Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday 11/30! What Are You Reading?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We spent the last 5 days visiting my extended family in Rochester, NY. It was a hectic weekend, packed full of visits, but a lot of fun. It was wonderful to see everyone, and my sons had a blast playing with three different sets of cousins! Not a lot of time for reading, though...
  • I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and it's easy to see why this novel ended up on so many Best of 2009 lists. I could hardly set it down, and it's definitely on my own "Best of" list. An amazing novel about the relationships between white women in 1960's Mississippi and their black maids. If you've read this book, stop by Barney's Book Blog for an online discussion (it was actually yesterday, but I plan to stop by today to add my two cents!).
  • I started a book for my neighborhood book group (which meets on Wednesday) - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It was hard to switch to a new book after finishing The Help, but I'm enjoying it so far. I still have a lot left to read in the next 3 days!
  • I've been listening to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe on audio for the past couple of weeks. I'm enjoying it, though it's not as good as The Heretic's Daughter (both are about the Salem witch trials).
If you're interested in kids' and teen/YA books, check out my weekly update at Great Books for Kids and Teens. The boys didn't have a lot of time for reading this week, but we listened to lots of great audio books on the way to and from Rochester.

So, what are YOU reading this week?

(What are you reading Mondays is sponsored by J. Kaye's Book Blog)

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Monday 11/23! What Are You Reading?

Another Monday morning. This week will be crazy busy, with just two days of school and traveling to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with family. Won't be much time for reading!

Last week was another good, though hectic, reading week:
  • I finished The Art of Racing in the Rain for my book group and loved it! You can read my review and some additional favorite quotes from the book.
  • Having fulfilled my book group reading, I resumed reading the excellent teen fantasy novel, Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey (book 2 in The Resurrection of Magic series). I was enjoying it when I realized (again - second week in a row!) that I was running out of time for two more book group books! So I had to once again set this book aside...I hope to finish it before 2010!
  • I began reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett for the online book discussion next Sunday at Barney's Book Blog. I was hooked from the first page and have been carrying it around with me all weekend! It's just as amazing as I'd heard.
As soon as I finish The Help, I need to read Olive Kitteridge for my neighborhood book group - can't believe it's almost December already!

If you're interested in kids'/teen/YA books, you can find out what my family is reading this week at Great Books for Kids and Teens. Last week, I posted a review of Sent, book 2 of the exciting time travel series The Missing by Margaret Peterson Haddix. With our long drives this weekend, we'll be listening to some good audio books!

So, what are YOU reading this week?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

(What are you reading Mondays is sponsored by J. Kaye's Book Blog)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quote It Saturday 11/21

Thanks to That Chick That Reads for starting my favorite weekly meme, featuring a favorite quote (or two!).

This week's favorite quotes come from The Art of Racing in the Rain, a novel narrated by a dog that I finished and reviewed this week. This book really grew on me, and I especially enjoyed the philosophical musings of Enzo, the book's narrator, who yearns to be human:

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something I aspire to.

...I could have pulled him close to me, so close he could feel my breath on his skin, and I could have said to him, "This is just a crisis. A flash! A single match struck against the implacable darkness of time! You are the one who taught me to never give up. You taught me that new possibilities emerge for those who are prepared, for those who are ready. You have to believe!"

- Enzo, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

As you can see, Enzo is pretty wise. I'm so glad I read this wonderful book and wish I had Enzo by my side!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fiction Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is a unique novel because its narrator and main character is a dog. Yes, a dog. Now, let me say right up front that I’m not really a dog person, so I wondered when I started this book whether I’d be able to get into it. Not only did I get into it, but I really loved it and came to love its narrator, Enzo. Despite being a dog, he is very wise. Because he’s a dog, he has spent his entire life observing humans and he has some wonderful insights into us and the way we live our lives.

