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.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-08-14
2022-08-14 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  4. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022
  5. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss

Novel Nuggets – Still Catching Up
2022-08-10 15:00 UTC by Michelle

So many outstanding reviews to write. Here are just a few more.

The Blood Trials by N. E. Davenport

I was not expecting to love The Blood Trials by N. E. Davenport as much as I did, but holy hell did I. It was my favorite book read in March. In The Blood Trials, Ms. Davenport creates an exciting story that also teaches the dangers of inherent racism. I love Ikenna and her loyalty, as well as her determination to succeed; I especially appreciate her unwillingness to condone the racism that permeates her society. Simply put, I loved the story, the twists, the messaging, and the characters. The Blood Trials is a do not miss!

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon is precisely what I have come to expect from Ms. McMahon. It is yet another fantastic thriller from someone who does nothing but write excellent thrillers. While I was expecting the twist, I didn’t know exactly what it would be. As such, the ending is fabulous and not at all what I thought it would be! The Children on the Hill is a fantastic emotional rollercoaster that solidifies my love for Ms. McMahon.

The Fervor by Alma Katsu

The Fervor by Alma Katus is what I would consider to be a mediocre horror story. The only good thing about it is the ick factor regarding the virus’s origins. That being said, I feel there was no need to add much in the way of horror, as the internment camps were horrific enough. Ms. Katsu does not take advantage of the natural horrors and instead glosses over that part of history. What she does instead portrays a heavy-handed image of systemic racism, which is her right. Maybe she feels her readers need reminding on every single page; I did not, and the messaging got old. Ms. Katsu’s books have been more miss than hit lately, and The Fervor did nothing to correct that trend.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey is a cute story about jealousy and family dynamics. It doesn’t have much staying power, but it is still enjoyable. I do so love the idea of a magical high school.

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber. It is an interesting story and ultimately a tragic one. I think a female author would have done more justice to Lucy’s story because it is not as if Lucy is transgender. The story needs someone who truly understands the limitations of being a woman. Still, the fact that Lucy did exist and did attempt to break the bonds of being female in antebellum America makes learning about her worthwhile.

The post Novel Nuggets – Still Catching Up appeared first on That's What She Read.

Novel Nuggets – More Catching Up
2022-08-09 15:00 UTC by Michelle

So many outstanding reviews to write. Here are just a few.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake is one of those books you need to sit and let marinate. The more you do, the more you appreciate what Ms. Blake achieves. It can be a little disconcerting initially, especially when Ms. Blake spends more time developing her characters than building her world, but trust me. The characters and their connections, the mystery, and the big reveal are worth any initial confusion. The Atlas Six is one of those books that will haunt me for the rest of the year, and I’m aching to read the sequel!

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple is yet another fantastic collaboration between Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. There is a gravitas to it that prevents it from being an unbelievable story. Plus, I stayed engaged throughout the entire plot and could not figure out what was going to happen at any point in time. Everything about The Golden Couple is interesting, and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Hendricks and Ms. Pekkanen have for us next!

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases is not my Simone St. James novel. I loved the true crime bits and the actual murder mystery. However, I was not a fan of the Gothic element. I don’t feel that story needs it. In fact, it feels like an easy solution to a plot issue, and I don’t like it. Ms. St. James usually puts out excellent stories, but this, to me, fell short of the mark.

The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

Tara Sim’s The City of Dusk starts slowly, but once it does, watch out. I get the need for an intense amount of world-building. Most fantasies require it, after all, because the author needs to explain the world to readers. In the case of The City of Dusk, we also have to meet the characters and families and understand their powers and their histories. That part took just a bit too long for me, and I did consider not finishing it. I’m glad I didn’t, especially given what we learn about one of the characters, but know that even I struggled with how slowly the story builds.

