Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Beginnings: Life After Life

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

"A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe."

I'm not crazy about this opening. She starts off with something that actually happens much, much later in the book. I wish she'd started with Ursula's birth, as so many of the chapters do. (I know that sounds odd, "so many," but it makes sense within the context of the novel, trust me.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Booktopia Asheville 2014

Last weekend I went to the awesome and amazing Booktopia event in Asheville, organized by the super cool Michael and Ann of Books on the Nightstand. It was my first Booktopia so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect. And sadly I was late, due to my husband coming with me and having grad school classes on Friday that gave us a late start. Also due to grad school budgets, we weren't able to stay in the main hotel. But I still had a terrific time. Next time, though I will be sure to get there on time, if not early, as the events on Friday that I missed sounded like fun (Yankee swap and staff recommendations by the local bookstore, Malaprop's) In fact several people said the optional local tours on Thursday night and Friday morning were a great way to get to know people, key if you were visiting by yourself.

I was kind of by myself, as my husband wasn't joining me for any of the author events. But he was there for the Friday happy hour and dinner on Saturday before the biggest event. Luckily a woman I met at the Happy Hour, Lisa, had the identical schedule as me so we were buddies for the author events.

Here are the authors who were there:
I read all of the books, but there wasn't time to go to an event for every one of the authors, so you had to pick and choose. I picked Krista, Denise, Ariel, and E. (Emily) I only realized later that I had picked all women. I am going to be seeing both Wiley and Kim at an event in October here in Charlotte, Bibliofeast (a movable feast where you sit and eat dinner and every 10 minutes a new author comes to your table to chat). And while I liked Anthony's book okay, I didn't love it. (I've linked to my reviews for the above so you can see why. I know I'm in the minority.)

So I went to these four events which had about 20 people in them, and it was an hour-long conversation with the author, with a facilitator (who would usually start off with questions, but it was mostly questions from the audience.) It was very insightful, particularly as regards the writing process for many of the authors. I found Denise Kiernan's discussion of her interviews particularly fascinating. And in Emily's discussion the intriguing question came up, is YA an age group or a genre?

Then on Saturday night, at the bookstore, each author spoke for about 10-15 minutes. Most of them gave new material which was nice. (In fact one author had refused to answer a question in the small group because it was what she'd prepared to discuss at the bookstore.) And I loved the Sunday morning session, back at the bookstore, when Krista spoke along with her editor from Algonquin Books, Kathy Pories, and the head of Algonquin's marketing, Craig Popelars, about the process of how her book (and by extrapolation, all books) went from an idea in Krista's head, to being on the shelves at Malaprop's. One thing Kathy said really was insightful. She said with some of her authors, she explains to them that they shouldn't see her as an ideal reader, not someone on high making pronouncements.

I wish I took some pictures but my phone is full! Afterwards we went on a tour (with other Booktopians) of The Biltmore which was stunning. I can't believe I've driven through Asheville probably 50 times and never stopped before. It was a fun, quirky town with lots to see and do, and I will most definitely be coming back.

And here are some of the notes I took at the final event. They're as close as I could get to direct quotes while typing on my phone, so please forgive any choppiness
.

Krista Bremer (KB): the hardest part was, because these were discrete essays, knitting them together.
Editor was most helpful in telling her what didn't need to be there.
The essays had narrative arcs that had to be broken apart to create the overall arc of the book.

Q: What skill set goes into being an editor?
Kathy Pories (KP): what I learned in creative writing was how strong a book can be if every sentence works as hard as it can. I think you have an affinity for loving to read. It's always a negotiation. We think of ourselves as an ideal reader, not someone on high. We're trying to find the spots that make your eyes glaze over or make you reread multiple times.
KB: editors can perpetuate power structures.
KP: the best editor tries to be invisible.

Craig Popelars (CP): you have to have a really good book but it has to come w an author w a platform (changed in last 15 years.) we ask more and more of our authors than ever before. What does the author bring to the table? We're not just building book, but a career as an author.

CP: (re: marketing generally) It's almost like a Tom Sawyer paint the fence sort of thing because my job is to get everyone else to do my job. The indie booksellers are the incubators for bestsellers.

KP (speaking about Jihad title and marketing in general): How far can you go to get attention without alienating your audience? The jacket was designed to soften the title.