The book opens with Enzo explaining his limitations:

Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature. And while I occasionally step over the line and into the world of the melodramatic, it is what I must do in order to communicate clearly and effectively. In order to make my point understood without question. I have no words I can rely on because, much to my dismay, my tongue was designed long and flat and loose, and therefore, is a horribly ineffective tool for pushing food around my mouth while chewing, and an even less effective tool for making clever and complicated polysyllabic sounds that can be linked together to form sentences. And that’s why I’m here now waiting for Denny to come home – he should be here soon – lying on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor in a puddle of my own urine.

Denny is Enzo’s owner - and best friend – and he’s a racecar driver (hence the title). Denny shares his passion with Enzo by watching racing on TV and videos with him, including in-car videos of his own races. Their lives change quite a bit when Eve enters the picture, then again when Eve and Denny have a child, Zoe, but Enzo adjusts and grows to love them both. Tragedy hits the family, compounded by a series of equally devastating events afterward.

Through it all, Enzo shares his unique perspective with the reader, based on what he sees and hears and on all that he’s learned through watching television. I especially liked Enzo’s philosophical musings, like this one:

I will never tire of watching tapes with Denny. He knows so much, and I have learned so much from him. He said nothing more to me; he continued watching his tapes. But my thoughts turned to what he had just taught me. Such a simple concept, yet so true: that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.

I told you he was wise. And that was actually a problem for a few people in my book group who felt the book was unrealistic and Enzo too intelligent. For the rest of us, we had no problem suspending belief for a while, accepting the premise, and going along for the exciting ride. I know nothing about either dogs or car racing, but I really enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain. I read far too late into the night, laughed out loud, and cried – all signs for me of a great book.

NOTE: Although I'm a big fan of audio books, this might be one that's better to read on paper. A few people in my book group were disappointed with the audio version and found it hard to follow.

321 pages, Harper Collins

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Authors Provide Gift Ideas

I thought this was pretty cool - Penguin publishing company has posted a What To Give and What To Get feature on their website. Click on your favorite (Penguin) authors to read which books they loved this year and want to give as gifts as well as which books they'd like to receive. There are some big names included, like Geraldine Brooks, Sue Grafton, Nick Hornby, Sue Monk Kidd, and many more.

Besides getting some good gift ideas (for you and for your loved ones!), it's fun to read about what books professional writers liked best!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top Ten Books That Disappointed Me


Last week, I posted a list of the Top Ten Books I Enjoyed More Than I Expected, so it only seems fair to also post a list of books that surprised me in the other way, Top Ten Books That Disappointed Me.

Now, I want to be clear here - these aren't necessarily books that I hated. I rarely dislike a book so much that I don't finish it (though there are a couple of those on this list!). Rather, these are mostly books that I had high expectations for, books that I expected to LOVE and didn't. I know that some of these books are beloved by many people - in those cases, it's a matter of "it's not you, it's me." Reading books is a very personal experience, and no two people are affected in exactly the same way by a particular book.

So, without further ado, here is my list:

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck – all-time favorite of a close friend of mine; I liked it but didn’t love it – too depressing and almost no likeable characters.
  • The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman – liked it OK, but I guess I’m not really into the magical/mysticism angle.
  • The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch – loved the movie Iris and wanted to read one of her books; maybe I chose the wrong one.
  • Manhunt by Janet Evanovich – big fan of her Stephanie Plum books but this romance had none of her usual humor, suspense, or cleverness.
  • Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston – most of my book group hated it; I didn’t even finish it; characters were too passive.
  • City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende – I’ve heard great things about her adult books and looked forward to this middle-grade adventure, but the characters seemed flat and the writing awkward and repetitive; maybe a poor translation?
  • Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert – everyone in my book group hated it; I couldn’t finish it; pointless and condescending.
  • Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson – a well-loved author I wanted to love, but along with most of my book group, just found it too depressing, though we did have a good discussion.
  • Live a Little by Kim Green – I found the main character’s actions despicable – she discovers her cancer diagnosis is a mistake and doesn’t tell her family!
  • Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish – I loved the premise and wanted to love the book but, like everyone else in my book group, found it repetitive and a bit tiresome after awhile.
How about you? Are there any books that have disappointed you? Books that everyone loves that you just didn't like that much?

