27 September 2012

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts 2

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts are my random notes about books I've read, movies I've watched, books I'm looking forward to, and events I hope to get to.


I've been working hard at editing lately, and that means more audiobooks than print books. My eyes are happy to let my ears take over in the evenings and weekends. I recently finished Rebecca Stead's Liar & Spy. It was my first Stead book, but I'm now adding her to my must-read list. I'll have a full review of the book soon. I'm in the middle of Fall of Giants, which is the initial book in Ken Follett's new Century Trilogy. It begins just before the start of World War I and follows families from a variety of nationalities and social classes. War has just begun, and I don't know yet who will survive.

Some of my most recent reviews for Audiofile magazine are now up on the website. Gail Tsukiyama's A Hundred Flowers is narrated by Simon Vance--need I say more? Another recommended title is The Mirrored World by Debra Dean, read by Yelena Shmulenson. Click the links to read my thoughts.

Print Books

As you know I'm a big supporter of the Scholastic Mother-Daughter Book Club for middle grade readers. One of the selections this month is the multiple-award-winning Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. This is the story of how a young girl copes with being transplanted from her well-off life in Mexico to working as a farm laborer in California during the Depression. I hope to review this one soon. For book clubs looking for a lighter read, the second selection is the first in Lisa Papademetriou's Confectionately Yours series, Save the Cupcake! Although this cute book includes recipes, its themes of friendship and family offer plenty to talk about. Remember that the book club site includes lots of resources for readers.

In case you missed them, I wrote about Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel (fiction set in New York City), The Fine Color of Rust by P. A. O'Reilly (fiction set in rural Australia), and Aftermath by Rachel Cush (memoir) for the SheKnows Book Lounge. Click the links to read the articles.


We've been catching up on some old TV shows, but took the time to watch the latest Jesse Stone movie, Benefit of the Doubt. If you haven't watched this series, based on the books by Robert B. Parker and starring Tom Selleck, you're missing out.. We also watched We Need to Talk About Kevin, based on the book by Lionel Shriver and starring Tilda Swinton. Not that the movie wasn't good, but it was one that I truly didn't need to see. Creepy and scary--and not in a horror-flick kind of way.

In the Stacks

Three books from this month that I've been dying to read are Emma Straub's Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, about Depression-era Hollywood; Sarita Mandanna's Tiger Hills, historical fiction set in southern India; and Kathleen Alcott's The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, about three childhood friends whose insular world crumbles as they mature. The three novels are completely different, but I'm all about eclectic (one of my favorite words).

What's on your read, watch, listen, or review list?


Dina 9/27/12, 6:32 AM  

We Need To Talk About Kevin is on my TBR list and my Netflix Queue. It does look creepy but interesting.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 9/27/12, 6:41 AM  

Hope you are enjoying Fall of Giants. I liked it a lot and am looking forward to book 2, Winter of the World - enjoy.

bermudaonion 9/27/12, 6:55 AM  

Did you read We Need to Talk About Kevin? It is truly scary!

I'm supposed to go to a movie today but I have no idea which one. My friend suggested several and I told her I'd go to whatever she picks.

caite 9/27/12, 7:55 AM  

oh, I love the Jesse Stone series. Yes, based on the great books and all...but maybe it is all about Tom.

Daryl 9/27/12, 7:58 AM  

some good books here ... is Emma Straub related to Peter Straub?

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 9/27/12, 9:38 AM  

I just finished A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME, and boy was it some book. I am in the process of figuring out what to say. LAURA LAMONT is in my TBR as well.

Carrie K. 9/27/12, 9:48 AM  

Kevin and the kids and I just finished watching the final season of Eureka - big sci-fi nerds at our house! I received a review copy of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the mail - so movie night with my real life best friend coming up very soon. :)

I'm hoping to get my review of The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman up today - great audiobook.

grammajudyb 9/27/12, 10:24 AM  

You are so organized. My TBR stack is in the toppling over stage. I read Fall of Giants for the summer read for my local book club, and am really looking forward to the next on too. I don't have a DVR so watch whatever, though both my DH and I love the Jesse Stone series. And we listen to audio books on road trips. Must stop by the library and pick one up today for our trip to Colorado. So many book, so little time!!!!