CP: (re: jacket design) you have a second chance when you don't quite get a book cover right in hardcover, with the paperback. Everyone has an opinion.
Ann: but the opinion often is: I don't like that (not what it should look like.)

audience comment: Architecture is similar to publishing in that they both are straddling the intersection between creativity and business.

KP: I love it [books] but it is a product.

Q: Where do ebooks and audio books fit in?
CP: 70% of the AJ Fickery book were ebooks. Special ebook pricing to get the book out to generate reviews, word of mouth, lead to bigger sales down the road. When a new book comes out, we can add a sample chapter of the new book into ebooks of backlist which you can't do in print.

Ann: can't think of another business where competitors are so friendly. It is a business but it's really special.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Florence Gordon

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

Florence Gordon by Brian Morton

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family’s various catastrophes

Meet Florence Gordon: blunt, brilliant, cantankerous and passionate, feminist icon to young women, invisible and underappreciated by most everyone else. At seventy-five, Florence has earned her right to set down the burdens of family and work and shape her legacy at long last. But just as she is beginning to write her long-deferred memoir, her son Daniel returns to New York from Seattle with his wife and daughter, and they embroil Florence in their dramas, clouding the clarity of her days with the frustrations of middle-age and the confusions of youth. And then there is her left foot, which is starting to drag.

With searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity in all its flaws, Brian Morton introduces a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them, Florence, who can humble the fools surrounding her with one barbed line, but who eventually finds there are realities even she cannot outsmart.

Publishing September 23, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book review: The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe

I was almost done reading the nonfiction book about feminism, Wonder Women, when I picked up this book, which was good timing. Set in 1952-1955 in New York City, The Best of Everything (the title line comes from a help-wanted ad the author once saw in publishing) is about Caroline, a typist who is an aspiring editor at a commercial publishing house churning out dime-store Westerns and romances, and her friends.

Caroline's best friend at work is April, the beautiful and sweetly naive Coloradan who moved to NYC to become an actress, but instead starts dating an old-money scion. Her roommate is Gregg, who is an actress, but is also dating a famous (and famously temperamental) play director. Barbara works at a magazine owned by the publisher, and is a single mom at 23. Also in the office are the more stereotypical women like Mary Agnes who has been saving diligently for two years for her dream wedding and plans to quit the minute she gets pregnant. Just like young women in publishing today, they are all broke, all going out on dates, fending off the advances of dirty old men (who sadly they have to work with), and buying clothes they can't afford.

The difference is, everyone assumes they're only working until they can get married. Caroline was supposed to be married but her husband went on a trip to Europe with his family before the wedding and met another girl. Both Gregg and April have hopes that they will marry their respective boyfriends. Barbara, who already married and divorced her high-school sweetheart, is much more jaded, sharing an apartment with her mother who takes care of her toddler girl, but she also still hopes for love. As the book goes on, Caroline, our primary heroine, starts to see her job as not just a stop-gap way to earn some money and get out of the house, but starts to see it as a potential career. She has a good eye for manuscripts and gets promoted quickly.

In some ways this book is like the anti-Valley of the Dolls. Set in the same time frame (although covering a much shorter period of time), it also deals with alcoholism, abortion, abandonment, failed loves, and all in the arts. But it's much more realistic and mostly has happy endings (except for one poor girl.) It gives a great feel for the era, having been written just a few years after it takes place, and it's a great time frame as it's before the feminist movement of the 1960s but after sorting out the men reentering the workforce post-WWII. Naturally, it also reminds one of Mad Men. The one thing I didn't like was that as each woman in the book got married, one by one, they were never heard from again. For some like Mary Agnes who wasn't a major character and who quit working at Fabian Publications, it makes sense, but it felt weird. On the one hand the author obviously admired and set us up to identify with Caroline the most. And [spoiler alert] she ends up deciding to be a career girl, and not to settle down just yet (until she meets the right man.) And I like that message. But writing the other women off when they married seems to be giving off the opposite message: when you find your husband, that's the end of the story for you. That's your goal and you achieved it so game over. But I'll attribute that to the times and to the author being steeped in the culture of the era which is never easily shaken off, although she consciously tried to go a different way.

This was a fun book that's a bit about publishing, a lot about being young and single in New York City, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I bought this book at my local independent bookstore, Park Road Books.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Best of Everything

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe p. 110

"She dressed, and they did not look at each other. When they went downstairs into the hot, quiet street she took hold of his hand, but it was as his friend, and without desire."

