Upcoming Fall Events ~ Oregon

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As I come across upcoming events, either for Booksellers or Authors, I’m going feature them here so if you live in the area you may be able to take time and attend.  This won’t be a regular feature, just random events for your information.  With that said the first set of events I am featuring are at Klindt’s Booksellers who are located at 315 E 2nd St, The Dalles, OR 97058.

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Tuesday, October 6th 2015
Roland Smith‘s ‘The Edge’ Launch Party
Meet the Author and book signing event
Free and open to the public at 5:00pm

Saturday, October 24th 2015
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys Book Signing Event
Kendare Blake, April Genevieve Tucholke and McCormick Templeman
Free and open to the public at 5:00pm

Saturday, October 24th 2015
Haunted Gathering
Authors Kendare Blake, April Genevieve Tucholke and McCormick Templeman
will be our guides as we commune with spirits
Tickets are $30 and include a copy of the horror short story compliation
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys

Saturday, November 7th 2015
Northwest Author Festival
Ten authors, who represent a variety of genres, will gather in the store to sign books and meet the readers. From history and fiction to YA and children’s books, there is sure to be something for everyone on your holiday list. Signed books are always great gifts!
Be sure to check with Klindt’s for a line up of the Authors attending.
Free and open to the public from 2:00pm to 5:00pm

For further information about any of these events please contact Klindt’s Booksellers on 541-296-3355.

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Write a Review. Just Saying.

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I like to think the reviews I post prevent this.

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What’s Wrong with Independent Writers?

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Since starting my review blog I have received a great deal of email from independent writers asking me to review their books, and I am always more than happy to do so; so what is wrong with the independent writer?  Nothing at all.

As readers we can lean towards being very elitist and snobbish when it comes to what we spend our time on, and this is often to the detriment of this hard writing group of people.  I understand we all have our favourites, and there is nothing wrong in that; I have a couple of best-selling Authors I thoroughly enjoy, but when we lean towards them and dismiss the self-published indie writer as being a hack we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, we are  undermining the time and effort these Authors have invested into their work and possibly deterring them from pursuing something they are really rather good at.

I have to state here that these are just my opinions and musings on this subject and not all reading this will agree, but if you are one of those readers who will only pick up a book that has been given mega stars on Goodreads and stellar reviews in The New York Times or The Guardian newspapers, let me say you are missing out on a whole new experience.  Personally I never read reviews or other people’s opinions on a book I’m interested in until after I have finished it and reviewed it myself, after all I assumed that was why books have a synopsis on the back cover or fly-leaf.

In my experience indie writers are a humble bunch of folks, they take constructive criticism well and do not play the diva card when it comes to reviews.  They are grateful for any readership they can get, as they know that with this readership comes word of mouth, more people reviewing their work and maybe, just maybe they will come to the notice of a reputable publishing house.  Indie writers do not get bent out of shape when their book is given less than the three star review they think it deserves, and truly understand that what they write may not be to everyone’s taste.  So why are readers so quick to dismiss them?

I think there will never be a hard and fast answer to this question, but feel that the way the world is has a great deal to do with it.  we now live in a society where everyone wants it NOW, and if they have just read a great book in a series, they don’t want to hang around waiting for the next.  Anticipation seems to have died in this day and age; I love the anticipation of the next one in the series and, as I did recently with one indie Author, did not begin reading their trilogy until I had all three books firmly in my possession.  Books are meant to be savoured and enjoyed; they are worlds that have been loving constructed and developed by their creators; they are meant to be strolled through, not driven through at a 100 mph pace. The Indie Author has a better grasp on this than the best-selling Author, in my opinion, as they strive to make each new work better than their last; the best sellers are almost akin to production line items and after a while tend to take on the personality and characteristics from previous novels.

As much as I love indie writers there is one failing that majority of them seem to fall into, and that is with their book covers. I understand that for the most part they are funding the publication of their work themselves, but for a lot of readers the cover art is what make them want to read the synopsis, and then the book as a whole; my thing is book covers, if I love a cover the synopsis will be read, if the cover doesn’t appeal to me I will probably put down what might have being an outstanding read.  So what is it about the covers that I personally dislike?  I dislike the stock photo covers, in fact I’m not a big fan of photographic covers at all unless they are part of a montage that relates to the contents.  Covers that reach out to me are artwork (if that is the correct term to use) in themselves, if not they are usually something that I’ve not seen on a cover before, and that leads me to read the summary.  I can often scroll through Amazon and see several indie books with the same cover, and none of them will get looked at further.

Yes, I guess this makes me an elitist snob with regards to the cover art of books I read, but when it comes to the contents Indie writers have as much need to be read as those up in the best-selling charts and, for this reader they are more often than not a lot more palatable.

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Notes on Unreadable Books ~ Form Versus Function

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I was browsing the digital highways this afternoon when I came across this article on unreadable books.  We have all deemed a book as such at some point in our reading lives, adn I though this view on the subject was interesting enough to share.  I hope you enjoy.

Form Versus Function.

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Summer Schedule

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As always when summer comes around, our schedules tend to change so we can all enjoy the nice weather more, this is no different for the Book Nut Hut.  Starting on Monday, July 20th the posting schedule will be changing for the duration of the summer, up until the end of September.

