#Colorado!

As many of you may know already, I live in New York. And no, not New York…City. New York is also a state, and most of it goes unnoticed when someone says New York. But before I get off track so early on in this post, I’ll go back to the point. I live in New York. I’ve lived in New York for almost 27 years. I’ve been out of state briefly, once to Florida (so technically I’ve been down the entire coast from NY south), Virginia, and Nevada (when I did Tough Mudder out near Vegas). But these were only up to a week trips and spaced years apart. I’m a New Yorker.

What am I getting at? Well, go back and look at the title of this post. Now come back down here. Colorado. I’m moving to Colorado very soon. My girlfriend got a job offer right out of grad school, and we’re going out there to do that whole adult thing. And this is my post explaining some things to you, my loyal, long-time readers, because things around A Life Among the Pages are going to have to change. At least I’m predicting change.

Obviously with a cross-country move, I won’t be able to blog often during that time. I’m actually not expecting to blog at all during the move. It’ll be a few days most likely, but then there’s the settling in period, blah blah. So for the rest of this summer, at the very least, I’ll probably seem like I’ve abandoned the blog. It’s in a way true. There are some book releases from ALATP favorite authors coming out in July and August. I’ll schedule those posts to go up on release dates, in advance. And I plan on at least doing a post about the move itself. Pictures from the road and all that. But aside from that, it’ll be quiet. I didn’t die, so don’t freak out too much.

Are any of you worrying about my book collection? I know I am. I now own over 2400 print books. That’s about 500 more than the last How I Store All of my Books post from March 2014 and more than 1,000 more than the first post from February 2012. I own tons of books (maybe literally. I’ve never weighed them.) The plan is to only move a few boxes with me to Colorado, then figure out the fate of the rest later on. They’ll be safe here in New York for the foreseeable future, so it’s not like they’ll be donated, thrown out, or sold. Unless I really went through and made a pile that I know I’ll probably never want or won’t end up reading because my taste changed, they will all be mine forever. (I have issues maybe, but don’t we all.) When I pick the ones going to Colorado, I’ll share that list with you all. It should be an interesting mini collection.

Also, I think with this smaller collection going with me, I’ll be using the local library more often and that may even be a gateway into the community…something I don’t much have here in New York or care much to stick my head into. So it’ll be a time of many changes.

One last thing about all this: I know almost nothing about Colorado. It has mountains, plains, Denver, and snow (but I’m used to snow, so whatever). I figured switching my reading over to books about/involving Colorado could be a cool thing to do. Educational and maybe beneficial in other ways for the move. I’ve asked on Twitter (with no response) and on Facebook (where I have a mini-list of recs). And I got a few books the other day that were random picks. So I’ll ask here on the blog now. If you know of books set in, about, with characters from, etc Colorado, please let me know. I probably won’t end up getting to read more than one or maybe two, but having a pile to choose from is how I work best.

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When I read this, it’ll be my first “true” western. Not sure why the genre never appealed to me, but I’m sure it will surprise me in some way. Couldn’t pass up a book with Colorado! as the title. (Wagon’s West is the series.)

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The title and colors on the cover caught my eye. Not sure much else about this one.

I know I’ve read a few books in the past that involve Colorado in some way. Many apocalyptic books use places like Boulder, CO as sort of a safe haven or restarting point. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s in countless books and movies as such a place. (Like The Stand just to throw one out there.) Two books that include CO in them that I’ve reviewed here on the blog are Lichgates (it starts off in the Rockies, and is part of why it grabbed me from that first chapter) by S.M. Boyce and Unlikely Allies by Tiffany King.

I look forward to hearing some book recommendations from you all. Oh, to find recommendations for your own reading, don’t forget about the new Sunday Themed Book Recs posts that recently started. And keep an eye out for updates on the move and all that in the coming weeks. That’ll be mostly on Facebook and/or Twitter, but possibly on the blog, too. Maybe this being an adult thing will work out for the best and even more news will come your way.

Talk to you all soon, and happy reading!

Themed #Book Recommendations: #Hockey in Books

For this week’s recommendation’s list, I decided to keep with the sports theme. Last week was baseball. This week, in honor of the end of the season recently, I’m focusing on hockey books.

I recruited Kristalyn from The Sarcastic Palmtree because of her love of hockey and hockey-related books, as well as Sophia Henry (who has a hockey book, Delayed Penalty, of her own coming in September).

