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!
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!|