Until the Last of Me by Sylvain Neuvel

Until the Last of Me is the exciting sequel to Sylvain Neuvel’s Take Them to the Stars series, and I loved every word. Until the Last of Me is Lola’s story rather than Mia’s, and I am here for it. Mia might have infiltrated Hitler’s Germany, but Lola is the stronger of the two heroines. She has guts with a modern sensibility. Samael is equally fascinating. Their cat and mouse game morphs into an intriguing chase. Plus, the surprise ending is a bonus. I cannot wait to see how it all ends.

The post Novel Nuggets – More Catching Up appeared first on That's What She Read.

Novel Nuggets – Catching Up
2022-08-08 15:00 UTC by Michelle

So many outstanding reviews to write. Here are just a few.

Scorpica by Greer Macallister

Scorpica by Greer Macallister is a celebration of women and our myriad motivations. Because it spans decades, the world-building is lengthy but worth it given the depth of detail and vividness of that world. In addition, the character development is simply lovely, exploring the gray areas that exist in everyone. Grandiose and power, Scorpica is a welcome epic that highlights the awesomeness of matriarchal societies and their pitfalls.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner is a unique look at women’s plight in the 1700s without the same rights or freedom of today and how they worked around the system, with a little bit of magic added. Told in two parts, past and present, the modern portions of the story are not nearly as engaging as those in the eighteenth century. Although, it does make for a great reminder to take advantage of those freedoms while we have them.

Autumn's Tithe by Hannah Parker

Autumn’s Tithe by Hannah Parker left me with mixed feelings. I wanted to love it. Unfortunately, I had some issues with the pacing, the predictability, and some of the relationships. Everything happens within two to three days, and everything seems SO fast. Some of this Ms. Parker achieves through the use of magical portals, but it still feels a bit too rapid for what occurs. In addition, while I don’t mind the use of tropes, and Ms. Parker uses almost all of them, I do mind when an author does not use them in a way that feels new. Instead, I felt like I could go down a YA fantasy checklist with Autumn’s Tithe. Lastly, the relationships left me confused. While there are hints that Larken’s relationship with her BFF is more than friendship, it also seems like her reaction to losing her friend seems extreme. Combine that with the insta-love with Finder, which seemingly counters her feelings for her friend, and it makes for a headscratcher. In all, Autumn’s Tithe is a bit too superficial in almost every aspect for me.

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair

King of Battle and Blood is my first Scarlett St. Clair novel, and it won’t be my last. Vampires, witches, fierce women, court intrigue, enemies to lovers, and so much spice. Yes. Please.

Gallant by V. E. Schwab

Gallant by Victoria Schwab is dark and heart-breaking on several different levels. There is so much complexity to it, even though it is a relatively simple story. One great example of this is that it would have been easy for Ms. Schwab to make Olivia a tragic figure, given her background. Instead, she is anything but pitiable; instead is fierce, independent, and a figure to admire. In Gallant, Ms. Schwab proves once again that she is a master at creating atmospheric novels in which she blurs the lines between good and evil and heroes and antiheroes.

The post Novel Nuggets – Catching Up appeared first on That's What She Read.

Sunday Reflections – 07 August 2022
2022-08-07 15:00 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Reading:  Babel by R. F. Kuang

Listening:  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Watching:  Holly and I are going a bit of a retro these days while we watch Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We have all been so busy that we are just now watching the final few episodes of Stranger Things, and Jim and I are slowly working our way through the Mr. Mercedes series.

Cooking:  Holly did most of the cooking this weekend, as she planned, prepared, and hosted her first-ever dinner party for her friends. She did a fantastic job, even as she made some first-timer mistakes. We will be eating leftover pasta for the rest of the week!

Enjoying:  Being healthy again. I finally succumbed to the COVID virus in the middle of July. I could have been much sicker than I was, which is good, but the fatigue took me a long time to overcome. Having energy and a desire to do things again, plus lungs that don’t feel like they weigh ten thousand pounds, is something I will not take for granted.

