January – June 2018: Books read

So, how many books have you read so far this year? Any books; new or ones you’ve read over and over? Tell me in the comments why I should read your favorite book (or just a book you think is really great – I know it’s hard to have just one favorite book)!

Here’s my list so far, in no particular order:

  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Say Goodnight, Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley (authorized sequel)
  • Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig (authorized sequel)
  • Face of Fear by Dean Koontz
  • Watchers by Dean Koontz
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • It by Stephen King
  • Mandy by Julie Edwards (aka Julie Andrews)
  • The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction by Linda Gray (aka Sue Ellen Ewing from the classic show Dallas)
  • The Adventures of Sissy Van Dyke & Further Adventures of Sissy Van Dyke by Sissy Van Dyke
  • Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson
  • The Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel (6 book series)
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Lightning by Dean Koontz
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Painkiller by Steven Spruill
  • The Blue Adept series by Piers Anthony (7 book series)
  • Ashleigh’s Wonder by Joanna Campbell (Book 1 from Thoroughbred series)

2018 Book Reading Challenge

A friend shared this challenge in a group I’m in, and one of the responses was that perhaps we could share books we enjoy which fall under each challenge week. I have so much going on in my life right now, I doubt I could meet the challenge — even with as much and as fast as I read. But I loved the idea of sharing the titles/authors of books I love with others who are looking to complete this challenge. And If I see anything that catches my fancy (new or old), I’ll do the weeks that I can.

Are you up to the challenge?

There is a 26-book and 52-book challenge. And on this post you can find my suggestions.

The 26-book 2018 reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school
  2. A book from your childhood
  3. A book published over 100 years ago
  4. A book published in the last year
  5. A non-fiction book
  6. A book written by a male author
  7. A book written by a female author
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer (think Paul Kalathani or Richard Branson)
  9. A book that became/is becoming a film
  10. A book published in the 20th Century
  11. A book set in your hometown/region
  12. A book with someone’s name in the title
  13. A book with a number in the title
  14. A book with a character with your first name
  15. A book someone else recommended to you
  16. A book with over 500 pages
  17. A book you can finish in a day
  18. A previously banned book
  19. A book with a one-word title
  20. A book translated from another language
  21. A book that will improve a specific area of your life
  22. A memoir or journal
  23. A book written by someone from another country
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year
  25. An award-winning book
  26. A self-published book

OR

The 52-book 2018 reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school
  2. A book from your childhood
  3. A book published over 100 years ago
  4. A book published in the last year
  5. A non-fiction book
  6. A book written by a male author
  7. A book written by a female author
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer
  9. A book that became/is becoming a film
  10. A book published in the 20th Century
  11. A book set in your hometown/region
  12. A book with a name in the title
  13. A book with a number in the title
  14. A book based on a true story
  15. A book someone else recommended
  16. A book with over 500 pages
  17. A book you can finish in a day
  18. A previously banned book
  19. A book with a one-word title
  20. A book translated from another language
  21. A personal growth book
  22. A memoir or journal
  23. A book by someone from another country
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll visit this year
  25. An award-winning book
  26. A book you were supposed to read in school but haven’t yet
  27. A book with a character with your first name
  28. A book with a place in the title
  29. A book set in the future
  30. A play
  31. A scary book
  32. A funny book
  33. A book of short stories
  34. A trilogy or series
  35. A bestseller
  36. A book you own but haven’t read yet
  37. A book about philosophy
  38. An epic poem
  39. A Victorian novel
  40. A book of poetry
  41. A book with a colour in the title
  42. A book with an appealing cover
  43. A book about psychology
  44. A book about science
  45. A graphic novel
  46. A self-published book
  47. A young adult book
  48. A book from another country
  49. A book of non-fiction essays
  50. A book by an author you haven’t read before
  51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to
  52. A book set in the place you live today

The challenge is credited to http://www.hannahbraime.com/ and you can find the lists there, as well, both in text and graphic form. (The graphics are great if you want an easily portable list. You could even try saving it as your mobile device’s wallpaper if the screen is big enough!)

