two-hour movie? How about with my computer on my lap so I can check Twitter during the boring parts?  Write a paper for school?  Only if I can check Facebook as a reward for writing down two sentences.  Read a textbook? Hopefully I have iChat or Skype open so I can instant message my friends while I do so.

I am not proud that I’ve done each and every one of those things regularly.  I CAN NOT unplug and can not fathom when my mom says she hasn’t checked her email for a day or two.  It’s a ‘good’ day when I haven’t checked mine every hour on the hour.  And it doesn’t help that with my new Mac I use Mail which comes up with a tempting little icon every time I have a new piece of mail…whether I want the distraction or not.

So what am I (we?) to do when something actually needs to be done and procrastinating isn’t an option? I’m not sure.  All summer and into this fall when I’ve been writing I’ve set myself a rigid schedule: writing from 10:30-12:30 every day when I don’t have plans (and I try to make that as often as possible).  This has worked pretty well because my brain has gotten into the habit of thinking of my story when it subconsciously knows writing time is close.  I get excited about my novel and want to write, thus those potential distractions are less enticing.  Yet, I naturally write on my computer…Facebook, Twitter, email are all temptingly nearby and sometimes I have to cave, especially if I’m suffering from writer’s block (boo).

Studies have recently said that people can’t multitask- say jumping between writing my YA novel and checking friends’ statuses on Facebook- but somehow, it works for me.  I may not get quite as much work done, but when that college textbook would have put me to sleep had I not been chatting with a friend about weekend plans…I’m pretty darn thankful for all those distractions.

Okay, now it’s time to get back to the manuscript I was supposed to be reading! 

Monday, October 18, 2010


There has been quite a bit of talk recently about literary agency interns (and sometimes agents themselves) anonymously posting bits of queries on twitter.  While most of the tweets are written with the intention to amuse or educate, many querying authors have been insulted by the idea.  And blame agencies.  Which in turn get insulted, because most agencies would never ever employ an intern that had the gall to do that. Why do I think anonymously posting parts of queries online is so terrible? It comes down to one word: professionalism.

Some elements of professionalism seem old fashion: business causal attire, lunch meetings, etc. yet one element of professionalism should never go out of style: personal integrity.  And by invading a query author’s privacy and posting their query, which was written with the intention of only being read by the agency, online is not professional.

Many in my family are teachers so it’s easy for me to flip this situation around to apply to education, and teachers have been fired for acting similarly.   Take note:

Example #1, To Entertain: A student does something stupid or amusing in class.  The teacher remarks about it to her friends or in public.  It gets back to the student’s parents.  The parent complains to the principal or superintendant, and lo and behold, that teach is in deep do-do (to put it bluntly).

Example #2, To Educate: A teacher gives students an exam.  Wanting to help her students realize how they can improve, the teacher copies a poor exam, crossing out the student’s name, and hands it out to the class.  The student whose exam is passed out, is mortified, even if the exam is anonymous.  Again, the student’s parent finds out, complains and the teacher is in trouble. 

In both examples, the teacher isn’t trying to hurt the student.  He/she wants to entertain his/her friends or educate the students.  But they’re still invading the student’s privacy and right to respect. 

Thus, querying authors deserve the same respect.  They’re writing to the agency with the understanding that their query will only be seen by the agency (interns and agents, alike).  By breaking that trust, the intern tweeting about the query ruins any potential relationship that could be formed between the client and agent.  Integrity is about building trust, respecting others and being a generally upright person.  It’s part of what being a professional is.  And what I continue to strive to be; I get angry when interns are judged on the few who act unprofessionally.  We’re not all like that.  And I know for one that FP-NC would never ever tolerate an intern acting the way in which others are. 

