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Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
I hope everyone had a wonderful week and a very happy Easter. My week off was amazing, filled with family, love and laughter. It will be a little jarring heading back to work, but the great news is that there’s only one more quarter and then it’s Summer Vacation. One of the best (or worst?) things about being a teacher is that you’re eternally on a school schedule with a student mindset!
Last Week’s Reads
I actually was able to get a little more reading done than I had expected last week, primarily because Anything is Possible was such a fast read. This companion piece to Elizabeth Strout’s much loved My Name is Lucy Barton (my review) is really a collection of short stories about some of the people living in and around Lucy’s Illinois hometown. Short stories are not typically my favorite, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed many of Strout’s. American War by Omar El Akkad was excellent. This story of the second Civil War, fought over the right to use fossil fuels, reminded me both of an old-fashioned western AND a post-apocalyptic saga. The writing was strong, the creativity fantastic, and the characters well-developed. I’ll most likely review these books next week.
I’m not very far into either book, but am already loving both! After finishing Anything is Possible, I was at a loss as to what to read next, but had a sample of Annie Hartnett’s Rabbit Cake on my Kindle. The sample was all it took to hook me in. I’m really enjoying the voice of 12-year old Elvis, who narrates. Two years earlier, Elvis’s mother drowned while sleep-swimming. This is her account of how her family has dealt with their grief. It’s both funny and heartwarming. While doing a little gardening on Saturday I finally started listening to The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. The narrator, Mark Bramhall, is terrific. He already has me fascinated with the life of Christopher Knight, a hermit living alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years. Yes, 27!
Likely to Read Next
Underground Fugue by Margot Singer is definitely the next book I’ll read. I’m so confident that I’ve already pre-ordered a copy for my Kindle. I’ve really looked forward to this fictional account of an American woman living in London at the time of the July 2008 bombings. The clash of fiction with reality so often delivers an amazing story. I hope I’m right about this one!
What are you reading this week?
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
As I was reading Anything is Possible, I thought it would be a great starter short story collection for people that don’t normally read short stories! They almost felt more like a novel told from different perspectives for me.
Thrilled you’re enjoying Stranger in the Woods…it’s so great on audio!
And I haven’t heard much about American Fugue…but it sounds interesting! I love fiction based on real people/events. Will be interested to hear your thoughts.
I feel like Anything Is Possible is really my second book of short stories this year. The Lucky Ones was the other one.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing says
I’m excited to read Elizabeth Strout’s new book… hopefully in May!
Jane @ Raincity Librarian says
I’ve long been jealous of school teachers with their summer holidays, but now that I’ve worked closely with teachers and have a few friends who teach, I completely understand why you need those months to refresh and recharge after the long school year!!!
You’re right about that, Jane. I wish more people understood. Thanks!
I’ve just finished Anything is Possible; I really enjoyed it, especially the farther I read, and love how she brings in the characters from Lucy Barton. I’m so thrilled that you are enjoying The Stranger in the Woods; it’s fascinating, isn’t it? Hope your first day back goes well!
Thanks, Tara. Stranger in the Woods just keeps getting better and better. I can hardly wait for the drive to work!
Sarah @ PussReboots says
Enjoy your books.
I’m back from my trip. It didn’t turn out as planned but we had fun. Come see what we did and what I read.
I’m eager to get to American War and I’m glad you liked it. Right now I’m picking up The Women in the Castle.
I’m reviewing The Women in the Castle on Thursday. Hope you enjoy it.
The last one looks interesting and I didn’t even know it. Will keep an eye on the reviews 😉
I just put “Stranger in the Woods” on hold at the library the other day! I’m always trying to work more non-fiction into my reading line-up. And “American War”! Glad to see you liked it so much. I’ve been looking forward to that one since I first read the blurb a while back.
My current read is “Exit West.” I’m not very far in, but so far I’m definitely intrigued about what’s to come, especially the magical realism aspect!