Summer Reading Challenge – June 18th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A book related to your career or goals.

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson is one of those books that I read a number of years ago, but never really tried out the advice. (I’m not the only one who does that, right?) I found myself needing to outline the novella that I’m writing for Camp NaNo next month, and I decided to read through the book again and give it a try. I’ve read the Oxygen series that Randy co-authored and enjoyed the writing style, so I decided to give his Snowflake Method a try.

Two great things about this book is that it’s short and it’s not boring! Sometimes practical books are long, and hard to stick with. How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method isn’t a regular how-to book, it’s a how-to book written as a story. The story itself was creative and interesting enough to keep me engaged. Since the story is set at a writing conference where the main character is learning the method herself, it almost felt like I was sitting in on a class. The format didn’t just give me the principles, it also demonstrated a new writer, like myself, applying them to her own writing. The end of the book has a nice summary of the method so that you don’t have to go back through the book to remember the instructions for each step of the process.

I’ve been working through the method for the story I’m writing next month, and I can already see how this method has helped me get a stronger plot and stronger characters in place, even before I start writing. I’m excited to see what writing the story using this instead of my usual index card or traditional outline will be like! While there’s no method that’s just right for everyone, the Snowflake Method is worth checking out.

I’m also nearly finished reading Paul Reigner’s Paranormia, and I’ll be sharing about that in my Tuesday update once it releases!

Shattered Honor Blog Tour!

I discovered Anne Wheeler’s books through a speculative fiction writer’s group that I’m part of, and I’m so excited that I get to be part of the blog tour for the release of her third book, Shattered Honor!

Anne was kind enough to offer a little sneak peek at an excerpt for my readers:

It was strange how many people thought the desert was always hot. Windhaven, closer to the Haederan equator than even his thin blood would prefer, was cold in the winter, especially at night. Especially after . . . Well, wasn’t that why he was home? To forget what had happened? Forgetting apparently wasn’t as easy as it used to be, since he’d been watching the sun rise above the faraway mountains for more than an hour now, unable to sleep. The only thing he’d forgotten over the past years was who he really was.

If the glass running from the floor all the way to the flat roof had been thinner, he might have heard the goldcrests perched in the cacti on the other side. Four more alighted on the arm of one giant cactus to peck at it as he leaned his forehead against the window to watch. They would kill the plant sooner or later, but they meant no harm. They just didn’t know any better. How could they? Maybe if he reached a hand out, he could touch their feathers through the glass . . . take some of their innocence for himself.

“Hello there,” he said to the fat one sitting closest to him. The gold-feathered wren chirped silently, accusingly, then flew off in its never-ending search for water. Like it knew what kind of man was speaking to it. Like it saw all the things he’d done. Things he couldn’t think about now. His misplaced loyalties. The blood on his hands. He couldn’t blame the bird for staying away, just like he couldn’t blame the Holy One for deserting him.

Shattered Honor

Space opera will always be my first love when it comes to science fiction, and Anne has done a wonderful job with this series. I was interested as soon as I found out there was a princess who is also a pilot in the books. Asrian Skies did not disappoint, and neither did the sequel, Unbroken Fire. I can’t wait to dive into Shattered Honor, and I’ve already pre-ordered it so I can start reading on release day, which is June 18th. This is the book I’m reading for the “newly released” prompt in the Teish Knits Summer Reading Challenge, and I actually included that prompt with Shattered Honor in mind!

Do you know what’s even better than a summer book release from one of your favorite authors? A giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks Anne for sharing an excerpt and the giveaway with the Teish Knits readers! Anyone that hasn’t read the first two books yet still has time to binge read them this weekend so you can dive right into Shattered Honor with me on June 18th!

Summer Reading Challenge – June 11th Update

We’re doing a reading challenge here at Teish Knits this summer, and it’s not too late to join in! You can download the challenge prompt list and bookmarks here. This is a strictly fun, no pressure challenge, so you can interpret the prompts as broadly as you like, and choose to do fewer of them if reading 13 books this summer seems too overwhelming. Every Tuesday, I’ll be sharing my own progress here on the blog, and I hope you’ll stop by and comment either on the blog or social media and let me know what you’re reading!

