The Monday Check-In ~ 7/10/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Well, the kiddo is off to camp for almost three weeks. Dropping him at the bus for camp has become a yearly ritual… and now I get to look forward to some grown-up vacation time too.

Meanwhile, my big adventure this past weekend was putting together some new shelves — because there’s no such thing as too many bookshelves, am I right? I bought a pair of spine tower shelves for my book nook, and I think they’re adorable.

And now I get to fill them up!

What did I read last week?

It’s been a SLOW reading week. Work, family, and TV conspired to take up all of my time!

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby: DNFd at 15%. The premise sounded cute, but the story felt like it was going nowhere and the main character had no substance. And not that this should matter, but the ARC formatting was bad enough that it made me not want to put anymore effort into what was feeling like a mediocre read. So I moved on.

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw: An entertaining, quick-moving story of a doctor who specializes in treating the supernatural set of contemporary London, healing vampires, mummies, ghouls, and more. A few pacing problems and lack of character development get in the way of what should have been a much more enjoyable read. If I have time, I’ll write up a proper review in the next few days.

I also kept on my with latest obsession:

Pop culture goodness:

I FINISHED WATCHING THE WALKING DEAD! I’ve now watched all seven seasons… which means I now have to sit around and wait for season 8 (coming in October), just like everyone else. Binges are fun, but it kind of sucks when you’re done!

I suppose I can start Fear the Walking Dead while I’m waiting, but it just won’t be the same without my favorite characters.

Fresh Catch:

I went to a book event for Al Franken, and he was awesome! The event ticket price included the book, so now I have a shiny new hardcover to put on my pretty shelves.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Finders Keepers by Stephen King: The 2nd book in the Bill Hodges trilogy. Loving it so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris: I’m still really enjoying this one. Perfect for word geeks everywhere!

Ongoing reads:

My book group’s next classic read, Ivanhoe, starts in August. Meanwhile, I have no long-term reading commitments at the moment, and it’s kind of nice.

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/3/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Happy (almost) 4th of July! It’s time to break out the 1776 DVD, blast the Hamilton soundtrack, and revel in some fireworks!

 

What did I read last week?

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally: I always love this author’s books about strong, down-to-earth, athletic young women and their choices and challenges. This one is another winner. My review is here.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Sweet, funny, light, and fluffy. A totally enjoyable summer read for fans of YA — kind of predictable, but with cute, well-intentioned characters you can’t help rooting for.

In audiobooks, I finished the delightful Arabella by Georgette Heyer. My review is here.

Also…

I read the new Diana Gabaldon stories, and wrote abut them here.

And continued the graphic novel binge that matches my TV obsession:

See below. Obsessed…

Elsewhere on the blog:

I’m easing off my my normal blogging schedule for the time being. See my post about summertime slacking.

Pop culture goodness:

After contemplating walking away after an unusually upbeat moment and simply pretending that they all lived happily ever after (see my thoughts about this here), I finished season 6 of The Walking Dead — where I meant to stop for the time being until season 7 became available on Netflix.

HOWEVER…

The season 6 finale cliffhanger was too much for me to bear, so I ended up watching the first episode of season 7 on cable last night close to midnight. What a mistake! I spent the entire episode peeking out from between my fingers and ended up a teary, sobbing mess. Which is crazy, considering that spoilers for this episode in particular were unavoidable and I knew before I even started my binge what was going to happen. Still, this episode destroyed me and ruined any chance of a good night’s sleep… and needless to say, I must see what comes next, so my binge continues for another week.

PS – That’s the season 6 promotional photo above. I couldn’t bring myself to use a season 7 image. Oh my god, I’m such a baby.

Fresh Catch:

A NEW DIANA GABALDON BOOK!

I read the new stories in this collection the day it arrived — see above for the link to my post of initial thoughts.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby: I’m just starting, and it seems like it could be a charming story, but I may end up abandoning it if the ARC formatting doesn’t improve.

Now playing via audiobook:

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris: Read by the author, this audiobook is a word-geek treat — a guide to grammar, spelling, word usage and more by a life-long editor at the New Yorker, and it’s just so much fun.

Ongoing reads:

My book group’s next classic read, Ivanhoe, starts in August. Meanwhile, I have no long-term reading commitments at the moment, and it’s kind of nice.

