New on the Stack in September 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Nonfiction

Cover of Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne BogelReading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

How did I get it: Sent a pre-release copy.
Why did I get it: I love personality typing, and thought this sounded like an interesting take on a multitude of them. Plus, it’s written by Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Cover of The Yes Effect: Accepting God's Invitation to Transform the World Around You by Luis Bush with Darcy WileyThe Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You by Luis Bush with Darcy Wiley

How did I get it: Sent a pre-release copy.
Why did I get it: My friend Darcy is one of the co-authors.

Cover of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh DumasFunny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s next month’s pick for my Facebook book club.

Cover of Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen HatmakerOf Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: She’s funny and thought-provoking.

Cover of The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen RubinThe Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I’ve been looking forward to this book for ages!

The Complete Make-Ahead CookbookThe Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I love America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.

Cover of Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric BarkerBarking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting.

Cover of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. DweckMindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been on my list for some time, as it’s popped up on my radar through several other books.

Fiction

Cover of Ride on, Will Cody!Ride on, Will Cody! by Caroline Starr Rose

How did I get it: Sent a pre-release copy by the publisher.
Why did I get it: I JUMPED at the chance to get this one because … Caroline Starr Rose wrote it!

Cover of Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. MontgomeryKilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery

How did I get it: Kindle freebie!
Why did I get it: I’m going to try and read through Montgomery’s works next year, and am grabbing her non-Anne titles as I find them.

Cover of PinesPines by Blake Crouch

How did I get it: Bought the Kindle version.
Why did I get it: It was a great deal and I couldn’t resist grabbing this trilogy by the author of Dark Matter.

Cover of Wayward by Blake CrouchWayward by Blake Crouch

How did I get it: Bought the Kindle version.
Why did I get it: Getting all three in the Wayward Pines trilogy.

Cover of The Last Town by Blake CrouchThe Last Town by Blake Crouch

How did I get it: Bought the Kindle version
Why did I get it: Getting all three in the Wayward Pines trilogy.

Cover of A Fool & His Monet by Sandra OrchardA Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard

How did I get it: Kindle freebie.
Why did I get it: Worth trying as a free read.

Cover of Throne of Jade by Naomi NovikThrone of Jade by Naomi Novik

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Temeraire series.

Cover of The Shattered Tree by Charles ToddThe Shattered Tree by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Bess Crawford series.

Cover of A Matter of Justice by Charles ToddA Matter of Justice by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Ian Rutledge series.

Cover of Innocent Graves by Peter RobinsonInnocent Graves by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Alan Banks series.

Cover of Mr. Rochester by Sarah ShoemakerMr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Debating reading it during my Jane Eyre-inspired reading binge.

Cover of Midnight at the Bright Idea BookstoreMidnight at the Bright Idea Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Bookstore setting is tempting.

Cover of CaravalCaraval by Stephanie Garber

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been highly recommended a handful of times.

Cover of Poppy by Mary HooperPoppy by Mary Hooper

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I found it while searching for WWI fiction.

Cover of Prairie SchoolPrairie School by Lois Lenski

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s part of Lenski’s Regional America series, which was recommended in one of my Facebook groups.

Cover of Nothing by Annie BarrowsNothing by Annie Barrows

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Annie Barrows.

Cover of The Grave of Lainey GraceThe Grave of Lainey Grace by Aaron Galvin

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: The cover caught my eye when I was on Galvin’s website.

Cover of Like Pickle Juice on a CookieLike Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg, illustrated by Matthew Cordell

How did I get it: Borrowed it via the Kindle Prime reading program.
Why did I get it: The cover grabbed my attention and I thought it was worth trying.

Cover of Like Bug Juice on a BurgerLike Bug Juice on a Burger by Julie Sternberg, illustrated by Matthew Cordell

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: The next one by the author.

Cover of Like Carrot Juice on a CupcakeLike Carrot Juice on a Cupcake by Julie Sternberg, illustrated by Matthew Cordell

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: The next one by the author.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Bringing History to Life: Ride On, Will Cody!

I’m excited to welcome back one of my favorite authors Caroline Starr Rose to the blog today to answer some questions about her newest book, Ride On, Will Cody!, which releases October 1. Be sure and read part one of the interview as well.

Can you tell us about the upcoming book?

