Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What's New?

It's a new year. After the New Year's celebrations, either the up 'til midnight or the boardgame in front of the fireplace variety, I'm sure you're all aware we've left 2012 behind and entered 2013.

We survived Mayan predictions and post-holidays sales. Christmas tree needles have been swept up, or at least under the carpet and I've managed to pawn off the sugary treats that made up part of my holiday decor on helpful neighbors and friends.

One of my favorite new year's activities is making lists.

Yep, I'm one of those kind of people. And my favorite kind of lists are derived from lists made by other people.

In my free moments I love to pull up all the end of year best book lists. The ones I like best aren't derived from sales figures, but from critical reviews.

These books help me grow as both a reader and writer.

I think of them as my homegrown MFA program. They push me to be a better writer and thinker. Well, in theory they do. Sometimes they make me wonder what the critics were thinking, but that's okay too. It's part of the process of understanding what works for me as both writer and reader.

One book I've been obsessing over for almost two years is Cover of Snow, written by friend and fellow author Jenny Milchman.

Cover of Snow, due out on January 15, will be the first book I buy this year and I predict it will be the first book I finish during the second full week of January

What else is new?

Well, of course there's Losing Hope, but I've already read that one. Several times, in fact.

My second book in the Persephone Campbell series is a grown-up look at one woman's ongoing battle with her inner darkness and the Lord of the Underworld.

In addition to my OCDness over Jenny's new book, I spent the waning days of the year devouring Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology of Water and am about to embark on a Kathy Acker binge which I anticipate being hard on the psyche, but good for the soul.

What about you? Are you making up a book list for the year? Are you in the middle of something unputdownable? Tell me! Tell me, please! And I'll add them to my Santa-claus long list. Who knows, maybe they'll even skip to the top.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

In between books at the moment.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I got a pile of books for Christmas. Including a couple on writing. I've already finished Save the Cat and am onto On Writing. But I have several novels calling out to be read as well. Oh it's so hard to pick where to start!

Alison DeLuca said...

Can't wait to read both Cover of Snow and Losing Hope! Yay for 2013!

I just started The Sable City and it is fantastic.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just started Ali Cross' first book.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

In the middle of Alone in the Classroom by Canadian author Elizabeth Hay. I'm liking it!

The Bookworm said...

Happy New Year Johanna. I most definitely am in the middle of a book that's got me hooked! Losing Hope
:) I've been reading plenty of romance lately so its perfect.

Lisa Gail Green said...

I just finished ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and loved it! I will have to add these to my list for the year! It's going to be a busy one. :D

Kristen Wixted said...

I'm going to read Goblin Secrets next. My daughter just finished it and is dying to talk about it.
I just finished Liar and Spy and loved it.
They are both MG but that's what I read mostly--Happy New Year!

Johanna Garth said...

Diane, sounds like you have a busy schedule based on your post today.

Rachel, I loved On Writing.

Thanks Allie and I liked what I read about Sable City.

Alex, can't wait to read your review of it.

Cathy, haven't heard of it, but will check it out.

Thanks Naida!

Lisa, that book has been on my to-read list for a long time!

Kristen, it's so nice you and your daughter can share books! Happy New Year to you too.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Johanna,


Your comment made ME SMILE... Thanks. You are too kind.

THIS year I WILL READ! I am ashamed of myself that I hadn't read a single book last year... BAD Michael, BAD Michael... SLAPS hand.

BUt this year my goal is a small one, at least ONE book a month. That is attainable and if I can do more than GREAT...

I have a major list waiting for me. When I get into them I will let you know. Editing today, but wanted to blog a bit to free up my mind.

WISHING you all the best for 2013!

Liza said...

One of my favorite presents this Christmas was made by my sister-in-law. It was a lovely, hand decorated notebook to be used for book lists. I'll be writing my lists down this year in something pretty, rather than at the back of a ratty notebook!

Nicki Elson said...

I like your style of picking books. I definitely plan to make more time to read this year - and after this post, I'll think of it as writer's workshop time.

Congratulations on your second book! Now I'm really behind on reading Losing Faith - will put that right here on my 2013 list. ;)

Nicki Elson said...

Duh! I obviously meant Losing Beauty. Sorry.

jenny milchman said...

You are great, Johanna. Your obsessing about my book is a made it moment for me :) I can't wait to read your next one--and hopefully have you sign it!!

Shell Flower said...

LOL. You crack me up with the read Losing Sanity a few times already. Hahaha. Anyway, I just finished Boneshaker by Cheri Priest and it was pretty good. Now I'm digging into The Windup Girl by Paola B(something I can't spell right now) and it is AWESOME. My favorite book of 2012 was The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman, but that's only because I haven't read yours yet.

Ella said...

Great list
I too took the rest of the sugary treats and passed them to the neighbors!!!

I'm reading how to write better, for now! But I have a long list to read-yours included ;D

Happy New Year~

Anne Gallagher said...

Since I started writing seriously, I haven't read nearly enough. I used to read 4-5 books a week. Now, I don't think I've even read 5 books this whole last year.

I keep telling myself once the summer comes and I can sit by the pool, I'll be able to read more. We'll see.

Barbara Watson said...

I have my MG list which never seems to whittle down -- it only grows longer. But that's okay; there's so much great writing out there to read. Currently I'm reading two different MG books, both of which contain an important, life-changing dog character. As a dog-lover, both are wonderful to me. said...

Well, since you asked, I'm reading two wonderful books that are written by author friends: Shadows in Winter by FJ Fuller and Bitten by Dan O'Brien. The first is about a Finnish boy struggling between the traditional and modern worlds. The second is more of a thriller. Both are on Amazon.

Happy New Year, Johanna!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm reading Easy Innocence by Libby Fischer Hellmann. Really good so far.

Gwen Gardner said...

I am a lister, too! Just give me a project, and there's nothing more satisfying than checking items off a list as I complete them. I just finished Insurgent and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to lots of reading this year.

jaybird said...

Re-reading one my favorite authors, Alyson Richman. "The Lost Wife" is such an amazing love story I like to re-read a lot. And "The Last VanGogh" is brilliant. Love her!

nutschell said...

I love lists myself! Ill definitely have to check out these two books--especially the second one :)

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I love the Cover of Snow cover!! Sounds excellent, I'm adding that one to my own list. And of course I am anxious to read Losing Hope as well. My biggest problem is I've been spending so much time making my various lists I haven't had time to read or do much of anything else! I am a New Year's list fanatic LOL.

Happy 2013 to you, Johanna!

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