It seems it's becoming a new tradition for me to blog on Wednesdays now, joining up with Kat and friends, and as my reading pace is showing no signs of slowing, I am here for it! Earlier in the week I officially hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal for the year, more than four months early, so that should give you some idea of just how much reading I've been doing.
Here's what I've finished since last week:
I heard about The Things We Cannot Say from Katie, who raved about it and who, like me, is a fan of the WWII novel. I had a fairly long wait for it from the library, but given how much is available to read, I didn't get too impatient waiting for it. When I did finally get it, I ended up plowing through it in a couple of days. I had some issues with it (which I detailed in my review), but overall I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a page-turner. I really enjoyed having two connected, parallel stories to follow -- one looking back at WWII, one in present day, and I appreciated (and I hope this isn't considered a spoiler) that the stories came together in a satisfying ending. I gave it 4 stars.
I'd been meaning to read Grit for several years, in part because I've "known" Angela Duckworth for many years -- when I was in college and she was in graduate school, we took a seminar together. We weren't exactly personally acquainted, but I was impressed by her at the time, and since then I've followed her accomplishments. And though I didn't take my psychology degree any farther than my college graduation, I'm still interested in the field and wanted to learn more about her research. I listened to the audiobook of this while I was out running, expecting it to be a little dry (as many academic books are), but I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. At one point I even laughed out loud at her comments about Marty Seligman, who taught that seminar we took together. This is a book I expect I will buy a hard copy of and reread at some point -- it's great! I gave it 5 stars.
I had another long wait from the library for the ninth Inspector Gamache book, How the Light Gets In, but my goodness, it was so worth it! This was my favorite book in the series yet. Those of you who have read the books will likely understand why I felt so unsettled at the end of the previous book, and this one resolved all of those feelings and then some. I sensed a bit of a departure in this installment, in that the murder investigation seemed secondary to the plot. Instead, the main focus is on the key characters and their relationships. And I loved that, because as much as I enjoy the process of solving the mysteries in these books, what I love about them are the characters and how they related to each other. I gave this a very enthusiastic 5 stars.
I know a number of you have read Brown Girl Dreaming already, because one or more of you put it on my radar. I picked it for the "Author of Color" square on my bingo card and chose to borrow the audiobook from the library because, in my opinion, the best way to experience poetry is by hearing it read -- and as the author reads the work herself, it's even better. This is a really imaginative way of writing a memoir, if you ask me, and how Woodson structured her narrative reminded me a lot of how I think of my childhood: not as a continuous narrative but as snapshots in the form of individual memories. It was wonderful to listen to, and I have even more insight into Woodson and how she became a writer now. I gave it 4 stars.
There There was a book that was on my radar because it was much talked about, but I didn't really know much about it when I bought a hard copy earlier this year as a way to support Rainbow's school through their book fair (which likewise supported a local independent book store). The book fair happened after lockdown had started, and so book selections were put online. This was one of the adult selections. It'd been sitting on my nightstand ever since, and I picked it up last week when I realized it would be perfect for the "Told from more than two points of view" square on my bingo card. I wasn't too impressed with it at first, and it takes a while to keep all the characters straight, but it's a slow burn that's well worth sticking around for. At less than 300 pages, it's a pretty quick read, too, and it builds to an exciting finish. I gave it 4 stars.
Let's take a look at my bingo card (my second card, that is), which is getting pretty close to being covered!
I'm currently reading two books, Ordinary Grace (on the Kindle app) and Stamped from the Beginning (in hard copy). I'm already a bit more than halfway through the former and may even finish it today, but the latter is a bit of a tome and, I expect, will be the book I'm rushing to try to finish to complete my square.
I'd love to hear what you've been reading and enjoying, and if you have any suggestions for my unfilled bingo squares, I'm happy to hear them!
One final note before I sign off for the day: I wanted to mention that while I really appreciate all the comments I receive on the blog and love interacting with you, to this point I've been responding only via email to those of you whose email address I have (either because you have a Blogger account that is linked to your comment or because I've emailed with you before). I've noticed recently that a number of other bloggers have been replying to others' comments by replying in the comments, and this surprised me a bit because I've never thought to go back to posts I've commented on to see if I have a reply. What are your thoughts on this? If I can't reply to you via email, do you come back after you comment to see if I've replied to your comment (and if you do, would you prefer that I reply to you that way)? Please let me know -- I don't want anyone to feel that I'm ignoring them!