The Wednesday Poem will remain a constant throughout the summertime but, after falling over my TBR stack I realise I need to make serious inroads into clearing it.  With this in mind I will only be posting book reviews as I finish a book, rather than having 2 or 3 on the go at one time.  Any Authors that have submitted their books to me directly for review; if for some reason I do not finish them, I will email you directly giving you a personal account of why I was unable to finish it rather than post it in the Hut review section.

Have a wonderful summer everyone, and thank you as always for your continued support.  If you have any books you would like me to read and review, that you have particularly enjoyed, or not, just get in touch via the Contact Me page.

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Joël Champetier 1957 ~ 2015

220px-Joel_ChampetierCanadian author and editor Joël Champetier died on May 30. Champetier’s first story, “Le chemin des fleurs” appeared in Solaris in 1981 and his first novel, “La mer au fond du monde” appeared in 1990. In 1983, he helped organize the first Boréal Congress and was on the board of directors for several years. Beginning in 1990, he held various positions at Solaris and was managing editor at the time of his death.

His other works included  ” The Dragon’s Eye”, “La taupe et le dragon: Roman” and “La mémoire du lac”.

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Reading Challenges ~ Love them or Hate them?

So we are at the beginning of a whole new year and, as is their usual practice, Goodreads are encouraging users to join their Reading Challenge.  As much as I like reading challenges, this one is beginning to feel a little stale, so I started looking for something that would be more of a challenge while at the same time opening me up to new reading experiences.  Scouring the internet I came across the challenge below that I thought I would share with you, and hopefully inspire you to open up to new reading experiences as we progress through this year.  I know that reading a book from the second category on the list is really going to be a challenge for me!
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Let children read the books they love ~ Neil Gaiman

I read this article in 2013 in The Guardian newspaper, it was written by Mark Brown their Arts Correspondent, and thought that it would be an interesting read to get this year off to a start.  Enjoy.

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Neil Gaiman believes well-meaning adults can destroy a child’s love of reading by giving them ‘worthy-but-dull books’.

Children should be allowed to read whatever they enjoy, the author Neil Gaiman has said as he warned that well-meaning adults could destroy a child’s love of reading for ever.

Gaiman was delivering a lecture on Monday night about the future of books, reading and libraries to an audience of arts and literary figures. In a wide-ranging speech he said the rise of ebooks did not mean the end for physical books and made an impassioned plea to stop library closures.
Gaiman, who has written books for children and adults, warned of the dangers of trying to dictate what children read at the second annual Reading Agency lecture, inaugurated last year by Jeanette Winterson.

He said: “I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children.” Every now and again there was a fashion for saying that Enid Blyton or RL Stine was a bad author or that comics fostered illiteracy. “It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness.”

He added: “Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading. Stop them reading what they enjoy or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like – the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian ‘improving’ literature – you’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and, worse, unpleasant.”

Gaiman revealed that he too had been guilty, once telling his 11-year-old daughter that if she loved Stine’s horror books, she would absolutely adore Stephen King’s Carrie: “Holly read nothing but safe stories of settlers on prairies for the rest of her teenage years and still glares at me when Stephen King’s name is mentioned.”

Gaiman said physical books were here to stay. He recalled a conversation with Douglas Adams more than 20 years ago in which Adams said a real book was like a shark. “Sharks are old, there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs and the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar operated, feel good in your hand – they are good at being books and there will always be a place for them.

Earlier Gaiman said most of the publishing industry was trying to figure out what is going to happen in five or 10 years. “None of them know. All of the rules have changed … they are just making it up as they go along.”

Gaiman said reading fiction was one of the most important things people can do and he was passionate in his defence of libraries, the closure of which was stealing from the future, he said. “It is the equivalent of stopping vaccination programmes. We know what the results are. In order to remain a global power, in order to have a citizenry that is fulfilled and fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations, we need to have literate kids.”

Mark Brown

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Rory Gilmore ~ The First Thirty

rory gilmoreWhile browsing the internet with my coffee this morning I happened to come across a website bookreviews.me.uk, and was intrigued by a reading challenge the writer of the site was undertaking, The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, which encompasses some 339 books.  After doing some more searching, I also found out that this is rather a popular challenge so I thought I would put it out there and see how many books on the following list people have read.

I have to admit that I have never seen an episode of The Gilmore Girls; I have no clue who Rory Gilmore is, but I can say it’s a pleasure to hear of such a bookish person being featured in, what I can only assume, is a popular programme.  Going through the list I have marked those books I have read, whether or not they are reviewed on this site, and am going to try and get through some more of them as there appears to be some very interesting books on the list.  Because there are so many books, I’m only going feature the first thirty in this post, and will add the remainder over the coming weeks.  The list is composed of some of the best traditional and modern classics out there in my opinion, so hopefully everyone can find a few they would enjoy reading to fill the upcoming winter months.