Nan 9/27/12, 11:01 AM  

I really loved Esperanza Rising. I listened to the library's audio cd. I learned so much about Mexican history. Why aren't we taught Mexican and Canadian history in school - our border neighbors and we know so very little.
And I am a fan of the Jesse Stone tv series. Do you watch Selleck in Bluebloods?

How Jess Reads 9/27/12, 11:09 AM  

My hubby and I are re-watching Battlestar Galactica, and I'm excited that new episodes of Castle are back!

I'm trying to finish The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and I've been reading tons of middle grade fiction for a kids' book series I have coming up.

I like the sound of that Mother-Daughter Bookclub. Definitely going to have to do something like that in a few years!

Zibilee 9/27/12, 11:17 AM  

I just finished A Mirrored World, and rather liked it, although as someone else mentioned, it could have been longer. I also can't wait to read the new Follett. It sounds rather intriguing.

Rachel 9/27/12, 12:54 PM  

I'm reading Tiger Hills right now. It started off slow but now I'm really getting into it. I'm about 150 pages in and liking it a lot.

Julie P. 9/27/12, 1:20 PM  

We're definitely reading many of the same books lately. I just finished Rebecca's Stead's latest as well!

Erika Robuck 9/27/12, 4:41 PM  

I'm dying to read that Emma Straub book, but my stacks are toppling over. Great round up!

(Diane) bookchickdi 9/28/12, 9:25 AM  

My husband and I enjoy the Jesse Stones series too. Tom Selleck plays the role so well, and I love the scenes with his dog.
I read Emma Straub's book and she created such a memorable Hollywood character, you'd swear you were reading about someone you'd seen on a Turner Classic Movie channel documentary.
I'm looking forward to reading Sutton by J.R. Moehringer. His memoir, The Tender Bar, is one of my favorites in the genre, and listening to him read the audiobook added so much to the book.

Barbara 9/28/12, 10:10 AM  

I love Jesse Stone adaptations on TV, and we're both over the moon that Castle is back. I hope it'll still be as good now that Kate and Castle are together but it was definitely time. I've just finished a great book: The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler set in 1914 Mexico.

SuziQoregon 9/28/12, 5:09 PM  

Oh you're doing the audio of Fall of Giants? I'm not sure I could do that - my audio time is so scattered into small increments. I really want to read it though.

On my lists -
Read: Black Fridays by Michael Sears and Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham

Watch: We just caught up with Grimm and now need to see what the new season of Boardwalk Empire has in store.

Listen: I finally have the latest Louise Penny audiobook waiting for me at the library. That will be be my next audiobook as soon as I finish The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson.

Review: Well to have something to review would mean I have to actually finish a book. Have only finished one this month and will barely finish a second but my house is beautiful! I'm so looking forward to having my routine back.

Meghan 9/30/12, 5:06 AM  

I just bought Fall of Giants yesterday - good timing that you're listening to it now! I hope you're enjoying it and I look forward to seeing what you think. I'm also curious about Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, but haven't decided whether I want to pick it up or not.

We Need to Talk about Kevin the book was creepy and scary enough. I'm not sure I could take the film.

Irish 9/30/12, 6:38 PM  

Those audios sound really good. I have Liar & Spy in print form and so it makes me happy hearing that its good.

Jenners 10/2/12, 1:34 PM  

I really loved Stead's Where You'll Find Me so I'm excited to check out her new one as well. If the Kevin movie was anything like the book, I'm sure it was super disturbing.

Les 10/15/12, 9:01 PM  

My 10-year-old granddaughter and I read Stead's When You Reach Me last month for our little book club. We both thought it was wonderful and I have Stead's new book to read later this year, before sending it off to my granddaughter. I'm saving your post for future ideas for our grandmother-granddaughter book club. Esperanza Rising sounds like something we might enjoy, as does Confectionately Yours. We just finished Violet in Bloom, which wasn't bad, but not quite as "literary" as Stead's novel.

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