Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Monday 12/21! What Are You Reading?

Whew, what a crazy time of year! I haven't been on the blog much this month and even missed last week's What Are You Reading Monday...all four of us (plus another 8 extended family members!) were flat on our backs with a stomach virus. We spent last Monday lying on couches, recliners, and floor, watching mindless TV and movies, sipping water and nibbling on crackers. I am happy to report that we are all recovered now, but I lost several days in the critical pre-holiday celebration period! At the end of last week, I finished my last writing assignment for the year, so now I can focus just on holiday stuff - I still need to wrap all our gifts and send out 120 cards!

Anyway, despite all this craziness, we always have time to read - here's what we've read in the past two weeks:
  • I finished a new review book for Publisher's Weekly, Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (and wrote the review last week). I was excited to be offered this one because I really liked Cleave's novel Little Bee. This novel is set during World War II in London, and it was excellent - moving, insightful, compelling - but it won't be released until May 3!
  • Now, I am back to trying to finish last year's Christmas gifts before Christmas! I am reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and remembering why she is one of my favorite authors. This novel about an elephant researcher who disappears and leaves her daughter behind is totally engrossing - and the information about elephants is fascinating.
  • I finished listening to Echo, a middle-grade novel by Pam Munoz Ryan about a magical harmonica that links its young users through time. It was amazing on audio, with lots of music integrated into the story, and I loved the way all the threads of the different stories came together at the end.
  • Now, I am listening to George by Alex Gino, another middle-grade audio book that has been getting a lot of attention. It's about a 9-year old boy who knows that she's really a girl inside and how she struggles with her secret. It's great so far.
  • My husband, Ken, finished A Dance with Dragons, Book 5 in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series.  At 1150 pages, this was a hefty one! He really enjoyed it.
  • Next, with a lot of stress at work, he wanted to read something light, so he read The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, a novel I'd read last year and absolutely loved. He'd already seen the movie (we watched it together), but he enjoyed the book...though he said he liked the movie better! I have to admit, the dance scene at the end of the movie is unbeatable, and Cooper and Lawrence were both excellent in their roles, but I thought the book was even funnier.
  • Now, Ken is doing what I am - trying to finish up his TBRs from 2015! He is reading A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, a classic he and I bought at a bookstore this spring. I haven't gotten to this one yet, but he's enjoying it.
  • Jamie, 21, finished Demonsouled by Jonathan Moeller, a fantasy of the type he loves.
  • I think Jamie next read The Mage's Grave by Timothy L. Cerepaka, Book 1 in The Mages of Matir.  He's finished with the semester at college now but is very busy running around with his friends - they are enjoying the holiday season in NYC today.
Whew, I think that catches you up! As you can see, lots of great books at the end of the year. I have read some amazing books so far this month.

As I said, I haven't had a lot of time for blogging, but here are some posts from the past two weeks:
Movie Monday: The Age of Adaline, a time-bending romance that I loved

TV Tuesday: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - total fun & fluff, like an R-rated Glee - perfect for a stressful season!

Teen/YA Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz - just as good as everyone said!

Saturday Snapshot - photos of a warm December walk

Summary of Books Read in November - I read 5 very good books last month!

What are you and your family reading this week?    

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers


  1. I may be the last one to read/listen to George! I plan to get to it soon. Thanks for sharing! I missed you last week. I am glad the stomach virus has passed! Happy holidays!

  2. Wow! What a great list of books! I liked Leaving Time a lot - I'm a big Picoult fan! I'll have to check out the Cleave book because I LOVED Little Bee! Echo was fantastic, and George is in my holiday reading pile.

  3. Nice assortment of books. I've never read anything by Picoult but keep wanting to add something by her to my stack. This one sounds good. Come see my week here. Happy holidays and happy reading!

  4. definitely had a good week.

    ENJOY this week, and Merry Christmas.

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

  5. So sorry that you were all struck down for awhile. No fun really. Looks like you have a few Christmas tasks on the go! Enjoy and enjoy the reading.

  6. Sorry about the flu-yikes! At least it's over before Christmas! Thanks for telling about the new Cleave book, wonderful! I'd love to "listen" to Echo, have read it, but so many say listening is wonderful because of the music. Still need to read George, just can't seem to catch up with all the wonderful books. Enjoy your week, and Merry Christmas!

  7. So much to comment on!
    Echo is loved by so many--I need to get to it soon. I also need to read George--such a special concept.
    I'm also a huge Hemingway fan!

    Happy reading and holidays this week!

  8. I agree 100% with your comments about echo. Wasn't it fabulous? I also listened to George this week. I liked it. It is sweet and maybe not totally realistic, but it least helpful. Hope you and your family are feeling better and have a fabulous Christmas. It is sweet and maybe not totally realistic, but it least hopeful. Hope you and your family are feeling better and have a fabulous Christmas.