Book Review: Blood Work by Kisha Nicole Foster

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Blood Work by Kisha Nicole Foster is a thoughtful, moving collection of verse from one of Cleveland’s many great poets. Since her first collection was published, her style has evolved to become more visual, more elegant–relying less heavily on sound and more on the written form. Metaphors rather than multiple rhymes.

These are poems about family: specifically her father and son. However, the loss and regret felt over interactions with family are universal and relatable. The visceral connections of blood are used, as the title implies, as well as other metaphors. For example, she speaks about wooden roller coasters in both “Wooden Siamese Cats” and “I Smiled Back.”

[from “Wooden Siamese Cats”]

A wooden roller coaster

you and I

looping through air.

An unauthorized aerial act

of understanding.

She also references testimony in “Forcing Smiles” and (again) “I Smiled Back”, two complimentary poems placed next to each other in the collection.

[from “Forcing Smiles”]

you said whether you lived or died

you would be testimony

and

[from “I Smiled Back”]

When we talked on the phone,

he told me that this thing was life or death.

That if he lived he was going to be a testimony

and if he died he was going to be a testimony.

I wanted to overlook the death part.

I didn’t really need those words in my ears.

The shared use of key words and images makes the entire collection stronger. All the poems are so connected, each one feels like part of a larger narrative. Her streamlined approach uses straight forward language to eloquently convey deeply felt emotions. I know I felt emotional reading her words, especially the ones about her father, since it connected me to my own father’s loss a couple years ago. It’s beautiful.

So if you are a fellow poetry lover, I suggest you get this book immediately. If you are lucky enough to live in the Cleveland area, you can purchase it from Kisha Nicole Foster directly at a poetry event; otherwise, you can contact her through her FaceBook page. I’m sure you will enjoy these verses as much as I did.

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Book Review: CHAPTER ELEVEN by E.F. Schraeder

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E.F. Schraeder‘s Chapter Eleven poetry collection links both the financial and political aspects of health care and other industries with the real people that are effected. Poems like “Stopwatch Medicine” illustrate how healthcare feels like a churning machine to the doctor forced to ration time treating each patient. “For These Reasons” continues the thought of people being treated as cogs in a machine, with brilliant lines like:

Every aisle a staggering surprise of

consumer options that tie my hands

with dish rags (10 for $1!)

to women 12,000 miles away.

The poems within this deceptively thin book detail personal loss, health scares, education, the decline and deaths of loved ones–as well as biting social commentary. She even uses the ready-made metaphor of Humpty Dumpty for her purposes on more than one occasion. For example, in “Almost OK — for Humpty” she turns the nursery rhyme’s disturbing imagery into insights on living as a damaged person:

A certain light still reveals

the shadows of the cracks.

My only regret about this poetry collection is that I can’t give you a direct link to buy it from any of the big bookstore sites.. You can, however, order it directly from Partisan Press, or if you are lucky enough to live near Cleveland, pick up a copy at Mac’s Backs  or Visible Voice  bookstores! Trust me. It’s worth the trip.

Book Review: Kisha Nicole Foster –POEMS 1999-2014

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I first had the pleasure of seeing this poet perform one of her poems at the Cleveland Main Library some time ago. I remember she put her whole body into her performance, projecting her voice, and infusing each syllable with meaning and emotion. This book is a testament to how well her performance poetry works on paper as well as in person.

Some of her poems are abstract, relying on sound and impression to create an emotional impact, so that while I did not know what every line meant, my impressions were strong; moods were set. I could hear and imagine each line as I read, and sometimes I read them aloud to make audible connections I might have missed with a silent reading.

Others are all too clear in their meaning. She doesn’t hold back, so that when you read verses about painful loss and heartbreak, you empathise. Much of her work is deeply personal: reflections on loss and desire and how past mistakes inform the better person she has become today.

Absence of punctuation in some poems aids in the blending of lines to create multiple meanings, not knowing where one thought ends and the other begins. She is adept at using color and imagery, and some lines stand out such as (from “POEM. ONE. FOR. EVERYONE.”)

“let’s tell the truth to shame the lies”

The subject matter varies from one poem to another as well: homages, such as “A Viking Story”; love poems, such as “Say Come Love”; and others that are calls to action or deeply personal such as “UNTITLED.”

