11. Trash by Dorothy Allison: Trash is a collection of short stories that all read like memoir. Allison has been blunt about her poor Southern upbringing, the abuses she suffered, and it's all reflected in these tidbits. The stories aren't overtly long, but each one reads like a new chapter in this young woman's life as she grows up surrounded by poverty, violence, ignorance, and shame, with momentary glimpses into true beauty, and then moves out into the world. They aren't easy reads. She doesn't hold back on anything. But her language is provocative, and her fearlessness in exposing everything, the good and the bad, is breathtaking. There are a lot of stories about various stages of lesbian relationships. Allison came out in the 60s and was a part of the feminist movement in the 70s, so be prepared for those influences to permeate each of the stories. Sometimes, it's hard to keep each one separate, because the natural response is to string them together and create a single narrative (since the women in each are so strikingly familiar), but I'm not sure that's a detriment in the long run. - B+
12. 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron: I bought this on the recommendation of the speaker for the productivity seminar I took at the writing conference I recently went to. It's short and to the point. It's not exactly earth-shattering, but I picked up a couple really good tips about how to get more out of my time. - B-
13. The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt: A book about Venice from the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The writing is competent, but honestly, I was so bored by what he was saying, I gave up. - DNF
14. A Reason to Live by Matthew Iden: The first in a mystery/suspense series about a retired cop in DC named Marty Singer. It centers on a cold case about a cop that got off a murder charge twelve years earlier. Marty was the cop on the case, and now, the daughter of the woman who was killed thinks she's being stalked by the man who got away. The mystery itself was a tad predictable, and the pace was a tad slow, but I really liked Marty, the narrator. He's a bit older (53), but the reason he's retired is because he only recently discovered he has cancer. He is about to start chemo when he gets tasked with helping the daughter. I liked him enough to want to read more about him, so I went out and got the second book to read next (there are five books so far in the series). - B
Currently reading: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling(I imagine it will be a while before I finish this one), Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen, Blueblood by Matthew Iden (the 2nd Marty Singer book), and Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley.