Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Some Memoir Mini Reviews!

Posted by Caitie F on March 20, 2015

I have read several memoirs lately, and wanted to do some quick reviews!

Title: Brown Girl Dreamingbrown girl
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Hardcover: 337 pages
Pub Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Mini Review:

See all those stickers on the image of the cover? This book won SO many awards. It is beautifully written and so moving. It is written in verse and every word has been chosen with intent. It succeeds in every single way. This is a absolute must read for everyone.

Title: Brunette Ambition brunette
Author: Lea Michele
Hardcover: 208 pages
Pub Date: May 2014
Publisher: Harmony Books
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

The star of the hit show Glee shares her experiences and insider tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and more in an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide.

Lea Michele is one of the hardest working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multi-tasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. In Brunette Ambition, she reveals the lessons and advice that have worked for her–from beauty and fashion secrets to fitness tips, and career insights. Supplemented with never-before-seen photos and revealing anecdotes, it’s the book Lea wishes she’d had in her teens and early twenties: A practical and inspirational guide to harnessing tenacity and passion and living the fullest life, no matter what obstacles life puts in your way.

Mini Review:

As a huge fan of Glee, I knew I had to read this book (I am so going to cry during the series finale tonight!). It is part memoir, part advice book, part recipe book, and part inspirational. It balances all of those parts really really well.

When I finished reading it, I was motivated to take care of myself, have more confidence, and try some new things. I have kept it up for a couple weeks now. It is sticking and I am feeling great. It was the perfect book for when i read it.

Title: I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
Author: Martin ShortMust Say
Hardcover: 320 pages
Pub Date: Nov 2014
Publisher: Harper
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

Martin Short is one of few celebrities in show business who has continually worked hard, found success, and kept his personal life intact. His memoir is a reflection on his diverse collection of experiences, both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Short takes us through his career, from his early years with Second City Toronto and Saturday Night Live to his movie stardom. He recalls how he developed some of his enduring characters—manic man-child Ed Grimley, slimy lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the large and bizarrely insensitive Jiminy Glick. Here, too, are his television appearances, from How I Met Your Mother to his Emmy-nominated role in Damages, as well as his stage productions, including his Tony Award-winning performance in Little Me. Throughout, Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Nora Ephron, Frank Sinatra, and others friends and colleagues share the spotlight.

This deeply private man brings us into the circle of his family life, from raising his children to the legendary parties he and his wife have hosted. He recounts the pain of losing a brother and both parents by the time he was 20, and of the devastating death of Nancy, his wife of thirty years, in 2010. Despite the hardships, Short’s life has been full of laughter, and he remains perennially upbeat. In this wise and entertaining memoir, he shares his irrepressible joy.

Mini Review:

This is one of the better celebrity memoirs I have read. It is funny. It is heart breaking. It doesn’t gossip about other celebrities. Overall, it is just a read that will make you feel like you know Martin Short more. And you get to find out that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are just as wonderful and you could hope. If you like Martin Short at all, you should read this book. I wish i had listened to the audiobook, since I have heard it is even better since Martin reads it.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Some YA Mini Reviews

Posted by Caitie F on March 19, 2015

I have so little time, but wanted to get some reviews in!

Title: Heir of Fireheir
Author: Sarah J Maas
Hardcover: 562 pages
Pub Date: Sept 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Mini Review

This series is the absolute best. You should read it if you haven’t. This book is absolutely incredible – it is a little different from the first two, but in the best possible way.I am eagerly waiting for QUEEN OF SHADOWS just like everyone else.

Title: FireFire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Hardcover: 461 pages
Pub Date: Oct 2009
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (less)

Mini Review:

I read Graceling way back in 2011 and have wanted to read Fire every since then. But I didn’t. I kept putting it off because it was so beautiful and I was crushed by the idea of having such a limited amount of Kristin Cashore books left. I got over it and finally read Fire and I am so glad I did!

Fire is such a complex character. The world building is excellent. All the other characters are just as complex and flawed. The writing is gorgeous. Everything about this book is wonderful. It was a little long, but I really didn’t mind since it meant I got to stay in the world for a little longer.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Posted by Caitie F on March 17, 2015

Thanks to the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish for hosting!

It is that time again, time to list the books I plan to read during the next season. I am historically terrible at these, but I read 6 out of the 10 of my winter list!

On to the next season – most of these are for challenges, but some are just books i want to get to.

1. One Wish by Robyn Carr

One Wish

I love this series and am so excited the read the most recent book!

2. The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Fall of Giants

This is a VERY long book, but I want to read it.

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

code name

So many people i trust have recommended this tot me. I need to read it.

4. Stiff by Mary Roach

Stiff

So I can get some nonfiction into my spring!

5. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Blood of Olympus

I will be so sad when I am done with this series, but I need to finish it

6. Lead by Kylie Scott

Lead

This is my favorite romance series and I need to continue it.

7. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Firebird

I loved the first book in this series – the mix of contemporary and historical makes me so happy.

8. Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg

Running BOoks

This just sounds like it is a non-fiction book I will love

9. The Map of Time by Felix J Palma

The Map of Time

So many people have told me I have to read this book.

10. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi

We own it and I want to read it. I should just do it!

Posted in Blogging, Lists | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Mini-Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Posted by Caitie F on March 7, 2015

Title: I Was Here18879761
Author: Gayle Forman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Pub Date: Jan 27, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: ++++

Summary

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

Review:

I will read everything Gayle Forman writes, She is incredibly talented and knows how to tell a story. And this book was no different. I just wanted to write a quick, small review.

I thought this book was amazing. The characters were fully developed, even the side characters. Cody was so realistic. She doesn’t always make the best choices, but no one does. I really wanted her to be able to find some peace and happiness.

With a less amazing writer, the book could have felt preachy or a message book, but this wasn’t either. If you are looking for realistic fiction that deals with things young people actually have to deal with, pick this up.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

Posted by Caitie F on February 24, 2015

Thanks to those over at The Broke and Bookish for hosting! i skipped last week since it was a difficult topic, but this one is so easy, I think I could have easily made it into a Top 20!

1. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass

She can literally kick anyone’s ass, but she still likes to wear pretty dresses. She is smart and well, just absolutely amazing.

2. Scout in To Kill a Mockingbid

Yes, i will be reading more from her this summer and I cannot wait.

3. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

Will she be on everyone’s list? I would think so.

4. Eo from Red Rising

She is barely in the book, but her impact is felt all the way through. It felt like I knew exactly who she was.

5. Vin from Mistborn

If you’ve read Mistborn, then you know exactly why I picked her. If you haven’t, well you should go read it. She is a great character and the books is fantastic.

6. Juliette from Shatter Me

She isn’t the most likable character all the time, but she is complex and in the end, si one of my absolute favorite for those complexities.

7. Lara Jean from To All the Boys I Loved Before

She stuck with me for so long after I read this book. That voice! This is such a character-driven book 9even though the plot is great too).

8. Emma Sasha Silver from Blind.

This character is so realistic and authentic. I don’t know how an author who hasn’t been there managed to write a blind character so perfectly, but she did.

9. Macallan from Better off Friends

When I read this book, I felt like she was a friend of mine. .

10. Cath from Fangirl

I have said many times that this is one of my favorite books of all time, and so much of that is because of Cath.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

LoveAThon High Five!

Posted by Caitie F on February 22, 2015

Hope everyone is having as much fun as I am!

We are encouraged to talk about our current High Five for several categories. What is the high five? Things that are making us happy!

Books

1. Red Rising and Golden Son – read them last month but still can’t get these books and characters out of my head.

2. Ms Marvel Volume 1: No Normal – These comics are amazing. I LOVE it.

3. Throne of Glass series – read books 2 and 3 in one week. Fantastic!

4. Thunder Point series – I am new to romance and this series is a great way to step into it. Please let me know if you have similar recommendations.

5. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel – this was one of my favorite reads from last year and every time I think of it, I think of that fantastic voice. A must-read!

Genres

1. Women’s/book club fiction – always looking for great new books in this genre

2. Contemporary YA – so many great books in this genre coming out. I can never catch up, but i will enjoy!

3. Romance – I am newer to the genre, but i have fallen instantly. I love the strong heroines.

4. Cozy mystery – I have been in a cozy mood and they always make me happy.

5. Fantasy YA – I thought i was sick of this genre, but I have read some amazing books lately. I am being selective, but the ones I choose to read are great.

I am not picking favorite authors or bloggers – it is too hard to choose and I don’t want anyone to feel left out!

Merch/website

1. Book Riot

2. Huffington Post Books

3. The Toast

4. Femsplain

5. Sporcle (fun quizzes about books and everything else!)

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

LoveAThon Snapshots: Book Tour

Posted by Caitie F on February 22, 2015

I have never showed you my “shelves” before, so I thought this was a great chance!

The first spot is a drawer under my bed, not a shelf. These books tend to be books my husband finishes (or gives up on) and throws to my bed of the bed. I put them in this drawer and…usually forget about them for a couple months. Baymax and Tigger wanted to say hi too!

IMG_0859

Here are  our main bookshelves. They are organized…oddly. One the left, the top, middle, and bottom shelves are mainly books I want to read. The other two are books my husband wants to read. Of corse there is crossover. The shelves on the right are what we both want to read.

IMG_0860

And shots of just part of my levelsIMG_0861 IMG_0862 IMG_0863

And our shared shelves.

IMG_0864

Did I mention that ALL these shelves are double stacked?