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Audiobook Review: Arabella by Georgette Heyer


To Arabella Tallant, the eldest daughter of a penniless country clergyman, the invitation to stay with her London godmother was like the key to heaven, for in addition to living in the glamorous city, Arabella might even find a suitable husband there. Armed with beauty, virtue and a benevolent godmother, the impetuous but impoverished Arabella embarked on her first London season with her mother’s wish in mind: snare a rich husband.

Impetuosity is Arabella’s only fault. When fate cast her in the path of arrogant, socially prominent Robert Beaumaris, who accused her of being another petty female after his wealth, the proud, headstrong ingenue made a most startling claim — she was an heiress! Suddenly Arabella found herself the talk of the town and pursued by every amorous fortune hunter in London and some of the most eligible young men of the day.

But only one caught Arabella’s fancy: Mr Beaumaris, the handsome and dedicated bachelor. She should know better than to allow herself to be provoked by nonpareil Beau. That gentleman, however, although a most artful matrimonial dodger, badly underestimated his seemingly naive adversary… But would her deceitful charade destroy her one chance for true love…?

I think Georgette Heyer will now be my go-to author for when I need something to lighten the mood. Because Arabella is absolutely delightful, and listening to the audiobook was the perfect antidote for a major, crabby funk.

Arabella has a wonderfully rom-com feel to it. Arabella overhears Mr. Beaumaris making a snide remark about girls looking for money coming up with excuses to cross paths with him, and she is so offended that she’s being lumped in with fortune-hunters (when it was really a carriage mishap that brought her to his doorstep) that she impetuously declares herself to be “the” Miss Tallant — you know, the fabulously rich Miss Tallant. Oh my.

Before she knows it, Arabella is the center of the London season, as every son of distinguished but cash-poor family seems to suddenly be in love with the dear girl. She’s turning down marriage proposals left and right, and meanwhile feels increasingly guilty that her spur-of-the-moment lie has become the accepted truth. So how can she ever say yes to a proposal knowing she does so under false pretenses? And given the butterflies she’s feeling over Mr. Beaumaris, how can she force herself to confess the truth to him and lose his respect and affection?

What a tangled web we weave…

The story may be a trifle predictable — yes, we all know where this love story will end up — but it’s such fun to see how we get there. Mr. Beaumaris is the epitome of fashionable society. All the young men hoping for society standing copy his style, his manners, even his sardonic little tweaks to propriety (for example, after he wears a dandelion in his buttonhole, suddenly all the young men flood London florists with demands for dandelions). He’s known in town as “the nonpareil”, and his presence at any gathering automatically lends it cachet. It’s entertaining to watch people fall all over themselves to interact with Mr. Beaumaris, and the reader (listener) catches on long before Arabella does that he’s both fond of her and is onto her little secret.

There’s a dark cloud in Arabella, as Arabella’s younger brother comes to London as well and tries to live the high life. As he indulges in high fashion, parties, gambling, and gaming houses, he falls into such extreme debt that he sees either death or enlistment as his only options. This is a light-hearted novel, so obviously things work out (I won’t say how), but it’s touch and go for a while there, and I honestly worried about him.

I occasionally had a little twinge of discomfort about Arabella’s relationship with Mr. Beaumaris. She’s seventeen, and he’s a very sophisticated and polished thirty. Not an unimaginable age difference, but there are times where it seems that what he loves about her most is her innocent youth and naivete, and there were a few times where it teetered on the edge of creeper-ness for me.

Now I’m making it sound weird, and it’s really not. Overall, I found Arabella utterly charming, and loved the main character as well as the depictions of all the silly upper class foolery that makes up high society and the London season.

As for the audiobook, it’s a wonderful listen. Narrator Phyllida Nash nails Arabella’s innocence and enthusiasm, as well as Mr. Beaumaris’s haughtiness and dry humor. The only two difficulties with listening to the audiobook are 1) the author uses a lot of terminology related to society matters, fashion, types of carriages, and so on, many of which I wasn’t familiar with — but it’s hard to stop to figure out while listening to an audiobook (especially when said listening is happening while driving a car), and 2) at some point the pace got frustrating for me. Arabella isn’t exactly a suspense novel, but as Arabella gets more and more snared by her made-up story and torn between her feelings for Mr. Beaumaris, her urgent need to help her brother, and her wish for honesty, I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened next — but I had to, since my listening time was parceled out between my drives to and from work.

Arabella would be a great point of entry for anyone considering giving Georgette Heyer a try for the first time, and it’s certain to please anyone who’s already enjoyed some of her books. As for me, I will definitely seek out more Georgette Heyer novels, especially when I find myself in need of a bit of cheering up.

