Today is the first day of Summer! I can’t believe it. Maybe it’s the fact that it didn’t really start getting warm here in upstate NY until May but I feel like I barely got a chance to enjoy it. It has been a busy season and when I look back at what I read, I am shocked that I didn’t even read a dozen books between March and June. So it’s no surprise that I barely touched my Spring TBR list. In fact, I only read 2 out of the 10 books that I wanted to. But then again, I ended up reading some books that I didn’t expect to. I was definitely a mood reader during the last few months. So here is a breakdown of what I read from the list, the books I didn’t get to but still expect to and the books I read instead.
What I read
What I didn’t get to
Other books I read instead
What did you read over the Spring? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!
Does anyone else feel like 2021 is going much faster than 2020? I can’t believe we are halfway through the year. Though I am not complaining since June is my favorite month of the year. And not because it’s my birthday month either. June is the transition between spring and summer and the weather is finally getting to be consistently warm. I don’t know about all of you but in upstate NY, the weather was bipolar last month, changing seasons by the hour. I am happy that the forecast finally is putting that 40 degree weather behind us.
Things are also returning to normal. Now with masks mandates easing up and the vaccines showing their worth, people are coming out more. This month, my book clubs are going to start in-person meetings again. It’s going to be so nice finally see everyone without a screen. Which means that I have to make sure that I get all my book club reading done on time, lol.
As I mentioned in my reading wrap-up, since my honeymoon, I have been reading books like it’s the last thing I am going to do. And I don’t feel the urge going away any time soon. In fact, looking at my reading list for the month, I think my streak is going to continue. Even so, I didn’t go too crazy with my list, because every time I do I seem to jinx myself.
I started reading this book for my Modern Library Book Club for June and I am loving it. I am only about 70 pages in so I haven’t even gotten to the juicy part of this book but the beginning intrigued me with mysterious memories of the past and the hinting of something dark and sinister that they left behind. DuMaurier’s writing style is very conversational and pulls the reader in. Every time I pick up this book, I get sucked in and don’t want to put it down. I’m actually disappointed when I have to go do other things. I have just reached the part when the new Mrs. DeWinters arrives at Manderley and she is learning that she must contend with how the former Mrs. DeWinters ran things, along with that horrifying Danvers woman. She is already freaking me out and she hasn’t even done anything yet.
I have never heard of this book before the Capital District Book Club selected it but I am intrigued. It’s a story about the story behind Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. I have always been interested in Shakespeare, though somewhat intimidated by him and have only read the plays that school has assigned, which I am afraid is not many and it has been many years. Maybe this is the push I need to get me interested enough to actually read Shakespeare again, starting with “Hamlet”.
I don’t know much about Marilyn Monroe except for that she was a Hollywood star, had a lot of emotional struggles and may or may not have had an affair with JFK. That is it. However, one of my book club members in the smaller group I go to is intrigued by her and chose this book as her pick for the year. This is a fictional retelling of the star’s inner, poetic and spiritual life so I am interested in how the author does it. Also I have never read Joyce Carol Oates though she has always been on my list of authors to read.
I never read this book nor saw the movie, though I have heard of it. This is the July pick for the Modern Library Book Club and since our discussions are always the first Wednesday of the month, I try to get ahead in my reading. I did read the summary and I think this is going to be a good one. So far we have been lucky and most of the books have been really good.
I can’t wait to read the fourth book in the Bridgerton series because it has to do with Penelope and Colin. In the Netflix show and in one of the first three books, Penelope is absolutely in love with Colin Bridgerton but Colin is totally blind to her feelings. He just sees her as a friend to his younger sister. I seriously want to know how she finally gets him. Oh and I have no doubt it is going to be a doozy. Also, if the third book’s foreshadowing is correct, I think we may finally find out who Lady Whistledown is.
Eloise Bridgerton is one of my favorite Bridgerton females. In all of the books, she is fiercely independent and rebels against the societal norms. I loved her from the first time I read about her and I can’t wait to read her story in full.
What are you reading during the month of June? Have you read any of the books on this list? Let’s discuss!
It’s been a crazy two months and in some ways I am sad to see May wrap up. My husband and I finally had the wedding we have been waiting three years to have.
