21 April 2016

12 Books to Read This Spring: Stacked-Up Book Thoughts

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts from Beth Fish ReadsBooks, books, books! I'm drowning in great books lately. I've been sharing my reading notes, reviews, wish list, and more over on the Litsy App, and I love the short form for shooting off quick thoughts and mini recommendations. If you have iOS, I encourage you to join in. I'm there as @BethFishReads (of course).

But I understand if you don't want yet another app and another social media account to maintain. Also, if you don't have an iPhone, then you can't get it . . . yet. So today's Stacked-Up Book Thoughts is a way to catch you all up on my thoughts about the books I've been reading and listening to.

I may write full reviews here or maybe not. But this is what's been on my reading radar.

Audiobooks

recommended audiobooks from Beth Fish Reads Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld--I am a huge fan of Austen's Pride & Prejudice and loved this modern-day retelling. All the main elements of the original story are there, but they've been folded and turned to fit a thoroughly contemporary setting. Reality TV, parenthood, gender identity, yoga, fitness, brain surgery, and social media. Austen as you've never seen her. Cassandra Campbell's narration is absolutely perfect. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh--This reworking of the story of Shahrzad and her 1001 nights is the first in a new series. Here Shazi is a teen, and her sultan is a prince. I liked their changing relationship, each one's motivations and stumbling blocks, and especially the descriptions of the food and clothes. I wasn't thrilled with Ariana Delawari's performance (it was choppy and her characterizations weren't strong), so I may switch to print for book two. The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick--If you're an M. F. K. Fisher fan you will love this fictional account of her entry into adulthood, her first marriage, and the circumstances that led to her divorce and remarriage. I thought Warlick captured Fisher's personality beautifully. Cassandra Campbell is totally awesome as the narrator. The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell--I love this series! Historical fiction at its best: Saxons, Danes, the pagans, the Church, love, battles, politics. Britain in the 800s comes alive. I'm not totally won over by Jonathan Keeble's performance (though his pronunciations and diction are clear), but I'm committed to the audios.

Fiction

Recommended fiction from Beth Fish ReadsTears in the Grass by Lynda A. Archer--Three generations of women on the Canadian plains balance traditional culture with modern life and face the consequences of their life choices. The major themes are mothers and daughters, spiritual life, Native American life, and holding on to one's heritage and beliefs in the face of contemporary homogenization. I love the writing. Daredevils by Shawn Vestal--I don't know why I'm attracted to books that explore polygamy, but there you have it. In this novel, a teen is forced into a plural marriage with a much older man. Her dreams of escaping the Mormon community may be fulfilled when she meets a boy her own age. Set in the 1970s in the American west, this is a complex coming-of-age story. Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson--Get ready for some crazy fun as an ex-con, an atheist female vicar, and a former brothel receptionist team up to execute a get-rich-quick scheme. All is going fine until Jesus decides to have a say. Translated from the Swedish. My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich--This is a light, charming novel about an older woman who is searching for that one, perfect dress. Indulge yourself as you follow her from England to New York's fashion district.

Nonfiction

Recommended nonfiction from Beth Fish ReadsThe Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman--I spend quite a few hours watching my bird feeders and recording the species that feel comfortable in my yard. So this book, which sets out to dispel the notion that birds are, well bird-brained, is a natural fit for me. I'm learning about the secret life of birds from around the world. Life by John Brockman--In my younger years I was in academia, studying and teaching human evolution and genetics. This book explores evolutionary theory and biology from a variety of viewpoints, and it's pushing all my buttons (mostly in a good way). Granted it's not for everyone, but I'm hooked. Paper by Mark Kurlansky--I would read anything Kurlansky wrote, but I'm particularly excited about his newest. I'm kind of a paper freak, and I'm enjoying this look into the far-reaching effects of paper's invention as well as the outlook for its future. The Wander Society by Keri Smith--I'm so in love with this little book that fits my soul. Go forth and see the world through new eyes; pay attention to the little things. There is so much to discover right in your own backyard or neighborhood. Recommended for anyone who likes to walk and explore without restriction.

11 comments:

bermudaonion 4/21/16, 9:04 AM  

I'm fascinated by polygamy too so will have to check out Daredevils. Litsy is great!!

Vicki 4/21/16, 9:34 AM  

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld and The Wander Society by Keri Smith are going on my list.

rhapsodyinbooks 4/21/16, 11:55 AM  

Too bad about the audio for The Wrath and The Dawn.

JoAnn 4/21/16, 12:12 PM  

So many great suggestions here! I've added Eligible to my audio wish list and must get a copy of The Wander Society.

rhonda 4/21/16, 2:50 PM  

So many books to choose from.Inloved the charming Mrs. brown. We

Kailana 4/21/16, 4:55 PM  

The Wrath and the Dawn looks really good. I have been seeing it around.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/21/16, 7:51 PM  

My in-laws would love The Genius of Books and I just downloaded Litsy. Thanks for the suggestion.

Laurie C 4/22/16, 12:18 PM  

I've been going back and forth about reading/listening to Eligible because I tend to dislike remakes (insert *crochety grumbling noises* here), but I've liked all of the author's other books and I like Cassandra Campbell's narrations, so I guess I'll listen to the audio edition!

Margot 4/23/16, 10:15 AM  

I just went straight to Audible and put the two Cassandra Campbell books on my list. She has become one of my favorite narrators. Thanks for the recommendations.

Daryl 4/23/16, 4:49 PM  

i am always fascinated by the books you enjoy. we have as many genres in common as we dont (I am not sure if that was an actual sentence) so its a pleasure to see what's got you turned on and off

Lisa 5/7/16, 10:26 AM  

I felt like I wasn't as big a fan of Eligible as I might have been if I hadn't been such an enormous fan of P&P because I spent the entire read comparing the two and unable to just enjoy Eligible as its own book.

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