13 March 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Books I Read, Books I Quit

Book Reviews for MarchToday is all about hunkering down and preparing for the supposed big snowstorm that will leave up to 14 inches snow in central Pennsylvania by midday on Wednesday. So that's what happened to winter . . . it came late.

My only concern is that we don't lose electricity. As long as I can work, I'll be a happy camper. Only about three weeks left to my crazy busy editing season. I can't wait to settle back into a more regular routine. I'm looking forward to taking a whole weekend off just to relax. Ahhhh.

What I Finished Last Week

  • Recommended Books for MarchI give the audiobook edition of American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Harper Audio; 8 hr, 35 min) my unreserved recommendation. The story is about a Hatian teen who is separated from her mother at immigration as the two finally fulfill their dream of joining family in Detroit. This is a tough immigration tale of adjusting to a new life while honoring the past, of families separated, of making choices that seem to promise a better future. Narrator Robin Miles brings the heartbreak and action of this contemporary novel to life. (My full audiobook review will be available through AudioFile magazine).
  •  Although the graphic novel edition of Lisa and the Lacemaker by Kathy Hoopmann and Mike Medaglia (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) won't be published until April, I couldn't resist reading it right away because it features bobbin lace, which is one of my passions. This well-drawn story gives good insight into life with a disability. Hoopmann shows that Lisa and her friends are much more than their diagnosis: they have interests, talents, intelligence, and curiosity, even if they don't feel comfortable around some people. When Lisa meets her eccentric great-aunt, she learns a new skill (how to make bobbin lace) and makes a discovery that could help the older woman find peace. It was easy to root for Lisa and her parents, and I was happy to see that bobbin lace was described accurately (a rarity in fiction). I read an eGalley but have already preordered a print copy of this super middle grade book.
Books I Gave Up On

Books to Pass on in MarchI gave the comic Archlight by Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland (Image Comics) a try because I loved the sample artwork and its color scheme and because the book was billed as a fantasy with LGBTQ themes. Perhaps it was my mood, but I found myself enjoying the drawings but not at all connecting to the plot or characters. What's more, I had trouble following the story, so decided to let this comic go. I like Jami Attenberg, so I had high expectations for her new much-buzzed All Grown Up (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). I read about 4 chapters of the novel, but I wasn't invested in the protagonist's life. The book is about a young woman's journey to find her path in New York as others around her seem to have it all worked out. Perhaps I'm just not the target audience or it was a poor choice after reading The Futures (which covers a similar theme).

What I'm Reading Now

Books I'm Excited about in MarchMy current audiobook is I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiashi (Macmillian Audio; 9 hr, 47 min) read by Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, and Therese Plummer. I'm only an hour in, but I'm hooked and want to know more about the main characters. I've just started the eGalley of One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel (Scribner). I think this is going to be a tough read, with difficult themes. In print, I'm reading the very fun Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania Del Rio and Will Staehle (Quirk Books). This middle grade book is filled with awesome drawings, great characters, a little mystery, good action, and just the right amount of spooky. I'm also working my way through the eGalley of Simply Clean by Becky Rapinchuk (Touchstone). I'm not convinced that I can keep my house clean in only 10 minutes a day, but I'm reading with an open mind.

Two Book Subscriptions to Investigate
  • If you have children you might be interested in The Little Fun book club subscription box. For a reasonable fee your child will receive three books each month, picked specifically for him or her within parameters you provide. The boxes are hand curated, so every child gets books geared to his or her reading level and interests. The ages go from board books through middle grade readers.
  • If you love audiobooks you might be interested in the Your Audiobook Club subscription box. For less money than many download sites, this club will send you two audiobooks every month. I accepted a free trial last fall and got Anita Shreve's The Pilot's Wife read by Melanie Griffith and A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming and read by Jot Davies. These are unabridged physical audiobooks, perfect for car rides and for sharing with family and friends.
Books to Movies in March

I've already given you a couple of book to screen alerts, but there are even more adaptations coming out in this month. Here are the trailers for two more. Enjoy!


