Friday, February 9, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge

As always, I set my annual goal at 52 books. Barely into February and I find that the momentum I gained during the tail end of 2017 has just kept going. I am already on book 12 of the year.

What's changed in my reading style is that I now read multiple books at a time. I typically have one fiction, one non-fiction, and several collections of short stories.

With my book stack ever growing, shelves are now overflowing, and the temptation of the New Books section of the library...I had to change tactics.

There are just so many books that I just have to read.

What else has changed is that I no longer torture myself through literature. If a book doesn't keep my interest, I don't push through it, hoping I'll like it more.

Life is just too short to put yourself through unnecessary grief.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2017 Reading Challenge

There were 31 books read in 2017, the bulk of my reading done in the last few months of the year. It was a year where I was focused on other things during my spare time. Obviously not blogging.

This 31, of course, does not include the books I read to my daughter before bed. I could easily surpass my annual goal of 52, as we read a book every night.

I intend to review them all. I've lost my list for 2016, so we're not even going to go there.

As my child used to say, I did a good try. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

I'm behind, who would have guessed that?

I am currently on book 13.

So these reviews will be reversed, the newer ones before the older ones.

I was laid off in July and I am currently working a short-term front desk gig where they told me to bring a book.

Oh, paid to read. How decadent is that?

Just started a new book, finished two so far in 7 days on duty.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Could You Pass the Strand Test?

The Strand Bookstore has included a literary matching quiz in its job application form since the 1970s. Here are some quizzes from years past. Can you match the authors and titles?
Take the test here


*hangs head in shame.

Monday, January 26, 2015


The Book of Lost Things

John Connolly

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

Loved, loved, loved it.

I was drawn to it initially because of the cover. Then the blurb hooked me. 

David is already suffering from grief, anger, and jealousy when he starts to hear the books on his shelves. Having always used books to avoid the pain in his life, escape really takes on a new meaning  his mother's death. 

I keep reading reviews stating that this is not a children's story. I disagree, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to kids who are fans of the Grimm Adam Gidwitz series. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


What Alice Forgot

Liane Moriarty

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

I had always wanted to write a story about time travel but I found the logistics made my head explode. Then I read a story about a woman in the UK who lost her memory and behaved like a teenager – she didn’t recognise her husband or children. I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel. So I came up with the idea of a woman, Alice, who loses 10 years of her memory. She thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child and blissfully in love with her husband. She is horrified to discover she is 39, with 3 children and in the middle of a terrible divorce. It’s like the younger Alice has travelled forward in time. Readers tell me that what they liked best about this novel was how it made them think about the choices they’d made and wonder how their younger selves would feel about the lives they are leading now. ~Liane Moriarty

Another one from my older stash.

I think you have to at least be a parent to appreciate this story fully. As parents, we have all had a point in life where it was all go, go, go. Alice Love is in the height of this point in lifewhen a fall during her Friday spin class turns her mind back 10 years to 1998.

In 1998, she is pregnant with her first baby and happily married. She and her husband are renovating their home and are still in the early years of their marriage. And they sleep. Oh, those lazy days before babies when you could sleep away the morning.

Fast forward to 2008 and she is one of those sleep-deprived, schedule-carrying, caffeine-driven mothers who is deeply involved in her children's school and community. Exercising, committees and a steady stream of activities replace her carefree days of sleeping and eating whatever she wanted.

Now her younger mind is struggling with her current life; I imagine it would be quite a shock to the system. As the last 10 years are only returning in bits and pieces, her life remains a puzzle and not one she is overly fond of and tries to fix it. Apparently, she's had a very bad year.

Young Alice and New Alice have completely different mindsets and both those ways of thinking begin to converge to help Alice find the peace and balance that were missing in 2008.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


An Abundance of Katherines

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

I loved The Fault in Our Stars. I guess I was looking for that again.

There were parts I laughed out loud at, but the ending...I wish some of the loose ends had been tied up.