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1984 ~ George Orwell (read)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ~ Mark Twain (read)
Alice in Wonderland ~ Lewis Carroll (read)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay ~ Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy ~ Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes ~ Frank McCourt (read)
Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy
The Diary of a Young Girl ~ Anne Frank (read)
The Archidamian War ~ Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction ~ Henry James
The Art of War ~ Sun Tzu (read)
As I Lay Dying ~ William Faulkner
Atonement ~ Ian McEwan (read)
Autobiography of a Face ~ Lucy Grealy
The Awakening ~ Kate Chopin
Babe ~ Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women ~ Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress ~ Dai Sijie
Bel Canto ~ Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar ~ Sylvia Plath (read)
Beloved ~ Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation ~ Seamus Heaney (read)
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews ~ Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays ~ Mary McCarthy
Brave New World ~ Aldous Huxley (read)
Brick Lane ~ Monica Ali
Bridgadoon ~ Alan Jay Lerner
Candide ~ Voltaire

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‘Sit back and relax’

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams

 

writers almanacIt has been a while since I turned over the page to Garrison Keillor so, as a change, and as I think it  may interest people, I am going to hand over to those who actually know what they are about.  Today, Friday August 22, 2014, I am turning my blog over to “The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor”.  For those of you reading who may not be familiar with this website, it contains daily poems, prose, and literary history from Garrison Keillor, and other Authors.  Not only do these great folks keep this website full of wonderful tidbits, they also produce a podcast for us to listen to as we go about our day.  So, without further ado, take it away “The Writer’s Almanac”:

“You’re the Top
by Tony Hoagland

Of all the people that I’ve ever known
I think my grandmother Bernice
would be best qualified to be beside me now

driving north of Boston in a rented car
while Cole Porter warbles on the radio;
Only she would be trivial and un-

politically correct enough to totally enjoy
the rhyming of Mahatma Ghandi
with Napoleon brandy;

and she would understand, from 1948,
the miracle that once was cellophane,
which Porter rhymes with night in Spain.

She loved that image of the high gay life
where people dressed by servants
turned every night into the Ritz:

dancing through a shower of just
uncorked champagne
into the shelter of a dry martini.

When she was 70 and I was young
I hated how a life of privilege
had kept her ignorance intact

about the world beneath her pretty feet,
how she believed that people with good manners
naturally had yachts, knew how to waltz

and dribbled French into their sentences
like salad dressing. My liberal adolescent rage
was like a righteous fist back then

that wouldn’t let me rest,
but I’ve come far enough from who I was
to see her as she saw herself:

a tipsy debutante in 1938,
kicking off a party with her shoes;
launching the lipstick-red high heel
from her elegant big toe

into the orbit of a chandelier
suspended in a lyric by Cole Porter,
bright and beautiful and useless.

“You’re the Top” by Tony Hoagland, from Sweet Ruin. © The University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.   Reprinted with permission.

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On this date in 1864, 12 European nations signed the First Geneva Convention, marking the beginning of the international humanitarian law movement. The convention was initiated by Henri Dunant, the founder of the International Committee for the Relief of the Wounded, which would later become the International Committee of the Red Cross. He had been horrified by the carnage he witnessed during the war for the unification of Italy, especially the Battle of Solferino (1859), which resulted in 40,000 casualties, many of whom were just left to die on the battlefield. Switzerland agreed to host the convention for the “Amelioration of the Wounded in the Time of War.” The First Convention concerned itself mostly with setting ground rules to establish fair treatment of combatants, the obligation to treat sick and wounded regardless of what side they were on, and the protection of medical personnel, vehicles, and equipment. Subsequent conventions extended protection to prisoners of war, shipwreck survivors, and civilians during wartime.

Twelve nations attended the First Geneva Convention and signed the treaty on August 22; it was ratified by all the major European powers within three years. Clara Barton, a nurse in the American Civil War, led the drive for ratification in the United States; it eventually passed in 1882.

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It’s the birthday of Annie Proulx, born Edna Annie Proulx in Norwich, Connecticut (1935). As a young woman, she lived in Vermont, published a small newspaper, and supported herself writing how-to books about things like apple cider and fence-building. Some of her early stories were about hunting and fishing, since she was passionate about those pursuits; the only outlet for them was men’s outdoor magazines, though, and the editors made her publish them as E.A. Proulx, believing men wouldn’t read them if they knew a woman had written them. “The ones who suggested it were from a small Vermont publication,” she told Paris Review, “and I got back this awful letter, full of bad spelling and clumsy syntax, suggesting that I should change my name to initials. Very tiresome.” She put up with it for a while, but then started writing as “E. Annie” and then “Annie.”

Her freelance writing jobs taught her how to research almost anything, and she has since made a career writing fiction based on her extensive research. To write her first novelPostcards (1992), she traveled back and forth across America, stopping in all the places where her homeless main character worked and lived. After she finished that novel, she stumbled upon a map of Newfoundland. She said, “Each place-name had a story — Dead Man’s Cove, Seldom Come Bay and Bay of Despair, Exploits River, Plunder Beach. I knew I had to go there, and within 10 minutes of arriving, I’d fallen in love.” She explored the island, examined maps, and went to bed every night with a Newfoundland vernacular dictionary. The result was her novel The Shipping News (1993), which became a best-seller and won the Pulitzer Prize.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

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