Monday, May 20, 2019

It's Monday 5/20! What Are You Reading?

Wow, that week went by fast! It was wonderful to just be at home and not traveling anywhere, but my overflowing to-do list still seems just as long as last week! And I still have almost 100 unread e-mails - every time I clear some out, more come in. It's going to take me a while to catch up on everything. That's most of what I did this weekend - paid bills, cleared e-mails, and did a bit of yard work. Baby steps!

My reading life was busy last week, too, with two book groups meeting back-to-back, plus an author interview. Juggling three books resulted in my having to set one down halfway through and start another, so I could at least read a bit of it before the discussion. I really don't like doing that - I'm a monogamous reader! Luckily, they were all really great books.

Here's what we've all been reading this week:
  • I (eventually) finished reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman for my neighborhood book group last week. I LOVED this novel!! I want to shout it from the rooftops - it's just so good. My whole book group agreed, giving it one of our highest ratings ever. The titular character is socially awkward, to put it mildly, but also endearing, and the reader gradually finds out that her odd behaviors actually stem from some pretty horrific traumas in her early life. Eleanor takes things very literally and is completely clueless about pop culture, so the book is very, very funny, even as she digs down into that trauma and begins healing. One of my favorite passages was when she encounters a SpongeBob balloon! This is a must-read.
  • My second book group this week discussed Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, which I am still reading. This memoir has gotten a lot of buzz this year and with good reason. It's the fascinating story of a woman who sent her saliva off to Ancestry.com (just because someone gave her and her husband kits as a gift) and was shocked to discover that her father was not actually her biological father and she was only half-Jewish, not 100% Orthodox Jewish, as she'd thought. Her parents are both dead, so she can't ask them and sets off to dig into her own history, find her biological father, and figure out how this happened. It's just as good as everyone said and is a very moving story - not just about genetics but also about family, culture, and identity.
  • On audio, I decided to choose a YA novel because I haven't read one in a long time, so I am listening to The Knowing by Sharon Cameron, the sequel to The Forgetting, which I listened to on audio two years ago (review at the link). It's an original and engrossing science fiction dystopian novel about memory, but to say any more about the second book would give away spoilers about the first book. Suffice it to say, it is a suspenseful and compelling story that I am enjoying.
  • My husband, Ken, is reading Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones, a Booktopia book that I read recently and passed onto him. You can read my review at the link - it's a fast and funny thriller about an ex-cop in Detroit who stumbles onto a crime involving young undocumented immigrant women. I think he is almost finished with it. We are both getting ready for the Big Book Summer Challenge, starting this weekend!
  • Our son, Jamie, 24, is reading a novel that we put in his Easter basket, The Wolf, by Leo Carew, book 1 in the Under the Northern Sky series. I picked it out for him at an awesome indie bookstore at the beach in Delaware, Browseabout Books, because the epic fantasy sounded right up his alley. He's loving it so far!
Blog posts last week:

TV Tuesday: Proven Innocent - a legal drama about wrongful convictions

Fiction Review: Sunburn by Laura Lippman - psychological thriller perfect for summer!

Fiction Review: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - moving, powerful, captivating story about racial inequity in 1940's rural Mississippi

Saturday Snapshot: Spring Blooms - catching up with some of the lovely signs of spring from the past two months.

Remember, my annual Big Book Summer Challenge begins this weekend, so take a look through your shelves or your TBR list and pick out a book or two of 400 pages or longer so you can join in the fun (even if it's the start of winter where you are)! I already have a stack of Big Books that I can't wait to tackle. I'll be posting the sign-up page on Friday, but in the meantime, if you are unfamiliar with it, you can take a look at last year's Big Book Summer Challenge to see what it's all about. I can't wait to begin - and I am starting with a whopper this year!

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?

18 comments:

  1. The Inheritance sounds intriguing. Good luck cleaning out your email. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  2. Well, I'm sold on Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. I just looked it up locally and see we have 9 copies with 39 people already waiting. Guess I'll be waiting for a while. LOL I'm currently going through my books and seeing what I might put on my list for the Big Book Summer Challenge. Looking forward to keeping up with that community, again! Have a great reading week, Sue!

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    1. 39 is not too bad for the wait list, Shaye - our library's was more like 89 or something like that! I signed up for every version (audio, large print, hardcover, paperback) they had and still didn't get it on time (and that's from our entire state system!). Luckily, one of my neighbors had finished hers and lent it to me :) Thanks for reminding me - I should review it right away so I can give it back to her! So glad you'll be doing Big Book Summer again!

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    2. Oh yeah, 39 isn’t bad at all compared to what I’ve been at before. I think I was originally around #123 on Becoming by Michelle Obama a few months back. Now I’m down to #41 and seeing light at the end of that tunnel. Unfortunately my “holds” cue is full. Wish they wouldn’t limit it, but I totally understand why they do.

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    3. Oh, yeah - I REALLY want to listen to Becoming on audio, but I'm sure our list is just as long!

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    4. I actually got my hands on the actual book a few months ago, but then I heard that the audio was spectacular since it was actually read by Michelle. So I turned the book back in and got on the list for the audiobook as soon as I saw it pop up. It's on my Overdrive account (which we share across the state). Can't wait!! :)

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    5. Lucky you! I need to figure out how to use Overdrive and get on my own state's list!

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  3. I loved Eleanor Oliphant which was great on audio, and so happy to hear you loved her too. Makes me want to do a reread. I have heard of Inheritance from both Oprah and Modern Mrs Darcy and it is on my TBR list. Ticking off small tasks is always great.

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    1. Oh, I bet Eleanor was good on audio! Definitely a good book to re-read. Yes, I had heard of Inheritance from multiple sources, too. It's very good so far.

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  4. I am so glad you also loved Eleanor Oliphant! I immediately wanted to pass my copy on to someone who would appreciate her s much as I did. I found that friend and was so happy when she loved it, too.

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    1. Yes! It's definitely the kind of book you want to share - and was perfect for book group!

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  5. I really liked Eleanor Oliphant as well, I definitely want to read Inheritance.

    Have a great reading week

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  6. My students love The Knowing and The Forgetting--I hope you enjoy them :)

    Happy reading this week!

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    1. Oh, glad to hear it! I hadn't heard of anyone else who was familiar with these novels, but they've really won me over!

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  7. Eleanor Oliphant sounds like a fascinating character and absolutely perfect for our #WomenReadWomen2019 theme. :)

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    1. Yes, for sure! I just reviewed the novel, if you want to know more:

      https://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2019/05/fiction-review-eleanor-oliphant-is.html

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