That's What She Read

That's What She Read

 

Subscribe

   
Current Articles

This feed's current articles are shown below. Subscribe for updates to all the content available in this feed, or click through here to see the original article.

When good series go bad
2018-11-20 06:00 UTC by Michelle

A Mortal Word

Initial Thoughts: “I love Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series, but I am not quite as in love with this fifth book in the series. I got the sense the story was rushed, with the connections among Irene and her companions forced in a way that is not normal for these stories. I still enjoyed it, but I did not tear through it as much as I thought I would or as much as I have done in the past with the other books in the series.”

Now: I remain disappointed by The Mortal Word. Compared to the first four books in the series, it is mediocre and mundane. The story feels repetitive with Irene in yet another life-or-death situation involving the Fey and Dragons and in which the fate of the Library is at stake. Irene’s antics are stale, and she is missing the charm that defined her character in the first four books. At the same time, there is a significant development in Irene and Kai’s relationship, and it gets only cursory attention. Previous books had me racing through the pages, anxious to find out what happens and unable to figure out the mystery. This time, I had to force myself to read because the action and the answer to the mystery were so apparent that it took the fun out of reading. I am hoping that The Mortal Word is the exception within the series and that the remaining three books bring back the quirkiness that caused me to fall in love with the Invisible Library series. After all, Irene is so darling, and the world of the Library is creative and enticing to any bibliophile – just not in this particular book in the series.

The post When good series go bad appeared first on That's What She Read.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 19 November 2018
2018-11-19 06:00 UTC by Michelle

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button
Hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Here is what I read the week ending 19 November 2018. To learn more about each book, click on the book cover!

It was another not-so-great reading week. I wonder if this is my new norm. If it is, I am okay with that. I have not stopped reading after all. It is time to focus on the positives.


FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:

The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction My Sister, the Serial Killer

The only thing The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction has going for it is the nostalgia factor it evokes with its setting and with the protagonist that carefully annotates all cultural references she makes in her journal. Anyone who grew up in the eighties and nineties will enjoy the clothes, the food, the attitudes towards everything. You will remember the duck and cover drills and may even think about your own fear about nuclear holocaust during the height of the Cold War. I enjoyed those parts of the story, even as it brought back some long-forgotten concerns of World War III and mutually assured destruction. That is where my enjoyment ends, however. The remainder of the story is too flippant for pleasure, mocking the movie industry and the fallout of having a movie made in your hometown. It tends to lighten the genuine threat of atomic warfare that was that era through poorly concealed jokes and way too much gallows humor. It is not even well-written enough to allow you to forgive some of its faults. I muddled through to the end because I was mildly curious to find out how it ended, and I am glad that I was able to assuage my curiosity to that end. I don’t regret reading it, but I do wish it had been better than it was.

My thoughts on My Sister, the Serial Killer are all over the place. On the one hand, I want to love it because I know it is getting a TON of press right now, popping up on best of lists already even though it was just published. On the other hand, I am not certain why it is being added to such lists. I read it. I enjoyed it. I get the satire, just as I get the enabling. I understand the idea of nature versus nurture. I don’t understand what others see in it though. It is entertaining, but it didn’t make me feel that giddiness I associate with a stellar novel. It won’t make me think beyond writing a review. As of right now, I feel it will be one of those books that I will remember reading but won’t be able to extract much more than that.


DID NOT FINISH:

Nothing


CURRENT READ:

In the Night Wood


CURRENT LISTEN:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


NEXT UP:

More witchy fantasy I think. I enjoy that genre too much and have a ton more of it to read.


So, what are you reading?

The post It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 19 November 2018 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Sunday Reflections – 18 November 2018
2018-11-18 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Let the Thanksgiving preparations begin!

I have never been this organized when it comes to any meal or entertaining venture. There is a cleaning schedule and a cooking schedule affixed to the fridge with strict timelines necessary to get everything done before our guests arrive on Thursday morning. I feel like I am on the Great British Bake-Off with my schedules. At the same time, it feels good too. It creates order among chaos and makes what can be an overwhelming meal feel almost easy. Now, check in with me Wednesday and ask me if I still feel the same way.

Connor will be coming home for a quick visit tomorrow, and I am anxious to see him. Sadly, he has to go back to Ames on Friday to play in the pep band for volleyball and then at the football game on Saturday, so it is not as long a visit as I want. It will still be wonderful to see him. We have always had a special bond, and at no time is it more apparent than when he first comes home and wants to tell me all the things. I can’t wait!

Connor is the only one of us to have the full week off this week. Holly has school through Tuesday. Jim and I cannot take off of work due to happenings at our various places of employment. It will make Thursday and Friday that much more enjoyable though because I feel like we will have earned those days off. If anything, I plan to make the most of them by not doing much of anything. (I don’t decorate for the winter holidays until December.)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, whether you work or get to stay home. If you are not celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, may your work week be speedy and stress-free. If you are celebrating the holiday, may the holiday be filled with delicious food and a significant lack of family drama.

