Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday 9/21! What Are You Reading?

Well, I had yet another week on the couch, still very sick, though I think  - maybe? - I am doing a bit better this morning. In any case, I had to spend the morning at Urgent Care with my son (his collarbone is not broken, just bruised!), and I am not curled into a ball crying that's progress!

On the plus side, with my efforts to rest as much as possible again last week, I had a lot of time for reading:
  • I finished my book group selection (though I missed the meeting), If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power, about a half-Jewish journalist who grew up in several Muslim countries and embarks on a project with a good friend & Muslim scholar to learn about the Quran.This nonfiction book was nominated for a National Book Award last week, so our timing was good! It was a fascinating and enlightening book - very thought-provoking and relevant to what is going on in the world today.
  • I also finished How To Wake Up by Toni Bernhard, a good friend of mine who also wrote How To Be Sick (she has the same illness I have). This book is about applying the principles of Buddhism to every day life, and, like her first book, it was excellent. Reading it while so sick (and getting impatient with being sick) was particularly timely - it helps in dealing with whatever challenges come up in your daily life.
  • Now, I've started reading The Martian by Andy Weir - finally! I've heard so many great things about this sci fi thriller and gave it to my father, husband, and step-father for Father's Day last year (they all loved it). I wanted to read it before the movie came out - it's great so far and the fast-paced excitement is a nice change from the nonfiction I've been reading...though I did dream I was stuck on another planet this weekend!
  • I also started Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi, a graphic memoir, for Banned Books Week (next week!). It is a child's view of living through the Iranian Revolution, and it is absolutely stunning so far - very powerful, especially on the heels of reading If the Oceans Were Ink.
  • I also started listening to a book for Banned Books Week (I usually choose two - one adult and one kids/teen/YA) - Looking for Alaska by John Green, a YA novel I have wanted to read for years. It is excellent so far - had me laughing right from the first minutes!
  • My husband, Ken, finished The Girl on the Train, which I read this summer. He enjoyed the suspense and unique, twisty story very much.
  • Jamie, 21, is reading Valour by John Gwynne, Book 2 of The Faithful and the Fallen series (he found his Kindle under his bed!) - he's enjoying this series and is trying to make more time for reading this semester.
  • Craig, 17, is not reading anything at all now that he finished The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri for his World Lit class, but he has a great syllabus for the year (I think so anyway - he's not so impressed), including The Kite Runner and Persepolis, which I am reading now!
I wasn't able to do much writing or blogging last week but managed a few posts:
Movie Monday (a new weekly feature) - Hot Pursuit & Shaun the Sheep

National Book Award Long Lists Announced!

Review of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Saturday Snapshot: The View from My Deck

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

One last reminder -  if you signed up for the Big Book Summer Challenge, you can still add your reviews of Big Books to the review list at the link (the second links list) through the end of the month.


  1. If The Oceans Were Ink sounds wonderful. I wish it wasn't the exception though, to read about people connecting across cultures!

    1. So true, Lindsey - I just wish that everyone was as open-minded and tolerant as the author and her Muslim friend/mentor. Pretty interesting how the different religions really aren't all that different when you go back to their sources and leave culture & politics out of it.

  2. I hope you enjoy The Martian - I loved it!

    1. Also loving it so far! So suspenseful I stayed up way too late last night reading!

  3. ENJOY your reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  4. You are reading two amazing books this week!! Persepolis and Looking for Alaska are life changing books. Enjoy!!
    And I hope you and your son feel better this week.

    Happy reading! :)

    1. Can barely stand to set Looking for Alaska down now - started out sooo funny and now so powerful & moving.

      I am still sick but definitely better than last week, so making progress! Thanks.

  5. Ah! He will love The Kite Runner if he gives it a chance. It was a huge hit in my classroom!

    1. I didn't realize you teach high school, Ricki - I thought you and Kellee both taught middle-grade ages. I agree - he professes to hate reading, though!

  6. Ooooh I want to read The Martian, too! I'm hoping to read it before watching the film - it looks pretty exciting!! Persepolis is a beautiful example of the power and versatility of the graphic novel genre - a wonderful book to share with anyone who thinks graphic novels aren't "real" books, and views them as nothing more than oversize Archie comics!

    1. That's why I'm reading it now, too, Jane - I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. You are right - I particularly like graphic memoirs. Fun House is another that just blew me away.

  7. So exciting that you're finally getting to The Martian! It's such a great story and I cannot wait to see the movie.

    I hope you continue to feel better this week.