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Phew! I made it through the longest week of the year for teachers: conference week! Two afternoons and one very long evening of arena conferencing with dozens and dozens of parents can be fun, is often very useful, but still it’s exhausting. It always feels like the year really speeds up from here. Thanksgiving is only 10 days away, then before we know it Winter Break, and the year starts to fly by. My reading time took a toll last week, but since I had Monday off, still managed to finish a couple books, one a most pleasant surprise. I hope your fall reading is working and making you happy, too.
Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Last Week’s Reads
- I had avoided Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson because I so disliked his last book. But, so many people liked it including Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves (who is one of my reading twins) I had to think I could be wrong. When my library hold came in I wasn’t all that excited, but gave it a try. So glad I did because I LOVED this book, flying through Wilson’s quirky story. (full review on Thursday)
- I also thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, an impressive account of his time at NBC investigating the Harvey Weinstein story, and the personal and professional tolls that took on his life. Plus, Farrow exposed the larger picture of corporations’ patterns of covering for predators. (full review tomorrow)
Book I Could NOT Finish
- It pains me to say it, but I just couldn’t get into The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This was one of my most highly anticipated books of the fall because I adored her last book, The Night Circus. I was never very interested in the story, but gave it a full 75 pages before calling it quits. Have any of you read The Starless Sea?
- Last week for Nonfiction November‘s Be the Expert challenge, Allison at Mind Joggle shared books on friendship. Seeing Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett on her list pushed me to give it a try. Allison’s recommendation combined with one of my favorite authors was all it took. I’m halfway through and really enjoying Patchett’s memoir of her friendship with poet/author Lucy Grealy.
- I’ve never read Lisa Jewell before, but was ready to take a break from listening to nonfiction, so decided to give a mystery a try with The Family Upstairs. I’m only about an hour in, so don’t have much to say yet, but do love that it has three different perspectives and three different narrators. More next week!
Likely to Read Next
- I think I’m done with nonfiction for a while, so if a library hold doesn’t come in I’m going to go with my first 2020 ARC, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This debut has themes of “race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.” Sounds promising. Right?
Rachel @ Never Enough Novels says
I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone who didn’t enjoy The Starless Sea! I still have yet to try either of her books, since my husband read The Night Circus and didn’t love it. It’s interesting to hear you liked that one but not her newest. Guess I’ll have to try one of them and find out for myself!
Let me know what you think. Maybe it was just me and the sort of reading funk I’ve been in lately.
Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life says
I didn’t try The Starless Sea – I never could get into The Night Circus! It is so weird how sometimes authors just don’t work for some people. I am sorry though that a book you were really looking forward to didn’t do the trick this time. 🙁 I hate that.
Have a great week and yay for the end of conferences!
Thanks for stopping by, Erin.
I hope you love the Lisa Jewell! She’s a favorite author of mine. I’m worried about The Starless Sea, too- I need to be in the right frame of mind for it.
I’m really enjoying The Family Upstairs. It’s sort of a slow build, but I love the three narrators.
I want you to try The Starless Sea, so I can see if it’s just me and maybe I need to give it a little more time.
Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out says
I also have Such A Fun Age for Jan, but I still have a few late arriving November ARCs and plenty of December ARCs to get through first…plus a few more for #NonficNov
Wishing you a great reading week
Wow! I don’t have a single December ARC and I’m glad. Planning on taking the week of Xmas off.
Diane Burakow says
I have read 35% of The Starless Sea and am not “getting it.” I will continue a bit longer to see if the story improves. I remember feeling the same about A Gentleman in Moscow and in the end loved the book.
Let me know if it works out for you. You’ve gone further than I did, but I could always go back and give it a little more if others suggest I should.
Lisa of Hopewell says
I couldn’t get past the first few pages of Night Circus so you are a champ. Good post.
I also loved THE NIGHT CIRCUS. I started listening the THE STARLESS SEA and could not get into it at all. Honestly, I didn’t give it longer than 1/2 hour but I wasn’t feeling it. I’ve decided that I am only going to read/listen to books that engage me. This one didn’t.
Glad I’m not the only one!
Kathy Martin says
I just finished my last 2019 ARC and am taking a break to read from my own shelves for a couple of weeks before diving into the bunch that I have for Jan. 7 release. They are pretty tempting though. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
2020 is tempting, but I want to pick up a few backlist books, too.
booker talk says
The book club chose The Night Circus for our January read and I’m not looking forward to it – I struggle with books involving the circus.
The circus in The Night Circus was very different from what I had expected, so you may like it.
Debi Morton says
I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about Truth and Beauty. I love Ann Patchett’s fiction (well, except one of them), but I wasn’t crazy about the memoir This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Still, I’m willing to give another of her non-fiction books a try as I really like her writing.
Finished Truth & Beauty today and loved it. The start was a little slow, but by 25%, I couldn’t put it down.
Aj @ Read All The Things! says
Congrats on surviving conference week. Catch and Kill sounds excellent. I’ve never heard of that book, but I’m interested. Have a good week!
The Starless Sea really starts to pick up on page 116. I’m almost finished with it and I am loving it, but I agree the beginning was cumbersome.
Hmmm..Guess I should have given it another 40 pages, but I returned it to the library today, so too late.
Jade @ Reading with Jade says
Oh no, sorry to hear The Starless Sea didn’t work out for you – especially as it was highly anticipated book of yours. As you know, I have read it, and loved it. I will say though that I do think Erin Morgenstern’s writing you have to be in the right space for, committed to that story, as there is such depth to her writing. I hope you have better luck with the books you are currently reading – I’ve heard good things about that Lisa Jewell. A lovely week to you!
Thanks Jade. I’m glad The Starless Sea worked for you. I know you also were very excited about it. I may not have been in quite the right head space for it.
People surely seem to be talking about that Kevin Wilson book. Do characters really explode into fire? What the heck is going on in it?! Is there humor in it?
The kids do burst into flame every now and again, but it actually doesn’t feel that weird. It’s more of a disorder they have, and yes, there is humor in the story. Try it!