Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Monday 7/11! What Are You Reading?

Ahhh...we enjoyed a lovely few days last week at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, one of our favorite places (see my Saturday Snapshot with photos from past visits) - it's a gorgeous park with such varied terrain - waterfalls, forests, rocks, and amazing views. It was wonderfully cool up on top of the mountain (as opposed to at home, where it was super hot and humid). We took two short hikes to incredible viewpoints and enjoyed some downtime camping...with lots of time for reading! Photos to come on Saturday. I also met up with an old friend who I've known since first grade & hadn't seen in over 30 years - lots of fun!

So, lots of reading last week but very little blogging:
  • While camping, I finished Beyond the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. This engrossing nonfiction book won the 2012 National Book Award and was on the NY Times Top 10 List for 2012. It was chosen as the All-Freshmen-Reads book when my son started college 4 years ago, and I've been meaning to read it ever since. It lived up to its hype - and more. It's a beautiful narrative story set in the slums of Mumbai that reads so much like a great novel that I had to keep reminding myself that it was real and these were real people. Stunning & powerful - highly recommended.
  • Next, I started another book group selection, Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson. I have never read this award-winning novel before (though I saw the movie adaptation years ago), even though it's been on my Kindle for years. It's a very descriptive novel about a Japanese-American man accused of murder in the years after the Japanese Internment and the events leading up to that time. It takes place on an island off the coast of Washington, and the setting is vividly described, almost like another character in the story. I'm enjoying it so far. 
  • I am listening to The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice, a teen/YA novel about one of two sisters who is paralyzed in a car crash and has locked-in syndrome. It's good so far, though I didn't listen to it at all while we were away. I'll get back to it today.
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. This was the first Follett novel I ever read (many decades ago), and I think I have read it 2 or 3 times by now. I couldn't believe my husband had never read it before. It's an excellent spy thriller that was later made into a very good movie. He enjoyed it and now wants to watch the movie again!
  • Ken had to choose his next book from what was already downloaded onto his Kindle (no WiFi in the woods!), so he started reading The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, a book I enjoyed for book group last year (my review at the link) and heard the author speak for our local library's All-County Reads program this spring. He's been wanting to read it for a while. This is unusual, both of us reading nonfiction this month!
  • I have no idea what our 21-year old son read last week while away on his grandparents' sailboat, but I know he enjoyed some free time for fun reading finally! Summer classes start today.
Just one blog post last week, other than Monday's:
Fiction Review: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, a classic novella that surprised me
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.


There is still plenty of time to join the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge - two months of summer left! Just click the link to read the rules - super-easy for summer! You only need to read one "big book" (400 pages or more) before September to participate. Join the fun, choose your Big Book(s) & sign up today!


16 comments:

  1. That sounds like a wonderful day to spend a few days! I am loving reading about all of the interesting places that people are reading this summer. :)

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    1. It was! Shenandoah is so beautiful...and I love going camping - completely away from phones, computers, the web, and the to-do list!

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  2. Enjoy reading this week, and enjoy summer!

    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

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    1. Thanks, Majanka! You, too!

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  3. Your time in the park sounds wonderful, a lovely getaway! I loved Snow Falling on Cedars, Beyond The Beautiful Forevers and The Boys In The Boat! Non-fiction books last those last two keep calling me. I've noted The Secret Language of Sisters, so thanks for that!

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    1. I don;t read a lot of nonfiction, other than memoirs, but those two were both so amazing! A well-written narrative nonfiction can be just as engrossing as a novel. I'm totally hooked on The Secret Language of Sisters so far!

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  4. I loved your photos! What a nice place to visit!

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee - it was very relaxing!

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  5. I just checked to see if I had Behind the Beautiful Forevers as the title seemed really familiar, and I saw that I've had it on my TBR list since Sept. 12th 2011 lol, I think I might just have to get to it soon. Thanks for the rec, and enjoy your books this week. Thanks for stopping by my It's Monday! post.

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    1. ha ha - sounds familiar! It was on my shelf since fall 2012! Definitely move it up your list - it was excellent.

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  6. I just added Beyond the Beautiful Forevers to my list. It sounds like it is a good one, based on its accolades. I look forward to reading it! Thanks, Sue!

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    1. It was amazing, Ricki, and reads like an engrossing novel.

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  7. It's been years since I read Snow falling on Cedars but I loved it. Happy Reading!

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    1. I'm really enjoying it - can't believe it's taken me so long to get to it!

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  8. I loved "Snow Falling on Cedars"--I read it shortly after it came out in paperback, so I'm probably due for a re-read. Also, it is set in the area where my husband grew up and my in-laws still live.

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    1. Oh, wow, Melinda! The descriptions of the island sound so amazing - I would love to visit there! Washington is one of only 3 states I have never been to!

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