Monday, February 09, 2015

It's Monday 2/9! What Are You Reading?

I missed last Monday's post because we were visiting my dad and his wife in my hometown of Rochester, NY. In fact, we spent Monday driving through a blizzard to get home to Delaware, where we still have no snow. My dad has stage 4 melanoma, and we were unable to travel during the holiday season, so we were glad to finally get up there and spend some time with them.

Big news in our household over these last two weeks - our college son is finally feeling better, moved back to his apartment last week, and is starting the spring semester today (on time!). It turned out he didn't have mono after all - it was probably the flu back in November that triggered a two-month long relapse of his chronic immune illness. Rough stuff but now life is returning to normal, and we are very much relieved.

Anyway, we all read a lot in two weeks:
  • I finished Wool by Hugh Howey - it was just as good as everyone said! It's a riveting post-apocalyptic story of a future world where people live in a huge underground silo. If, like me, you haven't gotten to this popular novel yet, you don't want to miss it!
  • Now I am reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, another highly acclaimed novel that I've been waiting to read - so far this year has been packed with outstanding books! I was hooked on this one from its first pages - so glad I finally convinced my book group to read it.
  • I started and finished listening to a wonderful teen/YA audio book, Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern. It's essentially a love story between a girl with Cerebral Palsy and a boy with OCD, and it was excellent from start to finish.
  • Now I am listening to another teen/YA audio book, I Was Here by Gayle Forman. This one focuses on a teen girl named Cody who is trying to cope with the sudden and unexpected suicide of her best friend. It's very good so far, and I'm curious to see where it leads.
  • In the car on the way to Rochester, my husband and I listened to a classic on audio, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (alas, I couldn't convince either of our sons to listen with us).  It was very good - perfect for a car ride on a cold, dark night!
  • I finished Black Hole by Charles Burns, a very unique graphic novel for adults. See my review for details.
  • I moved on to a graphic memoir, Fun Home by Allison Bechtel, that is absolutely engrossing. I usually read graphic novels in short 5-10 minute bursts, but I am having trouble setting this one down.
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Three by Sarah Lotz and said it was "like an X-files episode without a resolution." He didn't like it as much as I'd hoped he would (it was a Christmas gift from me), but I still want to read it myself.
  • Ken is now finishing a Kindle book he started on a recent trip, Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff. It's a nonfiction book that he says is fascinating.
  • Jamie, 20, was still sick much of the past two weeks (and can also read in the car, lucky boy!), and he's been on a zombie kick in honor of The Walking Dead coming back to TV this week. He finished The Apocalypse, Book 1 of the Undead World Series, by Peter Meredith and then read, at last count, the first 5 books of the Dead series by T.W. Brown!

Several new posts on the blog the past two weeks:
Review of Black Hole by Charles Burns, an adult graphic novel

Review of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, my second time and still one of my all-time favorites!

Review of When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson, a middle-grade audio book

Saturday Snapshot, with some lovely winter sky & clouds pictures

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

Winter sky at dusk


  1. Wow! That's a lot of books on your list this week! I enjoyed Wool but really need to skim it over again and write a full review, since I never got around to it when I originally read it. I also want to remind myself of the themes because I was considering passing it along to my son, but can't remember if it's appropriate! Ha!

    1. Hmmm...there's really nothing objectionable in it, Julie, like sex or language or too much explicit violence, though their very existence relies on a non-violent kind of violence ("cleaning" or being exiled). There are certainly some serious themes about governing, control by government, and revolution.

      I want to read the rest of the series now!


  2. I haven't heard of either WOOL or CONSTELLATION. Now I will have some books to look into for book clubs. They both sound so good. You are reading so many books right now and I am just poking along hardly reading. Sigh. Didn't you love SAY WHAT YOU WILL? Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    1. Anne -

      Wool started as an underground hit - self-published but spread so much by word of mouth that a major publisher picked it up - and then it turned into a HUGE hit.

      Constellation was on a lot of Best of lists in the year it came out (not sure if it was 2013 or 2014) - highly acclaimed. I've been saving it, hoping to get one of my book groups to read it because I'd heard it was so good :)


  3. Glad you got home safely!!!
    I need to get around to Wool at some point. One of my friends really enjoyed it, and I very much trust yours and his judgment. I have a student reading the Forman book right now. She loves her writing.

    Happy reading this week! :)

    1. Yes, Wool is excellent, Kellee - definitely give it a try. And this is my first Gayle Forman book - it;s good so far.


  4. Sue,

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I will be thinking of you.

    I am glad to hear that I Was Here is good on audio. I was debating getting that audio next! I hope you have a wonderful week and that your son continued to get better and better!

  5. Sorry about your father. I hope you get in more visits with him. You've got quite the list of books here. Wool sounds intriguing, but I really want to read A Constellation of Vital Phenomena!

  6. Black Hole sounds like a graphic novel I would enjoy. Glad to read that you made it home safely despite the storm. Praying for your family's good health.