What We're Reading Wednesday . . . and Thursday

It’s been a long time since I’ve linked up to What We’re Reading Wednesday, and I’ve missed sharing books with you.  Fact is, I don’t read as much as I once did.  That’s sad but true, and it’s the computer’s fault. Because it would be more accurate to say that I still read a lot, just articles and blogs instead of books.  I read great articles and blogs, and I share them with my Facebook friends.  But it’s not quite the same. So here’s a sampling of what I’ve read (relatively) recently that I thought it would be fun to share.

I got this one via Blogging for Books, and then took forever to read it.  My fault, not the book’s, because it’s engaging, easy to read, and interesting.  And there’s probably not much I can tell you about Paleo that you haven’t already heard, because I’m way behind the times.  I will say this:  people who complain about his ideas without having read the book . . . obviously haven’t read the book. 🙂 It’s far from being the had-core-you-must-eat-this-way-or-else diatribe people make it out to be.  And a lot of it makes sense to me, even if I would never choose to eat that way full time.

I was given Teardrops That Tango to review by the author.  This is a book that will get your attention from the first page.  It tackles all kinds of rough situations: child abuse, suicide, mental illness.  I know it sounds like a downer but it has a happy ending.  It’s definitely painful to read, though, especially because you know it’s the true story of someone who has suffered a lot.  But that’s not supposed to be the message you take away from it.  Be aware that although it starts out like one it really isn’t a strict autobiography, but also combines resources for those going through rough times with inspiration and advice.  It’s ambitious for sure and that can make it a bit uneven but it’s a story you won’t easily forget.

The above constitute comfort reading for me.  Our whole family loves Star Trek.  We have many, many Star Trek novels, which are some of our few books that survived the destruction of our home by fire four years ago.  We’ve been watching one Star Trek episode each night for months now, and having made our way through TNG and TOS (yes, in that order!) we are now experiencing Deep Space Nine for the first time!  Anyway, those first two books are sequels to the second-to-last TOS episode, which put me in the mood to read them; and having read them, I was in the mood to read more, and the next ones pictured are two of my favorites.  If you like Star Trek, you will like these books.

And I just started the Grisha Trilogy this week, and I am already on the third book!  Emily (grown up daughter) has been urging me to read these for awhile.  Emily reads like I used to read.  She keeps the library busy and she buys books too. Christmas and birthday lists are and always have been full of books.  And of course it’s more fun if you can discuss what you read with someone else who’s read it too.  I don’t know why I was so reluctant to start these.  I think I was afraid they would be demanding or exhausting but they aren’t.  The author has set her world in something resembling Russia in the 1800s and the familiarity makes it easier to immediately relate to.  Obviously the story is engaging and interesting or I wouldn’t be reading it so fast.  Whether I would recommend them I cannot say until I see how they end, and how the romance plot resolves.
Emily has already informed me what series she is going to make me read next, so I’ll have something else interesting to write about next time!
What are you reading? You can tell me in the comments! And for more reading suggestions, visit the other posts in the linkup!

What We're Reading Wednesday: The What-I-SHOULD-Be-Reading Edition

what we're reading
Participating in What We’re Reading Wednesday has shown me how boring I am.  Every week the other contributors post reviews of intellectual or inspirational reads, and I just keep on reading the same old stuff.  Which is why I skipped last week, because I figured y’all were tired of hearing about Patricia Cornwell.
So to spice things up a bit, this week I will tell you what I SHOULD be reading, and if all goes according to plan in a few weeks I should be able to tell you a little more about the books below.
the panther

OK, y’all, I have zero interest in reading this book.  But Nelson DeMille is a favorite of my next-door-neighbor, who runs the book club, so this is what we are reading for Monday.  It’s about a million pages long, and I haven’t started it yet.  But that doesn’t matter because this is a cool book club and if I don’t read it I’ll look it up in Wikipedia or something so I can throw out a few intelligent-sounding comments before I drink too many glasses of wine.  Seriously, we’ve already read one of his books, and I didn’t hate it; it’s just not my cup of tea.  But no one liked the one book I’ve had us read so far, so I will just be good and quiet and do what I am told.

I just got this one in the mail from Beacon Hill Press.  I’m an official Off-the-Shelf blogger for them, which means I get free books to write reviews about.  I have 90 days to read and write, but will probably try to do it this week.  I’m excited about this one!