Don’t forget to comment with recommendations of your own if you have any, and to help choose the next theme if you can.

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There are also MANY more books and authors to check out over on Diane’s Book Blog, when many hockey authors go together to have some Stanley Cup fun this year. Click HERE to look at all that.

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

Story Time Friday – Thar by #Dragons!

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Thar be Dragons? Yes, that’s right. At least there are in this story. It will also be the theme for my themed book recommendations post in two weeks. Getting a good list going for that. There are many to pick from, but I’m getting some help narrowing the titles down and getting a better list. If you’re a dragon fan and would like to help with recs, let me know.

Until then, enjoy this little story.

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The Storybook of Our Lives

 by Robert Zimmermann

“DRAGONS!” Tim ran into the house, screaming.

“Shut the door, Timmy,” his mom replied. “What’s this about dragons?”

“There…are…dragons…outside,” said Tim, gasping for air.

“Tim, you know it’s not nice to lie to your mother,” I said from my seat at the kitchen table. “Now, tell us what you really saw out there.”

“I didn’t lie, dad. I really saw dragons. Three of them. They were flying out over the cornfields by the high school.”

“What did I just tell you about lying? Do I have to send you to you…”

“Honey, maybe Timmy is telling the truth,” interjected my wife. “Would it be that out of place with all we’ve seen lately?”

She had a point. The other day, when I was driving home from work, a werewolf ran in front of the car. Good thing they’re fast, or else I would have hit the thing. And Jane swears the new doctors who worked overnight with her at the hospital is a vampire. Pale skin, fangs, and all. It wasn’t her first encounter with the undead either. More and more vampires were taking over the graveyard shifts all over town.

Come to think of it, dragons are only to be expected with how things have been going lately. It’s as if someone tore apart some storybooks and piled the lose pages all together.

Next thing you know, I’ll be out getting the mail and…No, I don’t even want to image that. Let’s hope no one added pages from one of His books to the pile.

“Tim, would you like to show me those dragons? We should add a picture of them to our scrapbook.” I put my arm around my son’s shoulder and walked him out the door. Not to worry though. I made sure to grab my staff and Tim wasted no time shouldering his quiver of arrows. We’re no fools.

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How to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in :P ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

#NewRelease: Music for Wartime, by @RebeccaMakkai

Here it is. The long-anticipated short story collection, Music for Wartime, from one of my favorite authors Rebecca Makkai. In the last year you may have seen my reviews for The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House. I loved both of those novels. I’ve also read some of Makkai’s publishers short stories. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this collection soon. I don’t jump at story collections often, but for this author, it’s top on my to-buy list.

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Music for Wartime

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Named one of the must-read books of the summer by BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and The L Magazine

Rebecca Makkai’s first two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House have established her as one of the freshest and most imaginative voices in fiction. Now, the acclaimed writer returns with a highly anticipated collection of short stories marked with her signature mix of intelligence, wit, and heart.

A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, while her own relationship falls apart. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father’s past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction.

Makkai has been anthologized four times in The Best American Short Stories as well as The Best American Nonrequired Reading. These wide-ranging and deeply moving stories—some inspired by her family history—will delight her many fans, as well as readers of Lorrie Moore, Jim Shepard, and Karen Russell.

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based writer whose second novel,The Hundred-Year House, will be available from Viking/Penguin in summer, 2014. Her first novel, The Borrower, is a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection, and one of Chicago Magazine‘s choices for best fiction of 2011. Her short fiction has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper’sTin HousePloughshares, andNew England Review.

Find out more:

#NewRelease: Unfinished Ink, by Joanne Marlowe

Today I’d like to share a new poetry collection from a poet I’ve been following for awhile now. The collection is called Unfinished Ink and the poet is Joanne Marlowe.

Below you can find out a little about the collection and where to buy it. You can also find a few links to find more out about the poet.

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Unfinished Ink is a unique collection of poetry about love, lust, loneliness, liquor and letting go.  Ms. Marlowe highlights the ups and downs of love with flirty connotations and paints haunting portraits of desperate souls.  Beautiful and tragic, her words will take you on a powerful and emotional journey that will leave you thirsty for a lover and another glass of wine. 

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If you’d like a copy of this collection, you can order it directly from the Marlowe’s site here:

Order Book Here

It can also be ordered through her Facebook.