It’s why I disappeared for the last month and a half. I thought that I had most of the wedding planning done but what I didn’t anticipate was all the drama that comes just weeks before the wedding. And not all the drama was good. At one point I was so depressed I couldn’t even read, let alone write about what I had read. However I am happy to say that despite all this, things worked out for the better and my husband and I had the wedding we had dreamed about and with the people we cared about celebrating with us. Then it was off for a mini honeymoon to the Poconos.
It was during that trip to the Poconos that I finally began to relax, my mind cleared and I began reading again. Voraciously I might add and it hasn’t stopped since I got back. I read nearly as many books in the past two weeks as I do in a month. And as you probably noticed, I began writing on the blog again. So you can say I am officially back.
So here are the books that I have been devouring this month.
So I did get sucked into the Bridgerton series and watched the first season of the Netflix show in a weekend. Then I found out it was a book series and I HAD to read it. I started the Duke and I back in March but due to the drama that unfolded, I never got around to finishing it. I figured it was the perfect book to bring on a honeymoon and I was right. I took advantage of the balcony we had overlooking a pond during a quiet morning and read most of the book in a sitting. And then it just spiraled.
“The Duke and I”, aka Daphne’s story, was in words what Netflix had created visually. I was happy about this. Of course there were some differences as the show does pull in tidbits from the other books to provide some context to the other characters, but overall the book and the show are pretty similar as I explain in my review. I rather enjoyed Daphne and Simon’s story and I was glad that I started the series.
In fact, the following two stories, “The Viscount Who Loved Me” and “An Offer From a Gentleman” are just as enjoyable as we read about Anthony Bridgerton and Benedict Bridgerton and their romances, which I am happy to say are all different. Anthony’s plan is to marry without love just to fullfill his duty as the heir of the Bridgerton property and Benedict ends up meeting a mysterious women at a masquerade that ends up haunting his dreams. Each of these stories I loved differently. As I explain in my review of The Viscount, I loved the love-hate relationship between Anthony and Kate which leads to some comical situations that had me laughing aloud. The opposite was true of An Offer. I didn’t think I was going to even like the story and ended up loving it. It was one of the more emotional of the three and actually brought me to tears, which I explain more here.
I honestly didn’t think I was going to like “The Diviners” by Libba Bray because I am not a huge fantasy reader. This was a book I received through a care package during COVID last year from my book club and was not even on my radar. But then last week, something made me pick it up and I absolutely couldn’t stop reading it. In fact, it is one of the creepiest books I have read in some time. This is also a series and since the book left some things unresolved, I now have to read the others. I am hoping to have a review on this soon because honestly it was that good.
“The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was the only book club read I managed this month though I was unable to attend the discussion due to the wedding. However my maid of honor is also in the book club and we began to discuss it and all the themes that this book uncovers. And oh how there are so many. I wish that I wrote down all of my feelings after I finished this book so that I could provide a review. This book definitely plays on your emotions. I was sad, angry and happy for all the characters at different points in this book. They definitely felt very real to me and many of the discussions that were occurring I could see happening in real life. There is a reason why this book gets some nods. If you haven’t done so, read it.
What did you read in May? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think? Let’s discuss!
Over the past week, I debated whether I should do a reading list for March. I am in a funky reading mood and I honestly don’t know what I want to read on any given day. However, I know that if I don’t do this list, I will end up not reading at all or not get to the books that I have to get to. I wouldn’t be surprised at the end of the month, the list of books I actually will be completely different. In any event, here it goes.
I started this book two days ago and I am already halfway through it. I thought it was going to be a dense read about the financial industry, and while it does get technical at times, I am finding it really interesting. Basically, it’s about how people who had their homes foreclosed upon, found that there were issues with their mortgage documents and ended up uncovering widespread fraud.
I honestly can’t wait to read this book because it sounds so interesting. I haven’t read Gary Paulsen since we were assigned “Hatchet” in school. I didn’t realize that Paulsen had a nonfiction book out and the Iditarod has always fascinated me.
I didn’t get to this book last month but I definitely want to get to it. I keep finding references to it and I need to know what people are talking about. This book has been on my shelf for long enough.