Ride On, Will Cody! is a picture book about the third-longest ride in Pony Express history. According to legend, young Will Cody (later America’s greatest showman, Buffalo Bill) rode for the Pony Express at the age of fifteen. He claimed to have covered 322 miles in under twenty-two hours on a ride that required twenty-one horses. I should add that while most historians now believe Cody didn’t ride for the Pony Express, he no doubt had a huge influence on America’s collective memory of the eighteen-month venture through the reenactments he later included in his Wild West show. On a personal note, I’ve decided even if the story of his ride is more legend than truth, it still embodies the courage of the young men who rode for the Pony Express and gives a sense of Cody’s big, bold character. That’s enough for me.

Ride On, Will Cody! is an in-the-moment adventure as boy and horse (and reader) hit the trail together. I’m so happy readers will soon be able to jump in!

What led you to write this story? What made you decide to tell it as a picture book?

In 2012, my family was on vacation in Colorado. I happened to notice a sign in Golden for a Buffalo Bill Museum and convinced my family we needed to stop in. As I walked through the exhibits, a story idea began to stir. I didn’t know the specifics, but I knew it would be about Buffalo Bill. The following January, I checked out a number of research books. I was pretty convinced my story would focus on Cody’s Wild West show, but his Pony Express work (if it happened at all) was what really caught my attention.

What do you hope readers will get from reading the new book, (or from any of your books)?

I hope all my books momentarily sweep readers away to another time and place. I hope they see courage, determination, and hope — things my books always seem to circle back to.

What makes the historical fiction genre so appealing, both as an author, and as a reader?

Historical fiction allows readers to see people of the past as fully human. Flawed and wonderful. Short-sighted and brave. Their experiences might have been different than ours, but their emotions and motivations are things we recognize in our own lives.

Historical fiction was my true entry point into understanding the past. It went deeper and wider than a handful of paragraphs in a textbook and made history come alive for me. I hope my writing might do the same!

Why did you decide to tell this story, basing it on a real character from history, when your previous historical fiction has had fictional main characters?

That’s a great question. I actually have this historical fiction continuum in my head, divided into five categories. The first I call history light. May B. falls into this one. It’s a story with a specific historical setting (time and place) but includes no historical event or people. On the other end would be a novel like Melanie Fishbane’s recent release, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery. Not only does Maud center on a real person and is full of real events, Melanie had to be granted permission to even write the story! I’d classify a book like this as a five.

For those interested, I’ve called Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine a two and Blue Birds a three. Both have a specific setting and specific historical events. Jasper mentions historical figures, but I took liberties with the few I brought to life. With Blue Birds I had to go a step further and develop both personalities and motivations for minor characters who were nevertheless based on real people — a bit of a daunting task.

If I’d told myself I was writing a “level four” book For Ride On, Will Cody! (a real person as the protagonist but no official permission needed), I might not have tried. Instead I thought of it as “biography-ish” — an attempt to capture one moment in time in one boy’s life. (It’s not uncommon for me to play word games like this. Showing up to the blank page can be challenging. I want more joy and less angst in my work. Simply altering definitions as to what I’m doing sometimes is enough to do the trick.)

I wanted to reflect Will’s spirit and the determination of the young boys who rode for the Pony Express. I wanted to paint an experience with words. I’m really pleased with how the book came together.

Your first books featured female main characters, and your two latest ones have had male main characters. Has that changed your writing process?

I don’t think it’s changed my writing process, but it has exposed some unknown biases. More than once with Jasper my editor pointed out I wasn’t allowing him to fully experience emotion. Boys might express things differently than girls, but they are still emotional beings. Of course I knew this! My story, though, didn’t reflect this obvious fact. I’m grateful my editor called me on it.

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures? Did it provide any feelings of constraint as an author, or was it freeing having some general outlines of historical fact to work around?

The idea of ethics is an interesting one. I’ve just finished a non-fiction picture book about two historical figures. It was essential I not invent dialogue or events. I wasn’t even comfortable hinting at emotions these two women didn’t somehow express themselves.

For historical fiction, I feel story trumps history. I am very thorough in my research. Any time I deviate from what really happened, I mention it in an author’s note. Ultimately, though, I’m telling a story, and story needs to build and allow for a character to grow and change. I’m okay with simplifying timelines, for example, to better serve a character and her world. It’s my responsibility, though, to tell the reader when I’ve altered things.

I will say “general outlines of historical fact” help to shape plot. There are specific events in a historical timeline that will touch a character’s life. How she responds to these events (based on how she sees the world) is what makes a story.

