Sunday, July 28, 2013

Recent Reads

Here's a list of some books I've read recently. I haven't always included books for adult audiences in my lists, but I'm going to start doing that now. 

1. ANYA'S WAR by Andrea Alban (Feiwel and Friends- Young Adult) Based on a true story, a Jewish family finds refuge in China during World War 2.

2. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen- Young Adult) A young girl trains to be fearless to prepare for initiation in a faction she has chosen to be part of.

3. INSURGENT by Veronia Roth (Katherine-Tegen- Young Adult) A sequel to DIVERGENT, a young girl  must consider making big sacrifices for the greater good.

4. JACOB WONDERBAR FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE by Nathan Bransford (Dial-Middle Grade) A boy runs for president of the universe against a power-hungry opponent. Check out my author interview here.

5. ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card (Starscape/Tom Doherty Associates- Young Adult) An intellectually gifted child trains to be a military commander to help Earth destroy a species known as the "buggers.

6. EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (Balzer + Bray-Young Adult) A young girl returns from a hundred-year incarceration in the underworld to say good-bye to her boyfriend.

7. THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak (Alfred A. Knopf- Young Adult) A German family hides a Jew in their home during the Holocaust.

8. SWITCHED by Amanda Hocking (St. Martin's Griffin- Young Adult) A girl finds out she is both a changeling and the princess of the Trylle, and she must leave her everyday human life as she has known it.

9. MIDDLE SCHOOL, THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE by James Patterson (Little, Brown and Company- Middle Grade) A sixth grade boy tries to survive middle school while dealing with a bully at school and problems at home.

10. MIDDLE SCHOOL, MY BROTHER IS A BIG FAT LIAR by James Patterson (Little, Brown and Company- Middle Grade) A girl attends middle school under the dark cloud of the reputation her brother left behind.

11. MIDDLE SCHOOL, GET ME OUT OF HERE by James Patterson (Little, Brown and Company- Middle Grade) A boy starts over at a new school in his mom's hometown and he tries to find out about his MIA father.

12. LIKE MANDARIN by Kirsten Hubbard (Ember- Young Adult) A 14 year-old girl yearning to know what life is like beyond her small Wyoming town befriends a worldly but troubled older girl named Mandarin.

13. CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn (St. Martin's Griffin- Young Adult) A troubled boy must confront his past and inner demons. Update: Check out my author interview here.

14. PROPHECY by Ellen Oh (Harper Teen- Young Adult) A young Korean girl strives to fulfill her duties as a demon slayer and protector of a young prince.

15. BLOOD, BONES, & BUTTER: THE INADVERTENT EDUCATION OF A RELUCTANT CHEF (Random House- Adult Non-Fiction) In this food memoir, Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of New York's Prune restaurant, dishes about her on-the-go life and the role food has played in it.

Have you read any of the books from this list? Read any good books lately?

I'm also doing my library's summer reading program this year, so stay tuned for a list of some picture books I've been reading to my kids...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IWSG: Why I Don't Tell Everyone About My Blog

It's IWSG day hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. Once upon a time, I had another blog. It was a semi-personal blog that I shared with a few family members, friends, and some acquaintances. I call it a semi-personal blog because while I shared some stuff that was personal, I wasn't often sharing stuff that was too personal, if that makes sense. 

Once, I blogged about a fairly common and uncontroversial topic, one without any serious scandalous connotations. This issue really weighed down on my heart, and I needed to get it out of my system in words. I spent quite a long time writing the post, and a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders after I published the post. ....

...until a then-acquaintance who read that particular post said something to me like, "I just can't believe you wrote that. I would never write about that." I don't believe it was intended to be a mean comment. It seemed this person was trying to help me see, from her perspective, that I had misused my blog for a purpose that she felt it wasn't intended for. This happened years ago, when I was less comfortable and experienced with social media.

So I deleted that post because one person criticized it. I look back on this decision with some remorse because when I deleted my post, I also deleted comments from readers who offered some very thoughtful and supportive words. One person even shared she had gone through what I'd gone through. It really made me feel validated to know that people got what I was saying. 

But once you delete a post, you don't get it back.

At this time, I don't share many deep, personal details here on this blog. But still, I don't find it necessary to let everyone know about my blog. Of course, this will definitely change once I hit certain milestones in my writing journey, but for now, I need to honor my intuition when it  warns me against announcing my blog to everyone and anyone.

Do you tell everyone about your blog and/or other social media accounts?

Have you ever been criticized for something you shared on your blog and/or other social media accounts?