Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday: Keeping Up the Pace

I'm joining Kat and the Unravelers today to catch you up on what I've been reading lately. Even though Book Bingo has been over for several weeks, I haven't slowed my pace, and if I keep it up, I might just hit 100 books read this year (I'm already at 74)!

I've finished three books since this time last week, all good reads:

recommended Zadie Smith's recent collection of essays reflecting on the current state of affairs in one of our recent Zoom calls, and when I found I had some Amazon credits to cover the cost of the Kindle book, I snapped it up. It's a very quick read (maybe an hour), but an enjoyable one. Though Zadie Smith had been on my radar for a while, this was the first of her works that I've actually read. I enjoyed her writing so much that I borrowed another of her books from the library (see current reads below). This small volume isn't anything earth-shattering, but it's always a joy for me to read anything by a writer who has such a commanding control of language. I gave it 4 stars.

While most of my book recommendations come from my blog friends, my next read came from a much closer source: Rainbow! While she isn't yet quite the reader I am, she does enjoy books a lot (we're still working on her attention span, which seems to be the main challenge in getting her to read longer books). She is particularly a fan of graphic novels, and she's read this one twice and enjoyed it so much that she insisted I read it. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy is a modern retelling of Little Women that really brings the story of the four sisters into the 21st century. Their family in this version is a blended, interracial one, and they deal with very different obstacles compared to the original March sisters. It was a fast read and a really appreciated fresh take on one of my favorites. I gave it 4 stars.

I'd been waiting on The Mothers from the library for quite a while and was a bit surprised when my hold came up sooner than expected. That I finished it in two days, even with work and all the stuff I have to do in my daily life, should tell you just how good it was. I knew very little about the plot before I put it on hold; others' recommendations were enough to convince me I needed to read it. And I was not at all disappointed. It's a really stunning look at all sorts of relationships -- familial, romantic, friend, etc. -- and it's beautifully written. I did find it to be a bit sad, overall, and there was no real satisfying resolution (at least in my opinion), but all the same it's worth a read. I gave it 4 stars, and I'm eagerly awaiting my hold on Bennett's most recent book, The Vanishing Half.

At this time last week, all my library holds looked like they were about two weeks from being ready for me, so I decided to borrow Zadie Smith's White Teeth. This was a mistake, of course, because in borrowing something else from the library rather than something I already had on my Kindle shelf, I pretty much guaranteed all my holds would come up at the same time! So right now I am reading a book that had already been available for me but that I'd delayed delivery on once, Christina Baker Kline's newest, The Exiles. I am nearly halfway through and really enjoying it. I'm also expecting my next Gamache book to be ready for me in the next couple of days, and I had to put another hold that came up on delay for the time being as well. It never rains but it pours, am I right? I suppose having too many good books to read is not something to complain about, but all the same I'd like to have more hours in the day to read them.

I hope you've been reading some great books lately, and I'm all ears if you have recommendations!


  1. Plenty of good reads here! I also enjoyed Intimations and just downloaded The Mothers last night. I think I will listen to it in earnest now after reading your review. I thought I would get a better handle on things when Overdrive introduced the delay feature, but I still manage to get all the books at once (which is far better than no books at all)!

  2. Lots of excellent books here! I'm still in a bit of a reading drag...I'm reading slowly which is least I'm reading now!

  3. Ooo! I am adding The Mothers to my list! Thank you! (and thank you for joining us today!!)

  4. The Vanishing Half is a Modern Mrs Darcy pick for November. I loved The Mothers (oh my goodness, the Greek chorus ... it was great on audio!) and have been looking forward to her next book for months. I've heard excellent things about The Exiles, too. Looking forward to your reviews! (also, I have about 80 pages left in Zadie Smith's On Beauty. I think you would love it, too)

  5. So glad Mary mentioned the audio bonus for The Mothers! Yay :) I have a hard copy of Vanishing awaiting me right now...looking forward to that. Thank you to you and Rainbow for the March sisters graphic novel! That’s perfect for Elsa, who’s been wanting to read Little Women all on her own...but that’s still a ways off. (You are on a ROLL, Sarah!)8

    1. Just a head's up that there are some more mature themes in the graphic novel (namely sexuality/sexual orientation), so you may want to read it yourself before giving it to E. I'm guessing you won't have an issue with that, but it may be something that will lead to a discussion with her, so I want to be sure you're prepared for it.

  6. Isn't that funny . . . the way all the holds all seem to come in at the same time?? (That's happened for me right now.) When it rains, it pours! XO

  7. I know with the library holds it is either feast or famine but you have lots of good reading ahead.