A successful run at library book sale #3

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the third and final book sale of the season at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon library. I forgot to stop at the bank on my way there and had only $5 in my pocket. This was going to make it tough if there were some good finds.

After walking around for about 20 minutes, I finished the Classics and Fiction sections and had four books in my hand. I was debating whether to call it quits or to venture into the nonfiction room when I saw the sign. Everything, except for hardcovers was 50 cents. Well, that meant I actually had $3 left to spend, which meant six more possible books.

I scored some good finds in the nonfiction section and with money still left to spend, I went for a second walk through. I managed to find two more books I wanted. In the end, I bought 8 books and had a $1 left. I somehow stayed under budget while getting an armful of books. Not a bad day.

So here is what I bought:

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

I read this back in high school after we had to watch the movie in history class. I thought I had a copy of it on my shelf and was shocked that I didn’t. It will be nice to revisit this story.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I had heard about this book through the years but never thought twice about it. Lately, I keep hearing people mention it. So when I saw it on the shelf during the sale, I figured why not.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I have always wanted to read this and from what I hear, it’s good. Now that I have a copy of it, maybe I will read it sooner rather than later.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Now that I have read People of the Book and loved it, I want to read her other books. Lo and behold, this book was available. Score!

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine by Ann Hood

You already know that I am trying to read Hood’s other novels. I loved Obituary Writer. I found The Book that Matters Most at the last book sale and now I found this one. I think this will be on my reading list for the summer.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

This was my impulse buy. I have heard of this book but never read it. It was only 50 cents so why not.

Into the Wild and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Though Missoula was extremely hard to get through because of the subject matter, Krakauer did a great job in presenting the facts and laying out an informational story that kept the reader engaged. Into the Wild appears on a bunch of “must read” lists and Into Thin Air just sounds like an interesting story.


What books have you recently bought? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

April TBR

It’s April already. How can that be? Next Friday will be a year since I got engaged. And to think it is 13 months until the wedding. Now that I think about it, I seriously have to start wedding planning, which might throw a wrench into my reading, and that is a bummer.

March was an awesome month in terms of reading and I am hoping to keep up the momentum, now that I have my work rhythm down. I have a pile of books I want to get to. Luckily, two of my book clubs are reading books that I have read already. While I am going to read them for the sake of reviewing them, it leaves me open to read many other books that I wouldn’t get to. I am also switching things up and including poetry this month since it is National Poetry Month. Also, Kathy@BooksandMunches is holding a ContemporApril challenge, where she reads contemporary books. I figured that wouldn’t be so hard since most of my books this month are contemporary.

So without further ado, my reading list for April includes the following (covers are linked to Goodreads).

Book Club Reads

This is the title picked by the Capital District Book Club for a “book with an unexpected plot twist”. I haven’t read this book since high school and can vaguely remember what it’s about. I remember that it has to do with a girl with an eating disorder (yes we read some deep stuff in book club) and I remember liking it. I am hoping that I like it this time around.

The Death of the Heart is the April read for The Modern Library Top 100 Book Club. I am actually looking forward to this book. The last two reads were surprisingly good and I think we have finally gotten past our bout of horrible books on the list. But it’s hit or miss with this.

SARAH (Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson) Book Club is reading The DaVinci Code, which is another reread for me. I have read this book twice already but it’s perfect because I was looking to do a Langdon series reread before reading the latest book, Origin.

So my smaller book club is reading Dune, which I am not sure I am going to get to. It was checked out at all the libraries near me so I am not sure I am going to be able to read it on time. We shall see.

National Poetry Month

Since I don’t read hardly enough poetry, I figured that I would make an exception in honor of National Poetry Month. I happened to have T.S. Eliot on my shelf from when I was in college, but a quick flip through revealed that we only read one or two of the poems for class, based on the notes in the margins. Might as well read it and check another book of my personal TBR bookshelf.

Personal picks

Like I mentioned above, since I have to read The DaVinci Code for book club, I might as well start rereading all of the Langdon series so I will also be reading the prequel.

I was FINALLY able to get this at the library. As soon as I saw it was available, I hopped on it. I am actually surprised there is only one copy. I can’t wait to read this.

I couldn’t resist and had to put this on the list. It’s been staring at me since I bought it. I am hoping that I am able to get to it sooner rather than later. Plus, it will cross off another book on my personal TBR, which I am trying to get down to a manageable level.

Audiobooks

None. I am taking a break from audiobooks for now. My commute is only 20 minutes so it takes me longer to get through an audiobook than it used to and I am currently out of ideas for good, short ones.

