1. Reading books
2. Getting ready for January residency
3. Reading more books
This Christmas I received more books than I have in the past five years combined, and most of them aren't YA (gasp, shock, etc., etc.). It's actually sort of funny how before I started graduate school, I read every YA book I could get my hands on, and reluctantly made time for other books. Six months ago, I would have thought that being at VCFA would give me the permission I needed to read as many YA books as I want without having to explain myself. Instead, VCFA encourages me to read wider than what I have always read and enjoyed, and that means different genres, different age categories. As a result, my Christmas book haul looked like this:
In the Woods and The Likeness by Tana French
I read Broken Harbor and Faithful Place earlier this year, and I fell in love with French's writing. I like combination of dark, perplexing mysteries with a literary eye for story and character development. French's characters are fascinating and flawed, and I knew after reading Broken Harbor that I had to get my hands on everything she's written. Bonus? My mom loves these books as well, and they're very easy sells at the bookstore.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
No, I have not seen the TV show! I did, however, order this book for the bookstore when the TV show was blowing up my Facebook news feed, and I had time to read approximately 50 pages of the book before we sold out. I've discovered that I enjoy memoirs (read earlier this year: Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler and Wild by Cheryl Strayed), and I like Kerman's voice a lot. Looking forward to reading this one!
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Because, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.
And, my token YA novels: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Also Known As by Robin Benway, and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.
The Fiery Heart has been tempting me since it came out like, two weeks before my final packet of grad work was due. (Try finishing up a semester of grad school when you know a new Richelle Mead book is out in the world. Just try it. It's HARD.) Richelle's words from BEA in May--that this is the "Shadow Kiss of the Bloodlines series" have haunted me for months. This book. It's happening. I'm finally reading it. Don't give me any spoilers, please.
I love, love, love Robin Benway's two previous novels, Audrey, Wait! and The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June. I would pick up anything she writes, even her grocery lists, just because of those two books. And now Also Known As is out in paperback! Hooray!
And finally, Rose Under Fire. Because Code Name Verity ripped my heart out. I'm a masochist.
So, my challenge to myself is to read all of these books. In the next two weeks before I hop onto a plane to snowy Vermont to be reunited with my writing family at our beloved second home that is the campus of VCFA. In between bookstore shifts, knitting myself another dozen pair of wool socks (VT and MI are COLD), reading workshop submissions, and oh yeah, blogging and my own writing.
What books did you receive this Christmas?