Bookish Posts

What I Read, What I am Reading and What I will Read Next. (And, as a bonus, What I am Listening To)

By Katie


I was planning on doing this post mid month, but the mid of the mid to the end of the month is close enough, right?

DSC_7350 edit
This is a totally natural pose for my books.  This is my life.
21827197_1976865852558360_7818198586033700864_n
The 100th book.

If you follow us on instagram, you will have seen that I recently have read my 100th book.   That puts me on track to finish about 135 books this year, which is on par for last year.  I thought I would read less this year because I  read some behemoths this year, like City on Fire (I rated it a 4, it was a depressing 900 page read with no hope until everything worked out for everybody on the last 3 pages) (but it was  well-written), The Dovekeepers (a gorgeous book, I rated it a 10), and The Golem and the Jinni (loved it, rated it a 8, though I feel, looking back, it should be at least a 9).   I guess the bigger books were balanced shorter books like the  Narnia Series (I read this series to Atticus), a Judy Blume novel, and 2 Newberry Medal winners, The One and Only Ivan (highly recommend this book!) and Moon over Manifest (I loved, loved, loved it!).

I don’t do book challenges as a rule.  I love reading, I don’t want to make it a chore or something I need to cross off my list.  But, looking forward to being a mom of 4 4 and under, I am thinking of challenging myself to read through the Newberry Medal winners and honour list next year.  I am not sure how much brain power I will have for reading once the twins are here so these shorter reads may be just what I need to get through 2018!

Anyways.

I should get down to business.  I know that is what you are here for……..

DSC_7339 edit

 

What I read:

51I7LCRhT6L._SL160_I just finished The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda.  It a psychological thriller that is a quick read and has a compelling story line.

Moving to the middle of nowhere after her journalism careers blows up, Leah Stevens rooms with an old friend from 8 years previous.   Shortly after she arrives, 2 bodies are found in the local lake and her roommate goes missing.  Only there is no proof the roommate ever existed.   Narrated from Leah’s perspective, her story seems completely plausible.  But is it?

This is not my favourite type of read.  My true love is literary fiction: great writing, and prose you want to sink in to.   But I do need quick, compelling books to break up the literary fiction books which can be heavier and more thought-provoking.

61ldE5ZNZ2L._SL160_I am currently reading The History of Bees by  Maja Lunde .  This is the book I received from PageHabit, which is a subscription box service that sends annotated copies of new releases.  You can pick from 8 different of genres, including historical fiction, sci fi, mystery, and, my choice, literary fiction.   I also got a pair of socks, book page markers and a short story that was very disappointing.   I am loving the annotations in The Life of Bees!  It adds so much to the story to get the background on the research done by the author, the way the book changed as it was written and edited, and the general musings of the author.    PageHabit also donates money to different literary charities around the world that serve under-read communities.  So its a win-win.

DSC_7366 edit
This is what my reading life looks like: flowers and sun.

The History of Bees takes place in 3 time periods: mid 19th century, modern day, and the end of the 21st century.   Telling the story of 3 different people at different times in the history of bees, with the bees all gone by 2093, disappearing in 2007 and totally fine in 1852, Lunde is weaving a masterful, beautifully written story.   With the death of bees on the news recently and new measures being pushed in to try stop the bee population decline, it seems like a poignant read right now!

51aLxQqr2IL._SL160_I am going to pick up Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout next because I waited forever for it from the library and I can’t renew it because there are still holds on it.  (I find the library holding system often dictates what I read next.)  I read My Name is Lucy Barton by Strout earlier this year in because AiP was coming out.  (I was told you don’t need to read them in order, but I prefer to.  I feel that, even in non-linear series, the author tends to write like you have the knowledge the previous books imparted about reoccurring characters.)   Lucy Barton was a quick read (I started and finished it on the car ride to one of the Tea’s house this summer) and Anything is Possible seems similar in length so I should knock it off in a day or so.  I rated Lucy Barton a 10, so I have high hopes for this one!

And, of course, what am I listening to:

(If you don’t think that audio books count as reading, see what I have to say about that here.)

512b908vxPL._SL160_My current audio book is Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  I had no idea what this book was about when I chose it (except that it was labelled as the next A Thousand Splendid Suns   by Khaled Hosseini).  Little Bee is about a teen aged refugee in Britain who reconnected with a British couple who saved her life 5 years earlier, but had failed to save the life of her sister.  It is a heart breaking look into the refugee life, what drives a person to leave their home country, what awaits them in developed countries, and what could happen if they are deported.