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Arabella
Author: Georgette Heyer
Narrator: Phyllida Nash
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: Originally published 1949
Length (print): 312 pages
Length (audiobook): 10 hours, 43 minutes
Genre: Regency romance
Source: Purchased

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/26/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Between marathon TV binges and a crazy week at work, I just haven’t had the focus to sit down and write reviews. I’ve barely been reading!

What did I read last week?

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: Absolutely loved it. Such beautiful writing. I may still get my act together enough to write a mini-review, but meanwhile, do yourself a favor and read this book (and Every Heart a Doorway) ASAP.

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion: One of those books that leaves me saying “it was fine”, with nothing much else to add. It was an okay read about marriage, relationships, and regrets, but left pretty much zero impression on me.

And oh yeah, I read a few graphic novels:

See below. Obsessed…

Pop culture goodness:

My Walking Dead binge continues — I just finished season 5. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Fresh Catch:

I was so excited to receive an ARC in the mail:

It looks like a great read!

No other new books… unless you count library books, in which case I went a teensy bit overboard, coming home with about 10 books from my hold list. Needless to say, I suspect at least a few will go back unread.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Trying to get a jump on some upcoming July releases, starting with these two ARCs:

  • Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally: I haven’t been reading as much YA lately, but I do always love this author’s books.
  • South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby: I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now. I hope it lives up to my expectations!
Now playing via audiobook:

Arabella by Georgette Heyer: Light-hearted, silly fun — so enjoyable.

Ongoing reads:

None at the moments. It’s so nice to be able to read commitment-free.

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/19/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I’ve been away, and now I’m back! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks — but on the plus side, I did do a lot of reading.

What did I read last week?

Spaceman by Mike Massimino: I loved this audiobook. My review is here.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King: It seems like I always need to read some King while I travel. I FINALLY gave Mr. Mercedes a try, and couldn’t put it down. My review is here — bring on Finders Keepers!

What else did I read while I was away? Check out my mini-reviews for all of the books below in my wrap-up post, here.

Pop culture goodness:

I saw a few movies while I was away, one in an amazingly comfortable theater with reclining seats and two at home on my sister’s equally comfy couch:

And in other pop culture indulgences… my son and I are totally obsessed with The Walking Dead. Our binge continues — we’re now about midway through season 4.

Fresh Catch:

I bought myself a present!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: SO excited to be reading the follow-up to Every Heart A Doorway, one of my faves.

After that, it’s time for a book group book: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Now playing via audiobook:

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann: This should be fascinating, but I’ve listened to about 30% so far, and the audiobook just isn’t holding my attention. I may need to switch to print and find something else to listen to. I’m taking a little break for a few days to listen to…

Arabella by Georgette Heyer, which is a total delight so far. So, yay me for making the switch from an audiobook that wasn’t working to one that’s just so much fun!

Ongoing reads:

MOBY

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon: DONE!!! After 145 chapters and 18 months of group reads and discussions, Outlander Book Club has finished this massive book. Next up will be a group read of Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John books and stories, starting in the fall. (Ask me if you want more info.)

Meanwhile, I have actually ZERO ongoing reads happening at the moment, and it’s pretty nice to be completely free from a reading schedule.

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Audiobook Review: Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on the earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance to unlock the universe’s secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity.

Massimino’s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, but his journey to realizing those dreams was as unlikely as it is captivating. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, Massimino catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his qualifying exams and be rejected twice by NASA before making it to the final round of astronaut selection—where he was told his poor eyesight meant he’d never make the cut. But even that couldn’t stop him from finally earning his wings, making the jump to training in T-38 Air Force jets and preparing his body—and soul—for the journey to the cosmos.

Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble telescope—which he’d be tasked with saving on his final mission— Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where the nerdiest science meets the most thrilling adventure, and pulls back a curtain on just what having “the right stuff” really means.

I’ve always had a fascination with the space program, and I’ve loved both fiction and non-fiction books about the early days of NASA and the astronaut program, as well as more humorous (but still informative) works like Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars. I came across Spaceman purely by chance, and my first thought was, “Hey! It’s that guy who played an astronaut on The Big Bang Theory!”

Well, that’s true, but Mike Massimino is much more than some dude who had a cameo on a sit-com. Massimino embodies the “right stuff”, the true core of what makes an astronaut special. And I’m delighted that I took the time to listen to his audiobook and experience his story.

