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Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
I hope everyone’s fall is off to a great start. September is always a bit of a bumpy month for me. Getting used to a routine again after a couple months without one seems to take me a little longer every year. Couple that with lots of meetings and it makes for some pretty long days. During stressful times books become even more of an escape for me than usual. I may not have as much time as I’d like with them, but getting lost in a book is always a huge comfort for me.
Last Week’s Reads
I only had about an hour left in One True Thing by Anna Quindlen, so finished listening to it early last week. While I enjoyed the story, it didn’t speak to me the way Every Last One did earlier this year. Which Quindlen book should I tackle next? The guys were working for me last week! I suspect I’ll end up being in the minority, but in the end I loved James Frey’s new book Katerina. It’s not perfect, is a little pretentious, and his writing style takes getting used to, but I really liked the story and especially the ending. I next tried Ordinary People by Diana Evans, but the story just wasn’t doing anything for me. I only gave it about 15%, but felt confident that I’d never click with the characters. From there I turned to the sophomore effort from Iain Reid, Foe. I was a fan of his first novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (my review), and remain so with Foe. Both books elicit that off-balance feeling and leave you with much, much to think about. I’ll be doing mini-reviews of both Katerina and Foe on Thursday.
Being back to work comes with a short commute every day and that means at least 40 minutes of listening time even on a busy day. I’ve been so engrossed in The Wildlands by Abby Geni that more than once this past week I went on a long walk after getting home just so I could listen more. If you’re looking for a good audiobook, I can already recommend The Wildlands. As a sort of treat to myself, I’ve finally turned to the book I’ve most been looking forward to in September: Transcription by Kate Atkinson. I adored Life After Life and and her return to a WWII themed story is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
Likely to Read Next
Who knows where my mood will take me next or even if I’ll get to one of these books before next week? Hopefully, I will, but with three nights of evening events, it’s doubtful! None-the-less I plan on making either The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by debut author Katya Apekina or The Caregiver by the late Samuel Park my next read. I just can’t resist the title of the former book and the mother/daughter storyline of the later is so appealing to me. Either way, I’ll be deep in dysfunctional family territory!
I hope you have a great week in books!
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
Oh yay! So glad The Wildlands is great on audio too! It’s definitely fast-paced, so I can see how it would work well on audio.
It’s great, but I’m just frustrated with having to stop listening after only 20 minutes.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing says
Have you tried any of Quindlen’s nonfiction? Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is excellent!
My sister is having a tough time with the back to school routine this fall, too… so many meetings and extra considerations in her classroom. Hope things settle down for you this week.
I actually didn’t care for Lots of Candles. I thought it was okay, but nothing that I wasn’t already talking about with friends.
I think after this week things will slow down at school. Fingers crossed anyway and for your sister, too.
Kathy Martin says
Good luck adjusting to the school year routine. Hopefully, the number of meetings will decline. All of your books are new to me. I hope you enjoy whatever you choose this week. My longest commute for the last 21 years was 5 minutes. One paragraph of an audiobook didn’t get me very far into the story. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
Wow! I’d love a 5 minute commute!
Beth F says
I’ll have to add Wildlands to my audio list. I’m hoping to get to Foe, but I’m still behind in my AUGUST reading. LOL.
Oh, well. You’ll eventually get caught up.
I’m in the midst of Wildlands on audio too and I’m absolutely engrossed. Terrific narration.
I second the suggestion for Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. If you’re in the mood for fiction I also enjoyed Miller’s Valley.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Transcription!
It’s so nice to hear from someone else listening to Wildlands. The narrator is so good.
I definitely want to try Miller’s Valley soon. I didn’t love Lots of Candles for some reason.
Foe is on my TBR. My weekly updates
I’m surprised how you felt about One True Thing. I didn’t love it the way I did Every Last One, but I thought the mother-daughter aspects hit home. She just knows how to go deep!
I’m waffling on the Frey. I’m reading The Golden State right now, but think I’ll try Katerina next. I’m on a 4-5 star reading streak and am scared of breaking it!
I think you’ll like Frey as long as you don’t mind really disliking its main character as a 21-year old. I really liked it and thought it was smartly written.
In One True Thing I did like the mother-daughter aspects, but I so thoroughly disliked the father and how everyone just catered to him, that it really put a damper on the story for me. I also listened to it and that may have made a difference, too. Dod you read Miller’s Valley?
I am SO looking forward to Foe! His debut was an incredible shiver up the spine.
And Transcription. Not only did I love Life After Life but also A God In Ruins. These, and Boyne’s Ladder to the Sky are the ones I’m pining for. (I’ve read most of Boyne’s backlist this year. They’re all good but especially The History of Loneliness and The Absolutist.)
I’ve never read Quindlen and am afraid she’ll be like Sloan Crosley, whose works I found more than disappointing.
I’ll be honest, at about 65%, Transcription is a bit of a let down. It’s definitely not another Life After Life.
I’m going to keep in mind the Boyne’s you mentioned because I’d like to go back and read a few of his, too.
I loved Quindlen’s Every Last One, so I think like many authors some of her stuff works for me and some doesn’t. Still, I’ll try others.
Great your getting to some of the books I had my eye on. Is Transcription really a letdown? Oh no! Glad The Wildlands seems good and that you’re eyeing The Caregiver. Despite work at school you seem to be on a roll. I’ll think about the Reid and Frey books, thanks for the tips.
ps. I dont think I’d title my book Ordinary People … that was a powerful story by Judith Guest once upon a time. You wouldn’t name your book Gone With the Wind …. would you? just saying …