Like many folks, I often read several books at once. Since I start out reading say four new books and having a couple of old stand bys on my nightstand (odd word nightstand, meaning neither of the words which comprise it, really), I sometimes have a day when I finish multiple books all at once.
Today after homeade sausage gravy, after the slow-sweet promise of fresh picked blackberries, after the long-bitter warmth of several cups of coffee, was such a day. I just finished The Lie That Tells a Truth by John Dufresne, a book on Sake, a final attempt to read Men Die by H.L. Humes, the last chapter of The Steampunk Bible by Jeff Vandermeer, and Tin House's Beauty issue. I can honestly say Dufresne's book had a lot of good writing information for a beginning novelist, but I probably could have spent my time better writing. That being said, I am almost always better served actually writing than by reading about writing, so it's still a good craft book.
The book on sake was rather the kind of book that one picks up for the pictures and recipes, reads, sticks on a shelf and quietly forgets about. I have saved you all that trouble by leaving out the title. Regarding Men Die, I have tried to read this book four times and never been able to get past the first chapter. I concluded that life is short, the book is not, and maybe war/destruction stories really just aren't for me. I've sung The Steampunk Bible's praises before, and if you read this blog you know my conflicted feelings about Tin House - home of some of the best and worst writing I've seen all year.
I also began The Author Online by Annik LaFarge which I can't recommend enough for author website information. I've long been baffled by author websites. Many authors have no website at all, while others - I'm thinking of Aimee Bender, seem to have a certain whimsical quality that I don't at all link with selling a product (the general point of most websites). So the book has been very helpful.
Well, that's all for now. I'll have you a more coherent blog soonish.
Wishing you all the best,