In Spaceman, Massimino takes us through his New York childhood, his education, his repeated attempts to overcome hideously difficult challenges — oh, for example, fixing his eyesight in order to meet NASA standards — and his determination to one day be a real astronaut.

Through it all, we get an intimate view of the US space program and its triumphs and tragedies, as well as one man’s dedication to achieving his life’s goals.

Massimino presents it all with humility and with humor. For a man who is startlingly intelligent and talented, he’s incredibly self-deprecating throughout the book, and does not shy away from discussing his shortcomings. His repeated message is about sticking with things, even when they seem impossible or out of reach.

Massimino himself narrates the audiobook, which is a wonderful thing. He’s got a gruff, deep voice, and it’s perfect for conveying his own story. Listening to him narrate his first space flight or his father’s illness or his sorrow over lost colleagues, you get the sense that his feelings are real and true, and there’s a sense of immediacy and intimacy in hearing him speak his own words.

There are a few truly beautiful things about Spaceman. One is the portrayal of friendship and goodness that Massimino presents as he speaks about his colleagues in the space program. He describes the dedication, the support, and the sacrifice that they all bring. Through his narrative, the picture emerges of people dedicating their lives to a higher cause, who genuinely believe in what they’re doing and that they’re making a difference in the lives of humankind.

Second is the devotion to one another among the people involved in NASA. When personal needs or crises emerge, the team is there for the individuals and their families, and it’s real. It goes way beyond sending flowers to a bereaved coworker — these people really care and give of themselves in thousands of ways.

Third, Massimino’s descriptions of what it feels like to fly, to spacewalk, and to see the Earth from a distance of 350 miles — just gorgeous. For a scientist, he’s practically a poet.

Finally, I couldn’t help thinking that Massimino himself is just a really nice guy. He says good things about EVERYONE. There’s not a single person he mentions in this book that he doesn’t praise or offer gratitude toward, and he’s quick to point out the talents of just about everyone he’s worked with. Some memoirs focus on the guilty secrets; in Spaceman, we only see the good. Quite impressive.

Sections of Spaceman are particularly moving, but none more so than when Massimino tells of the Columbia shuttle tragedy. He knew all of the lost crewmembers personally, and makes the disaster feel all the more tangible through the descriptions of the terrible events and human loss.

I highly recommend Spaceman — definitely for those who enjoy reading about space exploration, but also for anyone who appreciates a straightforward tale of one person’s journey toward his goals, told by someone who appreciates every opportunity he’s had to pursue and live his dreams.

A reading note: While I loved listening to the audiobook and hearing Massimino narrate his own story, I found it helpful to have a print copy (thank you, public library) on hand as well, both for going back and checking earlier chapters, and in order to be able to view the photos that go along with the story.

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Mike Massimino
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Publication date: October 4, 2016
Length (print): 320 pages
Length (audiobook): 10 hours, 57 minutes
Genre: Non-fiction/memoir
Source: Purchased

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/29/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: I did it! I finally finished this huge book! Fascinating read. My reaction post is here.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North: A great premise with a disappointing execution. My review is here.

Pop culture goodness:

HAMILTON!

I saw Hamilton with my 14-year-old son on Sunday, and it was just as amazing as everyone says it is! I lucked into sitting in the 3rd row — incredible.

Fresh Catch:

My preordered Kindle edition of River of Teeth arrived! It’ll be my very next read.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett: I’m reading this at the recommendation of my daughter, and really enjoying it so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Lady Copy Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart: So close to the end! I have about 30 minutes left on the audiobook, and can’t wait to hear how it ends. Not quite sure what to listen to next…

Ongoing reads:

MOBY

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon: My book club started a group read of this book back in January 2016 — and we now have just 2 1/2 weeks before the end! What an amazing journey it’s been.

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/22/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

Read and reviewed:

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein: Definitely worth a read, especially for fans of Code Name Verity. My review is here.

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar: Awesome, un-put-down-able novella. A must-read for King fans. My review is here. (And if you’re wondering about why and how Stephen King wrote this novella with a co-author, check out this article from Entertainment Weekly.)

Read but not reviewed:

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: This collection of myths is fun to read, but didn’t strike me as anything all that special. I suppose it would be good for people who’ve perhaps never read Norse mythology before, but for anyone with previous familiarity, it doesn’t exactly tread new ground.

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison: A quick read, this novel looks back on the life of a 78-year-old widow as she embarks on an Alaska cruise, putting together the pieces of her life’s secrets and her troubled relationships with her husband, best friend, and children. I’d describe this one as a solid 3-star read — enjoyable in the moment, but not particularly memorable.

