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Hey, Whatcha Reading?

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This month, I asked my sometime editor, Jess d'Arbonne, to answer the question, Hey, Whatcha Reading?



1. What books are you currently reading? I just finished Chuck Wendig’s magnum opus, Wanderers (Del Ray, 2019) and it blew my mind all over my face. Now I’m reading the English translation of Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling, which is like Kurt Vonnegut writing George Orwell with a dash of George Saunders thrown in for good measure (Grand Central Publishing, 2020). And I just started Contact by Carl Sagan, a book that I’ve been meaning to read forever, but am finally getting around to (1985, Simon & Schuster).


2) How far along in the books are you?
Wanderers is over 800 pages and I just finished it. I’m weird in that when I love a book, I intentionally read slowly to draw it out as long as possible. I didn’t want it to end! And I’m about halfway through Qualityland and only on the first chapter of Contact.



3) What are the books about?
Wanderers is about America—the country’s darkest an…

As RWA Implodes

Over the holidays and New Year's, I was keeping my eyes peeled on Twitter because on December 23rd, Alyssa Cole tweeted a thread with documents about her friend Courtney Milan and a kerfuffle with the Romance Writers of America.

Basically, what happened--as far as anyone knew on December 23rd--was that there had been a complaint lodged with the Romance Writers of America's Ethics Commitee against Courtney Milan, because some months ago, she tweeted that a book, originally published in the 1990s but then re-released in 2014, was "a fucking racist mess." Somehow, this complaint went to a committee who ruled that Courtney Milan should be kicked out of RWA for a year and be banned from holding all leadership positions for a lifetime.

Well since then, this fucking mess has morphed. It's, like, honestly--nobody could write this:

The author is an editor for someone else who also filed a complaint against Courtney MilanThe book Milan criticized on Twitter "was thirty…

2019 Reading Challenge Stats

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In 2019, I read 23 out of 20 books! And as every year, here are my stats.

First, the last book I finished for this year:


23. Can't Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #2.6) by Alyssa Cole. Fiction/ Romance/Contemporary/Novella. 3 stars.

Out of 23 books total, 5 were nonfiction.


3 were memoirs, two of them historical memoirs about Russian history.
1 was a sociology political book.
1 was a history true crime book about the Osage Nation in the 1920s.

1 was a poetry book.

The rest were fiction:

1 urban fantasy
3 historical mysteries
3 contemporary romances
3 historical romances
1 middle grade fantasy
1 contemporary/historical dual timeline women's fiction
1 picture book
1 YA contemporary
1 classic, an often banned book



And because this can be fun or petty...
Books I didn't finish included 2 books I'd had on my TBR, borrowed from the library, and didn't like.

Also, one book I do want to finish, but my place in the hold list came up at the beginning of December as I was entering…

2019 Reading Challenge Round Up

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Well, I have surpassed my 2019 reading goal of 20 books, proving that you can, in fact, read things that are not graduate school related when you are in graduate school.

Here are my final group of books for the year. Stay tuned next week for reading challenge stats!


17. A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals # 3) by Alyssa Cole. Romance/Contemporary Romance. 3 stars.


18. The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen. Nonfiction/Politics/Sociology. 3 stars.


19. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. Nonfiction/History/American History/Native Americans/True Crime. 5 stars.


20. A Soupcon of Poison (Kat Holloway Mysteries #0.5) by Jennifer Ashley. Mystery/Historical fiction/Victorian/Novella. 4 stars.


21.  Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Classics/Literature/Twentieth Century/Banned Books. 3 stars.


22. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Glmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant. Childrens/Picture book/Foo…

Hey, Whatcha Reading? 5

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This month, I asked a writing friend Tonja Drecker, "Hey, whatcha reading?"



1. What books are you currently reading?

Right now, I'm reading Living in a Star's Light (2019, self-published) by Steve Lindahl and Starlight: A Starlight Chronicles Novella (2019, The Parliament House) by J.B. Malcolm. I didn't realize how similar the titles are until I answered this question, but the two stories are nothing alike. The first is historical fiction while the second is a young adult fantasy.



2) How far along in the books are you?
I'm about 40% through Living in a Star's Light  and 20% through Starlight. The first one is around 250 pages, while the second, as a novella, hits around 170. 
3) What are the books about?
Living in a Star's Light is based on the life of actress Lotta Crabtree, a wealthy and famous entertainer during the Gold Rush Era. While I thought it would only be told from Lotta's viewpoint, it's mostly done through the eyes of her biggest fan, …