Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Notes

I have a bunch of little things I feel like telling you about, so I'm going to smash them all together into one post, and not even pretend there is any unifying theme beyond the fact that they are all about books.

First, I wrote a post for Tungsten Hippo this week. It is about how good stories bounce around in your head and collide with other ideas, and also about how even though the things that we'd like to change about the world often seem overwhelmingly large, sometimes one person really can make change happen (this would be the result of one of those idea collisions). It is a short post, so go check it out.

Second, I can't remember who asked me about chapter books for sensitive kids like Pumpkin, i.e., kids who don't want a lot of tension and certainly don't want any violence in their books. At the time, I didn't have a lot of suggestions. I have a new one now! Pumpkin got a book called Mysteries According to Humphrey,by Betty G. Birney, for Christmas, and we're almost done reading it. She loves it. I love it, too. It is sweet and funny and actually talks about relevant issues without being overbearing. It is told from the perspective of a class hamster, and there's some plot- but nothing that worried Pumpkin. In short, it is a huge hit here.

I had a Barnes and Noble gift card to use up and needed to run an errand near our local B&N store today, so I took the kids with and let them each choose a new book. Pumpkin chose to get the first book in the Humphrey series, The World According to Humphrey. Petunia picked a "step into reading" book about Olaf, which I'm less inclined to gush about.

As a reminder, if you like my recommendations for kids books, I'll be posting two each month over on my author site. I'll cover all ages, but since the criteria for inclusion is that we read it and liked it, the upper end of the age range will advance with Pumpkin.

Third, the first manuscript for the Annorlunda Books release not written by me is with an editor now. I think it will be released in the May-June time frame. Soon, I'll post more about it. I'll also be looking for advance readers for this and other Annorlunda Books releases. Advance readers get a free electronic copy of the book in exchange for a review of the book on either one of the retail sites (e.g., Amazon) or a personal blog.

I'm hoping to manage this via my Annorlunda Enterprises mailing list, so if you're interested in being an advance reader, go sign up for that. You can choose to just get emails about books, or you can get emails about my other activities, too. It will not be a high volume mailing list. I'll send out calls for advance readers, announcements of new releases, and announcements of sales/discounts. There will be similar content for the other "channels," too. If you tried to sign up earlier and it failed, try again- I discovered the broken form and fixed it yesterday. Oops.

Finally, this week's Tungsten Hippo short ebook pick was really a lot of fun, and it is one that I think a lot of readers of this blog would enjoy. It is a story about a skeptic who has the unsettling experience of perhaps running into someone who really is channeling the voice of a dead person... and wait until you see who it is. I don't want to say much more for fear of ruining the fun. I got it via a Humble Bundle that is no longer available, but you can still get it as a standalone purchase from the usual places.

That's it for now. I hope you are all enjoying a nice weekend. It is beautiful here, so I'm off to finish up my chores so that I can join Mr. Snarky and the kids for a bike/scoot by the bay in a bit. Feel free to leave book recommendations of all sorts in the comments, or talk about whatever else this post makes you want to say!


  1. Having also picked up that Humble Bundle of books last week, I figured I'd read 'Inside Job' after that teaser of yours. Great story! I've been a fan of hers for years ever since a friend made me read 'To Say Nothing of the Dog'. 'Bellwether' is also one of my favourites.

    I'm not usually a fan of short stories, you've only just started to fall in love with the characters and suddenly the story is over, but the really really good ones just sort of keep on living in your head.

    1. I get what you're saying about the characters. You're right, though, in a really good story, they live on in your head.

      I like short fiction, but I think the thing that really sold me on short ebooks is short non-fiction. I like how it can be more in depth than your average magazine story, but still short enough to read in just a night or two.


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