Planning:  Right now, we are all just trying to enjoy the last days of summer as we work through the University of Dundee’s requirements to start working on the student visa process. Holly plans to attend one final concert with her friends while Jim and I have a motorcycle ride in the works. There is talk of attending a local renaissance fair with friends, and if we don’t do that, I would love to hit the state fair again.

Feeling:  I am so grateful that I have such a fantastic daughter. Unlike many kids her age between high school and college, she wants to spend time with us. We have been having SO much fun, attending professional soccer matches, planning her party, and talking. It means so much to have her split her time with us and everything else she is doing this summer.

The post Sunday Reflections – 07 August 2022 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-08-07
2022-08-07 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  4. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  5. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-07-31
2022-07-31 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  4. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  5. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-07-24
2022-07-24 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  4. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  5. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-07-17
2022-07-17 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  4. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  5. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-07-10
2022-07-10 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A magic surprise
  3. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  4. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  5. Sunday Reflections – 20 March 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-07-03
2022-07-03 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  3. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  4. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022
  5. Sunday Reflections – 26 June 2022

Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part III)
2022-06-27 15:00 UTC by Michelle

A continuation of the many audiobooks I finished since my last bout of reviews in January.

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi

I like John Scalzi’s novels. I find them so much fun in a crazy science fiction way. You can tell in them that Mr. Scalzi does not take himself too seriously and loves what he does. His joy at creating such absurd yet highly entertaining and intense stories seeps through each sentence. In The Android’s Dream, this amusement creeps into the bizarre world that is his futuristic Earth with its alien diplomats and political machinations that span the universe. The genius of Mr. Scalzi’s work is that he takes these bizarre plots and uses them to create genuine warnings about society. In the case of The Android’s Dream, his warnings are against blind patriotism and ever-present greed in self-serving civil service. It’s a danger that is as relevant today as in 2006, made palatable with his diverse characters as they race to obtain this one sheep before it spells disaster for the universe.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred is my second Octavia Butler novel and by far my favorite of the two. It was also my top book for what I read in May. The mish-mash of two decades of historical fiction, slave memoir, and fantasy not just captured my attention, it held onto it and didn’t let go. I still think with horror at some situations in which Dana found herself, all to protect her family line. Ms. Butler does not hide behind euphemisms or prettying up the horrors of enslavement, but she does not linger on those horrors either. Instead, she treats them with a matter-of-factness that is effective for the pictures it evokes and the chills the mundanity creates. Dana’s story grabbed my heart and tore it into pieces even while I marveled at her strength and conviction. I cannot recommend Kindred highly enough!

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

As a mega-fan of fantasy, I have been remiss in not having read anything by N. K. Jemisin. I finally remedied the situation by reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. While I loved the world-building and the characters, the magic, the mystery, and everything else, it is a rare novel where I have no desire to finish the series. Yeine is a fascinating character, and the story Ms. Jemisin builds surrounding her family’s past and her resolution out of the difficulty she finds herself with is mind-blowing in scope and execution. Still, at the end of it all, I’m good with where her story ends. I know there are two more books in the series, but I’m happy with my time in Yeine’s world. I feel no urge to go back to it or find out what happens next. It’s a weird feeling, especially since I’m usually the type of reader who feels a compulsion to read a book’s sequel. Maybe I am becoming a more discerning reader as I get older.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach is a fun, no-holds-barred look at space travel. On the one hand, I found what she presented to be fascinating. At the same time, Ms. Roach removes the glamor and mystery of going into space. After all, knowing that even such well-trained pilots struggle with space sickness makes me glad I most likely will never reach the edges of space. Sadly, as much as I enjoyed myself while learning about the nitty-gritty details of space travel, I feel Ms. Roach tries a bit too hard to be snarky and cute with her asides or self-aware injections of sarcasm. I don’t know whether this is the fault of Ms. Roach’s writing style or the narrator’s emphasis on such asides. Either way, whenever one would occur, I found myself frowning in dislike because they didn’t fit with the rest of the narrative style. They were enough of a distraction to make me hesitate before selecting another one of Ms. Roach’s books.

