I heard about this book on the All the Books podcast, as usual. I’m not sure I hear about books any other way anymore. I started listening to it on audiobook. I’ve realized that I commit to books much longer when I’m listening on audio than I ever would if I were reading it. I never ever would have finished this book had it not been something in my car that continued on its own. It moved very slow. The main character, Madeline / Linda (still not sure why she had two names) tells about her life in different ages and stages but always goes back to the story of when she was 16 in Minnesota as a babysitter for her neighbor. This back and forth in time rarely has any indication which was sometimes confusing. There is a climax that she’s moving towards and things happen but they didn’t feel like climaxes because there was no build up. I don’t know how to explain it. If you like Kent Haruf, which I do, it’s kind of like that. Although I don’t like that comparison because I actually really liked Our Souls at Night. History of Wolves is a novel about day to day people with some points of interest but nothing super major.. Did I like it? Nah, not really. I won’t recommend it to anyone.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book set in the wilderness
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a debut novel
Here is a full list of the Cybil Winners of 2016! I was a judge last year and enjoyed it immensely. Here are some overlaps with other youth awards that have happened.
The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz won for audiobook, it was also a Newbery Honor book this year.
Giant Squid by Candance Fleming won for elementary non-fiction, it was also a Sibert Honor this year.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds won for middle grade fiction (which was my category last year).
Sachiko by Caren Stelson won for middle grade non-fiction, it was also a Sibert Honor like Giant Squid.
March : book three by John Lewis won for young adult graphic novel. I won’t even try and tell you everything else it won this year, there are too many.
February was my second month doing Book of the Month Club and it was a kicker!
I was a little concerned about the rest of my months when I had no real desire to read any of the January choices. I had picked something random that I thought I could easily pawn off on a friend if I never got around to reading it. Really exciting.. But then! I saw February’s choices. I did not have to do the extensive research I did the last month, but I did, because I was basically drawn to them all. So I needed the ratings and reviews in order to narrow my choice down. Quick reminder, BOTM has you pick one book from the chosen 5 but you can then add up to two more of your choice for $9.99 each if you can’t possibly choose just one. Guess who had three books in her box this month?? Me. My choice for the box ended up being Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (review below) and I added Behind Her Eyes and The Animators. I chose Pachinko because the guest judge on BOTM is Alexander Chee. He of the Queen of the Night phenomenon. Click that link btw, I adore the illustrated photo the New York Times had commissioned for the book review. I ordered a copy for my friend, a copy of the piece of art – not the book, that’s how much I love it. I digress, I chose Pachinko. I’m reading it now and it is great. Moving on. I also chose Behind Her Eyes because in an episode of the All the Books podcast Liberty Hardy, who reads for a living, said that even she had no idea where the ending was going. Are you kidding?? Sign me up! The Animators was also in that podcast episode but Rebecca Schinsky talked about it and I found it compelling. Not as much as the other two but enough to pay ten bucks. Sooo, long story short, stayed tuned for book reviews!
Behind Her Eyes review
January was my first Book of the Month experience. These were the 5 books I had to choose from.
Now, I did a lot of research before I chose. First, I read the summaries. Then I made note of who the judge was just in case I had heard of them. I had not, nor had I heard of any of the authors. So then I went to Goodreads and Amazon and looked up their ratings. When it came down to it I didn’t really love any of them. Honestly, I should’ve skipped this month (which BOTM lets you do) but I was too excited to get my first box. I ended up choosing Girls in the Moon. I already had The Most Dangerous Place on Earth on my Kindle from Netgalley or else I would’ve chosen that one. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read it yet. I picked it because I knew there was someone I could give it to afterwards. That’s another perk to me, sharing the book love. Once I’m done with my reading choices I can’t wait to send #bookmail off to someone else to enjoy. Also, this box came with a freebie! Gillian Flynn’s short story Grownup was an added bonus to January’s box.
I signed up for Book of the Month. As if I don’t have enough to read (rolls eyes). But I couldn’t help myself. There was a Groupon for three months at $19.99. That means I could get 3 brand new hardcover books for $6.66 a book! Are you kidding me?? How can a librarian book addict resist that? Spoiler alert : she can’t. If you haven’t heard of Book of the Month, this is how it works. Each month you pick one book from a group of 5 books. Those 5 books are chosen by guest judges who write a little blurb on why they chose it. If you just can’t decide on one, you can add two more to your box for $9.99 each. Which let’s face it, is still a super big deal on a brand new hardcover. Not even Amazon has new hardcovers for that cheap. So far I am having the best time because well.. #bookmail. But also, the books are amazing! I can’t wait to continue. And I have decided I will continue even after my Groupon has expired. Stay tuned for the books I’ve chosen in January & February so far.
I read a book! I am such a slacker with my reading lately. Every time I log on to Goodreads it tells me I’m behind in my reading goal for the year. One month in and I’m already behind. HOW CAN THIS BE??! We’re being pelted with snow here so I’ve taken the day to tackle my TBR pile. And what do you know, I finished a book! The Bear and the Nightingale is a book I did not choose myself. An old co-worker suggested we read a book together, with another co-worker, and this is the book she chose. Set mostly in Russia during winter, it was great for a snowy day. I liked it at first but grew less fond of it the more mystical it became. My friend pointed out that I do like mystical things. Harry Potter anyone? As someone who enjoys Harry Potter and the Night Circus I can only say that this book is different because it mixed in evil and church. I like good and happy magic like tents of ice and chocolate frogs. This is not that. It is still enjoyable, just not my jam.
Now that I’ve looked it up on Goodreads I can see that there’s apparently a book two. Whaaat??
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit (I’ve always wanted to see those gorgeous palaces!)
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : A book involving a mythical creature
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a book that is set more than 5,000 miles from your location (Russia is 5,253 miles, in case you were wondering)
This book came from my traveling book club. And it was so timely. While we’re in the throes of an immigration ban it’s interesting to read a book on just that. Two women who want to leave their country. And they have damn good reasons and should be allowed to leave their country. And that’s how I feel about that. But let’s talk about how I feel about the book.
First, apologies to my bestie who loves this book. For years she’s been telling me how great it is and I kept saying, yeah yeah okay, and then never reading it. Mainly because I had heard about his other book, The Kite Runner, and had no desire to read that one either. So I projected that lack of enthusiasm onto this book. This is a book that I only feel good about reading because it helped me understand Afghanistan and it’s conflict. Did I like the characters? Of course. However, I hate, absolutely positively hate, when books have violent husbands and the women can do nothing. It makes me want to hurl the book across the room. I cringe even thinking about the things women who lived in this area and this time went through. And in that way, I’m glad I read it because my eyes have been opened more. But I can’t say I enjoyed the outcome. I did enjoy the way it was written and the two points of view. I always like that. But otherwise, God it was depressing.
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : A book recommended by someone with great taste
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : A novel set during wartime
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a book about war