“in the cold wind of Cleveland you brought me home

to rewalk the path that I laid

move the mountains I made”

This is an eclectic collection, disparate subjects and styles united by her unique voice. I enjoyed this collection immensely and heartily recommend, Kisha Nicole Foster: poems 1999-2014, to any poetry lover.

Books Read in 2017

books

Greetings!

In the interest of seeing how what I consume affects what I produce, I’ve been keeping track of the books I read for several years now. It started off as an entry into an annual library drawing and has since become an interesting way to look back on my past reads. Since the list is long, I will not launch into explanations of every book, though I may describe ones that are especially good or bad.

My list is shorter this year than in the past, partly because I have started reading more periodicals (which I do not list). I’ve also consumed more craft and cookbooks. Since these types of nonfiction are not so much read through as browsed and used as inspiration, it didn’t seem fair to include those titles in my tally unless I actually read them from cover to cover. My other non cover-to-cover reading is primarily Rattle poetry magazine. Poetry requires more thought per page, even though the pages themselves are usually much less than a traditional book.

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Here is a handy little color code, to make things easier:

Ebooks (novels, non fiction, & graphic novels): Red

Audiobooks: Blue

Physical books: Black

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  1. Extreme Makeover: Apocalypse Edition by Dan Wells (ebook via Overdrive)

–one of the most original science fiction stories I’ve read in years. A cosmetics company creates a beauty product that accidentally overwrites your DNA, which naturally has apocalyptic consequences. It’s satirical, funny, witty, and horrific. Every science fiction fan should read this.

  1. Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick (audiobook via Overdrive)

–It’s by Philip K. Dick. What else is there to say?

  1. In the Company of Russell Atkins (poetry anthology) (paperback)

–I read this mainly because I attended the book launch in Cleveland. I had never been exposed to Mr. Atkins’ poetry before. While I can’t say his verse was my cup of tea, the other contributors whose poems appeared in the anthology were greatly influenced by his work. I didn’t love every poem, but those I did, stuck with me.

  1. Aesop’s Fables (paperback)
  2. True Grit by Charles Portis (ebook via Overdrive)

–Every year the Massillon library and the Massillon Art Museum collaborate to promote a book for the NEA Big Read. True Grit was the 2017 selection, free copies were available all over Massillon, and the Massillon Art Museum’s main exhibit featured costumes from the movie adaptation.

I’ve never been a fan of westerns, but this book, told by the main character about an adventure from her childhood, made me reconsider the genre. The things I didn’t like about the other westerns I’d been exposed to was the lack of characters I could identify with, their overwhelming machismo, and the stereotypical depictions of cowboys doing stereotypical things. This novel is nothing like that.

The protagonist is Mattie Ross, a young girl whose father was murdered. She hires a gunman to hunt down his killer and accompanies him along the way to make sure she gets her money’s worth. She’s believable both as a child forced to bear the burdens of adulthood and a no nonsense female character; she suffers no fools and fights to be taken seriously. I really felt for both her and the gunman, Rooster Cogburn. I loved it.

  1. Wonder Woman volume 1 by Greg Rucka (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  2. Female Force: William Moulton Marston, the Creator of Wonder Woman (digital comic via Hoopla)
  3. Lock In by John Scalzi (ebook via Overdrive)

–In the tradition of great science fiction, this novel shows how technology adapted to humanity–in this case, to deal with a condition that traps people inside their bodies–transforms human society. There’s also an awesome murder mystery that’s complicated by that same technology.

  1. Bombshells volume 1: Enlisted by various authors (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–I read this mainly on the recommendation that it is a great graphic novel illustrating female superheroes. After reading it, I honestly don’t understand how anyone could think that.

In an alternate history dominated by female superheroes, Bruce Wayne never becomes Batman because his parents are saved by a female superhero. Other male heroes never emerged or at least serve different roles. However, while all the men are off fighting the war, the female heroes are still sexualized objects for male pleasure; they are all basically Forties pin-up girls that just happen to fight crime too.

