November 2020 reading wrap-up

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!

Now on to the holidays. Oy vey!


October reading wrap-up

So when I was doing my reading list for this month, I failed to remember how busy October gets at my job, what with the release of the County budget.

This year, it was even more so since we front loaded all the budget review meetings into a week. So for the last two weeks of October I have been working 12-hour shifts pretty much every night during the week, leaving my weekends to sleep and get caught up on news of the Presidential election.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t get much reading done this month except for three books. Others I have started but haven’t managed to finish yet and then there are those I just didn’t get to.

You all know by now that whenever Nicholas Sparks releases a new book, I jump on that right away and this was no exception. “The Return” was a quick read, as Sparks books usually are. However, it wasn’t my favorite of his books. I felt the book was a little predictable and lacked the usual surprising twist that is a trademark of his.

While I wanted to read this book, I was little hesitant about doing so, especially when I heard it was nonfiction. I have had it on my bookshelf for a few months before the Capital District Book Club selected it for October. I thought it was going to be a boring book about a library fire. However, this book was far from boring. It was intriguing. Not only does Orlean go into the LA fire of 1986 but she uses that to get into what makes libraries so great and even weaves in her own personal experiences with libraries. I gobbled up this book in a few days. I was just bummed I couldn’t participate in the book club discussion due to budget meetings.

“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson was the perfect book for October so I am glad that the Modern Library Book Club selected it for this month. I have seen the movie “The Haunting” starring Liam Neesen so I knew some of the story, or at least I thought I did. Basically a doctor decides to do a study on fear and the psychological effects of the supernatural so he enlists two females for the study who have had weird things happen to them. Also there is the heir to the house, a young man who is just there to keep an eye on things. While I enjoyed the book, I feel the movie ruined it for me to some degree. The movie added a few plot points that weren’t in the book, so when I finished the book, I felt like it was cut short. I plan to watch the Netflix show to see how it compares.

So guys, what I did do this month was join another book club. Wait, before you start screaming that I am in four already, I swapped out the Barnes and Noble Book Club, since I wasn’t really feeling the books they were selecting. Instead I joined a small book club, the type of book club where a bunch of girls drink wine gathered in someone’s living room. Anyway “Hidden Figures” is the book they will be discussing the first week of November. I haven’t finished it yet, but it should be done by the time we talk.

“Transcendent Kingdom” is another book I have started but have yet to finish. It’s starting a little slow for me but I have a feeling that the ending is going to deliver a sucker punch. At least I am hoping anyway.

I was actually looking forward to reading this book, but alas I ordered it from the bookstore and to this day, I have yet to receive it. So I couldn’t go to the SARAH Book Club this month. I guess I will get it when I get it.

The other book I didn’t get to was:

I guess I will get to it when I get to it. Though it is still high on my to read list.

So when I am not reading books, I am usually watching movies or shows. My husband and I watched the “Comey Rule”, which with the ever present election looming over us, it is a good reminder of what happened back in 2016. Then we got into “The Boys” the anti-hero show about a group trying to take down a hero organization based on lies and falsehoods. It was bingeworthy good, and my husband and I finished both seasons in a few weekends.

As for Halloween, well, we didn’t really get any trick or treaters and now my husband and I are eating all the candy.


What did you read in October? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

September 2020 TBR

How is it already mid-September? Can time just take a damn chill pill and slow the hell down? While there is still a week of summer,  in upstate New York, the days of 80 degree weather are officially gone and it looks we are going to be in the 60s at least for the next week. I have officially pulled out the long-sleeves and started wearing a light jacket to work. The cold weather will be here before we know it.

However, like spring, fall gives me some new-found energy. My husband and I went to my parents for Labor Day weekend and we spent two days in Atlantic City. I lost money but my husband got lucky the first night we were there and managed not to give it back. And surprisingly we kept up the momentum this weekend by actually getting out of the house and doing some house shopping together. Usually I do these types of errands but he came with. It was nice spending some quality time together.

Though September is flying by and this post is really late, I still wanted to do a TBR list because, if anything, it keeps me on track. I have kept up my reading and am already flying through my book club reads so the rest of the month is going to be personal reads for me. And since next weekend I am going to be dog-sitting for my best friend, I will have plenty of time to read.