I have a feeling I am going to need an engrossing read on my list this month and I think this is going to be it. I have been wanting to read this since I got it. Just from reading the summary about mistakes that led to devestating consequences I am intrigued.
I am not sure why, but every time I go to read this book I get distracted and want to read something else. It’s one of the reason I didn’t get to it last month. I am going to try again and hopefully I have a little more luck this time.
What are you reading in March? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!
Seriously, how has it been two weeks since I last written anything? And now it’s the end of the month. I can’t believe that spring is right around the corner, though I couldn’t be happier. While I didn’t have to deal with the winter as much as I normally would if I had been commuting regularly to work, I am not sorry to see it go. I welcome the warm weather and can’t wait until I can open my windows to let the fresh air in.
Though I have been MIA in the last two weeks – thanks to work – I have still been getting some reading done. And I have read some really good books.
So I finally got around to reading this book and I must say that it was better than I expected. Micaiah Johnson brings an interesting concept about multi-verse travel. In this particular story there are multiple earths and you as an individual have a doppelganger on each. You can only travel to that earth if your doppelganger is dead. Many of Cara’s doppelgangers are dead which makes her an asset as a traveler to find out what is going on in these parallel worlds. Johnson does a good job of mixing mystery and intrigue into the story. You get backstory by bits and piece and mixed with the presents occurrences, it makes for a quick read. I enjoyed reading this book.
I knew that when I first saw this book, I was going to fall in love with it. And I wasn’t disappointed. I loved reading Adunni’s story and seeing her persevere against all odds – even as she is sold into marriage and then sold into slavery, as she is beaten for nonsensical things and starves because of neglect. While she does get depressed at time (who wouldn’t?!) I felt like Adunni’s fighting spirit always broke through to help her survive. I loved reading her journey to find her louding voice and when she finally finds it. This book made me happy and it broke my heart, made me hope and made me angry. It’s definitely a must read.
So you probably have heard me rave about this book. I read it a few years ago after randomly finding it at the library and absolutely loved it. Basically, instead of a prison system, criminals are chromed based on their crime. Hannah is a red for murder. After being released from prison, Hannah attempts to navigate her new life, being an outsider – her family has all but disowned her, the man who she loved has moved on and she has nowhere to go. As she deals with the harsh reality that the color of her skin has exposed her to, Hannah questions her faith and the life that she once lived. I was scared that when I reread this book I wouldn’t enjoy it as much but if anything it made me love it all the more. There were things that I didn’t notice before and the multiple issues that Jordan raises – separation of church and state, women’s rights, the justice system, faith – seemed to be more poignant this time around than they were upon my first read. I would still recommend this book and I can’t wait to discuss it in book club.
Unfortunately, there were a few books I didn’t get to …
I was really looking forward to reading these but I just didn’t have time. However, I am going to keep them on my list going into the new month. Nightwoods is a book club read so I plan to read that in the next few days.
Books I didn’t finish….
So I got this book from the library but it was only a 14-day loan. Unfortunately I had to return it before I could finish it. From what I did read, Kendall highlights some interesting points about the feminist movement. Particularly about how there are issues beyond equal pay and equal rights. Issues such as gun violence, hunger, poverty and housing are issues that affect everyone but particularly women. She provides data and information about how women are probably more affected by these issues than others, and minority women even more so. And she argues that these are issues that the feminist movement should not ignore.
What did you read this month? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!
2021 is starting to look good for me. I am feeling more and more like I have things under control in all aspects of my life and it just feels good. It helps for when work is extraordinarily stressful. I am finding that I can manage it better.
This has made me able to focus more on what I am reading and over the past weekend I have been plowing through books at a surprising rate. I am a book ahead on my Goodreads challenge, which hasn’t happened in a long time, and while this may not last, I am riding the wave for as long I can.
So when I looked at February I decided to add more books than usual on my list. In the past that has hurt me more than it has helped me, but given that I have already finished my February book club reads, most of the books on this list are personal reads or book club picks for next month.
