Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Checking In

Just posting here since I haven't for awhile. I have spent more time at the book sale, reading posts, and doing Mini Challenges than actual reading, but I am still feeling good and getting close to finishing News of the World.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Used book sale

I am woefully behind in my hours reading because. . .well, because. . . shopping

Dewey's Readathon Hour 9 Mini Challenge

Dewey's Readathon Hour 8 Mini Challenge

The challenge:
For this challenge, I want to hear about the books that inspire and empower you. The books that—when you turn the last page—make you feel recharged. The books that motivate you to jump up and go get it, whatever the referent for “it” is.

My response:
I read primarily (as in well over 90%) fiction, but one of the nonfiction books that I absolutely devoured and recommend to everyone is I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. How can anyone not be inspired by that girl?? I also find inspiration in my old pal Frodo who, despite his size and resources, stays the course and changes the world, even at great cost to himself. Finally, I love the Myrtle Clover cozy mystery series by Elizabeth Craig because Myrtle is an 80+ year-old retired English teacher who is so full of spunk and energy that most people pale in comparison.

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Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Book Stack

We all need options, right?

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Opening Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
     Pennsylvania, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
     I hope to finish News of the World by Paulette Jiles

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
     I am a college professor, and next week is finals week, so I am  
     absolutely buried in papers.  On a personal note, I am looking forward 
     to summer break where I can garden and tend to my chickens.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NetGalley Review of A Shadow Land

by Elizabeth Kostova

I loved Kostova's first book, The Historian, but was less enamoured with The Swan Thieves. As I started The Shadow Land, I was looking for the dark underworld - perhaps some more vampires? It took me quite a while to let go of that idea and realize that this is just an absolutely captivating, suck-you-in-and-transport-you-to-a-different-world piece of historical fiction. The descriptions of 20th and 21st century Bulgaria are exceptional, and the characters are sympathetic from the first chapter. An excellent read.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

GoodReads Review of Beloved

A deserving winner of the Pulitzer, this is a poetic story of the gut-wrenching everyday reality of African Americans in the years just before, during, and just after the Civil War. I highly, highly recommend the audiobook that is narrated by the author. Completely and utterly spell-binding.

NetGalley Review of Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam

I'll start by saying that the quality of writing in this one is not stellar. There are passages that feel wordy and repetitive, and instances where the narrative is fairly mechanical (more "telling" than "showing"). However, my overall impression is still a positive one. I've read a good number of war memoirs, the majority being from the Vietnam War, and I have lamented the fact that they were primarily told from the perspective of a relatively high-ranking member of the military. I wanted the voice of the draftee, the "grunt," and this is what Beed delivers. I also appreciate his explanation of military terminology throughout to clarify elements of the story. A worthwhile read.