It’s been a little over two months since my business partner and I had to close the bookstore/wine bar since we could no longer keep using our retirement money to keep it afloat. The decision was both difficult and easy. We loved having the bookstore but didn’t love that we lost so much money trying to keep it afloat. During the four years that we were opened, I still had my other business, Carol Hoenig Publishing Consultant, Inc. Between that and the bookstore left me little time for reading for pleasure and writing. I had started working on my fourth novel, a prequel to Without Grace, while my agent tried to sell my third novel. So far, the rejections were wonderful, but they are still rejections. But that’s another story. Or maybe it’s just the same old story. Yet, life goes on.
Now without the store, I am busier than ever with my business, but I have found more time to read for pleasure. I am constantly reading works-in-progress, or books needing publicity, but reading for fun has been a challenge when owning my own business. (Speaking of reading books that need publicity, I’m working with Jan Alexander for her novel, Ms. Ming’s Guide to Civilization, and highly recommend it.) I’ve also yet to get back to writing on my prequel but believe that will occur all in good time. Therefore, thought I’d share what I’ve read over the last couple of months with a very brief thought of what I thought about the book here:
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller: I’ve been wanting to read this for so long and it was the first book I picked up since closing the bookstore. The writing was wonderful, even though living in Africa for Alexandra and her family was not easy. I highly recommend it, though.
J.W. Valentine by Barbara Novack: I’ve known Barbara for quite some time and even spoke to her students about writing. She’s a good writer but I had some questions regarding one aspect of this work.
Saving Sadie: How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World by Joal Derse Dauer with Elizabeth Ridley. It’s a story of triumph, one that made me question if I could have invested all that the author did to save this dog’s life.
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert C. Lee: I have a collection of screenplays from a book I had from high school and have wanted to read this one for ages. I’ve watched the movie with Spencer Tracy and found it riveting. The screenplay is just as riveting and dare I say timely, even though it was written so long ago about the Scopes Trial. I’m going to select this one for my book discussion group, which is something else I couldn’t host when I had the bookstore.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: What a heartbreaking book. Humans are just evil beings. As a country, we not only have blood on our hands, we have it on our souls. Not only for today’s atrocities but the past’s, as well.
The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben: What an interesting time for me to have read this book since I have been watching and caring for Roxy, (min-pin) Harpo (Tibetan spaniel mix) and Chelsea (long-haired dachshund) while my daughters and their husbands traveled in Scotland and England. The book didn’t cover much about domesticated animals but was still very interesting. It makes me want to be a vegetarian, but I find it difficult to accomplish.
Yesterday, I just cracked open Less by Andrew Sean Greer so no thoughts on that just yet.
So that’s it for now. I am going to try to write here at least once a week and the posts won’t be quite as long but I had a lot to share here. Thanks for reading!