I’m really excited to read and review this one, since I have three adult children in various stages of launching.  This is another Beacon Hill Press offering.

Everybody has been talking about this Paleo thing for awhile now.  So I’m excited to read this and to see how its advice conforms with the changes I’ve already made to my diet.  I’m getting my copy of this through Blogging for Books, a new venture for me.

Finally, here is what I am ACTUALLY reading. 🙂  I continue to make my way through Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, in chronological order.  Having read them all and knowing what comes later adds another layer to the experience.  Without giving anything away, this one in particular, which largely focuses on Kay’s grief over the gruesome murder of her lover, Benton Wesley, is hard to see in the same light now that I know the eventual resolution of this story arc.
Reading about Scarpetta always puts me in the mood for good food, since she is an Italian gourmet cook.  I had meant to check out the following for awhile, and had one of those late-night Amazon moments, found they were cheap, and now they are on their way to me.

I’m not a huge cookbook person–I cook mostly out of my head–but I’m going to enjoy these because the first weaves in a story about the characters and the second showcases recipes that are actually mentioned in the books.
For more of what people are reading, check out the linkup at Housewife Spice!
[UPDATE:  I never did read some of these.]

What We're Reading Wednesday: More of the Same

what we're reading
I’m a day late to the party, and it wasn’t because I was busy reading.  I only wish.
I told you last week that I was reading this for book club:

I started this the night before our meeting, and it’s almost 500 pages, so I couldn’t pay as close attention as I should have, but that’s okay because that’s four hours of my life I will never get back.
Maybe I’m not being fair because the one member of our group who picked the book and is into tech stuff really liked it, and it’s won awards, but I was turned off in the first chapter when the main character was called a “roll model.”  This would be the main character whose name is, I kid you not, Hiro Protagonist.  Anyway, this book is about a futuristic society in which everything is a franchise, even countries, and there are lots of those.  There are no laws anymore, and people live in their own sovereign nations called burbclaves where peace is enforced by private security.  Those who can spend most of their time in the virtual reality Metaverse.  No doubt the Metaverse was cool and cutting edge in 1992 when this was published, but the author’s minute descriptions of it are boring to a modern reader.  To give the guy credit, he coined the word avatar, but we all know what that means at this point.  In my opinion, this book peaked in the first chapter, which was actually pretty cool.
Other than that, I am still on my Patricia Cornwell kick, and am about to finish this:

Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books grow increasingly long and convoluted over the years, and I like her earlier ones, like this one, the best.  I’m not sure why I enjoy this kind of thing so much–I think it might have started with Quincy, which I watched religiously and which inspired in me the brief ambition to be a forensic pathologist.  My first Cornwell book was Body Farm, which I read because of the local connection (Knoxville is the home of the REAL Body Farm).  I found that I liked her writing and the mysteries, but really the key to these books is the characterization.  And now after so many years of reading these books, Scarpetta and co. seem like old friends to me.
And now back to work.  If you’d like more book reviews/recommendations, check out the rest of the linkup at HousewifeSpice!

What We're Reading Wednesday: Book Club Edition

what we're reading
This was originally posted as part of a weekly linkup several years ago.  But I still belong to the book club!
So I belong to a book club and it’s pretty awesome.  For one thing, it’s located right next door, so the fact that drinking wine is a large part of the meeting is not a problem.  A book club that sends its members home tipsy is kind of cool, don’t you think?  Second, we have an eclectic and fun mix of people who attend–men and women.  Third, my neighbor makes lots of yummy treats, so the meeting doubles as dinner.  Four, no one cares if you read the book or not. Five, we don’t just stick to one genre–we read all kinds of interesting stuff. Six, of course we talk about the book, but we also get off topic and talk about all kinds of things.  Seven, our meetings have been known to go on until midnight!  Seriously!
This is all to lead up to what I am reading Wednesday although to be honest it should be called what I might be reading LATER on Wednesday, because I haven’t even borrowed the book (there’s another perk!) from my neighbor yet.  But I do plan to do so later today, and since our meeting is Monday I should be able to tell you all about this book next week:

In the meantime, I got the idea that it would be fun to re-read all my Patricia Cornwell novels in order. (See, that’s the kind of thing I do.  That’s why I’m always waiting till the last minute to read the book club book.)  These are some of the few books I salvaged from the fire, plus I’ve added new ones since.  I’ve just gotten started, so I am reading this one:

I also finished up the Love Inspired romances I was reading last week, but you don’t want to hear about those. 🙂
If you want to see some other good books, check out the other entries in the linkup here.

