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My summer is officially over as I head back to work this week for three long days of meetings and one where I actually get to work in my classroom and get ready for students. I do get Friday off, so have a last hurrah with a four day weekend and then it’s definitely fall in my world. Speaking of fall, my 2019 Fall Preview published last week. If you missed it, I shared 16 books I’m most looking forward to in the next few months. I made the most of my last free week and got A LOT of reading done including three from that preview. In all it was a crazy four book week for me, a feat I don’t think I’ve accomplished since last summer!
Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Last Week’s Reads
- I was nearly done with This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger at the start of the week, so finished it in in less than an hour. This is a Depression era story about 4 orphan’s who flee their Minnesota “Indian School” in search of something to call family. Much of the book I really enjoyed, but overall was a little disappointed because I had been expecting so much. Review coming in September.
- I had just the opposite experience with The Secrets We Kept by debut author Lara Prescott. Having no real expectations, her story really delivered. It centers around the writing/publication of Dr. Zhivago and the work done by the CIA to get the book INTO the USSR and into the hands of the Russian people. Full review next week.
- I wasn’t sure about Bad Blood by John Carreyrou when I first mentioned it here last week. Many of you encourage me to stay with it and thank goodness I did. At about the three hour mark, I COULD NOT stop listening! It’s amazing what Elizabeth Holmes got away with. I was so into it that the very evening I finished I watched the HBO documentary about Theranos, The Inventor: Out for Blood in the Silicon Valley. It really capped off the reading and it was nice see so many of the people actually involved in the company’s takedown. I highly recommend both.
- Finally, I read Akin by Emma Donoghue. I was a little nervous about this one because though I’ve loved some of her books, I’ve really disliked others. Luckily, I enjoyed this story of a 79-year old man who suddenly becomes the guardian of an 11-year old great-nephew he had no relationship with, and it happened on the eve of a long planned trip to France. There’s a lot to this story and I’ll cover it much more in my review sometime next month.
- At the halfway point in Ann Patchett’s latest novel, The Dutch House, I’m really liking it, though it’s not at all what I’d expected. Patchett is one of my auto-read authors with Bel Canto and Commonwealth being two books I especially loved. I’m eager to get back to reading The Dutch House to see how the second half goes and where it falls on my Ann Patchett list.
- For listening I turned to a book I really knew nothing about, but that had incredibly high ratings on Audible, High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins. Read by the author (who does a fantastic job), this is the story of a woman who became a heavy drug user, lied and stole from people she loved, all while dating a cop. The story opens just after she’s been arrested.
Likely to Read Next
- The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman will be my last September ARC. The others on my TBR list I either want to listen to on audio, or will need to wait for a library hold to come in. This is a bit of a fantastical story about three women during WWII. I’m hoping for great things from Hoffman!
I hope you have a great week in books!
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Best wishes for the new school year, Susie!
I loved Bad Blood! Not having HBO, I haven’t figured out any way to watch the documentary about Theranos. Bad Blood is the book I recommend to people who want to read more non-fiction but are afraid of it being boring, or people who don’t read a lot but want to pick up a fantastic book.
You’re so right about Bad Blood being such great for those not so sure about nonfiction.! I just recommended to a friend last night
I thought Bad Blood was fantastic! I paired it with Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir Small Fry.
I’ve been hesitant about The Secrets We Kept. I have a tenuous relationship with historical fiction.
I agree historical fiction can be tricky, but this was my favorite sort of historical fiction: truly rooted in history not just set in the past.
Kathy Martin says
I hope you have a great school year. This first week was always the part of the year I disliked the most. I didn’t want to be sitting in meetings when I could be getting my library ready for my students. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
The first couple weeks and the last few days are my least favorite parts of the year. Ah, Well!
Beth F says
You’re squeezing in some awesome reading before school! Hope your students are great this year.
Thanks, Beth. I hope so, too!
Sarah's Book Shelves says
I started Dutch House yesterday…I’m only 15% in, but am getting my hair highlighted this afternoon which equals a good chunk of reading time! I just love her writing and am loving it so far.
And, I’ll have to get your more detailed thoughts on Tender Land!
You had quite the amazing reading summer!
I’m glad you stuck with Bad Blood- wasn’t it crazy? I can’t wait for the trial next year.
I chose the Alice Hoffman as one of my fall picks so hope to hear from you that it’s really great.I can’t believe you’re done with September books- I haven’t even started! My reading has been awful.
You have me geared up for The Secrets We Kept. I’m on the wait list for it as well as Bad Blood. I’ll look for the HBO doc on that too. I’ve heard many talk about the book etc. It sounds so Unreal!