Batgirl wears a baseball-themed costume complete with tiny shorts and wields a bat. Wonder Woman meets up with army brass who give her a costume to wear as well; she thinks she’s dressed as one of their goddesses, because she sees a pinup girl painted on the side of a plane. And don’t even get me started on Harley Quinn. Her plot made no sense, and each page…just, no. Read it if you must, but you’ve been warned.

  1.  The Shape of Home by Lee Chilcote (paperback, poetry re Cleveland and suburbia)

 

  1. Hag-Seed (a Hogarth Shakespeare novel) by Margaret Atwood  (ebook via Overdrive)

–The Hogarth Shakespeare series is a collection of modern day adaptations of Shakespearean plays by modern authors. In this retelling of The Tempest, Prospero is an actor cast out of his acting company who lives alone with his young daughter. It’s an original take on a classic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  1. The Flintstones volume 1 by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–When I heard there were a series of graphic novels tackling Hanna Barbara characters, I was intrigued–but I was blown away by this one in particular. The story looks back at the creation of the town of Bedrock, Fred and Barney’s wartime history, and even tackles social issues like racism and the treatment of indigenous peoples. It is one of the wittiest satires I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

  1. World’s Best Life Hacks: 200 Ways to Make Your Life Easier by Sarah Devos (ebook via Hoopla)

–I picked up a few helpful tips via this quick and easy read!

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (ebook via Overdrive)

I’ve wanted to read this book for years, but it always seemed to get pushed back for other things. This book is so sad and beautiful. I really identified with the characters. I just loved it.

  1.  Protect Me (Mind Sweeper series, book 0) by AE Jones

–I love this Ohio author’s work. I enjoy seeing the world through the monsters’ or freaks’ point of view, which is usually both interesting and funny. I wonder what that says about me.

  1. Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton (ebook via Overdrive)
  2. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (audiobook via Overdrive)
  3. Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 (graphic novel via Hoopla) by various
  4. Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (graphic novel via Hoopla) by various
  5. Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Guts (graphic novel via Hoopla) by various
  6. Wonder Woman Vol. 3: Iron (graphic novel via Hoopla) by various
  7. Wonder Woman Vol 4: War (graphic novel via Hoopla) by various

   23. Wonder Woman Vol 5: Flesh  by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

  1. Mockingbird by Walter Tevis (audiobook via Overdrive)

–This was a beautifully told dystopian tale with a message of hope.

  1. Wonder Woman Vol 6: Bones by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  2. Wonder Woman Vol 7: War-torn by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  3. Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies by Greg Rucka and various (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  4. Wonder Woman ’77: Vol 1 by various  (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  5. Scooby Apocalypse Vol 1  by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–This graphic novel is another fun reimagining of classic Hanna Barbara characters, though it isn’t as witty as The Flintstones retelling. It’s pretty much a straight up monster story with Velma and Shaggy working in a secret lab that causes the apocalypse. It is okay, but I honestly didn’t find it that interesting.

  1. Fight Club 2 (graphic novel via Hoopla) by Chuck Palahniuk, illustrated by Cameron Stewart

–Another interesting but weird read. I did not think it was as good as its predecessor, Fight Club (the novel).

  1. The 6.5 Habits of Moderately Successful Poets by Jeffrey Skinner (ebook via Overdrive)
  2. Doctor Who: Revolutions of Terror by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (ebook)
  4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (audio book via Overdrive)
  5. The Walking Dead and Philosophy by multiple authors (ebook via Humble Bundle)

–I’ve been slowly working my way through the Pop Culture Philosophy series of ebooks I bought via Humble Bundle. If you get a chance, I strongly suggest you read them. The series tackles real philosophy problems by setting them in pop culture situations. This one tackles morality in stellar fashion, especially such sticky points as suicide, the ethics of killing, and the rights of a person (or zombie).

  1.  Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy by multiple authors (ebook via Humble Bundle)

–(see above) Same general take, but with different questions set in different worlds.

  1. Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams  (audiobook via Hoopla)
  2. The Walking Dead volume 27: The Whisperer War by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–I read this again to refresh my memory before reading the next installment. The book is good up until the disappointing ending. I know other fans loved it, but it didn’t make sense to me.

