Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WWW Wednesdays: 17 June 2020

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for WWW Wednesdays! This meme was originally hosted by MizB over at A Daily Rhythm, and then revived by Sam Stevens of Taking on a World of Words. Just three questions, once a week:

1. What are you currently reading?

First of all — it's sort of hard to believe June is half over already, isn't it? It seemed like May dragged on forever, but this month has just sort of buzzed right along.

I've had a lot of trouble settling into any books lately. I've sampled quite a few — kept putting one aside to start another. I guess the unsettled nature of life in general right now is affecting my reading habits, but I frequently have problems sticking with anything during the summer, for some reason. This week, I'm concentrating on reading one of the books I've received from Library Thing's Early Reviewer program:

The King's Justice, by Susan Elia MacNeal

I've had it for a while now and really need to get it finished and reviewed in a hurry.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

In the last couple of weeks, I've finished these two:

Access Point, by Tom Gabbay

by Rebecca Stead

Enjoyed both of those, and hope to get some reviews up soon. (Yeah, I always hope to do that, don't I?)

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As usual, I have a few ARCs that I need to get to ASAP. These two are at the top of the pile....

 Or What You Will, by Jo Walton
(Coming out in July, from Tor Books)

 Knot of This World, by Mary Marks
(A Quilting Mystery, from Kensington Publishing, also due in July) 

Friday, June 05, 2020

Book Beginnings: Pilgrims

Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, by Garrison Keillor
(First published 2009)

Opening Lines
The first of the pilgrims through the International Arrivals portal at Leonardo da Vinci was Margie Krebsbach, face scrubbed, fresh, grinning, towing her husband Carl who looked stunned as if struck by a ball-peen hammer, and then the others came slouching and shuffling along, jet-lagged, brain-dead, and right away she spotted the thin, spiky-haired man in the blue blazer holding up a sign — LAKE WOBEGON — in one hand, high and she let out a whoop and let go of Carl.

About the Book
Margie Krebsbach dreams up the idea of a trip to Rome, hoping to renew her husband's romantic interest. She also finds a patriotic purpose for the journey: A Lake Wobegon boy, Gussy Norlander, died in the liberation of Rome, 1944, and his grave, according to his elderly brother Norbert, is in a neglected weed patch near the Colosseum. So it's decided they will go to clean Gussy's final resting place.

But Margie is unprepared for the enthusiastic response —fifty people want to go with her, including her nemesis, the mayor of Lake Wobegon, Carl's bossy sister Eloise, Mr. Berge the town drunk, and her treacherous mother-in-law. Margie gets the motley crew to the airport and aboard the plane, and then discovers one of the secret pleasures of travel — safely away from Lake Wobegon, the pilgrims' memories are quickened and they recall long-forgotten incidents. In this alien territory, they tell stories of astonishing frankness and self-revelation all delivered with Keillor's trademark humor. 

Initial Thoughts

Okay, my FIRST thought was that that is one very LONG opening sentence. But it does sound a lot like Garrison Keillor.

I've been looking for something to read for the 2020 European Reading Challenge. It's always one of my favorite challenges, but I haven't been doing very well with it this year. Pilgrims takes place (at least most of it) in Italy, and it's been on my TBR list ever since it came out back in 2009. And I already own a copy, so that makes it even more attractive.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy 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.