Archive | March, 2019

Leaving in a Minivan

22 Mar

We are taking a delayed spring break and of course I’m packing more books than clothes juuuust in case I get a minute to read. Here’s what I’ve finished since my last post:

Loved every story in Sabrina & Corina and love the cover the most. Each story is about Latinas in contemporary Colorado and they are all so good, I would read a novel about any one of them. 4.5 stars

My mother/daughter book club read The Heart’s Invisible Furies and of the 10, 8 loved loved it. The writing is so good, funny one moment and heartbreaking the next. It’s the story of Cyril Avery, adopted son to Charles and Maude, growing up gay in Ireland. Each chapter checks in with Cyril in 7 year increments. 4.5 stars

A Woman is No Man has been popping up all over my social media and I liked it. I thought the writing was a little…forced? simple? I’m not sure what it is but I kept noticing the way sentences were written which bothered me. But the story is good and interesting! It’s about a Palestinian woman named Isra who, in the late 1990s, weds a stranger (through an arranged marriage) who takes her to Brooklyn to live. Not speaking the language, living in the basement apartment of her in-laws small house, Irsa struggles. Chapters alternate between Irsa (1990s) and her eldest daughter Deya (2008s) where history is about to repeat itself. 3 stars

Lovely War is my other book club’s April pick and it’s a hard pass from me. Young Adult, weird mix of Greek Gods and WWII love story. I thought it was silly and hard to read, if you want a good WWII love story just pick up The Bronze Horseman instead. Similar amounts of cheesy romance but TBH is great and this one…didn’t hold my interest. 2 stars.

Hello, March!

1 Mar

Goodbye, snow-day-filled-February! Gosh this was a fast month and I definitely felt like I didn’t get a lot of reading in, but look! Six books. Three were on my TBR post from a while back, two were great, one was probably great but just not for me and the other three were fine.

Peter Heller – I sometimes jokingly refer to him as my boyfriend. He is so amazing. AND he’s coming to the Lawrence library on his book tour in early March, I’ll be there for sure. His new one, The River, was amazing. These two college friends fly into some remote (I don’t know the word) system of streams and lakes that’s totally isolated and set out on a month-long journey to paddle down it. The river is dangerous, they run in to some sketchy people, there is a forest fire on the periphery. If you like him, if you like rivers or novels that make your palms sweat and give you anxiety – this is your book. 4.5 stars!

The Night Tiger has been getting hype everywhere so as always I was a little skeptical. BUT, of course, I found myself totally swept up and really enjoying it. The premise will make you wonder if it’s for you, but I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds. Ren, a young orphan, is asked by his dying doctor boss/father figure to retrieve his amputated finger and bury it with his body. There are a lot of Malaysian myths/folklore/magic undertones but the story itself is very real. Chapters alternate between Ren and a young woman named Ji Lin who happens to have recently come into possession of the finger. Promise it’s not as weird as it sounds, 4.5 stars!

The writing in Rutting Season is so good and readable but every single story felt dark and sad and just really a downer. Good but unsettling (and not in a good way, as unsettling can sometimes be in stories). 3 stars

The other three were all good. Not great, just good. Last Romantics, the story of a now famous poet reflecting on her childhood and the family drama therein. The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, a blind old woman (the lightkeeper’s daughter) finds her father’s old journals and asks a troubled youth/girl to read them to her. Turns out (aha!) the old woman and the teen are connected. The Orphan of Salt Winds is also the story of an old woman and a troubled teenage girl with connected pasts, except this one is set on the moors/marshes and has an eerie feel to it. They were all good, solid reads. 3.5 stars for all!


As a final note – I’m a third of the way through this collection of short stories about Latinas in the Denver/Colorado area. I started it because the cover is so perfect and I have to say, I’m loving the stories. So good. It’s out April 2nd.