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

In Agent to the Stars, John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton team up again. In this madcap adventure, Mr. Scalzi explores how humans might react if aliens were not humanoid but rather odorous, unpleasant blobs. What follows is zany, difficult to describe with a straight face, yet quite pointed in its depiction of humanity’s obsession with beauty standards. As with all of Mr. Scalzi’s stories, I flew through it, enjoying every second. It helps that Mr. Wheaton is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators and that he understands Mr. Scalzi’s aims so well. Together, they are audio magic.

The post Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part III) appeared first on That's What She Read.

Sunday Reflections – 26 June 2022
2022-06-26 15:00 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Reading:  Locklands by Robert Bennett Jackson, followed by Blade Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Listening:  Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski. Next up is Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Watching:  We finished Squid Game and Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1. Jim and I are almost finished with Inventing Anna, which leaves us awestruck at this young woman’s audacity and reeling at the gullibility of others. In an effort to avoid spoilers, we are avoiding looking up Anna Delvey on the Internet, but damn if We are enjoyingt sucked into her story of blatant lies and manipulation.

Cooking:  It has been so hot that the thought of cooking made me dread dinnertimes. Still, I managed to make a fresh tomato risotto, baked chicken with potato wedges, and kielbasa with potatoes and sauerkraut. We will be gone next week, so the rest of the meals will be cobbled together with odds and ends that will help clear out the fridge and pantry.

Enjoying:  The cooler weather and rain that a front brought in last night. We’ve been in the midst of a heatwave for almost a week now, and the break in the heat and relentless sunshine is more than welcome.

Planning:  Holly’s final dance competition starts on Wednesday, so we are gearing up for one last hurrah. Jim is coming with us this year, so we will be dropping the dogs off with my parents to watch while we are gone. Holly’s dance schedule is more than a little uneven next week, which should mean plenty of poolside time to treat it like a real vacation.

Feeling:  I feel rage, sorrow, and fear at the recent SCOTUS decisions. Not fear and sorrow for me, but rather fear for the younger generations and my children who have to deal with the fallout of our shitty and somewhat corrupt political system. I feel extreme anger at six people who based their decisions on a document written by white men who felt no compunction about enslaving people for their gain. Like the millions of people impacted by the reversal of Roe, I need some time to feel before I can take action, but no mistake, there will be action. I owe it to my children and their peers. As parents, we should be making the world a better place for them, not making it worse.

The post Sunday Reflections – 26 June 2022 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-06-26
2022-06-26 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. A fascinating alternative to Hell
  3. A magic surprise
  4. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  5. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022

Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part II)
2022-06-25 21:03 UTC by Michelle

One of the ways I discovered that I might not be handling the stress of the past few months is that no matter how often I tried, I could never summon the energy or desire to sit down and write reviews. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, knowing I would eventually write them. Then a week became a month. A month became five months. One overdue review became five. Five outstanding reviews became more than fifty. I finally realized I had an issue. After a great discussion with my therapist, here I am, attempting to tackle my review list one review at a time. It feels good to be here. It feels good to write again. So, let the reviews commence. First up – the many, many audiobooks I finished since January 2022.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I might lose some reader points here, but I could not and did not finish The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It wasn’t the syntax that bothered me. Ms. Plath did string together some fantastic sentences. What upset me to the point where I could not continue listening was the idea that Esther was insane. I know watching her deteriorating mental health is the entire point of the novel, but her self-loathing did me in. The world today is difficult enough without listening to someone who leaves her “friend” with a shady man, who enjoys criticizing other women, and does not ask for and will not accept help from others. I know that The Bell Jar is supposed to be an essential feminist novel about the burdens society places on its women, but I didn’t find it feminist. What I heard was not just depressing but also confirmed that a woman’s strongest foe is often another woman.