How do you make the collaboration with the illustrator work when you’re writing a picture book? Do you have a favorite illustration from the book?

Authors and illustrators don’t collaborate. Publishing houses work hard to keep us separate, largely to honor the illustrator’s process. It wouldn’t do to have an author breathing down the illustrator’s neck! I’ve had my turn at the story. Once the book is with the illustrator, he brings his own insight and magic.

I will say that I got to see quite a bit of the process unfold with Ride On, Will Cody!, perhaps because it’s historical fiction and the art director wanted to be sure the depictions were right. I saw early sketches and read comments from the art director to the illustrator, Joe Lillington. It was very much like the author / editor revision process.

I love these illustrations, so it’s hard to narrow things down to one. My favorite, though, goes with the lines Station shines / on the horizon, / hoofbeats thunder, /echo ‘round. Will has been riding for a while and finally sees a station ahead. I imagined him alone, those echoing hoofbeats his horse’s. But the illustration! Oh my goodness. It was so much more than I could have imagined (and a great example as to why the illustrator needs room apart from a hovering author). Joe has included a herd of buffalo in the picture. It’s a great Wyoming scene but it’s bigger than that: The buffalo are a beautiful nod to the man Will Cody will become. The picture truly thunders in a way the language couldn’t on its own.

That’s the beauty of a picture book. The words plus the illustrations aren’t a simple 1+1 = 2 arithmetic problem. When words finally meet pictures the outcome is exponential, something so much more than either could have ever been alone.

Want more information about Caroline or Ride On, Will Cody!? Read part one of the interview and also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (but I’ve bought my own copies of some of her previous works). This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Getting to Know Caroline Starr Rose

I’m excited to welcome one of my favorite authors Caroline Starr Rose to the blog today to answer some questions about herself and her writing process. Come back for part two of the interview, where she’ll explain her “historical fiction authenticity scale” and share about her newest book, Ride On, Will Cody!, which releases October 1.

Caroline Starr Rose
Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a former teacher, a mother to two teenage boys, a pastor’s wife, and a children’s author. We’ve lived all over the country but have spent the last seven years in Albuquerque, NM, where my husband and I grew up. It’s been so special to share this place we love with our sons.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I run, read, work crosswords, walk the dog, go to my boys’ sporting events. I love to cook when I have the time. Otherwise, not so much. My life is pretty uneventful, and I love it that way.

What’s your favorite picture book from childhood?

The Littlest Rabbit by Robert Kraus. Revisiting it as an adult, it’s a little weird (Rabbits throwing punches!), but I loved it as a girl.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel, whether for adults or children?

Undoubtedly it would be Long Night Dance by Betsy James (YA speculative fiction). Betsy spoke to my adolescent literature class at the University of New Mexico over twenty years ago. I picked up Long Night Dance soon after and was entranced. Every few years, I’d search to see if she’d continued the story. When we lived in Florida, I found the second book. In Virginia I found the third and wrote Betsy gushy fan mail. When we moved back to Albuquerque, I found out Betsy was offering a writing workshop and immediately signed up. We’re now friends and — this was huge for me — she let me read the fourth book in the series, Roadsouls, when it was still in manuscript form.

Has being a writer changed you as a reader?

Oh, yes. I used to be quite the reading snob (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But the longer I’ve written, the more I’ve learned to appreciate books that I might not have picked up fifteen or twenty years ago. I think knowing the hard work that goes into writing has both broadened my taste and shown me plenty to admire in the books I’ve read. I’m constantly impressed with the way other authors tell a story through their choices with plot, structure, form, and point of view.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you growing up, or influences your writing today?

I would have to say of all the authors I admire, Beverly Cleary has had the biggest impact on my writing. Ramona Quimby is hands down the best middle-grade character ever written. (This is my humble opinion, but it feels like absolute fact.)

The thing that has really struck me as an adult re-visiting the Ramona books is the compassion Beverly Cleary has for her character (and by extension, her young readers). Though she doesn’t shy away from awkward moments, there is a tenderness in the way Cleary deals with Ramona when she throws up in class, when she kicks her bedroom walls in anger, when she names her doll the most beautiful name she can think of — Chevrolet.

These books have reminded me what it was like to be a child. They nudged me to be more patient with the young people in my life. They’ve encouraged me to treat my characters with respect and love.

What’s the most difficult part of the writing process?