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Find out more:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Google +

Themed #Book Recommendations: #Baseball Books

I want to start a new, occasional, post series here to help readers find more books to read. It’ll be fairly simple. I’ll get recommendations together of books I’ve read or from other readers/authors and share them. They’ll be themed. Either broad theme or specific. Basically just trying to get more books in your hands and some more attention to books that may need more attention.

For this first recommendations post, I chose the theme of BASEBALL. We’re nearing the MLB All-Star break here in the US. Hockey season just ended (maybe next post will be hockey recs) and that means we can focus on America’s pastime.

There are a large amount of books on baseball out there. They cover many different genres. For this list, I asked a group I’m in over on Facebook for recommendations, and here’s what I came up with. They are mainly romance, but as I said, there are more out there…MANY more. Some are from readers, some from the authors themselves. Feel free to comment with recommendations of your own to help readers out!

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

Story Time Friday…About Fences

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Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I posted that I’m sharing coupons to grab both From Where I Stand and Winter’s Homecoming for free over on Smashwords. They don’t expire until Sunday (21st), so I’d like to leave a link to that HERE. While this isn’t a post to help promote my work (even though I’m prefacing it with this), I’d just like to make sure those who need/want something to read can grab something. I know I needed something to escape into yesterday, even if it was hard to leave the real world for even a little bit.fancy lineresize

Fences

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.

These are only a few lines from one of Robert Frost’s more well-read poems. The poem is called Mending Wall (click the name to read it in full).

I sat at my desk for some time yesterday debating whether or not I could writing something for this post. If you haven’t turned on the TV, gone on Facebook or Twitter, or if you just stared at a wall this year, you may not know that shit’s going down in this country (I’m in the US) and the world (which has never ceased since civilization began, really) at increasing frequency…and it’s pretty damn depressing.

Yesterday it really hit me after reading everything about the nine people killed in a CHURCH in South Carolina. I normally stay quiet about most things, and I didn’t speak out even with this. But it stayed with me and I wanted to attempt something meaningful to post today. Instead, because I couldn’t get words down, I’m just asking everyone to reflect on recent events, history, and your own world views. Race, religion, nationality, gender, etc. These things don’t matter to me. If you show me you’re a good person I can get along with, I have no problem with you. I might not like to interact with people, if I can avoid it, but I’m a pretty non-judgmental guy. Sadly, not everyone’s like that (not holding myself above other people, but there are many people worse than I am). Let’s all think about that, and help change the way things are going.

This is a blog mostly about books, and there are ways to bring change through the book world. Maybe you can make a more conscious effort to read more diversely. Support more diverse authors and get the word out about them to fellow readers. It only takes a few people to start doing this to help get things in motion.

I know that Robert Frost is a dead white guy poet. The book world is filled with them, back then and today. But when thinking about what to write today, I though about his poem Mending Wall and put it in a different context than I’ve read it before. Frost might not have been directly talking about race in the poem, but I feel, for example, race could be worked into the poem and the questioning of why some people are against equality is then apparent. The neighbor, while not being aggressively against the speaker and him being friends still doesn’t want to take down the wall, the barrier between their land. Tradition says “Good fences make good neighbors” and it’s here that today’s issues are. It’s these fences, walls, barriers, the hurdles for an “other” to get past to be accepted by “the norm” group.

This is just one reading of the poem. And with any poem, or written work for that matter, it can be read in a variety of ways. Am I “right”? Probably not. But I’m not wrong, either. Maybe you won’t get the same thing I did from this poem, and that’s ok. But try to go out into the world being a better person each day. I’ll do the same.

I’ll end my rambling bit of something that that was here. And I hope some of it was coherent enough. I’m no authority on any of this, but as I said, I try.

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I’d just like to leave something else here to close out this post. I’ve been trying to get some readers’/authors’ lists of more diverse reading recommendations together to post for everyone. So far, I’ve only been able to get Marcia Carrington and Christina Lee to give some M/M recommendation. I want to do my part to help people change up their reading. So if there’s anyone else who’d like to send in a list of diverse reads (any theme, category, etc) please do so. For now, I’ll link you to a few places where I get informed about reading more diversely.

Book Riot

definitely check them out, and their contributors. Many of them are very active on Twitter and they’re the main reason I found out about yesterday’s tragedy.

We Need Diverse Books

the main powerhouse behind the diverse reading movement.

fancy lineresizeHow to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in :P ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!