Monday, August 03, 2015

It's Monday 8/3! What Are You Reading?

Wow, it has been a month since I have been home long enough to write a Monday post. We are back home now and trying to get back into our normal routines, and that includes my blogging routines! We did a LOT of reading this past month, so I will update you here (and try to keep it short!):
  • I finished One Thousand White Women: the Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, a historic novel I have been wanting to read for years and my third Big Book of the Summer. I loved this riveting, action-packed, and emotional novel.
  • Next, I read UnDivided by Neal Schusterman, the fourth and final book in his amazing YA Unwind dystology (yup, they created a new word just for him!) and my fourth Big Book of the Summer. My husband, son, and I have all loved this series, and it was wrapped up beautifully, with plenty of surprises in this last novel. If you like dystopian stories, you must read this series - it is filled with action and suspense but is also very thought-provoking.
  • I also read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Am I the last one on earth to read this? I enjoyed it very much - the fast-paced suspense was just what I needed last month to escape. By the end of this novel, you have suspected every single character of horrible things. It was a page-turner.
  • Now I am about halfway through Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, which will be my fifth Big Book of the Summer! Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, and I am enjoying this novel very much so far - it's a perfect summer read, set in the hills of Virginia.
  • I finished listening to Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai, a middle-grade audio book about a Vietnamese-American girl who is an all-American Southern California girl. She accompanies her grandmother on a trip to visit her home village in Vietnam and experiences some serious culture shock! It was excellent - a wonderful, moving novel and very good on audio especially.
  • During our travels, my husband and I started listening to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, a classic that I downloaded this summer free from SYNC. I'd been wanting to read this novel for a long time. It's good so far (we are about halfway), though it was a bit slow getting started. We'd heard it was suspenseful, chilling, and haunting, but it seems to be building much more slowly than modern novels do. Now we just need to find some time alone together to finish it! Hopefully, there will be no more long car rides in August.
  • On my own, I have started another audiobook, Crows and Cards by Joseph Helgerson, a another free download from SYNC this summer. It is a middle-grade audio book set in 1849 about a twelve-year old boy who gets involved with riverboat gamblers. It's good so far.
  • My husband, Ken, finished Seeker by Jack McDevitt, a book I gave him for Father's Day, a science fiction novel by a multiple Nebula Award nominee. He enjoyed it and said the classic sci fi novel was a nice change from the thrillers he usually reads.
  • Next, Ken read another Father's Day book from me, Black Fridays by Michael Sears, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. It's a mystery involving the financial industry and introduces a new character, Jason Stafford. He liked this one, too (I did well with Father's Day gifts this year!).
  • Now, Ken is reading The Third Option by Vince Flynn. I think I may have gotten this suspense novel in last summer's reading program at our local library (we are both raking in the free books again this summer!)
  • Jamie, 20, finished Winterbirth, book one in The Godless World series by Brian Ruckley, a fantasy series of the type that he loves. He said it was OK but didn't have as much action as he likes.
  • Now, Jamie is reading The Barrow by Mark Smylie, another epic fantasy novel that he's enjoying so far.
Not too many blog posts last month because I was offline most of the time, but here are a few that I managed, mostly from this past week after we returned home:
Review of Revolution by Deborah Wiles, a middle-grade novel that everyone of all ages should read!

Review of The Baby-sitter's Club: Kristy's Great Idea by Ann B. Martin and Raina Telgemeier, a graphic novel adaptation of the popular series.

Summary of Books Read in June (yes, finally!)

Saturday Snapshot 7/18 - Photos of waterfalls, creeks, and gorges in upstate NY

Saturday Snapshot 7/25 - Photos from an Adirondack trip, Part 1

Saturday Snapshot 8/1 - Photos from an Adirondack trip, Part2

Weekend Cooking 8/2 - 3 Easy, Tasty Summer Meals

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 is still one full month left of summer, so you still have time to join the Big Book Summer Challenge and join the fun! You only need to read 1 book (though you can read more if you want) longer than 400 pages to participate. And this year, for the first time, there'll be a Big Book Giveaway at the end of the summer for participants!


