Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday 3/21! What Are You Reading?


Happy First Day of Spring! 

Doesn't feel much like spring. We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground (rare for this time of year), though I do see blue sky this morning.

I had kind of a rough week. The weird cold snap & snow/ice storm made a very painful medical problem flare up badly. I thought it was gone for the season, so this was extra-frustrating. Despite my chronic illness, I don't normally deal with much pain, and I am finding it very difficult. By this weekend, I was in a pretty dark mood and exhausted, too. I have a lot of admiration for those who contend with chronic pain all the time - it's a tough road.

Trying to plan spring break also got me down this weekend - our sons' spring break from college is next week, and the weather is still supposed to be cold (and very wet) all week, quite a ways down the east coast. We just can't travel far enough in the limited time to get to nice weather for camping! I think our younger son is going to settle for choosing the best 2-3 days to go camping with his friends locally (with our camper which has heat!). My husband and I still need to decide what we are doing the following week...or maybe we'll wait for better weather. I hate everything being up in the air like this when our plans don't work out.

In the midst of that dark period, I heard the news that a favorite author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, died of cancer.  Besides liking her writing, I felt a connection to her because we were the same age, had similar childhoods, and were both parents and writers. I had exchanged e-mails with her a couple of times, and her death really hit me hard. Besides being an excellent writer, she lived an admirable life of warmth, kindness, and creativity. Take a look at my post about her and help me to honor her memory by spreading her writing and her kindness.


Books provided a welcome escape for me last week, as always! Here's what we are all reading:
  • I finished my first book for my new review job at Shelf Awareness: The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron, due out April 25. This novel is about a Neanderthal girl, with alternating chapters set in present day as a woman archeologist uncovers her remains. I loved this novel! It reminded me a bit of Clan of the Cave Bear, but I also really enjoyed the connections and parallels to the modern world. Now I need to write my review.
  • I am now reading my next review book for Shelf Awareness (in case we do end up going away sometime in the next two weeks), How To Be Human by Paula Cocozza (due out May 9). This novel is set in suburban London, about a woman recovering from a recent break-up who is fascinated by a fox in her backyard. It's especially interesting to me since we have a lot of foxes in our area!
  • I finished a middle-grade audiobook, 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 Arkansas this time) and deals with racial tensions, in this case prejudice against Asian-Americans. It was very good.
  • I have started a new audiobook and my first Booktopia book for this season. Boooktopia is an awesome annual event in Vermont, where book lovers get together with authors for an intimate weekend of discussing and celebrating books - so much fun! My mom and I went two years ago and are going again the first week of May. So, I just started The Women in the Castle on audio by Jessica Shattuck, one of the authors who will be at Booktopia. This novel is about widowed women living in a castle in Germany after WWII ends. It's good so far.
  • My husband, Ken, is still 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!
 Blog posts last week:
Movie Monday: Mockingjay Part 2 - final conclusion to The Hunger Games series

Books Read in February - only 4 books but they were all good!

Teen/YA Review: The Forgetting - compelling dystopian novel

Irish Books & Movies To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day - good for the holiday & beyond!

Saturday Snapshot - National Parks of South Dakota - continuing my NP series

Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal Dies at 51 - remembering her & honoring her memory

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?   

First Day of Spring?
  

20 comments:

  1. Sorry your health is suffering, but looks like there is still a lot of positive going on!

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    1. Yes, trying to be more positive this week - things are looking up. Thanks!

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  2. I've added Billy Wong to my TBR list. Why does this darn list just keep growing?! I can't keep up!

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    1. Same here!! I have a whole TBR bookcase in my bedroom plus an overflowing shelf of MG & YA TBRs plus a list of about 800 other titles! Guess I will catch up when I am about 120 or so!

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  3. Oh I am so sorry to hear you have been having an extra health challenge. I am sure chronic pain of any kind is difficult, so hope you are being extra kind to yourself. Hope you do get away for a great break sometime. So sad when an author or anyone dies way too young.

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn. I am in fact enjoying a nice little break now. My husband is out of town, both boys are at college (fingers crossed nothing goes wrong this week!) and I am enjoying some much-needed catch-up time & downtime :)

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  4. Thank you for "reading with your ears" MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG. I appreciate that very much!

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    1. Thank YOU for writing such wonderful books, Augusta! Watch for a review of Billy Wong coming soon here...

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  5. Amy Krouse Rosenthal was one of first authors my son and I bonded over. He liked Little Pea. I loved her Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Later my daughter liked Duck! Rabbit! and Spoon.

    I'm joining up in the fun again and I'm hoping you'll stop by to my new domain.

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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    1. Glad you discovered and enjoyed Amy's writing, too - we lost a wonderful writer for all ages!

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  6. I'm sorry to hear about Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It's always a tragedy to lose a good writer.

    Right now I am reading Stephen Kind but I love a bit of everything. The dystopian YA fiction you mentioned sounds really good. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. It was good, Anne. If you like YA dystopian, the Unwind series by Neal Schusterman is my ALL-TIME favorite!!

      http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blogspot.com/2010/11/teenya-review-unwind.html

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  7. Hope the weather turns out beautiful for your sons' visit.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! It is looking slightly better - my son is optimistic anyway :)

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  8. I'm sorry you were in such pain last week but you were quite a busy blogger with all you posted. Hope the weather gets warmer for you soon!

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    1. Thanks, Tanya - yes, I did keep busy with my blog! Couldn't leave the house, so plenty of blogging time - the silver lining!

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  9. Yes, it seems you did have a hard week--best wishes for good health, warmer weather, and good books to see you through. I haven't read Shelf Awareness on a regular basis in awhile, but now that you're a reviewer (congrats!), I'll make a point of resuming. Take care and happy reading.

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    1. Thanks for all the kind words, Jane - that means a lot & I appreciate it! Yes, I am excited about the new reviewing job with SA, and my editor has a great sense of humor, too, so that's a bonus! Seems like it will be fun.

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  10. It doesn't feel much like spring here either. Too much cold.

    Sorry to hear about the loss of an author you liked. This past year an author I saw at a literacy festival died and it saddened me. Anna Dewdney was about my age, wrote fun picture books, and was such an advocate for reading to children.

    I've been between books of late, having the patience only to read magazines. Glory Be was good. I'll have to keep watch for Making Friends with Billy Wong.

    Hope the days ahead are better!

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    1. Thanks, Allison. Sorry to hear you lost a beloved author, too.

      Hope you find a book to inspire you & get you back on the reading track!

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