Raw, a memoir by @Mrs__Mueller

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This is my life, this is my story. There are many like it but this one is mine.

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You can grab this story from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Joey lives in Sin City with her husband, two rambunctious bulldogs and a very judgmental cat. She loves the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nine Inch Nails, driving fast and taking chances. Joey is an angst-ridden child of the 90s and is cantankerous on a good day.

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#Review: Talking as Fast as I Can, by @thelaurengraham

talking-as-fast-as-i-canTitle: Talking as Fast as I Can
Author: Lauren Graham

Rating: 5/5 stars

“In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.” (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresizeI’m one of the biggest Gilmore Girls fans out there. In a big way, this is because of Lauren Graham’s character, Lorelai Gilmore. And because of this, I picked up Graham’s novel Someday, Someday, Maybe when it came out. I enjoyed it. Graham isn’t just a talented actor, she’s a great writer. When I heard about Talking as Fast as  I Can, I got even more excited than I did for Graham’s novel. Turns out, my excitement was warranted. Graham’s fiction is great, but her non-fiction is even better.

One of my favorite parts of this book was where Graham reacts to each of the Gilmore Girls seasons. It was great to get the actor’s own thoughts on what I’ve watched dozens of times over the last fifteen or so years. And the section where Graham discusses all that was involved in making Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life happen, I gained a better appreciation for just what went into its creation.

But the Gilmore Girls and Parenthood parts of this book weren’t all that made it what it is. Getting to hear about how Someday, Someday, Maybe came to be makes me want to read it again. And hearing about Graham’s early life was also a reason I wanted to read this book in the first place. Being part memoir, part essays on various projects and key issues, this collection is a great read on many levels.

I only wish it were longer. I want more from Graham. But I’m happy to wait for another novel or a similar non-fiction book. I’d read anything that comes out. It’s not just my inner fan-girl talking. Graham backs it up with her her writing.

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

Lauren Graham is an actor, writer, and producer best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, Someday, Maybe. Graham has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Because I Said So, and Max. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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#PoetryMonth – Poet @CameronConaway

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To keep with the idea of helping readers discover new poets, I’d like to bring Cameron Conaway to everyone’s attention. Long-time readers of A Life Among the Pages may remember one of my early reviews from years ago of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet. The book is a memoir from Cameron Conaway. It’s one of my favorite memoirs, even to this day. But, even to a big fan of Conaway’s writing like I am, I haven’t gone out there and read much of his poetry. I’d like to help make sure this isn’t the case for others.

I can’t go on and on about how great a poet he is, but I can help direct you to some of his work so you can see for yourself. Below you’ll see a bit about two of his collections. If you consider getting a copy of any, I might suggest looking at Malaria. Conaway is very active in spreading the word about the dangers and issues surrounding Malaria, worldwide. This collection is only one of the ways in which he’s doing this.

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Until You Make the ShoreFour fictionalized female juveniles represent each of the four levels from a juvenile detention center’s Restorative Justice Model. With this as structure, Until You Make the Shore inhabits the humanity of mind, justice and traumatic childhood as it carves its way through systems and harsh realities to find where empathy shines.

Purchase

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Malaria, PoemsMalaria kills nearly one million people each year. Hundreds of millions more are sickened by the disease, and many of them are permanently disabled. Billions are spent each year to understand it. Researchers know the molecular details of the interaction between the mosquito and our own red blood cells, and the myriad ways in which malaria impacts the global economy and the advancement of humanity. But what of the public? Though its story is told in thousands of articles and in hundreds of books, many in the developed world are unaware of how prevalent malaria still is. Malaria, Poems testifies to the importance of bridging the chasm between science and art. It adds thread to a tattered and tragic global narrative; it is poetry’s attempt to reawaken care in a cold case that keeps killing. According to Cicero the aim of the orator is threefold: to teach, to delight, and to move. Poets during the renaissance embraced this idea, and Malaria, Poems reinvigorates it. Allen Ginsberg called for a poetry of social consciousness, a “bare knuckle warrior poetics.” Cameron Conaway, a former MMA fighter, offers Malaria, Poems both as a response to Ginsberg’s call and as a new call to contemporary poetry.

Purchase

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To check out Conaway’s other work:

Bonemeal

Chittagong: Poems and Essays

Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet

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About the Author:

Cameron Conaway is a former MMA fighter and the author of 5 books, including Malaria Poems, which was named a “Best Book of 2014” by NPR, and Chittagong, which was praised by the Child Labor Coalition. He leads content marketing at Flow, a task management app used by teams at Tesla Motors, PayPal and Harvard University, among others. As a journalist, he has received the 2015 Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship. Conaway’s writing has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and can be found in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and Newsweek.

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#NewRelease: My Life Beyond the Grave, by @RaggedyAuthor

I have a new release to share with you all today. I recently discovered Kai Kiriyama on Twitter and after checking out what her new book was about, I jumped on board to help you spread the word about her release. Some of you may have seen that I read Dracula a few months ago, for the first time. While it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from the legendary book, the mythology behind it and what came from it continues to intrigue me. I’ve been gathering some other vampire books and stories every since. Kiriyama’s book is going on my pile for sure.