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Monday 11/16! What Are You Reading?

I had a few false starts last week but also some reading successes:
  • I finished Megan's Way by Melissa Foster. I know lots of people really loved this book, but it just didn't grab me.
  • I started Sacred Scars, Book 2 in The Resurrection of Magic series by Kathleen Duey, a dark and compelling fantasy series that my teen son and I really like. Unfortunately, partway through, I remembered that one of my book groups meets this Wednesday and I hadn't read the book yet! So, as hard as it was, I had to set this book down and...
  • I started The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein, a novel narrated by a dog (!) with surprising warmth and insight. It's very good so far.
  • On audio, I gave up on Return to Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank. I'm not a big fan of so-called Southern Fiction (how come there's no Northern Fiction?) in the first place, but I was trying to give it a fair chance. But when a ghost did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen in the start of the second CD, I'd had enough. Just not my kind of thing.
  • In its place, I started The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe on audio. I've heard that The Heretic's Daughter, which I loved and reviewed here last week, is much better, but I'm so fascinated by the Salem witch trials now that I decided to give it a try.
If you're interested in kids' and teens' books, check out Great Books for Kids and Teens to see what my sons are reading this week.

Last week, I posted reviews of The Heretic's Daughter and Hush, Hush (teen/YA), as well as two Top Ten lists - Books I Enjoyed More Than I Expected and Favorite Childhood Books.

So, what are YOU reading this week?

(Thanks to J. Kaye's Book Blog for starting What Are You Reading Mondays!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quote It Saturday 11/14

Thanks to That Chick That Reads for starting my favorite weekly tradition, Quote It Saturday!

Today's quote is another one from 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe, one of my favorite memoirs, about a family from Brooklyn that takes their kids on a trip around the world. This series of quotes focuses on how quickly kids grow up, right before our eyes, and it really hits home for me:

So much information passes into obsolescence the moment an individual stands upright. It is like this throughout childhood, data gathered, then filed away, or discarded. This is how it is: you get comfortable, they spring something else on you. The twelve-year old kid, boy or girl, is a most perfect master, a king among kids, worldly in their world. They get so confident, they forget to duck when blindsided by adolescence.

...They would not be children long. The three of them walked around with expiration dates on their heads.

...Pressure, man. I can feel the tick of the clock. Soon the hair will sprout from under Billy's arms. Stubble will sully his smooth face. Who he is now will be found only on photographs and in addled memory. There is nothing to be done about it. When he complains, about not wanting to grow up, about wanting to stay his perfect twelve forever and ever, it is my job to tell him it is only in Never-Never Land that boys never get old.

...It was all so very familiar. The return of normalcy was fast approaching. Trip Time, that little rip in the continuum of Regular Time, was zipping shut.

- 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time, Mark Jacobson
I feel exactly this way about my two sons, especially my oldest, who is now 15 and shaving but still isn't sure he really wants to grow up. And that last line is one of my all-time favorites. Our family cherishes our summer road trips together. I love living in Trip Time,where it's just the four of us, living in the moment.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fiction review: Heretic’s Daughter

Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent is a powerful, haunting story that will stay with me forever. I recently read this novel, set during the Salem witch trials, for one of my book groups. Although some in the group found the book too depressing, most were moved and glad to have read the novel.

The author is descended from Martha Carrier, who was tried for witchcraft in Salem in 1692. She based the novel on the stories she’d heard growing up in her family, as well as plenty of research, and filled in the gaps with fiction. The result is a remarkable picture of daily life during that harsh time in our history, as well as the horrors of the witchcraft trials, imprisonments, and executions.

The novel opens with a letter from Sarah, Martha’s daughter, to her granddaughter, written in 1752:

…And now I have hit upon the heart of my letter. You cannot have grown to womanhood without hearing the embittered whispers of Salem Village, and of me and my parents. But in your love for me, you have never asked me to reveal the dread happenings of my youth. The name Salem even now causes grown men and women to blanch with fear. Do you know that a few months past, the councilmen of Essex County, Massachusetts, voted to change the name of the village to Danvers? It was a thing well done and done quietly, too, though I believe the memory of the Salem witch trials will last well beyond the few remaining living relics of that time.