Book Club picks

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

This is the September pick for the Capital District Book Club. While I had heard great things about this book, I didn’t think I was going to like it but I flew through it and just finished it last night. I really can’t wait to discuss this with the rest of the group to hear what they have to say. At the same time I am a little nervous because sometimes there is that one person in the group who can pick out every flaw and then it just ruins it for me. Keeping my fingers crossed.

“East of the Mountains” by David Guterson

I read Guterson’s other book “Snow Falling on Cedars” and absolutely loved it. It was one of those books where you really don’t know anything going into it and you end up falling in love with it. I am hoping that this book does the same. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a year and hadn’t picked it up but is October’s discussion for the Modern Library Book Club. I have only just started it but so far it’s been pretty good.

Personal Picks/BOTM

So usually I do a seperate post about my Book of the Month boxes that come in each month but since I haven’t gotten around to it and they are the books that I plan on reading I figured I would just add them to this post instead.

“Transcendent Kingdom” By Yaa Gyasi

I can’t not begin to describe how excited I am to be reading this book. Ever since I read “Homegoing” I have been waiting and waiting for her new book. So when it was one of the September BOTM picks I immediately added it to the list and it arrived last week. I have no doubts this book is going to tug at my heartstrings like her last one did.

“Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

You already know that I absolutely Backman and its my goal to read everything he writes so is it any surprise that I have to read his latest book? I was so glad that it was a September pick for BOTM and since I get an add on, I happily clicked it. The summary says this is a comedy, which is different from the Backman I have read to date. Most of his books leave me in tears at some point. It will be a nice change. If it is funny and as good as I hope it is, I think this may be the next book I try to get my husband to read.

“The Girl with the Louding Voice” by Abi Dare

Ever since this book came out I have been dying to get my hands on it. I was so happy that BOTM had it on the list of selections. I don’t know why but this book has been calling to me and I think I am absolutely going to love it.  I already love the cover lol.

“The Space Between Worlds” by Micaiah Johnson

I typically don’t buy sci-fi books unless it is for book club but when this came up as one of the BOTM picks I was intrigued and figured why not? And rather it fall onto a shelf where it may linger for months, if not years, I figured I would get it out of the way now. I am hoping I like this one and don’t regret my decision.


What are you reading in September? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

 

August reading wrap-up

So I am still confused how we flew threw August so fast. It feels like yesterday that I was writing my August TBR list and now I am wrapping things up. Of course this post is late because it wasn’t until Labor Day that I realized we reached September. Don’t mind me, I must have been lost somewhere.

Given that the month flew by so fast you can imagine I didn’t get everything done I wanted to but surprisingly I accomplished a few things. I managed to take my staycation, which was absolutely glorious. I didn’t realize how much I needed vacation until the night I left work and had an anxiety attack just thinking about everything I would miss. I got over that real quick when Monday rolled around I didn’t have to go to work. Before work, every little would bother me. Now? Well it’s all cumbaya. I just shrug my shoulders, sigh and move on.

I was able to finish all the books that were on my TBR. I was nervous because I didn’t think I was going to do it.

This was an interesting read though I didn’t necessarily agree with all of it. Like Oluo says in the beginning, the book will probably make you uncomfortable and it certainly did. In fact, it was a difficult book to discuss even in book club. We all managed to provide our opinions about it but we avoided getting down into the nitty gritty of it. Even the minority in the group was uncomfortable about getting into it. It just shows how difficult this topic is.

This was a fun read and it was better than I expected. I was surprised by how much I got out of it as it highlighted a lot about family, understanding what we do and the extent we will go for forgiveness. While I enjoyed it, I don’t think I will be rereading it any time soon.

I haven’t read Edith Wharton since we were assigned “The Age of Innocence” in college so I was glad that this popped up for the August read in the Modern Library Book Club. I thoroughly enjoyed this book though it was definitely a sad story to read. Poor Ethan Frome. This man seriously can’t catch a break, from losing family, having an ailing wife and then failing to capture love when it was right in front of him. For such a short story Wharton definitely packaged a whole lot. There was definitely much to talk about.

I want to thank whoever it was that decided to add this book to the care package I received a few months ago from book club. If you hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have read this book and it would have been a damn shame. I absolutely loved this book and though it’s fiction, it is definitely a great book that reflects what is going on in the US about how minorities are targeted by police. However, Tayari Jones goes a step beyond that to highlight what happens to a marriage as a result. I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I read it. Some more of my thoughts can be found in the review.

