Monday, June 06, 2011

It's Monday 6/6! What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday!

The past week passed by in a blur - I'm still very sick and was unable to do much of anything all week, so I apologize for not being able to get around and visit blogs like I usually do (or post much on my own blogs).  I'm hoping to start improving this week, but then I'll be very busy preparing for our upcoming vacation and getting to all the kids' last-week-of-school events.  Busy time of year!

Well, the one good thing about being this sick is having lots of reading time:
  • I finished reading The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon, a local author here in Delaware.  I loved her two memoirs, Riding the Bus with My Sister and Building a Home with my Husband, and her new novel is absolutely wonderful.  It tells the story of the love between a deaf man and a mentally handicapped woman, both institutionalized in the 1950's.  It's a beautiful story, beautifully written, and I do hope to find time to write this review this week.
  • Since I've read very few kids and teen books this past month (see my May summary), I decided to focus on those for a while.  I read a middle-grade novel, My So-Called Family by CourtneySheinmel, about a girl with a very 21st-century problem.  Leah doesn't have a father; she has a donor.  And despite having a loving mother and step-father and an adorable step-brother she loves very much, Leah still feels like something is missing from her life.  I enjoyed the novel.
  • Now I'm reading a teen/YA novel, Deadly: How do you catch an invisible killer? by Julie Chibbaro.  It's a fascinating novel based on the real-life story of Typhoid Mary.  In the novel, sixteen-year old Prudence lives in NYC in 1906 and is interested in science - not a popular or acceptable choice for girls of that time.  She gets a job as an assistant at the Department of Health and Sanitation, helping her boss track down the cause of a typhoid epidemic.  It's well-written and absorbing.
  • Ken finished Num8ers by Rachel Ward, a teen/YA thriller that I enjoyed, then moved onto its sequel The Chaos.  He says he enjoyed the series very much.
  • Jamie, 16, was also quite sick all week, plus was busy trying to finish his schoolwork.  He has three exams this week and then he is free for the summer!  He is still re-reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques but has filled a carton with books he wants to read on vacation!  I'm going to ship it out to California ahead of time for him (plus a few for me!).
In addition to my May summary, I did manage to post one new review last week, of the teen/YA novel The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson,  a darkly humorous look at the meaning of life and death.

What are you and your family reading this week?

(What are you reading Monday is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Books Read in May

Wow, June 1 already?  Summer is almost here (already feels like summer here - hot and humid).  This month went by so quickly, filled with all sorts of school events, soccer games, and a whirlwind of activity.  Despite all that, it was a great reading month for me.

I read 7 books in May, a pretty substantial tally for me:
  • Cutting for Stone, a novel by Abraham Verghese
  • Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertant Education of a Reluctant Chef, a memoir on audio by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Sapphique, a teen/YA audio book by Catherine Fisher
  • The Tiger's Wife, a novel by Téa Obreht
  • The Condition, a novel by Jennifer Haigh 
  • The Deathday Letter, teen/YA novel by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl, a novel by Rachel Simon
These were all very good books - I enjoyed every one of them.  I read four adult novels this month (a lot for me!), one memoir, two audio books, and two teen/YA novels.  I didn't read as many kids/teen books as I usually do because I had two book group meetings scheduled back-to-back, so I was busy reading for them.

My favorite book read in May?  Wow, that's a tough one.  I guess I'd have to choose the one I just finished last night, The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon.  It's about a deaf man and a mentally handicapped woman, both institutionalized in the 1950's, who fall in love and then are separated.  It's a beautiful story, beautifully told, and I really loved it.

I see that I have been falling behind in reviews.  I keep hoping to catch up, but I haven't been feeling well, so we'll see how that goes.

Where Are You Reading update:  I also got behind on my Where Are You Reading map this month, but I just caught up on that.  My new tallies:

8 U.S. States:

  • Pennsylvania (2)
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Connecticut
  • California
  • New York 
  • Florida
Plus 6 other countries:
  • UK (3 locations now)
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Rome, Italy
  • Ethiopa
  • An unnamed Balkan country

All in all, a good month for books.  What was your favorite book read in May?