  1. The Walking Dead volume 28: A Certain Doom by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–I loved this installment! This book is so much better than the one before. There is character growth, unexpected twists and turns, and actual resolution for many plot points. Like all Walking Dead stories, there is more story left to be told. There always is; that’s the point of the series. But I felt very satisfied when I finished reading this one.

  1. Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart (ebook via Hoopla)
  2. Improv Sewing by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut (ebook via Hoopla)
  3. Wonder Woman, vol 2, Year One (DC Universe Rebirth) by various (graphic novel via Hoopla)
  4. Hoopla: the Art of Unexpected Embroidery by Leanne Prain (Trade paperback via library)

–I began embroidering this past year, mostly via YouTube tutorials and practice. However, this book inspired me to sew my own original artwork and think outside the creative box I’d put myself in. It’s a series of articles about different sketch artists that use embroidery in unusual ways–from embroidering cartoons on fabric and stitching street maps on garbage bags to creating miniature portraits. I checked it out of the library three times, and I kept the last checkout overdue ten days so I could really finish. I rarely buy paper editions of books, but this one is definitely a must-have.

  1. Terminal Alliance: Book One of Janitors of the Post Apocalypse by Jim C. Hines (ebook via Overdrive)

–I can’t imagine anyone other than Jim C. Hines–author of The Princess series, Goblin Quest, and Libriomancer— writing a book about space janitors and making it work. He brings the same irreverent humor to this science fiction gem that he’s brought to his other fantasy titles. Reading this is pure fun, and there’s actual science in this science fiction too!

  1. Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson (graphic novel via Hoopla)

–When I saw this graphic novel on Hoopla, I was pleasantly surprised! The story takes place shortly after A New Hope and the destruction of Leia’s home world of Alderaan.  The rebel leaders tell her to take time to mourn and lay low; the Empire has a bounty on all the survivors of Alderaan. Instead, she wants to gather them all together to keep what’s left of her home alive. I won’t say more to avoid spoilers, but this story sheds some light on Leia’s past and her motivations as she moves forward to save what she can of the world she left behind.

Now I’m just waiting for a series to be written about the older Leia, General Organa.

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My books read list this year is significantly shorter than last year, mostly as I consume lots of different things that I don’t necessarily read cover to cover. Currently I am reading a paperback version of Betsy Greer’s Craftivism (courtesy of my local library), Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle (hardback poetry anthology courtesy of the library), and The Very Best of Tad Williams (ebook collection courtesy my friendly neighborhood library via the Overdrive app).

 

I have temporarily put down (mid-read) How to Be a Craftivist and Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy due to time constraints. I need to prioritize library reading over the books I own so I can read them before they are due, and I proudly own those last two books. Since they are nonfiction essay collections, it’s easy to simply put them down and pick them up again as time permits. The Tad Williams book especially became a priority, because my son was really excited to share this author’s work with me. He hasn’t been this excited about reading fiction on his own in awhile, so I wanted to read it at the same time so we could talk about it together.

If you’d like to discuss any of the books in my list, feel free to comment below or contact me through Twitter or FaceBook. In the meantime, have a lovely week!

 

 

Twisted Tales 2016: Flash Fiction with a Twist!

Twisted Tales 2016 Cover

I know it’s a bit late, but the publication of Raging Aardvark‘s flash anthology is finally here! Please visit FaceBook for the Launch Party if you’d like to congratulate the authors, and I’m including some helpful links below for purchasing the book. I’m very happy to say my flash story, Mirror, appears in this anthology!

https://www.createspace.com/6652118 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0994525206

If you’d like a paperback copy of the book, it’s selling for only $6.25. Twisted Tales is being sold without a profit, in order to promote the art of flash fiction. If you feel generous, please write a review when you are done. Flash Fiction, for those of you not exposed to it before, is simply very short fiction–usually a complete story under a thousand words. Every year there are events for (Inter)national Flash Fiction Day, and this anthology is a celebration of both the event and the writing itself.

If you can not afford to buy the paperback, you can also read the stories online at the publisher’s personal website, linked below. Simply scroll back though the stories, and enjoy!

https://annieonwriting.wordpress.com/category/twisted-tales/

I’m very happy to have been included in this anthology, and I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as I have. Now, go read some flash fiction!