It's interesting that Caroline, who just lost her virginity to Mike, reacted by not finding him attractive anymore.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last by Patience Bloom

Up next:
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill

Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Beginnings: The Best of Everything

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe

"You see them every morning at a quarter to nine, rushing out of the maw of the subway tunnel, filing out of Grand Central Station, crossing Lexington and Park and Madison and Fifth avenues, the hundreds and hundreds of girls."

The author says in the forward that this opening image came to her all at once and it never changed as she wrote the book: the parade of young women (not girls, actually) entering the workforce in the 1950s

.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland

Book description from Goodreads:
In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.

Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.

With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings (#11. Find the paintings in my lifetime). Her search takes her through the stunning French countryside, where she befriends Marc and Bella Chagall, who are in hiding before their flight to America, and acquaints her with the land, her neighbors, and even herself in ways she never dreamed possible. Through joy and tragedy, occupation and liberation, small acts of kindness and great acts of courage, Lisette learns to forgive the past, to live robustly, and to love again.

Publishing August 26, 2014 by Random House.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book review: Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection by Debora L. Spar

I have been reading a few books on feminism in the last couple of years and this cover jumped out at me when the book was first released. And I'm really glad I picked it up. The author has an interesting background as she went from being a professor in Harvard's School of Business, where she was one of only a couple of women, to being president of Barnard College, an all-women's college. Her perspective is pretty balanced, having experienced both of these extremes.

Ms. Spar looks at feminism's roots and how good intentions may have led to some less than stellar outcomes today, most notably how telling women they would be anything and do everything has resulted in a culture of perfectionism. Instead of aspiring to be CEOs, we have to aspire to be a CEO, with a perfect body and face, be a tiger in the bedroom, the perfect mother, excellent cook, effortless at scheduling and cleaning, and never being frazzled by any of the above. Naturally this doesn't work and instead we have neurotic overachieving mothers putting all their life dreams into their kids; we have women going under the knife and rampant eating disorders; we have women trying to work their butts off at work, rush out early to arrive at their kids' soccer game late, trying to have it all and feeling like they're failing at everything.

The book is well-organized into sections looking at sex, bodies, love, motherhood, and work. And she pulls it all together nicely at the end in a solid conclusion. She doesn't really have any solutions, except for pointing out (as countless others have) that being able to do anything doesn't mean having to do everything, and why do we want (nay, insist) on having it all when men don't have that (or want it) either? Not to mention there's an undercurrent pointing out that doing things on men's terms isn't exactly equality. Yes, we may be able to compete in the boardroom, but who designed the boardroom to work the way it does and there are feminine traits in leading, communicating, and analyzing that might be advantageous if we saw their strengths instead of dismissing all female-dominant traits as not applicable in the workplace.

This was a thought-provoking and tantalizing book, accessible to laymen (although obviously well-researched), and should have a wide readership among women who aren't satisfied with the status quo.

I checked this book out of the library.

Teaser Tuesdays: Wonder Women

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection by Debora L. Spar p. 69

"Ironically, though, part of what drives the hookup culture is a desire for young women to have it all; a desire for a Sex and the City lifestyle full of clothes, shoes, jobs, and (multiple, revolving, ancillary) men. Because young women today are so ambitious, many will insist, and because they have so many options to pursue during their teens and early twenties, hooking up gives them an efficient way to tend to their physical needs without compromising their careers or education."

The problem is that this is not necessarily women being equal with men, but instead imitating men's lifestyle which doesn't fulfill all of women's needs or work with their deep brain wiring.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Up next:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Beginnings: Wonder Women

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection by Debora L. Spar

"I'm pretty sure I remember the moment I knew I was having it all."

Here's a hint: it wasn't a good moment. But what moment in a LaGuardia bathroom is?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Doctored: the Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

Doctored: the Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

Goodreads synopsis:
Doctored is the shocking follow-up to Intern, Sandeep Jauhar’s widely praised chronicle of the harsh realities of a hospital residency. Now the director of the Heart Failure Program at a Long Island hospital, Jauhar uses his own story as a scalpel to lay open the American health-care system.

