Monday, April 13, 2020
Forgive the long silence, folks. I can't explain it. Although the last few weeks have been exceptional, I don't think that's really why I haven't posted. I think I'm feeling blog burnout and review fatigue. But I have read some wonderful books this month that I wanted to share.
But first, a few words about what life looks like these days. Wisconsin is under a "safer at home" order (basically, shelter in place), and my household is taking it seriously. We leave the house once every two weeks to stock up on groceries for us and for our son's family, but otherwise, we don't leave the house. We're both blessed with jobs that we can do from home, and not a day goes by we don't thank God for that. But frankly, other than working from home and not eating out at all, our lives haven't changed much. We never go too far from home and we are careful budgeters of our time. And to tell the truth, we're not very social people; we're happiest at home, together. So while the whole world is going crazy over the woes of social distancing, I'm having a wonderful Introvert's Holiday. Not only do I not want to go out, I'm not allowed to. It's wonderful. Anyone else out there who feels the same?
My main issue with all the closures has been the lack of audiobooks. I stopped by the public library on March 17 to pick up my audio holds, as I had a hunch they'd be closing indefinitely (they announced the decision after they'd closed, presumably to limit contact), so I stocked up. Or at least I thought I did. I finished my last audiobook on April 1. I have not been able to get Overdrive to work, and their website is sort of useless for troubleshooting, and Audible isn't a feasible option for someone who listens to as many audiobooks each month as I do, so I resorted to buying audiobooks on CD (my preferred method of listening) from Amazon. I figured we're saving a lot of money these days, why not stroke the economy a bit with an online purchase. What can I say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
So, just like the last couple of months, I'll write full reviews for my favorite books read this month and shorter reviews for the others.
I was a little surprised, and dare I say, disappointed, in the latest (fifth) installment in the Kopp Sisters series. In Kopp Sisters on the March, Constance, Norma, and Fleurette, are off to a National Service School, a military-style training school for women in the days leading up World War I. The school was meant to train young women for nursing, seamstress work, typing, and other female-oriented tasks associated with war. My disappointment with the book lies in the fact that the Kopp sisters were secondary to a new character, Beulah Binford, a young woman (based on the real Beulah Binford) trying to work her way out of a disgraced life. I could have done with less Beulah and more Constance. Still, I enjoyed the book, and I look forward to the sixth book, coming out this fall. My rating: 4 stars.
I love books about food and I love books about the United States, and The United Tastes of America combines the two beautifully. This is a children's cookbook that gives relevant food facts for each of the 50 states and U.S. territories plus one representative recipe and a full-page photo of the finished dish. The recipes were not terribly simple--no easier than what I might make for supper (no peanut butter smeared on celery in this book), and there were a number of things that I would like to try. Nothing was terribly weird nor absurdly easy, and turning the page to discover which recipe was chosen for each state was fun. It was often something unexpected. I learned a lot with this one, and I enjoyed every page. This was one of the best children's books I've read this year. My rating: 4 stars.
Monday, February 10, 2020
Let's try something a little different. I'm over a month behind in my reviewing, and in order to catch up, I'm going to post full reviews for the books I can't stop thinking about, and teeny-tiny reviews for the rest.
January sort of took a bite out of me. I wasn't feeling well for much of it, and my reading was still suffering from malaise. I hope things pick up soon. I don't like feeling like I don't know what to read.
Last month I finished 12 books, seven of them on audio. There were a few stellar books, and a lot of very average fare. I think this will improve, though, as I allow myself to chip away at that wonderous TBR I built over the first part of the winter.
My favorite books of January