Ok so I am a little late but I have finally read “Caraval”. This was another book that I wasn’t planning to read until I received it in the care package. However, unlike “American Marriage”, I wasn’t exactly wowed by this one. I am actually a little disappointed after all the hype but maybe it’s just me. lt was enjoyable and held my attention long enough to keep the pages turning. However I don’t think I will be rushing out to go buy the second book.

I absolutely loved this book but not everyone in book club felt the same. It is a story about survival – in the wilderness and in an abusive relationship. I will say that the book could have ended a little sooner, which some people complained about, but it didn’t matter to me. Hannah created a world that was so vivid that I could see Alaska as if it was just outside my window, and was great in setting up the plot.

August 2020 TBR

How is it the end of summer already? Granted that summer is technically not until the end of September but, here in the Northeast, the weather starts to get cooler come the new school year. It never fails, year after year, right after Labor Day, there is a certain smell in the air marking the change of the seasons. While I do enjoy that time of the year, I am just not ready for it yet.

The good thing about this month is that I have officially put in for a week’s vacation. I haven’t had vacation since August of last year and I am well overdue for it. Granted I can’t go anywhere but it is going to be the best damn staycation ever. What’s the plan? — Read, Read, and read some more. Some cleaning might be in order given that my apartment is a overdue for a scrubbing but overall my plan is to just relax with some books and maybe get this damn blog back on course.

With that being said I have a hefty reading list for this month. Now we all know what happens when I do these lengthy reading lists, but I am optimistic that this time around, I am going to follow through. My book club reads will be done by the time I get to vacation, which leaves me open for limitless possibilities.

Book club picks

The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah

I have been meaning to read this book for some time now and never got the chance. Now it is the August pick for the Capital District Book Club and though it’s more pages than what we normally read for book club, I am glad they kept it on the list. I have heard nothing but good things about this book.

Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton

Another book that has been on my TBR for a while. I remember reading Edith Wharton in college and enjoying her book and I am glad that I am getting a chance to read more by her. This is the September book for the Modern Library Book Club. It’s a short one so I have no doubts I will blow through it in a day.

So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oiuo

The one thing I love about the The Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club is that the moderators don’t shy away from topics that are relevant in society. Since they don’t pick books for months ahead of time, they pick some good books that create a lot of discussion. I am sure that this is going to be one of them. I’m just waiting for it to arrive in the mail before I get cracking on this one.

Personal picks

An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

Have you ever browsed the shelves, pulled a book from the shelves and went to read just the front page but ended up sitting down and getting fully engrossed? Well that was me today as I was trying to prepare to write this post. I had no clue what I was going to read for myself and pulled this one for mere curiosity. I ended up curling up in the wingback chair and was fully engrossed until my husband said it was time for dinner. I had good things about this book and so far so good.

Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

I have seen many of you rave about this book and I initially had no plans to read it. But then I received it as part of a care package earlier this year and now my curiosity has gotten the better of me. And so I am taking the plunge into the world of Caraval. The only thing is this is a trilogy and I have a feeling that I am going to be buying books 2 and 3 after reading this.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” by Rebecca Wells

Don’t ask me why but this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while. I remember getting it at one of the library book sales simply because I knew it was a movie and I wanted to do one of those book vs. movie comparisons. And yet, it has been collecting dust. So today I pulled it from the shelf and actually read the first page and felt myself getting sucked in. I had to force myself to stop, given that I already started the other book I got sucked into. Many of my Goodreads friends have read this book and gave it good reviews so here’s to hoping.


What are you planning to read in August? Have you read any on this list? If so, what did you think? Let’s discuss!

July reading wrap-up

I feel like summer just started and somehow it’s already nearing its end. This whole COVID-19 situation has put a damper on everything. My summers usually involve Fridays at the pool or at least one weekend at the Jersey Shore with my mom and me at the beach. Not this year. Though I did make it to the lake last week, it just highlighted all the more how this summer is different from all the rest.

The good thing about this month is that we finally have some new employees at work and so my work load is beginning to level out. I feel like I can breathe again and maybe, just maybe, I can have a much better work/life balance.

Speaking of, now that I have some more time to myself, I did manage to get through all but one of the books I had put on my TBR.