Cujo by Stephen King

Stephen King’s Cujo is another book I could not finish. This time, it had nothing to do with the characters and everything to do with the dog. For some reason, I thought Cujo was a demonic dog that viciously terrorized a town; I don’t know where or how I got this impression, but that is what I thought as I started this King classic. Imagine my surprise when Cujo starts as the adorable, affectionate, and utterly charming family dog who falls into the wrong cave while chasing a rabbit and proceeds to contract rabies. Cujo is not demonic but rabid. What’s worse is that King shows us Cujo’s battle against the disease. We see him recognize that he doesn’t feel well and that his feelings of aggression towards his family are not typical. In short, we see Cujo suffer, and that is where I draw the line. You can show human suffering all you want, but don’t dare show dogs’ suffering. They don’t deserve it, and my heart can’t take it.

Naked in Death by J. D. Robb

Long-time readers know I adore Nora Roberts and will gleefully read anything she publishes. Despite my love for her, I always avoided her In Death series because I didn’t want to have to tackle the 50+ novels in that series in addition to everything else I want to read. Still, I tasked myself with listening to my long audiobook list in order of publication date, and it just so happens that my husband had downloaded the first book in the series. So, I started Naked in Death, not knowing what to expect. I finished it in a day and immediately listened to books two, three, and four in short succession. Yeah, I’m a fan, and I cannot wait to get back to the series. First of all, I love the tone of this series. Not only is it darker and grittier than the novels she writes under her name, but there is also a rawness to Eve and Roarke that I adore. Everything about the series has an edge, from the characters to the world itself. Sure, it has fancy technology and gadgets, but there is something broken in Eve’s world that draws you to her. Only my self-control is preventing me from using my extra credits from downloading as much of the series as I can get and devouring them all.

Still Life by Louise Penny

I’ve read two of the Inspector Gamache series books and enjoyed them both. I promised myself this would be a series I would go back to the beginning and read them in order. I picked up the first book, Still Life, several years ago, thinking I would get around to listening to it sooner than I would to reading it. That did happen; unfortunately, I was so unhappy with the narrator that it ruined my experience. I still believe Louise Penny’s series is so damn charming as to be good for one’s soul, but the narrator was awful. He made no effort to differentiate between male characters, and I was slightly offended by his female characterizations. While I still plan to get around to the rest of the series, it will not be via audiobook. Ms. Penny deserves better than that.

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Early in my book blogging career, I discovered the quirky delights of Sarah Vowell. Assassination Vacation was the last of her works on my list. As it has been several years since I read or listened to anything by her, I was looking forward to her take on presidential assassinations. What she had to say was perfectly irreverent and insightful; all I kept thinking was how different things were from when she wrote the book. Several times within its pages, she expresses her disgust at little Bush and the bogus war he thrust the country into. Our naivete about little Bush being the worst thing to happen to this country made me want to laugh and weep. It was difficult listening to her wax poetic about Lincoln, knowing he wasn’t quite the hero people thought he was. My distracting thoughts prevented me from absorbing almost everything she said, including the names of the various assassins. My experience is a situation where the problem is all me and not the author’s fault. Or maybe I should blame our most recent political history for distracting me from learning about other historical moments because I was too busy imagining how different things could be had someone assassinated 45.

The post Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part II) appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-06-19
2022-06-19 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  3. Sunday Reflections – 12 June 2022
  4. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  5. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022

Sunday Reflections – 12 June 2022
2022-06-12 15:00 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Reading:  This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede to be followed by Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Listening:  The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi with Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Watching:  We have been watching a lot of Dateline and 20/20 for their true-crime exposés. Jim loves them, and I can do other things without paying close attention to the stories. We need to start Stranger Things season four, and Peaky Blinders season six. Plus, we need to finish Squid Games season one. We’ve been too busy to get back into shows we enjoy.

