Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Reading Streak Continues

Good morning! For a second week in a row, I'm putting up a Wednesday post because I've been on a tear in my reading and joining Kat and the Unravelers (hmm, sounds like a band of knitters, doesn't it?).

To catch up, I finished all the books I was reading last week. If you're interested in my ratings and reviews, I'll direct you to my Goodreads account (if you're a Goodreads user, too, and we're not already friends there, feel free to add me!).

In addition to finishing those three, I've also started and completed three other books:

I'd had Between the World and Me on my want to read list for a long time, and I'd also had a long wait for it from the library. But it was worth the wait. It was a quick read, in the end, but also a somewhat difficult read. It's written as a letter from Coates to his son, trying to explain his experience as a Black man in the United States and to prepare his son for what he might expect from his life in this country. Reading this gave me a view of life that I could never experience as a white woman. There's a lot to unpack in this short book, and I have no doubt that there's a lot I missed because I didn't understand some of the cultural references, but it's a valuable read. I gave it 4 stars.

If you have Netflix, you may have heard of or seen the miniseries based on the memoir Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. After watching it, I knew I wanted to read the book. I had a bit of a wait from the library, but once I got it, I devoured it. I honestly thought that I had a good idea about what went on in some of the more observant streams of my religion, but I was shocked by how ignorant I was. (Did you know, for instance, that Hasidic Jews disagree with the existence of the state of Israel?) This memoir was often painful to read, and it really opened my eyes to the fact that every religion can have extremists. Normally I'd rather read a book before seeing its dramatization, but in this case, it worked out to do it in reverse, as the edition I read had an afterword that specifically addressed the miniseries. I gave it 5 stars.

A number of you recommended The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time for my "With an unreliable narrator" bingo square, and I'm so thankful I took that recommendation. I borrowed the audiobook from the library and listened mainly during my daily exercise sessions. It was really wonderful and entertaining. When I was studying psychology in college, I did a summer internship with an autism researcher, so I spent many months reading books and memoirs about those on the autism spectrum, so I really enjoyed reading a fictional account told from the point of view of someone on the spectrum. I found Christopher to be a totally endearing narrator. I have no idea if his account has been found to be authentic by the autism community, but it rang true for me based on what I know. I gave the book 4 stars.

I currently have two books in progress, one of which will help me get a cover-all on my first bingo card!

I number of you have raved about Save Me the Plums recently, so I was very excited to see that it was available from the library with no wait. I borrowed it on Monday and expect to finish it today, as I only have about 100 pages left. I'm really enjoying it -- though reading all the descriptions of food does make me hungry! Reichl is an excellent writer as well, so I have a feeling I'll be looking into her other memoirs after I finish this one.

I'll be completing my first bingo square with a reread of a favorite from childhood. I have a distinct memory of reading Mandy in the fourth grade, when I was Rainbow's age, and loving it. The edition I read then identified the author as Julie Edwards, and I can remember a moment of amazement when my teacher told us that that was the married name of Mary Poppins herself! I'd bought a copy of the book some time ago for Rainbow to read, though she has yet to do so, so I thought I'd read it in the meantime. Though it's a children's book and very quick to read, I've only been reading it just before bed thus far, so I'm only a little more than 100 pages in. But I should have no problem getting through it this week and then passing it off to my daughter.

Let's take a look at my bingo cards -- the second one is already filling up!

I am really so amazed by how much reading I have been getting done this summer, and I am so very, very thankful for the digital resources offered by my library. It's crazy to think that just a couple of years ago, I was somewhat resistant to reading ebooks; now, reading a physical book is rare for me, and I actually find it takes me longer to finish a physical book because I tend to read them only right before bed -- I've found that I favor ebooks because I can read while knitting or spinning, and that multitasking is so important right now!

And just so this post isn't entirely about reading, here's a little preview of something I finished yesterday:

Isn't that the sweetest little face?


  1. It feels like I've been waiting for Between the World and Me forever, but I'm glad to hear that it will be worth the wait. I also thought Christopher was an endearing narrator and provided an interesting viewpoint on the world. And I will have to look for Mandy! I didn't know Julie Andrews was an author and this sounds like the kind of gentle read I'm currently looking for.

  2. I love Ta-Nehesi Coates! His writing is so smart (or maybe he is just so smart, lol... either way - he makes me think in a very good way!)

    I love that little face... Alpaca?

  3. Your baby alpaca is adorable! Took all my booknotes right out of my head, it's so cute. My daughter read Mandy and loved it--what a great memory to see it pop up here! I'm so glad you're enjoying Plums. The end went fast for me. You really piqued my curiosity about Unorthodox, in both formats. And I'm so glad you found an unreliable narrator! That sounds funny. But a good fit! Yay.

  4. That little stuffy is adorable and he does have a very sweet face. I had never heard of Mandy so I'll keep that in mind. Children's books are fun to read now and again.

  5. awww I am SO SMITTEN with the little llama!! This is so unbelievably cute ... Did you use up all the green yarn for the body, or will you be able to make two out of one ball (or more?)

    The books sounds super interesting - I have read "The curious incident" and absolutely loved it. Maybe "Wonder" would be something for you as well?
    I haven't watched "Unorthodox" yet, but it has crossed my path a few times on Netflix already - do you think it's well understandable for someone who only knew the basic things about Judaism?

  6. So cute! I've always passed The Curious for some reason. I'll consider giving it a chance. I've got Harriet the Spy queued up for my childhood re-read. I wonder how it will be 50 years later!