Sunday Post – 10th July

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

I’ve finally settled down with the new computer and am delighted with the speed at which I can get through the work, now I’m not sitting there waiting for it to open… save… restart… This week, as well as continuing with my fitness regime of Fitstep and Pilates classes, I’ve been busy planning. I met up with fellow tutor Paula Glennister and we spent Tuesday morning working out how we are going to deliver our shared course creative writing course Bucket List Books, due to start at Northbrook College in September. It is really exciting working on a new project and I’m looking forward to this one – fingers crossed we get sufficient numbers…

I also had a planning session regarding Tim’s teaching syllabus next year. We have finally worked out that he will be working on a series of mini-projects over the last two years, which will give him final certification commensurate with a GCSE qualification, overseen and marked by an affiliated school. The course is excellent, covering important subjects like personal finance, health and diet, safety and the environment – I only wish that my grandchildren, Frankie and Oscar, could also work on such a common-sense, practical scheme.

On Thursday, Rob came home for a flying visit so I could help him with an audition tape – very intense, but also great fun and it’s always a treat to catch up with him.

I’m now back into editing mode and am hoping to have completed the line edit for Breathing Space during this coming week. And I’ve been chilling by watching Wimbledon – my annual sporting treat – the tennis this week has been superb and I’m rooting for Andy Murry and delighted at Serena Williams’ wonderful win, as well as her moving, shortened rendition of Maya Angelou’s poem ‘And Still I Rise’.

This week I’ve managed to read:

Speak by Louisa Hall
speakA young Puritan woman travels to the New World with her unwanted new husband. Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and code breaker, writes letters to his best friend’s mother. A Jewish refugee and professor of computer science struggles to reconnect with his increasingly detached wife. An isolated and traumatized young girl exchanges messages with an intelligent software program. A former Silicon Valley Wunderkind is imprisoned for creating illegal lifelike dolls. Each of these characters is attempting to communicate across gaps — to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. In dazzling and electrifying prose, Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human — shrinking rapidly with today’s technological advances — echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard, or understood.
This remarkable novel is an exploration of why we reach out to each other and happens when it goes wrong. I loved the fact the five voices are embedded in a dying android, warehoused for the crime of being too human…

 

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
mebeforeyouLou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
I love this author – see my review of The Girl You Left Behind here – but this particular book blew me away. It would have been so easy to have turned this into a sentimental mess – and Moyes doesn’t. Instead, I was laughing out loud a lot of the way through. I will be reviewing this book in due course.

 

Inborn – Book 1 of The Birthright series
InbornRosamund Brandt has had a semi normal life for sixteen years. Well, semi normal for a family descended from aliens. Sure, she could create portals and her family had a secret basement. But she went to school, had a best friend, and got her driving permit like every other teen. However, her definition of “normal” unravels when a killer with multiple powers and an agenda steps into town. When Rosamund herself becomes a target, she has a choice between playing the killer’s game and saving a few, or getting to the core of the murders and stopping them for good. Rosamund’s choice will save everyone she cares about–or unleash a new era for herself and her family, shattering whatever hope for going back to normal she had.
This is a great premise and I enjoyed the idea behind it. Ros, the protagonist, is smart, tough and well trained – a classic YA heroine. I’ll be reviewing this book in due course.

 

After You – Book 2 of Me Before You series by JoJo Moyes
afteryouWhen an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…

After the amazing reading experience that Me After You provided, I wanted to plunge back into this world and learn about Lou’s subsequent adventures – she’s such a fantastic protagonist.

 

 

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 3rd July

Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2016 – June roundup

Teaser Tuesday – Speak by Louisa Hall

Review of Demon Road by Derek Landy

Five SFF Books That Made Me Laugh – part 2

Friday Faceoff – Our Four-Legged Friends featuring The Reindeer People by Megan Lindholm

Review of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

This charming selection of short films chosen by Joanna Maciejewska are really worth viewing – http://melfka.com/archives/1863

No one writes about music with more passion than Thom Hickey – this article celebrating Bill Withers’ song ‘Lean on Me’ is wonderful… https://theimmortaljukebox.com/2016/07/05/bill-withers-american-hero-born-on-the-4th-of-july

I love this book spine poetry by Jo Robertson. https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/book-spine-poetry

Juliet McKenna, who has devoted swathes of time to campaign on behalf of authors selling their books from their own websites, updates us on the situation post-Brexit… http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=2199

This article blew me away – I knew of the guild system and journeymen, but had no idea it still continued… https://inesemjphotography.com/2016/07/02/journeymen-in-ireland-and-much-more/

I’m hoping this week that I can really crack on this the editing and progress with some of my other writing chores stacking up… The weather isn’t looking as if it will tempt me out into the garden, Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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28 responses »

  1. I am glad the new computer is working out for you. 🙂 The Bucket List Books project sounds like a lot of fun. I hope you get a lot of participation. Speak sounds very good and different–at least from my usual reading. I will have to look for that one. I hope you have a great week, and are able to get as much editing in as you hope. Take care, Sarah!

