Monday, July 09, 2018

It's Monday 7/9! What Are You Reading?

We had a beautiful weekend here!! Our unbearable heat & humidity finally dropped for a few days, and we were able to open our windows again and spend a little time working in the yard (which looks like a jungle). THIS time, as I weeded a portion, I asked my husband to get mulch to spread over it, so I won't have to re-do it again in a week! I just came in from the yard again this morning, but our temperature is going up near 90 today, and the humidity will be back tomorrow, so that's it for me for a while. My illness makes me very heat intolerant. So, feeling very grateful for a few lovely days to enjoy the outdoors.

Meanwhile, our sons are off to Rhode Island (Watch Hill and Block Island) on their grandparents' sailboat with their cousins, a beloved annual tradition known as the Grandchildren's Cruise! Even though our sons are now 20 and 23, this is still the highlight of the year for them. We are SO thankful that our younger son recovered from his concussion in time to go and that our older son finished his summer class (last college class!) on Friday. Hopefully, they are both relaxing and having a great time. We'll be heading out ourselves this weekend for my annual sorority reunion - thankfully, it is WAY up north, so hopefully, it will be cool enough since we are bringing our pop-up camper (aka home away from home). We're also making a detour on Sunday to my hometown, Rochester, for a big family reunion. Busy weekend but should be fun!

Amidst all this summer fun, we are, of course, enjoying our books, too, with a heavy focus on Big Books, as always in summertime:
  • I finished my second Big Book for my Big Book Summer Challenge: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (book 2 in the Outlander series). It was just as compelling and engaging as Outlander was. It's quite different, since much of it takes place in 1744 Paris, rather than the Scottish Highlands, but Claire and Jamie are just as wonderful. Since I also recently finished watching season 1 of the TV show, they now feel like old friends. I just finished last night and am laughing because I see that last Monday, I said I was almost done! It's all relative with a 700+ page book. I am dying to start reading book #3 immediately, but I have some bookish obligations for book group & review - can't really fit in a 1000-page book right now!
  • I just started The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, the choice for one of my book groups this month. I'm a bit wary of this one. It's a memoir Wolfe wrote in 1968 about a road trip with Ken Kesey (author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and a bunch of other drug-addled hippies in a psychedelic school bus. One of our group members already e-mailed saying she gave up halfway through. It is written in 60's slang (groovy is just the tip of the iceberg), including some rather offensive racial terms. We'll see - I'm giving it a chance. Oh, it IS over 400 pages, so it will count as a Big Book (if I finish it!).
  • On audio, I am listening to Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, a freebie from SYNC one summer. I last read this novel in 9th grade and remember enjoying it. I am loving it this time around - I'd forgotten that Dickens had a good sense of humor! The story is completely engrossing and kept me company during my weeding sessions.
  • My husband, Ken, is also reading his second Big Book of the summer and one of my all-time favorites, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This was one of my Big Book Summer reads a few years ago, and Ken gamely watched the movie adaptation with me, even though he found it pretty confusing (I loved the movie). It's a complicated but engrossing book, with multiple interwoven stories that show how we are all connected across space and time. He is at about the halfway point and is enjoying it overall, though he doesn't like the writing as much as I did.
  • Our son, Jamie, 23, is reading book 10, Crossroads of Twilight, of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He has been plowing through this series, one huge book at a time. It's Big Book Summer all year-round for him; he rarely reads a book with under 400 pages! Most of the books in this series are between 900 and 1200 pages!
Blog posts last week - busy week!
Movie Monday: Game Night - fun, suspenseful & very funny

TV Tuesday: The Letdown - hilarious Australian show about a new mother

Summary of Books Read in June - a good reading month for me!

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.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.   

What are you and your family reading this week? 

The 2018 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge is on, and there is still plenty of time to join! It's easy-going, like summer - you only need to read one book with 400 or more pages sometime between now and the end of summer (early September) to participate (though of course, you can read more Big Books, if you want to). It's great motivation to tackle some of the bigger books on your shelves or TBR that usually get overlooked. Check out the details at the link and join the fun!


  1. Love the sound of that family time cruise!
    and a great amount of reading - enjoy ;)

  2. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test sounds like it could be interesting, but not exactly my type of reading. I’ll still look forward to hearing about your experience with it. Is Cloud Atlas something you need to stay focused on until finished? Just wondering if it's easy to forget what's happening if you put it down for a couple days. I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but if it's something you really liked then my ears are perked! :) Do you plan to move forward with more Gabaldon books (or wait until more seasons come out)? I need to re-start book #3 because it’s been long enough that I cannot remember much of what happened. I’m enjoying the Big Book summer challenge! My copy of Reaper at the Gates (Ember #3) came in, so I’ll start that some time this week on top of my other commitments. Now that I’m accepting MGlit and YAlit ARCs again, I’ll need to keep organized in my juggling act! lol Have a wonderful week, Sue!

  3. Oh finished Dragonfly in Amber, nice! Wasn't it so good. And so much good times - and bad - in store for them. Interesting that Great Expectations is very enjoyable on audio. I think its great that your sons love that boat trip every year. Live and enjoy life!

  4. I think I read Outlander way back when it was first published because everyone I knew was raving about it. I remember enjoying it well enough, but not being crazy enough about it to read more of the series. Hope you are enjoying the next one.

  5. The cousins cruise sounds wonderful! I just finished a book for work and think I will start Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson.

  6. Glad the boys are keeping up the tradition. All your family's books are good ones.

  7. I binge-watched the first season of the Outlander on Netflix while I was in Munich last year, and been meaning to read the novels, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Still reading the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley, now in Book 2.

  8. I just finished my second big book of the summer! Yay! :)
    Enjoy your Tom Wolfe. He is one of my dad's favorites.

    Hope you have a good reading week!