Holiday Book Haul 2018

Holiday Book Haul

HOLIDAY BOOK HAUL

Book Haul 2018

The holidays are over, and I got a few new books. First up is Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human. This one was given to me by my wife. It was the only book on my holiday wish list I actually received. We started a new tradition this year where we exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend an hour or two before bed reading our gift. I got her Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. We’ve both already read our novels! Libs will be adding hers to her Middle School classroom library. Mine will be finding a space under the D’s on my shelves.

The next two, from my in-laws, are by Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles and Circe. I hadn’t heard of these books before, but my librarian mother-in-law insists they’re getting a lot of attention in the literary world right now. I’m sure I’ll get around to reading these at some point long after they’re either cemented into the literary canon or are a forgotten fad.

The fourth one is Whose Names Are Unknown by Sonora Babb. This was given to me by my best friend, Michael Convery. It’s a book I discovered from this article about how John Steinbeck stole from Babb’s notes to help write The Grapes of Wrath. While it wasn’t on my wish list, I did tell him I wanted to read this novel, so was not surprised when it landed in my hands right before Christmas. For Mike’s gift, I bought him a Swedish translation of Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s a bit of a novelty item, but he was really pleased with his gift. He’s been studying the language recently, and he usually explores languages by translating poetry. I figured a favorite, huge novel in Swedish would be equally both a surprise and appreciated.

The last one is Latin Verbs, a book that my mother-in-law was culling from their family library. I have studied Latin on and off for fun, so I totally appreciate this gift. Maybe 2019 will be my year of Latin??? Though from the looks of my daily schedule, I have my doubts (Just trying to be realistic, ya know).

I would have time to study Latin if I didn’t wish to prioritize reading over straightforward studying. I read a lot of books. Way more than my goodreads page would have you believe; I never listed all the books I read or was reading when I was actually active on goodreads. While I want to get back to studying Latin again, writing will be taking up both daytime and evening hours this coming year. And I won’t trade in study for reading at this point in my life. In fact, I want to read even more books in 2019 than I did this year.

It’s always been a goal of mine to have a big personal library from which I could choose a wide range of authors. If you’d like to support me this dream, you can also buy me a used or new copy of a book. (When selecting the shipping address, don’t accidentally select your own. My masked address will appear under your “Other addresses” section.)

Of course, the best way to support me is to buy a book of mine from Amazon or from your favorite bookseller (Descriptions of Heaven, my one book for sale right now, is never unavailable to buy; if Amazon says out of stock, it simply means out of warehouse copies . . . Barnes & Noble and the publisher carry copies too). The second best way to support me is to leave an honest review if you liked the book. But if you still want to do a little more between book releases, make sure you’re subscribed and gift a book to me, the GreenGuy.

Thanks for all the support! Happy New Year, bookworms!

Bonus: 

I got this book of poetry before Christmas, and tweeted about it already, so I decided to add it as a bonus at the end of this Book Haul post. The book is Blud by Rachel McKibbens. This one also came from my mother-in-law who, like a good librarian, is always introducing me to new and interesting literature.

Blud by Rachel McKibbens

 

 

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Everything in Its Right Place

Everything in Its Right Place

Everything in Its Right Place is the latest addition listed to the tentatively titled, Dialogues: a Collection of Creative Conversations.

Everything in Its Right Place is a conversation about putting things away. Or maybe it’s a comic short story about feigning interest while truly trying to really get what it is the other person is so worked up about.

Read featured dialogues and links to available dialogues on Randal’s Medium series.*

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*Note: some web browsers will ask that you “read on a larger screen” when it comes to series. This is an EASY FIX. Simply zoom out a bit, or you can go full screen. Either option works. F11 on most PC keyboards is a great shortcut for going full screen and back. Hitting the control (Ctrl) key while using the scroll wheel on your mouse is the easiest method for zooming in and out (assuming you have a mouse and it has a scroll wheel).You can also read the series on your phone by using the Medium app.

Holiday Book Haul

Holiday Book Haul

I only asked for one book this year, and I ended up with seven. So bookworms, here’s my 2017 Holiday Book Haul:
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This 1947 treasury came from my mother-in-law. It has many authors I’ve heard of and a few that I haven’t. Broken into 19th century Europe and America and “Our Time” Europe and America, I feel like some of these authors aren’t known to me not due solely to my ignorance (though some undoubtedly are) but because we simply don’t read them anymore. I like the fact that this book is compiled by a woman, as most of my anthology collections with a single compiler have a male selecting the stories. I’m hoping I’ll find some unique stories in this little book.

The Odyssey by Homer translated by Emily Wilson
I read Robert Fagles translation of the Odyssey a little over a year ago. While I own the Samuel Butler translation and do want to read Robert Fitzgerald’s translation, I’m curious what I’ll find in the first ever female translation of Odysseus’s journey home.
Here’s the first line(s) from Emily Wilson’s translation: Tell me about a complicated man. Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy.
Compare that to the Butler translation: Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who traveled far and wide after he sacked the famous town of Troy.
And the Fagles translation: Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.
In truth, while I’m only working with first lines, I’m in love with the imagery of the Fagles translation. Wilson’s is the second best, and maybe more “correct” or accurate. But the more truthful hero is not the ingenious one, nor the complicated one (though Odysseus is both ingenious and unarguably complicated), but he is the man of twists and turns. I’ll enjoy the Wilson translation, I’m sure, but hopefully she doesn’t sacrifice too much of the poetic for the sake of accuracy in translation.

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Destiny and Desire by Carlos Fuentes was the sole book on my wishlist this year. I heard about it on Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm radio show. Fun fact: it’s narrated by a decapitated head floating in the ocean. My besite, Mike, bought this baby for me.