As God in heaven knows, changing a name cannot change the history of a place. This history has for so long lived like a spider in my breast. The spider spins and spins, catching memories in its web, threatening to devour every final happiness. With this letter I hope to sweep away the terror and the sadness and to have my heart made pure again by God’s grace. That is truly the meaning of the word “Puritan.”

The rest of the novel is Sarah’s story, which begins when she is just nine years old, and her family moves to her grandmother’s house in Andover in an effort to escape a smallpox outbreak in their nearby town. They unwittingly bring smallpox with them, though, cementing their position in their new town as outsiders. Eventually, a group of young girls in nearby Salem (and in their own town) begin to accuse people of witchcraft, and Sarah’s family is swept up in the hysteria that results.

What happens next is as shocking as any other senseless massacre in world history, no less horrifying for its relatively small scope. My mother said that reading this book had, for her, a similar effect to visiting the Holocaust Museum. The morning after book group, just before Halloween, she and I saw a story on the Today show about Salem. The story was about all the fun things you could do if you visit Salem today, like going to a faux witchcraft trial and buying witch souvenirs. My mom has actually been to Salem and done these things, but she said that knowing the truth about what really happened there makes this celebratory atmosphere just appalling now.

Kent’s details of the imprisonment, punishment, and execution of innocent men, women, and children are haunting. As I read, I was astounded by the capacity of people to be so ignorant and cruel to their fellow human beings, but others in my book group immediately saw the parallels with plenty of more modern atrocities. Whatever your perspective, Kent’s writing paints a vivid picture and leaves a lasting effect. I highly recommend this compelling and important book.

368 pages, Back Bay Books

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed More Than I Expected


Today's Top Ten list is a list of books that surprised me. These are books that I did not expect to like at all but read for one reason or another and ended up really enjoying them! I read these books based on recommendations from friends or family or, in many cases, because they were book group selections. This is what I like most about being in book groups - I end up reading (and enjoying) books that I never would have picked up otherwise.

So, here are the Top Ten Books That I Enjoyed More Than I Expected:

  • March by Geraldine Brooks – before I read this, I didn’t think I liked historical fiction
  • Ender’s Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card – my first adult foray into science fiction, another genre I didn’t think I’d like
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood – another science fiction book recommended by my husband which is now my favorite book of all-time
  • Still Me by Christopher Reeve – I don’t normally enjoy celebrity memoirs but Reeve’s book was so inspiring!
  • Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins (author of this year's hit The Hunger Games)– It sounded gross but my sons were interested. We ended up reading the entire series out loud and loving every single book!
  • Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh – my neighbor lent it to me and I read it to be polite and ended up loving it and recommending it to my book group. Haigh is now one of my favorite authors.
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – read for book group; the description just didn’t sound interesting, but I was glad to be proven wrong
  • River of Doubt by Candice Millard – fascinating nonfiction account of Teddy Roosevelt’s trip up the Amazon River; read for book group
  • The Lost Years by KristinaWandzilak and Constance Curry – honest & painful memoir by a mother-daughter about the daughter’s addiction to alcohol and drugs; read for book group
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss – ironically, many in the book group did not like this book, but I had bought it and missed the meeting, so I decided to read it anyway and really liked it.
How about you? Are there any books that surprised you (in a good way)?

P.S. If you like Top ten lists, check out Ten for Tuesday at Great Books For Kids and Teens, where I listed the top ten books from my childhood.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's Monday 11/9! What Are You Reading?

More sick days last week, but I think I'm on my way back finally. I seem to have caught the virus the rest of my family had a couple of weeks ago. I'm still dealing with congestion and a mild fever, but my energy is slowly coming back up. Thanks for all of the kind words and well wishes!

