Monday, January 18, 2016

It's Monday 1/18! What Are You Reading?

Quiet Monday morning. No school today, but college son is home and still asleep and high school son and his girlfriend are binge-watching Netflix (which we just got yesterday!) in the basement, so it is still quiet here in the family room. A typical busy, hectic weekend here, though my husband and I cooked some delicious meals and watched some great TV while our son was on a ski trip. Yesterday, I had a 3-pound roast beef to cook, with a big bag of potatoes and a ton of broccoli, expecting six people for dinner. One by one, they cancelled until we were down to just 3 of I stuck the roast back in the fridge and we went to 5 Guys for burgers and fries! That's becoming common here - I never know if it will be 2 or 6 people for dinner. Guess we will have Sunday dinner on Monday this week.

Amid all the busy-ness, we found time to read, as always:
  • I finally finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt, a highly acclaimed novel that I've been meaning to read for ages. It took me several weeks to get through it - it is a very dense novel. I liked it, though I still have some questions about its unusual tone and unique feel - I need to find an online discussion somewhere. Some books just beg to be discussed, you know?
  • I also finished listening to Solitaire by Alice Oseman on audio, a teen/YA novel about a high school girl named Tori who's a loner and a blogger and gets caught up in a mysterious website/blog called Solitaire. Like the best YA novels, Tori struggles to deal with some very serious issues in her life, but there is also a sense of humor to the story...and I loved the teen British accent of the narrator. Very well done and compelling story.
  • Now, I am reading my next review book for Publisher's Weekly, Work Like Any Other, a debut novel by Virginia Reeves, due to be published on March 1. It's about an electrician in 1920's Alabama whose illegal power lines kill a man. Sent to jail for 20 years and separated from his family, he must carve out a new life for himself. I'm only on the second chapter so far, but it's already pulled me in.
  • On audio, I just started The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman, a teen/YA novel. I'm not too far into this one yet, either, but it is already intriguing, about a teen girl who lives in a world where spells can help you overcome life's challenges - make you prettier, more popular, less sad. The main character, Ari, seeks a spell to help her forget her boyfriend Win, who died, but all spells come with a cost.
  • My husband, Ken, is reading Broken Harbor, the fourth book in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. Once again, he says he is blown away but what an amazing writer French is! He is really enjoying this novel, as he did her others. I've only read the first one so far, so I have some catching up to do.
  • I believe that Jamie, 21, is still reading The Brethren Prince: Piracy, Revenge, and the Culture Clash of the Old Caribbean by Ira Smith. It is historical fiction about real-life pirates in the mid-17th century Caribbean - he started it for our trip to Jamaica over New Year's. Having his own TV in his apartment now, plus getting Netflix this weekend, may slow down his reading!
 Lots of blog posts last week, though it is already January 18, and I still haven't written my 2015 reading wrap-ups or joined reading challenges for 2016 - this week, I promise!
Newberry, Caldecott, and Printz Honors Announced!
Movie Monday: The Intern, a fun, warm, and funny movie starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway
TV Tuesday: Transparent, a show about the ultimate dysfunctional family (whose patriarch is now a woman) - I am totally hooked on this one! Sooo good and often hilarious.
Improve Your Life with Books in 2016! - a reprint of my monthly book column from Vital! magazine
Middle-Grade Review: Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm, a warm, fun graphic novel that tackles some serious issues
Fiction Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - fun, original, and hilarious
Saturday Snapshot 1/16 - A Warm Winter Walk

What are you and your family reading this week?    

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers


  1. I liked both Solitaire and The Cost of All Things when I read the ARCs. Here is what I read last week. Happy reading!

  2. Looks like you got some good reading in this week. We live with our adult son and his wife while he is attending law school. We too have discovered that dinner plans can got awry at the drop of a hat!

  3. We gave up cable some time ago as the $100+ monthly bill was ridiculous. We've adjusted to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu nicely. I have yet to try roast beef in oven. I've done slow cooker pot roast. The beef we usually have is ground beef for spaghetti or steak for bulgogi.

  4. Five Guys and Netflix? Sounds perfect :)
    Loved your Sunny Side Up review--so glad you liked it!
    Happy reading this week!

  5. One of my book club members shared that she gave up reading The Secret History as she felt that it was simply too dark for her - which made me even more intrigued. Great to see your thoughts here.