Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Monday 7/28! What Are You Reading?

We enjoyed our quiet week alone while our sons were off sailing with my mom and her husband on their annual grandkids' cruise with my niece. This year brought a new development: I didn't have to drive them back and forth to CT - they drove themselves! Wow, what a concept. My youngest son is enjoying his newfound freedom...and so am I, with no longer needing to spend all day driving him places!

We all enjoyed lots of reading last week:
  • I finally finished my second Big Book of the Summer, Emma, my first-ever Jane Austen novel. It was definitely a long one. I struggled through the first half and really hated Emma herself, but I took your advice and stuck with it, and both the novel and its main character got better!
  • I started my third Big Book of the Summer, Good Fortune by Noni Carter, a teen/YA novel about a young African girl who is stolen from her homeland and brought to the US into slavery. It is excellent so far...and moving much more quickly than Emma did!
  • My husband and I continued listening to Uncaged, a teen/YA thriller by adult thriller writer John Sandford and co-author Michelle Cook. This is book one of a new series called The Singular Menace, and it's been excellent so far, but we need more time in the car together to finish it!
  • I started - and finished - listening to Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick on audio. This is an excellent YA novel by the famed author of Silver Linings Playbook, showcasing the same talent to tackle difficult subjects with heart and humor. It's about a teen boy who plans to kill the bully who's been tormenting him and then himself. It is especially eye-opening because you start out being disgusted by what he's planning and end up feeling bad for him and wanting him to get help. Most startlingly, some people in his life suspect he may be suicidal but don't do enough to help. Haunting and compelling.
  • My husband has been reading The Hurt Machine, a Moe Prager mystery by Reed Farrel Coleman, on his Kindle. He says it's good so far.
  • Jamie, 19, finished The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn trilogy that he recently enjoyed. It was over 1200 pages and is book one of The Stormlight Archive series. He enjoyed it very much.
  • Jamie did a lot of reading on the boat! Next, he read The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin, book one of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, and another hefty one at 640 pages. Too bad he;s not doing the Big Book Summer Challenge with me!
  • He is now reading The Wise Man's Fear by one of his new favorite authors, Patrick Rothfuss. This is The Kingkiller Chronicles: Day Two, and he is loving it so far, making his way through another almost-1200 page novel! He usually brings an extra duffle bag filled with books on our vacations.

Last week wasn't quite the productive catch-up week I envisioned (is it ever??), but I did write two reviews:

Review of Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer, an emotionally moving novel

Review of Gypsy Davey, a teen/YA novel by Chris Lynch

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.

There are still 5 weeks of summer left, so plenty of time to participate in my Big Book Summer Challenge! You only need to read one book, 400 pages or more, this summer to participate, so join the fun! If you've already signed up, remember to stop back by the challenge page to link to your Big Book reviews!


  1. I love Rothfuss, I only read the first Kingkiller, but may reread and grab the second one this year. Such great writing.

  2. I am a big Jane Austen fan . . . but Emma was really never a favorite of mine. I had the same reaction of not particularly liking the main character. Was there any special reason that you chose Emma as your first Austen? My favorite is Persuasion.

    1. I don't know, Leila. I guess I'd heard people say it was the funniest Austen novel, so I grabbed a copy at a bookstore - maybe 10 years ago! - and it sat on my bookshelf ever since. I wouldn;t say it was laugh aloud funny like some people said, though some parts were mildly amusing.


  3. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Emma is my favorite Jane Austen book, for the reason that she's so flawed. I'd rather see a character grow and change than just be perfect. And I love how independent she is. I also loved Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. Looks like you read an interesting range of books! Have a great week.

  4. Wasn't Leonard Peacock good?! Such a tough book, but Quick is so amazing at putting them on paper. How was the audio?
    Congrats on finishing Emma! I love your Big Books of Summer!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  5. I'm not an Emma fan. I love all of Austen's other books! The BBC productions of Austen's books are wonderful too.