I had a great reading month in January! So many good books, it was really enjoyable! The list will be much shorter for February, as I have 6 books to judge for the RITA competition and that's all sooper seekrit. Now hang on to your hats, here's what I read in January and my thoughts:
Shifting gears, here's the first of the non-fiction I read this month: IGNITING THE THIRD FACTOR by Peter Jensen. It doesn't get very high marks from me, possibly not because of bad writing but simply relevance. It is about taking that "third factor" - the something that is more than talent (nature) and fostering it (nurture), but the extra special something within people, tapping into it, and making them exceed expectations. There are a lot of olympic coaching anecdotes in here and I was interested because hey, what mid-lister doesn't want to shoot to the top of the best seller list? I think I was hoping there would be something in this book that would relate to that, but it just kept, well, misfiring for me. I know I had problems with Gladwell's Outliers, but it made more sense to me than this book. My husband says he is better in person than in the book, and a great speaker.
here on her site to read about it.
It's the story of a WWII infantryman and a woman he meets at a USO club. There's an instant connection, but she thinks he's really only interested in her glam friend, Betty. Besides, Liz is practically engaged. But Betty asks her to please write him a letter on her behalf, and when Morgan writes back, Liz knows she MUST reply. The problem is, he thinks she's Betty. And she doesn't know how to tell him she's not. The book also follows Betty's story as well as their other friend, Julia. Those stories are wonderful in their own right and I was particularly curious about what happened to Julia after the book ended. It's beautifully written, and the characters stay with you long after the book is over. It's like stepping back in time and yet the writing has a fresh, modern style at the same time.
There is a lot of home front stuff, but there are some scenes from the front as Morgan goes through the war, and if you're a fan of Band of Brothers you'll hear echoes of that through Morgan's experiences during the Battle of the Bulge. I'll confess tissues were required in a few places. It was my favourite book of the month, and I'm really looking forward to her follow up release, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, releasing later this month.
Next up is the other non-fic book I read this month: my friend and mentor Liz Fielding's LITTLE BOOK OF WRITING ROMANCE. It's a real gem, full of information for both novice writers and veterans alike. No lofty or intimidating terms, it’s got all the basic ingredients for a Happy Ever After. As I was reading it I had a lot of lightbulb moments about the story I was working on, and that's always a good thing.
And my final read for the month was THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. SO GOOD. It definitely lived up to my expectations and I'm really looking forward to the movie. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once Katniss and Peeta are on their way to the Capitol, I was hooked. Tons of tension and stuff I didn't see coming, and a great ending that still left the door wide open for the next book. I am going to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay next, right after I finish my RITA books.