Book Clubs #SOL17

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For my book club meeting tonight we read Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdich. This is the first book of hers I have read. Although it was well written I did not care for the story. The diary/letter to an unborn child format was pulled off nicely. The descriptions were beautifully written in sections. I cognitively understood the story but didn’t care all that much about what happened to the characters.

Since the book just came out I wasn’t sure I would get a copy in time for the book club meeting. I ended up with a hard copy and was able to download the digital copy this week too. It did make me think about how I would react to the idea of the world ending. I am not sure I would stuff the walls of my house with booze and cigarettes though. As depressing as the story actually is, the book doesn’t have that connotation as you read it. There is a thread of hope.

One of my favorite sentences is on page 265: “Sometimes the lake breathed a tortured sigh, its lungs full of broken glass.”

I took my notes on notecards for this book. I have a new found love for notecards lately, especially color cards!

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Another book I have for a book club this week on Thursday is John Green’s new book Turtles All the Way Down. I enjoy John Green’s writing and am always recommending his books to my middle schoolers. He plays with ideas and language and that is exciting as a reader and a writer.

The notes for this book I gathered on my phone in my Google Keep app. I love this app and dictate to it often especially in the car.

I like books that feature mental illness and I thought it was portrayed well in this book. I just finished Challenger Deep by: Neal Shusterman last night and that was a great representation as well. Much different than other YA books for mental illness and well done all the same. It is from the same author as Sycthe which I adored and read this past summer. I just found out that there is a sequel that is coming out next month! (Insert reading book happy dance….here!)

Anyway, back to Turtles. I read this book on my kindle which does not give a reader the advantage of page numbers for quotes. Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:

“Maybe I’m just a lie that I’m whispering to myself.”

“Please don’t make me share my dumb poems with you. Reading someone’s poetry is like seeing them naked.”

“Fourteen days of my life reduced to one sentence because I can’t describe anything that happened during those days. It hurt, all the time, in a way language could not touch.”

“But you are also the most fascinating person I have ever known, and you are not like mustard. You are like pizza, which is the highest compliment I can pay a person.”

“I’m a story they’re telling. I am circumstances.” 

John Green, I think your book is like pizza! I think that will be my new go-to compliment for everything!

Now onto the next book! Happy Reading!

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Monday Book Talks and What I am Reading

Booktalks for 8th grade today:

It is interesting how the students want to talk about books and keep talking about them in general. It warms my heart. The ideas behind the stories are interesting to them as well. I also gave a survey of some books they like/hate/what they are reading now to get a better idea of topics to recommend. There are a vast amount of books to put on their radars. Milk and Honey (the poetry collection) that has seen recent popularity is circulating around the room. The poetry was a bit too heavy for me, but I am glad that they are branching out to that genre.

Between the Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by: Paul Fleischman and Eric Beddow

Poetry that is interesting and fun and meant to be read aloud.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

A great nonfiction story about the start of Zappos. I also mentioned that Starbucks and Tom’s Shoes also have similar books about the starting of companies.

 An Abundance of Katherines by: John Green
Love this book and the footnotes.
Alice in Wonderland by: Lewis Carroll

A classic story that I have loved all my life, and only read within the last couple of years.

What I Just Read:

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

Loved this title. The story is about 2 woman who apply for the privilege of renting a house that is minimal and full of technology that gathers data about the way they live. The story is full of interesting twists and the application questions peppered throughout the story is an added detail that makes it even more interesting. The house itself is a character and you always feel like you are on the brink of a new piece of information that takes the story in a new direction.
Fantastic read!
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life
Parker Palmer

A book about trust, silence, and becoming the people our souls are.


Happy Reading!

Christmas Break Reading

Christmas break started on Wednesday, December 21st for me this year. There was a flurry of list items to prepare for Christmas . My husband and I hosted Christmas Day this year so several middle of the night cooking sessions ended up on the list! In between visits and cooking and eating I have found quite a bit of time for reading some great books. Also, the KINDLE deals have been amazing. Lots of books that are on the TBR list, award winners, and titles that are frequently talked about on the podcasts I listen to weekly. My sapience accumulates from my life of reading and won’t stop until I die.

I abandoned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the moment. It apparently isn’t the right time for me to read it. I will come back to it eventually I believe.

