Monday, May 30, 2016

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

I usually read books by Elizabeth Strout and find that the writing is solid, the characters convincing, but I feel a bit melancholy after. My experience was no different with My Name is Lucy Barton.

Hello, melancholy.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

I love reading Sittenfeld's books and I read her newest books as soon as I can. I put myself on the wait list at the library for Eligible even before it was published.

Eligible is a modern day retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and for this very reason, I was a bit skeptical. However, Sittenfeld does a wonderfully clever job of using the Pride and Prejudice story, characters, and themes and really "making it her own" (as they often say on that singing show, "The Voice").

Delightful, super clever, and fun. One of the most fun books I've read so far this year! :) However, there are a lot of mixed reviews out there on this one, so if you're a really big fan of Pride of Prejudice, you might want to think carefully before reading. :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

Mikalatos finds the remains of a sky lantern in his front yard with a note on it written to a dad. On his blog, he writes a letter to the young lady, letting her know what he thinks a dad might want her to know. The letter strikes a chord with people all over who carry the wound of a father who has died, left, or never really showed up in the way they needed him to.

A short book, but it was just a so-so reading experience for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

I was talking to a friend at a party and answering a question she had asked, when I noticed that her eyes dropped down to her phone. I could tell she wasn't listening anymore, and so I stopped mid-sentence to see if she would notice, and she didn't. The phone had won out, and I actually moved away and she still didn't notice.

Reclaiming Conversation focuses on how technology and the ubiquitous phone is causing us to turn away from each other and avoid face-to-face conversation. In a very methodical way, Turkle discusses how our attachment to phones reduces (or eliminates!) the time we spend alone with our thoughts, and this decreases our own ability to self-reflect on our thoughts and feelings. She goes on to describe how our preoccupation with phones affects family life, friendship, romance, education, and work. Unfortunately, she spends much less time on what to do about our lack of connecting through face-to-face conversations.

A very thorough and fascinating look into the phone culture of today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Prue is out one day with her baby brother. It seems like the most ordinary day until crows swoop down and carry her brother away into the Impassable Wilderness. She, along with a curious neighbor, head into the forest to try and retrieve her brother. What they find in the forest is beyond their imagination.

has the most whimsical cover and it also delightful illustrations throughout, and both the writing and story delight as well.

It's also a thick book at 500+ pages, but halfway through, I knew that I would need the next book at the ready, so I reserved it at the library. Smart thinking! I finished Wildwood, and immediately started reading Under Wildwood.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The four Plumb siblings (Melody, Jack, Beatrice, and Leo) have all been counting on financial help from their joint trust fund that they call "the Nest." When that trust money is about to be distributed, they find out that most of the fund was used to pay for Leo's stint in rehab. How will they get Leo to pay them back?

I was looking for a fun, fiction book that I could not put down, and The Nest fit the bill. I read this over the weekend and it was a fun tale to immerse myself in.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Boomer carries up the books that I'm reading to our room every night because he thinks it's his job. It's usually a stack ranging from two to seven books. One night, he didn't bring them up for some reason, and I asked, "Why didn't you bring up my books?" His answer? "Because I'm a loser." Harsh!

Anyway, Boomer was carrying this book in his bag for me when we went to the library to return it, and once he put it on the book return conveyor belt he said, "That's a load off!" Yes, this book has 900+ pages so it was a heavy one to carry around for the three weeks it took me to read it. Thanks to Boomer for carrying it upstairs for me every night.

I heard about it from one of Boomer's co-workers who apparently really likes very long books (the other book he recommended was about as long as well).

Classified under Science Fiction, this book has magic, a dragon, singing, and puzzles. I liked it enough, but I'm not quite ready to pick up Book Two in the series.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Life in France by Julia Child

In my effort to reduce the size of my personal library, I've been reading the books that I've borrowed from friends so that I can return them. Sorry it's taken me years to do this. I borrowed My Life In France from Grace many years ago, and am happy to report that I have read it and will return it to her within the next month.

Julia Child is a delightful person and her story is amazing. She did not begin learning to cook until her late 30s, and what a career she had! This is a dense book, and it is super satisfying to read.