Happy Wednesday, friends! Wednesday means linking up with Kat and the Unravelers and an update on my reading.
I mentioned last week that I'd been inundated with a bunch of holds from the library. I use the Libby app, and usually when I put books on hold I try to space out when I'll get them based on the wait time estimates. Unfortunately those estimates aren't always reliable; often if a book is really popular, the library will add more copies, which moves the list faster, and even if that's not the case, the estimates are frequently longer than reality, perhaps because they're based on average reading times. Regardless, I found myself with four library books checked out at once last weekend, which is a lot more than I usually have. I've really only recently found myself able to keep track of more than one book at a time (reading a Kindle book and listening to an audiobook, for instance), and even though I'm a pretty fast reader and haven't ever had a book taken back from the library before I finished it, there's something about seeing "Due in XX days" that always makes me a little anxious. So, needless to say, I was highly motivated to get through all those books.
Since last week's update, I have finished four more books:
I am getting closer and closer to catching up with Louise's Penny's Inspector Gamache series, and I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading that moment -- dreading because it means having to wait for her to write another before I can read the next! I love these books, and I continue to be impressed by how well Penny can make each book feel fresh without feeling contrived. I think what I enjoy most about the series is the great mix of actual serious mystery and lighthearted humor. The citizens of Three Pines are such lovable characters, even if they are a bit unrealistic, and I love spending time with them. I gave this installment 4 stars.
Everyone I know who has read Hamnet has raved about it, and now that I have read it, I see why. This book is extraordinary and may very well be my favorite book this year. The writing is absolutely beautiful. I got completely lost in this book and had trouble putting it down to do things like eating and sleeping. It is so wonderfully descriptive and so exquisitely captures the love and the grief that take over the characters that it's amazing to think that it's entirely supposition on the author's part and not completely biographical. I also found it really interesting that William Shakespeare is a major character but is never actually named in the book. If you haven't read this book yet, you absolutely must! I gave it 5 very enthusiastic stars!
I borrowed the audiobook of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead after several of you recommended it, and I had high expectations because of that and because the author had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. And I kept waiting for it to get good -- but for me, it never got there. Assuming the translation is an accurate representation of the original, the writing is excellent, but I found the story to be bizarre. I gave it 3 stars as an average of 4 for the writing and 2 for the story.
I think it's well known that we were big fans of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in our house, so naturally I wanted to read Conversations with RBG. I found it to be a quick and interesting read, but in truth I don't think I got as much out of this book as I could have. The author is a lawyer by training, and I think because of that he took it for granted that most of us are not and may not understand a lot of the discussion about laws and statutes. I felt that there was a lot of legal nuance I was missing, and that took away from my enjoyment a bit. But I'm still very much in admiration of RBG and of her legal mind. I gave it 3 stars.
I am now down to just one library book, James McBride's The Good Lord Bird, and hope to finish it up in the next day or two. It looks like after that I have a bit of a pause before the next flurry of library holds comes up, so I will probably read some of the many books I've either bought or gotten for free that are in my Kindle library (or maybe even a physical book!). If you have any good recommendations, though, I'm always happy to hear them!