Before I get to the meat of this release post, here’s a message about her book and love of Dracula to give you a little insight into how this book came to be:

My Life Beyond the Grave is a project dear to my heart, a pet project that combines my love of vampire mythology and my love of macabre history. Dracula has always held me in thrall, ever since I was first introduced to him when I was 10 or so.  (And it was, I must admit, through Dracula Dead and Loving It that I really fell in love with him.) This book represents a love affair that I’ve had with Dracula ever since. I’ve taken history and given it a new life in this book. This is my coming of age Dracula story, a look at the history and an examination of a man who must forever live with the sins he committed as a human. I hope that this book will rekindle your love for Dracula, and for vampires. Thank you for checking me out.

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MyLifeBeyondtheGrave

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I have lived a life worth speaking about, and have seen things that would leave a modern man weeping in fear. I have outlived my entire family and have lived to see a time that one could not think possible. I have traveled the globe, and I have spread an empire greater than anything that I could have ever accomplished in my mortal life.

I am here to speak of these accomplishments, to tell my story for once without the smoke and mirrors of the silver screen, or the whispers in the dark of a pub where it’s better that you pretend you don’t notice the regal, pale man in the corner who hasn’t touched his drink. I don’t expect you to believe everything that I say here in these pages, but this is my truth as I know it to be.

My name is Vlad Tepes Dracul, and I am here to tell you my story.

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If you’d like to read an excerpt from the novel, you can head over to Kia’s

WATTPAD

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&NKobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

author photo thumbKai Kiriyama is a Canadian Asgardian geek with an affinity for Pokemon and Shakespeare.  Accomplished at divination through crystals, pendulum, tea leaf reading and palmistry, Kai oftentimes frightens herself (and her clients!) with the accuracy of what she predicts. Convinced that both her to-read and to-write piles will never be completed, Kai tries not to worry too much about it. Oftentimes, you can find her hanging around on twitter and dispensing dubious advice through her blog.

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Books on Books

…no this isn’t a post about books having sex with other books. Well, I hope it’s not going to be like that. That could get awkward with all the high risk for papercuts. Let’s not let my mind wander further into that land of weirdness right now.

Books on books. What’s this all about? Well, I just finished reading Susan Hill’s Howards End is on the Landing and loved it. I’ve never read any of her novels before, but this one was mentioned on the Books on the Nightstand podcast  and like many books Ann and Michael mention, I felt the need to buy it. As you might remember, I found it at a garage sale last month and it became book number 2000 for my collection. So anyway, I finished reading this book today after stretching it out for a month. I didn’t want to finish it to be honest. It’s a shortish book (236 pages), so that was a task. I seem to enjoy when an author dedicates a book to talking about books.

It might seem dull, even to people who enjoy books, to talk about books passed the extent of a book review or blog post, but what I find happens more often than not, a writer brings in so much about life, a book’s author, history, and more. They turn into explorations of those topics, almost leaving the book behind. That’s why Hill’s book was enjoyable to me. Through her discussing the books she read from her home’s shelves for a year (without buying any new books, as her challenge to herself dictated), I got to know her. I got to learn about authors she’s known in her life and others that influenced her. I also learned that I’m not alone in they way I might impulse buy books or feel guilt about not reading a book I bought until years later.

Another notable “book on books” author is Nick Hornby. I love his books, but what I also enjoy his column, for The BelieverStuff I’ve Been Readingwhich has been compiled into a few collections so far. I think this was my first taste for someone writing about books. Hornby’s style really makes the column what it is, but it’s also the sharing of his reading life and lack of regret for certain habits (which many of us book lovers share) that keeps me coming back for more.

I’ve read a few more books in the past that fall under this category, and a few that barely do. I’d say memoirs in which an author talks about his/her writing life have a similar spot in my heart. I remember reading Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life and ending with the feeling that she was human like the rest of us. The same goes for other writing memoirs. Whether it’s a book loving author or an author writing about life and writing together, it grips me and makes me feel like I’m not so alone in some of my feelings about things. These people aren’t always extraordinary, but are just as interesting as if they did lead extraordinary lives.

Next time you pick up a book, or just look at one of your shelf, think about all that’s attached to it. The events that lead to you bringing it home or how you felt the last time you read a book by the same author. Books aren’t just objects and aren’t just the words types on the pages. They have a life of their own, and we’re lucky to be able to share the journey and add to those lives.

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Do you enjoy reading about books? What are some of the books on books that you’ve enjoyed in the past? I’m always looking for more suggestion because my collection, though vast and diverse, doesn’t have many more to satisfy my craving of this type of book.

P.S. – One of the most dangerous things to come from reading books like this is that a TBR pile is almost guaranteed to double or triple. It’s unavoidable as books sound amazing as you read and have to write them down to check out later. You’ve been warned.