Last week:
  • I read Sent by Margaret Haddix, book 2 of The Missing, her exciting time-travel series for middle-grade readers. My son and I love this series!
  • I started Megan's Way by Melissa Foster, a review novel about a woman who is dying of cancer. I've had a hard time getting into this book - maybe because I haven't felt well or maybe because I so strongly disagreed with the main character's actions at the start of the book - but I'm sticking with it to see what happens.
  • I started a new audio book, Return to Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank. I didn't read Sullivan's Island, but I hope that doesn't matter. This seems to be more of a follow-up than a sequel. I received the audio for review, and it just caught my eye. Anyone else read this book or something else from this author?
If you're interested in the kids' and YA books the rest of my family is reading, check out Great Books for Kids and Teens.

I posted reviews last week of a wonderful memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and a great middle-grade mystery, The Mystery of the Third Lucretia.

So, what are YOU reading this week?

(What are you reading Monday is sponsored by J. Kaye's Book Blog)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Quote It Saturday 11/7

My family is very important to me, and I love traveling and taking my kids to new places. One of my favorite memoirs combines these elements: 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe by Mark Jacobson. Mark is a writer who, along with his wife, scraped enough money together to take their kids on a no-frills trip around the world, both to show them world and to bring their family closer together, as their kids grew older. I filled many pages of my quotes journal with excerpts from this wonderful memoir. Today, I'd like to share some quotes from the book that perfectly mirror my own feelings about family and how travel brings families together:

What remained was us. Little us, nuclear us. For the moment, the entropy that inevitably flings things and people apart was suspended. The force field of our own making ruled the day, a most favorable kind of gravity. We were together. The will by which we created life in our family, this fleeting passage during which we lived under the same Brooklyn roof, rode in the same Toyota Camry station wagon, and got on the same airplane to go on this trip that had landed us, currently, in the city of the Hindu dead, remained in control. That's what this trip really was, a grand, somewhat nutty gesture, a tribute to the ephemera of our lives together. Even if everything went perfectly, in the middle-class way of thinking of things - them doing well, going off to college, getting really swell jobs, etc. - we'd never be as close as we'd been over the 16 years since Rae came on the scene, followed by her sister and brother. Arrows on the dartboard; for now we'd landed here.

...You had to get it while you could, put aside a million mixed feelings, because those moments were irretrievable. It had been a big, juicy chapter, this time of us being together, this invention of us. In no small way, we were all just passing through, tipping our hats like any Lone Ranger, here today and gone tomorrow. It was hard to say where we would go next. With the next lightning strike, it could be over. Sometimes, things just fell apart.

The deal was to horde the here and now. What was known only to us. The shared knowledge, the inside jokes.

Wow. I can relate so well to all that, even better now than when I first read it, as my older son is now 15 and quickly burning through high school. These passages ignite my own urge to travel, to enjoy these fleeting years together, just the four of us. It also makes me want to read this book again!

Thanks to Leslie at That Chick That Reads for starting Quote It Saturday, my favorite weekly theme.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Memoir Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

After weeks of dealing with a bad flare-up of my chronic illness, I was feeling in need of a little inspiration, so I picked up a memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. This small book packs in a lot of emotions – hope, joy, anger, frustration, and, yes, inspiration.

Bauby was the 43-year old editor-in-chief of the French Elle magazine when his life was suddenly and dramatically changed forever. He suffered a massive stroke that resulted in a condition known as locked-in syndrome. After waking from a month-long coma, Bauby discovered that he could move only his neck and his left eye. He wrote this entire book by blinking his left eye to dictate his words, letter by letter.

