I’ve Won Books?!

Every now and then, I like to enter book giveaways on Goodreads. It looks like I’ve won a couple of them.

  • Hounded, by Kevin Hearne
  • If Boys Could Hold Hands, by David J. Lavallee

I’m looking forward to reading both books, and I’ll have reviews on GenReads, which is my site specifically for popular fiction news and reviews.

Best books I read in 2012

Not all stars are burning

Not all stars are burning (Photo credit: loopoboy 2.0)

This is actually a pretty easy post for me to write. I’m on Goodreads, so I just need to go look at the books I read this year and see which ones I rated the best. This year, of the twenty-five books I read (I took a summer break, so my numbers aren’t what I wanted), I gave eight of the five stars. In no particular order, they are:

  • Run, by Ann Patchett – This one was more than a little unusual for me. As a rule, I don’t like literary fiction. I much prefer popular fiction. I had to read this one for a book group at the library, and was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. Patchett’s story of family, politics, race, and class is simply extraordinary.
  • I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do), by Mark Greenside – I actually just finished this one today. A memoir about an American’s adventures in the northwest of France, I simply couldn’t put it down. It was very refreshing after so many books about Provence and the south of France.
  • The Sword of the Templars, by Paul Christopher – The first book in Christopher’s Templar series, this is high action/adventure with a religious/mythical twist. Clearly, it’s the beginning of a great series. This is also the only series from which I read more than one book this year.
  • You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier – One of the few technology related books I read this year. It was worth it, though. A discussion and critique of how decisions made in the beginning of the digital age are shaping our culture now, for better or worse.
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe, by Lauren Willig – I was walking past a Holiday books display in our library and just happened to see this one. I checked it out and read it in just a couple of days. If you like Regency fiction, clean, with just a bit of comedy, you’ll love this book. I don’t know if the rest of the series is as good, but I’ll be finding out.
  • The Templar Cross, by Paul Christopher – The second in Christopher’s Templar series, and just as good as the first. I know from experience that not all sequels are as good as the original book. That’s not the case here.
  • Austenland, by Shannon Hale – An amusing light romantic comedy about an American girl who goes to England for a vacation at a Jane Austen “theme park.” Not really like Jane Austen at all, but very good if you take it for what it is.
  • The Evolution of Faith: How God is Creating a Better Christianity, by Philip Gulley – One of the best books on Christianity I’ve read in some time. Also, Quaker pastor Philip Gulley is one of my favorite authors. His Harmony series is excellent.

Which animal would you be?

Gray wolf. Français : Loup. Nederlands: Wolf T...

Gray wolf. Français : Loup. Nederlands: Wolf Türkçe: Kurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wolf. Definitely.

Well, that was the easy part. “Why” is a lot more difficult. I’ve always been fascinated by wolves (also by werewolves, but that’s another story). I like the way they move, and the sounds they make. There’s a fierce wildness about them that I’d love to have in my own life. Also, they’be been an endangered species for most of my life, at least here in the USA. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for an underdog. So, no question about it, easy answer:

Wolf.

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Overcoming helplessness

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Here’s the way it is: I almost always feel helpless when I’m in a care and someone else is driving. I used to think it was just some people’s driving that scared me. Now I see that it’s much worse than that: if anyone is driving other than me, it scares the crap out of me. I have no idea why. I don’t think I’m that much better a driver than anyone else (OK, maybe I do). Maybe it’s just a feeling of a lack of control. I have gotten to where it’s not usually a problem for me. If it get’s to be a real problem, I just close my eyes and hope for the best.

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Where did inspiration hit?

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point (Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps)

As odd as it sounds, I usually get my best ideas in one of two places: either late at night in bed when I’m trying to go to sleep, or in the shower when I’m trying to wake up. Maybe it’s because I’m in a halfway state between sleep and wakefulness. Does that allow the less rational side of my mind to have more control? Maybe. Who knows for sure?

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