 

My reading list is ambitious this month with 8 books, especially because it’s going to be a busy month. Easter is in a few weeks and I am going to my parents house in New Jersey, which will eat up a weekend. Then, my fiancé’s brother is coming to visit the weekend after, and my girlfriend and I are going to see Phantom of the Opera (I think this will make it 5 times that I have seen it lol). My fiancé and I are going to tour our last venue before making a decision for the wedding. Not to mention there are two major cinematic events starting. Avengers: Endgame comes out on April 26 and the Game of Thrones premiere is April 14! I can’t wait!

 

What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the books on the list? Let’s discuss! Post in the comments below. 🙂

Reading wrap-up

Wow, what a month it has been. To start with the warm weather has finally arrived and the colder days are numbered. YAY!

This month has actually felt like it went longer than normal. I guess because it was so busy that it is hard to believe that I did everything that I did, especially when it comes to reading. I actually read 10 books this month. I don’t think I have reached that number since last year. When I look back at the first few books I read, it feels like so long ago. LOL. Usually we are remarking on how fast the time flies and this month I feel like it slowed down.

March in the US is Women’s History Month, where we recognize the progression of women’s rights throughout history and the achievements of women over time. At work, we held an event recognizing our eight (8) female legislators and the twelve other women who head a county department. I was actually shocked by this number but it was great to be part of an event that recognized that achievement.

As for my reading, most of the books that I read were either by female authors or about strong women. I got to all of the books on my reading list and then some. (All book titles linked to Goodreads)

i am malala

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

Talk about a strong woman. I knew I was going to like this book and I am so glad that I finally got a chance to read it. I have read several books about Middle Eastern women who have stepped up to do their part during the wars in either Afghanistan or Pakistan and Malala is one of them. They all have their own story to tell and they are always different. Malala’s was about defying the Taliban to speak out about the right for education and she almost paid the ultimate price for it. She is one of those that you can’t help but admiring. You can read my review about Malala, here.

Wildflower

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I finally completed this audiobook by Drew Barrymore. It was my only audiobook for the month. This isn’t necessarily a memoir but rather a bunch of random stories from her life that she wishes to share. From her experiences as an actor and producer to her personal life and travels, Barrymore shares enough to give us a glimpse into who she is. Since I love her as an actress, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was glad to listen to the audiobook she narrates. I would definitely recommend it. You can read the review here.

The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Talk about a powerful book. Wow. This book totally blew me away. It was so emotionally charged and I am still thinking about it. Also this book was perfect for Women’s History Month as it ties the abolitionist movement into the women’s right movement. I loved the two main characters of this book and the ties that link them together over the generations. The ending had happy tears streaming down my face. You can read my review here.

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This was a reread for me as it was the March pick for the SARAH Book Club and I enjoyed it just as much as I did in high school when I first read it. I noticed many more details than I did as a teenager, but I guess that it is the result of growing up. It didn’t ruin the story for me though. I still love Atticus Finch and I love how Harper told the story through the eyes of a child. You can read my review here.
furiously happy

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This was another reread for me, this time because of the Capital District Book Club. I actually liked it even better the second time around, but I was one of the few. Many in group had more critical opinions about it. Since I had already reviewed this book two years ago when I read it for the SARAH Book Club, I instead did a book club discussion post this time around, which you can check out here.

 

Young Lonigan by James T. Farrell and Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

Both of these books were for my Modern Library Top 100 Book Club, which meets at the beginning of each month. Young Lonigan was the March pick, which you can read what the group thought here. Appointment in Samarra is for April, which meets this coming Wednesday. I actually loved this book and so glad I have a copy of it. I will probably do a book club discussion post about it on Wednesday night.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

So I bought this book on a whim at a recent library book sale but I won’t lie, I was kind of nervous about this book given the mixed reviews about it. I am glad that I am the type that likes to judge a book for herself because I ended up loving this book. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the best book ever written and I don’t think it will go on my top 10 but I loved it way more than I thought I would. Definitely 4 stars. I should have a review soon.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches by Roald Dahl

At the end of the month, I didn’t know what to read so I decided to pick something light. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only took me a day to read so I ended up reading The Witches as well. I had grown up watching both of these movies as a kid and never realized they were based on the books by Dahl until recently. Both were very similar to the movies. In fact, while reading them, I was playing the movies in my head. I should have reviews up soon.

There were a few books that I had on my reading list at the beginning of the month but I never got to them.

