I'm starting a newsletter connected to this bookish nook and wanted to make sure you knew about it!
I've named it Footnotes, and it'll be similar in theme to the content here, will show up twice a month, and will include:
Here's the link to the tinyletter to sing up. Or you can enter your email below to subscribe (just click under the "enter your email address" and the text box will appear).
The first Footnote goes out on Friday. Thanks for being here!
My reading pace has slowed lately with my grad school semester getting underway and life progressing as it does. However, I have managed to read a couple of interesting things worth sharing briefly.
Foe, by Ian Reid, was a chilling and surprisingly literary thriller. Read it if you're at all interested in the type of thriller where things are slightly askew but you're not quite sure why, but don't look up the synopsis. It's better that way. I think I knew a little too much about it going in but I still really liked it.
Currently I'm reading As Long As We Both Shall Live, by JoAnn Chaney. This book has been hyped for a while on some websites and podcasts that I enjoy so I was thrilled to get it from the library and dive in. The writing is witty and quick and it's a return to the tightly wound domestic suspense that I love reading that truly feels original and clever when it's still just a story of a murder. Sometimes a good mystery is just what I want to escape into. Interestingly, there's another book out this year that has a similar title and a near exact cover, like it's so similar it seems like an oversight to me. A book I read last year had it's title changed because it was too similar to another popular book published, even though they were visually very different and their plots were also unique. I haven't read that yet (not sure if it's out yet) but it'd be interesting to compare the two since I'm positive they'll be mixed up for each other all summer at least.
I've recently updated some of the features here on the website and wanted to tell you about them.
In the RESOURCES section (linked here and above in the menu), I've updated the links, added a few more fun podcasts, and restructured the order of the lists to make things more findable. There's a section for newsletters I enjoy, websites I look to for good book deals and to discover new books, poetry resources, and other
In the BOOK CLUB DATABASE section (linked here and above in the menu), all the celebrity book club current book selections have been updated and every book mentioned is linked as well.
Have a look around and send me your feedback! What else would make this space more useful to you? More interesting? What do you like seeing here? Thanks so much, and happy reading friends.
*Note: All links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something from my link you're doing the good work of helping fuel my literary addiction.
This month's book club task (that we'll talk about in March) is to read a classic you haven't gotten to yet. I have to admit I have actually enjoyed many of the classics I've read in the past. That might be the glow of memory speaking since it's been a while since I dived into reading anything written before 1970. I will readily admit to getting easily caught up in the hype of new books, because they're NEW and EXCITING and so the classics tend to stay unread.
However, I remember vividly reading Anna Karenina and being floored by the prose. I remember reading Don Quixote and absolutely delighted to see the type of quirky weirdness in such an old book that I felt in myself and thought was "not ok". I remember reading The Picture of Dorian Grey and realizing that a classic book didn't have to equate to just British characters extrapolating about people's gestures and party manners years and years and years ago (wink).
Another tip I have that can help classics be more meaningful is to find a good narrator, perhaps an actor, who has worked on the audiobook version and listen to it! Sometimes all you need is those tiny lines of text read aloud for it to make any sense :) check out Audible and your library's digital lending app.
Previous classics I've enjoyed that I would also heartily recommend:
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Any Jane Austen
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (fun fact: I wrote my senior paper/thesis in college on this book - might be interesting to re-read it and I think it's far enough in the rearview mirror I could open the book without getting stressed out)
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (the best adventure story!)
Bartleby the Scrivener (short, and in my opinion, utterly hilarious) by Herman Melville
Dracula (I like to listen to this every October) by Bram Stoker
The Hound of the Baskervilles (or other Sherlock Holmes stories) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
What I might read:
Maybe I'll finally finish Moby-Dick (don't tell my college english professor!) by Herman Melville
Maybe I'll work on revisiting something from my high school reading list (as outlines in this post)
1984 by George Orwell
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (I started this years ago for school but never finished it and am curious about the history surrounding it)
Do you have a favorite classic book or any that you've been meaning to get to?
