17 July 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: The Pre-Vacation Edition

2 short book reviewsLast week was busy, busy with work because this week I've escaped with some girlfriends to attend the lace guild's annual convention. I signed up late for classes, so instead of studying bobbin lace, this year  I'll be taking two classes in knitted lace. I love to knit, so this is hardly a hardship.

I suspect I won't get much reading done this week, but I know I'll have a ton of fun. Meanwhile, Mr. BFR will pick up all the slack on the reading front. He'll have the house to himself, and I bet a book will be his week-long dinner companion.

On the Blog This Week: Because I'll be away from computer, and I've decided not to pack my laptop, this will be a light week both in posting and visiting other blogs. I have today's post, a photo on Wednesday, and, of course, a Weekend Cooking post. I hope to share photos of my knitting on Twitter, Instagram, or Litsy ... see you next week.

What I Read Last Week

Review: Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel KhongGoodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (Henry Holt, July 11): After 30-year-old Ruth Young's fiance dumps her, she makes the trip from San Francisco to LA to spend Christmas with her family. Although she knew her father had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, this was the first time she witnessed the symptoms. Still grieving her own lost relationship, she moves home to help her mother. Written in a kind of journal or diary style, the novel looks at how a young adult changes from being from her parents' child to her parents' caregiver. It also explores the transition of finally seeing one's parents as complete human beings, with all their flaws. I enjoyed the novel because of the themes of family and facing difficult changes, but I didn't love the novel as much as I had hoped. I didn't connect strongly to Ruth, maybe because we are very different people. I did, however, appreciate the compassion and humor of Khong's approach to a heartbreaking disease. (Thanks to Henry Holt for providing the review copy.)

Review: The Wildling Sisters by Eve ChaseThe Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (Putnam, July 25): Set on a small estate in the Cotswolds, this dual time-period novel with Gothic undertones is bound to be one of my favorites of the year. The novel involves two sets of sisters, secrets, troubles, grief, and family, and I really liked the way the events of summer of 1959 had repercussions in contemporary times. I loved both story lines, that of the Wilde sisters in the past and that of the Tucker family in the present, and how the reputation of the house, once made, was very difficult to shake. The unabridged audiobook (Penguin Audio, 10 hr, 46 min) was read by Clare Corbett and Emilia Fox, each of whom performed one of the time periods. Sometimes it's jarring to switch back and forth between narrators, but Corbett's and Fox's performances blended nicely. Each built the tension and left room for me to form my own opinions about the characters and plot lines. Highly recommended audiobook. (Thanks to Penguin Audio for providing the review copy.)

What I'm Reading Now
  • The Goddesses by Swan Huntley: A family relocates to Hawaii to get a fresh start. Nancy signs up for yoga lessons, meeting Ana, who soon becomes her all-consuming best friend. I'm only halfway through, but I sense that some bad things are going to happen. There're some odd disruptions to the story, but I'm going to reserve judgment until I finish the book, hoping that it will all make sense later. The audiobook is read by Hillary Huber.
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus: I haven't yet started this twisty thriller, but I have high hopes. I've packed it for the knitting trip, though I'm not sure I'll have any time to read.
  • A Paris All Your Own edited by Elanor Brown: I've downloaded this audiobook in case I finish The Goddesses during the week. I hope I enjoy this collection of essay written by women authors who have had connections to the City of Lights. This is a multi-narrator audibook.

13 comments:

Sherry Fundin 7/17/17, 7:44 AM  

It's good to get away for a while. Enjoy your trip.
sherry @ fundinmental

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 7/17/17, 7:45 AM  

I'm sorry you didn't like Vitamin as much as you thought! I think connecting with Ruth is key to that novel...and I did. Have fun on your trip!

rhapsodyinbooks 7/17/17, 8:26 AM  

Have fun at the convention!

bermudaonion 7/17/17, 8:45 AM  

I just finished Goodbye, Vitamin and enjoyed it more than you did, I think. Have a great time on your getaway!

Susie | Novel Visits 7/17/17, 9:27 AM  

I'm with you on Goodbye Vitamin. I didn't enjoy the format of Ruth's journaling. Good to know The Wilding Sisters was such a good audio. I'm always looking for my next great book to listen to. Have fun this week!

Vicki 7/17/17, 9:42 AM  

Well, I had planned on reading Goodbye, Vitamin but after seeing a few not so glowing reviews I think I'll skip it. I have the A Paris All Your Own audiobook downloaded too, and plan on reading it soon.

I hope you and your friends have a great time this week!

Kathy Martin 7/17/17, 9:47 AM  

Not pack your laptop? I couldn't do it. I was without internet for a couple of hours Sunday morning and just about had a meltdown. Enjoy your week unplugged and lacemaking. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 7/17/17, 10:55 AM  

I took a trip last summer without my laptop, and I felt like I was missing an appendage. But I did have my iPhone, for FB and emails.

Enjoy your trip. I loved The Wildling Sisters and I'm curious about One of Us Is Lying. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Beth Hoffman 7/17/17, 11:07 AM  

Wishing you lots of fun at the convention!

Greg 7/17/17, 1:52 PM  

Enjoy the convention! Hope you like One Of Us Is Lying, I enjoyed it a lot despite some minor issues.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/17/17, 2:31 PM  

I hope you have a lovely time this week.

Emma Littlefield 7/18/17, 2:18 PM  

So,I have learnt something new - I didn't know you could knit lace. I now need to go look this up. Enjoy!

Iliana 7/18/17, 4:47 PM  

Sounds like you are going to have a blast! Would love to hear more about the knitting you do and would love to see a picture of any projects (finished or in progress!)

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