**********

Here are past posts from the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time:

The post Sunday Reflections – 18 November 2018 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2018-11-18
2018-11-18 05:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. Sunday Reflections – 11 November 2018
  3. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 12 November 2018
  4. I don’t get Thanksgiving
  5. Fabulous Friday – 16 November 2018

Fabulous Friday – 16 November 2018
2018-11-16 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Fabulous Friday Button

We should always find ways to celebrate the little things in life. What better day to celebrate these little things other than the best day of the week? So, here are the things that make this a Fabulous Friday for me this week ending 16 November 2018.

********************

  • THANKSGIVING PREP – We are hosting Jim’s sister and her family for Thanksgiving. Even though I am not necessarily a fan of the holiday, I am using the opportunity to recruit my family into giving my house some much-needed TLC. I have not been able to do the type of weekly cleaning I want to do in such a very long time, and the house is beginning to show the neglect. Not anymore. It may be an odd thing to anticipate, but I am excited about the chance to get the whole family to help with a very deep cleaning. They don’t even know what I have in store for them, which may be the very best part.

*********************

What makes this a Fabulous Friday for you?

The post Fabulous Friday – 16 November 2018 appeared first on That's What She Read.

I don’t get Thanksgiving
2018-11-14 06:00 UTC by Michelle

When you spend as much time in the car as I do, driving the same route at least twice a day every day, your mind tends to wander and think of the craziest shit. My latest think-fest involves Thanksgiving as a holiday.

I Don't Get It

I don’t get Thanksgiving. I don’t understand why we celebrate it anymore. I don’t understand anything about it. It is like Columbus Day in my mind, a day most people agree should no longer be a federal holiday for many reasons. I would argue that Thanksgiving is the same though. It is a day where, in theory, we are giving thanks for the Pilgrims immigrating to these shores and taking advantage of the hospitality of Native Americans, who we later betrayed in as violent and brutal a fashion as we possibly could. Good times. Plus, I feel that the Pilgrims brought plenty of other problems with them in addition to their treatment of Native Americans. For a group that left a country due to religious persecution, they were pretty damn intolerant of anyone who did not think like them. This intolerance trickled into society in a way that leaves us where we are today – with the old, white, and wealthy trying to maintain all the power and making decisions that benefit them rather than anyone else. Why do I want to celebrate a group that left one country because they could not practice their beliefs without repercussions only to have them settle and apply the same hatred and punishments to those who do not exercise their beliefs? I don’t. Do you?

When I ask people about this, they say it is all about the food. Let’s look at that for a moment. The traditional Thanksgiving meal – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, yeasty rolls with butter, cranberry sauce, some form of gourd dish, and a whole lot more – has nothing to do with what the Pilgrims ate all those years ago. We should be eating fish, shellfish, deer, duck or goose. There was no yeast bread. There was no butter. No cheese. No gravy. No potatoes. So what exactly are we celebrating with the “traditional” meal?  One could say it is about the harvest, but aren’t we doing that pretty much all summer long as various vegetables and fruits hit their peak? Even if it is a day to celebrate food, why does it need to be a turkey with multiple sides?

Furthermore, why do you need one day to celebrate food? For those of us blessed with the means to afford food, should we not celebrate each meal we have no matter what it is? When so many go hungry, isn’t Thanksgiving a bit of a slap in the face to those who cannot afford even the most basic of food? It seems a selfish holiday from that aspect, as we all gloat about our groaning tables and glut ourselves on more food than some families will see in a year.

Other people told me it is about spending time with family. Even with this idea, I question its validity. Everyone I know makes some joke or other about needing help to get through the day with their family. Between the jokes, the memes, and the general discussion of impossible family members, it would appear as if spending time with our family is the last thing any of us want to do. So why do we? If the holiday were all about spending time with family, why does everyone complain about doing so? Why are there so many “life hacks” about surviving the holidays with your family? Couldn’t you spend another day with your family? Birthdays? Anniversaries? Sunday dinners? Or better yet, spend the day with the people you love and WANT to hang out with for a few hours. Why do we force ourselves to be miserable just because someone tells us it is traditional?

So yeah, I don’t understand Thanksgiving. I can see it kicking off the holiday season, but really, I think Black Friday/Thursday do a better job of that than turkey and stuffing. We should be giving thanks for all that we have in our lives all year long, not on one day. We should be grateful for each bite of food we take no matter what day it is because there are too many people around the world who have nothing. As for the holiday itself, well, I think our society is wiser and more culturally aware these days. I don’t understand why we celebrate it anymore, at least in the traditional sense. As a holiday, Thanksgiving makes no sense to me.