In the Metaphorically Speaking Book Club last month, we had a book selection event for the year. This was my pick which we will be discussing in March. I have been dying to talk about this book since I read it a few years ago. I am so glad to be rereading this book and will get a chance to share it with others. I just hope that I love it as much as I did the first time.
I have never heard about this book but it’s the March read for the Modern Library Book Club and considering all of the books have been 4-5 stars so far, I am optimistic that this one will be just as good.
So the book is back, but I have already started reading this one and I am hooked. I am not too far along but already we are talking about 372 worlds and a person has a doppelganger on each one. You can’t travel to a world unless that doppelganger is dead. From the synopsis, the main character has 8 doppelgangers left and apparently one dies suddenly dies mysteriously. No need to say more. I want to find out what happens.
I was at a loss of what else to read this month and then I saw this book sitting on my book shelf. It is one that I have been wanting to read for awhile and never seem to be able to fit it in. I am so glad that I can now.
Since I am trying to read more nonfiction and none were on the list for book club, I decided to pluck one from my personal bookshelf. I have been wanting to read more Krakauer since I was first introduced to his writing style in “Missoula”. While it was a hard book to get through given the subject matter, Krakauer’s writing style was objective while painting a clear picture on what happened, based on facts. I have heard so many good things about this one.
I have been meaning to read this book for a while and it’s one on my Classics Club list which I am trying to get through. Also, I have been on a dystopian kick as of late, if this reading list is any indication.
What books are you reading in February? Have you read any on this list? What did you think?
It’s the end of January and things are starting to look up all around. We have a new president, which couldn’t come soon enough given the unfortunate events that this country started the year with. The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed and the numbers of cases have started to go down nationwide. In fact, places are starting to lift restrictions.
The NY Governor just announced yesterday that weddings at 50 percent, or under 150 guests, will be allowed starting in March, albeit with some restrictions. Which means all systems are a go for my wedding celebration in May. I say celebration because we got married in a small civil ceremony in 2020, but now we can have the big shabang. YAY! I couldn’t be happier because my husband and I have seriously talked about canceling all-together and just put the money toward a house, which we hope to buy by the end of the year.
I am still on track with my life. I staying organized, and I have gotten back on track with eating right. In fact, I have lost some weight and I feel great. Work is still busy but I just take it one day at a time as much as possible. I am also keeping better track of my hours so I can balance out the work/life balance and even started to take days off when I need them.
As for my reading, I am happy to say that has started out well. I slowed down at the end of the month, only because the book I was reading was soo slow. Suffice it to say I didn’t finish it but I will explain in a bit. For now, here is what I did read
Modern Library’s Book Club January pick was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which I loved. I fell in love with all the characters in this book, except for Nurse Ratched of course. The fact that it’s based in a mental institution made this book a page turner because you never knew what was going to happen next, especially with the main character, McMurphy, causing all sorts of trouble, as he tries to best Ratched. Yet at the same time, Kensey does a great job highlighting the truths around mental institutions. I go more into this in my review.
This was for the Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson (SARAH) Book Club and a reread for me. I actually really liked it, especially because of how it highlighted how life on a reservation affects the Native Americans that live there. It’s based on true events and focuses on a Native American teenager who leaves the reservation to attend a “white” school. There were mixed reactions in book club about this book. You can read all my thoughts in my review.
I forgot to put this one on the reading list but “Such A Fun Age” is going to be the discussion book February for the Metaphorically Speaking Book Club and for the SARAH book club (two book clubs reading the same book at once is a first). This book made me so angry. It goes into the topic of racism and white privilege and at one point I just wanted to scream at every character in this book to just the hell up. The assumptions and the accusations that follow were infuriating to say the least. Over all the book was really good but I seriously can’t wait to talk about this one. This should make for an interesting book club review.
If there is one author I would like to talk to, it’s Cormac McCarthy. He has a way of describing the sordid nature of humans that leaves you disgusted, yet going back for more. In ‘Child of God’ he talks about Lester Ballard, who roams the woods of Tennessee after released from jail on a false rape accusation. McCarthy’s writing is crisp in its detail so that you can hear the crunch of the leaves as you are walking or the trickle of water from a nearby creek. You can smell wood burning or the rancid smell of the dying. This was the February pick for the Modern Library Book Club and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thought.
