Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett, is a beautifully drawn portrait of a family, particularly the bonding of children of divorced parents who come together as allies.  One can see that it was not altogether easy for them, but the love they shared becomes evident in the telling of the tale.

My next reading venture is to follow Jodi Picoult, with her latest novel, small great things.  This started out really fantastically, but then I found myself in murky waters in the second chapter, because of a really aggravating character trait that I hope she will be investigating peacefully.  In any case, I'll be reading it at home, with earmuffs and a scarf, maybe some fuzzy socks.  I've decided to go on ahead with the journey, normally shying away from intense subject matter, and I'm really excited to see how Ms. Picoult will work this out.  I feel very hopeful for her talent, and for the strength of art to heal.

Increasingly I find that my reading is oriented toward this subject, of healing.  It's nice to have an actual story, but the self-help books are nice, too.  In any case, I can find no other course of action for living in this world, except to promote hope for the future.  Pretty much everybody is acquainted by a yucky past, and that must be why humans invented art.  To see, but not see, or at least to decide where one is looking.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wow, so I read another book by Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters.  This was delightful for many reasons, particularly for Shakespeare fans.   While the many references to Shakespeare are fun, what really drives this book, though, are the characters and the relationships of these sisters who do get to know one another as adults.  There is romance in the story, but what is more important is the growth of strong women.  It really is a lovely journey described, as the sisters are drawn together by their life-transforming errors and blessings in the context of caring for their ailing mother.

I gave up on a couple of books, mostly those about brain health and some YA novels.  I tend to read obsessively about brain health, so I hope I do okay in my own personal maturation process.  Unfortunately my taste for Young Adult novels is falling by the wayside, or maybe that is something fortunate, and perhaps speaks well of my growth. :)

My next read is Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett.  I'm really excited about this one.

Friday, September 30, 2016

So, for all of the cat lovers, I just read The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg.  Oh my goodness.  it was a little spooky, but in a YA book kind of way.  I literally couldn't put it down, because of that unusual cat.  I was never quite sure what was going on, just like the narrator, who was a very convincing young adult character.

Gave up on the zombie book, and have returned to my "No Zombie" policy.  I also have decided that vampires are right out as well.  I think I'm going to read more children's and young adult literature, because that is where my heart really is.  Ok, and girlie relationship books. 

One of the blessings of being a grown-up is being able to decide independently what one chooses to read.  I'm really glad about this freedom.  I mean this was true in my youth as well, and Lord knows I read just about anything, but when you're a grown-up, you don't, like, have to write a paper about it, unless that is your work, of course.

What really drives me crazy about adult books is the violence, which is why I'm leaving the zombie world.  I know some readers really like a good revenge story, but not me.  I just like to try to be happy.  Maybe it's the years of trying so hard to be affable, but you can ask my husband how I like a good squabble, and more importantly, getting over it.

So, yes, time to read kid's books for awhile.  Will keep you posted.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just finished a sweet book, The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown.  Although there was some anxiety and misfortune, there were also some really great stories within this book, of two related characters tied together in a beautiful way.  It had been recommended to me by a very nice lady, and so, in turn, I did the same for another nice lady just today.

Despite my admonition against reading zombie books, I've decided to read Zone One, by Colson Whitehead, and actually am finding it to be pretty good!  I'm still undecided on the zombie threat, particularly because of my trips to Wal-Mart and assorted festivals.  Right now I don't think anybody's trying to eat my brain, but I do realize that this could change at any time, but hopefully not.

Really!  I have hope for the future, and for the strength of human nature to resist the onslaught of zombie inclination.  Hopefully we can all work together, and keep it clean!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Normally, I don't really venture into books about the paranormal, but I made a nice little excursion with The Bone Season and The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon.  I really don't know how to describe these books, but I will mention that there are some zombies, and I wasn't even annoyed.  The stories were not about the zombies, though, they were just about various "clairvoyant" citizens of London and their respective gangs. 

See, I really don't know how to describe these books. They are relatively recent publications, and there are to be more in the series, according to the Internet.  Sure did hold my attention, though, even though I did reckon that I don't really have any clairvoyant abilities myself.  I just try to be sweet.

Now I'm pursuing books about cleanliness and organization and time management.  You know, so I can actually lead a regular life.  My husband is on the bandwagon, too, and you should see our storage shelving for our CDs.  Although we shall update, and eventually more modernly store our music, we do still enjoy our collections.

Oh my goodness, and I did read another book!  It was so good.  The Secret Chord, by Geraldine Brooks, transported me to a very mature rendition of the life of David, our hero from the Bible.  I loved this book, and it really made me feel regular again after reading about the psychic dystopian future.  There was even supernatural activity in this book, but I did not get freaked out.

Hey, maybe I'll watch an R-rated movie this weekend! 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Recently I have been reading some very moving books!  Picked up Elizabeth Strout again, with the novel, Amy and Isabelle. This was a very good telling of a mother-daughter relationship as the daughter comes of age, including the inevitable conflicts that just might occur.  I did enjoy this book, but must now take a break from Ms. Strout, not in an unfriendly way, just moving on.