So, to those who are tweeting queries, reconsider what type of person you want to come off as; someone who breaks trust easily, or someone who is respectful and professional.  I, at least, know what type of person I’d like to be and what type of person is going to get (or keep) the job in the end.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rainy Day

Some days are just meant to be spent wrapping in a blanket, with a cup of tea and a good book.  Today is one of those days.  So, in honor of my Book Lover Goal #3: To Own a Bookstore and Bakery, I would like to share one of my favorite cookie recipes that goes perfectly with a cup of tea.   So, bake, enjoy, and stay in bed until you read your favorite book cover to cover.  Okay, so I know that may not be a realistic plan for 99% of the world, but hey, we can dream, right?

Almond Cookies

2 ¾ c flour
1 c sugar
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
1 c lard
1 egg
2 T milk
1 t almond extract
48 whole almonds

In mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Cut in lard until mixture resembles cornmeal.  Combine egg, milk and almond extract.  Mix well.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Place an almond atop each cookie and press to flatten slightly.  Bake at 325° for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on rack.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.


Monday, October 11, 2010


To get a job in publishing (and many other industries) it’s a given that you have to be smart, motivated, knowledgeable.   But there’s one other key component: you have to know the right people.   The people who know of a job opening before it’s listed on a job board and will tell you about it, the people who can pass your resume on to HR, the people who are going to put in a good word for you.   Your own talents can get you far, but so many people are as equally smart, motivated and knowledgeable as you are.  You have to have more than that to get a job; you need the personal touch.  You need the people who will vouch for you personally.  And the way you go about getting those people on your side is through networking.

Networking to me seems like a sort of cat and mouse cartoon.  The one where the mouse (publishing professional) knows that the cat (unemployed student/intern) wants it and is stalking it, yet every time the mouse turns around the cat isn’t paying attention to the mouse…it’s sharpening its claws, lapping milk, whatever a cartoon cat likes to do.  It never gives away that it’s after the mouse…although both the cat and mouse know that’s the game plan.  (Side note to all-those-important-publishing-people-reading-my-blog [yeah, right]: don’t worry about being a mouse.  The mouse has power, here.  After all, the cat wants it.  And if you remember those childhood cartoons the cat’s the one that ends up in the mousetrap or with an anvil falling on its head in the end, anyways.)

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at networking.  I’ve mentioned before how I met with countless Hamilton alums and their contacts this past summer and over previous school breaks.  They’re wonderful and helpful people.  But getting to meet with them was relatively easy: send an email saying “Hi, I’m a student at Hamilton interested in publishing and I think you might be someone who could help me learn more about the industry…” And presto, I made a connection based on a common background.  That leads to more meetings where our relationship is further strengthened.

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a party thrown by FP-NC where agents and editors involved in children’s books were invited.  It was a perfect opportunity for me to network.  But boy did I feel like a cat after a mouse.  And, since there were six of us interns (just from FP-NC alone), the mice sure were popular!   And, just like the cat in the cartoon, we plotted and schemed our way into the tight circles of chatting agents and editors.  A lone mouse by the bar? Circle it! A cat already chatting up a mouse? Join in…strength in numbers!  Of course, those smart mice knew exactly what we were doing the whole time, as if we were chanting, “We want a job! Find us a job!” No one ever, though, acknowledges that out loud, which is why we’re at this cat-and-mouse-game stage.

And just like the mouse of cartoons, us cats weren’t smart enough to trap the mouse.  They outsmarted us at every turn, because in the end, all the scheming and planning is nothing compared to finding that one person you actually relate to and making a really personal connection.  And that’s what networking really is about.  Is isn’t about collecting names or business cards…it’s about personal connections so when the HR director turns to an editor and is like, “I know you’ve meet with this candidate before…is she worthy of joining out company?” your contact will be able to reply, “absolutely, because I know she’s done xyz already and will be a great addition to our team.”  And then you, lucky cat, become the all powerful mouse…just watch out for those cats sneaking up behind you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Things You Do For Research

The best writing of all comes from personal experience: “write what you know” is advice I’ve heard way more than once.  But sometimes you have to admit you don’t know everything.  You may know how your character would react to a break up…but not necessarily the way ancient Romans would express heartbreak.  Or, you might want to set your story in Dickensian London…but don’t know the vernacular of the time.  Sometimes, you just need to research something.  And writers today are lucky; at the tip of our fingertips you can research just about any topic out there. You name it; you can find something about it on the internet, and lots more things you never even thought to think about. 