That in itself would make this a remarkable book, but it’s what Bauby writes that is truly amazing. There is not a hint of self-pity in this book. Bauby writes in an open, pragmatic way about what it’s like to have a lively mind trapped inside his motionless body, to trade in his previous globe-trotting life for one limited to the grounds of his hospital, to daydream about the tastes of his favorite foods while being fed through a tube. He compares the feeling of paralysis with having a giant invisible diving bell on top of his body and describes what it’s like to wake up in the morning:

An ordinary day. At seven the chapel bells begin again to punctuate the passage of time, quarter hour by quarter hour. After their night’s respite, my congested bronchial tubes once more begin their noisy rattle. My hands, lying curled on the yellow sheets, are hurting, although I can’t tell if they are burning hot or ice cold. To fight off stiffness, I instinctively stretch, my arms and legs moving only a fraction of an inch. It is often enough to bring relief to a painful limb.

My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court.

You can visit the woman you love, slide down beside her and stroke her still-sleeping face. You can build castles in Spain, steal the Golden Fleece, discover Atlantis, realize your childhood dreams and adult ambitions.

I am completely in awe of Bauby’s positive attitude. I have spent much of the past month confined to the couch – still able to eat, go to the bathroom, hold a book, and type on my laptop – and I can tell you that his strength and courage are remarkable. He is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

The memoir goes back and forth between the past – before his stroke – and his current life in the hospital. Although you might think it would be depressing, it’s not at all. In fact, Bauby shares his story with honesty, optimism, and even humor. The only thing I found truly sad is the fact that the title page explains that Bauby died two days after the book was published in France, an unfortunate loss for the world.

This was a moving book, and now I can’t wait to watch the award-winning DVD as well.

132 pages, Vintage International, a division of Random House

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Amazon's Top 100 Books of 2009

I often post my own Top Ten list on Tuesdays, but today I thought I'd share another list: Amazon's list of Top 100 Books of 2009. They've actually posted lots of lists of top books for 2009 - Top 100 as voted by Amazon's editors, Top 100 customer's favorites, and lots of Top 10 lists for various genres.

Of the Amazon Editors' Top 100, I've only read two:
  • #14 - This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (review to come in the next week)
  • #42 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
And a few are on my short-list to-be-read stack:
  • #6 Crazy for the Storm (we have the audio version)
  • #19 The Help
  • #29 The Last Olympian (last book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series, a favorite of ours)
  • #62 Shiver (ironically, I picked this one up today and almost started it, then chose another!)
I'll have to get to these soon, plus the other 100! So many good books to read and so little time...

I had some fun looking through the lists and hope you will, too. I'll wait to post my own Top 10 of 2009 List until the new year - I still have two more months of reading! So, what do you think? Do you agree with Amazon's choices?

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's Monday 11/2! What Are You Reading?

I had a few more sick days last week, so I had lots of reading time. Thankfully, I recovered in time to enjoy Halloween with my family. My son, Jamie, chose a quasi-literary theme for our costumes this year, and we dressed up as the Where's Waldo? characters (I was Wenda), with my younger son dressed up as an old man (who many people thought closely resembled Benjamin Button!). I also managed to go to NYC on Sunday with my Mom and loved seeing Mamma Mia! on Broadway - what a fantastic show! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends, too!

Lots of good books read last week:
  • I finished The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent and made it to my book group discussion. It was a haunting book about the Salem witch trials based on a true story that will stay with me for a long time. Review to come later this week.
  • I finished Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick on audio, a teen/YA supernatural thriller/romance - not my normal genre, but it was very good and the audio was well-done. Review to come on Great Books for Kids and Teens.
  • My illness flared up severely again mid-week, so my next book pick was the equivalent of literary comfort food - Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich, read for pure fluffy fun! No thought required and lots of laughs - just what the doctor ordered. I love the Stephanie Plum series.
  • After that big dose of fun, I was ready for some inspiration and started The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, a memoir written by a man suffering from locked-in syndrome after a massive stroke. He wrote the book by blinking his left eye. His intelligence, grace, and sense of humor are amazing and moving.
Last week, I posted a review of After You by Julie Buxbaum and hope to catch up on more backlogged reviews this week (after I recover from my trip to NYC!) Check out Great Books for Kids and Teens to see what kids' and teens' books our family is reading this week.

So, what are YOU reading this week?

(What are you reading Mondays was started by J. Kaye's Book Blog)