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My bestie also bought me Le Morte D’arthur by Sir Thomas Malory with original spellings! Seriously, probably my favorite surprise book this Christmas. I can’t wait to jump into it sometime this year.
Here’s a sample from “How Uther Pendragon Gate Kyng Arthur”: Whan hit was delyverde to thes kynges, Ban and Bors, they gaff the godis as frely to theire knyghtes as hit was gevyn to them. Than Merlion toke hys leve of Kynge Arthure and the two kyngis, for to go se hys mayster Bloyse that dwelled in Northhumbirlonde. And so he departed and com to hys mayster, that was passynge glad of hys commynge. And there he tolde how Arthure and two kynges had spedde at the grete batayle, and how hyt was endyd, and tolde the namys of every kynge and knyght of worship that was there. And so Bloyse wrote the batayle worde by worde as Merlion tolde hym, how hit began and by whom, and in lyke wyse how hit was ended and who had the worst.
And you thought you had the worst spelling day ever? It just goes to show that spelling standards do change, so it’s okay if you make a typo or misspell a word or two now and again. In a few hundred years everything you’ve written will look an awful lot like a misspelling or a typo to readers anyway.

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LitMag, a new literary magazine. This is their inaugural issue. My lovely wife gave me this book. The picture is a wee bit blurry, so here’s just a few of the famous  authors they’re publishing: William H. Gass, Harold Bloom, John Ashberry, and Kelly Cherry. I didn’t check, but I believe they rejected a short story of mine that I submitted at some point in 2016. The wife didn’t know, but that’s okay; it’s not like a rejection would keep me from buying or subscribing myself! I’m taking this magazine to read in my downtime at work.

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Old issues of the Iowa Review hold some of my favorite writings. Even long before I lived in Iowa, this was a review I turned too for good prose. And now that I’ve lived in Iowa for a couple of years, it’s about time I picked up this review again. This issue was also a present from my wife.

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This last one is also from Libby. No, we don’t have any kids yet, but we hope we will, and the wife wants to make sure I know my colors for when the baby comes. This year I’ll be spending many hours studying how blue is the color of sky and blueberries, how green is the color of peas and frogs, and so on and so forth. I’m just glad she got me a book and not a doll with a changeable diaper, which is just one of many baby-related skills I’ve yet to try my hand at, let alone master.

Let me know what was in your holiday book haul in the comments below. Have a happy new year.

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Barnes & Noble Book Signing

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I am so excited to be doing my first ever book signing. This is a real milestone for me as an author, and I hope that as many of you local and regional fans as possible make it out.

There are four other area authors, and copies of our books will be for sale (or you can just be a fanboy or fangirl and bring your own for me to sign).

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Location
: Barnes & Noble inside the Southern Hills Mall
4400 Sergeant Road
Sioux City, Iowa
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Event: Randal Eldon Greene will be joining four other Siouxland area authors for a book signing at the Sioux City Barnes & Noble (located inside the Southern Hills Mall). You may bring your own copy of Descriptions of Heaven or buy a copy there. No admission fee or need to RSVP.
Follow the B&N facebook event hereSioux City, Iowa Barnes & Noble Facebook

More live eventsincluding book signings and readingsare coming. Check out the appearances page and mark your calendars.

Interview with Lynda Dickson

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Supporter of indie authors and head honcho at Books Direct, Lynda Dickson, hosted an interview and excerpt from Descriptions of Heaven.

Check it out here: Interview and Excerpt

lyndadicksonAbout the interviewer: Lynda Dickson runs Books Direct, a website where readers can find out about great new books and giveaways, and where authors can promote their books.

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Kindle Giveaway DEC 24 – DEC 28

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Harvard Square Editions will be doing a Kindle giveaway of Descriptions of Heaven from December 24 through December 28th. Kindle users, please download, read, and review your copy. If you really dig it, buy a paperback for someone you love.

Click here to download your free Kindle copy of Descriptions of Heaven now.

 

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The Joy of a First Book

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I have a new essay up at StoryFinds about the joy of a having a first book published.

The Joy of a First Book: The joy of having a first book published is not like the joy of a first story appearing in print. With that first story, being published was joy and validation itself. Read the whole essay here.

Randal Eldon Greene on StoryFinds

IF MY BOOK

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Monkeybicycle is featuring an IF MY BOOK piece for Descriptions of Heaven. Read it here.

What is IF MY BOOK? According to their website, If My Book is “the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things.”

Pretty cool, right?

Check it out and then read some of the other great writing found on Monkeybicycle.net

While you’re here, I’d like to remind you that there’s a giveaway hosted by happymeerkatreviews going on until the first of the year. Win a signed copy of Descriptions of Heaven and a flash drive loaded with extras. Multiple second place winners will win flash drives with said extras. Enter yourself in this contest here.

Interview with Happymeerkatreviews AND Giveaway

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C, the mysterious reviewer behind happymeerkatreviews, was kind enough to do an interview with me. C is also hosting happymeerkatreviews’ first giveaway ever, and I’m honored that this debut giveaway has as its grand prize a signed copy of my debut novella, Descriptions of Heaven. Multiple chances to win and multiple second place winners will receive a flash drive with extra goodies on it.

Check out the interview here: Interview with Author Randal Eldon Greene & Giveaway!!
Details and an entry link are at the end of of the interview.

http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/c78ba8cbc18478bc156e7e30ba04119fAbout the interviewer: C is the brains behind happymeerkatreviews. C is an avid gamer, coloring book enthusiast, and a prolific reader with a passion for reviewing books.
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