06 November 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Reading from the (Recent) Backlist

Reading from the BacklistEveryone get ready to repeat after me: Crazy Busy. Now say: Worth It.

That's because I'm getting ready for my annual five-day women's getaway to the Poconos. We spend the weekend eating, drinking, gabbing, and making lace! I may take my knitting this year instead of my lace stuff, but either way, it's a lovely, lovely break from real life before the holidays descend with a vengeance.

The downside is being too focused on catching up with and getting ahead on work to spend much (any?) time visiting blogs and hanging out on Twitter and Litsy. Ah well.

My New Gig

I mentioned last week that I had a new sideline job. I'm excited to announce that I am now a contributing editor at AudioFile magazine. I'm thrilled to have expanded my relationship with the magazine; everyone there is a joy to work with. Besides my regular audiobook reviews, I now have a column at the AudioFile blog. It's called "Take 5 with Candace," and my first post will be published on November 8. Stop by every other Wednesday to see which five audiobooks caught my eye that week and why. For my introductory post, be sure to visit the AudioFile blog on Wednesday and see what I'll be up to.

What I Read Last Week

Review: Rules of Magic by Alice HoffmanI finished Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, Oct), which I enjoyed but didn't love. It was fun to learn the backstory of Practical Magic and the Owens family, although I found some parts difficult to believe (and I don't mean the magic / witch parts). For example, the children have a crazy amount of freedom to wander around New York at all hours of the day and night. On the other hand, the 1960s details are recognizable, and the family curse seems to be running strong. In addition, the novel gives us domestic drama and a few surprises. I'm not a big fan of magical realism, but I do like witches and like seeing how their lives and abilities play out in more modern times. I listened to the unabridged audiobook (Simon & Schuster Audio; 10 hr, 58 min), read by Marin Ireland. Ireland varied her tempo, volume, and cadence, capturing my attention and enlivening the story. (review print copy from the publishers)

Review: Jason Reynolds's Long Way DownI read Jason Reynolds's Long Way Down (Atheneum Books, Oct) twice. Yes, you heard me correctly. This powerful novel in verse explores the perpetuation of gun violence and gang affiliations, as fifteen-year-old Will comes to terms with the shooting death of his older brother. Most of the story takes place in a second-by-second account of a one-minute elevator ride in which Will is confronted by the ghosts of family and friends who were also victims of gun violence. The words on the page hit hard, in their meaning and in their form, and you could stop right there and have much to talk about in terms of family, loyalty, and the difficulty of breaking dysfunctional cycles. I went one step more and immediately listened to the unabridged audiobook (Simon & Schuster Audio; 1 hr, 43 min), read by the author. Poetry is meant to be heard and (as Reynolds himself says) is best read by poet himself. Reynolds's performance intensifies the emotional impact of Long Way Down, bringing out the nuances of the characters and providing layers of context. Will's future hangs in the balance as the elevator slowly descends to the lobby, what will he do when he steps through those doors? Don't miss this book in either medium. (review print copy from the publishers)

What I Gave Up On

The Templars:The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors by Dan Jones. I've always been drawn to the story of the Templars, so I'm not sure why I just didn't feel the love here. I tried it in print (Viking, Sept), and I tried it in audio (Penguin Audio; 15 hr, 35 min). Argh! Neither medium held my attention. The book wasn't bad, so perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for Crusades and the Church, politics and battles this week. The audio is read by the author, who does an only okay job, and I found my mind wandering as the audio played on. (Thanks to the publisher for both print and audio review copies)

What's on Beth Fish Reads This Week

Because I'll be traveling at the end of the week, I will not be posting my usual weekly roundup. Instead, I have a giveaway tomorrow for a fun cozy mystery, a photo on Wednesday, and my usual Weekend Cooking on Saturday. I'm not sure I'll have Monday post next week, but we'll see what I have time for.

22 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 11/6/17, 7:05 AM  

Too many books lately with plots like Long Way Down! Not because they aren't good, but because they are so much a part of the American story now. Congrats on your new sideline!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) 11/6/17, 7:41 AM  

Congrats on your new gig, they're lucky to have you!

JoAnn 11/6/17, 7:45 AM  

Congratulations on your expanded role at AudioFile... always enjoy reading your reviews and will look forward to the column!

Susie | Novel Visits 11/6/17, 8:41 AM  

Congratulations on the new sideline. I'll definitely be checking out your column. You've already pointed me toward several good books on audio, so I'm looking forward to more. Have a great weekend with your friends. That sounds like a fabulous tradition!

Kathy Martin 11/6/17, 10:04 AM  

Your new gig sounds like fun and perfect for you. I'll have to add Long Way Down to my wishlist. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

bermudaonion 11/6/17, 10:10 AM  

Congrats on the new gig! I'm trying to get ready to go out of town, too, so I know where you're coming from. That's usually how I feel about Alice Hoffman.

Amanda 11/6/17, 10:11 AM  

Hey congrats! That's awesome!

My Cozy Book Nook 11/6/17, 11:50 AM  

Congrats on the new gig! While I have yet to completely embrace audiobooks, your recommendations are the ones I trust most :)

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/6/17, 12:35 PM  

What a fun new gig! Congrats!

Enjoy your books... I liked The Rules of Magic, but didn't love it. Especially when the characters were young.

Have a great week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Anita LeBeau 11/6/17, 1:03 PM  

I am so excited for your new role at AudioFile magazine, and I look forward to your weekly picks!
I've been having some really good luck with what I'm reading and listening to.
Have a wonderful weekend with your friends, I once had this kind of fall getaway and then as happens, lives and situations change and we no longer get together. I miss that bonding with my friends.

Vicki 11/6/17, 3:52 PM  

Congratulations on your side job with AudioFile magazine. I'll be checking out
"Take 5 with Candace"!

Have fun with your friends. I'd love to do that with all my friends who still live in Ohio where I grew up.

Sue Jackson 11/6/17, 7:29 PM  

Congrats on the expanded role at Audiofile! That's great news - I;m sure you'll do a great job. I've wondered about looking into working with them. I'm really enjoying reviewing for Shelf Awareness - great editors there!

Enjoy your girls' getaway - sounds like a lot of fun! I won't be online much this week, either - going to visit my mom for a few days.

Have a good trip!

Sue

Book By Book

pussreboots 11/7/17, 2:25 AM  

Enjoy your getaway. Come see what I'm reading.

Literate Housewife 11/7/17, 7:33 AM  

Congratulations!!! This is wonderful news! I’ll be looking forward to hour feature.

Lenore Appelhans 11/7/17, 8:01 AM  

Excellent news! Was just thinking about you this morning and thought I'd say hi!

Tina 11/8/17, 11:19 AM  

Well, congratulations, lady! Awesome new job at AudioFile!

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/12/17, 2:09 PM  

AudioFile is so lucky to have you- congratulations on your new role!

Daryl 11/13/17, 8:33 AM  

big congrats on the new job ... and i hope you had a fantabulous weekend away

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