“American Crisis” was my nonfiction personal pick for the month and it was a quick read. Cuomo basically gives a journal perspective of the COVID-19 crisis in NY starting on March 1, 2020, the first day that NY has a confirmed case. Each chapter marks another pivotal day in the crisis, what happened and how he has to handle it. Having watched every single press conference Cuomo had from March to June, many of the things he discusses are familiar but it’s interesting to read what was going on behind the scenes from dealing with friends and family getting exposed, to his discussions with President Trump. Cuomo gets a lot of criticism for writing a book about a pandemic that isn’t really over yet, but the purpose of this book is to highlight the challenges NY faced at the start of the virus, during the first way. I should have a review of this soon.
This is the book that I didn’t finish and I am not sure that I will. I was excited to read another book by Charlotte Bronte and “Shirley” was the book chosen for the latest Classic Club spin. What I didn’t count on was the book being so slow. By the time you are introduced to Shirley, you are almost halfway through the book and I was already over it. I explain more in my review.
In addition to reading, I watched a lot of movies and shows this month but my two favorites include:
I absolutely loved this live action version. While the original animated version will always be close to my heart, I felt they did a great job on telling the story in this version without all the singing and the talking animals. It’s one of my favorites of the live action remakes.
I seriously wasn’t planning on getting on this hype train but then I got curious. One episode and I sucked in, completing the season in two days. If you love period romance stories, you will love this show. I love that they tell this through the allusive Lady Whistledown (narrated by Julie Andrews) All I can say is I WANT MORE!!!
What did you read/watched this month? Have you read/watched anything on this list? What did you think?
A new year equals a new start in more than ways than one. For most of on here, it means a new list of books to read each each week, month or year. Those who have been following me know that I post a TBR list each month and this year is no exception.
My book clubs are still going strong via our new virtual reality, and many of them have their lists already settled for the year, although that is a for a whole different post. For January, I actually get a reprieve since my one book club is picking their list for the year and another is reading “An American Marriage”, which I have already read and one that I reviewed. So I am starting the year with some freedom.
However, this year, I am organizing my reading list a little differently. Besides, my book club reads, I will also be attempting to read at least one book from my new list for The Classics Club and another from my personal bookshelf, in the attempt of getting the unread books to balance out the books I read. Also, I will be trying to read a little more nonfiction. My one book club is going to be alternating between fiction and non-fiction each month so my person pick will alternate opposite.
So without trying to make this book any longer than it needs to be, my books for January are as follows:
This is the January pick for the Modern Library Book Club, and we will be discussing it later this week. I read it once back in high school and haven’t read it since, so it’s a bit of refresher. It will be interesting to hear what everyone has to say about it.
This is the pick for the Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club and it’s another reread for me. I read it a few years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember it. I just hope that I can get the book in time. My library didn’t have it.
This was the book that I have to read for the latest Classic Club spin which is due at the end of the month. While I have started it, I have hardly put a dent into it. Seriously need to finish this book and review it.
I am still shocked that I haven’t read anything by Bronte other than “Jane Eyre.”
I have been wanting to read this book since it came out, particularly because it is always interesting to see what officials are going through behind the scenes. Also I live in upstate NY, so this pretty much personal at this point.
What are you reading to kick off the new year? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think?
We have made it to December … finally. Which means that this abominable year that is 2020 will soon be behind us. 31 more days. Let the countdown begin.
The last hurdle to overcome is the holiday season, and for me, that is a bit crazy. My husband is Jewish so there is Hanukah to celebrate as well as Christmas and New Years. Then my husband and father share a birthday, and wouldn’t you know it’s on the 22nd. Oh but that’s not all. This year, my father turns 80 years old and given COVID times, it doesn’t look like we can celebrate this milestone, though my siblings think differently. Can you say stress?!
On a positive note, work may actually start slowing down by the middle of the month. Our last full meeting is on the 7th and while we do have some events the following week, most of the Legislature’s business is done for the year. In fact, we have a meeting on the 21st solely to close out the books and then it’s the holidays.
