WWW Wednesday (December 6, 2017)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking On A World of Words.  Give her blog a look and join the discussion!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

at-mrs-lippincotesCurrently:

At Mrs. Lippincote’s by Elizabeth Taylor.  Where has this book (and this author) been all my life?  This is right up my alley.  She reminds me of Barbara Pym (one of my favorite authors.)  It is funny and sad and witty and I am excited to have her whole catalog to explore after this!518kAM5wEIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson.  Oh my goodness.  I can only read 5-10 pages of this at a time because it makes me so damn angry.  I am learning things about Reconstruction, the Great Migration, and the aftermath of Brown V. Board of Education that I should have learned in school.  It’s making me so sad that, even though I had what most would call a “very good education,” I remained so ignorant of the history of race relations in the U.S.  It’s a very short book with lots of well-researched end notes, so I should have finished this already. But the means white people have devised to keep African Americans from achieving equality are mind-boggling and infuriating.

Recently Finished:

51gqBvjRITL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards.  I’ve been wanting to try one of these British Library Crime Classics for a while now.  Uneven, like most short story collections usually are.  But there were a handful of outstanding stories, so I’m glad I read this.  (Ethel Lina White’s “Waxworks” was a story I won’t soon forget!)  I’ll be writing a review in the next week or two (she says hopefully…)

 

 

Up Next:

I’ve got a ton of books checked out right now, so I’m kind of overwhelmed by all the choices!  Here are just a few that I should read soon and get back to the library (waiting lists on a couple of these.)  But you know me – my next read might be something else randomly chosen from my shelf at home!

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons,  The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, and Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.

 

Read any of these?  Anything look tempting?  What have you just finished reading?

 

 

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WWW Wednesday (November 22, 2017)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking On A World of Words.  Give her blog a look and join the discussion!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently:51mAbD8758L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Long Division by Kiese Laymon.  I’m enjoying it, but I gotta admit, I really don’t know what the heck is going on in this book!  🙂  There’s time travel, racial commentary, teenage angst, humor. It reminds me a bit of Paul Beatty’s The Sellout in tone.  It’s my book group book for this month, and I can’t wait to meet in a couple of weeks and see what everyone else makes of it!

 

Recently Finished:  My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul,  My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, and Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by S.J. Bolton.  4, 5, and 4 stars, respectively!  Reviews still to come (eventually, ha ha…)

Up Next:  Hmmm…  I’ve got Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo checked out from the library, as well as Silent Nights:Christmas Mysteries (British Library Crime Classics.)  But you know me – it could very well be something entirely different!

Read any of these?  If not, do any of them strike your fancy?  What are you currently reading?  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday (November 8, 2017)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking On A World of Words. I’ve seen this meme around for a long time and just decided to take part today!  Give her blog a look and join the discussion!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently:

My Life With Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul717w6Z79NIL

 

Like Paul, I also have kept a book of books read for years (although not for as long as she has.)  I started mine in 2001. It’s actually now into a second book of books!  So far this memoir is very engaging!

 

 

Recently Finished:

The Late Show by Michael ConnellyTheLateShowUSA

One of my favorite crime/mystery novelists, this one introduces a new character, Detective Renée Ballard.  I was riveted, as I usually am with Connelly’s books.  Review to come soon!  (Possibly a mini-review.)

 

 

Reading Next:

Well, I need to start my book group book for this month, which is Long Division by Kiese Laymon.  I also need to read the next book for the #AnneReadalong2017, which is #7 in the series, Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery.  But you know me, something else entirely may strike my fancy first!  🙂

Have you read any of these?  Tell me what you’re currently reading in the comments!

Catching Up

22813605I made a good decision to abandon a book this weekend.  It was tough because I really liked the author’s previous book so much.  I was highly anticipating this one, but it just felt reeeeaallllyyyy slooooowwwww and incredibly detailed, and I just didn’t feel compelled to pick it up again.  I got 90 pages in and then I had to cut bait.  I think perhaps it was just my frame of mind and I’ll try it again another time.  But, by letting it go now I was able to dive into a book I was genuinely eager to read:  Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger.  I’m racing through it and find it most compelling.  Tough subject matter (Gay was brutally gang-raped at the age of 12, and has struggled with morbid obesity ever since) but I was prepared for that going in.  I’m drawn to books about weight and body image struggles because I’ve always been a bit on the chubby side myself and have gone through ups and down with body image my whole life.  But honestly, I think even if you’ve never experienced a “weight problem” you might still want to pick this one up.  It’s a searing examination of what it’s like to be a fat person today, in our world, with our society’s fat phobia and miniscule airline seats and reality TV shows about losing weight.  It’s a brave book, and I’m really into it so far.