When writing my YA novel, The Rose of Coracus, I’ve done my fair share of research online.  Although my novel takes place in a fantastic quasi-medieval kingdom, I want some elements to be relatively historically accurate.  Or, at the very least, I need the right vocabulary to describe types of dress, medieval warfare or architecture.  I spent one afternoon looking up medieval castle floor plans…you’d really be surprised what’s on the web!

Sometimes, though, research takes you a bit further than a simple Google search.  I’ve made more than one boyfriend jump when they see “” in my research search history.  Calm down guys, I’m just researching character names! (Side note: I really do love character names that have an additional meaning or ones that help further detail the setting/culture of the novel.  For example, I named all the characters of a particular ethnic group linguistically similarly: female names end in –a or –i, and often come from Eastern European or Balkan backgrounds.  Details count, even ones that your readers might not be consciously aware of!).

This past weekend, though, my research reached a new high…or low…depending on how you want to look at it.  I attended the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park.  Now, I’ll admit, my not-quite-entirely-inner nerd has always wanted to attend a Renaissance Faire, just to see what it’s like.  But when I realized that this past weekend’s event would actually be beneficial to my manuscript, I had to attend.  I was most keen on seeing medieval combat in action; it’s pretty darn hard to describe action realistically and dramatically if you don’t even know what it’s supposed to look like in the first place!  The highlights were that some people were dressed in what I imagine to be realistic costumes, I heard unique music (with instruments I’ve never seen before and might now include in my manuscript), and saw medieval blacksmithing techniques (key because that’s the trade of my main character’s father). Overall, the Medieval Festival was interesting, although geared more towards kids than I would have liked, not all that authentic (there was a Quiddich match…cool, but probably didn’t exist in medieval times) and I missed the jousting…but I did see a real live unicorn!  All in all, it was a cool experience on a beautiful fall day that at least got me thinking in the realm of medieval-ness.

The next book I write, though, I think I’m going to set in an ancient Scottish castle or Prague or an exotic Polynesian island.  Cause a research trip couldn’t hurt. ;-) 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reading Roundup

I am so shamefully embarrassed about the length of my September reading list.  It’s half as long as my August Reading Roundup, but I’ve been reading just as much, even more.  I’ve read nine full manuscripts (in eleven workdays) through my internship at FP-NC, some of which were fantastic and I’m sure will be published books soon.  Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to say a peep about them yet.  So just a list of the published books I’ve read this past month will have to suffice.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This one doesn’t even technically belong on this list.  I read it last month and forgot to include it, but it’s so good, I had to mention it now.  I’ve wanted to read it for years but it always remained on my to-be-read list, until my best friend sent it my way.  Since she sent it to me, I HAD to read it (note to Heather: maybe I should send Rebecca your way again and guilt you into reading it finally.  Note to everyone else: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite books ever because of its gothic feel.  I Capture the Castle was to me what Rebecca is to Heather…a modern classic that somehow remains on your to-be-read list.  Don’t be like us.  Read both now.)  Anyways, so I read I Capture to Castle finally last month.  It was a fantastic coming-of-age story, complete with a crumbling castle in the English countryside, very eccentric characters and a sweet protagonist who records this story in her diary.  The characters make the story; they are so unique, you just want to know everything about them.  I also haven’t seen the movie adaptation yet, but Heather claims it’s fantastic and actually sticks decently close to the novel.  And one last note: Dodie Smith actually wrote 101 Dalmatians! Who knew we had her to thanks for Cruella and all those other wonderful characters we associate with Disney?

