Happy New Year!!
I love the start of a new year - fresh start, new goals, new possibilities.
We had a very busy holiday season and just returned from a week-long vacation in Jamaica, compliments of my mother. It was a lovely resort and we had fun, though my chronic illness was flared up pretty badly all week, so I spent a lot of time reading! Here's what we've all been reading the past two weeks:
- I finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and remembered why she is one of my favorite authors. This novel about an elephant researcher who disappears and leaves her daughter behind was totally engrossing and the information about elephants was fascinating. Once again, Picoult got me with her trademark twist at the end - even though I was expecting some sort of surprise, I was still blown away! Great book.
- With the hectic Christmas week, I enjoyed a super-quick graphic novel for middle-grade readers, Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, a sister and brother team. The novel is about a young girl named Sunny whose older brother is struggling with some serious issues, so Sunny is sent to visit her grandfather in Florida for the summer. It was very good - both fun and thoughtful with great illustrations, in the tradition of Raina Telgemeier.
- Next, I started The Secret History by Donna Tartt, a highly acclaimed novel that I've been meaning to read for ages. I thought that would be my last book of the year, but I slipped in another...
- I had read about 100 pages of The Secret History and just needed something lighter. We were in Jamaica, I wasn't feeling well, and I was a bit depressed (it's a biochemical thing that sometimes accompanies a bad flare-up)...and that novel is dark and foreboding and wasn't helping my mood. Luckily, I'd also brought a well-stocked Kindle, so I chose another book I'd been meaning to read for over a year: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This was the perfect choice to lift my spirits! It's a fun, sweet, original romantic comedy about a genetics professor who has Asperger's (but doesn't know it) who sets out to find himself a wife in a very scientific manner. It was hilarious, and I loved every moment! When I finished it, I was in a better frame of mind to go back to The Secret History.
- On audio, I slid one more audio book in for 2015 and finished listening to George by Alex Gino, a middle-grade audio book that has been getting a lot of attention. It's about a 9-year old boy who knows that she's really a girl inside and how she struggles with her secret. I enjoyed it very much.
- On the way home from Jamaica Saturday, I started a new audio book, Solitaire by Alice Oseman, 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. I'm not too far into it yet, but I'm liking the characters, the story, and the audio narrator so far.
- My husband, Ken, wanted to finish his reading goals for 2015, so he tackled a classic: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, a book he and I bought at a bookstore this spring. He enjoyed it - now I need to read it next (having never read a single Hemingway before!).
- Next, Ken chose a light, fun (and lightweight) paperback for our trip: Dean Koontz's Prodigal Son, Book One in his Frankenstein series. My dad's wife gave us his entire collection of Dean Koontz books after my dad died this summer, so we have a LOT of new books to read! Books and a love of reading were something my husband and I shared with my dad.
- Jamie, 21, was very active last week but managed to fit in a fair amount of reading on planes and when he occasionally slowed down to relax on the beach. He read A Dance of Cloaks and A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish, Books 1 and 2 in the Shadowdance series. He loves this kind of epic fantasy.
- Next, Jamie chose a book with our tropical vacation in mind: 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 - very appropriate for our trip! That's my boy - I also enjoy reading about places we travel to.
Movie Monday: Scrooged and Other Holiday Movies
Fiction Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian, another excellent novel from one of my favorite authors
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.
|Our whole family on a snorkeling trip (I'm in the stripes in front)|