51jNORv6nQLI’m also listening to an audio book that is about as far away from Hunger as one can get:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, read by the amazing Jim Dale.  I believe that my audio book reading for the rest of the year will be the remaining books in the series.  I’ve read them in paper form years ago, of course, but experiencing them again in this format is a true treat.  I’d forgotten how insufferable Gilderoy Lockhart was – Dale nails his smarmy voice perfectly.  I’m one disc from the end so the action is really getting good.  Yes, I listen to audio book CDs (from my library) in my car!  I haven’t succumbed to an Audible subscription yet.  I keep thinking I will one day, and then I remember the gazillion podcasts I subscribe to and listen to on my phone, so I hold off.  One day!

As for 20 Books of Summer, I’ve read books 10 and 11, but haven’t yet written about them.  Look for a mini-review post in the next few days.  I am most certainly NOT going to have read all 20 books by September 3!  At this point I honestly don’t even remember what books are on my original revised list, ha ha!  I’m pretty sure that Hunger wasn’t on there.  Oh well, who really cares?  At some point in the next couple of months I’ll have read 20 books and written about them, right?  It will all work out.  🙂

So, if you’re participating, how are you doing with 20 Books of Summer?  If you’re not, how are you at abandoning books?  Do you feel a pang of guilt, especially when it’s an author you’ve previously enjoyed?  What’s the last great audio book you listened to? let me know in the comments.

 

 

It’s Monday (and April!) What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Book Date.

Hi friends!  Another week, another month!  It’s April already?!?

My book group met at my house yesterday.  We discussed Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.  Celeste_Ng_-_Everything_I_Never_Told_YouI haven’t reviewed this book here, but I did like it.  Like it, not love.  It moved me a great deal.  I mean, I was utterly sobbing during the last third of the book. But during the first two-thirds, I felt at a distance from the characters, like their emotions and actions weren’t ringing true for me.  It certainly provided a LOT to discuss.  We talked about gender roles and expectations in the 1970’s (the time period for the book;) how hard parenting is; how hard honestly relating to any loved one is; how parents and children communicate differently now vs. the 1970’s; how we felt sorry for and loved the character of Hannah.  It makes a very good book group book.  In a rarity for us, all of us who came (six ladies) read it!  Usually there’s one member who doesn’t.  Anyway, we enjoyed lots of good food and conversation!

Recently Finished:

Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter (Inspector Wexford #15) by Ruth Rendell.  (library hardback) A satisfying British mystery from one of my favorite series.

Currently Reading:

51JqQOlLTjL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Talking As Fast As I Can:  From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls And Everything in Between by Lauren Graham.  (downloadable audiobook)  I had to put listening to Sense and Sensibility on pause because my hold on this book finally became available.  I am LOVING THIS.  She is so down to earth and sensible for a famous person. And funny, as you might expect.

John Crow’s Devil by Marlon James.  (owned paperback)  40 pages in and DAMN this thing is intense.  Which I probably should have expected as the first novel of the author of The Book of Night Women and A Brief History of Seven Killings.  512--x+XDfL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Currently Pondering:

This article from Book Riot.  The author whittled down her TBR by reading two books before she let herself buy another one.  I like this method.  My problem is my ratio of library books to ones I own.  I will let those library holds keep coming through and push out books that have been on my bookshelf for ages.  So I’m contemplating trying an experiment by reading two books I own for every library book I read.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this and keep managing my holds well, but I think I’m going to try it!  Anyone else intrigued by this system?

Tell me, what are you reading this week?

 

 

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.

its-monday-what-are-you-readingHi, bookish friends!  I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was excellent.  It included a dinner date with an old friend, stomping around in the neighborhood park on a beautiful day with my son and husband, and going to see The Lego Batman Movie, which was really fun!

