09 December 2019

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: A Bookish Weekly Reset 1

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts from Beth Fish ReadsFirst off, I totally stole the idea of a "weekly reset" from some (non-book) YouTubers I follow. I love the idea and so am going to do this for the remaining Mondays in December.

What is a weekly reset? In terms of work, planning, cooking, housecleaning, and organizing, it's a day to catch up, reprioritize jobs, set your goals for the week, and so on. For my blog, it's going to be a kind of combination of Sunday Salon, Monday reviews, Mailbox Monday, Currently, and whatever else you want to throw in there.

December in my world means more socializing, getting work done before the Christmas break, taking time to shop, and focusing on family and friends. Reading doesn't disappear, but it plays second fiddle to everything else. While I'm in the holiday mood, I don't really feel like sitting down to write a thoughtful review (even one of only one paragraph) of every book I've read. My weekly reset is a chance to review, organize my upcoming reading list, and tell you what what's on my book stand.

A Book to Put on Your List

Review of Nothing More Dangerous by Allen EskensNothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens (Mulholland, Nov.) is everything I love in a coming-of-age story. Set in a small town in the Ozarks, this is the story of the summer 15-year-old (white) Boady Sanden learned just how far white men would go to maintain the status quo. This beautifully written book is told in retrospect, as Boady recalls the consequences of befriending the son of the new factory manager: not only was Thomas's family black and from the North, they were financially well off and educated. With so many points against them, trouble was sure to follow; would things have gone differently if Boady had been more aware? Other themes are local politics, the police, atoning for past sins, depression and loneliness, the joys of boyhood, and a sort of murder mystery. The unabridged audiobook (Hachette Audio; 10 hr, 27 min) was wonderfully read by Kevin Stillwell, who kept the characters straight, was sensitive to pacing, and believably conveyed the emotions of a young teen boy. This book is likely to be one of my most memorable of the year.

Books I'm Reading

  • Featuring Total Gut Blance by Ghannoum and Highfire by ColferTotal Gut Balance by Mahmoud Ghannoum (Countryman Press, Dec. 24): Not very sexy, I know, but I'm on a quest to learn more about gut health and how it affects our overall well-being, including our immune system. This book focuses on the fungi that live in our gut (our mycobiome). The author summarizes current research and provides some meal plans and recipes. My initial impression is that the information is well researched and the recipes look good.
  • Highfire by Eoin Colfer (Harper Perennial; Jan 28, 2020): I loved Colfer's Artemis Fowl books for middle grade and young teen readers and couldn't wait to read his first adult novel. This is a kind of modern-day fantasy that takes place in the Louisiana bayous. The two principal characters are Vern, the last of the dragons, who loves pop culture and vodka and hopes to spend the next millennium with minimal contact with humans, and Squib Moreau, a young teen who got caught in the middle of something big and dangerous one night after sneaking out of his bedroom window. Humor, action, and mayhem are on the horizon. The fantastic Johnny Heller is the narrator (Harper Audio; 9 hr, 19 min).
New to My House in Print
  • Books to Put on Your Reading ListThe Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry (Thomas Nelson; Oct. 8): a Christmas romance
  • NVK by Temple Drake (Other Press; Nov. 26): an urban fantasy set in modern-day Shanghai
  • Clean Getaway by Nic Stone (Random House Children; Jan. 7, 2020): Stone's first middle-grade novel
  • The Tenant by Katrine Engberg (Scout Press; Jan. 14, 2020): crime fiction / murder mystery set in Copenhagen
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampire by Grady Hendrix (Quirk; April 7, 2020): Set in Charleston in the 1990s
  • Aftershock by Adam Hamdy (Hachette; Dec. 3): A thriller set in London featuring a local DI and an FBI agent
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (St. Martins; May 26, 2020): Set just after WWII a group of people gather to preserve Austen's home and legacy
  • The Lost Diary of M by Paul Wolfe (Harper; Feb. 20, 2020): The imagined diary of a murdered ex-lover of JFK
  • No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard (Random House Children; Feb. 11, 2020): Young adult contemporary thriller involving Islamophobia and white supremacy in suburbia
  • The Keeper by Jessica Moor (Penguin; Mar. 24, 2020): Thriller set in England that explores violence against women and girls 


shelleyrae @ book'd out 12/9/19, 6:46 AM  

I grabbed The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampire and The Keeper from Netgalley

Wishing you a great reading week

Susie | Novel Visits 12/9/19, 8:36 AM  

Nothing More Dangerous sounds really good and is a book I'd not heard of. The Lost Diary of M is a 2020 book I'm really looking forward to reading. Enjoy your reset Monday!

Kathy Martin 12/9/19, 11:45 AM  

I like the reset idea. You also have a nice looking bunch of books. It looks, so far, like this will be a winter to hunker down and read. I'm eager to get out of this slump and tackle some of the 2184 books on my To Read pile. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Tina TBR Etc 12/9/19, 12:10 PM  

Related to your gut health interest... have you read I Contain Multitudes? It's about the microbes in the human body and I think it would pair well with the one you're reading :)

Vicki 12/9/19, 1:25 PM  

I see a few I'd like to read, especially the Henry book.

Tina's Blog 12/9/19, 1:25 PM  

I started the Allen Eskens book today and am loving it so far. I've heard such great things about it, and this is living up to the hype for me.

rhapsodyinbooks 12/9/19, 2:08 PM  

Highfire sounds like so much fun!

Sue Jackson 12/9/19, 5:15 PM  

I hear ya - I am so far behind on reviews! I may need to do some mini-reviews to finish up the year (or start the new year a month behind like I usually do!). I like the idea of a weekly reset. I sort of do that, starting each Monday, updating my progress, looking back at the previous week/month, and writing new goals for the week.

I did what you said and added Nothing More Dangerous to my TBR list! Hey, the Excel file was open anyway, since I was jotting down books to buy my husband and son :) Excited to see a new Allen Eskens novel, and this one sounds good.

Total Gut Balance and Highfire both sound intriguing (in entirely different ways, of course). We all LOVED the Artemis Fowle books, and Highfire sounds like it also carries his wonderful sense of humor.

Enjoy your books this week -


Book By Book

Yvonne 12/9/19, 5:22 PM  

Nice list of books! Enjoy them and have a great week!

Nise' 12/9/19, 7:06 PM  

I see quite a few that I want to add to my TBR list.

Greg 12/9/19, 7:49 PM  

I'm the same way- December just feels so busy and reading sort of has to take a back seat, there's just so much going on. And I think Nothing More Dangerous and Total Gut Balance both sound really interesting.

The Southern Book Club's Guide sounds good too.

Martha Eskuchen 12/11/19, 10:15 PM  

I think I use my Sunday Post like a reset. It sure helps me keep some priority. :-)
Your right that this is a time when having to focus on a review may be difficult.
You sure had a great haul of print books! So many to enjoy.
Happy Reading!

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