Weekly Meeting:The Tsar of Love and Techno

The Tsar of Love and Techno
The Tsar of Love and Techno

Part of Which Challenges:

  • Conference Read Down

What You Should Know:

  • This book is a series of interconnected short stories.
  • It takes place in the USSR/Russia

Discussion:

There were no discussion questions for this book, it was just released.  Discussion guides are typically released with the book when it is expected that Book Clubs will read a book.  I have found women authors get discussion guides far more than male authors.  Yes, it is completely sexist, though I believe not unfounded.  My real life book club picks more women than men.

I could go on for days about sexism in publishing, but this book is what I want to talk about.  Not because I especially loved it, but because it got me thinking about my own writing.  I am use to reading stories with a clear narrative.  They might not follow a linear time line, but jumps in time support the general narrative.  I am also use to reading short story collections.  Each story is a world and story within itself.  Even if they do interconnect, the connection is loose and doesn’t pay off in any way.

What Marra did was take these two things and blend them together.  Each story is connected around the theme of the shift in life from the Communist USSR to the democratic Russia.  Even when the characters are not directly connected, they string through the lives of other characters and it is all tied into a beautiful bow at the end.

Who Will Like It:

  • Those interested in life in Russia during and after the Cold War
  • Those who like short stories
  • Those looking to read something a bit different in format

Recap November Reading

Here is what I said I would read this month:

There were still some books from the October/September Lists:

What about December’s plan?  Here are the books I am trying to get my hands on:

  1. Revealing Hannah: The Myth of Cassandra – I am really excited about this one because I know the author and have heard some very good things about it.  It may become the real-life book club’s January pick so I may not discuss it here.
  2. A25: Stories From Lowell’s First Arson Squad – Another author I know and the topic is local.  I am thrilled to have a chance to read this.  I have been looking forward to it since last March.
  3. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy– This award winning, girl friendly, graphic novel is going to be awesome.  Thanks to Emily for buying it for me for my birthday!  It looks very Girl Scout camp meets mythology/supernatural adventures.
  4. The Road from Coorain – this has been sitting on my TBR shelf for years, but I wanted to read it this year and I only have one month left.
  5. The Witches – I got it at ALA and I am super excited because I love Salem stuff.
  6. Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #3) – why a 6th?  Well, I am beginning to make sure I have enough for the weekly meetings.  These are the ones I will discuss.  I like this series, it’s fun and I want to read the next one.  I suspect with a 2 week vacation I will have time to get a lot of reading done.

In Other News:

NaNoWriMo Winner!
NaNoWriMo Winner!

I WON NANOWRIMO!

I wrote 50,480 words this year and I almost didn’t make it.  Thanks to blogging, writing a grant application, exercises to help with writers blocks, and being able to give my characters their full names, I was able to complete my novel.  Next, cut out the superfluous content and look at the mystery.  I think it might make a good novelette or I will put it with last year’s mystery as one publication.  For now, I have other projects to focus on.

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