Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday 3/13! What Are You Reading?

Ahhh...enjoying a quiet day to myself to catch up, but this is literally the calm before the storm! We are supposed to get a foot or more of snow from tonight into tomorrow, which is a HUGE amount for Delaware and will likely shut things down for days. We have doctor's appointments scheduled toward the middle of the week for myself and my father-in-law, but those have a strong possibility of being cancelled. The good news is that both sons are healthy and back at college.

I made the mistake (again) of working all weekend, with nothing fun for myself. We did spend time with each of our sons and my father-in-law, which was nice, but I spent my days working feverishly on bills, medical insurance, records & bills, our mortgage refinancing, etc. All very necessary stuff but not much fun! I had my fun mid-week when my mom came to visit. And I did, of course, still enjoy my reading time. Here's what we've been reading this week:
  • I finished The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen for my neighborhood book group last week (though I still had 20 pages to go when I went to book group!). This was one of my choices, and I was eager to read this Pulitzer Prize winning novel that also won many other awards last year. It was excellent, about a Vietnamese man in the late 1970's who works for the Secret Police and is airlifted out to America at the end of the war. His secret, though, is that he's really a spy for the Communist side. The writing was excellent, with many laugh-out-loud moments and sentences I marked for their pure brilliance. Most book group members felt the same (it got one of our highest ratings), though some felt it was a difficult read. Review to come this week!
  • Next, I read my next book group selection, for this Thursday, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson, a slim novel that packed a powerful punch. By the author of the brilliant memoir Brown Girl Dreaming (which I loved), this novel tells the story of four girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970's. A moving, powerful coming-of-age story that I thoroughly enjoyed.
  • Now, I am reading a review book for my new review job at Shelf Awareness: The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron. This novel is about a Neanderthal girl, with alternating chapters set in present day as a woman archeologist uncovers her remains. It's very good so far, and is reminding me a bit of Clan of the Cave Bear.
  • On audio, I started a new middle-grade book, Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood. Like her earlier novel, Glory Be, this one is set in the South in the past (1950's this time) and deals with racial tensions, in this case prejudice against Asian-Americans. It's very good so far.
  • My husband, Ken, finished a novel that I read two years ago and loved, The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray by Walter Mosley. I was greatly moved by this powerful novel about aging, memory, and family, so I'm glad my husband read it, too. He enjoyed it.
  • Ken is now reading another of my review books (he is really benefiting from my new job!), Marshall's Law by Ben Sanders, which looks like part of a thriller series - right up his alley!
  • Jamie, 22, finally finished book 3, The Dragon Reborn, of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  I'm not sure what he's reading now - he wanted to read book 2 of a series he likes but couldn't find book 1 to re-read when he was home this weekend!
Blog posts from last week:
Movie Monday: Before I Fall, based on a popular YA novel - Groundhog Day for teens

Fiction Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, JK Rowling's first detective novel

Middle-Grade Review: The Scourge by Jennifer Nielsen, a dystopian fantasy

Saturday Snapshot: National Parks of the Central U.S.

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.

What are you and your family reading this week?   

My mom and I on our way to book group!
  

16 comments:

  1. The storm came through here starting Sunday late afternoon. We had a two hour late start today because of the 8 fresh inches of snow. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. We got some snow last night, but with a layer of ice and sleet on top! The wind is howling out there now.

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  2. I am so glad you liked the Sympathizer. It was a fabulous book in my estimation but other gals in my book club weren't very patient and not willing to work at the book. As you said, it was a difficult read. For some reason I keep repeating in my head "The Crapulent Major". I thought it was funny the names he gave people and how he was unnamed himself.

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    1. Yes, we had one who only read a bit & gave up. I didn't find it that difficult and thought the pace moved along well - plus his writing was amazing! And, yes, I laughed everytime I read "the Crapulent Major." He certainly had a way with words!

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  3. The Clan of the Cave Bear, now that brings back memories of long ago reading! I loved it at the time. I also really enjoyed Another Brooklyn and it's a good book group choice. I am reading a Maisie Dobbs novel, In This Grave Hour

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    1. Doesn't it?? My mom, dad, and I all LOVED those books and passed them between us. I'm looking forward to the discussion of Another Brooklyn - hopefully, the snow & ice will clear up by then!

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  4. Good luck with the snow! I'll have to look for The Last Neanderthal

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    1. It's very engrossing so far!

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  5. Nice to have a catch up with your Mom. Your present books sounds good reading, and if it reminds you a little of the Clan of the Cave Bear then its good! Loved that series, except for the last one which I abandoned.

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    1. I did, too, Kathryn! I never got to the last book, but I enjoyed the rest of the series.

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  6. Yours is the second review I've read this week of The Sympathizer. There is a very long reserve list for it at my library, so I'll have to wait a bit. I adored both of those books by Jacqueline Woodson. Have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? I wanted to go and reread it after reading Woodson's book. Good luck with the snow. I'm hoping that we are finally done with it here in Vancouver BC!

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    1. Our library also had a very long wait list - I barely got it in time!

      Yes, i did read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - very different experience growing up twenty years earlier as a white girl, wasn't it? Great book!

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  7. Congratulations on your Shelf Awareness reviewing job! That sounds exciting! Our snow forecast has been downgraded to 8-12" but other parts of Mass. may still get the 12-18" they originally thought we might get here.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie!

      We only got maybe 4-6 inches of snow but a layer of ice/sleet on top of that so a real mess this morning. Stay warm!

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  8. I haven't gotten around to finding Another Brooklyn, but I did enjoy Brown Girl dreaming.

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    1. Both were excellent, Myra. I just finished my review of Another Brooklyn today:

      http://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2017/03/fiction-review-another-brooklyn.html

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