I was hoping to read Hidden Figures and Becoming for Women’s History Month but my library had both books checked out the entire time. I will just have to put them off till later. Ironically though, the movie of Hidden Figures was on HBO this month and watched most of it. I had to leave before finishing it but it reinforced my plans to read the book. I loved the movie. As for Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton, let’s just say that I don’t think I was meant to read this book at this time. I had started the audiobook but first, the loan was up, and then, after I renewed it, I was listening to it and it froze on the Libby App. I gave up and didn’t try to finish it.

This month, I also had the chance to start my new feature on this blog of reviewing movies that I like.

marvel
Flikr

Captain Marvel was friggin amazing! I went in to it a doubter and came out grinning from ear to ear with a new hero to worship. You can read the review here.

I am hoping that next month is as successful as March. I am at the point that I wish I could a read every book in one day. There are so many I want to get to so my reading list for next month is ambitious to say the least.


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

Book Club Discussion: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This was a reread for me – both times were for book club. I actually enjoyed the read more this time than I did the first time and the same stories still had me in hysterics. I still stand by my original review, which you can read here, but I don’t agree with my criticism about her self promoting the book this time. In fact, I didn’t even notice it. The ultimate benefit to this reread was that my fiancé noticed, and now he wants to read it. YES!!

However, I was one of the few that thoroughly enjoyed it, this time around. The first time I read this it was for the SARAH Book Club and as I recall, the majority of the group enjoyed the book. There was little, if any, criticism about the book. The same can’t be said for this most recent discussion in the Capital District Book Club.

For those who liked it, they thought it was a good glimpse into how mental illness can affect someone. Some had read the book before or were followers of Jenny’s blog and definitely could relate. The discussion became a chance for people to open up about their experiences with mental illness and how Jenny helped them get through the bad times.

For those who were more critical, it wasn’t that they hated every part of the book but rather the random stories that Jenny wrote about. Many said that they liked the parts where Jenny described in detail how her anxiety and depression affected her. They thought her openness about the “dark” times and her stories about ensuring her daughter wasn’t directly impacted those times were genuine and wished there were more of that.

However, they were not a fan of the random stories that Jenny included. Many didn’t think they were funny at all and that Jenny was trying too hard, like she was screaming for attention (I disagree!). But this led to a great discussion on why Jenny did include those stories. Some thought that it was her way of showing how her mind worked while others saw it as a way to laugh about the craziness that is her life.

By the end of the talk, some of the nay-sayers began to swing more toward the middle in terms of liking the book. Some even said that they were going to change their reviews on Goodreads. After talking it over, they said they had a better understanding of Jenny and liked the book because of it.

And this is exactly why book club is AWESOME!! As one member pointed out, she always goes in thinking about a book one way and leaves book club feeling completely different.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss!

Audiobook: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is one of my favorite actresses, especially her roles in Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Never Been Kissed. I had always felt that she was such an endearing actress. So when I learned that she had a book out, I had to read it.

If you are expecting your typical memoir, think again. Drew Barrymore tells you right in the beginning that she didn’t want this to be a memoir. Instead, this book comprises of several stories from her life, which I actually liked better. It feels like you’re having a normal conversation with Drew where she just tells you random stories while you’re talking with her. Of course, in this instance, the conversation is one sided.

I highly recommend you listen to the audio version of this book with Drew narrating. Never once did I feel that she was reading her book. Rather it felt like a true conversation. She yells and screams, she cries, she laughs. This was such an enjoyable listen.

I learned so much about Drew that I didn’t know, particularly that she owns a production company, Wildflower, and that she produced some notable films such as Charlie’s Angels, Donnie Darko, Never Been Kissed, He’s Just Not that Into You and so many more. I never even knew this.

She also delves more into her personal life telling stories from her experiences as a child actor (I totally forgot she was the girl in E.T!) and living on her own at the age of 14 to having kids and her travels to a variety of different countries. Drew never goes into too much detail but gives you just enough to understand how these things have shaped who she was. If anything, this book solidified how wholesome Drew is. Her life hasn’t entirely been easy but she has a positive outlook on life and lives it to the fullest.

I absolutely enjoyed this read and it took me out of an audiobook slump that I have been in recently. I found myself even listening to this at work because I couldn’t wait for my commute home to listen again. I hope that she writes another book because I want to know more!

Male authors I want to read more of

Since there are so many authors I want to read more of, I decided to make two lists. I already posted about the female authors I want to read more of, so its only fair that I do a similar list for male authors.