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
While attempting to organize my overflowing bookshelves, I discovered this book which had been hanging around since my days interning at Bloomsbury…and I had never read it! *gasp* A Newbery winner, Princess Academy follows an unlikely and tiny protagonist as all the eligible girls are sent to a boarding school to learn how to be a princess, because the fates have decided the prince will marry one of the girls from their region.  These girls are not princess-like, and that’s exactly what makes them relatable.  Battling a harsh teacher, bullies and bandits (literally), these girls will learn that there really is a princess in the making in their midst.  This is a spoiler, but…best of all, the princess isn’t our protagonist.  Princess Academy isn’t some fairy tale, but it absolutely has a happily ever after.

Thriller’s aren’t my genre.  At all.  But since Steig Larsson’s books have been on the bestseller lists for sooooo long and even my mom raved about the books, I knew I’d have to read it.  It took my a while to read (probably because I kept on putting it on pause in order to read YA novels.  I still stand by my opinion that they’re the best type of book out there).  All things considered, though, I enjoyed the novel.  The first 100 or so pages just introduce the overwhelming number of characters without much action and the last 100 or so pages seem like a let down once the main action finished, but the lengthy middle of the novel is face paced, exciting, gruesome and disturbing…the perfect thriller.  While it may take me a while to get around to reading the next two books in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, I’m sure I will read them…just as soon as I cover all the amazing YA books out there.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
I’ve come to realize more than anything that voice is what matters in a good book. Yes, you’ve got to have good characters and a good plot…but will you care about who the characters are and what they do if they don’t have a good voice?  No.  You’ve got to have a strong voice, and Jacqueline Kelly’s Newbery Honor debut novel absolutely has it.  Callie Vee, as the title character is called in this charming MG coming-of-age story, realizes that a future in housewifery isn’t for her…instead, she butters up her grandfather and they embark on the study of evolution and a scientific adventure, allowing Callie Vee to realize that there’s a big world out there prime for discovering.  The turn of the century freak Texas snowstorm confirms it…Callie’s world is changing, and she’s changing right along with it.

Personal Demons by Lisa Desroches
Angels are hot.  Not just in this debut novel, but in all of YA.  I feel like half the manuscripts and queries I’ve read recently, not to mention the books stocked in stores, are about angels, fallen angels and demons.  Yet in Personal Demons Desroches makes both Gabe, an angel, AND Luc, a devil, (very) attractive characters and potential love interests.  I love the tag line on the front cover: “If you had to choose between Heaven and Hell, which would it be? Are you sure about that...?” Because Frannie’s decision isn’t so easy, and that’s kudos to Desroches.   Desroches’ intriguing addition to the biblical mythology with Frannie’s powers of sway makes this angels vs. demons story much more that what you would expect.

The fact that this book finally made it off of my to-be-read list and into this month’s reading roundup is in all likelihood a miracle.  Because, just a few days ago at work, my ‘job’ for the morning was to enjoy the rare treat of sitting down and reading a published book to get a better feel for NC’s clients.  And, of course, from a selection of five or so novels, I had to read The DUFF first.  The entire book took me four and a half hours…it was just that good.  Bianca, the original DUFF, had a fantastic voice and the main love interest was a fantastic love-him-hate-him character.  And while critics might complain that the sex scenes are a bit too steamy for a YA novel (not true, btw), every girl should read this…because we’ve all been a DUFF at some point.  It’s what you do once you’re a DUFF that matters.

A Faithful Place by Tana French
This was, to quote one of my fellow FP-NC interns, “work-assigned-reading-for-fun” as part of our book club.  Suzie and Joanna explained that once you’re in publishing it feels like you never actually read a published book; they’re all just manuscripts, so to amend that problem, we’re reading a REAL book once a month.  October’s book is A Faithful Place (and I got a head start and finished it just in time for September’s reading roundup).  This book wouldn’t have been my first choice in terms of pleasure books, but it is fantastically written.  The voice captures you right away and through a heavy use of Irish slang, immediately brings the reader to lower class Dublin.   The mystery is intriguing and although the ending (and much of the entire plot) is violent and depressing, it will keep you reading.

That’s it for September.  Looking forward to seeing what books October will bring my way!