Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Book Stuff

I usually don't do memes, but when I saw this on Blue Country Magic, I couldn't resist.

"Sunday Stealing: Nerd Alert" was the original title of this meme that came from Sunday Stealing (via Blue Country Magic, one of my favorite blogs.)  Since it was about books, I thought I'd give it a shot. Here goes:


1. Favorite childhood book?

A. Depends on what part of my childhood. A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson, was a book that Mama read to me when I was a baby. I could recite several of the poems before I was two—"Farewell to the Farm" and "Where Go the Boats" are still my favorites. You can read the whole book on Bartleby.com. In the first grade, I liked Sonny Elephant, which my first grade teacher Mrs. Willhide read to the class. I also loved the Billy and Blaze series by C.W. Anderson. Later, I loved Beverly Cleary's books, especially Beezus and Ramona. In the sixth and seventh grades, I read all of Walter Farley's Black Stallion books. Is it any wonder that the first book I wrote had horses in it? 

Blatant plug here: My novel Patches on the Same Quilt is available on Amazon both in paperback and for Kindle. 


2. What are you reading right now?

A. Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron. It's nonfiction, and I heard about it at the last Virginia Writers Club symposium. I'm also reading parts of various fiction on the Kindle app on my iPad. 
 
3. What books do you have on request at the library?

A. None at the moment. I keep meaning to request Beth Macy's Factory Man but keep forgetting.

4. Bad book habit?

A. Forgetting where I set a book down and not finding it until weeks later.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

A. None at the moment. (See #3 on Factory Man)

6. Do you have an e-reader?

A. Sort of. I have Kindle apps on my iMac, MacBook, and both iPads. Plus an iBooks app on the MacBook and iPads. I think I have some other ereader apps on the iPads, but I rarely use them. 

This seems like a good time to blatantly plug my latest Kindle e-book, Little Meg Reddingoode (only $1.99 on Amazon):  




7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

A. Several at once. Each room usually has a book or two that I'm reading.
 
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

A. Not really. They've changed as I've gotten older, though. I no longer feel compelled to finish a book I don't like. (I've stopped hoping that crappy books will get better. They generally don't.)

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?

A. I'd rather not say. I've read several this year that I couldn't finish. But I've read a lot more good books than bad.
 
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

A.  Wow—too many to count. I think Quaking, by Kathryn Erskine was the best fiction I've read in the last six months (I loved her Mockingbird, but that was a couple of years ago). Best non-fiction in the last year was tie between Scottie Pritchard's Under a Blue Bowl and Elizabeth Lett's  The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

A. Not very often. I don't like books with graphic violence or sex, books that the author sues to rant, books about crime, books or books that contain cruelty to children or animals. There were parts of Jacee Dugard's A Stolen Life that I couldn't finish, although I otherwise liked the book. I also don't like lots of typos or factual errors—both make me uncomfortable.
 
12. What is your reading comfort zone?

A. I'm most comfortable reading memoir, fiction that features an older female protagonist, books written in the first person—maybe with rotating narrators. My favorite genres are Appalachian fiction, Southern fiction, middle-grade fiction, and some YA. If you mean a physical comfort zone, then when a cat isn't sitting on a book I'm trying to read and when the house is quiet.
 
13. Can you read on the bus?

A. Nope. I used to try when I was in college, but had no luck at it. I'd rather look out the window.
 
14. Favorite place to read?

A. In bed or on the sofa if I'm inside. In the gazebo if I'm outside.
 
15. What is your policy on book lending?

A. I lend books to a few select friends. I always make sure my name is in the book, so they'll remember from whom they borrowed it.
  
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

A. Often—but only my own books. I like to be able to find pages that were either supremely wonderful or so awful I want to be able to reference them as examples.
 
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

A. Oh, yeah. And sometimes I underline. And then I dog-ear the pages. I sometimes circle typos.

18. Not even with text books?

A. Haven't read a texbook since I stopped teaching. But I've left my marks in several editions of The Little, Brown Handbook.
 
19. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

A. Offhand, I can't think of any. I don't start a book that I don't expect to like. I don't like to read books that aren't complete—where I have to read book 2 to see what happens, which leads to book 3, etc. I like books that are complete in themselves.
 
20. What makes you love a book?

A. Likable three-dimensional characters, believable plot, dialogue that rings true, a definite setting (not some generic town that could be anywhere), good writing, and a rich texture. I'm more likely to love Appalachian lit, or Southern lit, middle-grade, and YA. And I still love books with horses. I like a good tale told with a blend of art and craftsmanship. (I dislike long descriptions that aren't connected to the plot, and I hate when an author veers off to explain something.) 

And speaking of loving books, maybe you'll love a few of mine: Ferradiddledumday and Stuck were published as paperbacks a few years ago by Cedar Creek Publishing, but I'v published some Kindle versions.

  
  

You might want to try my Kindle short story collections: I've recycled a lot of stories that had been published elsewhere into these e-books.



So, what do you like to read?
~

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