Here are the 10 male authors who I want to read more books from:

Jon Krakauer

 

Jon Krakauer is one of those authors who always appeared on a list of books that someone should read, usually for his work, Into the Wild. I always made a mental note but he was never on the top of my list. Until last month. I was introduced to Jon Krakauer’s work because of book club when we read Missoula. Though the content of the book was hard to get through because of the subject matter, which you can read in my review, I loved Krakauer’s writing. He definitely moved up on my list and Into the Wild is permanently on my TBR now. I also heard about Into Thin Air so that goes on the list as well.

Chuck Paliahnuk

Chuck Palahniuk is another writer who I had heard about but never got into until book club. We read Invisible Monsters Remix (See my review). As I quickly found out, you either love him or you hate him. His writing definitely … takes some getting used to. Luckily, I was able to stomach him and loved what he was trying to say in Invisible Monsters. Now I want to read more of him, though as my friend warned me, some of his writing is more graphic than others. I figured I would play it safe and go with what he is known for, Fight Club, of which a movie has been made.

Charles Dickens

I have had Great Expectations on my book shelf for as long as I can remember. I don’t even know how I acquired my copy but I remember trying to read it several times growing up and never getting more than halfway through it. I have come to realize that I think I was just too young to understand what he was trying to say. I finished Oliver Twist a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Dickens once again became my a classic author I wanted to read more of. Not to mention that I have pretty much all of his books on my shelf, so I might as well start reading. I figured its about time to conquer the book that has plagued my childhood once and for all.

Ben Winters

Before reading Underground Airlines for book club (see my review), I had never heard of Ben Winters, and even after, I thought this was his only book. Lo and behold, Winters has authored several titles. His newest book, Golden State, just came out on January 22 and its been making the rounds. Just in time.

Jonathan Safran Foer

I read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for book club and fell in love with it. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me cry some more. The book is now a permanent fixture on my book shelf. Foer is a storyteller that makes the reader dig deep. I definitely want to check out Everything is Illuminated, which seems a similar.

Erik Larsen

It took me years to read something by Erik Larson, but thanks to … yep, you guessed it… book club, I was introduced to his work, In the Garden of the Beasts (review). Seriously, if you are struggling to get into nonfiction or historical books, you should read Larson. He has a way of telling the story so that you don’t even realize its nonfiction. I am definitely going to read his other works and I recently bought Devil in the White City so I can do it quicker.

James Scott

the keptTo fulfill our local authors theme in book club we read, The Kept by James Scott. I can still remember the opening lines and every detail until the ending. This book was one of those books that stays with you (See review). This was Scott’s first novel and I want MORE!!! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he is working on anything at the moment but you better believe I will be reading it when its published. Luckily he does have some short fiction I can read.

William Faulkner

I need to revisit William Faulkner. I vaguely remember reading him back in high school for fun but I must admit I don’t remember much of what I read. I think part of this is because I read them for fun and had no one to talk them over with. However, last year, I read As I Lay Dying for my classics book club and because I had to talk about it, I was able to think critically and I got so much out of it. I loved As I Lay Dying and so now I want to go back and read or reread Faulkner’s other works.

David Gutherson

I bought Snow Falling on Cedars at a library book sale because I liked the cover, not going to lie. However, when I finally got around to reading it while, I loved it. I brought this with me on vacation and had it done before I got home. Gutherson’s writing is so descriptive and so emotional. This book delivered an emotional punch which I was not expecting. I didn’t even realize that he had another book until I happened to be at another library book sale and picked up East of the Mountains. I hope I fall in love with it like I did with Falling on Cedars.

Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose is one of the few books that I have liked from the Modern Library 100 Books list (review). Stegner’s writing is so descriptive and I could picture every part of the book and I loved the characters. I wouldn’t mind reading more from this author and according to the reviews on Goodreads, all of his books rated above 4 stars.

There you have it. My list of authors I want to read more on. Of course this list will get longer as the year goes on and I discover new authors but for now, these are the authors whose work has left an impression on me. I hope their others works do the same.

Books set in the US

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

At first I wasn’t going to do this post simply because I feel like there are SOOO many books that are set in the United States but then upon going to my book shelf, I was surprised by how many books were set in a foreign country. While I was able to easily pick out five that were set in the US, I wanted to make sure they were in different locations. This is a good opportunity to give people a tour of the US they may not know.

Many people know of the big cities such as New York City or Miami or Chicago, etc. But what about everywhere else? There are so many other places that people may never even heard of. Some of them, I haven’t even heard of. So here are five books set in different places throughout the US.