Well, all of it! But seriously, drafting is the part I like least. Everything is so wide open, it can be paralyzing. I don’t yet know my characters and their world (even if I’ve spent extensive time researching a setting and the history surrounding it). There’s a lot of stumbling around and wrong turns involved.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love revision work with my editor. It can be incredibly hard (see above) but is so rich. At this point, the story is really underway. Major changes are still possible (twice over with Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine I tossed two-thirds of the manuscript and started again), but usually the focus is on digging deeper, making connections, really bringing the book to life.

I love, love, love returning to the world that’s under construction, spending time with the characters who become more real and complex and human as each day passes. It’s utterly absorbing. After reading the same (altered) manuscript for years, I’ve not once found myself bored. It’s fresh and exciting every time.

You’ve written 2 picture books, 2 novels in verse, and 1 prose novel. How do you decide what format fits which story? Is that planned in advance, or have you ever changed it after beginning a story?

I’ve never debated if an idea is a picture book or a novel. Knowing if a novel is meant to be written as verse or prose is another thing entirely.

The conventional wisdom is to read one hundred books in your genre (or form) before attempting to write in that style. I’d read all of two verse novels before writing my frontier story, May B., but that was because I had no intention of writing this way. My early attempts at the story fell flat. The ideas in my head were far from the words on the page. When I returned to my research I realized the voices of pioneer women were careful and spare, a reflection of their stark environment. I knew if I could mirror their voices I would be able to tell May’s story most truthfully.

I knew my Klondike Gold Rush story, Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine, was going to be prose, but I was convinced at first it would be an epistolary novel. It didn’t take long for me to realize this form did not suit my boy — a kid who didn’t take to schooling was hardly going to express himself with the written word.

Of my published novels, it’s only been my Lost Colony story, Blue Birds, that started as verse and stayed that way.

Form must absolutely serve the story and not the other way around.

Have you written a book you love that you haven’t published?

Several…and many more I’m so glad have never seen the light of day. I would suspect most of us who write fiction have experienced the same. There are a couple still making the rounds that — fingers crossed — will someday find a home. Hope springs eternal.

What’s been the best compliment you’ve received as an author?

I’ve received messages from both dyslexic children and adults who have read May B. and connected with the story. Here’s a beautiful example:

“At the end of May B., I am crying. I am crying at the ways she is so strong and capable. It was as if you were writing right into the places of my heart where those accusations of being careless and not good enough had settled. And you whispered that like May, I could overcome. I could hope for the good things even when they are hard. Thank you, Caroline. Thank you, May.”

How has releasing a book changed now that you’ve done this 5 times?

When May B. was a week from release, I wanted to climb under my bed and hide. After months of excitement, I suddenly felt dread. I couldn’t take back what I’d written. Soon everyone could see it and would have an opinion. That was kind of terrifying.

Generally, I’m a little more mellow than that first time around, but I’ve also learned to acknowledge patterns that come with the release of a book (and to treat myself gently in the midst of them). The nerves start a few months out as trade reviews roll in. (I always take a deep breath before opening an email from my editor that begins A review from Kirkus / Publisher’s Weekly / Booklist / School Library Journal). I am entirely too involved with stats those first months after a release. Penguin Random House has an author portal which uses Neilsen BookScan numbers (never a good representation of books like mine, generally marketed to schools and libraries, let me tell you!) and also tracks the number of books shipped (a better glimpse of sales). After the third-month mark, bookstores start to return unsold copies. It can be depressing. Honestly, it’s more information that is beneficial for any author to have.

I try to remember if my editor is proud of the book and I am proud of the book, that’s enough. I’m getting really, really close to believing this is true.

Want more information about Caroline or Ride On, Will Cody!? Come back Friday, and also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (but I’ve bought my own copies of some of her previous works). This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Introducing October’s Book Club Selection: Funny in Farsi

funny-in-farsi

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since. Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.

Why Was This Title Selected

I wanted one memoir for the year, about someone not American or English, and not have it be completely gut-wrenching in subject matter. This ended up being a last-minute substitution when my original pick turned out to be a novel, based on true events.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or via Audible.

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

What’s Coming Up Next?

ordinary-graceOrdinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

What’s it about? Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on Your Stack (volume 29)

Some highlights from the books from last month’s linkup:


Cover for Deadly SanctuaryI am so excited for Annette (AKBookworm) because she’s going to be reading Cinder for the first time! Such a great book, and a great series. I hope she loves it.

