Today is Independent Bookstore Day – all these books are linked to Indiebound, and I get a small percentage if you purchase books via this link. I will not be offended if you get them from your local bookstore or the library!
I was obsessed with the Tournament of Books for the first part of the year, reading a lot of great books and finding many that I just had to abandon. At the end of the tournament there are always posts and comments about contenders for next year. I immediately ordered several from the library and they have been rolling in. Of course as soon as I picked up the first book at the library I thought, “Ugh. Am I ready for a BOOK?” I kind of felt like something lighter and easier than a contender for best book of 2016. Isn’t that a weird thought? I wasn’t in the mood to read something GOOD – capital letters required. But then I read the inside flap and it said, “…comes home to find his wife killed…” And I was like, SOLD! Of course, then I thought something was really wrong with me. I spent all afternoon yesterday reading All Things Cease to Appear, and then texting people to recommend it. It starts with a murder, and you start off trying to figure out who did it. Then you start to learn… so much more about the characters. Could not put it down.
Here are a few others I have loved so far this year:
The Turner House – This is a book about a family in Detroit. Read this if you like characters or if you are in a family.
Our Souls At Night – Love story between two old people. Read this if you think you may get old.
The Tsar of Love and Techno – When I was describing this to Dave I said, “I really loved this, but at first it seemed like some of the chapters didn’t fit in. The style wasn’t totally cohesive. In the end, I felt like all the chapters worked together as a whole, but I had to get halfway through it before I felt that way.” A couple weeks later I learned that this was a book of short stories, and I felt really, really, really dumb. Knowing it’s a book of short stories, I have nothing against it now. I have had it on my mind a lot since I have been reading about the anniversary of Chernobyl. This takes place in Siberia and Chechnya, but there are parallels.
Ongoingness – Read this if you are someone obsessed with writing a diary.
My Brilliant Friend – This is the first in a series of four books about a small town in Italy. Nothing and everything happens in this book. Read this when you have time to avoid everything else in your life because I found it hard to put down.
As usual, I have been reading a lot of YA books as well.
I read the fourth book in the Lunar Series – Winter. This was actually really really good. It seems like a “guilty pleasure” a little, but really it was just a pleasure. Read this series if you like fairy tales with strong female characters who can rule the world. Don’t read if you aren’t open to cyborgs and aliens. (Don’t limit yourself.) Start with Cinder and go from there.
Jack and I heard Kwame Alexander on NPR and I loved the way he talked about poetry and boys – this statement stuck with me:
“I think that so often we think of boys as just wanting to be a part of sports, but when you get on a sports team and you really get in that huddle and you get on the court with these boys, or you get on the pitch, it’s all about family and friendship and love and rivalry and it’s extremely emotional.”
Luke and Jack and I were reading The Crossover at bedtime, taking turns with each poem and it was really great. Right up until the point that the boys figured out how it was going to end. I offered to let them read it on their own, but they decided to just let me read the end on my own and tell them if they had it right. They did, and I don’t mind that they didn’t want to finish it – reading half a book of poetry with your mom is better than nothing.
Jack and I are now reading The BFG, which we are loving. I wanted to make him read a page and then I would read a page, but that isn’t working for this book because of all the made up words. I actually find it kind of exhausting to read it out loud, but I think it’s better to read it out loud, or listed to an audio version because the way the BFG talks is really, really funny.
What are you reading?