WildWhat a better book to start with than Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which takes place outside. The trail goes through the Mojave Dessert in California and Oregon to Washington State.

Every BreathIf you want to read about North Carolina, you need to look no further than Nicholas Sparks. All of his books take place in North Carolina. However, Every Breath which is Sparks’ latest book takes place at Sunset Beach, North Carolina and I seriously want to go there after reading this.

One for the MoneyEvanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is based on a character from New Jersey, my home state. I only read One for the Money over the summer and I felt like was home again. I am so glad that my friend introduced me to this series. I can’t wait to read the second one.

the keptThe Kept takes place in the upstate New York in the early 1900s. Most people, when they think of New York, they think of NYC, but honestly that is only a small, small sliver of the state. Upstate NY is mostly rural and James Scott captures that in this book. Even though its set at the turn of the 20th century, a lot of the places he describes is familiar to me.

The Snow Child

The Snow Child is set in the wilderness of Alaska of 1920. This is a magical book that is full of mystery and fairy tales but Ivey’s writing is absolutely beautiful. Her writing of the wilderness envelopes you until you think you are there.

 

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

As we celebrate Women’s History Month in the US, I am glad that I finally got around to reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This year’s theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence and I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this recognition than Malala.

i am malalaWhen the Taliban takes over the Swat Valley in Pakistan, instituting strict rules, especially those on women, Malala fights back with her voice and her right for an education. As a result she gets shot in the head while riding the bus home from school.

It’s stories like Malala’s that everyone needs to read because only then can true change happen. This girl was lucky to have a father who supported the right for a woman to have an education and encouraged Malala to strive to be everything she wanted to be. Even when the Taliban enforces laws that restrict women to their household, Malala’s father, who is also a teacher, keeps the schools for women open.

Not only does she continue to go to school right under the Taliban’s nose, but she also speaks out despite the dangers. She goes to conferences, participates in interviews about what is happening under Taliban rule and more.

“I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.” — opening lines of the book.

Wow. What a way to grab the reader. You can’t help but read on. She starts at the end, explaining one of the worst days of her life. When she knows she has the reader, she goes back to the beginning. But it’s not the beginning of the day but rather way back to before the Taliban take over, giving the reader some context on how things used to be. For those who know only of current day Pakistan which is very turbulent, it is shocking to read how “normal” the country was years ago, especially for women. They actually had several liberties including wearing colorful clothing and makeup, going shopping, hanging out with friends and going to school. For Malala, her life revolved around school. She wanted to be the best that she could be and personally competed against the other top student in her class to vie for number 1.

So when the Taliban takes over, Malala’s life is turned upside down. But it is not overnight. As she explains, the Taliban started off slowly, gathering support but instituting small change and taking advantage when the situation called for it. Then inevitably gain power and that is when Malala’s world if affected. She is suddenly told she can no longer go to school. The reader feels the heartbreak and the anger just as Malala does.

“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days, we were afraid of our fellow human beings.”

I think this sentence alone tells you all you need to know what living under the Taliban was like. And since the reader has gotten to know Malala, her hopes and dreams and her secrets and fears, you can’t help but feel the fear and the anger she feels when this happens.

The reader gets connected to Malala so when she finally gets to the part that you waited to hear, you can’t help but feel the horror. Even though we know that Malala survives the ordeal, we can’t help but feel fear for her as she goes through ups and downs during her recovery. And even with everything she goes through, Malala keeps her positive outlook and picks up where she left off, fighting for education. As she says in closing:

“I am Malala. My world has changed but I have not.”

March TBR

There is less than three more weeks till spring and I can’t wait! As I sit here writing this, we are preparing for another snow storm overnight. I am hoping that it doesn’t come but I have no doubt I will wake to snow on the ground. The news crews have actually gotten it right every time so far.

With that being said, I am trying to take advantage of the cold weather to get some reading done and March is already off to a good start with two books already getting crossed off my list.

It’s Women’s History Month here in the US and as I just realized that all the books on my TBR for this month are either written by female authors or about powerful females, except for one.

Personal Picks

i am malala

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I have been wanting to read this books for a long time, so when I was looking for things to read for Women’s History Month, this was my #1 pick. I am on the last chapter which will be read as soon as I get done with this post. I knew I was going to love this book and I wasn’t wrong. I can’t wait to review it. All I can say is we need more Malala’s in the world.

The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I read Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees years ago and enjoyed it so I am excited to read this one by her. I have seen some really good things about it.