Annette also highlighted Deadly Sanctuary, which intrigues me thanks to the Arizona setting.


Cover of A Fool & His MonetJill (Days at Home) let me know that A Fool & His Monet is currently free for Kindle, so I figured it was worth a try. I like the main character being an FBI special agent focused on art crimes. It may be a little too suspense/romance focused for me to love, but I’ll try it. Someday.


Cover of Fire and FantasyArwen (The Tech Chef) added a slew of fantasy novels in August, and despite knowing nothing about any of the authors, I’m so tempted by the Fire and Fantasy collection simply because it’s only $.99 and includes 20 books. That’s a whole lot of reading material for a dollar.


Cover of Beneath a Scarlet SkyStacie (Sincerely Stacie) added so many great books to her reading stack in August. Fortunately for the sake of my TBR stack, I’ve already read many of them! Reading People, Option B, For the Love, Gulp, Grunt, and How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind. All of them range from “worth reading” to “read this as soon as possible” in my recommended reading scale. 🙂

I am interested in the novel Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan. It sounds like an amazing premise, and to hear that it’s based on a true story? Astonishing.

What’s embarrassing to report is that when I went to Amazon to find out the details of Beneath a Scarlet Sky, it tells me that I already own the item, and have since April. So much for me keeping track of new books.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New Book Love: Reading People by Anne Bogel

Cover for Reading People by Anne BogelReading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

Reading People is a general overview of several personality frameworks (think Myers-Briggs and Enneagram, plus several others). It includes plenty of examples of how understanding that framework has helped Bogel in her personal life, or in the lives of people she knows.

The strength of the book is in those personal examples. You can get an overview of the personality systems online, but reading about how someone has used that information is much more helpful.

In that sense, it reminded me a bit of a Gretchen Rubin book (like The Happiness Project), where she has distilled research down, and tried applying it to her life, then sharing the results. In this case, Bogel is distilling each personality typing system down to a quick summary, with a reference section pointing you to more information on each system.

I appreciated the book’s structure: each chapter discusses one personality-typing system, and it was easy to read it in chunks. It also manages to make some of the more complicated systems (cognitive functions, enneagram) understandable.

While this is the sort of book that I am in general pre-disposed to like, I thought it was very well done and enjoyed it tremendously. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get an overview of the various personality typing systems, and some ideas of how to use that knowledge to improve their own life.

And on a completely shallow note, the physical book is really pretty! It’s got a beautiful gold spine that looks so nice on my bookshelves.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.

For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.


Disclosure: I was sent a pre-release copy of the book, but I also bought my own copy (and passed it along to a friend). I was not required to write a positive review, and the pre-release copy had no impact on my opinion on the book. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

10+ Books Perfect to Read in Autumn

10 Books Perfect to Read in Autumn / 10 Books Perfect to Read in the FallSummer Books seem to get all the attention, but autumn is the perfect time to dive into some wonderful reads. Whether you’re in the mood for longer, more thought-provoking books, coming-of-age stories with the growing-up nostalgia brought on by back-to-school season, novels with a strong sense of place, or works that requiring more focus than beach-reading allows.

Here are 10 books that are perfect to read in autumn, plus extra options for those who are already well-read in fall literature.

Cover of A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Why so perfect for fall? The emphasis on education makes this feel especially appropriate to read during back-to-school season.

This turn of the century coming-of-age story is an American classic for good reason. The beautifully crafted tale pulls you into Francie’s story and has you rooting for her as she grows up in challenging circumstances. There is an undercurrent of hope that buoys everything.

Already read it? Try A Distant Prospect or Emily of New Moon for other thoughtful coming-of-age novels.


Cover of Still LifeStill Life by Louise Penny

Why so perfect for fall? Penny is amazing at developing the setting for the novels through wonderful details of location, food, and weather.

The Chief Inspector Gamache series mostly takes place in a rural village south of Montreal, and the setting is key in most of the books in the series. This is the first book in a lengthy series that continues to improve, and the backstory behind the characters is a reason to savor every book.

Already read it? Try Bruno, Chief of Police or Death of a Red Heroine for other mystery series with a strong sense of place.


Cover of Wolf HallWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a big reading commitment, that needs focused time to appreciate the depth offered by the novel.

This Booker Prize-winning historical fiction brings Thomas Cromwell to life. It’s an utterly fascinating account with an unusual writing style. Stay with it long enough to adjust, as your efforts will be richly rewarded.