The post I don’t get Thanksgiving appeared first on That's What She Read.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 12 November 2018
2018-11-12 06:00 UTC by Michelle

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button
Hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. Here is what I read the week ending 12 November 2018. To learn more about each book, click on the book cover!

It was not a good reading week. The election had me too uptight to read more than a few pages, and the mental exhaustion I felt after the election caused the same result. I wonder if we could send all of our medical bills related to mental health that are a direct result of this current administration/regime. After all, Cheeto Hitler is causing so much of our mental health issues these days.


FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:

The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

I love Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series, but I am not quite as in love with this fifth book in the series. I got the sense the story was rushed, with the connections among Irene and her companions forced in a way that is not normal for these stories. I still enjoyed it, but I did not tear through it as much as I thought I would or as much as I have done in the past with the other books in the series.


DID NOT FINISH:

You can’t finish when you don’t read.


CURRENT READ:

The Incredibly True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction


CURRENT LISTEN:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


NEXT UP:

No clue. What do you think I should read next?


So, what are you reading?

The post It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 12 November 2018 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Sunday Reflections – 11 November 2018
2018-11-11 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Happy Sunday!

It is another gorgeous fall day around here. We had our first snowfall on Thursday, and there is still covered ground in the shadier parts of the yard. Waking up that morning to the yard blanketed with snow reminded me of how much I love this season. Every day, there is a new beauty to find, and every breath of air that stings your nose and cools your lungs reminds you of the wonder of being alive. It is a feeling I never get in summer.

Has anyone else noticed that people seem to be confused about last week’s time change? I know I should not let it bother me, but I keep seeing people lament Daylight Savings Time. Uh. No. Daylight Savings Time is the arbitrary time change the government put in place to maximize the amount of daylight farmers had to work back when there were no tractors let alone tractors with headlights. It is what happens when we move the clocks ahead an hour each Spring. Last weekend, we went back to Standard Time. It is the correct time with no government interference. I personally love Standard Time and detest Daylight Savings Time. However, I know I am in the minority, so if you are going to complain about the time change, at least use the correct terminology when lamenting the dark evenings.

I don’t know about you, but the election on Tuesday filled me with hope. Granted, I was petrified of the results all day on Tuesday, barely holding back a full-blown anxiety attack throughout the day. However, as I started seeing the results, I felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time in two years. I feel like we were given a short respite from planning, preparing, and most importantly, rest. I know that feeling will not last long. Cheeto Hitler is going to be worse than ever with a split Congress, doubling down on threats and finding new ways to abuse the office’s power. It is a movement in the right direction though, and now we have two more years to gather our forces and unite against the increasing fascism in the White House.

October was a good reading month for me – a pleasant surprise with the state of restlessness I was in for most of the month. With 15 books and 5,585 pages under my belt, I made more headway than I thought into my backlog. Trust me when I say this is not the case so far in November.

Holly and I had a good day yesterday shopping and having lunch together, but she has dance today so no fun things for us. The plan for the rest of the day is to rest and relax. Next weekend will be busy with Thanksgiving prep. We are hosting Jim’s sister and her family, so the house needs a good cleaning, and I want to prep as much of the food in advance as I can. Work is going to be crazy for the remainder of the year as I have not yet started the budget process, and there are significant changes which, rumor has, are going into effect by the end of the month. Jim is on a business trip this week, so I am on single parent dance duty for the week. Plus, Connor should be coming home next weekend, so I have to prepare his room for him. With all of that to do in the next week, I am taking one day to do nothing. Other than laundry that is. That is a chore that only gets worse when ignored, so I try not to ignore it.

Make sure you thank a veteran today. As a former Army wife, I can testify that the sacrifice the soldiers make, and the sacrifices their families must make, are easier when recognized and appreciated.

Have a great Sunday, and I will see you back here next week!

**********

Here are past posts from the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time:

The post Sunday Reflections – 11 November 2018 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2018-11-11
2018-11-11 05:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 5 November 2018
  3. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  4. www.tumblr.com
  5. Vote

Elly Blake just made my must-read list
2018-11-08 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Nightblood by Elly Blake

Initial Thoughts: “Elly Blake’s Frostblood series ended with a bang. I adored this series from the start, and I was eagerly anticipating the finale because I had no idea how it was going to end. Suffice it to say, Nightblood is everything I wanted in the series ending and more. Guys, it made me shed real tears. That almost never happens when I read, so books that do so always hold a special place in my heart. The story itself is pretty much perfection. The story goes to some very dark places, and there is plenty of violence to match that. Ruby faces the ultimate test in her powers and beliefs, and while she has grown and matured throughout the series, we still see glimpses of her initial awkwardness and charming ineptitude from the first book. The romance does not come easy, and any happy endings that occur are hard-won. I loved every minute of it.”

