Monday, March 11, 2019

It's Monday 3/11! What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday! I had a good week & an even better weekend! The beginning of the week was a bit busy with doctor's appointments for my 93-year old father-in-law, but after that, I got a couple of good writing days in. I sent pitches for four new articles, and three have already been accepted! My writing calendar is filling up, which I like to see. I still need to work on getting more travel writing jobs because I really want to do more of that.

On the weekend, my husband and I took a mini getaway to Rehoboth Beach here in Delaware, just two hours away. We like to plan a weekend trip for February or March - about the time we are sick of winter and it's not yet warm enough to get the camper out! We had a great weekend and even saw some sunshine on Saturday so we could walk on the beach (though it was still pretty cold!). We tried some new restaurants and went to some old favorites, did a bit of shopping, found a new-to-us homemade chocolate shop (so good), and did lots of walking in town and on the beach and boardwalk. Best of all, we enjoyed one of our favorite bookstores, Browseabout Books, and met up with two of my Booktopia friends! Yes, Saturday was a good day - shopping for books, talking books with friends, and reading!

Here's what we've all been reading this past week (and you can see what we bought this weekend down below):
  • I finished The Den by Abi Maxwell, my first Booktopia 2019 read (and I am also reviewing it for Shelf Awareness). It's a split narrative about two families in the same place about 150 years apart, with two sisters in each time period. In both, the older sister gets pregnant and leaves home and eventually goes missing. It's a complex story, but I enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to hearing the author speak at Booktopia in May (click Events at the link for more info).
  • I started my next book group pick, My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. You may recall that I dreaded reading the 600-page novel, America's First Daughter, by the same authors last year but ended up loving it, and I'm having the same experience now! I thought I wasn't in the mood for lengthy historical fiction, but once again, these remarkable authors have plunged me into the life of a woman connected to a Revolutionary hero, and I am captivated. It's a great novel, and I am also learning so much.
  • I am still slowly making my way through a very unique illustrated book, Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan. Tan is known for his amazing illustrations, graphic novels, illustrated short stories, and even a short film. This unusual book is a collection of short fantasy stories about animals in an urban environment. Some stories are just a few lines long and others are 5 or more pages, each with at least one huge, colorful, two-page painting. They are all very weird and imaginative, about worlds that are different than ours, with a focus on the connections between animals and humans. It's almost impossible to describe briefly, but I am enjoying it.
  • On audio, I started listening to Tangerine by Christine Mangan, a novel that got a lot of attention last year. It's the story of two young women in the 1950's who are college roommates and then meet up again later in Morocco. There is tension throughout, as you know that something bad happened when they last saw each other, but it's quite a while before you find out exactly what. It's keeping me a bit off-balance because the chapters alternate between the two main characters, and I'm not sure whether one of the women is a bit stalkerish or whether the other woman is paranoid. I'm enjoying it and am curious to see how it ends - and also hoping to have time for the discussion at a local bookstore next week.
  • My husband, Ken, is reading The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld, a thriller that I gave him for Christmas. It got a lot of great buzz when it was published in 2017, and he says it's very good so far.
  •  Our son, Jamie, 24,wants to read book 4, Kingdom Blades, of the series A Pattern of Shadow and Light by Melissa McPhail, a favorite series of his. But, being him, he decided to first re-read the first 3 books in the series. So, he finished book 1, Cephrael's Hand is now reading book 2, The Dagger of Adendigaeth. He says he's enjoying it and is glad he decided to re-read because he's remembering details he'd forgotten...and the series is sooo good!
Blog posts from last week:
Celebrate Mardi Gras with Books, TV, Movies, and FOOD! - enjoyable any time of year

Teen/YA Review: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater - definitely not my usual kind of thing, but this amazing author got me again with this magical, surreal story of miracles

Fiction Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - moving, powerful, and just as stunning as everyone says! A must-read.

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? 

Our haul from the bookstore - including 3 classics (one that counts for Big Book Summer!)
  

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a fun weekend away. You read some interesting looking books too. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Yes, a great weekend, Kathy - just what we needed!

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  2. Oh that sounds like a wonderful weekend, and Saturday just idyllic. The Dear Hamilton book sounds good, a long book never bothers me when the writing and story just sucks me in.

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    1. It was, Kathryn! We needed a getaway - getting pretty sick of winter here!

      My Dear Hamilton is SO good - totally engrossing.

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  3. I really liked Child Finder! And Shaun Tan is wonderful.

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    1. My husband is liking it, too - he's not much of a talker, but he said it's REALLY good - high praise from him!

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  4. I keep hearing good things about The Underground Railroad -- I hope to squeeze this one into my 2019 stack. Ahhh... so jealous of your getaway. Would also love to visit a homemade chocolate shop. Sounds like a lovely and delicious getaway! Have a wonderful reading week, Sue!

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    1. Definitely make time for it, Shaye - you will love it.

      Yes, wishing we had stocked up on this chocolates, but it's probably good that we didn't!

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  5. I liked the audio Tangerine when I listened to it; the ending was a real sunrise.

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    1. I am liking it so far but not loving it - pretty dark. I;m sure it will be a surprise to see where it's leading!

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  6. Loved to read about your delightful weekend away. Sometimes any kind of a change is good. We will be heading off to our house in the Okanagan in a week or so.
    I haven't read Catch 22 for decades! What a find! I'll be keeping my eyes open for Tales from the Inner City. I appreciate Shaun Tan's work. You really can spend a lot of time gazing at his illustrations.

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    1. Yes, change is good - we needed that! Enjoy your trip, too!

      I've never read Catch-22 but it's been on my want-to-read list for a very long time.

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  7. I just finished Within These Lines (Morrill) and am beginning Daughter of Moloka'i (Brennert). Both are good, but I am pulled into Moloka'i immediately

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    1. I LOVED Moloka'i, Helen!! Have been hearing a lot about the sequel and really looking forward to reading it.

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  8. Shaun Tan is definitely unclassifiable - he is a class all his own. :) Great to hear about your beach getaway too! :)

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    1. Yes, very true, Myra! I still haven't seen some of his earlier works but would really like to.

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  9. So fun hearing what your family is reading too! My daughter (29 years old!) just read the book I picked out for her at Christmas, My Sister Is a Serial Killer, and she said it was darkly funny and she really liked it. It's on my TBR list, as is The Underground Railroad.

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    1. Oh, I've heard such great things about that novel! Glad your daughter enjoyed it - I need to get to it.

      Hope you enjoy that and Underground Railroad.

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  10. I want to read more about the time period with Hamilton and Eliza and Burr and Jefferson, but I just don't know where to begin. It fascinates me.

    Happy reading this week :)

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