2018 Book Challenges – My Suggestions

The 26-book 2018 reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school – Native Son by Richard Wright
  2. A book from your childhood – Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow
  3. A book published over 100 years ago  – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  4. A book published in the last year – N/A
  5. A non-fiction book – The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xue Xinran
  6. A book written by a male author – Watchers by Dean Koontz
  7. A book written by a female author – Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer (think Paul Kalathani or Richard Branson) – N/A
  9. A book that became/is becoming a film – Alice by Sara Flanigan (Wildflowers directed by Diane Keaton. The film is good; the book is better.)
  10. A book published in the 20th Century – Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  11. A book set in your hometown/region – Downtown Roanoke by Nelson Harris
  12. A book with someone’s name in the title – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. A book with a number in the title – 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  14. A book with a character with your first name – Mandy by Julie Edwards (Mandy is my nickname; Julie Edwards is better known as Julie Andrews)
  15. A book someone else recommended to you – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  16. A book with over 500 pages – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  17. A book you can finish in a day – Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Well, it is a book I can finish in a day. 😉 )
  18. A previously banned book  – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (I’ll leave you to learn where and why it was banned. I will tell you the ban was lifted in 1991 after Theodor Seuss Geisl’s death.)
  19. A book with a one-word title – Painkiller by Steven Spruill
  20. A book translated from another language – The Master and Margarita (Мастер и Маргарѝта) by Mikhail Bulgakov
  21. A book that will improve a specific area of your life (aka a personal growth book) – What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew by Autism Women’s Network (Author),‎ Emily Paige Ballou (Editor),‎ Kristina Thomas (Editor),‎ Sharon daVanport (Editor)
  22. A memoir or journal – Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle For Survival at the South Pole by Dr. Jerri Nielsen
  23. A book written by someone from another country – The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (yes, Hugh Laurie aka House, MD) Country: England
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year – Jaws by Peter Benchley
  25. An award-winning book – Have to give two here. Both are about the Holocaust. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. Fantastic!
  26. A self-published book – Echoes by Amanda Grabler 🙂

OR

The 52-book 2018 reading challenge

  1. A book you read in school – Native Son by Richard Wright
  2. A book from your childhood – Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow
  3. A book published over 100 years ago  – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  4. A book published in the last year – N/A
  5. A non-fiction book – The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xue Xinran
  6. A book written by a male author – Watchers by Dean Koontz
  7. A book written by a female author – Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
  8. A book by someone who isn’t a writer (think Paul Kalathani or Richard Branson) – N/A
  9. A book that became/is becoming a film – Alice by Sara Flanigan (Wildflowers directed by Diane Keaton. The film is good; the book is better.)
  10. A book published in the 20th Century – Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  11. A book set in your hometown/region – Downtown Roanoke by Nelson Harris
  12. A book with someone’s name in the title – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. A book with a number in the title – 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  14. A book based on a true story – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  15. A book someone else recommended to you – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  16. A book with over 500 pages – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  17. A book you can finish in a day – Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Well, it is a book I can finish in a day. 😉 )
  18. A previously banned book  – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (I’ll leave you to learn where and why it was banned. I will tell you the ban was lifted in 1991 after Theodor Seuss Geisl’s death.)
  19. A book with a one-word title – Painkiller by Steven Spruill
  20. A book translated from another language – The Master and Margarita (Мастер и Маргарѝта) by Mikhail Bulgakov
  21. A book that will improve a specific area of your life (aka a personal growth book) – What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew by Autism Women’s Network (Author),‎ Emily Paige Ballou (Editor),‎ Kristina Thomas (Editor),‎ Sharon daVanport (Editor)
  22. A memoir or journal – Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle For Survival at the South Pole by Dr. Jerri Nielsen
  23. A book written by someone from another country – The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (yes, Hugh Laurie aka House, MD) Country: England
  24. A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year – Jaws by Peter Benchley
  25. An award-winning book – Have to give two here. Both are about the Holocaust. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. Fantastic!
  26. A book you were supposed to read in school but haven’t yet – Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy (Not for lack of trying though!)
  27. A book with a character with your first name – Mandy by Julie Edwards (Mandy is my nickname; Julie Edwards is better known as Julie Andrews)
  28. A book with a place in the title – The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  29. A book set in the future
  30. A play – A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  31. A scary book – It by Stephen King
  32. A funny book The Adventures of Sissy Van Dyke: It’s Not Just a Name, It’s A Lifestyle by Sissy Van Dyke
  33. A book of short stories – Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  34. A trilogy or series – The Adept series (septology) by Piers Anthony
  35. A bestseller – Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  36. A book you own but haven’t read yet – The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  37. A book about philosophy
  38. An epic poem – King Alfred by John Fitchett
  39. A Victorian novel – Dracula by Bram Stoker
  40. A book of poetry – Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson
  41. A book with a colour in the title – Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
  42. A book with an appealing cover – The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction by Linda Gray (yes, the Linda Gray who played the lovely Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas!)
  43. A book about psychology – N/A
  44. A book about science – Partners of the Heart: An Autobiography by Vivien T. Thomas (Inspiration for the Emmy award-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made with Yasiin Bey and Alan Rickman.)
  45. A graphic novel – N/A
  46. A self-published book – Echoes by Amanda Grabler 🙂
  47. A young adult book – The Boxcar Children #1 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  48. A book from another country –  The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (Author is Australian, story is set in South Africa during the 1930s-1940s.
  49. A book of non-fiction essays – The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon by Pat Pinsent (Author),‎ Mary Pharr (Author),‎ Jann Lacoss (Author),‎ M. Katherine Grimes (Author),‎ Roni Natov (Author),‎ David K. Steege (Author),‎ Farah Mendlesohn (Author),‎ Eliza T. Dresang (Author),‎ Terri Doughty (Author),‎ Lana A. Whited  (Editor)***
  50. A book by an author you haven’t read before – The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
  51. A book set in a country you’ve never been to – Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xue Xinran
  52. A book set in the place you live today – Why Now? The Night the Wolves Escaped from Bays Mountain by CS Thompson (Not quite where I live but pretty close.)