Sarah's Book Shelves 3/13/17, 7:39 AM  

Awh - I'm sorry you didn't like All Grown Up. I loved it, but had the feeling people would get frustrated with Andrea. She definitely got better by the end. And, you're right, it was a similar theme to The Futures...I just thought Attenberg's writing was far better than the writing in The Futures.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/13/17, 8:30 AM  

I've heard good things about American Street. And who knew about you and bobbin lace!

Susie | Novel Visits 3/13/17, 8:48 AM  

I loved One of the Boys, but you're right, at times it's a hard book to read. I'm actually listening to the audio version of All Grown Up and the narrator is wonderful!

bermudaonion 3/13/17, 8:51 AM  

I'll have to look for American Street the next time I have an Audible credit. One of the Boys is tough but it's a great story! I need to get better on giving up on books.

Majanka Verstraete 3/13/17, 9:12 AM  

Lisa and the Lacemaker looks very cool. Sorry to hear you had to give up on some books. It happens! Enjoy reading next week.

Here's my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/13/17, 11:19 AM  

All Grown Up is on my list...so perhaps I will wait on that one.

I have The Futures, and should probably give that one a go first.

Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Kathy Martin 3/13/17, 12:42 PM  

Our snow amounted to about 8 inches but no wind. We started two hours late today. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Tina 3/13/17, 2:18 PM  

I just downloaded Sense of an Ending on my Kindle. I want to read it before I watch the movie.

Mystica 3/13/17, 10:35 PM  

I hate the DNF books as I always felt that I wasted time I could have spent on another book! so many books so little time.

Greg 3/13/17, 10:40 PM  

Yikes that's a lot of snow, I hope it's not too bad. We got some last night and the roads were slippery this morning but it's mostly gone now. Thanks for the tips on the book subscriptions, I'm really interested in those but there are so many now.

I do want to see Before I Fall although I was hoping to read the book first.

Lisbeth 3/14/17, 4:19 AM  

I did not know they made a film of The Sense of an Ending. Loved the book and love Jim Broadbent. So this film is a must. Thanks for alerting me.😬

Kailana 3/14/17, 9:44 AM  

The Audiobook Club sounds fun, but I probably wouldn't listen to CDs. Maybe if something changes in the future. :)

Laurie C 3/14/17, 10:43 AM  

You are so organized and up to date, I am jealous!!! I am home for a snow day today, so am catching up on Monday posts. I haven't read The Futures or All Grown Up, but I read so many New York books that maybe I should wait a bit to try either of them!

Kathy Reads Fiction 3/14/17, 5:20 PM  

As much as I loved Saint Mazie, I don't think All Grown Up is for me from what others (even those who've loved it) have said. I just got my copy today of One of the Boys, and I'm so excited to read it. I'll probably push it to the top of the stack. Enjoy your week!

Nise' 3/14/17, 8:58 PM  

Hope the coming storm is not vicious! I walked by I Love My Life today at the library. Shoot, as it sounds really good.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 3/15/17, 7:22 AM  

I love the idea of The Little Fun Book Club! I am going to find out more about it. Thank you, and stay warm!

Daryl 3/15/17, 9:10 AM  

just finished listening to Jane Steele, loved it ... now i am simultaneously reading Comet Seekers (meh .. but there's something stopping me from quitting it) and A Darker Shade of Magic (wishing i'd gone for the audio on this) ..

Sue Jackson 3/15/17, 7:30 PM  

I've been hearing great things about American Dream! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

We saw Before I Fall last week in the theater - very good! But I didn;t know they'd made The Sense of an Ending into a movie - I read that twice & really liked it - thanks for the heads up!


(Diane) bookchickdi 3/18/17, 8:11 AM  

I am one of those readers who rarely gives up on a book, but I did it this week with a book that I was nearly two-thirds of the way through. It was a memoir and I just couldn't justify putting any more time in when I had so many more interesting books waiting.

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