Monday, July 31, 2006

Lets get Jane Austen out of the way too

My favorite Austen books:

Pride and Prejudice
I always thought this book sounded boring... until I read it. I was laughing by the time I turned the first page. And then I fell in love with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, just as they're falling in love with each other. What's not to love?

Once I read "Pride and Prejudice," I had to go read all of Austen's books. This, perhaps is my favorite. It's a story for everyone who's ever wondered what would happen if that one special person you let go walked back into your life. The heroine meets up with the man she turned down years before. Does she still love him? Does he still love her? Of course there's a happy ending. It's Jane Austen.

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The Outlander saga

Here's another review of one (or six, actually) of my all-time favorites

Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

People kept telling me how good these books were, and I kept putting off reading them because they're time travel romances. Time travel romances are always completely cheesy aren't they? Well, I finally broke down and read "Outlander," and quickly discovered it's one of the most original novels out there. I was so happy to see Barnes & Noble move them out of the "romance" section because they are way more involved than your typical girl meets boy.

Claire, the World War II combat nurse who wanders through an ancient stone circle in the Highlands of Scotland and finds herself suddenly in the 18th Century, is a refreshing change from the princess-type heroine. Jamie Fraser, the Scot who winds up being the love of her life, is at times both a sweet innocent and a dangerous and passionate warrior. In the later novels I've come to love their daughter and son-in-law as well.

Be forewarned: these books are gargantuan pieces of historical fiction mixed with fantasy, some very steamy erotic stuff and the occasional gruesome torture scene. They are also addicting. I stayed up until 3:30 one night finishing "Outlander." The next day, I went to the bookstore and bought the rest of the series.

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What an Honor

Who knew I was so accomplished?

A letter I received today informed me that I've been chosen to be included in the upcoming First Edition of Who's Who of Emerging Leaders.

According to the letter:
"You have been selected for inclusion because you represent the best of a new generation of achievers worldwide. Only 25,000 men and women under the age of 40 have been selected to be profiled in the First Edition of Who's Who of Emerging Leaders...

Of course, I'm entitled to to order my own personal copy of this book at 25 percent savings. (Which still is $195 I have better uses for.)

The thing is, I used to fall for these kinds of things. One of the shelves on my parents' bookcase has a whole row of Who's Who in American High Schools and The National Dean's List that I purchased in my younger and dumber years. Now the whole thing reminds me way too much of the scam.

What in the world have I done that's notable? My book isn't published yet. I've gotten a few of these Marquis things over the years. I think I've also been "selected" to be in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Women. I filled out the first one and returned it without paying for a book. I got so annoyed by the company's unceasing mailings (and e-mailings) thereafter that I vowed never to do it again.

But, today, I googled "Marquis Who's Who scam" just to make sure I wasn't turning down some great honor before the whole thing went into the shredder. I found this gem of an article from Forbes magazine.

Yep, that's about what I thought.


Friday, July 28, 2006

And here's another...

From author Sara Donati, on the long road to getting published:
"Ever wonder why they call it submission?"

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One of my favorite writing quotes...

"Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like"
- Walter Benjamin

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Let's start things off with a review of one of my favorite books of all time

Katherine by Anya Seton

This book haunts you. I don't think I've been able to get it totally out of my head since I first read it. It makes you want to go out and research the true story behind it... which is a pretty fascinating one.

In 14th Century England, there weren't any men more handsome or powerful than John of Gaunt, the great Duke of Lancaster. Katherine de Roet was a naive teenage girl when she first came into his life. Despite the gap in their positions, they found love together. "Katherine" beautifully tells the story of their thirty-year affair and the way their illicit love changed history.

Anya Seton wrote some other good books (Devil Water & Avalon especially), but make no mistake - this is her masterpiece. If you come away from this book without falling in love with John, you're a stronger woman than I. It just makes my toes curl to hear him call his "Katrine," lovedy.

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Poohba's Bibliotèque has been without a home for nearly a year after I changed ISPs and lost the free webspace I used to get.

In the meantime, I've become an ardent fan of Miss Snark's and Evil Editor's blogs. So, I finally decided, "Why don't I just rethink things and restart the Bibliotèque that way?"

I think I'm more likely to update in this format - and I'll be able to share news of my adventures in the realm of publishing along with my usual book reviews.

At least, that is the plan...