Tag Archives: Summer reading

What’s in your TBR Pile?

Happy Friday everyone. Casey here.

IMG_2161A quick post today, since I am on vacation this week. And because I’m on vacation, I have a giant TBR (to be read) list. Oh, don’t worry, I’m still writing two books at once. Although it looks like Mystic Hero is winning the word count war.

I mentioned last week that I troll the Kindle Daily Deal everyday, so most of these books are on my Kindle purchased as a result of said “deal”. Here’s what I have on my plate (which is a slim fraction of the TBR pile):

1. The People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo – And the Evil that Swallowed Her Up by Richard Lloyd Parky – non-fiction, true crime

2. Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell- YA/Middle Grade

3. Money Shot by Christa Faust – Crime NoirIMG_1352

4. A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand – YA

5. Nightwings by Robert Silverberg – Science Fiction

And finally, earlier in the week I read The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (and in case you missed it, Galbraith was outed as JK Rowling). I read my local library’s copy because there is no way I’m spending $9.99 on a digital book. I really enjoyed it. The story sucked me in and I finished in about two days.

So you may (or may not) be asking yourself, with a week of vacation and nothing to do – why are you reading at all? Surely, the time could be better spent just writing. Well, I have been writing (I average about 3,000 words in about 2 – 3 hours).

I also believe, that to be a better writer and storyteller, I have to keep reading. Otherwise, life is no fun for me and my writing actually comes easier if I don’t spend all my time stressing about it.

What about you? What’s in your TBR pile? And if you’re a writer, do you find reading helps with the writing process?

I Found a Clue at the Mark Twain House

Hello readers, Katy Lee here. Two weeks ago I broached the topic with you all about requiring my children to read a few classics over the summer. (Read Here for that post.) I want to thank all who chimed in here and on Facebook and Twitter with your ideas and opinions. I considered each comment carefully, and decided to look for outings that might spark my childrens’ interest in certain books.

I chose authors’ homes nearby first, and was thrilled to hear about an event going on at the Mark Twain House on Friday the 13th.


It was called ‘Get A Clue’ Tour: A Live-Action Mystery Adventure where someone has killed “Pap” Finn! 

Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench?  Could it be the Connecticut Yankee in the Billiard Room with the Knife? Or was it the Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope? 

That’s right! A real live-action CLUE game with a full-fledged murder mystery laid out for visitors to solve while exploring the old Victorian home in the dark of night.

I’ll admit I was a bit excited myself.

I challenge my kids to use their deductive reasoning and detective skills to solve the crime while meeting countless characters from all of Mark Twain’s books. Major characters and secondary ones, too, came to life in face-to-face encounters along our exploration of beautiful ornate rooms and secret passageways.

And the outcome?????

From the moment we left, my backseat was a chatter-filled cabin of who is Arkansas, and is he really that scary? Or how about Becky Thatcher? She seemed nice, but the way she swung that pipe around makes me wonder.  And I had no idea the Prince and The Pauper came from Mark Twain and not Disney and Barbie … is it any different than the cartoons?

My answer to all questions???

You’ll just have to read it to find out.

The Unlocked Secret: It really didn’t take much to spark their interest, but making it real to them was the key, for sure. The Mark Twain House did an amazing job in helping me get creative. Even if future places don’t have something as brilliant as a live-action CLUE game, there might be something like it, or I’ll just have to design my own scavenger hunt of sorts. Could you imagine hunting through The House of Seven Gables? Ooh, spooky!

Question: Where shall we go next?