I think that in a society where so much of our discussions on refugees and our responsibilities to them deals with refugees a mass group (which is a daunting and impossible issue), it is good to look at individual stories.  It is good to remember that every refugee is an individual human being.  Reading stories about refugees helps to build empathy in a world that is so focused ‘on my worldview, my opinion, my interpretation.’

What are some good books you have picked up lately?  What is on your TBR pile?

Advertisements
Bookish Posts

What I Read. What I am Reading. What I will Read Next

By Katie


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Its costs you nothing but we get a little something. 
20170816_162935 (3)

Part of my capacity at Three Teas and a Coffee is Official Reader.  This is a hard won and very coveted title.  I will try to do it justice.  But, because we (and by we, I mean the Teas) don’t want to become a book-only blog, I am going to try to limit myself to 1 or 2 monthly posts about books.

My reading life can be summed up by William Styron who said,

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” 

(This clearly shows that people who are out living YOLO are just illiterate.)

Books open up the world to you.  They allow you to walk in someone else’s (or some other species!) shoes.  They teach compassion, discernment.  They educate.  They allow you to live!

If you don’t like to read….What on earth is wrong with you?!?!

Just kidding.  Kind of. OK, I wasn’t really kidding at all. (Just kidding.)

I know I read a lot, most likely more than the average person.  I read about 130 books last year and over 140 the year before (this year will be less because I have been reading some behemoths).   When I mention how much I read, often people say “I couldn’t do that.  I don’t have time.”  But then I hear from everybody about the latest Survivor, Game of Thrones, or How I met your Big Bang Modern Office.  It’s a matter of priorities, people!

If you enjoy reading, or want to read more I am going to post what I have read, what I am reading and what I plan on reading next.  The last one is hard because I don’t plan my reading months in advance, and I don’t do book-reading lists or challenges.  I choose my next book based on what catches my eye at the moment I finish the last page of my current book.

51lBlxNIx3L._SY346_I just finished The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon.  It was a really quick read which I finished in less than 36 hours (and that includes volunteering at VBC and painting our bathroom!)(and some parenting…)   It is a story of 2 army wives in Jordan during the Arab Spring in 2011.  It left me wanting more, and not only a more in depth look at the political climate and culture, but also into the motives and ambitions of all the characters.  I felt that Fallon skimmed over everything and ended up with a rushed novel, though she has a lot of praise for the novel on the back cover, so maybe I missed something.

Hourglass                                                                                                                              I am currently reading Hourglass by Dani Shapiro. This is a 2017 release, but I didn’t have to wait too long on my library’s hold list.  I just started it, but so far, I think I am going to love it.  It is the sort of memoir I love: a mix of story-telling, musing, and essay with lots of thought-provoking lines in it.  I love good writing, and I love poignant passages.  This book promises to deliver both.

 

Bone ClocksI am going to read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) next.  I found it in my library and, having heard references to it in the book-o-sphere, I took it home (after checking it out of course.) (Which can be harder than you may think because I have a book-a-holic son who thinks the couple books I take home take room away from the 30 books he takes home.)   It is a fantasy/sci-fi novel following Holly, who has mystic abilities, and a war between two immortal factions.    I picked it up because the title The Bone Clocks refers to humans as our bones count down our  mortal days.  I like the poetic sound of that!

And because I know you want to know, I will tell you I also listen to audio books.   Audio books are a great way to increase the amount you read because you can read while doing mundane chores.

Or mundane parenting….(not that I would ever turn on my audio book on days where my kids are whining and being difficult.  Nope.  Never.)

And if you are one of those crazies that thinks audio books are cheating, Forbes details here how, though there isn’t a lot of research done on the topic, current research shows that listening is as good as or better than reading.  And if you like pictures, here are some cool infographics that show the benefit of audio books.

If you still aren’t convinced, think of all studies that show reading aloud to children increases their literacy rates.   You are the audio book to your kid, and there are long-term benefits.  Growing up doesn’t erase your access to those benefits. (On another note, get audio books for your kids – very entertaining way to eliminate TV time!)

So, what am I listening to?  Glad you asked!

100 yo man                                                                                                                                I am just finishing up The 100 year old man who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared.  It is a humorous tale of Allan’s life and his touch in all major political events in the 21st century.  I love tales of journeys, both emotional and physical, and this one has both.

 

 

I listen to most of my audio books via Overdrive and borrow them from my library.  You can also sign up for Audible where you get your first month free.

What are you reading?

What have you just finished?

How big is your TBR pile?



This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Its costs you nothing but we get a little something.