What I've Been Reading...

Hi everyone!
Springtime has been treating me well, except for these headaches that have been plaguing me lately.  But I'll focus on the good stuff in life.... I've been reading some great books-- the latest is Grace Lin's Newbery Honor book:

She weaves in Chinese folklore and mythology, and she did the gorgeous illustrations herself.  A magical  read, with a beautiful  message about gratitude. I discovered, while perusing her website, that she also wrote an "adoption fairytale" picture book, which I promptly bought for my Lil Dude, age 3.

He loves the book.  We usually pay attention to the author photo at the back of any book we read, since he's starting to understand that I'm an author, and he's interested in other authors.  He loves Grace's author photo, and points to it and says, "I love her.  I love Grace Lin."  "Why?" I ask.  "Because," he says, "she write nice words and she draw pretty pictures."  He loves the red thread coming from the queen and king's hearts, and always listens to my heart a few times during the book.  So sweet.

Photo credit: Alexandre Ferron

I'd heard about the bit of red thread folklore years ago, and loved it.  When I wrote The Indigo Notebook, I wove in the idea of a red ribbon, which has significance to Wendell, who is searching for his birth family in Ecuador. A number of readers have commented that they really like that element of the book, but I can't take credit for it.  Here's the quote from the beginning of The Red Thread: "There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together." I believe with all my heart that my Lil Dude and I were destined to be together, and I love how Grace portrays this idea with tenderness and humor and magic, on a level accessible to preschoolers.

Other books I've been reading-- Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams, another middle grade book-- lovely story of friendship and family and love, complete with a secret nook in the attic, wisps of ghosts, an intriguing old diary, a parallel story of a girl who lived in the house decades earlier.  I'm lucky to be friends with the wonderful author, Sarah, who I met a few months ago on our agent's retreat.

I'm now just about finished Ten Cents a Dance, a captivating young adult novel set in the early 1940s, which thrums with dance hall jazz -- the setting is just stunning, and the main character, Ruby, is super-spunky.

If you're curious what else I've been reading, check out the Goodreads widget-thingie on the sidebar to the right (you'll have to scroll down to the bottom).  You can click on the icon and it will bring you to my Goodreads page and you can be my friend and follow what books I'm reading (and of course, write glowing reviews about my books...  hehehe... ;-)

On a different note, I just got a shiny, gorgeous hard copy of the actual jacket of my book, The Queen of Water, which I'll take a picture of and post soon, along with some other photos related to the book.  I just love this cover!

I'm off to my NIA class now, and then I'll settle in for a few hours of writing more of The Jade Notebook.

Happy weekend!