The patient is ill indeed. A perverse system forces doctors to prescribe unnecessary tests and participate in an elaborate system of cronyism just to cover costs and protect themselves from malpractice suits. Jauhar reports cases where a single patient might see fifteen specialists in one hospital stay, fail to receive a full picture of his actual condition, and leave with a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jauhar himself wrestles with his conscience as, struggling to make ends meet, he moonlights for a practitioner who charges exorbitant fees for tests of questionable value.

Doctored is a cry for reform; a fascinating look at what really goes on in examining rooms, ORs, and your own doctor’s mind; and, most of all, a deeply personal and unsparing act of introspection by a physician who wants to return meaning and moral grounding to a noble profession that has lost its way. It is certain to kick off controversy and heated debate at a time when the dysfunctionalities of our health-care system remain at the top of the nation’s agenda.

Publishing August 26, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book review: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

I have read all of Gladwell's books. I was super-eager to read this one, but in the end, I kind of felt "meh." It was okay. It's a cool thing to explain why disadvantages, like dyslexia or having a parent die when you are a child, can be an advantage. But I thought it ended very suddenly, and it mixed famous and not-famous people not terribly successfully in my opinion (he kept referring back to previous people and each time, if it wasn't a famous person, it took me a while to remember who it was.)

I did particularly like the story about the French town that harbored hundreds (maybe thousands) of Jews during WWII, fairly openly. And also the data looking at the rates of students majoring in the sciences at Ivy League schools versus at state universities was pretty fascinating. The story about Northern Ireland during The Troubles just didn't stick for me and the grumpy cancer doctor also was one that didn't resonate after the book was over. So I felt the chapters were uneven, and there really should have been more of a conclusion. But it was a moderately interesting, fast read.

I bought this book at Barnes and Noble.

Teaser Tuesdays: David and Goliath

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell p. 44

"One country after another has spent that kind of money because we look at a school like Shepaug Valley--where every teacher has a chance to get to know every student--and we think, 'There's the place to send my child.' But the evidence suggests that the thing we are convinced is such a big advantage might not be such an advantage at all."

My elementary class had about 22 kids (never over 25) and it was a terrible school. I learned very little there. Small classes are not automatically good. Gladwell explains several reasons why, here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

Up next:
The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier
Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last by Patience Bloom
The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries by Henning Mankell

Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Beginnings: David and Goliath

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

"At the heart of ancient Palestine is the region known as the Shephelah, a series of ridges and valleys connecting the Judaean Mountains to the east with the wide, flat expanse of the Mediterranean plain."

And that is there the battle was going on that David and Goliath's one-on-one fight was to resolve.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

“Waiting On” Wednesday: We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

Goodreads synopsis:
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.

Publishing August 19, 2014 by Simon and Schuster.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Byrd by Kim Church

Addie writes letters to "Byrd", the name she has given the son she gave up for adoption. This isn't the story of a teenage pregnancy--both she and the father, Roland, were in their thirties when this happened, but he was involved with someone else and was never reliable, and Addie never felt very maternal and felt her small life working at a bookstore in Greensboro, was enough. So she gave him up.

The book is beautifully written. There isn't a lot of plot. Most of the book is backstory, explaining how Addie and Roland met as children, Addie's crush, Roland's haphazard casualness with her feelings, and then how they remet as adults. I wasn't crazy about the sections of the book that switch from Addie's point of view to Roland's, and also briefly to her mother's, mostly because they were short and unbalanced. But that's a small quibble in a lovely novel. Byrd was sweet and quiet and honest without being overt. A great book to read lazing in a hammock with a tall glass of lemonade.

I bought this book from Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC, when I was at the North Carolina Writer's Network's Spring Conference.

Teaser Tuesdays: Byrd

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Byrd by Kim Church p. 40

"It's not some great romantic adventure, not like Kerouac. The deal with Kerouac was, he could come in off the road any time he felt like it."

Ah, the disillusionment of the mid-20s wannabee Beat. Honestly, I've never felt very sorry for those people. Those dreams (wanting to be like Kerouac) seem so ludicrous that they're doomed to fail.

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is now hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Books completed last week:
none. The book I am currently reading is huge and life has been getting in the way recently! I'm hoping things will settle down and I can get back to more regular reading soon.

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Up next:
Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America's First Sensational Murder Mystery by Paul Collins
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Life Itself by Roger Ebert

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Beginnings: Byrd

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Byrd by Kim Church

"Dear Byrd, This is how I told your father."

Throughout this book, Addie writes letters to Byrd, the name she has given the son she gave up for adoption.