Cooking:  After this past weekend, I was over the idea of cooking. Thankfully, leftovers kept me from cooking until Tuesday, after which I made an asiago lemon risotto with grilled asparagus, ravioli with a mushroom sauce, and shrimp fried rice.

Enjoying:  I thoroughly enjoy the fact that graduation is over. Holly is officially a high school graduate. Her party was a success. She attended her final dance recitals. While we spent most of the week putting our house and lives back in order after the last few weeks of chaos, just knowing everything is over is a huge relief.

Planning:  Nothing for once. After the grad party, I informed Jim I was done planning anything for at least a month. Our anniversary is on Monday, and I have no idea what we are doing. It feels good not having to worry about anything.

Feeling:  I feel free. I did not realize how much space Holly’s graduation weekend was taking among my thoughts until it was over, and I took the first truly deep breath in months. My body even started releasing the pent-up stress I had unknowingly been holding. After that weekend, packing Holly off to Scotland feels less like a challenge and more like a fun exercise, one I don’t need to worry about for at least two more months.

The post Sunday Reflections – 12 June 2022 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-06-12
2022-06-12 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  3. Sunday Reflections – 15 May 2022
  4. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022
  5. A magic surprise

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-06-05
2022-06-05 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  3. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022
  4. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  5. Sunday Reflections – 15 May 2022

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-05-29
2022-05-29 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022
  3. www.thatswhatsheread.net/feed/rss
  4. Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
  5. Sunday Reflections – 15 May 2022

Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022
2022-05-23 00:59 UTC by Michelle

Sunday Reflections Button

Reading:  A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow to be followed by Juniper & Thorn by Eva Reid

Listening:  14 by Peter Clines to be followed by A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Watching:  We have not been watching much of anything. We tape Jeopardy! and will watch a few episodes at a time over dinner. The only other thing we watched this week was a terrible home improvement show I Bought a Dump. It wasn’t a bad show. The directing was horrible, and two out of the three women on the show highlighted every reason women get a bad rap when it comes to relationships. But the premise was fun and, other than the made-up drama thanks to the directors, it is one of the more realistic home improvement shows I’ve seen in a while.

Cooking:  This week’s batch of bananas ripened so quickly that there was no way anyone could eat them before they went bad. To avoid putting them in the freezer and getting lost, I whipped up a banana cake and a loaf of banana bread. Besides that, once my brother-in-law left, I didn’t do much cooking. We had burgers one night and lots of leftovers the rest of the nights.

Enjoying:  I am really enjoying listening to audiobooks these days. I started listening to them while at work and find myself listening to them while puttering around the house after work. Since Jim’s office it at home, I don’t always want to play music but audiobooks are perfect for weekdays. I can listen to them at a low enough volume to avoid being a distraction or impact his teleconferences. Plus, they help me get through my daily chores. As such, I’ve been averaging at least one audiobook every two days. It’s fun!

Planning:  Holly requested a bit of an unusual grad party theme. Because her major is sustainability, she wants her party to be as economically friendly as possible. Then, because she is still very conscious of COVID, she wants individualized servings. Plus, the girl who never asks anything of me asked if I would do all the food. So, we hit the thrift stores to stock up on plates, forks, spoons, platters, and vases for the centerpieces. Then we hit the fabric store for fabric for the no-sew tableclothes. Everything we use will either be washable or recyclable.

I ordered all of the remaining items we needed, like a guest book, skewers, compostable cups for salads and other items, and other smallish serving items. We should receive everything by Friday. Plus, I finished planning the menu, which is something that has been keeping me up at night. Everyone has their assignments, and I can honestly say I feel so much better now that we have concrete plans and everything on order.

Feeling:  I will admit to being anxious. I’m not anxious about Holly graduating or even going to school in another country (yet). What has me worried is getting through the week after Memorial Day, with Connor coming home for the first time in three years, my mother-in-law, planning a party for up to 150 people (if they are all to show up), plus Holly’s last dance recitals — all of which are happening on the Thursday through Saturday before she graduates on Sunday, June 5th. Everything will get done and the party will be a success because everything always works out. It’s just getting to that point where I can sit back and relax.