This was a book club read for the Modern Library Book Club, and we will be discussing it in a few days. It’s a hard book to get through as it deals with some depressing topics. I am still trying to put my thoughts together on this one, so it will be interesting to hear what others have to say.

The second of the Stephanie Plum series wasn’t my absolute favorite but it was still enjoyable over all. These books light, fun reads with quite the cast of characters. Grandma Mazur continues to be my favorite character by far. Her antics are downright hysterical. You can read my review for more about this book.

Margaret Atwood has definitely moved up to one of my top 5 favorite authors. None of her work is ever the same and she definitely delivers in “Oryx and Crake”. This dystopian book is about a viral plague that takes out mankind and the reasons why. As I said in my review, Atwood seems to have taken what was going on in the scientific community at the time and thought of the worst case scenario to come up with this tale. The scary thing is that the book was written in the early 2000s but it seems like we are living it now.

Not going to lie, I was afraid to read this book. I absolutely loved “Everything I Never Told You” and I didn’t want to read a book that might not be as good. I am so glad that I finally took the plunge. I absolutely loved this book. Celeste Ng has a way of creating characters that you can’t help but have feelings for. I seriously felt something for everyone in this book. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Kate Morton is another one that knows how to weave a story and create a cast of characters that you can’t forget. I was first introduced to her a few years ago when I read “The Forgotten Garden” and I am not sure why it has taken me this long to read more of her. This book seriously kept you guessing. Morton threw so many possibilities into this tale that each new idea seemed just a plausible as the next and yet it’s not until the end that the truth is revealed. I really have to read her other works.

The book I still haven’t finished….

I just don’t have any motivation right now to finish this book. It will remain on my night stand until I do but for now I am taking a break.


What did you read in July? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

July 2020 TBR

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. My husband and I are heading to New Jersey to visit the parents. I haven’t seen my mom since before COVID-19, and even though I talk with her everyday, it will be nice to spend time with her. We will be spending the weekend with the family eating good food and have countless laughs. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the traffic, but hopefully not many people will be out.

Things are starting to settle down at work. We lost two people during June and it was madhouse, but we have a new boss coming in on Monday and I will be getting someone to work with me hopefully in the next week or two. Then maybe, just maybe, I can take a nice long vacation. Though I know that won’t be until August. For now I am biding my time and trying to at least take Fridays off to get three-day weekends. God knows I have the time.I have been trying to balance my work and personal life, but work has been winning. Maybe this is the month that the balance will start tipping in my favor.

I didn’t get around to a lot of reading last month for reasons I mentioned in my wrap-up post, but this month I am determined to get back on track. I signed up for the library summer reading challenge, which I will explain in a future post, but I think it will be just the thing I need to get back to it. Since I am actually ahead in some of my book club reads, I can actually put some more personal picks on the list this month, which is exciting. Hopefully I can bridge that 7 book deficit I have had for months in my summer reading challenge on Goodreads.

Book club pick

Disgrace” by J.M Coetzee

This book is the July read for the Modern Library Book Club and I am looking forward to it. We have a whole new reading list and the first book we just got done reading was pretty damn good. The fact that this book won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize must mean that it is just as good, if not better. We shall see.

 

Personal picks

The Lake House” by Kate Morton

I had read Kate Morton’s “The Forgotten Garden” years ago and remember loving it. I had always planned to read more of her books but for some reason never got around to it. This book has been on my shelf for a year and it sounds the perfect summer read.

Two for the Dough” by Janet Evanovich

Maybe it’s the fact that I am going to New Jersey this weekend or the summer, but I suddenly a craving for some Stephanie Plum. I seriously have to thank my friend Carmen for introducing me to these books. She bought me “One for the Money” awhile ago and when I read it, I felt like I was back home. This is the book that I am bringing with me. I know it will be a light, fast read, perfect for a weekend at the Jersey Shore.

Oryx and Cradle” by Margaret Atwood

I know that we are still in the midst of a pandemic but I can’t help but want to read a dystopian novel set post-plague. For some reason it’s intriguing me and besides it’s by Margaret Atwood so it’s bound to be good. The only thing is that I don’t have the other books in the trilogy, so if I like this book I am going to have to wait for to read the others.

Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

As I mentioned in my wrap-up, this is my transition book from June. I have started reading this book and I love it. The character development in this book is amazing. Normally, I am not one to write a lot of notes about a book, but I can’t help but keep jotting things down. There are so many passages that are capturing my attention and quotes that I want to remember.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America” by Erik Larson

This is the other book that I am reading from last month. I am nearly halfway through it, and while intriguing, it’s a slow burn for me. I have no doubts I am going to end up loving this book. It’s just a matter of getting there.

 


What are you reading? Have you read any on the list? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

 

June reading wrap-up

Normally I am sad to see June go. For one thing, it’s my birthday month and another, usually we go on vacation to Florida. However, thanks to COVID-19, that vacation is out the window, especially since New York instituted a travel ban from all states that have spikes in cases, which includes Florida. Besides, the way work has taken over my life this year, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go on vacation anyway. I haven’t had a solid weekend off yet and even had to work on my birthday 😦

With that said, it won’t surprise you that my reading this month has been a little light. Because I have been so stressed out at work, I have been vegging out in front of the television to de-stress. It hasn’t helped that I have been binge watching ER, which was my all-time favorite show when I was a teenager (I know I am weird). I am enjoying it again and every time I tell myself I am going to read, I end up turning on ER instead. I know it’s mind over matter but at this stage I am giving in…every…damn…time.

However, the month didn’t go to a complete waste. I at least was able to read all the books for book club. So that is something.

This was the June read for my Capital District Book Club and I was surprised by how good it was, I mean as good any book can be when its about sexual assault, predators and outright creepiness. Many in book club, including me, were actually surprised by how much of the story we didn’t know. I guess since I am a fellow journalist I could relate to what Ronan Farrow went through in trying to get this story out when everyone was doing everything to shut it down. I give him kudos for continuing even when his reputation, his career and even his life were on the line. It’s journalist like him that help put Harvey Weinstein in prison and other guys like him.

The Society for Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club wanted something light and fun to read for June, especially since we are still holding virtual meetings. This was definitely a good pick. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I was a bit younger but overall I thought it was a fun read, even if parts were nonsensical, which I recently explained in my review.

This was the first book that the Modern Library Book Club read since creating a new reading list and it was a definitely a good one. This book had so much in it that it is no surprise that Pat Barker made it into a trilogy. This book highlights the psychological effects of war and the road to recovery. It was definitely not what I was expecting. It was more. The group will be discussing the book later this week and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought of it, though the majority show they liked it. You can read all my thoughts here.

Transitioning to July..

I am still reading “Devil in the White City”. It is a slow burn for me but I am enjoying it nonetheless. I put it down so I could read the books I needed to for book club and haven’t had a chance to start it back up again.

I started “Little Fires Everywhere” yesterday but I didn’t really get that far into it yet. However, I am liking what I am reading so far and can’t wait to get more into it. If only I can keep ER turned off. So expect this book to be on my TBR list for next month.

 


What did you read during June? Have you read any on this list? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

June 2020 TBR

Hey all,

We are halfway through the year and what a year it has been so far. Hopefully, the second half is much better than the first. In my view, there is no where to go but up. Also, since June is my birthday month, I declare that nothing bad can happen. So it is written, so it shall be done. LOL

Anyway, things are starting to get back to “normal” here in upstate. We have officially reached phase 2 in the reopening plan, which includes the long anticipated, barbers and hair salons. You can imagine the rush there has been, though with all the protocols in place it may take a few days or even a week to get that long awaited hair cut. Our governor has also allowed outside dining at restaurants/bars, so my husband and I had our first date since getting married. It was nice to be out, sitting among others, hearing the hum of hushed conversations around us, the bustling of waitresses passing back and forth and just sitting at a restaurant again. It was well needed.

With that being said, my book clubs are starting up in full force again. Most of them have been doing virtual discussions for the last month and are probably going to do the same this month just to be safe. However, it’s nice to get back to a routine again, especially when it comes to reading. So my reading list this month is focused on my reads for book club with some personal picks thrown in if there is time.

Book club picks

Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow

This is the pick for the Capital District Book Club and it has created a general buzz among the members. Apparently since the book has come out there has been articles about the author and the book. I refuse to read them until I get a chance to read the book. Given the subject of this book and all the news that the subject has generated, I am sure that our discussion this month is going to be very lively to say the least.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

While I know this story very well, I have never read the book. The Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club thought everyone needed a fun, light read for the month and went with this one. I am actually looking forward to reading this to see how the story differs from the live action movies I have seen dozens of times.

