Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Monday 5/11! What Are You Reading?

Whew, what a week! I started the week on a high from my amazing Booktopia weekend in Vermont - exhausted but happy. Then, I got a slew of bad news on Wednesday. First I heard that an old friend has stage 4 lung cancer and that it has spread to her brain. I hadn't seen her in a while, but that hit me hard because she is my age, has three sons about the same ages as my sons, has never smoked, and is such a vibrant woman, full of life. An hour later, I got even worse news - that my Dad, who's been fighting stage 4 melanoma for almost a year, had developed sudden balance problems and a head MRI revealed multiple cancer lesions in his brain. They are going forward with radiation, which started immediately last week, and he will probably need brain surgery to remove the largest tumor. He had been stable with his treatment for so long that this really came as a shock to all of us. We changed our plans to spend Mother's Day weekend with my mom (who completely understood and was very supportive) and instead left a day early and drove all the way to Rochester (NY - my hometown) to spend the weekend with my Dad and his wife. He was feeling OK this weekend, just very tired, and we were all so glad that we got to spend that precious time with him.

So, now I am back home, surrounded by mess and a lengthening to-do list but feeling like everything is a bit surreal. It's amazing how everyday life continues even in the wake of such terrible news.

As always, we still found time to read, taking comfort (and finding escape) in our books:
  • I am still reading Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan for my online family book group. We were  supposed to begin discussing it a week ago, but I still haven't finished! I've been enjoying this novel about about a young girl growing up in Ireland in the early part of the 20th century who goes to America to earn some money and ends up feeling torn between her husband in Ireland and her exciting new life in NYC.
  • I am still listening to Ask the Dark by Henry Turner, a teen/YA novel on audio. It's riveting so far, narrated by a boy who often gets into trouble, about a series of missing boys in his town and how he was the only person who could piece together what happened to them. Excellent so far.
  • My husband, Ken, finished a thriller I gave him for Easter, Silken Prey by John Sandford. It's the first Sandford novel he's read (I heard about the Prey series on the Books on the Nightstand podcast), and he said it was OK but not great - plenty of fast-paced suspense but not a lot of depth. My dad likes the Prey books, so Ken finished it this weekend and left it for him to read...along with a stack of others he's recently read. I come from a reading family!
  • Ken has now started Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. He bought it after I read Mosley's amazing novel The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey and went to hear Mosley speak for our All-County Reads program. When I showed Ken the long list of books Mosley had written, he decided to try one. This is the first book in the Easy Rawlins mystery series.
  • Jamie, 20, has been busy with school but is reading Mountain Man by Keith C. Blackmore, a book his dad lent him, to continue his Zombie obsession. Two more weeks and he can go on a reading binge when the semester ends!
No time for reviews last week, but squeezed in a couple of blog posts before we left:
Summary & Photos from Booktopia Vermont 2015

Free Audio Books for Summer at SYNC!

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


  1. Oh! Ask the Dark is on my TBR list. I am glad to hear it's good. Thanks for sharing. Have a great reading week! ~Megan

  2. I'm so sorry for the bad news you got about your friend and your dad. Hopefully books can continue to be a sanctuary for you.

  3. So sorry to hear about your week after such a great time the weekend before. Hang in there. I'm dealing with my mother who has cancer too. Reading, especially when it is an escape, is my salvation sometimes.

  4. Sue, I am so sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. I am sending so much love your way and strength to your dad.

  5. Oh, Sue! I am so sorry to hear about your bad news. Cancer is the worst. A family member of mine is in remission from leukemia. Those months of sickness and unknowing are the worst. Please know that all of us have you in our thoughts always.

  6. Devil in a Blue Dress caught my eye. Hope your reading this week provides you with a bit of comfort to counter your slew of bad news.

  7. Geez, you have had a tough week! My husband and I were just remarking how unfathomable it is that life continues when it feels like your life has stopped. I hope this week is much happier and that you catch up on everything!