I managed to read 15 books this month. I had lots of time to read since my kids were on winter break until January 9th, and I didn't start my semester of grad school until a couple of days ago. Even so, that's a lot for one month for me! Here are the ones I really enjoyed.
* Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - this was our nightly read aloud book for the past couple months. It's over 500 pages but it's a very compelling story about a man who can read things into reality if he reads out loud. Chaos ensues, obviously, and we're enjoying the second of this series right now.
* As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce #7), and Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce #8) - Flavia is such a fun character to follow. I enjoyed #8 more than #7, but these are cozy-ish mysteries so they don't have much gore or actual terror/grossness/grit in them. It's a great series.
* Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris - David Sedaris is a wonderful writer. This is a collection of holiday stories that had me laughing to myself each time I opened it up. He's irreverent and clever, which meant some of the stories were quite biting and may have been edited differently had they been published today. Having read his most recent collection last year (Calypso) it's fun to see how Sedaris has evolved and grown as a writer. I love his style nonetheless and am enjoying working my way through his backlist while waiting for the new stuff.
* We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (Audiobook) - I was quite impressed with the honesty of this memoir. Union presents her life without apology and I was fascinated by how she was able to recognize her own growth, her mistakes, and by how decidedly herself she lives her life. There are many times that this audiobook was difficult to listen to, but as a white woman, those are things I need to examine and hear and look at.
* My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren - I'm going to write a post about how the romance genre gets undeserved side-eye (which I used to very much dish out), but let me just say this book was fun. It's like a rom-com and was the perfect easy read I needed. There are some pretty steamy parts, so if that's something you like to know ahead of time, now you know (though honestly, I've never blushed more than when I listened to Outlander and this is nowhere close to that - and it's all consensual so that's a plus). The characters in Christina Lauren's books continue to be some of my favorites. They are compelling and fully written and the banter is top-notch. What could be better? Did you know Christina Lauren is actually two people? It's a fact.
* The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory - Another romance you may have heard about, as Reese Witherspoon just picked this for her Hello Sunshine book club February read. This is a fun story of a woman who's boyfriend proposes marriage on a jumbo-tron at a baseball game, after only 5 months of casual dating, and spells her name wrong. Two people sitting nearby (Carlos and his sister Angela) end up helping the main character, Nik, out of the awkwardness that ensues and she becomes involved with Carlos. I also enjoyed this novel, which has plenty of steamy scenes as well, but another wonderful cast of characters with compelling lives and motives. I haven't read The Wedding Date (also by Guillory) yet, but will be picking it up to read next when I need something light and rom-com-esque!
* The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell (Audiobook) - Narrated by David Tennant (need I say more?!) this is a phenomenal audiobook of middlegrade fiction by the author of the How to Train your Dragon series. Everyone in my family loved listening to this during two weekends full of driving this month and we're excited to get the next one in the series. The story follows two young members of opposing groups. Those with magic (the wizards) and those without (the warriors). Involves prophecies, giants, a delightful enchanted spoon, and witches of the most terrible iteration I've ever read. I'm consistently impressed with what Cowell is able to create, and the narration of Tennant is incredible!
* Messenger of Truth by Jaqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs #4) - I enjoyed this installment of the Maisie Dobbs series much more than some of the others. It dealt with the death of a young artist and was more compelling to me than the more WWI centered books that came before this. Don't get me wrong though, it's still very much in the history and time where WWI is unavoidably present, but I think I enjoyed it more now that Maisie's backstory is more in the back and something the reader already understands by this point in the series. I enjoy the narrator's soothing voice and accent very much, and will continue with the series.
Ayiti by Roxanne Gay (Audiobook)
Atomic Marriage by Curtis Sittenfeld (audible original - like a short story almost)
I also reviewed these four books that I read this month in this post.
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams
Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pierce
Did you read anything great last month?
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