Literary Crushes and More As We Sing Auld Lange Synge (Does Anyone on the Planet Know All The Words To This Song?)
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

Literary Crushes and More As We Sing Auld Lange Synge (Does Anyone on the Planet Know All The Words To This Song?)

This is the time of year to look back, a writer’s dilemma. It seems like I am always mulling on memories, lingering over scenes half-remembered, reconstructed as fiction. But as 2013 ends, this is a happy look back at my literary highlights of the year, as I prepare to pop the champagne and get ready to sing “Auld Lange Synge" (does anyone on the planet know all the words to this song?!): 
 
Cheers! to My Literary Crush of the Year:
Alice McDermott from That Night to Charming Billy and now on to Someone. I’ve read everyone of her novels and I think Someone is one of her best – it travels down some of the same streets as the one before – Brooklyn, Long Island’s South Shore, a young girl looking into her neighbor’s world and then into her own, an Irish-American girl trying to make sense of the ordinariness of life. I loved Someone.
 
Cheers! To Best Literary Find in My New City – The District of Columbia:
I met my literary crush Alice McDermott here hand selling books on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I also attended readings by Edwidge Danticat and Elizabeth Wein 9also author of the best YOUNG ADULT novels that I read this year CODE NAME VERITY and its sequel: ROSE UNDER FIRE). Best of all, I found a new home to buy books, discuss books, breathe books.
 
And cheers to:
The Best Books I read with my book club:
I love being part of a book club! We read many good books this year – but I loved the Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaughand Wonder by RJ Palacioand The Fault in Our Stars by John Green -- yes, our book club of women of a certain age love to read young adult novels -- and these two stories made us cheer and cry.  

Best Poetry Find:
I took an amazing class with her: Grand Theft Poetry and realized that poetry can be found, stolen, nourished in many places.
 
Best Self-Published Book:
Tales of a Hungry Life: A Memoir with Recipesby Maria Schulz  -- rollicking tales of a large Italian-Puerto Rican family in Queens – and the recipes are delicious!
 
Best Indie Book:
Recommended by the imitable workshop leader (at another best new find: Bethesda Writer's Center) Mark Cugini: Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan—“a biography of place” a very peculiar place in Appalachia and the people there, written in vivid short scenes.
 
Favorite “classic” book re-read:
 The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten – read for research, with naches for the language, which as a kid my father sprinkled around our dining room table. Oy!

Best Movie Based on a Novel:
CATCHING FIRE based on Suzanne Collins Hunger Games series, as if you didn't know. But best new addition to the cast: Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This December, the movie just crossed 700 million in box office world wide. May the odds be forever in their favor!

Best Television Series Based On a Novel:
House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey and awesome Robin Wright - is based on the novel by same name by Michael Dobbs (interesting a British writer and politician). I am currently binge-watching for the holidays on Netflix!
 
So farewell to 2013, I am already looking ahead to 2014 – in February, look for the publication of my second novel: BEFORE MY EYES (St. Martin’s Press) on 2.11.14.  I will not forget old friends…
...For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne...

Much more in 2014!! Caroline

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