 

Books: Best Reads of 2015

In 2015, I read (as well as put down) more books than in previous years. As a result, I plan on simply posting a non-descriptive list of the fiction and non-fiction I’ve consumed in the past year. However, the wonderfully witty and erudite John Wiswell posed the questions:

What are your favorite books that you read this year? Not what was written or published in 2015, but that you personally read and loved for the first time. Fiction, non-fiction, prose, poetry and sequential art are all welcome. You can handle the number and format as you like.

The answers, via twitter, will be posted under #BestReads2015. And since I’m waiting to post my list until later to include as many books as possible, I’m looking forward to this as a supplemental description of my favorite reads of the year.*

As far as I’m concerned, format does not matter. Ebooks, paperbacks, graphic novels, and audiobooks all count as books. Saying a paperback is the only “real” book makes as much sense as saying only scrolls count as real texts, because bound manuscripts are for wusses. I am not including books I have read previously and chose to read again. Oh, and I’m including books series as if they were single books, because–well, let’s face it, many times they read as one extended story. I may have already read one book of a series, but I’ll count the whole series if I continued reading it in 2015.

The Walking Dead graphic novels:

I read the entire series, volumes one through twenty-four, in a two month period. I had already read the first five books, but since I had forgotten them I had to reread them before moving on. I couldn’t put the series down. For those of you who have been living under a rock, The Walking Dead is not about zombies. It’s about people surviving in the zombie apocalypse and how this adversity changes them. Specifically, it follows a good man, Rick Grimes, as he’s forced to rethink his approach to life in a uncivilized world where he must fight to survive and protect those he loves. The questions the series asks are deep, the characters layered, and anyone who says graphic novels don’t count as actual books needs to actually pick one up and read it.

The Dorothy Must Die (novel series) by Danielle Paige:

Since I’ve always had a penchant for reimaginings of classic stories, this continuation of the Oz stories struck a special chord with me. I’ve read Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise and am anxiously waiting for my library to make the next few books available to me.*** While not particularly deep, a quality I do not think all fiction needs to have, they are pure fun.

The Giver Quartet (novel series) by Lois Lowry:

The series begins with The Giver, a young adult classic, which I had already read several times. However, I only discovered this year that Lowry had continued the story of Jonas and the world in which he lived. While the second book, Gathering Blue, was about a completely different character, the third book Messenger ties the first two books together. Son, the final installment, is an epic and wonderful morality tale.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott:

I listened to this audiobook in order to participate in a historical fiction book club at one of my local libraries. One of my resolutions for 2015 was to read more nonfiction, and I’ve never been drawn to bibliographies nor histories. However, this one was an exception. The book, while fiction, focused on the lives of four real female spies: two for the Union, two for the Confederacy. Belle Boyd and Rose O’Neal Greenhow conducted, rather flamboyantly, espionage for the South, while Emma Edmonds and Elizabeth Van Lew fought in their own ways for the North. I thought some of the focus was a bit skewed, with the author picking unlikable Southern characters and more admirable Northern ones, but it was still fascinating. When I finished the book, I conducted some of my own research and determined to read more historical accounts of these (and other) fascinating women.

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen:

I searched out material on Mary Bowser because I felt her story hadn’t been addressed as well as I would have liked in Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. Born a slave, she was freed by her owner and recruited to spy in the Confederate White House as a maid. Filled with danger, intrigue, and compelling personal history, this fictionalized account of her life is another book that I simply couldn’t put down.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

Another book outside my comfort zone, I downloaded this through manybooks.net. Earlier in the year, I had read Hemingway and how much he admired Dostoyevsky’s writing. I was admittedly a bit intimidated from previous exposure to Russian literature, but after hearing Crime and Punishment described during an episode of Freaks and Geeks, I decided to give it a try. Who says you can’t get good book recommendations from television?

Anyway, the novel follows the thoughts and actions of Raskolnikov, a student who reasons to himself that he would be doing the world a favor by killing an immoral pawnbroker and using her money to perform good deeds. With the exception of the actual crime, which is incredibly brutal, not a lot happens at first. There’s a lot of introspection, he walks around depressed and gets sick, and his family and friends worry about him even though he’s incredibly rude and cruel to them. I have to admit, it took me awhile to get into the characters and see what drew people to this classic of Russian literature. But I did see it.

