Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

The book is being released by Scribner on September 28, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope—and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

Monday, September 20, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Loren Stephens

Reviews posted this week:

nothing, because I have been busy owithther things

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott
Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Farewell Mr. Puffin by Paul Heiny came from me for me.

As a man sails north to Iceland, noting the lack of puffins along the way, this looks to be a beautiful and elegaic travel story and I can't wait.

A House Full of Windsor by Kristin Contino came from me for me.

How could Anglophile me possibly pass up a book with this title? About a woman who collects royal memorabilia and ends up on a hoarding show, this looks fantastic.

The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke came from me for me.

I love books that share random facts so this one about animals and the animal world should be right up my alley.

Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom came from me for me.

Centered on a young girl named Aggie who inadvertently sets a fire and flees and another young woman who joins the search party for Aggie, where she meets two men, one autistic and the other dangerous, this looks completely gripping.

Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo came from me for me.

A business enemies to lovers book about an aspiring clothes designer and the son of the new deaprtment store owners, this should be cute and frothy and perfect for reading in between heavier reads.

The Dickens Boy by Thomas Keneally came from me for me.

A novel about Charles Dickens' youngest son, sent off to Australia to fend for himself? This sounds completely delightful.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune

The book is being released by Tor Books on September 21, 2021.

The book's jacket copy says: Welcome to Charon's Crossing.

The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

Monday, September 13, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I need to get back to doing this weekly now that I'm home and have easy access to internet. This is about 3 weeks worth, I think. This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week are:

The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Blister by Susan Shreve
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Interior Chinatown by Cahrles Yu
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
In Love with George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy
We Learnt About Hitler at the Mickey Mouse Club by Enid Elliott Linder
The Restaurant Inspector by Alex Pickett
The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Reviews posted this week:

Blister by Susan Shreve

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Arctic Fury by Greer MacAllister
Writers and Lovers by Lily King
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands
Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
Refining Felicity by M.C. Beaton
Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie by Sherry Lynn Jones
Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford
The Belinda Chronicles by Linda Seidel
Jane in Love by Rachel Givney
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wind Blows and the Flowers Dance by Terre Reed
Lovely War by Julie Berry
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Dear County Agent Guy by Jerru Nelson
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday
Cosmogony by Lucy Ives
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
My Own Miraculous by Joshilyn Jackson
Duchess If You Dare by Anabelle Bryant
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
Assembly by Natasha Brown
The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Henriette Roosenburg
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Silence by William Carpenter
The Ghost Dancers by Adrian C. Louis
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Brother Sister Mother Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Other People's Children by R. J. Hoffmann
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa
Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed
Plutocracy by Abraham Martinez
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Earl Not Taken by A. S. Fenichel
The Stone Sister by Carolyn Patterson
The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou< br /> The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini
The Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
The Hummingbird's Gift by Sy Montgomery
The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles
A Trick of the Light by Ali Carter
The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light by Helen Ellis
Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming
No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Modern Jungles by Pao Lor
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

Honor by Thrity Umrigar came from Algonquin Books.

Thrity Umrigar is an amazing author so I can't wait to read this double stranded love story. This promises to be both a look at the Hindu and Muslim cultures in India and what it means to be an American of Indian origin and should be so, so good.

The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel came from me for me.

A book about the "origins of everything we eat," this hits a lot of my reading catnip: food, origin stories, and quirky facts. Look out because I will have even more to bore people with at dinner parties when I'm finished with this one!

Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel came from me for me.

I have long been fascinated by the stories of the women ambulance drivers in WWI so this novel about one woman who takes on this dangerous job, the childhood soldier friend she reunites with, and an army captain with a dark secret looks really appealing.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Review: Blister by Susan Shreve

Kids have to deal with a lot of things in their lives that they have no control over. Some of these things they understand and some they only partially understand, while others may be completely beyond their grasp. In Susan Shreve's novel, Blister, tween main character Alyssa is faced with all of the above and has to muster the resilience to make it through.

The book opens with the stillborn birth of Alyssa Reed's little sister. This loss cracks open the already fragile state of her family's life together with her mother plunging into deep depression and her father moving out (and moving on with someone else). Having to start a new school on top of the loss of the baby and her parents' separation is a lot for any one fifth grader to handle. Renaming herself Blister, she decides she's going to do things her way from now on, including stealing clothes, makeup, and jewelry from her father's girlfriend in the hopes of breaking them up, trying out for the cheerleading squad, even if it is just a popularity contest, and generally taking advantage of the neglect of her parents. She's also going to create a new persona in school. Luckily Blister has her grandmother to lean on when she really needs to and to explain in an age appropriate way the things that Blister just doesn't completely understand.

There were so many issues here, grief, depression, a mental health crisis, divorce, infidelity, cliques, neglect, and more, that it felt like a sort of pile on even though Blister didn't realize the extent of the everything. She also came across as rather precocious and unrealistic for an up to now fairly sheltered ten year old. She shows her resilience and elasticity in the end but even that felt sad on top of so much other sadness along the way. I'm uncertain if I'd hand this to kids Blister's age, not because the issues are tough but because the nuances make it more mature. Tweens probably won't recognize that baby Lila Rose was supposed to save the Reed's faltering marriage nor the depth of the neglect Blister experiences from both of her parents (her mother because of her deep depression and her father because of his affair) but that doesn't make this tale of a young girl trying to find herself in the midst of such terrible tragedy and sadness any less troubling.

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