Ah, quiet Monday morning. Well, our mini vacation didn't work out quite as we'd planned. Shenandoah National Park - which is normally warm and sunny this week most years - was wet and cool last week. It was not very pleasant camping with temperatures in the 50's, almost constant rain, and heavy fog. We made the best of it - managed one nice hike, went into town one evening for dinner and a movie, and left a day early to continue our vacation at home! Check out my photos on Saturday Snapshot for a glimpse (the park is still beautiful in the fog!). We also enjoyed reading last week:
- I finished reading A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, companion novel to Life After Life which I read in January and immediately added to my list of Best Books Ever! My husband gave me this book for Mother's Day, and it was my first Big Book of the summer. Wow. Atkinson is an amazing writer. It is an epic story of one man's life (Teddy from Life After Life) and his family...with a twist. It was different than Life After Life, but I really enjoyed it - totally engrossing.
- I finished listening to Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, a teen/YA novel, on audio. This was one of my downloads from the first week of SYNC - be sure to check out this great source for free YA and classic audio books all summer long! They feature a new pair of audio downloads (one modern YA paired with one classic) each week. Another wow - I loved this supernatural YA novel and am wondering how I missed it all these years! The audio production was excellent, with sound effects, music, and more. I can't wait to read the sequel...and see the movie!
- I just started reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - hoping to finish in time for my library's discussion on Wednesday (though it'll be close!). I downloaded this historical novel to my Kindle over a year ago, and missed TWO different book groups discussing it, so I am glad to finally be reading it. It's excellent so far, with the story alternating between a contemporary teen in foster care and an orphan sent out west on a train in 1929.
- I will start a new audio book today: Nest by Esther Ehrlich, a middle-grade novel.
- My husband, Ken, has also gotten into the spirit of the Big Book Summer Challenge and is reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin, the fourth book in the Game of Thrones series. He said this one could take him all summer to finish, but he has already read over 500 pages!
- Jamie, 20, finished the semester and finished reading the sequel to Wolfshead, a novel about Robin Hood that he read last summer.
- Jamie is now reading a review book we received last year: The Grace of Kings by Ken Lui, book one in The Dandelion Dynasty, an epic fantasy novel (his favorite kind!) and also a Big Book.
- Craig, 17, finished his final exams last week and took the SAT on Saturday, so he is decidedly NOT reading anything at all!
Saturday Snapshot, with photos of our trip to Shenandoah National Park
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.
The Big Book Summer Challenge just started - you have plenty of time to join the fun! You only need to read 1 book (though you can read more if you want) longer than 400 pages to participate. And this year, for the first time, there'll be a Big Book Giveaway at the end of the summer for participants!