A memoir or biography

I read The Sky Below by Scott Parazynski with Susy Flory for this reading prompt. If you can read the Kindle version on a color screen tablet, then go with the Kindle version. I’ve never read a book with embedded video, and it blew my mind when I watched a shuttle launch in the middle of a chapter!

The book itself is a fascinating look at a truly accomplished individual. I was only a few chapters into the book when I observed to my husband, “Reading this makes me realize that I’m the most boring person on Earth.” Seriously though, Scott Parazynski’s career is impressive on its own, but add to that the other fantastic experiences he’s had, and it makes for a book that I couldn’t put down. The last few words will stick with me for quite some time:

The summits and calderas and skywalks and other bold life challenges are out there, waiting for you to dust off your dream. Everything is possible until proven impossible, and then you just need to become more creative. The sky is not the limit. And it never will be.

Scott Parazynski

The Sky Below would absolutely appeal to anyone who enjoys reading astronaut memoirs, but I think it would appeal to a wider audience as well. Readers interested in mountain climbing would likely enjoy the read, given how much of that is included in the book. It’s a good length, and held my interest from start to finish. The kindle in motion version is a must though! You don’t want to miss the videos!

I’m currently reading the book that will check the box for the book with a pretty cover prompt, but since it’s an ARC for a book that will be releasing later this month, I’m not going to say more… yet. It’s definitely outside of my usual genre choice for reading, but it’s also by an author who’s books I’ve always enjoyed. I have to admit, I’m rather enjoying the ride! I’ll share more about it once the book releases, so keep following along on my Tuesday reading challenge updates!

What about you? What are you reading this week?

Teish Knits Summer Reading Challenge

I love books! I wish I could read all of the books, the cool books anyway. Life is too short to read boring books that you don’t like, at least once you’re out of school. The fun thing about reading challenges is that I have to hunt for books to fit the challenge prompts, and this often reminds me of books that have been in my TBR list for way too long. Also, I’m a little bit obsessed with checking things off on a list.

I thought that it would be fun to do a Teish Knits Reading Challenge this summer on the blog! You can download a pdf of the list here. I’ve also created some fun bookmarks with lines for keeping track of the books that you’ve read for the challenge! You can download the bookmarks here. Since there are 13 weeks in June through August, I included 13 prompts for choosing books. I want this to be a no-stress challenge though. If a book a week sounds like more than your schedule can handle, then pick a number of books that you want to read over the summer and highlight that many prompts on the list any only do those.

I picked ideas for the Teish Knits Reading Challenge that can be broadly interpreted. For example, a book about health can be related to any kind of health topic, or even a fiction book featuring a healthcare setting or character. The book related to your career or goals might be a non-fiction book on the topic, or it could be a novel where the main character has the same kind of career or goals that you do. I’m planning to try for a mix of fiction and non-fiction, but you could interpret the prompts to best fit the kind of books you like to read.

Given that this July is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, I had to include a prompt for a book related to astronomy or space exploration. There are so many wonderful books about the people involved in space exploration, but you could pick something focused on the science, or even science fiction if you prefer. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and Hidden Figures are both wonderful non-fiction choices that would fit this prompt if you’d need an idea!

I also included an audiobook, paper book, and e-book in the list. I like all three formats, but sometimes I end up sort of stuck in a format rut. I wanted to remind myself to enjoy books across all three formats this summer.

Of course, I had to include a favorite that you want to re-read. Mom used to say that she was going to quit buying me books for my birthday and Christmas because I always had the stack read within a week or two. I was horrified at the thought and pointed out that since I re-read books, it was hardly a waste of money. Re-reading my favorite books is like comfort food.

Instead of my usual Thoughts for Tuesday posts this summer, I’ll do a Reading Challenge Update each Tuesday. I’ll share which book I’m reading, thoughts on ones I’ve finished, and maybe chat about some of the books I’ll be reading next. I hope you’ll join in with the Teish Knits Summer Reading Challenge. Let me know what books you’re reading, and what you think of them throughout the summer! You can comment on the blog, or on my Facebook or Instagram pages. I’ll have weekly Reading Challenge Update posts on both platforms where we can talk about what we’re reading this summer!

Don’t forget to download your Teish Knits Summer Reading Challenge list, so you’re all ready to go!