In audiobooks:

I finished my revisit to the world of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. The audiobook is excellent! I’m glad I took the time for this one, and can’t wait for the sequel in June.

Pop culture goodness:

I took myself to see Everything, Everything — and it was really good! I thought the movie lived up to the book, and the casting was terrific. Of course, I disliked the ending of the book, and that doesn’t change in the movie, but at least I knew it was coming this time.

And talk about late to the party — I just started watching season 1 of The Walking Dead! Only a few years behind…

Fresh Catch:

No new physical books this week, although I did take advantage of A LOT of Kindle price drops to add bunches more books to my collection.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North: Just getting started. I seem to keep stumbling across recommendations for this author, and thought it was about time to give her books a try. At 25% at the moment — the book is odd, but I like it.

Now playing via audiobook:

Lady Copy Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart: I loved Girl Waits With Gun (review) when I listened to it last year. The story itself and the narrator make these books such fun to experience via audio.

Ongoing reads:

MOBY

The end (of the book) is nigh! After over a year of reading and discussing Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon — 2 chapters per week — we’re within sight of the final chapters.

I’m slowly working my way through Ron Chernow’s massive biography of Alexander Hamilton — mainly trying to read 15 – 30 minutes a day, although I did sit with it for a few hours over the weekend. I’m currently at 66%. Maybe I’ll actually finish this week!

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/15/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

Less Than a Treason by Dana Stabenow: Book #21 in the amazing Kate Shugak series absolutely lives up to expectations! My review is here.

Two books finished via Serial Reader:

  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells: Given how many time travel books I’ve read, I figured it was about time (ha, sorry) to check out this classic.
  • My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse: Oh my gods, this is adorable! I was in a bit of a funk (and a reading rut) this past week thanks to all sorts of non-reading-related stress, but these tales of Bertie and Jeeves lifted my spirits in all the right ways.

In graphic novels:

I finished the March trilogy by John Lewis. These powerful books about Congressman Lewis’s formative years in the civil rights movement should be required reading, period.

And in audiobooks:

Loved, loved, loved Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel! What a terrific listening treat. Check out my audiobook review, here.

Pop culture goodness:

I saw the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie this week! And just like everyone else, I’m madly in love with this little guy:

Fresh Catch:

Awwww… my adorable daughter sent me two geeky treats for Mothers Day!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein: A prequel of sorts to Code Name Verity — this is a story about Julie as a free-spirited teen spending the summer at her grandparents’ estate in Scotland and the unexpected adventure she finds there. I have about a third to go, and can’t wait to see how it wraps up.

Now playing via audiobook:

I loved Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire so, so much when I first read it! (Check out my review, here.) And now that we’re a month away from the release of the follow-up book, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, it seems like a perfect time to revisit this world by listening to the audiobook. It’s great so far.

Ongoing reads:

MOBY

The end (of the book) is nigh! After over a year of reading and discussing Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon — 2 chapters per week — we’re within sight of the final chapters.

In other ongoing reading… rather than pick a new book via the Serial Reader app, I thought I’d take a serial approach to the massive tome that is Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. I listened to about 25% of the audiobook, then took a break for a bit. My new approach will be to read 10 – 15 minutes a day of the e-book. I’m really determined to read the entire thing, but I’ve had a hard time sticking with it when there’s so much else that I want to be reading!

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/8/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey: Done! My review is here.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvian Neuvel: A re-read via audiobook — and man, is the audio version fun! Check out my original review of this book, here.

Pop culture goodness:

I finally watched season 3 of AMC’s Turn, and posted a few thoughts here.

Fresh Catch:

Two new books this week:

I’m so excited for both of these!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

First and foremost, I can’t rest until I finish the new Kate Shugak book — #21 in the series! It just arrived on Saturday, and as of mid-afternoon Sunday, I’m at 65%. I’m sooooo happy to be back in Kate’s world!

Up next will be Brimstone by Cherie Priest, which I need to read before the library due date… and which sounds so good to me.

Now playing via audiobook:

I’m listening to Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel, the sequel to Sleeping Giants. And so far, it’s just as much fun as the first!

Ongoing reads:

MOBY

The end (of the book) is nigh! After over a year of reading and discussing Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon — 2 chapters per week — we’re within sight of the final chapters.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells: I’m reading The Time Machine using the Serial Reader app, and having about 40% left to go. I’ll wrap it up this week!

So many books, so little time…

boy1Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save