Recently finished:  Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.  WOW.  I was just floored by this book.  I’ve been trying to come up with words to review it for days now.  For now I’ll just say that Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad finally has company as one of my five-star reads in 2017. Review to come.

12-19-08-colwin4Currently Reading:  Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin. I think I heard about this on Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast. It’s essays about food and cooking, originally published in Gourmet magazine. Sadly, she passed away in 1992 at the young age of 48, after having also written many novels and short story collections, which are still in print. Apparently she’s become a venerated cult figure among foodies and food bloggers.  I’m enjoying this book of essays, despite not being much of a cook myself.  It’s very conversational in tone, and I like it, but I find it quite easy to put down after each essay. Hence, it’s going slowly.

I’m also reading Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. I’ve had this on hold for months and it finally came in.  I only became a Hamilton fan in the fall, when I saw the Great Performances episode about it on PBS.  So basically a lot later than the rest of the world.  Anyway, this is a must-read for a fan of the musical.  It’s annotated lyrics of the songs, with all the hip-hop references that someone not well-versed might miss, as well as behind the scenes pieces on the show’s creation and actors.

7493Since becoming a Hamilton fan, I’ve been wanting to know more about America’s Founding Fathers (I know, I feel like such a cliché.)  So I just checked out Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis from my library on Overdrive.  I’m not very far into it yet.  The first chapter is on Burr and Hamilton and their duel.

Looking Ahead:  Reading for Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books!  I’m going to read The Visitor by Maeve Brennan and All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan.

Have you read any of these titles?  Do any of them interest you? Are you participating in Reading Ireland Month?  What are you reading right now?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

its-monday-what-are-you-readingHi friends!  I’m struggling a bit right now with my blogging and reading.  I’ve been reading in little bits and pieces, without long sustained stretches.  (I’ve also been working on practicing yoga and trying some strength training at night when my son goes to bed – yay! – but that’s been eating into my reading time too.)   Maybe it’s the winter blahs (although it’s been crazy warm in Tennessee the past couple of weeks.  Still gray, though.) I’m sure it’s a phase, and I’ll soon be firing on all cylinders.  But in the meantime, I’ve decided to join in on the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading meme, hosted by The Book Date.  I’ve been thinking about doing so for a while.  I love a good “currently reading” book chat!

At the moment I’m reading three books:  Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, French Milk by Lucy Knisley, and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing A Lord by Sarah MacLean. (Remember when I was going to read only one book at a time?  Ha ha!)

Behold the Dreamers is good, but I’m finding myself not dyingfc9ef780abf3d053a5beb8a9289d2ec9 to pick it back up once I’ve put it down.  Mbue’s writing is lovely, and I love the NYC setting, yet for some reason it’s taking me a while to read. Maybe because it’s sad.  But I’m still very glad I’m reading it, as it puts very real, human faces on huge, complex issues like illegal immigration and class privilege.

 

In the meantime, I picked up French Milk at my local county library where I live.  I’m a sucker for travel memoirs set in France anyway, always have been.  This is a slim graphic novel about Knisley’s month long trip to Paris with her mother.  It’s entertaining so far, and I’m going to finish it, but I don’t see it being something I’m going to really love.  Oh, but it is making me want to eat pastries!

71qrmsjndflSo my first “Random Read” pick of the year (one of my goals – to be more random in my reading) is Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord.  I’d read the first one of these historical romances last year (Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake) and liked it. It was the first real romance novel I’d read.  This one features the dashing twin brother of the hero in the first novel, so it’s set in relatively the same time and place (1820’s England.)  The heroine,  the independent, intelligent Lady Isabel, is a daughter of a man with a title but no moral compass.  After he dies (having gambled away all of their money) she is forced to sell some of their antiquities in order to continue supporting her younger brother and the community of young women in trouble she’s taken in (she calls the estate Minerva House.)  7781699The handsome Nicholas just happens to be an expert on antiquities! Unbeknownst to Isabel, he’s also been hired to search for a runaway young woman who may be hiding at Minerva House.  Already he’s rescued Isabel from a team runaway horses and discovered that he’s attracted to her. Conflict ahead!  I’m only about a quarter of the way through this one but already I’m having lots of fun reading it.

What are you reading now?  Have you read any of these books, or do you plan to?  Are you affected by the “winter blahs?”  Do you have any suggestions for good yoga DVDs?  Let me know in the comments.