    • Yes! Now we’ve finally straightened out the teething problems, the new computer is fabulous:). I do recommend Speak – it’s fractured narrative means there isn’t a storyline, as such. But there is a strong message and I still find I’m thinking about it several books down the line… Thank you for your good wishes and hope you have a great week, too!

  2. I’m the glad the new computer is working out so well! Plus it seems like you had a great reading week. While you’ve been enjoying Wimbledon, I’ve been enjoying all the gymnastics events leading up to the Olympics 🙂 I only get them every four years, so I gotta savor it while I can lol. Good luck with your editing, and have a great week!

    • In which case, you’ve got to sit through it all – of course:). Many thanks for your good wishes regarding the editing – it seems like I’ve not done anything else for forever… Still, I’ll never be publishing 3 books together like this, again – so I’ll grit my teeth and go with it!

    • You could do both:). I highly recommend the book, because unless the film is REALLY good, they’ll cover this story in a thick coating of syrup, which the books really doesn’t do…

  3. I’d like to take a personal finance class. I think I need it.
    Do you plan to share the books for your creative writing class on here? 😉
    That would be great. I sometimes try to look up syllabi for writing courses that are available online to see what books are listed there.

    • I haven’t done… This is mostly a book blogging site and while I do regularly chat about my teaching – it is a big slice of my life, after all, I don’t generally talk much about writing here. Do you think the occasional post would be welcome?

      • I sure would like it. Not all, but most who read a lot want to write stories as well. You could do a test post to see if it’s something you’d like to do.

  4. Yay for new computers! I remember how much I loved getting this new laptop, (now three years old!). Being able to count on it starting up and moving along properly.

    I hope you enjoy the writing course and have enough students.

    It has been a while since I read Me Before You (2013), and I haven’t seen the movie yet. I should! Then I’ll be ready to read After You.

    I do recall how reading that first book by Jo Jo Moyes started me on a journey of enjoying several more books she has written.

    Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    • You’re welcome:). I enjoyed After You and will be reviewing it. I have to say I’m not in any hurry to see the movie – I generally find myself very disappointed with films of the book – the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises being the honourable exceptions:). Hope you have a great week, too.

  5. The Moyes books sound really interesting. And looks like you had a busy but good week. Best of luck with edits. And glad you’re enjoying Wimbledon. I’m looking forward to the Olympics starting soon…

    Have a wonderful week.

  6. I need to get back to pilates. I always feel so much better when I’m doing it regularly. I’m so glad you enjoyed Me Before You! I loved it too and was just blown away by how Moyes handled the story. It could have easily gone towards too sweet or two dark and sad but it did neither. Now I need to read After You! Have a great week!

    • As Himself had got the book from the library, I went straight into it. Not sure if that was the best strategy, but I don’t think Moyes could write a bad book if she tried. Hope your week goes really well, too, Katherine:)

  7. Wow, a busy week for you! Well done on the exercise regime. I’ve just restarted after letting myself get really unfit.

    And delivering a creative writing course sounds great – how exciting for you. I hope you’ll share more about it. I’ve done a few and love some of the exercises we get given!

    • I’m lucky enough to have taught Creative Writing at Northbrook College to adults for the past 7 years:). It is a constant struggle to keep fitness up when I spend most of my time sitting in front of a screen – and I probably should do more walking. So I know how you feel!

  8. Good luck with finishing your line edits this week! And it sounds like things are going well with the new computer…?

    Your “Bucket List Books” course sounds interesting. I think I have an idea of what it’s about based on its name, but could you describe it a little more? Is it more of a reading-centric class, instead of writing?

    • No… this is specifically designed for students who want to write a novel. Teaching alternate weeks, Paula and I cover all the major issues that come up, such a planning, plotting, characterisation, etc. I produce helpful handouts – I have 7 years’ worth of teaching handouts, after all and many of them are directly applicable – while Paula will provide workshops the following week and each week we will hear a number of students’ work and critique them, to help them improve. This course runs for the whole year, rather than term by term and I’m very excited about it:)

      • Ohhhhhhhhh OK. I think I misread or misinterpreted “bucklet list” for “backlist” (as in books you bought a while ago and haven’t read yet). *face turns red*

        Anyway, it sounds like a great course. It must be a real joy to teach it and have a fellow instructor / writer to collaborate with!

      • Please don’t worry about it:)). Unless you know the context and have seen the advertising blurb in the prospectus, there’s no reason why you should automatically jump to the correct conclusion. I’m really excited about it – and teaching alongside Paula will be great fun. We now just need the numbers – fingers crossed!

  9. Sounds like you’ve got some exciting new work ideas. Good luck with working them out! 😉
    Love the books you’ve read this week. I haven’t read all of them but that’s definitely a great reading week! 😉
    Have a great week!

    • Yes – it’s always exciting when something new comes over the horizon at work, though I expect as a nurse that is constantly happening to you:). Many thanks for swinging by and have a great reading week, Maureen.

  10. Yay for a new computer! 🙂 I know how annoying it gets when you have to wait “for ages” to one simple process to finish. Especially when you’re in the middle of editing or writing.

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