17 October 2016

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: What to Read and Listen to Now

Except for that stupid dental crown that broke last week and the temporary crown that fell off over the weekend (millions of dentist office visits!), life is finally back to what I call normal. That means I'm still working hard, but my evenings and weekends are once again mine. Yay!

I'm hoping for lots of pleasure reading to finish out the year (yikes! only ten weeks or so until New Year's). In the meantime, I was able to find a few moments to read and to listen to audiobooks, so all was not lost, though I feel like I'm somehow falling behind.

What I read last week

  • What to Read in OctoberA Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham is a collection of fairy tale retellings that combine traditional elements with contemporary details. These are dark, adult tales that show the universal and eternal themes of these centuries-old stories. I also loved the awesome black-and-white illustrations. (now in paperback from Picador USA, 9781250097309)
  • Agnes by Peter Stamm is a translation of the author's short debut novel. Although the book has the feel of an early work, this look at life imitating art (or is it art imitating life?) is worth your time. A Swiss nonfiction author meets a Chicago graduate student who wants him to write her story. (Other Press, 9781590518113)
What I listened to last week
  • Audiobooks for OctoberThe Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper is the story of two sisters and one special-needs girl, who has unusual talents. There was way too much foreshadowing in this book to make it a winner with me, though others have loved the themes of sisters, family, and motherhood. Narrators Andi Ardnt and Cassandra Campbell do good work here. For more, see AudioFile magazine. (Highbridge Audio; 9 hr, 20 min)
  • The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin is an audiobook I don't think I totally understood. It's the story of a Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen who is stretching his wings to tell the truth through his journalism. Eduardo Ballerini is a pleasure to listen to, but I question the decision to forgo the use of a Chinese accent. For more, see AudioFile magazine. (Random House Audio; 6 hr, 37 min)
What I'm reading and listening to now
  • What to Read in OctoberThe Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz is a kind of take-off of Chaucer set in Medieval times and geared to a middle grade audience. It involves the French crown and the Church and their conflict with three children and a dog. I've just started this multicast audiobook from Listening Library, but I can already tell I'm going to be hooked. This is for pleasure reading, so a review will appear here soon.
  • The Guineveres by Sarah Doment is the story of four girls, all named Guinevere, who bond over shared names and their orphan status. We follow the girls as they juggle their Catholic upbringing with their more worldly desires. So far this is another huge winner from Amy Einhorn, who is now with Flatiron Books (9781250086617)
What are you reading or listening to? Anything I should add to my reading list?


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 10/17/16, 6:35 AM  

The Gueneveres sounds fascinating. I'm off to add it to my wish list.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 10/17/16, 7:41 AM  

I've had my eye on The Boat Rocker...do you think it's worth reading in print? Or did your issues with it go beyond the audio?

And I'm adding The Guineveres to my "must try before the end of the year" list....I keep hearing great things about it!

JoAnn 10/17/16, 7:51 AM  

I've heard good things about The Guineveres - look forward to your thoughts! Read something by Ha Jin years ago and wondered if I missed the point, so not sure whether to give the author another try...

Tina 10/17/16, 8:01 AM  

I would be very interested in the Guineveres and in Agnes. I am still not on the audio versions of books, maybe that would work while I walk in the mornings,

Kailana 10/17/16, 8:25 AM  

I think I will make The Guineveres an upcoming audio. I am seeing it everywhere and it sounds good!

Daryl 10/17/16, 8:41 AM  

i am making notes ..thanks!

Strider 10/17/16, 8:42 AM  

I am just starting to read Hamilton.by Chernow.

Susie | Novel Visits 10/17/16, 8:58 AM  

The Guineveres was a real winner for me. I'll be curious to hear what you think.

bermudaonion 10/17/16, 9:06 AM  

Yay for a "normal" life but boo for all the dental visits. I'm anxious to read The Guineveres.

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/17/16, 10:15 AM  

I just read the review of The Guineveres in the the NY Times and now I must add it to my TBR list. I'm sorry about the dental problems, there is nothing worse than dealing with that.

Sue Jackson 10/17/16, 4:33 PM  

I haven't heard of any of these yet, but it sounds like a wonderful variety!

I agree with you on audios - I love when the narrator speaks with the accent of the fictional narrator. I just listened to a book set in the Ukraine, and the reader's accent and voice added SO much to the atmosphere and feel of the book!

Enjoy your books this week -


Book By Book

Laurel-Rain Snow 10/17/16, 6:55 PM  

I am curious about The Guineveres....hope you have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Yvonne 10/18/16, 7:41 AM  

Interesting selection of books. I always feel like I'm falling behind :)

Have a great week!

Mystica 10/18/16, 10:47 PM  

Interesting mix of genres. Enjoy.

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