Book Review: Glass by Sam Savage @ Independent Publisher

 

 

Check out my new haunt: Independent Publisher, where I'll be reviewing for as long as they'll have me.

This is also where I'm on the judging panel for the IPPY Awards. Indies are the "little guys," the academic presses, the not-Random-Houses who tend to get squeezed out by the Big Guys. Independent Publisher strives to show readers there's so much else out there they've never dreamt of in their philosophies. And this is no little start  up operation: they've been around 15 years.

"Each year the "IPPY" Awards recognize the best indie-published books of the year in 69 categories, 11 regions, and 12 Outstanding Books of the Year. Entry for the 2012 Awards will open in July." 

Are you an indie publisher? Well, then, hie thee over. Time's a-wastin'.

 

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Fiction Award contenders, batch #1

My first review at IP is Sam Savage's Glass. And if you haven't heard of Sam Savage you have no excuse. I've given him raves. If you've missed those it would mean you don't visit enough. I keep the coffee hot and the scones fresh. What more could you want? Dancing girls? Fine. I'll go slip on some tap shoes. Better yet, some clogs.

You can find my review of Glass here. And Sam Savage's publisher, Coffee House Press, here.

The offerings at Coffee House are phenomenal. Really, take a look. They are a big little press.

 

Glass1

 

Coffee House Press
$15 Trade Paperback Original
ISBN: 978-1-56689-273-5
http://www.coffeehousepress.org

 

NaNo…. NoNo

I fell behind. The wagon hit a bump in the road and I fell off. I was trampled by the horses, scraped off the street and tossed onto the sidewalk.

Yesterday was November 30, 2011. In order for me to have finished NaNoWriMo I would have had to write something along the lines of 30,000 words by the end of the day. That didn't happen.

What bothers me most isn't that I didn't cram 50,000 words into 30 days. I'm concerned by how embarrassed I've been to come online and admit defeat. If anyone else said to me, "Hey, I tried, but you know how much else I have going on. I just couldn't get there." I'd say, "No worries. You gave it a shot." I need to extend to myself that same empathy. Chin up, woman! There's nothing saying I can't take what I started, finish it and rework it into something, now is there. Besides, I changed my mind about the entire direction of the piece and wasn't sure how to go on, leaving the first 50ish pages hanging while twisting the plot, mid-novel, into something totally different. I just wasn't feeling it this year, I guess. Or I was, but knowing I didn't have time to go back and revise made me reluctant to go on.

I'm raising the white flag of surrender. NaNoWriMo, you have officially kicked my lily-white, Irish/Dutch/English posterior.

I haven't been idle, though. I published an interview with Michael Cunningham in the Illinois Library Association Reporter. I also submitted a couple book reviews: one on Caitlin Flanagan's Girl Land for Booklist and the other Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina for Library Journal. Don't think either of those have been published yet, or at least I haven't had time to check.

Also, there are the blog posts in our local online newspapers (Patch.com and TribLocal), book reviews and an interview on behalf of the library:  an interview with Michael Popek, author of Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Found Between the Pages; my thoughts on Hillary Jordan's latest When She Woke; and also Peter Ackroyd's latest London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets.

 

What am I reading now, you ask? I'll tell you!:

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Plus my latest review book for BookBrowse.com, one I can't reveal just yet, mostly because it makes it sound mysterious and exotic. All I'm saying is: grim, short stories, southern. That narrows it down.

 

Soon to start:

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

2012 being the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth, I plan to read several other books by and about my favorite Victorian. One is Claire Tomalin's latest biography: Charles Dickens: A Life and the other possibly Michael Slater's Charles Dickens, about which I've heard only great things. I've missed Victorian literature. 2012 is my year to revisit a few old favorites and also give some new ones a try.

 

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Also, I've been tremendously blessed by several publishers who answered my clarion call, sending me review books I requested, plus those who continue to send titles they'd like me to cover. Here are a few of those, received over the past week:

 

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Special thanks to Coffee House Press and Yale University Press. Wow!

Loads of things bookish happening here, plus the inevitable pull into the holiday season. It's going to be a busy month.