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

This book is strange in a great way. It is strange in the same way that THE HIKE was for me. Not quite as bananapants (I am borrowing Liberty’s word here…) as the Hike but weird enough to be interesting. Basically, it is about the relationship between Mr. Fox, his wife Daphne and his muse Mary. Apparently it is based on a fairy tale that I am not familiar with from my reading about the book. It almost reads like short stories with a common thread but I didn’t feel it was that strong that the individual chapters could stand on their own.

Notes from A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This book was great. Short chapters full of a lot of great things to think about. Tsh and her family have lived overseas. I listen to her podcast every week and it is wonderful.

News of the World Paulette Jiles

A book club pick for January brought me to this book. I reserved a copy from the library, it came in,  and I finished it in one day. The story between the captain and Johanna is heartwarming. some of the historic pieces I honestly did not find as interesting as I feel I should have. I was reading along and wanted to mark some sentences to come back to them but couldn’t stop reading. The ending was surprising to me.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan

I heard about this book a long time ago and I believe I downloaded it free as a promotion from an Independent bookstore site. I remember it appearing on my kindle “accidently”. I had heard great reviews about the book, but had not picked it up for some reason. (H is for Hawk is another one of the books in that category.)

This book was AMAZING! I read it in a day also. It was magical and full of secret societies and secret reading rooms and just fun! There were modern elements with Google and ideas about how we process information and how we limit ourselves and the groups we are to not be open to new ideas.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This was a BOTM pick from August I believe. I chose it because Liberty was the judge and on the ALL THE BOOKS Book Riot podcast she said she flew through it. I did read it in about a day because I did want to know what happened. The people in this book were really despicable for multiple reasons. In The Nest I thought the characters were despicable too , but found the characters more developed and interesting. The writing was ok in TCND. The story was ok. I cannot think of anyone within my reading circles that I would specifically recommend it to however.

It is now January 2, 2017 and I have to return to work tomorrow. I am in the middle of READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline. It is a book I find interesting especially with all the 80’s references, but it is not going to end up on my favorites list.

Overall, I am pleased with my reading life over the holiday break and am looking forward to great books and reading in 2017!


What I Always Recommend

Today is a snow day! Well, really it is a frigid windchill day, but I will take it!

There are a few “go-to” books which I constantly recommend to people who ask for a title. In person I cannot help but gush about some of these authors and their amazing works. It will not be as animated as you read this post!

The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern

This book is magical and I discovered it from Modern Mrs. Darcy and her blog. I read it quickly. It is one I would like to reread because the language was beautiful. I also would like to create a dinner party in the spirit of the ones in the book. I originally checked it out from the library, but recently purchased my own copy. There will be many annotations made during the second reading.

The Alchemist Paulo Coehlo

This book came into my life when I most needed it. Reading it was life changing for my attitude and perception. There are many underlying ideas that strike me in this text.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

I am a sucker for a book with time travel. Many lives are lived in this book by Ursula who comes back again and again changing the events of her life. In one version, she even shoots Hitler!

The Light of the World: A Memoir by: Elizabeth Alexander

A memoir with recipes! What could be better? I fell into this book and enjoyed reading it. Originally chosen for a book club read. The group was never able to get together to discuss it however. I still hope we can someday. I have the notes on my Kindle copy.

How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom by: Jonathon Fields

This is the first book I have ever pre-ordered. I was obsessed with it coming out and it has not disappointed me. It is set within the confines of 3 buckets that lead to a good life according to the author. Each section of the book has a chapter that talks about a specific activity to fill your buckets. There was a lot of cross over for me from other ideas I have read about.

Gentleman in Moscow by: Amor Towles

This book I anticipated coming out with great fever! It was a Book of the Month Selection and I enjoyed the language, the stories, and the characters. A Count is confined to a hotel for his punishment and builds a life that many would be envious of. Delightful!

The One in a Million Boy by Monica Woods

This book is about  a little boy who dies and how through the memories of others his father truly learns who his son was. There are times where reading about the boy made me think of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. It is a book about relationships, love, and moving forward even when we don’t want to. A must read!

I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and was not disappointed in this National Book Award winner. It is worth reading.Do not be scared away by the idea that it is “heavy”.

I started Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi and like it so far. I am also in the middle of Tsh Oxenreider’s book Notes from A Blue Bike on the Kindle. She has a great podcast to tune into with a recent new format.

Until next time… Happy Reading!