Regeneration” by Pat Barker

This is the first book on the new list that the Modern Library Book Club made since finishing the Modern Library’s Top 100. The new list comprises of books that members thought should have made the top 100 list. Our first book is going to be a heavy one as it addresses the psychological impacts of World War 1 and the treatment methods that were used. I have never heard of this book but I am actually looking forward to reading it.

Personal picks

The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson

This is my second Erik Larson book and so far I am enjoying it. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was unable to finish it for May so it’s my transition book for June. I loved Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” so I am hoping to enjoy this one as much. I have heard nothing but good things.

Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

Can I just say how excited I am to be reading this book?! It has been on my TBR since it came out but for some reason I could never get around to it. I loved Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and I am sure I am going to like this one just as much. Plus the show came out on HULU, which my family and friends have been raving about, but I refuse to watch it until I read the book.


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

Reading wrap-up for May 2020

May has been the weirdest month of my life. The first three weeks seemed to move in slow motion and then the last two weeks flew without me even realizing it.

You can read my previous post about me dealing with my parents having COVID-19 so I won’t go into it again. Let’s just say I started my month in a frenzy. However, I can provide an update – my mother came home the other day, completely COVID negative. YAY!! She is home and already driving my dad nuts, though I know he is happy to her home.

Things really started to look up the weekend I got married. That’s right, my fiance is now my husband and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t have gotten through all this craziness without him. It was a small ceremony at the park since the big party is in July, fingers crossed, if New York allows bigger gatherings after we reopen entirely. Yet, our small ceremony became its own special day and I will now have those memories forever.

Despite all the excitement throughout the month, I will still able to master my reading list, with only one book I didn’t finish. So I will get on with it.

This was a reread for me but both times were book club. The first time I read this book, I absolutely loved it. You can read what I thought in my original review. It was for book club and they enjoyed it for the most part as well. In my reread, I still rather enjoyed it and even noticed stuff that I didn’t notice the first time or had forgotten about. Finn does such a good job twisting the plot, that even though I knew what was going to happen, I began to doubt some parts. This reread was also for book club, a different one of course. This group however, like to dig and pick apart every little thing. So while I still liked the book, I now am beginning to rethink my 5-star to more of a 4-star. It also doesn’t help that I looked up the author and he isn’t a good guy, which has left a bad taste in my mouth.

This was my nonfiction pick for my Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson Book Club (aka SARAH Book Club). We all got to pick a nonfiction book of our choice and talk about it. It made for an interesting book discussion because people read books that others hadn’t heard about or books that others did read and could compare notes. “The Girls of Atomic City” was educational for me because I had no clue that this city in Tennessee had existed. I had heard of the Manhattan Project but not this part of it. It was also interesting to learn how many women had actually worked for the war effort and the impacts this project had on their lives. #feminism

When I saw Sue Monk Kidd had a new book, I immediately had to order it and read it. I knew I was going to love it but I didn’t realize just how much. This book had me at its opening line when the main character introduced herself as Ana, the wife of Jesus. And then it just pulled me in deeper and deeper until I would completely forget where I was. Kidd’s power to weave a story is mesmerizing and I didn’t want it to end. You can read my full review here.

So I am not one to read Greek mythology, except when I had to in school, so I wasn’t really planning on reading “Circe” despite all the rave reviews. Then the Capital District Book Club chose it an upcoming title. I thought it was for June but then realized after ordering it, the book was July’s pick. Since I now had to wait for the right book to come, I figured I might as well start reading this. I ended up loving it! It was so well done and at the moment I still can’t put into words my feelings about it. I loved the magic, loved the gods’ antics, and I especially loved Circe. I loved watching her powers grow until she was able to become better than all those who would have put her down. Now, I plan on reading Miller’s other book, “The Song of Achilles.”

Yes I did read a book about cadavers. Why? Because why not? Roach had me at the title. I mean how interesting could a cadaver be. It’s a dead person. But oh though they may be dead, they definitely have their own story to tell, from what happens when they are donated to science to the experiments and more. This was definitely an interesting read as you can see in my full review.

The book I didn’t finish

I was unable to get to “Devil in the White City” for May but I plan on reading it in June. I really don’t know much about the World’s Fair and what happened, so I think this will be an interesting read. I loved Erik Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” and people rave about this one, so I am sure I will enjoy it.


Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you read in May? Let’s discuss!