I began by only reading 2.5% each day (Thor bless ebook software), because it seemed slow to get into but perhaps worth the effort. However, halfway through the book, I began to read faster and become attached to the characters. By the end, nothing was as simple or as black and white as it first appeared. Everything was nuanced and layered, and I still think about this book frequently. It’s one of the most thoughtful books I’ve ever read.

Old School by Tobias Wolff:

I read this book as part of The Big Read, an annual event sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts. Every year, the Massillon library, Massillon Art Museum, and several other local places take part and promote whatever book has been chosen for the year. 2015’s selection, Old School, was given away for free in various places around Massillon, Ohio; book discussions and promotions were done throughout the month; and the program culminated with a public talk and book signing by Tobias Wolff. My son and I attended the talk and are both proud owners of autographed copies. It was incredibly inspiring and instructional.

The actual book itself was something that–had I not heard so much about it–I would never have picked up on my own. Old School is a semi-fictionalized autobiographical tale of a young boy attending an all boys school. The school held a writing contest for its students each year, and the winner would get a private audience with a famous author. Over the course of the novel, the scheduled authors are Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway; literary legends that the teenage students idolized and competed heavily to win an audience with. However, for the main character, events unfold in a way he never anticipated. This book is proof positive that great literature must be unreservedly honest, and it both breaks your heart and makes it soar. I know how corny that sounds, but just trust me and read the book. It’s incredible.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day:

I read this autobiography because 1. I adore pretty much everything Felicia Day does, 2. its release this year lined up with my resolution to read more nonfiction, and 3. the title caught my attention (yeah, I admit it). While Felicia Day may be known to you as the creator and star of The Guild, she also began the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel, starred in Doctor Horrible, and earned a double major degree in math and music when she graduated college at the age of nineteen. This biography felt very honest and personal, and I truly felt I learned some life lessons within its pages.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline:

This book came with a LOOTCRATE delivery, and I had saved it for my son since he’s obsessed with videogames. However, I got tired of waiting for him to read it, snagged the book for myself, and loved it. It’s a nostalgic and fun trip for anyone who was a teenager in the eighties, and I was surprised to discover it even had a moral and at times made me cry (in a good way).

Shada (Doctor Who) by Gareth Roberts, based on material from the Douglas Adams screenplay:

If you are familiar with my online presence at all, you probably are aware of my obsession with the work of the late, great Douglas Adams. If not, I’m obsessed with the work of the late, great Douglas Adams. In addition to writing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, the Dirk Gently books, and Last Chance to See, he also wrote for the television series Doctor Who. I was surprised and delighted to find that he drew on his Doctor Who experience when creating the Hitchhiker and Dirk Gently series, and Shada contained many things I recognized from his other books. This was an informative look into the workings of my favorite author as well as an incredibly fun read.

Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick:

This book is weird. I mean, really, really Weird–with a capital W. That’s the main reason it stayed with me. And although there is a plot with a love triangle and racial tensions, the main thing about this book that is so weird is that people live backwards. They think forwards in time, as we do, but for some reason they live physically backwards. They aren’t born, but they rise from their graves; then people go to cemeteries listening to hear people calling to be let out, and they dig them up. People age backwards. They don’t really eat, instead they…well, you don’t want to know. Like I said, weird. Memorable, but weird, but so completely out of the box that I had to include it in the list.

So, what books have you really enjoyed in 2015? What books do you plan to read in the coming year? I look forward to your reading recommendations!

 

 

 

 

 

*I know that favorites and best are not necessarily synonymous. Rather, I chose to highlight the books I either couldn’t put down or that stuck with me long after I set them down.

**I prefer ebooks, but I am currently boycotting Barnes & Noble Nook books because they removed the ability to download the books without having to go through the Nook app. It’s the format I have always preferred, so now I either check out my ebooks through the library, buy or download them through another party. I also dislike Kindle format. As a result, I haven’t been able to get the next books as quickly as I would have liked, even though I would happily pay for them. Library digital checkouts were completed largely through the Overdrive app, as well as Hoopla.