Sunday Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links and Sundry

It’s the dead of winter here. The threat of snow looms on the horizon of each new day and hovers around the cold moon at night. The wind has been working itself into a frenzy, sending empty trash barrels rattling down the street and causing tree boughs to sigh and moan in a melancholy chorus that’s punctuated by the cries our resident crows.

It’s perfect reading weather.

This past week I enjoyed two books – one fiction and one non-fiction – as well as my usual helping of fantastic essays and articles across the blogosphere. All the links and details are below. I hope you enjoy perusing this week’s selection of shareworthy bits and pieces.

Happy reading & happy writing!

··• )o( •··

book the curiosityI scored a free ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan a couple years ago when a Newburyport bookstore was purging its inventory. (I’ve never been one to pass up free books!) It sat on my shelves all this time until it was suddenly the right time for me to read it. (Isn’t it funny how you know when it’s time to read a certain book?)

The back of the ARC billed the book as “Michael Crichton meets The Time Traveler’s Wife.” I’m not terribly familiar with either point of comparison, but I know enough to understand the intended meaning – it’s a page-turner with emotions – and I agree. The premise, as featured on the publisher’s website, goes like this:

Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in the ice. Remarkably, the frozen man is brought back to the lab and successfully reanimated. As the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was—is—a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906.

Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah’s new life is slipping away…and all too soon, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.

Interesting, right? The story is told in alternating points of view: Dr. Kate, a slightly seedy journalist covering the story, the egomaniac funding the project, and – eventually – the frozen man himself. I was impressed with Kiernan’s ability to shift so effectively between the four voices which, between them, covered both genders, multiple age groups, very different personalities, and a couple different eras. I also found it so interesting that Kiernan chose to use the second person for the sections narrated by the egomaniac. That’s not something you see everyday.

The story was fast paced but well written. I kind of knew where it was heading, but even so I stayed engaged and interested, right up to the end.


 

book dillard writing lifeI’ve heard Annie Dillard‘s name many times, but until now I’d never read her work. I picked up The Writing Life, a collection of short essays on the experience of writing, from my local library on a whim. I found it by turns inspiring and infuriating. I gobbled it up in only a couple sittings. (It’s short.) Parts of it made me whisper “Yes!” under my breath, other parts made me want to give up writing altogether (either because Dillard’s prose was so beautiful or because she makes being a writer sound like a journey through all seven circles of hell), other parts made me cringe as I caught a whiff of the elitist literati and pretentious “artiste.” I finished the book feeling confused and conflicted – drawn in, and yet repelled. I already want to pick it up and reread certain sections, but it’s not a book that feels like an old friend.

That said, it’s definitely worth a read. Whether  you can relate to Dillard’s experience of writing in full or only in part, it will make you feel something and it will make you think to ask yourself questions that hadn’t occurred to you before. And, I must admit that Dillard’s own description of the book on her site as “… an embarrassing nonfiction narrative fixed somewhat and republished by Harper Perennial …” endeared me to the author.


And here are my favorite blog posts and articles from this week:

.

And here’s  a little inspiration: 

pin write anything cs lewis

Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy staying warm and cozy for those of you who are also in winter’s thrall. 
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Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content marketer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian and aerial arts (not at the same time), and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Join me each Saturday for the Weekend Edition – a long-form post on writing and the writing life – and/or introduce yourself on Facebooktwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.
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22 thoughts on “Sunday Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links and Sundry

    • Lamott’s book is one of my favorites, and definitely more inspiring/encouraging than Dillard’s. By a long shot. 😉 Perhaps I’ll revisit my copy of Bird by Bird as an antidote to the scare tactics of The Writing Life. TKS for the suggestion!

  1. I read Dillard’s A Writing Life many years ago, and I can agree with your conclusions. A great book on writing, but it probably caused me to believe I couldn’t be a writer, and so I didn’t believe in myself until very recently. She’s an interesting writer, though.

      • It’s worth a read, even if you don’t finish. Some of the passages are just breathtaking. Seriously.

    • She is very interesting. I read part of The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Her observations draw you in. It’s like entering another world. I will probably read more of her work, but I’m not sure I’ll ever *love* it the way I’ve come to love the stories and narratives of some other writers. She’s a bit abrasive, though I think it’s intended as a way to wake people up.

  2. Pingback: Reblog: Sunday Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links and Sundry | Elsie's Journey Through Borderline Personality Disorder.

  3. Hey again Jamie,
    Forgot to tell you, the link to “six tips to fix bad writing” by Kelly McGann is terrific…some great words of wisdome there! Shared out on FB and my blog too!

    Thanks again, for your great posts. keep em coming!

    • That was a great post. I loved the specificity of it. 🙂
      And – no worries! – I’ll definitely keep ’em coming.

  4. Great Reviews! You made me want to rush out of work and pick both of them up– a rare thing for me after reading a review.

    • What a nice compliment. Thank you. Love to hear what you think if/when you do get a chance to read them. Enjoy!

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