The Second Book’d in Burbank Edition
We’re so excited for the second Book’d in Burbank event on Thursday April 11th! This social gathering treats book lovers to author readings and literary entertainment. Shelf Pleasure is thrilled to be one of the sponsors, along with presenting sponsor Liz Donatelli of Liz D Publicity & Promotions, of what promises to be an amazing night. In celebration, several of the participating authors stopped by to share the books currently sitting on their nightstands. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we hope to see you at Book’d in Burbank!
“The first thing you might notice about my nightstand is my mascot: a small bronze sculpture of a girl reading a book. It was handed down from my great-grandmother and is very precious to me.
I’m currently reading Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray and What It Means for Modern Relationships. The book challenges a long-held assumption that humans are naturally monogamous. We’re not terrible, awful people if we lust after others. We’re just humans, struggling against unrealistic expectations when it comes to sexual desire. The authors argue that cooperation and sharing—even sharing mates—was the prehistoric norm, until the shift from foraging to agriculture.
I’m fascinated by the landscape of sexuality in our culture and I find the ideas in this book both freeing and anxiety producing. Sometimes I feel we have sold ourselves a very limiting, almost stifling, image of what our intimate connections with each other should be. Mainstream society has come a long way toward accepting different types of families and relationship configurations, beyond heterosexual monogamy. But the idea of our partner seeking temporary physical or emotional satisfaction with someone else, without our consent, is for the majority of us, a threat to our emotional well-being. Personally, I don’t care who you love, so long as you love and you do it with integrity. It’s true reader, I don’t know you, but I honestly want you to be supremely happy and love deeply every day. It’s better for all of us when you do.
I’m also re-reading the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice and two classic books from Anais Nin. Now, I have always been the kind of reader who likes to dog-ear and mark up the pages. Every book on my keeper shelf looks well-loved. But these books? When I dug them out of a storage box from college, they looked as if they had never been read. Perhaps I didn’t want anyone to know just how well-loved they were! But, now you know. Shhhh… it’s our naughty little secret.”
Felice Fox attributes her love of romance novels to an early, feverish bout with The Kissing Disease. Take Me for Longing, a current Amazon bestseller, was her fiction debut. Her release, It’s Just Sext, hit #1 on Amazon’s Bestselling Sex Books list in less than three weeks. The second title in the series, Perfect Sext, is available now. Felice began writing professionally in 2001 and is a bestselling author in the non-fiction market. Her work appears in online learning courses and many popular retail websites. She has been known to send scandalous text messages from somewhere in Southern California.Follow Felice on Twitter: @felicefox.
“Lately, I’ve been reading the final installment of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Princess. I’ve loved all of her books, but so far, this one is particularly special. There’s always something bittersweet about reading the final book in a trilogy, knowing that at the conclusion, you’ll never again have the chance to spend time with characters you’ve grown to know and love. And I really have become enamored of nearly every character in this series over the course of three books. Headstrong, impetuous Will, who never does anything halfway. Intelligent, wry, and capable Tessa, who turns the expectations of what a Victorian woman should be on their head. And sweet Jem, who’s been breaking my heart from the outset of the series. Clockwork Princess has delivered on what Cassandra Clare’s books always promise: a strong plot, characters that you easily become invested in, and a truly dark and terrifying enemy to confront. Even though this is a page turner, I find myself reading more slowly, savoring particular passages, trying to delay the inevitable. And I can’t wait until City of Bones is released in theaters this summer!”
Michelle Gagnon is the international bestselling author of thrillers for teens and adults. Don’t Turn Around, the first book in her persefone trilogy, was chosen as one of the best YA books of 2012 by Kirkus, Entertainment Weekly, YALSA, and VOYA. It was also an IndieNext and Junior Library Guild pick. The follow-up, Don’t Look Now, will be released by HarperTeen in August, 2013. Her standalone dystopian thriller Strangelets will be available from SoHo Teen in April, 2013.
“I just returned from the Left Coast Crime mystery convention in Colorado Springs with an armful (literal and figurative) of books to read. That’s one of the best parts about attending these conventions: meeting wonderful people and then reading the books they write.
One of the guests of honor was western/mystery author Craig Johnson, whose Longmire series of mystery novels is now a popular television series on A&E. Two of the books in my freebies bag at the conference were from that series, and they are now at the top of my TBR (to be read) pile on my nightstand.
But the open book on my nightstand right now, if an active file on my electronic reader counts as “open,” is Faces of the Gone, by Brad Parks. His storytelling is great so far. It only took reading two pages for me to know I was going to love his books and his voice. I’m halfway through Faces of the Gone, and I’m looking forward to the other three books in the series, especially as the third one, The Girl Next Door, just won the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery at the convention’s award banquet.
After all, what’s better than being in the middle of a great book and knowing there are three more just like it waiting for you?! ”
Tammy Kaehler’s freelance writing career landed her in the world of automobile racing, which inspired her with its blend of drama, competition, and welcoming people. Her debut, Dead Man’s Switch, was praised by mystery fans as well as racing insiders; she takes readers back behind the wheel in Braking Points, the second Kate Reilly Racing Mystery. Tammy works as a technical writer in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and many cars. Visit Tammy at www.tammykaehler.com.