Already read it? Try Kristin Lavransdattar or 11/22/63 for other historical sagas.


Cover of RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Why so perfect for fall? It’s an ideal choice when you’re looking for something to read while curled up under a blanket, sipping a hot drink.

From the famous opening line to the dramatic conclusion, Rebecca is also perfect for a discussion title, if you’re looking for one for your book club to read this fall. The atmospheric novel is a modern classic, blending Gothic romance and mystery.

Already read it?Try My Cousin Rachel or Dragonwyck for additional novels with a Gothic feel and slight romance storyline.


Cover of Harry PotterHarry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Why so perfect for fall? Because every book begins as Harry heads off to school in September, looking forward to the fresh start a new school year provides. No, back-to-school novels don’t have to take place at a boarding school, but it never hurts when they do. Add in the magical element for extra fun.

Already read it? Try The Magicians or Charmed Life for other stories about magical education.


Cover of Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

Why so perfect for fall? Because it includes the famous line “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” And because autumn at Green Gables sounds gorgeous – the birch trees have turned golden, the maple branches give Anne a thrill, and the wild cherry trees lining the road are lovely shades. Fall foliage never sounded so beautiful as Montgomery describes it.

Already read it? Try The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate or Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms for more heart-warming reads about precocious young girls.


Cover of Crossing to SafetyCrossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Why so perfect for fall? The academic setting, the quiet feel of it all, and the stunning writing which is simply ideal for savoring. Stegner excels at weaving a gentle narrative following friends over the course of their lives, bringing the reader into their story. Any description of it fails to do it justice.

Already read it? Try Jayber Crow or Hannah Coulter for other quiet stories with a literary feel.


Cover of And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Why so perfect for fall? One of her most famous mysteries, the eerie setting, and countdown of survivors makes for a satisfying mystery with a slightly Halloween-inspired feel. Add in the narrative following the children’s verse, and the disappearing soldiers mimicking the fallen guests and there is a decided sense of menace to the text.

Already read it? Try The Turn of the Screw or We Have Always Lived in the Castle for other classic novels that tilt towards the creepy side.


Cover of Team of RivalsTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a hefty reading investment, one where you need plenty of time to appreciate Goodwin’s clever structuring of her award-winning work.

Already read it? Try Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War or A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 for additional history books, both appropriate to read this time of year.


Cover of Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a terrific read around Halloween if you’re not quite brave enough for a true horror book.

Slightly eerie, Austen’s Gothic-inspired novel gives nods to what was then the supremely popular The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Already read it? Try Wuthering Heights or Mistress of Mellyn for additional novels with a Gothic feel.


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Homeschooling Update: A Reading Breakthrough!

All About Reading 1 Activity BookH has been struggling to get past the hurdle of blending.

And I know that it’s a developmental stage, and I know that research shows that children who don’t learn how to read until older catch up quickly, and she’s only just 6.

But still, it’s such an obvious thing when a child isn’t reading, and when you’re around people who aren’t particularly homeschool-friendly, it leads to lots of side-eyeing. “She’s not reading yet?”

Cue me feeling torn between not wanting to say anything because it’s not any of their business, and wanting to justify things, etc. etc.

Breakthrough!

All About Reading 1 Run Bug Run ReaderSo, mostly for that reason, but also because she SO wants to be reading on her own, I was thrilled when suddenly it’s like something clicked for her, and she’s blending with ease, and having fun with the activities.

Ok, so she’s only managing consonant-vowel-consonant words (bat, sat, mad, big, fin, and similar), but if she’s anything like G was, blending is the big hurdle and now she’ll start moving along with reading progress.

She’s already done 5 lessons in All About Reading 1 in 10 days, and she’s WANTING to do more. She’s reaching for the first reader, Run Bug Run.

I’m so happy for her. She’s thrilled, and it’s such a great milestone.

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Cover Love: Plainsong

Book covers fascinate me. Why are some covers kept for various editions and languages? Why are some changed for seemingly every publication variation? I don’t know, but it makes for very interesting viewing.

Kent Haruf’s Plainsong had more cover versions than I was expecting.

