“On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery… Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel – in its form and voice – completely unlike anything you have read before.”
This book took me awhile. Over a month. I finished it for a discussion with friends, otherwise I would’ve abandoned long ago. There were parts at the end that I highlighted and will enjoy discussing with them. But overall, it’s not for me and I wasn’t in love with it like they were.
I first checked it out on audiobook. It is written almost like a play with many many characters. The audio book boasts a cast of 166 narrators, which is something I had to experience for myself. I liked the way the audio presented the story much more than I liked reading the book.
I changed my rating from a 2 to a 3 solely based on the distinctive writing style, I’ve never seen it in anything else. Having read a bit about George Saunders this isn’t surprising. It’s his first novel. Ever. So he obviously had to start with a bang!
Interview with George Saunders in Kirkus
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection (technically not a play but it is def written like one – so I’m counting it)
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book from a nonhuman perspective (ghost)
I don’t read science fiction or fantasy very much. I know there are people out there who will be upset that I even put those two genres together. Name of the Wind is shelved in the sci fi fantasy section at Barnes and Noble. I know, because that’s where I bought it and that’s where I first saw it when the second book came out and I was working at a B&N. This is specifically a fantasy. From my limited knowledge, there is nothing sci fi about it. I’ve loved the covers since I first saw them 5+ years ago but never picked them up because the genre is not my thing.
But then I did pick it up. And it was very good! I was surprised I stuck with it. I bought the mass market paperback and it’s a whopping 722 pages. Which isn’t saying much because I’ve also purchased the second one and it’s 1107 pages. Whether I’ll actually read the second one is another thing entirely. But I did read the first one. Let me talk about it before I get distracted again.
It’s a story within a story. Which I love. It’s kind of like having multiple POVs. Kvothe, the main character, is telling his life story in the present (technically the past but the present of the book anyway). We as the reader go back in time to follow that story while also being pulled to the present for occasional commentary. The premise of the story is that Kvothe, a trouper, is a newly made orphan whose only desire is to go to University. He eventually gets there after a crazy amount of trials and tribulations that sometimes go longer than they’re good for. At it’s heart the book is a hero story and a love story. There’s a climactic event at the conclusion of the book in both the past and the present. I didn’t love the present ending but I’m going to at least start book two. I’ll probably get pulled away, series are hard to complete for me these days. I’m also a bit worried because book three isn’t out yet, not even rumors.
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book that’s more than 600 pages
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book that is a story within a story
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : read a fantasy 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.
Okay, I finished. According to my Goodreads account I have read / listened to Discovery of Witches four times since 2012. That’s essentially once a year. I have only read books 2 & 3 once when they first came out in 2012 & 2014. Now someone, another person I know who loves these books, said there’s going to be a fourth! I’ve heard no news of that and I follow the author on Facebook. However, having read the third book a second time now and looking at my past review of it I can say that it’s open ended enough that a fourth book isn’t completely out of the question.
You guys. I have been in the biggest reading slump. Literally, I’ve read nothing. In order to get myself back on the bandwagon I re-listened to Discovery of Witches. That book always gets me. I love it. The last time I listened to it was in February. Before it was a once every two years thing. This year is a twice in one year thing. But I’m okay with it. Typically I don’t continue on to books two and three but I think I might this time.
I just finished The Flight of Gemma Hardy. I don’t think I liked it. The woman reading it was the same woman who read The Miniaturist. It took me awhile to get over that. In retrospect it’s rather ironic because the main character in The Miniaturist is named Nella and one of the main characters in Gemma Hardy is named Nell. I digress.
This is supposedly a re-telling of Jane Eyre. Whatever that means. I haven’t read Jane Eyre in awhile but I can say that I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed this. Gemma runs away. All the time. I guess I should’ve realized that since the title implies she chooses flight over fight. Thank God she ends up with the Mr. Rochester character at the end. Although I don’t know why I wanted her to, their relationship is so weird. I guess I’m glad I read it because I’ve owned it for like 5 years and moved it to just as many houses. Now I can give it away to someone else.8
This book is messed up y’all. J.K. Rowling has some serious multiple personalities in order to write Harry Potter and this book. The first book in the Cormoran Strike series, Cuckoo’s Calling, is nothing compared to this nonsense. An author has gone missing and his wife hires Cormoran to find him. Enter the mystery. Where is the author? Is he still alive and just hiding from his wife? Did someone kidnap him? Was he murdered? Where is this psycho. And by psycho, I mean the author. Because in this book is the author’s book and that book is disgusting. He talks about some seriously weird stuff. I was listening on audio so there wasn’t any way to skip through it or else I would have. Besides that, the book was good. The mystery was compelling. However, now that I’ve read two of these I can say with fair certainty that Galbraith wraps up the book within the last 60ish pages. There’s a whole lot of build up. Unfortunately, I won’t be reading book 3. I’m tapped out on the mystery front for now.