I also finally read The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, after hearing for so long just how good it is.  This also describes close family relationships, specifically sisters and a justifiably cranky father, but with the looming shadow of  WWII.  It was the elegant portrayal of  family misunderstandings that moved me so much with this book, because of the love that became possible as time endured. Perhaps this is the greater message of this time in history, so this story made some heartfelt mending possible of a difficult time, though not without tears.  In any case, I'm now taking a break from books about this time period.

Now I'm reading a book about a different time, the eighties, though also again, I'm visiting sisters and family.  The book with which I'm currently involved is Tell the Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt.  Utterly engaging, and filled with foreshadowing, it is a beautifully written story that I curiously visit in my free time, though not altogether without anxiety because of my concern for the characters.  It is very good, thankfull, and is speaking to me about the redeeming effects of art, which just might be the takeaway lesson of these three books.

I'm totally going to read health and wellness books for a little while, read maybe some happy children's stories, and then paint and just color pictures while my brain heals emotionally.

Please take good care!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

My new favorite author really just might be Elizabeth Strout!  While it is true that I might just fall for every author that I read, I did read a couple of her books recently upon recommendation, and they were great!

First, I read My Name is Lucy Barton, which was exceptional.  It was a quick read, but definitely a pleasant one, despite some tough issues at some parts, but that's books. 

I was so blown away by the first book, that when I was literally handed a copy of one of her other works, Abide With Me, I was excited to read it.  This is a compelling look at the life of a minister, painting him and his flock as very real and quite human.  It is so easy to forget this when one interposes the Almighty with a community of believers, but Strout presents her characters in a compassionate, and eventually hopeful way, despite the inevitable tragedies and tests of life.

It may happen that I read more of her books, which would be an edifying activity, surely.  I was definitely moved by both of these books. 

Now I'm reading health books for awhile.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Right now I'm almost finished with a book that is so lovely that I just had to mention it here!  It is The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.  This is a volume that makes one glad to be a woman, and ever so appreciative of female relationships.

I'm so close to being done, that probably I'll finish it at lunch today.  Thankfully, there are further books in the series, because I do not want to leave my new knitting friends!

Of course, I'm also reading another book,  Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving.  This is pretty fantastic also, although maybe not for every audience of readers.  I was sort of thinking that maybe John Irving was my favorite author, but then I got further caught up by my knitting ladies.

Yes, there is a bit of contrast in my current reading selections, but thank the Lord that the world is so full of books that all one has to do is open one up and read it for fun.  I forget also that some of the adult themes in books may be  objectionable to some readers, you know, like conservative adults, but I guess I'll just be careful in my recommendations.

Like on my obnoxious blog, that anybody can read.  Really, let's just all be grown ups and think for ourselves, and let's not forget the cardinal rule of book-reading, that you can always close it up and forget about it, if you feel like it.

Best wishes!

Friday, April 8, 2016

I'm sorry not to have been here in so long, dear readers.  I think my reading got stalled briefly, but now I've got a few more books going.  Yay!

I read The Guilty, by David Baldacci, after it was recommended by one of my favorite ladies.   Now, I knew that it would be a thriller, but since I usually don't read those, it was totally intense for me.  It was good, despite some awfulness, but the ending was surely a reward.  I doubt that I'll read another thriller for awhile, though, because of the intensity.  I get freaked out by violence!

So I'm also reading another book!  The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs.  Okay, so this is about ladies who get together at a knitting shop regularly, and they do have interesting lives and relationships.  This book was also a recommendation, and I'm so much enjoying it.  It is the book that I read at lunch.  Lovely characters make for a pleasant read, and this book has surely got them.  And it's a series!

I'm also dabbling in nonfiction, but mainly books about being shy.  Oh yes, though, I'm also reading Albert Ellis, and am becoming ever so rationally emotive.

Thank you for following my reading journeys.  Good ol' blog.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My love affair with Jojo Moyes has continued, as I read After You, the follow-up to Me Before You, that I so dearly loved.  While that was a hard book to follow, this sequel is not only inspiring, but a great and entertaining read, with romance and everything.  It did not have a super fantastic ending, but one that is ordinary yet full of promise, like life.  Thank you, Ms. Moyes for these great books.

With love on the mind still, I read another great book, Our Souls At Night, by Kent Haruf, that was not really a love story exactly, but a lovely meditation on human connection and consolation.  This was so great that I really don't want to give away too much of the story, as it is quite a lovely journey of discovery, as much for the reader as the well-drawn characters.

Now I'm delightfully reading P. D. James, The Private Patient.  I think that I really just want to be British,  but at least it does suffice to read these novels by British authors.  And I must say that the English, really do have a nice grip on the English language, unlike myself, I suppose.  Oh well, I'll just write my silly little blog, and enjoy reading.

Hopefully the weather is treating everyone all right currently!