Now: I am still obsessing over the fact that Ms. Blake brought me to literal tears. I always get excited over excellent stories, but I rarely become so emotional that is causes a physical response like crying. The list of books that caused me to cry is so short that I can list them all without pause. In other words, it takes a lot to get me to cry, and yet there I was, weeping while reading as my heart tore during a particular scene towards the end of the novel. The pain and longing in that scene are so real that I forgot the scene was fictional. That is the hallmark of fantastic writing.

That one scene is the culmination of the rest of the series, and it highlights how stellar the rest of the story and series is. Ms. Blake does not just tie up loose ends, but she makes her heroes continue to fight and grow until the bitter end. They have to work for any happy ending they receive, which makes those endings so much sweeter for the victory they embody. Each story in the series develops into the other to the point where, while it would be possible to read each as a standalone novel, you lose so much if you did so. It is much more satisfying to see Ruby grow as much as she does, experience her journey, and cheer her on through all of the difficult decisions and impossible situations she faces. Ms. Blake’s Frostblood series is so impressive and satisfying that she is now on my must-read list, and I eagerly look forward to any future novels she might publish.

The post Elly Blake just made my must-read list appeared first on That's What She Read.

The wrong book at the wrong time
2018-11-07 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Initial Thoughts: “Courtney Summers’ novels are always hard-hitting, emotionally brutal dives into the harsh realities young women face. I started Sadie expecting nothing less but hoping for a powerful revenge story as well – the type that would fit into my current reading mood. While Sadie does cover yet another darkly emotional aspect of being a woman in a man’s world, it does not quite quench my thirst for violence or provide me satisfaction in wrongs made right. If I were of a more normal mindset, this novel would hit all the right chords. Sadie’s story is powerful and necessary because her childhood experiences at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend happen more often than we would like to acknowledge. Ms. Summers treats the topic with the decency it requires, shedding light on this painful subject without delving into gratuitous details that serve no purpose other than to disgust and sensationalize the truth. Still, I cannot help but feel disappointed upon finishing it because it is not the type of novel that helps me feel better right now. Instead, it reminds me of the work we still need to do to protect our daughters. My reaction is not the fault of the novel or Ms. Summers but purely due to my current emotional and mental state.”

Now: Guys, I feel somewhat guilty that I could not love Sadie more than I did. After all, it is a heartbreaking story that with beautiful writing. The problem is that the story reminds me of the immigrant children ripped from their families by our government. It reminds me of the #metoo movement and what Dr. Ford experienced when she tried to come forward publically with her story of abuse. These reminders hurt and fuel my rage that there are people who believe Dr. Ford lied under oath but Judge Kavanaugh did not, that our government seems to be turning its back on the very tenets of our country and becoming more and more like 1930s Germany than is ever acceptable. I read to escape. I don’t want reminders of the very things I cannot ignore in real life. Everything that happens in Sadie is essential and worthy of so much discussion. It is critical because as the narrator points out in the very beginning, girls run away all the time. Sadie is an attempt to open up the dialogue about why girls run away.  I know all this in my mind and admire what Ms. Summers achieves with her story. While I recognize all this, I cannot change how my heart feels when I think about the book. The simple fact is I wanted a story with a lot more justice obtained by the heroine than what I got with an ending that may not be realistic but at least would be satisfying. Sadie is not that novel.

The post The wrong book at the wrong time appeared first on That's What She Read.

Vote
2018-11-06 06:00 UTC by Michelle

Don't Complain; Vote

Every election day is essential for the survival of democracy, but today feels particularly important. The United States is standing at a threshold, and we need every person to speak out as to the direction s/he wants the country to take.

Vote Your Future

Today’s elections will have very real consequences for the future of this country, for the future of the environment, and for the future of the global economy.

No Excuses, Vote 2018

We can no longer hide behind the possibility that the Trump administration will be that bad, that maybe he is exaggerating for the sake of getting votes. After two years, we know exactly who we have in office and what is important to them. We know who will stand up for social justice issues, and who will support corporations and lobbyists. We know every misogynist, every racist, every intolerant body in Washington, D.C. We know their agenda. We cannot hide from the truth because they are no longer hiding the truth from us.

Your Voice, Your Vote

Regardless of your politics, if you do one thing today, make sure you vote. Make your voice heard. The country is at a precipice, and now is not the time to protest by abstaining. Now is the time to make sure Washington, D.C. and every state government hear what is important to you.

Go vote.

The post Vote appeared first on That's What She Read.


 

Browser-Friendly feed by FeedBlitz RSS Services, the premium FeedBurner alternative.