Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hard to believe the year is more than half over, isn't it? Or maybe that's just me. Summer is in full swing already, and generally I get a lot of reading done during the summer. But that hasn't been true this year.

It's been over a month since I actually finished a book, but I've started quite a few. I've got my current reading list divided up into several categories.

(1) Books I'm more than halfway through:

Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry


(2) Books I've got started, but haven't yet reached that halfway point in:


Tell Me How This Ends Well,
by David Samuel Levinson

(3) Books I've had on my TBR list for this spring/summer, that I haven't actually started yet:

Grief Cottage, by Gail Godwin

Heartbreak Hotel, by Jonathan Kellerman

The Heirs, by Susan Rieger

How to Be Human, by Paula Cocozza

And then there are those "maybe" books I've been downloading onto my Kindle because I just can't pass up a cheap/free book from Amazon. And those books I bought at the spring sale over at our local public library. And those upcoming late summer/early autumn ARCs I really do need to get to pretty soon.

So you can see I'm not lacking for ideas about what to read next. I just need to get back to reading something right now. But first, I'm gonna visit a few other blogs and see what everyone else is reading. Maybe that'll give me the nudge I need.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Book Beginnings: Our Spoons Came from Woolworths


Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, by Barbara Comyns (first published 1950). These are the first lines of Chapter 1:
I told Helen my story and she went home and cried. In the evening her husband came to see me and brought some strawberries; he mended my bicycle, too, and was kind, but he needn't have been, because it all happened eight years ago, and I'm not unhappy now.
About the Book:
"Sophia is twenty-one and na├»ve when she marries fellow artist Charles. She seems hardly fonder of her husband than she is of her pet newt; she can’t keep house (everything she cooks tastes of soap); and she mistakes morning sickness for the aftereffects of a bad batch of strawberries. England is in the middle of the Great Depression, and the money Sophia makes from the occasional modeling gig doesn’t make up for her husband’s indifference to paying the rent. Predictably, the marriage falters; not so predictably, Sophia’s artlessness will be the very thing that turns her life around."
Initial Thoughts:

After reading those opening lines, my first thought was that the narrator (Sophia) sounds oddly disengaged from the story she's relating — which is, after all, the story of her own history. Almost like she's talking about another person she once knew, and not all that well.

I picked this one up when I was looking for something to read for the What's In a Name Reading Challenge — one of the categories is "an item/items of cutlery," and spoons would fit. But I'm not sure how much of Sophia's airy-ness I can put up with.

How about it? Does this one sound like something you'd go on reading? Do the opening lines spark your interest, or would they send you dashing back to your shelves for another book?



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Beginnings: The Westing Game


The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin (first published 1978). These are the book's first lines:
The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east. Strange!
Sunset Towers faced east and had no towers.
About the Book:
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.
Initial Thoughts:

Lately I've been having a really hard time sticking with any book long enough to finish it, and sometimes a good children's book will give me a little jump start and get me back on track. The Westing Game was the winner of the 1978 Newbery Medal, the annual prize handed out to the most distinguished literary work for young people. I've had it on my "must read" list for decades and I finally picked up a copy recently and thought maybe now might be a good time to give it a look. So far, it's holding my interest — and it's a fairly short read, so I'm hoping I'll actually stay with this one right to the end!

What about you? Do you ever read children's lit or books written for young adults? Do you have any strategies for overcoming the dreaded reading slump? And would that opening draw you in and keep you reading?




Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Grief Cottage


This week my teaser lines come from Gail Godwin's latest novel, Grief Cottage (Bloomsbury USA, June 2017). This quote comes from an advance copy of the novel, so please remember it might be slightly different in the published edition.

In this snippet, eleven-year-old Marcus is visiting the ruined cottage the locals call "Grief Cottage" for the first time; he's been napping, but slowly realizes he's actually awake now. And someone (or something) is watching over him.
I felt its presence by the electric prickles all down my back and by my serious reluctance to move a muscle. Then the reluctance turned to cold fear. There was no way in the world I could muster the courage to roll over and see what was in that doorway. (Kindle, Location 309)
I've never read anything by Gail Godwin before this, so I didn't really know what to expect. I haven't officially started this one yet (just took a quick look at the early pages), but so far I like what I've seen.





If you'd like to see more Teaser Tuesday offerings, or do some teasing yourself, just head on over to The Purple Booker and leave your link. And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Body in the Library


This week my teaser lines come from The Body in the Library, by Agatha Christie (first published in 1942). This snippet comes from Chapter One (pg.5):
"Do you mean to tell me," demanded Colonel Bantry, "that there's a dead body in my library — my library?"

The butler coughed.

"Perhaps, sir, you would like to see for yourself."

Well, yeah. The Colonel probably should take a teensy look. Very bad form to leave a corpse just lyin' around the old mansion, doncha know.

Lately I've been having trouble sticking with any book long enough to finish it. So I thought a little Miss Marple might get me going again. This is the third book in that series, and though I haven't actually read it yet, I'm familiar with it from all the TV versions I've seen over the years. So far, it's got me hooked.




If you'd like to see more Teaser Tuesday offerings, or do some teasing yourself, just head on over to The Purple Booker and leave your link. And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

So, May 22nd. This month is zipping by even faster than April did. Isn't it? Or maybe I just feel that way because I sort of lost a week. Pulled a muscle in my shoulder last week and spent much of the time sort of snoozing because of the pain meds. Couldn't really concentrate on anything for very long. Consequently didn't get much reading done.

I'm still trying to finish up a couple of books I started several weeks ago:

Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

and...

The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry

I really do intend to get those done this week. And after that, I have several possibilities, but I'm thinking seriously of this from my TBR list:


Haven't read much Neil Gaiman, and this one would fit in with the springtime fantasy-reading project I've got going.

So that's the plan. Of course, I'm not real good at sticking to plans. But that's OK. The main idea is to have fun reading, right? Right. Hope you all have a great, fun week of reading!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Beginnings: Anything Is Possible


Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, April 2017). I've already posted a quote from this one for Teaser Tuesday, but I'm still reading it — so... here are the opening lines:
Tommy Guptill had once owned a dairy farm, which he'd inherited from his father, and which was about two miles from the town of Amgash, Illinois. This was many years ago now, but at night Tommy still sometimes woke with the fear he had felt the night his dairy farm burned to the ground.
About the Book:
In Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her—memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots.”—Vogue
My Thoughts:
I read Elizabeth Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton last year, and had mixed emotions about it. I'm having pretty much the same sort of reaction to this one. Enjoying it, but having some trouble dealing with the disturbingly high level of emotional damage that exists in nearly every one of her characters. After a while, it becomes just a tad exhausting.




Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.