***I was lucky enough to have both Dr. Whited and Dr. Grimes as professors during my time at Ferrum College!

My post about the challenge with blank copies of each list is here, plus credit and a link to the site I got the challenge from.

ISBNs for Echoes!

As I mentioned on Facebook on April 8, I have purchased my 10 and 13-digit ISBNs for Echoes. I registered them on April 16th, and am told that the registration process can take as long as 14 days. Although the website didn’t specify, I am assuming that they mean 14 business days.

Although it is not required that the registration process is complete before the book becomes available for sale, it is recommended, so when I went through the registration process, I named May 7, 2012, as the date Echoes would be available to the public.

The one condition that may change the date is how Echoes looks as printed by my new publisher. If it looks great, May 7th it is! If it needs some changes, I’ll go from there. So far, I have high hopes.

Also, I don’t know how many people have noticed, but if you’d like to see a small sampling of some of the poems in my book, please check out the “Excerpts” page.

-Amanda

Echoes

I had this funny notion that it would be, if not easy, simpler to put together a book that already had all the content. Where the only thing lacking was the layout. Not true! Designing the cover, artwork, layout – both the text and graphics – for Echoes took over a year. Each time we thought we had the final copy, something else would jump out at us that needed to be fixed immediately.

Fonts came and went as different people looked over my book, and gave insight on what wasn’t as easy to read on printed paper as it had been on the computer. Art was edited, edited, and edited some more. A less expensive (for customers) black & white issue was designed and then dropped when it failed to look good in print. Proof copies arrived — to be flipped through, discarded, picked-up again a week later with fresher eyes . . . and then handed off to someone else hoping they wouldn’t find any more changes. But there was always one more.

We finally decided that the proof copy received in February 2012 was it. I’d make the last set of changes and release it for publication. If nothing else, I simply cannot afford any more proof copies! (I’m paying what you’re paying, and it is unlikely that you’ll buy as many copies of Echoes as I have!)

One of the things that really made me decide, “This is it!” was reading a book from one of my favorite authors and finding not one but several typos. And it proved to me that no matter how many times we edit Echoes, no matter how many sets of eyes look at it, something will be missed.  Perhaps I’ll reissue a second edition somewhere down the road if it really comes to that, but for now, I am happy (and relieved) to say that Echoes should finally be sent for release sometime in March 2012.

Phew!

On to the next one. . .