Sunday, September 6, 2015

A few good books.

Back when I started this blog I had hoped to post about books as well as sewing.  The book chatter sort of fell away since there seemed to be little interest in that area.  That did not mean I wasn't reading.  I always read....sometimes more than one book at a time.

I keep track of my books on GoodReads.  I find that useful when checking back to see what books I've read and for a quick review of what other readers thought of a book.  My favorite feature of GoodReads is the 'To Be Read' option.  Every time I see a book I hope to read or, hope to remember I want to read, I can just add it to that list for safe keeping.  It hasn't completely eliminated the scraps of paper I keep with lists of books, though.  Maybe someday.

My casual reading goal is to read a book a week.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.   I am a slow reader.  I never skip anything.  I also almost never quit a book.  This year I stopped about 100 pages into The Circle by Dave Eggers.  I just couldn't do it.  I wish I'd stopped reading Bob Saget's autobiography, Dirty Daddy. Save yourself a few hours of your life.  If you argue that you 'just love' Danny Tanner...put the book down and back away.  He's a tasteless jerk.

Anyway, I feel like I've read quite a few good books this summer.  Some of them were because I was 'forced' to read them as part of a book club and some were found in the usual manner.

First, Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See.  

A  look at how a family survived WWII under very unusual circumstances.  I had vowed to NOT read another WWII book.  I am tired of them and what more can be written?  Foolish me.                                                                      
Another WWII book (so much for my vow) that turned out to be a very enjoyable read was Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale.  

So very unlike previous Kristen Hannah books.  If you generally bypass her books as 'fluff' this will change your mind.  Surviving the war was the main focus but there was also a whole new twist with a main character working with the French resistance.  (Ok. not so 'new'.  After all, there was a little resistance work in All The Light We Cannot See.) Hold on to your seat as you move into the present day and learn some of the final details of the story. 

Another 'forced' read was Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  I can't remember why I didn't want to read this book when it first came out.  When I learned it was the adult summer reading program choice at my local library I was disappointed.  When the librarian specifically asked me to join in I reluctantly picked up the book.  I am glad I did.  It was a good read with lots of discussion points.  Also, one of the trail angels was from my area.  They don't say that in the book.  People in the area just know that information.  You know how a little bit of a local connection brings appeal to a story. 

A book that I chose without duress from a book club or reading program was Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum.  It has nothing to do with a museum.  If you've never read one of her books I'd suggest this one.  It's her first book and was published 20 years ago.  You'll be amazed at the depth in which she can develop a story.  I'd also suggest a piece of note paper nearby to keep the characters straight.  (Don't let that scare you away.)  The book follows a family through two decades while delving into their past with alternate chapters going back several generations and moving forward.  It's during those chapters that I had to keep reminding myself who everyone was.

I have also re-read a surprising number of books this year.  One was by accident.  Elizabeth Berg's The Art of Mending.  I've read all of her books so I figured I'd read it but it was being passed around a group of friends and I couldn't exactly remember it.  It was still good the second time around.  Plus, I couldn't remember any of the specifics.  I also re-read two of Nora Ephron's books:  I Feel Bad About My Neck, and I Remember Nothing.   Mainly because I own them and they're good travel reading.  I have another book in my to-be-read pile that I read years ago...Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh.  I really like her books and think I'd like to re-read the only one I own.  We'll see once I get started. 

Anyhow, hope there is a book or two in there that appeals.  

(My pictures are thanks to Amazon.)

Happy fall reading.



  1. Thank you for taking the time to post this entry. As a quilter and full time employee and widow of 3 grown boys and a large home, sometimes, we spend time talking the most about our main hobby and staying silent others.
    I too read every single word, therefore, it takes a long time to read a novel. I have tried to change and cannot. So, my reading list is never very long.
    I do enjoy Audible books and manage to sneak in some book time while driving to and from work, cutting the grass and such.
    I have purchased All the Light we Cannot See and Nightingale for Audible. I am looking at Behind the Scenes of the Museum as a Kindle purchase.
    Again, thank you!

  2. I couldn't believe that I actually read each of these books except the Kate Atkinson one, Pam! I guess I'm doing better than I thought with my reading. All the Light We Cannot See is on my list of very top favorites. I listened to it and it was incredible... The Nightingale started off slowly for me, but drew me in. Unfortunately, I listened to it right after All the Light... and, although good, just didn't grab me the way Doerr's book did. I wasn't crazy about Wild, but I got through it--I thought she was kind of an idiot, to be honest with you :)

    Happy Reading!

  3. I loved THE NIGHTINGALE, too. It gave me all the feels, as my 13yo daughter likes to say :) I gave up on ALL THE LIGHT about halfway in. The premise is intriguing, the writing lovely, but I got bored with it. Maybe I'll finish it someday, maybe not.

    P.S. I'm adding your blog to my Bloglovin' list so I can keep up with everything you read and stitch. I'm impressed you can do so much of both at the same time!