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Hughes'd Books

Showing posts from category: Books

Summer 2016

Getting unstuck from writing is challenging. Time to read the book called On Being Stuck.


Reading more than one book at a time is like being a mouse in a maze: you never quite know where you are going.

At the moment, I am bouncing back and forth between A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett and Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín.

Terry Pratchett’s collection of nonfiction essays demonstrates his remarkable ability to write with humor and with humanity on topics as diverse as science fiction conventions and wearing hats.

In his ninth and latest novel, Nora Webster, Colum Tóibín dramatizes the life of a middle-aged widow coping with her family and friends in a small town in Ireland in the late 1960s.

Halfway through both, I am contemplating adding a third book from the maze that is my library.

The Land of Steady Habits, by Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson delivers an outstanding read in his debut novel, The Land of Steady Habits.

Eight years and several rewrites in the making, this coming of later-in-age story depicts a suburban Connecticut family going through the motions of disarray because of the main character’s search for a deeper something in his life.

As a young writer, Ted Thompson skillfully explores the fears felt by those who long for the good life only to find themselves disillusioned by what they have become.  See Steve Donoghue’s excellent book review in Open Letters Monthly: An Arts & Literature Review.

Whether the author chooses to return to the world of Anders Hill or to other scenarios, readers eagerly await for his telling of new tales.

Amazon vs. Hachette

NPR’s report  today on the Amazon vs. Hachette saga depicted Amazon’s mandate to sell all ebooks at the same low price.  While I appreciate Amazon’s efforts to provide access to material at an affordable cost, I fail to understand the logic, other than crushing one’s competition, in this matter.  Most other categories of goods from automobiles to zucchini are not priced the same.  Even dollar stores do not charge a dollar for every item sold.  Unless I am persuaded otherwise, when it comes to Amazon vs. Hachette, I side with Hachette, other publishers, independent bookstores, and the thousands of authors who have objected to the dictated terms involved.

Dear Committee Members, A Novel By Julie Schumacher

However enjoyable or “Payneful” it is for Julie Schumacher to be in Professor Fitger’s head, she would be well-advised to return to her fictional Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature’s academic world.  The cast of characters seen through Professor Fitger’s letters of recommendation resemble composites of many encountered by me in my forty years of librarianship in institutions of, and I use this term loosely, higher learning.  Julie Schumacher’s novel scores an A+ in my class.

Schumacher, Julie.  Dear Committee Members.  Doubleday, a division of Random House, 2014.

Summer 2014 Adventure

It all started with a book. Then another. And another. Soon there were so many books I had to build a book barn on my property. Thus began my Summer 2014 adventure dealing with the overflow of hard copies in my home.

Who Is A Writer?

Who is a writer?

One who writes.

What does it take to write?

Something to write with on something to write.

Blood.  Dye.  Ink.

Wood.  Sand.  Stone.

Leaves.  Papyrus.  Paper.

Stick.  Reed.  Pen pencil.

Printing press.  Typewriter.  Printer.

Mainframe.  Wordprocessor.  Personal computer.

Laptop.  Tablet.  Smartphone.

Images into words and words into images.


My story is to be continued…

Set For A Spell

Searching for the correct spelling of a word on the Internet is fine for the occasional lookup.  However, I often consult Spell Check: Based on The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition.  Updated in 2007, this “guide to the correct spellings of 40,000 commonly misspelled words” is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.  No surprise (the spelling of which I check each time I use the word) to me, for $6.95 it is a bargain worthwhile for every writer.

Conspiracy on the Housatonic

After a long exhausting day working to move our law library and after picking up my car with its damaged door replaced, I came home to see that in today’s mail I had been sent an absolutely fabulous gift of a signed copy of a new book by Kendall Svengalis. Conspiracy on the Housatonic, an Ellen Anderson mystery, is a novel approach to SAT presentation and a book that should be on everyone’s shelf. Duneland Press delivers another outstanding read!

Memoir Writing

I am attending a memoir writing workshop in the Gunn Memorial Library in Washington Depot, Connecticut.  The writer Amy Julia Becker conducts the weekly sessions.  She gracefully shares much knowledge and wisdom with the over forty people in attendance.  Once I complete the four weeks of the program I will have much more to say.