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I cannot say that I’m saddened to find that this is the last Monday in March. For me, March always seems to drag on and on. It’s a long, gray month without a single holiday in it. As a teacher, it sometimes feels like March will never end. Even now, we still have this whole week to get through. Once April hits, it begins to feel like the downhill slide to summer. The good thing about a really long, dreary month is that in theory one can get through a lot of books. We’ll see how that holds up when I do my monthly wrap up next week!
Last Week’s Reads
I was lucky enough to finished two outstanding books last week. The first, Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles turned out to be an unexpected pleasure to read. The writing is sharp, the story unique, the characters well-drawn. My full review will be up tomorrow. Please comeback to find out more about this hidden gem of a novel. As many of you who follow this blog might know, I had never read an Anna Quindlen book before and Sarah @sarahsbookshelves convinced me to start with Every Last One. I chose to listen to this book and at 10+ hours expected it to take me a couple weeks to finish, driving to and from work. But, no. I couldn’t stop listening. I had just pulled into the parking lot at my local grocery store when the pivotal moment in this book happened and I sat in my car listening and crying for 25 minutes. Suffice it to say, I’m now a Quindlen fan.
The first part of last week brought me a DNF book, The Brightest Sun by Adrienne Benson. I read 25%, but for me the story was just too slow and I was not invested in any of the characters. After that, I wanted something easy and sure. Renee @itsbooktalk had raved about The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth and it has proved to be a light, respite type read. It’s a bit like being in the middle of an episode of Desperate Housewives, but it’s fun and easy and would be a great beach read. I’m about to take on Quindlen’s most recent book, Alternate Side. The early reviews on this are mixed, leaning to the ho-hum side. I want to give it the same chance that I did with Every Last One, so will also be listening to Alternate Side. Eventually, I plan to do a double Quindlen review.
Likely to Read Next
Next, I’ll be turning to April books, where I have many that I want to read, but few ARC’s. This week I plan on trying Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde. Dysfunctional family stories are a favorite of mine and this one has the twist of grown siblings not only sniping and bickering, but trying to find clues about the woman their mother was through an ancient copy of a Fannie Farmer cookbook. This gimmick could be fun or a disaster!
I hope you have a great week in books!
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
So, you liked Family Next Door? Hmm…I’m going to email you.
And so interested to hear what you think of Alternate Side after Every Last One. I’m so glad you loved it and can’t believe that pivotal moment happened right when you pulled into the grocery store! I was shocked by that too…didn’t see it coming at all.
Glad you’re reading Go Ask Fannie…you can tell me if I should go back to it!
I’m liking Go ask Fannie more now that it’s shifted to the past.
I definitely see what you mean about Alternate Side. Just not as full as Every Last One and TOO much parking talk!
The Jonathan Miles book sounds like a good read, even though the premise doesn’t overly entice me. I’m considering Quindlen’s Alternate Side as well. I still think her autobiographical novel One True Thing is perhaps her most wrenching. Hmm.
I want to read One True Thing next, so am happy to hear you liked it best.
Kathy Martin says
I’m glad you have found a new author to enjoy. I’ve never read Quindlen. March can be quite a long month for a teacher but you are on the downhill slide to the end of the school year. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
Nina D says
I’ll be having to check out Anna Quindlen after your very inspired words. Thanks for the recommendation.
you’re welcome and thanks for stopping by.
You’re inspiring me to put Every Last One on my reread list. It was a wrenching read, for sure, but so well done. I think I need to read more Quindlen in general; I haven’t read One True Thing and I’ve heard that’s excellent as well.
As a parent, it feels like summer is coming fast just because of all the schedule changes to coordinate. I don’t know how you teachers do it, though–I go home completely exhausted when I volunteer in the classroom. I hope your last couple months of school go quickly and summer proves relaxing!
Thanks, Allison. I know teachers and parents are often on opposite sides when it comes to summer, but I’m always VERY ready.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing says
Glad you loved Every Last One… I was on a plane when I got to that moment! I know I’ll enjoy Alternate Side even if I end up not loving it. Anna Quindlen is a favorite. Hope you try her nonfiction at some point. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is excellent – and she reads the audio version!
You know, I tried Lots of Candles and couldn’t get into it, but it may be worth taking another shot at.
Beth F says
The Family Next Door is near the top my list … glad to know it’s light; it might suit my mood.
I’m hesitant to start Alternate Side, after Sarah’s review, but I do love Quindlen and I’m willing to give it a shot! I am also SUPER thrilled to hear how much you and Catherine love Anatomy of a Miracle; I have a copy (March selection in the Parnassus Books Signed First Editions Club) and now I’m really excited to begin reading!
I think you’ll really like Anatomy, Tara, especially with your hospital experiences.
It looks like you have similar tastes in books as my reviewer Susan. I hope you enjoy your reads. See what I’ve been reading at Girl Who Reads
Aj @ Read All The Things! says
I totally agree about March. It’s long, snowy, and boring. Have a great week!
I’m a March baby — at one time in my life so anticipated — now, not so much! LOL
I read the sample of Every Last One and sadly, it wasn’t for me. But that’s OK! I have so many holds coming in it’s like manna from heaven!
Enjoy all those holds and Happy Birthday!