The book I read had this cover: big Western sky, lots of clouds, and what look like foothills.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The large print version takes a very similar approach, but it has more light shining through the clouds. This is my favorite cover.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

And so does the audio edition.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

There are at least four Picador versions. The Picador Pan MacMillan paperback features a girl with her hair blowing in the wind, with two men on horseback in the background. Appropriate enough, although I thought Victoria was described as having dark hair. Perhaps I imagined that.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

A Picador Pan Macmillan paperback from 2013 shows the back of a woman with her hair blowing in the breeze, and she seems to be in a field of flowers. This is one of my favorite covers.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Another Picador paperback version, this one from 2001.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

One more Picador edition, although I’m not sure of the date.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Foreign language editions are always especially interesting. The Dutch version features horses fighting. I don’t remember that in the book at all – did I miss it?

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Finnish edition shows a girl looking pensively out into the distance. It seems fitting for the book, so no complaints from me.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Four French editions, one with a bridle, one with two men on horseback, and two with a windmill (but not the same windmill).

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Then there’s the German edition, with the isolated farmhouse.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Italian edition looks like it’s for a book set during a drought.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Persian edition also features a girl, looking out alone, but this girl is in the middle of a crop of some kind. Wasn’t she staying with ranchers, not farmers?

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Finally, the Polish edition shows an old suitcase.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Which cover(s) are your favorites?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

The “Cover Love” series is inspired by the “Judging Books by Their Covers” series previously featured at Quirky Bookworm.

August 2017 Recap

August seemed to fly by, with lots of activity and appointments. None of the appointments were exciting unfortunately, they were for things like dental cleanings (times three), then a follow-up to deal with a cavity (only on one child fortunately), plus well-checks (times two – number three had hers this week), plus birthday parties and play dates getting squeezed in before school restarted. It made for a more hectic-seeming month than I like.

August 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 20
Books Read This Year: 148

Things That Happened

  • Book club – Lost in Shangri-La for my in-person book club and The Diamond Age in the Facebook group.
  • M turned 3.
  • G and H went back-to-homeschool (3rd and 1st grade).
  • Both kids passed their latest belt tests at taekwondo, and G is now a 1st degree recommended black belt, and H is a senior brown belt.
  • The soccer season began for the two older kids. G’s level is now playing with a goalie for the first time, and he has enjoyed it the times he’s had the chance to play goalie. He still doesn’t really know what he’s doing out there, but he’s better there than he usually is in some of the other positions.

What’s Cooking

  • Not much is really cooking – August isn’t the best month for me to want to cook. It’s not cool enough to branch out into Fall meals, I’m burning out on Summer dishes, etc. Lots of basics in the rotation this month, but I’m hoping to try some new dishes in September.

What I’m Anticipating in September

  • G’s year as a Bear Scout begins, and H has joined Daisy Scouts. Her first troop meeting is in September and she can hardly wait. I’m curious to see how it goes for her.
  • My in-laws will be visiting at the end of the month! Hooray!
  • Awana starts back up again.
  • I have TWO author interviews coming up, and I’m really excited about trying to add that as a semi-regular feature here.
  • Cub scouts popcorn sales, and I’m hoping G gets to some of the store sales times this year. He’s got a sales goal he’s working towards.
  • Book club – Garden Spells for my in-person book club (it’s dinner party month!!) and Plainsong in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in August

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

We’ve only just started the school year, so we haven’t finished all that many books. September’s list should include many more titles.

    Readalouds I finished with G (3rd grade)
  • George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge

    He liked this one (so did I), and wants to read more of the series. Fortunately for him, that’s already in the plans.

  • The Minstrel in the Tower by Gloria Skurzynski

    It amused him that I was reading this to him, when it’s very much at a reading level he can handle. Cute story, and a nice break from some drier books.

  • Readalouds I finished with H (1st grade)
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

    Second time around was just as successful as the first time. She loved it.

  • More Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley

    I love the Milly Molly Mandy stories and am looking forward to reading them with M in a couple of years.

  • Readers G finished on his own
  • Third Grade Detectives #1 by George E. Stanley

    He couldn’t believe this counted as a school book, and he was also really entertained by the flip book format – book 1 and 2 are published together, just back-to-back and flipped.

  • The Secret Valley by Clyde Robert Bulla

    Bulla does such a great job at writing appealing stories at easier reading levels.

  • plus more Captain Underpants, as well as some Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Sigh. He loves these books. I tell myself it’s better than no books.

    Picture Books I Read with M (3 years old)

    I read many many more than this, but these are the new-to-us ones

  • Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman
  • Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
  • Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

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