Monday, May 16, 2016

What I'm reading this week (5/16/16)

Got a lot of yard work done this weekend, cleaning out the lily and iris beds, but it's still to early to put my garden in. Or, depending on how you define garden, it's growing grass as well as any spot in the yard! I wish I would have had more time to read this weekend, but it feels pretty good to have accomplished so much outside in spite of the chilly temperatures.

As for books...

Last week I finished:

What to say about Miller's Valley? It just shows how each book I read is so different, and each author's style is so unique. It was the writing, more than the plot or characters, that I enjoyed most about this book. Anna Quindlen is a phenomenon. She writes in short, declarative sentences, and never has her style lent itself to a character better than to the characters in Miller's Valley. It's a rather depressing book, there's an overall cloud of depressed hopes and attitudes over everything. Things happen, people deal. The end. Miller's Valley and its people reminded me a lot of where I grew up: rural small towns, busybodies, the bright kids trying to get out. I borrowed the book from the library to read it, and afterwards I debated about buying a copy. I wasn't sure I'd want to re-read it, but something about it (besides the beautiful cover) made me want to keep it. I finally did buy a copy (it's only $14 on Amazon right now). I really recommend this book for the experience of reading it.

I also finished How to Build a Car and recommend it to anyone with kids who like to know how things work. The story portion is pretty dull, but the pictures are lovely, and the diagrams of the different car systems are very interesting and quite detailed. I plan to read others in the series.

Last week I started:

I was experiencing poetry withdrawal, so I started my poetry re-read for the month, Risking Everything. It's a good collection, leaning more toward the emotional and ethereal. I don't love it as much as the first time I read it (probably 10 years ago), but mostly because I've encountered most of the poems elsewhere since.

Finally started Killing Lincoln, and it's fascinating, as all the Killing books are. It necessarily talks about the Civil War, of which I remember nothing from high school, so the refresher is fun. These books are fast-paced and informative, and I've loved them all.

This week I'm continuing with:

I don't love Harry Potter, but the writing is pulling me through. I do want to see what happens next, but I have to force myself to pick up the book most of the time.

Still loving In a Sunburned Country. One of my very favorite Brysons. It's Bryson at his best.

Next up:

Since I've already bought four subsequent books in the Mary Russell series, I sure hope I enjoy this book (the first in the series)!

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