Monday, March 03, 2014

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

Here we are on another Monday, with snow falling steadily outside and yet another snow day with school cancelled! This winter feels like it will never end...

Inside, it is cozy and warm, and we had a fun (though exhausting!) weekend, with our annual Mardi Gras party plus my mom and her husband here for the weekend. So, you would think we had no time for reading...but we always make time to read, no matter what else is going on! It looks like I read a LOT last week, but mostly, I finished up a lot of books I'd been working on for a while:
  • I finished The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier in time for my neighborhood book group on Wednesday. It was an excellent novel, and we had so much to discuss! In addition, the author very kindly made some personalized videos for our group, answering our questions about the book and telling us what was behind its writing. I hope to write a review this week and tell you more.
  • My next book group book wasn't in at the library yet, so I squeezed in a short middle-grade novel, Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick. It's about a young boy who is visiting his great-grandmother in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits and how he survives both the storm and its aftermath. It's an emotionally powerful story that made me want to read more about Katrina. The timing was just right for me, as we used to live in New Orleans and were celebrating Mardi Gras this weekend. I hope to post a review tomorrow, Mardi Gras day.
  • On Friday, I finally started my next book group pick, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I've been meaning to read this award-winning novel for years, so I was glad when my other book group picked it; however, it's over 600 pages of very dense text, so it will be a challenge to finish it in time for next week's meeting!
  • I finally finished 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam! Woo Hoo!! It took me 2 months to read it, so I think I really needed it. The author had some interesting insights into time management, achieving your goals, and living a more deliberate life. I want to take some notes and try implementing some of her advice before I return it to the library.
  • And I finished my audio book, Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I started it with my family last summer, but they lost interest, so I am glad that I finally found time to finish it. I'm not quite as big a fan of the series as some people are (for me, it's certainly not as thought-provoking or well-written as The Hunger Games trilogy, which I often hear it compared to), but it is an engaging story, and the audio was well done. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the third and final book, Allegiant.
  • My husband, Ken, is still reading John Grisham's latest, Sycamore Row, a follow-up to his famous A Time to Kill and a Christmas gift from our son. He was laughing last night at all the books I finished last week, but this is a hefty one he's working on.
  • Jamie, 19, finished reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and brought it back home so I can read it next. I'm not sure what he's reading now - with all the activity this weekend, I forgot to ask him!
I had very little time last week for writing, with all the party and house guest preparation. I managed just two posts:

Review of Flora & Ulysses, a middle-grade novel by Kate DiCamillo

Weekend Cooking post, all about how to celebrate Mardi Gras - there's still time - 2 more days to go!

What are you and your family reading this week?    

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, with a kid/teen version hosted by Unleashing Readers.  

Happy Mardi Gras! My sons and I, about 5 years ago

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