Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday 1/19! What Are You Reading?

Monday morning...and the sun is coming out! Hurray! We had a dark, rainy Sunday - relaxing but kind of depressing. I am ready for Monday morning, a new week, and some sunshine.

Last week was very busy for me, but we all read a lot:
  • I am still reading an old favorite, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I first read it in 1999 and have considered it one of my top 5 books ever since. I am re-reading it as part of The Posionwood Bible Readalong, hosted by Tanya at Mom's Small Victories, as part of her Travel the World in Books Challenge. It is just as good as I remember it - compelling, intriguing, and so very clever. It is perfect for a book discussion because it is such an intricate, multi-layered story. If you've never read it before (or even if you have!), there's still plenty of time to join the January Readalong and enjoy this unique and powerful novel about a Southern Baptist missionary family living in the Congo in the 1960's.
  • Last week, I did something I rarely do: set a book aside without finishing it. I started listening to The Secret Sky by Atia Abawa, a teen/YA audio novel set in rural Afghanistan. I liked the characters and was enjoying the story and learning about a different culture...and then it began to get violent. I talked myself through the first bad spot and thought I could handle it, but when a parent in the story became horrifyingly abusive, I had to turn it off. I was having a rough week and struggling myself, and I just couldn't bear to listen any more.
  • Instead, I started an new audio book that was pretty much the exact polar opposite - a very gentle, quiet story. I am listening to When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson, a novel that was first published in 1967 and is being re-released on audio, in advance of a new Japanese anime movie adaptation. It's about a lonely, withdrawn orphan named Anna who is sent to a seaside town to live with a kind older couple for a few months. While there, wandering among the sand and water, she meets a girl named Marnie and makes her first real friend. I think there's a bit of a mystery coming in the story, too. It's just what I needed: a sweet, gentle story of friendship and healing.
  • I finished Smile by Raina Telgemeier, a middle-grade/teen graphic memoir about orthodontia and growing up.
  • And I started a new adult graphic novel, Black Hole by Charles Burns. I'd heard from several sources that this is one weird story, a sort of sci fi, grotesque, Bodysnatchers kind of novel set in 70's Seattle, but I decided to give it a try since it also appears on most lists of Best Graphic Novels. Yup, it is very weird so far!
  • My husband, Ken, is still reading Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo, though he set it aside temporarily last week in favor of a Kindle book while he was traveling.
  • While he was away on a business trip (and sick with a stomach virus), Ken read Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff on his Kindle. I'm not sure if he finished it yet.
  • Jamie, 20 and still home sick with mono, finished The Passage last week, then immediately started on The Twelve and finished that. My dad just finished reading The Passage that we gave him for Christmas, too. Jamie said he prefers straight-forward fantasy, but he did enjoy the two novels (he must have - he read them both in under two weeks!).
  • Jamie is now reading Enclave by Ann Aguirre, Book 1 of The Razorland Trilogy, a new post-apocalyptic teen/YA series. I may have to borrow that one when he's done.
 Several blog posts last week:

Review of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, a thriller

Review of Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt, an adult novel

 My Best of 2014 and Year-End Summary, my Top Ten favorite books read in 2014

8 Movies From Books Coming in 2015

What are you and your family reading this week?    

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, with a kid/teen version hosted by Unleashing Readers.  


  1. Oh, The Poisonwood Bible....I finished reading it last week and I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. Let's just say there are a LOT of notes in my reading journal about the book! My husband is a non-reader (sad as that is) and my son is absolutely hooked on Meet the Cars from Disney Press. Not only does he like reading about each character, but the book also serves as a shopping list -- "Mommy, I don't have this car! I want this car!" My credit card is crying, LOL :)

    1. ha ha! You should definitely join in the discussions in the Poisonwood Bible Readalong! It is one of those books that just begs to be discussed - it's so intricate. Here is last week's discussion - just note where they are (up to Book 3 as of last week) so you don;t give away any spoilers:


  2. I'm currently reading Smile with my 8-year old daughter, who didn't enjoy reading until she discovered graphic novels. The book is really cute.

    I read The Poisonwood Bible several years ago, back when it first came out I think. I really liked it.

  3. Yay Smile! Now you have to read Sisters. I love Raina!
    I want to read The Passage at some point. It sounds so good! Hope he likes Enclave as well. I haven't read the rest of the series yet, but the first one was super good!
    I've also never read The Poisonwood Bible, but your statement really makes me want to get to it at some point.

    Happy reading this week! :)

    1. I did read Sisters, Kellee, and Drama, too - I went through them in reverse order :)

  4. It seems The Passage is making its way around the family! I am glad to hear that everyone is enjoying reading! Have a great week, Sue!

  5. It's difficult, but so good, to let go of books that just aren't working for you. I'm glad you had a better experience with When Marnie Was Here!

  6. I'm always glad to hear that someone else has abandoned a book because it is too violent or scary. I think that listening is even worse, because you can't skip over those nasty bits. (I tried to listen to The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo) Although I love Barbara Kingsolver, I actually prefer her earlier work and if/when I ever have time, might go and reread some of this.

  7. I am on the verge of setting aside a book for once and for all, too. I started the book in November and read a bit, leaving it to restart in mid December. I set it aside again, picked it up again last week-end and just can'r make myself want to read it. Enough.

    1. Sometimes you just have to, Anne! Hope you enjoy the next one.

  8. I own a copy of The Poisonwood Bible but it looks formidable to me. I am hoping I get to read more adult novels this year, though, and we shall see whether I'd get around to this one. Love Barbara Kingsolver's novels generally, though, particularly Bean Trees.

    1. Oh, you don't have to be intimidated by it, Myra! It is such a compelling novel, it just zips right by! You won't be able to out it down. I highly recommend it. I absolutely loved The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven...but The Poisonwood Bible is Kingsolver's greatest achievement by far!! A truly spectacular, stunning story that you won't ever forget!