As I mentioned on Friday, last week was crazy town around here, but this week promises to be a gentle slide back to normal. Much welcomed and, I hope, bringing with it plenty of reading time.
Something New: I joined a blogger's postal book club run by Laura over at The Book Snob. The club started in January 2015, and some of the original members are still participating. Here's how it works: At the beginning of the year, each person picks a book to share with the group. Then the members mail their choice to another club member (in a specific order), along with a notebook.
We then have two months to read the book we received and to record our thoughts. At the end of the reading time, we send the book and notebook along to next person and watch our mailboxes for our new book club title. When all the books have gone through the entire book club cycle, everyone gets her own book back plus the notebook with the members' reactions or reviews.
Isn't this a great way to make some new blogging friends and to expand one's reading horizons? The club is low-key and relaxed, and I can't wait to see what people think of the book I sent. (Not saying what it is, because I don't want to spoil the surprise.) I'm also looking forward to reading six books I might not have picked for myself. It's going to be a fun year.
Reading and Listening
- I finished listening to Lincoln at the Bardo by George Saunders (Random House Audio; 7 hr, 25 min). The book itself was moving and beautifully (and cleverly) written, but the audiobook performances by the cast of 166 narrators made this an amazing experience. Sometimes it was tough to listen to (sad, raw) but there was humor too, and it made me think. The audiobook is released tomorrow; don't miss it.
- I also finished listening to Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (Listening Library; 7 hr, 1 min), read by Ryan Gesell and Tara Sands. It's a dual-viewpoint story of learning to see beyond the surface, of being true to oneself, and of young love. Gesell and Sands both had youthful voices, and their performances were well matched in pacing, drama, and characterizations. I loved the section at the end read by the author: all about the history of the book, its fan base, and the movie.
- I've started reading Setting Free the Kites by Alex George (Putnam) and Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Lasken (Katherine Tegen). Both are great, and I'll have more to say next week.
- I've also started listening to Gilded Cage by Vic James (Random House Audio), read by Avita Jay. A very enjoyable story (though Jay's performance is not my favorite). More later.
I finally got around to watching the movie The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, and Rebecca Ferguson and Directed by Tate Taylor. It was only okay for me. I didn't mind the relocation to New York, but the movie was very fast paced and lacked the buildup of tension of the book.
I should mention that, although the book wasn't one of my all-time favorites, I liked it, especially the way author Paula Hawkins blurred the lines between reality and misperception, deception, and manipulation. The movie fell flat in this regard. Oh well, I almost always like the book better than than movie, so I shouldn't be surprised.
Something to Look Forward To
Talking about books to movies, have you seen the trailer for The Zookeeper's Wife? The movie looks amazing, and I can't wait until it's released in theaters next month. If you haven't read the book yet, the author is Diane Ackerman, and I'm sure your bookstore or library will have a copy.
Something for J. D. Robb Fans
I'll end this week with a little bookish fun. I a big fan of the In Death series by J. D. Robb (though I'm woefully behind in reading). They are fantastic audiobooks, and I love the mystery, romance, action, and futuristic elements of the books. Eve Dallas, our hero is flawed, smart, and always worth reading about. The latest installment in the series, Echoes in Death, came out last week. Here's a fun poster with all things Eve Dallas and In Death. Enjoy! (click to get a better view)