Upcoming:  This week, I told the family that we have to finish the decorations, the slide show, and any lawn games before Memorial Day. That way, the week of her party we can focus on set-up and food prep. So, there will be a lot of craft paper, digital editing, and wood cutting this week. But I’m looking forward to it as well. Holly has two final projects and presentations to complete, and this is our final project, if you will. The last big event we will have outside of her wedding, should she choose to get married.

The post Sunday Reflections – 22 May 2022 appeared first on That's What She Read.

Weekly Top Posts: 2022-05-22
2022-05-22 04:00 UTC

  1. www.thatswhatsheread.net
  2. Sunday Reflections – 15 May 2022
  3. Sunday Reflections – 03 April 2022
  4. A magic surprise
  5. A fascinating alternative to Hell

Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I)
2022-05-17 23:27 UTC by Michelle

One of the ways I discovered that I might not be handling the stress of the past few months is that no matter how often I tried, I could never summon the energy or desire to sit down and write reviews. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, knowing I would eventually write them. Then a week became a month. A month became five months. One overdue review became five. Five outstanding reviews became more than fifty. I finally realized I had an issue. After a fantastic discussion with my therapist, here I am, attempting to tackle my review list one review at a time. It feels good to be here. It feels good to write again. So, let the reviews commence. First up – the many, many audiobooks I finished since January 2022.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

To me, Cosmos by Carl Sagan is more like an introduction to astrophysics for the layperson. I say that with the caveat that it still requires close attention while listening because the subject matter is so complex that one can easily get lost in its scope. While some of the examples and possibilities mentioned within the book are out-of-date, I feel Cosmos will still resound with today’s listener because it serves as an ever-important reminder of the miracle of life on Earth.

If you know anything about Stephen Fry, you know what to expect when listening to Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets. It is a very clever and entertaining look at many of the myths regarding Victorian society. With his droll British humor, Mr. Fry covers everything from sex and pornography to murder and the adoption of modern detective skills. He manages to educate while making fun of modern-day assumptions regarding this historical period. Never lewd, lascivious, or graphic, he presents each topic with discretion and grace and with tongue firmly in cheek. If only all history could be so enjoyable.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis was, hands down, my favorite book read during February. It is an unbelievably powerful story regarding the long-term ramifications of a young woman’s murder. At the same time, the three main characters serve as a backdrop for a brutal and unflinching look at rape culture and its impact on teens and the social hierarchy of high schools across the country. First published in 2016, it is a story that is as relevant today as it was during the #metoo movement.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi did not impress me as much as I expected. Some of my disappointment may stem from the fact that I wanted to adore this memoir. I had heard great things about it and sought something that might help me confront my mortality. While Paul’s story is undoubtedly very moving, I finished his story wishing that all doctors cared about their patients as much as he appeared to have. I don’t think When Breath Becomes Air is thoughts about mortality as it is lessons learned about treating others with kindness and empathy. Again, all I could think was that my experiences with the medical community prove that empathy is a rare trait more often than not. Perhaps Paul’s story would affect me more had I experienced better, more conscientious medical care in my own life over the years. Either way, it wasn’t the learning experience I wanted.

How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

I will lump all six books of the Mystic Bayou series into one review because they follow the same charming formula that Molly Harper tends to use. The similarities between the stories don’t harm them, as long as you go into each knowing exactly what you will get. There will be a meet-cute, followed by lots of sexual tension, a mystery solved together with the requisite found family, and happily ever after for our star couple. Throw in a dragon, a were-bear, selkies, a dryad, a witch, and a gnome, and you have quite the community. I enjoyed every minute of listening to the series.

The post Novel Nuggets – All About Audiobooks (Part I) appeared first on That's What She Read.


 

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