  1. Unfortunately my husband decided he uses his eyes too much at work to then come home and read. So I make up for him by reading double the amount, lol. I too loved The Girl on the Train and the way the suspense built. Have a restful end of summer. My long rides during summer are just beginning!

    1. ha ha My husband loves to read as much as I do! We read together every night before bed.

      Enjoy your trips!

  2. You've got a lot of reading going on in your household. I'm behind on the Unwind dystology. I need to reread the first two books before continuing on. I haven't read The Girl on the Train yet. I have it, but haven't gotten to it. Have a great week! Happy reading!

    Michelle @ Michelle's Minions

    My It's Monday! post

    1. Same with my son, Michelle - he got behind on Unwind and now wants to go back and re-read before finishing.

  3. I hope you are settling back in after the death of your father. It sounds like you got quite a bit of reading in--in spite of all that happened. I'm starting Lila. I've finished one Big Book so far to the tune of 900+ pages, but I'm not sure if I'll finish any more or not.

    1. Yes, we always find time for reading! It was a comfort and a nice escape this past month.

      Hope you enjoy Lila.

  4. Neal Shusterman is one of my favorite authors! I got to meet him at a literacy festival. Thank you for the reminder that I need to purchase the fourth book in the Unwind series. Yes, is that set excellent?

    My husband likes suspense. I recommended Girl on the Train to him. Sounds like his kind of book!

    Since getting an MP3 player, I have been thinking more about trying out audio books. Maybe listening to some classics that I have yet to read would be a good way to get into audio. Hmm....

    1. Me, too, Allison! I love everything of his I've read - you are so lucky to have met him!

      Yes, my husband wants to read Girl on the Train, too.

      Listening to audio books on an MP3 player is so great!! I started that last year and I can listen to so many more audios now - while walking, cooking, laundry, etc. Enjoy! Check out SYNC for free classics every week.

  5. I was so glad that Listen, Slowly was not a novel in verse like the first one by the author. I can convince students to read this one!

    1. I didn't know the author had written a previous book! No, Listen, Slowly is not in verse but is riveting - I really liked it.

  6. No, you aren't the last person to read "The Girl on the Train." It has been sitting on my kindle for weeks and I just don't know when I'll get to it! I'm thinking of suggesting it for my book club in 2016 just so that I will HAVE to read it!

    1. ha ha - I do that all the time, Melinda - when it is my turn to suggest books for book group, I choose them from my TBR shelves! Anything to help make a dent in the never-ending piles.

  7. We have missed you Sue, but you have been on some amazing adventures.
    I need to finish the Unwind series. I read it back when it was a stand alone novel, and I just didn't get to the sequels yet.
    I loved Lai's first novel; I need to get this new one.

    Thank you again for hosting the BIG BOOK challenge. Ricki and I posted our reviews of our books--we both loved them!

    Happy reading this week, and welcome back! :)

  8. Welcome back, my friend! We've missed you! You are not the last one to read The Girl on the Train. Now, I am! :) I hope your big books are going well. It was nice to read all of these great reviews. You've been busy while you were gone!

  9. Goodness, that is an impressive list of reading for your summer! Hooray for summer :) Here's my monday post

  10. You got a lot of reading done! Wow. I din't care for 1000 White women. We read it for book club a few years ago. I really wanted to like it but felt it just wasn't accurate. I did like Prodigal is kind of racy compared to her other books. Please drop by my blog and sign up for my blogoversary giveaway!

  11. Wow! That's a lot of reading. My son and I both enjoyed Thanhha Lai's Inside Out and Back Again. We'll have to try Listen, Slowly now. As you know, I just read The Girl on the Train as well. It was good!

    As far as Rebecca goes, I did not like it. It was way too wordy and long and boring in my mind. I never found it to be haunting or suspenseful, really. I think I'm the only person who feels that way, though! Hopefully you'll start enjoying it more. Perhaps it helps to listen to it rather than read through all those words!

  12. Ooh I'm currently working my way through the Unwind series. Glad to hear it continues to be good, I just started the second book :)

  13. I read Mary Dodd and 1,000 White Women about 6 months ago, both on the recommendation of my aunt several years ago. Should have read them sooner.