IMG_0865

Plus my stack of ARCs I have’t gotten on the shelves yet (and the guitars we need to learn to play).IMG_0866

And the pile of books I have gotten from awesome editors (right) and my library books (left)

IMG_0867

And finally, my Nook, with a couple dozen more books (and many many manuscripts!)IMG_0868SO MANY BOOKS. I could not buy a book for the next 5 years and probably be okay. We all know that will never happen though.

I just realized I didn’t even include our favorites shelf with all books we have finished and want to keep forever!

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

LoveaThon Book Spine Poetry

Posted by Caitie F on February 21, 2015

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday! I have never tried these before, so they are less poems and more just…interesting. Though the last two are pretty dark…oops!

IMG_0856Strippers, showgirls, and sharks, yes please!

IMG_0857

Hold still, evil genius, if I ever get out of here, kill me softly.

IMG_0858The twelve redshirts forget me behind the beautiful forevers.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

2015 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon Questionnaire

Posted by Caitie F on February 21, 2015

Really looking forward to participating in this!

1. What’s your name?
Caitie Flum

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
New Jersey/New York (if my lunch break)

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?
I started after I graduated from college and was looking for a job in publishing. I wanted to still talk to people about books!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?
I was writing about things in publishing and wanted the URL to be my name! I know, not very exciting.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
I am pretty eclectic, so you will see a mix of everything.

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
I just started a new series on agenting, and lists are a lot of fun!

7. Best blogging experience so far?
Meeting other bloggers at events!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?
Everyone is so nice and welcoming. It is a great place for anyone who loves books

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015!

This is too hard! Hmm, in no order (and I am sure I forgot many!)
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
2. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
3. Winter by Marissa Meyer
4. Deep by Kylie Scott
5. Armada by Ernest Cline

10. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

Ms Marvel

11. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

So many! Playing board games, musical theater, watching TV, cooking, and SO much more.

12. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

Music – I love so many types of music and can spend far too much time listening and deciding what to buy.

13.At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?

Right now? Brave by Sara Bareillis. I love that song so much. Or something by Taylor Swift

14..Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.

I would love to see Throne of Glass as a TV series.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Life in Agenting – 2: Querying: Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Caitie F on February 17, 2015

Everyone always seems to have the most questions about queries: how to write one, what needs to be in it  Instead of just saying this is how you write a query, I want to share some of the do’s and don’ts when querying me.

Some background – I have read and replied to over 600 queries since opening up to them a month ago (EDIT: This was an estimate, I just looked and it was over 1,000). That is a lot of queries and that is all outside of work hours. If you query me, you will most likely get a response late at night or on the weekend. Those queries are what inspired this post.

DO include a great hook
What is your book? What makes it great? Figure it out, write a sentence, and make that the first thing I read. A great hook instantly has me excited and hoping that the rest of the query is amazing. I have requested pages when the hook is amazing and the rest of the query is good.

DO write a clear summary
So often, I read the main part of the query and have no idea what the book is about. I couldn’t tell you who the main character is, what the central plot is, or even sometimes the genre!

DO have someone unfamiliar with your book read your summary
That is how you make sure that it is clear. Find someone you know who doesn’t know your book or a community online that you can get someone to read your query. Have them explain back to you what your book is about. You will be able to tell if it is clear.

DON’T tell me your life story
There are so many queries I get that have more about the writer than the book. If you are writing fiction, just a couple sentences are enough. I tend to skim the long bios and probably miss the information that might matter. There needs to be a bigger bio for nonfiction, but some people list every paper they have ever been on and all their media exposure. I just need the highlights!

DON’T be a jerk
I know, it should be obvious, but I have gotten many queries with racism, sexism, and classism. I have also gotten responses to rejections that call me a bitch or say I am going to hell. The only response you should ever send is “Thank you for your time”. But you don’t have to send that.

DO your research
At least to the point where you know I am the right person to send something to. I still get lots of books I don’t represent and those are the easiest to reject. But I hate that everyone’s time was wasted.

DON’T agonize over that personalized paragraph
If you don’t have a personalized paragraph, it won’t keep me from requesting pages if the query is great. That said, those personalizations sometimes turn a maybe request pages to a yes.Not because the person said they follow me on twitter or read my blog, but because they saw I love x book, TV show, or movie and their book is like that is y way. Or they change their comps (accurately!) to things I love. Don’t say your book is like something just because i love it though – I need to see that while I am reading the query

DO query one project at a time
Only one project per query and only one query at a time. If I get four queries in a row from you, I probably won’t take any of them as seriously. I am probably not the right person for all the books. It is fine to be querying multiple projects at once, just end the one you think is the best fit first, then wait a little until you send the second.

DON’T be scared
I want every query I get to be amazing. I want to fall in love with your pitch. I want to want to see pages. I do this because I love working with authors.

DO keep going if I reject you
I am often not the right person for the project. You want someone who loves what you are doing to represent you. I am one person and there are a lot of agents out there.

Good luck!

Posted in Editorial | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

 
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