Becoming by Michelle Obama or Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Both of these were on my list but they were both checked out at the library. I am hoping to get to one of them by the end of the month.

Book Club Reads

Young Lonigan.jpg

Young Lonigan by James T. Farrell

This is the March pick for my Modern Library Top 100 Book Club, which actually meets on Wednesday. It is the first in the Studs Lonigan Trilogy and it was actually better than I thought it was going to be. I am thinking of changing things up and I might tie in my review with the book club’s discussion.

furiously happy

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This is actually a reread for me. I first read this for another book club about two years ago and I loved it. You can read my review here. I am actually leading the discussion in the Capital District Book Club on this one so I will probably post about the discussion rather than another review.

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Can I just say how freaking excited I am that my SARAH Book Club has decided to read this? This is another reread for me and I can’t wait. I first read this for summer reading going into freshman year of high school and absolutely loved this book. I am hoping my reread has the same affect. I can’t wait to describe the reread experience.

Audiobooks

Lets just say it isn't pretty

Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton

I actually started this audiobook last month but then went through an audiobook slump. After Nevertheless by Alec Baldwin I needed a break. I just wanted to listen to some music and talk radio. I am hoping to finish this by next week.

Wildflower

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I love Drew Barrymore so when I saw she had a book, it was a given. I know about some of her life, especially her turbulent teens but it will be interesting to hear it in her own words. I am looking forward to this one.

Eight books is pretty ambitious for me but with two down and we are only four days into March, I don’t think this will be too difficult. Besides two are rereads which means that I will probably speed read through them. I will probably be adding to this list by before the month is over.

Monthly Wrap-up

We are done with the second month of 2019 and yes it went fast, but February always goes fast. I guess that is the downside of only having 28 days. We don’t realize how much those extra two or three days come in handy until we don’t have them.

Yet, despite our shorter month, I was able to get a lot done. Work has been busy, which is why my posting has been sporadic. By the time I get home, I’m so exhausted I can’t even think of writing and by the weekends, I just want to relax and read. On the personal  side, I have been able to remain consistent and finished 6 books and even made it to the movies.

On the reading front, February is African American History Month in the US so I tried to focus my personal reading on that theme.

My two picks were Homegoing and Invisible Man, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Homegoing was the perfect read as this year’s African American History Month theme was “Black Migrations”. Homegoing follows two parallel story lines, one in Africa and one in the US and the impact slavery has on both. This book really stayed with me and you can read more about that in my review. As for Invisible Man, I finished that last week and was glad that I finally read it. It was definitely better than I expected. I should have a review soon. I am still trying to digest it.

I had some harder reads for my book clubs.

Missoula was probably the hardest read I have had to get through in a long time and not because it was bad. It was actually very good and well thought out. What made this difficult was the subject matter of rape, which is right in the subtitle. Krakauer lays out five different cases and drags the reader through the experience from the actual trauma to the trials. I had to constantly take breaks from this book and the rest of my book club felt the same way. They thought Krakauer did a thorough job using source material to describe what happened in Missoula but what happened had our emotions rolling. It made for a very emotional discussion. You can read my review here.

For the Modern Library Top 100 Book Club, we read Dos Passo’s first book of the USA trilogy, The 42nd Parallel. I didn’t get a chance to review this book but it was definitely different. Dos Passos uses several different writing techniques within one work which made for a unique piece. He told several different fictional stories and interwove those with sections that included real news headlines and autobiographical pieces, which caused some mixed reactions within the group.

I managed to get two audiobooks in. I finally finished Nevertheless, which was actually my leftover from January. I was actually disappointed in this book and I am still considering whether I should even post a review on it. The upside was finding Dear Fahrenheit 451, which is a librarians letters to the books she loves and hates. OMG it was a great read and the perfect distraction as I was trying to get through Missoula. You can read my review on Dear Fahrenheit 451 here.

As I mentioned above, I actually made it to the movies this month and saw “Isn’t it Romantic.” I only went because my bestie wanted to see it but I am so glad that I did. This movie was hysterical as it makes fun of all the tropes in romantic comedies. I loved Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect so seeing her as a main character in her own movie was awesome. I would totally recommend this movie if you want something feel-good and entertaining.

In other cinema news, my fiancé and I are re-watching episodes from Games of Thrones in preparation of the new season premiere in April. I can’t wait!! I still haven’t picked the person I want to see on the Iron Throne but its down to Arya, Danarys and Jon Snow. Which team are you on?