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  • Weird and Wonderful Books

    I’m a huge fan of off-beat, strange books, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites. We can all jump down the rabbit hole together.

    Ex Utero by Laurie Foos 

    A woman realizes she has lost her uterus at the mall. I hate it when that happens.

    The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken

    A librarian falls in love with the tallest boy in the world. He keeps growing and so does their love for one another.

    Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt

    A salesman come up with a concept to curb sexual harassment and promote productivity in the workplace. It’s very naughty. And very weird.

    Treasure Island!!! By Sara Levine

    A down-on-her-luck woman who works at a pet library reads Treasure Island and vows to live life by its principals. Why aren’t pet libraries a real thing?

    Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kristen Bakis

    Frankendogs roam New York after being genetically engineered to have human voices and human hands and walk upright.

    Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka 

    Gregor Samsa wakes up to find he’s a cockroach. It could happen to the best of us.

    Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett

    Taking its cue from Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a young Nigerian man wakes up to find that he is now a white man (all of him save for his heiney) and he navigates his job interview and the city of Laos, with his newfound white privilege. 

    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

    The Binewskis really want to raise their own brood of human oddities and do so by inducing birth defects in their kids. When their act grows they decide to take it one the road.

    River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

    An alternate history where feral hippos have overrun a bayou in 1890’s American, only the motley crew of the world’s best hippo wranglers can round them up and take their revenge. 

    Reading and feeling weird have never felt so good.

  • Books I've read: September - December 2017

    Here are all the books I've read since September. It was an especially productive December...12 books read! I just set my reading goal at Goodreads to 130 books for 2018. I was going to stop at 100 - that seemed like a nice, even number, but my 8-year-old was in the room egging me on to write 130.

    What's your reading goal for the year? Click here for some ways to get more reading in your life!

    And check out my Goodreads Page (just search for Jennifer Caloyeras) to see my reading updates or be my Goodreads friend. 

  • 8 Ways to Read More in 2018

    I read. A lot. I tend to go through two to five books a week. Alas, reading is not my full-time job, but I’m here to tell you that you could be reading more, if you want. Here’s how:

     

    1. Bring a book: I take a book with me everywhere I go because I find I’m always waiting: in line at the supermarket, at the doctor’s office, in the carpool line. The waiting is intolerable. Reading makes waiting better.

     

    1. Read more than one book at a time: This strategy can feel a bit frenetic to some, but here’s my reasoning: reading multiple books lets you read what you feel like reading in a given moment. If you start a serious historical tome, later in the day, you may be in the mood for a romance novel. Reading more than one book at a time lets you pick up the book that you feel like reading, not the one that you feel obligated to read.

     

    1. Listen to your books: I recently learned about Overdrive and boy, has it changed my life. With Overdrive, you can check out audiobooks for free using your library card. I can listen to a book I am currently reading so that when I’m in the car (and I log a lot of hours in the car in Los Angeles) I can pick up where I left off. Or, I can be listening to a completely different book in the car (see rule number 2.)

     

    1. Keep to-be-read lists: I currently have 243 books on my to-be-read list on Goodreads and I’m always ordering books from the library that are at the top of this list. By having something exciting in my reading future, I am motivated to get to that next book.

     

    1. Skip the television: Just think of all the hours you can devote to reading if you cut out television watching! If you must watch, then use the commercials as a timed reading break.

     

    1. Read in the bathroom: There are many places to read in a bathroom: relaxing in the tub (it’s a great place for an audio book as well!) or sitting on the commode, depending on how efficient you are.

     

    1. Have kids? Have a kindle: The kindle paperwhite has added at least thirty minutes to my reading repertoire each night. Why? Because my kids like me to lie with them at night to help them fall asleep. I read in the dark as they drift off to sleep. Everybody wins.

     

    1. Reading while eating: Zen foodies say this is a no-no, but if I’m home alone for a meal, I read. A book makes a wonderful date.

     

    So there you have it. How do you make time for more reading in your life?

     

  • Heavy Feather Review Interview

    It's beginning to feel a lot like the holidays around here! We spent the weekend decorating the tree (I'll post a photo soon.) We braved the Los Angeles fires (they were pretty close this time - less than two miles away.) And now, in order to feel like the holidays, it just needs to cool down. It's still in the 80's around here - not conducive to getting all bundled up and cracking open a good book. But I have been doing a ton of reading. Following my Intagram account @jennifercaloyeras to see what I've been reading.

    Thanks to Heavy Feather Review for the recent author interview! 

    To read the full interview, click here. 

  • Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles

    I had a blast conducting a three-hour workshop on revision for the Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles! 

    If you write for children or young adults, check out their amazing organization and see how you can become more involved. They offer workshops, mini-class sessions and serve as a great way to network with other writers. 

  • Levar Burton Reads and other podcasts I heart

    I absolutely credit Levar Burton with fueling my obsession with books. I remember staying home from school on sick days and crawling into my parents' bed to binge watch taped episodes of Reading Rainbow. 

    So you can see how Levar Burton's new podcast, Levar Burton Reads on Stitcher. In this podcast, Burton reads a short story (including works by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami and Daisy Johnson) and then, at the end, talks about what he's taken away from the story. 

    I take a three-mile walk each morning and I've really been getting into all sorts of new podcasts lately! Other ones I've enjoyed include:

    Very Bad Words

    Reading Glasses

    Part-Time Genius

    What are your current favorite podcasts??