Author Spotlight: Cait Spivey, author of From Under the Mountain

One of the books I’ve most enjoyed reading so far this year has been the epic fantasy adventure From Under the Mountain by Cait Spivey, released through Reuts Publications. The story is based in a mind-blowing, fantastic world meticulously built by Spivey as a young woman finds herself, after the death of her tyrannical royal family, at the head of an empire. The novel is sometimes reminiscent in the best possible way of Game of Thrones in its scope and intrigue. There is magic and intrigue and complex human relationships in a world where sexual orientation doesn’t raise eyebrows, but…

Read Books

At an interview today, a lovely journalist asked me if I read all the time. Answer: I do. I read every day. But reading isn’t a chore. This isn’t a blog for Puritans, despite the writer’s distaste for fun and compliments. When I was a kid, I loved the library. I spent hours there. I came home with piles of books. I read them with great pleasure. I love the library in the same way now, except that I can order books ahead of time and find them waiting for me there with my name tag attached. That’s like Christmas…

5 Things I Do to Raise a Conscious Child

Listen to New York Public Library podcast programs with her on the way to and from school. My twelve-year-old daughter is too young to read Beloved yet, but after listening to Toni Morrison’s reflection on the writing of it, she deeply gets why, for example, the success of  a children’s book glossing over the horrors of slavery is dangerous for young readers. Read together. According to a 2013 study appearing in Science magazine, reading literary fiction has a tendency to improve a reader’s empathy for other people in complex social situations. In my house, we set aside regular time to read…

5 Ways I Find Time to Read

1. Read what I want Tell the inner smarty pants who is criticizing my book choice to go to hell. Dump books that aren’t capturing or inspiring me. I don’t have to give any book fifty pages before deciding whether or not to continue. Nobody has time for that. This isn’t dating. Books don’t have feelings. 2. Link the library with frozen yogurt Commit to frozen yogurt on the way home from every trip to the library. This is especially effective in the summer. Start reading the best book while eating a chocolate vanilla swirl topped with mochi bits. Don’t drip on…

What Are You Reading? NaNoWriMo Edition.

On Facebook today, National Book Award Finalist Karen E. Bender (of the excellent Refund, among many others), suggested that during National Novel Writing Month, every participant buy a novel as well as write one. If each one of the estimated 300,000 NaNoWriMo writers bought a novel as well as wrote one, that would be awesome. “Just a thought,” Karen said. A great thought, I say. NaBoReMo I will call it, because short story collections are my obsession right now. Also, I like to spice it up with some nonfiction once in a while too. With reading, I flail around. To get your book buying show…