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Well, it’s been a weird week, but I’m finally back home. My sister and I brought our mom back to Sunriver, OR last Monday and I was able to stay until Friday. It was good to be able to spend time with my mom again, even through the circumstances were very sad. She’s going to be grieving for a very long time. I suspect it will get even harder for her once my sister has to take her back, and Mom really begins to face being without Nick. Meanwhile, back at home here, planning for teaching online this fall will begin ramping up this week. Students come back on September 8th and we have MUCH to accomplish before then. Since I’ll be teaching from home, I’m in the process of trying to set up a workspace in my attic. I feel like I need distance between where I live and where I work. I didn’t do that in the Spring, but the Fall is going to be much more rigorous and I need a dedicated “school” space.
On the blog this week I’ll FINLLY be doing two posts again! Tomorrow, I’m thrilled to be sharing my Fall Preview 2020 which includes the 16 books I’m most looking forward to this fall. On Thursday I have my August Mini-Reviews where I’ll share five really great books (including Boyne!) that I just haven’t had time to review this month.
Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Last Week’s Reads
- I didn’t have much left in The Boy In the Field by Margot Livesey, so finished it early in the week. I’ve seen mixed reviews of this book, but I really enjoyed Livesey’s story of three teenage siblings who find a badly injured boy in a field. I’ll be sharing my review on Thursday.
- I searched for a book that my sister and I bath might enjoy while driving to get Mom, and settled on the thriller, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin. The first half I liked, but in the end I detested this book. For me, it had SO MANY flaws, that if I could find the time, I’d like to write a discussion post on it. Goodreads ratings are really high and it was a Book of the Month pick, so I’m obviously in the minority, but ugh!
- I’d long looked forward to David Joy’s new book, When These Mountains Burn, and flew through it last week. While I liked it a lot, it wasn’t quite the emotional pull of his last book, The Line That Held Us (my review). I’ll also be reviewing this one on Thursday.
- On the drive home, I started listening to The Fixed Stars, a memoir, by Seattle author Molly Wizenberger. It’s her story of being in a loving marriage, and slowly coming to the realization in her late 30’s that she’s queer. While it has a similar starting point as Untamed by Glennon Doyle (my review), her story is actually quite different. I have about an hour left, and though it hasn’t totally grabbed me, it was good company on the drive.
- I read the first 25% of Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi yesterday and am excited to get back to it today. I can already tell that I’ll need to go back and read Gyasi’s debut, Homegoing sometime soon because I love both her writing and storytelling. Did you read Homegoing?
Likely to Read Next
- I only have ten days left on my library loan for the audiobook of Real Life by Brandon Taylor, so if I don’t start it soon, I’ll need to get back in line. I listened to a little bit while in Oregon, but felt like my attention wan’t where it needed to be to really give the story its due. Now that I’m home, I think I can be more focused. Have you read Real Life?
- I’ve waited a long time to start Fredrik Backman’s new book, Anxious People, but I can wait no longer. I definitely plan on starting it later this week. His current book features a failed bank-robber who bursts into an open house taking everyone hostage. It’s supposed to be both tense and humorous, and Backman’s writing is ALWAYS a delight!
Nicole E Reed says
I just finished Night Swim yesterday and for the most part, enjoyed it. I noticed some problems as well and would love to hear some other folks weigh in with their opinions.
I’m going to try to write a discussion post on The Night Swim this weekend. Hopefully, I’ll post it next week.
Kathy Martin says
I was curious about The Night Swim. Now I’m conflicted again. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.
Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says
It’s been a difficult few weeks for you. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s partner. One of my friends just lost his wife of 62 years and he is deeply grieving. I feel very sad for your mom. I can’t imagine.
I get frustrated by books in BOTM club. Do people really read and rate them before they select them? I’ve been terribly disappointed with several books I bought. I prefer waiting for a book to pop up at the library for me, honestly.
I liked Homegoing a lot. I’ll be watching for your review of Gyasi’s new book. Real Life sounds interesting to me, too, but I have a lot of trouble finding Booker books at my library.
Have a good week.
Thank you for your kind words. My Mom will definitely be having a hard time. We are worried about her, and doing what we can, but grief is a journey people really have to walk alone. It will be a hard few months.
Gayle Weiswasser says
Yes! Read Homegoing. It’s a hard read – both subject matter-wise and also in terms of how it is constructed – but so worthwhile.
I definitely need to get to Homegoing before the end of the year. I honestly don’t know how I’ve missed it for so long.
Laurie C says
I listened to Homegoing on audio, and it was amazing. I’m going to read Trancendent Kingdom in print, I hope, but I find it easier to get my audiobook listening in than to sit for reading time these days. Good luck with the remote teaching and setting up the work space.
Interesting. I’ve ordered Homegoing both in print and on audio from Libby, so whichever format comes first, that’s the way I’ll go!
Everyone is reading Night Swim. I’m going to have to find a way to squeeze in onto my to read list.
Well, in my opinion it’s one you could skip, but I’m in the minority!
Margaret Mcdougall says
Really sorry for your Mums lose . Tough time ahead for you in the new normal teaching. My grandson in Scotland started school last week at Infant level which is 5 years going well Apart from he told my 89 year old mother‘it’s hard Nana being good all day ‘ I live in Spain and it doesn’t seem likely the schools will be starting anytime soon,
I was looking forward to reading The night swim but have heard mixed reviews but can’t wait to read Fredrik Backman’s new book always a delight
Keep safe love from magsinspain
Oh! How I wish I was in Spain right now. I miss traveling so much. It feels like I’ll never make it back to Europe. I know that’s not true, but between COVID and work, I’m just so tired of my own home!
I have two 4 1/2 year old grandkids and their parents are so glad that they’re a little too young to start kindergarten this year. Hopefully, by next fall things will be back to normal.
Let me know what you think of The Night Swim. Most people seem to like it.
Tracie (texasbookdiva) says
I really enjoyed Night Swim, even with some flaws. I think the pace and the setting (podcaster, courtroom, mystery, worked for me, but in another time, I may have had a diff view! What were your main frustrations?
I’m going to do a discussion post on The Night Swim next week. In general, the flaws for me had to do with believability, too many unlikely things, knocking off the Brock Turner – Channel Miller case, the Hannah character, and honestly, the way she handled the rapes.
Yeah Yaa Gyasi’s new book is getting high praise! I must read both her debut & this one, so I’ll be interested to hear what you think. I think distancing your Work space & Home space is a really good idea and I hope the attic will work. I’ll cross my fingers your school start goes well.
ps. Calif. was hot! but we got to the beach one last day which felt great in the water.
I’m probably one of the few who didn’t love Homegoing. I couldn’t even finish it. It was too sprawling and I could not keep the characters straight. I’m also bummed that you hated Night Swim! I just won a copy and now I’m not even looking forward to getting it.
I’m reading the last of the August releases this week- Against the Loveless World. It’s good, but dark, about a Palestinian woman serving life in an Israeli prison for terrorism.
I’m in Catherine’s corner as I wasn’t a fan of Homegoing either. And for the same reasons. I felt that Gyasi couldn’t focus on which story she wanted to tell, so told them all. But Transcendent Kingdom sounds more focused.
I’ve got Anxious People on hold. I’m sure that title describes many of us waiting to read Backman’s newest!
I just finished Emma Donoghue’s Pull of the Stars. I always love her characters and how she unfolds her stories.