Reading: resolution update

I am behind on my resolution of classics. BUT I can still do this!! Completed: Frankenstein The Bell Jar My Sister’s Keeper Attempted and failed: A Tale of Two Cities (for the upteenth time in my life!) Started: The Phantom Tollbooth On hold/planned/gotten: The Great Gatsby (the library only has one copy in audiobook and someone else checked it out!) Silence I already have a copy. I just need to find it on one of my to-be-read piles. Wuthering Heights I’ve downloaded from Librivox (I’m currently listening to a silly series, but this is next on my phone for my driving needs). I CAN read 9 books in 4 months. God knows I’ve done it before. I have 7 “on deck” so to speak. Shockingly my library doesn’t have ebooks or audiobooks for A Clockwork Orange or The Grapes of Wrath. They have an ebook of The Left Hand of Darkness and with the new ipad ebooks are slowly being

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Review: My Sister’s Keeper

Holy Shit. That”s got to be the summary of my review of My Sister”s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I cried through at least half this book. I literally would just sit with tears steaming down my cheeks because I couldn’t or wouldn’t close my eyes even to squeeze the tear ducts shut. This book would have hit me hard no matter what, but it definitely held a special twinge in my heart every time my son squirmed while I was reading. Every time he shifted in his sleep while I watch him. Every time I try not to imagine the horrible things that my anxiety-riddled brain likes to come up with. Anna is a protagonist in this story. The third child with an eldest brother and middle sister. Three years younger than her big sister. This mirrors my own life, Everything else might be different, but there are echos of familiarity. Older sisters tend to be a force in younger

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Review: Children of Blood and Bone

I’m breaking one of my rules. I’m reviewing a single book in a series – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This is because the second book (Children of Virtue and Vengeance ) isn’t out yet. So I can’t review the whole series. And I need to talk about this book. I’ve had this book on my radar since I saw the bit about “women writers are automatically YA” and the falsehood this entails. I have to 1000% agree – this is NOT a YA book. At least not in the “sure, 14-year-olds can read” level YA. Maybe 18. Definitely 20. And although I might consider 20 “young adult” – that isn’t what the market actually says (12-18 is pretty standard). This books hits hard on some deep, serious, and difficult topics. Genocide. Trauma. Blood Magic. Torture. Adeyemi doesn’t toe around these topics lightly, she drags you into them in such a way that you wonder where the

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Review: Wayfairer trilogy

I pretty much stumbled across this series and found myself drawn in. I never realized a book without strong plot could be enjoyable. All those “character books” I had to read in middle and high school (I’m looking at you Pat Conroy) where it’s exploring “the human experience” or whatever. I disliked those. But the Wayfarirer books, there isn’t a strong plot to drive me forward – and I didn’t mind at all. So clearly, these books are all about the characters. And I do mean, all about. The barest of plot/action makes an appearance just to give the books some kind of beginning-middle-end structure, but that is all it seems to be for. These books are about the people and the world. And this world was fascinating. The worlds Beck Chambers builds are awesome. They are deep and real. There was only one alien species I found myself going “I don’t believe they would make it to space on

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Review: Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik is a unique writer in my world – I find her books extremely frustrating and extremely intriguing at the same time. I love retellings and twists on fairy tails and Novik hits both with this book. More than 90% of the book is told from the perspective of women – Miryem, Wanda, and Irina being the main protagonists. Miryem and Irina each seeing bigger picture issues they want to “fix” or address – Wanda mostly doesn’t want to be cold and hungry (I don’t blame her!). I enjoyed the Russian twist on Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t particularly like how Novik handled men in this novel. In His Majesty’s Dragons, the protagonist was a man, so I know she can do it – write decent men. For some reason the men in Spinning Silver are flat stereotypes at best – “the big brute” or the “angsty artist” or “pretentious prince.” I honestly have a higher expectation, this isn’t her debut

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Current Reading List

I was talking to someone the other day and I made a comment “one of the books I’m reading…” the person stopped me and said, “One of? More than one?” Yes. I read multiple books at the same time. Not literally sitting and reading one page in one book, then the next, then the next. It depends on my circumstances. And at some point most books become my “need to finish now” book – the one I obsess over until I finish it. I have a few categories of books I read: Need to Finish Now – this is the book I can’t put down. I will sacrifice food, sleep, and people-time to read these books. Breastfeeding and reading is something I’m still figuring out. My commute book. This has to be an audio book since I drive. I try really hard not to let my commute book turn into my “must finish now” book – it can be difficult

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Review: The Bell Jar

I actually finished this up right before giving birth, but…. well a lot has slipped the past few weeks! I struggle with mild anxiety, and I know how much that can debilitate me from functioning – I read this and it hurt. I only brush on the levels of unhappiness, disconnect, and depression Plath expressed – and it was very real. I do think this is a good book for people to read. Seeing a glimpse of just how consuming (and at times unrealistic) depression is – might help people understand how helpless people are to “just get over it.” Just eat better. Work out. Get up. Blah blah blah. That advice is rarely actually the solution someone needs once they’ve slipped down that far. As far as depression goes, The Bell Jar I would put on par with Speak – without the issue of rape driving the plot. In fact, I think it does a good job of also

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Review: The Teahouse Fire

I actually finished this about two weeks ago, but I needed time to digest it before I wrote any kind of commentary on it. This isn’t quite on my “I’m ashamed I haven’t read this” book list, but it has been on my “to read” pile for years (literally for years. It had dust on it). I noticed the library had it on audiobook so I picked it up for my commute-listening-pleasure. The book was…. interesting. There was a lot I enjoyed (especially given how much I enjoy Japanese tea ceremony). A lot of what she discusses in the process is similar to the “Tea Club” lessons I was able to participate in when I spent a semester in Japan. I would never try to replicate tea ceremony, but I can appreciate the dance, art, and skill. So, to begin let me say that I never felt the main character grew up. Aurelia (the protagonist) never tries to understand the

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