Friday, September 26, 2014

Quick! Name Your Favorite Book

I am honored to welcome author Sydney Avey to the blog today, as part of her WOW! Blog Tour for The Lyre and the Lambs. Sydney has written some fantastic guest posts throughout the tour so today I thought I'd go a little easier on her and ask her to name a few of her favorite genres to read. But for those of us who love books, that's not always an easy task!

About Sydney Avey:
Sydney Avey is an author of historical and women’s fiction set in California. The Lyre and the Lambs is the sequel to her first novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, which won an honorable mention from the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno) in their Basque Literary Contest. Both novels were published by HopeSprings Books, a small publishing house that promotes realistic Christian fiction. 
Sydney and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work is has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has studied writing at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives with her husband Joel the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
Visit Sydney at and sign up to receive her monthly News for Readers and Writers.

The Lyre and the Lambs:
It’s the Sixties. Modernity and tradition clash as two newlywed couples set up house together. Dee and her daughter Valerie move with their husbands into a modern glass house Valerie built in a proudly rural Los Altos, California neighborhood. When their young relatives start showing up and moving in, the neighbors get suspicious. Then a body is found in the backyard and the life they are trying to build comes undone.

Father Mike is back to guide Dee through a difficult time with humor and grace, even as his own life is unraveling. Now he’s going to have to take some of his own advice about love.

The Lyre and the Lambs explores the passions that draw people together and the faith it takes to overcome trauma.

Quick! Name Your Favorite Book
By Sydney Avey

The one question I am never prepared to answer is, “What is your favorite book?” Worse yet, being challenged to list my ten all time faves on Facebook and tag ten friends to tender their lists? Well, that makes me break out in hives.

When I was a child, choice was easy; Cheerios or Rice Krispies? Now that I have lived several lives, the information I am trying to access is not so easily retrieved. It is filed away somewhere in my brain, labeled with an obscure association. The conversation in my head goes like this:

Favorite book? My eyes dart to a corner of the room.

Hmmmmm. I like edgy characters. Olive Kitteridge! Who wrote Olive Kitteridge? My chin drops to my chest, feigning concentration, masking shame.

I know! I like beautiful words, spiritual insights, literary fiction; John Updike! Didn’t read the Rabbit series; what was the name of that obscure novel he wrote that I loved?

I am so impressed with my erudite friends who can pop out a list that demonstrates their impeccable literary taste, vast world awareness, and self-deprecating sense of humor. Their lists include books like War and Peace, Love in the Time of Cholera, and The Cat in the Hat. Bottom line, composing this list makes me feel like I’m overthinking SAT questions.

Along comes the lovely Renee Roberson who asks me simply to list a few genres I enjoy and give an example of a favorite book. I can do that!

I like books that make me think and feel. I love Edward Rutherford’s brand of Historical Fiction. Reading Rutherford is like taking a survey of world civilization class from a cast of characters who enfold you in their lives. My favorites are Sarum, Russka, and Paris.

Fiction like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society with quotes that put my feelings into words: …if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and “fruitfulness” is drawn in. Exactly!

I love engaging literary fiction. I was thoroughly drawn into the marital drama of John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius and came away with a new understanding of Hamlet.

Sometimes a memoir captures my imagination. I am always curious to know how people survive threatening situations and thrive because of the experience. Best sellers like Jeannette Walls’ devastating The Glass Castle and more obscure books like the humorous The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife by Janna Cawrse Esarey give me faith in the resilience of the human spirit, a refreshing antidote to the evening news.

Thanks for asking, Renee! 

What are some of your favorite genres to read?

1 comment:

Renee Roberson said...

Thanks as usual for an engaging post, Sydney! I participated in that Facebook "Ten Books That Stayed With You" list awhile back and it was quite a mishmash. I read and write a lot of children's fiction so many of those books were mixed in with memoirs and women's fiction. I think it's great for all writers to read a good variety--as it only helps to strengthen our own writing.