Also from December 16-19, my husband and I are going away to our favorite weekend retreat – Manchester, Vermont. We go every year solely to get away from work stress and rejuvenate. We typically try to go in the late fall. Lately we go in early December because the hotel brings out it’s hot chocolate bar and their hot chocolate is the best I have ever had in my life. The chef made his own concoction and it’s to die for. That with the wood burning fireplace in the library and the another fireplace in our room, I plan on curling up with a good book and just relaxing. I can’t wait!
There are some really good books on the list this month, which I can’t wait to read, so let’s just get into it.
I have never heard of this book but it’s the December pick for the Society for Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club. It sound pretty interesting. Long distance correspondence between a writer and a book dealer – sign me up. I think this is going to be one of those “if it wasn’t for book club” type of reads.
I read this book when I was in high school but don’t remember too much. I know it is about a patient in a mental hospital that wreaks havoc, but that is all. The Modern Library Book Club decided to read it, so it gives me a chance to become reacquainted with it.
I started this book for the Capital District Book Club last month, but didn’t get to finish it because of work. I am really enjoying it so far though and want to know how it ends. I’m bummed that I missed the book club discussion on this.
I really don’t know how I have never read another Charlotte Bronte book after loving “Jane Eyre” so much. However, that stops now. This was the book selected for The Classics Club most recent spin. We have until January to read it but I have a feeling it won’t take me that long.
I started this book two months ago but only read a few chapters before putting it down for other books I had to read for book clubs. I was enjoying it and want to get back into it. Given that it’s the end of the year, I might as well close out the books so to speak. Besides, I have only heard good things about it.
What are you planning to read in December? Have you read any on this list? If so, what did you think? Let’s discuss!
This is more of general monthly wrap-up than a reading wrap-up as I didn’t read too much this month. You probably noticed I didn’t create a monthly TBR list at the beginning of the month. I wasn’t sure how much reading I was actually going to do and didn’t want to be disappointed. Turned out reading didn’t really fit into the schedule.
Work has been so busy, most days I feel like I blink and the day is suddenly over. What with budget season and just more events given the holiday season, the communications department is full steam ahead. It doesn’t help that upstate New York is in the midst of a second wave of COVID-19. We are back to working from home because they want to reduce the density in the building just to be on the safe side. Things are not looking good as numbers continue to go up and we are seeing hospitalizations at the highest they have ever been. I just wish this was all over.
With that being said, I only read one book this month. That’s right, ONE! I think this is the lowest number in a long time. There were two other books that I started but I haven’t managed to finish them yet so they will be in my December TBR. So what book was the lucky winner?
“Relish: My Life in the Kitchen” by Lucy Knisley was the only book club book I managed to finish. And you know what happened? I forgot to go to book club. I am seriously batting a thousand here. I couldn’t go to my other book club because I had a work meeting. Though I didn’t finish the book anyway, so it all worked out.
I think the only reason why I managed to finish this book was because it is a graphic novel that was a super easy read. I managed to get through it in about an hour or two. It’s not something I would normally read but it was actually pretty interesting as Knisley describes how food played a huge role in her life growing up. The imagery only served to make the story more palatable. You can read more about my thoughts on this book in my review.
Yes, that’s right, I actually wrote a review for the one book that I did manage to read. But that isn’t all. I actually wrote some reviews for books from last month as well and made some other posts. It is quite refreshing actually to getting back into the swing of things in regards to the blog.
If you are wondering what has caused this turn around, it’s because my desk that I ordered back in September, finally arrived and I now have a creative space where I can work comfortably. I absolutely love it.
Since buying this picture I have since upgraded my chair to something more comfortable and now I have office peace, if you will.
The one good thing was that COVID-19 didn’t ruin my Thanksgiving plans. It was the first dual family holiday since my husband and I got married in May. We hosted my parents and my husband’s mother and brother. However, given it’s 2020, Thanksgiving did have a few hiccups. Turkey juice spilled in the oven as my husband was taking the turkey out and we had a smoke-out. Later, after we thought we had cleaned it all up and put the oven back on to heat up all other food, we inevitably smoked the whole family out. We had to find creative ways to heat up the stuffing and make green bean casserole on the stove. Food still ended up amazing, everyone had a hearty meal and Thanksgiving was saved!