Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Monday 3/14! What Are You Reading?

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly get any further behind on reviews and blogging.... I did. Last Monday, I felt fine most of the day but had a little tickle at the back of my throat in the evening. By the next morning, I was horribly sick with what we later realized was a combination of the flu and bronchitis! I started on both antivirals and antibiotics, but that's a lot for my body to handle since I also have an immune disorder. This past week has gone by in a fog, as I was too sick to do anything except read, watch TV, and nap. My college son was home sick all week, too. All in all, a very rough week.

I'm not back to normal yet - it could be weeks because of my underlying chronic illness - but I am sitting up this morning and typing this, so that's a step forward (though my brain still feels like it's encased in Jell-O).

We always love our books, but they are especially comforting at a time like this:
  • I finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, a book I've been wanting to read ever since its release. It completely lived up to all the hype - I loved this novel!! It's about a traveling Shakespearean acting troupe twenty years after a pandemic killed 99% of the population. I loved the way the author moved back and forth from pre-pandemic to post, hinting at connections between people that would gradually become clear. Though it was a bit creepy to be reading about an apocalyptic flu pandemic while I had the flu!
  • I also finished listening to Code of Honor by Alan Gratz, a teen/YA novel set in Arizona about two brothers whose mother is originally from Iran. Having been brought up as 100% all-American, it is a shock to 17-year old Kamran when his brother, an Army Ranger, is accused of being a terrorist, working with al-Queda.This novel was absolutely gripping from beginning to end, and I finished it in only a few days! It is action-packed but also full of heart, especially in highlighting the bonds between the two brothers.
  • Now, I am reading The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick for my online family book group. It's a quirky novel about a 39-year old man who's just lost his mother to cancer and is adjusting to life on his own...in part by writing letters to Richard Gere, whom his mother admired. This is classic Quick - funny and strange but also warm and dealing with serious issues around mental illness.
  • I forgot to mention last week that I'd finally finished a nonfiction book that I'd been reading just a bit at a time, How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide by Toni Bernhard. Toni is a dear friend of mine who has the same immune disorder I do, and this is the third of her books that applies the basic tenets of Buddhism to life, in this case life with chronic illness. As always, I ended up with dozens of pages tabbed and found her book enlightening and helpful. 
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer, a middle-grade science fiction novel by one of our favorite authors. Our son read this one, and it's on my list, too!
  • Next, my husband took my advice and read This Side of Wild by Gary Paulsen, a hilarious collection of real-life animal stories for middle-grade readers by the renowned wilderness adventure writer. He enjoyed it, too.
  • Now, Ken is reading a Christmas gift from me, The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. This is the continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series starring the character Lisbeth Salander. We both loved the first three books and hope that this new author is able to fill Larsson's shoes.
  • Jamie, 21, was home all week and too sick to go to classes, so he did a lot of reading, too. He's been re-reading one of his favorite series, The Sorcerer's Path series by Brock Deskins. Last time I checked, he said he'd re-read Books 1 through 4!
 Just one blog post besides last Monday's post:
Saturday Snapshot: Blue Sky and Bare Branches

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.

16 comments:

  1. Oh dear, that was a very hard week - although good on the TV viewing! Hope you do get better a little quicker than hoped, I think you have done very well to get this post completed while still feeling jelly headed!

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn! My brain is feeling much more functional now :) Nothing left but the cough!

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  2. So glad Station Eleven was a bright spot amid the sickies! I loved it too :)

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    1. It was a perfect sick week book to just lose myself in!

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  3. I hope you feel all better soon. I can understand how Station Eleven would be an unsettling read while you are sick, though! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey! Thankfully, it seems I did NOT have the Georgian Flu!

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  4. I am so sorry you've been sick! I hope you feel better, Sue!

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    1. Thanks, Ricki - doing much better now - almost back to normal except for the cough.

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  5. Oh I'm glad you liked Station Eleven. It wasn't for me personally, but can appreciate its originality!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian. That's interesting - most people seem to love it, but I have run into a few who didn't (including one of my closest friends).

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  6. I just had a student order Code of Honor from the the Scholastic book Order. He is going to read it over Spring Break, and I cannot wait to hear if he likes it.

    Hope you feel better, and happy reading this week!

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    1. Hope he likes it, Kellee - I thought it was really good - I finished it very fast!

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  7. I need to take a look at Station Eleven. I keep seeing it everywhere.

    I hope you had a good reading week.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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    1. Yes, do! It's such a good book.

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  8. I didn't like Stations Eleven very much when I read it but have found myself thinking about it a lot, which tells me this book has more staying power than I initially thought.

    I didn't care for the Matthew Quick book you are reading right now, either. I like his YA stuff so much but haven't been enamored by his adult stuff. I didn't even like Silver Linings Playbook. I preferred the movie over the book, which never happens.

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    1. That's interesting, Anne that it has stuck with you even though you didn't like it much at the time. I really liked all the connections, linking past and present and different people.

      The Good Luck of Right Now grew on me and I ended up really liking it. Seemed a little too over-the-top quirky at first, but it all came together in the end. I loved Silver Linings Playbook - laughed out loud while reading! - though I agree the movie was excellent. As much as I loved the book, you just can't do better than the dance contest scene in the movie!

      I like how Quick often starts out with funny & quirky but then peels back the layers and tackles serious topics (usually related to mental illness).

      Sue

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