That makes the Take Back Your Shelves Readathon this weekend perfect timing for me! I have been using it to finish my 5th Big Book of the Summer. My husband and son have joined in the reading fun this weekend with their own Big Books. The timing was also good for a readathon here because my husband has just recovered from a nasty 2-week long virus, and our college son has been home sick all week, too. So, a rough week for us in most ways, though reading was a bright spot!
Here's what we have all been reading:
- I finished reading my 4th Big Book of the Summer, The Marvels, a middle-grade novel by Brian Selznick. The highly esteemed author of Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret has done it again! This time, the first half of the book is told entirely in pictures and begins in 1766, and the second half of the book is a modern story starting in 1990 told through text. The two stories gradually come together in a surprising way. It was excellent, as his books always are!
- I am now reading (and hope to finish today!) my 5th Big Book of the Summer, The Many Lives of John Stone by Linda Buckley-Archer. This is a teen/YA novel with an intriguing concept. A modern-day British teen named Stella (but called Spark) gets a strange summer job, cataloging old journals going back to the days of Louis XIV in France. Her employer, John Stone, is an odd man who lives in a remote house with two other people. As Spark begins to unravel Stone's mysteries, she also begins to learn more about herself. It's a mix of historical fiction and modern fiction and has been perfect for immersing myself in for the readathon!
- I finished listening to Unbecoming by Jenny Downham, a teen/YA novel, on audio. It is set in the UK and focuses on three generations of women in one family who all carry secrets. Teen Katie's life changes dramatically when Mary, her previously unknown grandmother, comes into their lives unexpectedly. Mary has dementia and requires a lot of care, and Katie's mother, Caroline, doesn't talk much about the past. It was very, very good - engrossing and delving into issues as diverse as being gay, dementia, and mother-daughter relationships.
- Now, I am listening to The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson, an adult novel on audio. Part of the story is told through an old diary, of a summer in 1888 in the Ukraine, when a family rents a cottage to the Chekhov family for the summer. The middle son, Anton, develops a strong friendship with Zinaida, one of the daughters on the estate who has recently become blind due to illness. In modern day London, Katya finds the diary and hopes that it will save her and her husband's struggling small publishing house. They hire Ana, a translator in France, to translate the diary, and Ana soon becomes engrossed in Zinaida's story and the implications that Anton Chekhov, known for his short stories and plays, might have written a novel. It's an intricate and compelling story that I am really enjoying.
- My husband, Ken, finished The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin, the third and final book in the trilogy that started with The Passage (followed by The Twelve). This was a Father's Day gift that we are both eager to read! He flew through this Big Book this weekend, thanks to the readathon, and finished last night.
- Now, Ken has started Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, another Father's Day gift from me that I want to read, too! (are you seeing a pattern here?) It's about the discovery of a giant metal hand found buried in South Dakota, and the investigation that follows to determine its origins and meaning. This was one of the hottest new releases of the spring.
- Jamie, 22, finished re-reading an old favorite series by Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn trilogy. He finished book 3 this week, The Hero of Ages.
- Now, Jamie is re-reading another favorite series! He just bought Book 3 of the Gentleman Bastards series, The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. So, of course, he went back to re-read book 1, The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is one of his favorite books of all time! It's been a welcome distraction this weekend while he's been so sick.
TV Tuesday: The Missing, a Starz-BBC production about a young boy who goes missingWhat are you and your family reading this week?
Fiction Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - WOW. One of the best books I've ever read!
Take Back Your Shelves Readathon
Saturday Snapshot - Black Hills, South Dakota - The Needles
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.
It's the last day of summer, so if you are participating in the Big Book Summer Reading Challenge, be sure to post your Big Book reviews on the challenge page! Enjoy the last of your Big Books!