“First of all, I think my bed is my favorite spot in my home, so of course the table next to it is stocked and prepped for hanging out. In fact, I find my little table/bedside area quite eclectic.
Thanks to the Kindle, my bedside table isn’t as crowded as it used to be. These days, just a few books live there, and usually they’re the ones I read a few pages of as I fall asleep.
One of the things I love about my Kindle is that it hides all of the books I’m reading at once. There’s Sister which is my book club read right now, and also the Fifty Shades trilogy (Yes, I read it. And yes, I have serious opinions about it.). It also has books like The Hunger Games and Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone. Best part? When I travel, I just toss the Kindle – and all 50 books or so – into my bag and go. Love it!
The David Baldacci book was leftover from a business trip in January and I just had to finish it when I landed. I’m known for buying a book when I get to the airport and finishing it by the time I land. Also, for someone who writes romance, my go-to book purchase is usually James Patterson-esque. I absolutely love conspiracy theories and thrillers!
I also have a Keel’s “Daily Diary” by my bed that I scribble in sometimes, depending on if I remember. I was never great at journaling – in fact, I peeked inside to see when my last entry was, and it was almost one year ago to the day. Whoops…
Yep, I love my bedside table and what it says about me…How about you?”
Anne Kemp is the author of the Abby George Series and is also the columnist behind “Anne In Progress,” which appears monthly in the Frederick News-Post, a newspaper in the DC-Metro area. She’s also known for penning “The Ultimate Late Bloomer,” a fun, light-hearted blog which was designed to help guide others (with Anne’s late-blooming help) out there who, like Anne, are just starting to get “it”…at 40. Her original and honest sense of humor used in her columns and blogs earned her a Bloggers Choice Nomination for Best Humor Blog in 2010. Wanna follow her? You’ll find her on her Facebook page hanging out or join her on Twitter. Anne is available for book club discussions via Skype, telephone or she’ll visit in person if she can. She welcomes any and all invitations to your events. A portion of Anne’s book revenue is donated to Lupus LA.
“My Kindle was supposed to contain all the books in my cue but it wasn’t long before I realized I liked seeing all the books in my cue. It’s like seeing friends. So I went back to the physical kind. The stack that sits not next to my bed, but ON my bed frame, closer to me, is far more satisfying. It’s sort of like sleeping with a lot of people–even if half of them are written by women and I’m decidedly heterosexual–no judgment, just sayin’.
I finished Richard Massie’s massive biography of Catherine the Great about a week ago. Despite its high page count, it reads easily. Catherine was not only one of the most effective monarchs who ever lived, she would make an awesome protagonist for a bodice ripper. Last night I closed the covers on Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. While I appreciated the literary merit and the Crash-like interweaving of stories, it wasn’t an easy read and I felt it got bogged down with too many verbal cleverisms. I don’t think I would have picked this book on my own. It was selected by a member of my real life book club, which forms the basis of my novel, The Muffia. Being in a book club means being willing to read books you might not otherwise choose and I’m glad I read this one.
I’ve cracked the binding on Quiet, by Susan Cain, about the power of introverts and so far find it true and amazing. Also on my bed frame is The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I’ve just started and want to dedicate some uninterruptible time to–good luck, right? I love the tone. Another one where I’ve only read the opening is Ian Rankin’s Standing in Another Man’s Grave. I went to meet Rankin recently at an independent bookstore in LA and he had me at “alcohol fueled murder.” There are also a couple of books on horses: Common Sense Dressage, and Saddlery, which I hardly ever look at but I’m hoping their presence near me as I sleep will magically seep into my brain to assist in the training of a rescued Thoroughbred. Ditto the books about self-improvement like Feeling Fit Forever and Think To Win. There’s another stack on the other side of the bed, also resting on the frame, which includes books by Kate Atkinson, Patrick Rothfuss, Hilary Mantel, Bert de Nemethy and a bunch of other writers like my friends, Harley Jane Kozak and Hannah Dennison. Periodically, I look at my stacks and rearrange the books, often discovering “new” books I didn’t know I had. For every book I finish and move to another shelf in the house or give to a friend–which I do a lot–three more are added. I try to post reviews on Goodreads but I’m not a critic. I find merit in any book. The thing about a book, unlike a pop star’s “singing,” is anyone can see the effort that went into creating a book. If I could, I’d have a copy of every book ever written. But with 27,000 titles coming out every month, I suppose there’d be no place left in my room to sleep.”
Ann Royal Nicholas is a writer, actor and director whose career spans 30 years and is comprised of work for stage, film, television and individual consumption. She has contributed columns for Vine Times and Touring & Tasting, as well as articles for Los Angeles Times and The Chronicle of the Horse. Her novel, Homegrown: The Terror Within (written under the pseudonym, Cialan Haasnic), is joined on shelves by The Muffia, the first of a “chick lit” series published by Water Street Press. Originally from the East Coast, Ann currently lives in Los Angeles with her son.
Thanks to everyone for visiting us today! We’ll be adding many of these titles to our own nightstands!
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