What We're Reading Wednesday: Guilty Pleasures

It’s Wednesday so that means it’s time for What We’re Reading Wednesday with Housewifespice.
what we're reading
Do you indulge in “guilty pleasure” reading?  I know I do.  Sometimes I wonder why we call it that–I mean, are there really rules about what we should be reading?  SHOULD there be rules about this?  Isn’t reading ANYTHING better than not reading at all?
Yet, I do feel at least sheepish, or maybe just inferior, when I see what books other folks post on their online book lists.  They are reading history, biography, theology, or other books that aim to educate or improve.  Now, I HAVE books like that.  Y’all have seen a picture of my stack (and I can use an old picture because the size of the stack does not get any smaller.  Ever.), and it’s chock full of great literature and all that other stuff:
But nine times out of ten I don’t gravitate for the good stuff.  I’m eating really healthy these days, y’all, but when it comes to reading I go straight for the candy.  So here’s what I’ve been reading this week.

I found this at McKay’s recently and I was so happy.  If you’ve heard of Lois Duncan, a most prolific author of young adult fiction from my youth, you are probably most familiar with I Know What You Did Last Summer, which might have been the first of the many books that followed after about teenagers ruining other people’s lives by making foolish choices and then suffering terribly while trying to keep the guilty secret.   A Gift of Magic is more innocent.  I’m pretty sure I ran across it when I was in the 3rd grade.  We had a lot of books in the classroom that year, and since I was always done with my work early, I read a lot of them.  This was one of my favorites and I read it over and over again.  I love reading books over and over.  I know I should be checking new books off my list instead, but there it is.

OK, y’all, promise not to laugh.  I’m not even putting a specific book up here, because to tell you the truth, I’ve already forgotten the one I read a couple of days ago and I will probably forget the one I am reading now shortly after I finish it.  Almost without exception, these go straight to McKay’s as soon as I finish them.  But I still enjoy reading them (and they are usually free, obtained from my mother-in-law or as free samples).  What they are is Christian romance novels.  Some of them are a little too preachy, and all of them are formulaic, but they are feel-good happy-ending easy reads when I want something to read in the tub and that I can put down without a qualm in order to get back to what I’m doing.  They lack the love scenes that frankly started boring me a long time ago.  I wish that there were some Catholics in them, but my absolute favorites are the ones about the Amish.  Despite my love of my computer and my iPhone there is something about the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle and about the people themselves that draws me.

See, y’all, I’m not hopeless.  I’m reading this one too.  And it’s interesting.  But a lot harder work.  I’ve been reading it for awhile and I’ll tell you more about it when I finish.
What are YOU reading?  Dollars to doughnuts it will be more interesting than what I’ve shared!  So tell me in the comments.  And for more books, check out the linkup above.

What We're Reading Wednesday

I’m linking up with Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday!
what we're reading
Maybe I should call it What I’M Reading Wednesday because I don’t know what else anyone else is reading.  John usually has about five books going at once.  Emily reads about a book a day.  She visits the library regularly, and Young Adult is her favorite genre, especially fantasy.  As far as I can tell, the only thing Jake ever reads is Tolkien.  Teddy has not read for pleasure (to my knowledge) since the last Harry Potter book came out.  William reads all the time, but not books.  The computer provides his information.  Lorelei would rather watch t.v. than read.  Where did I get these children?
So here’s what I am reading!
act of contrition
I finally started reading this (after it was already overdue at the library . . . sigh).  It’s the story of a love affair between an intellectual and sophisticated widow and a divorced devout Catholic man.   This is set (I presume) in the 50s, when annulments were rare and in his case hopeless.  He has just asked her to marry him and as yet she does not know what this means for him.  I don’t see this one headed for a happy ending, folks.  The prose is beautiful and the story is interesting.  It’s told from the woman’s point of view, and her hostility toward the Church, her inability to comprehend it and her lover’s relationship to it, are fascinating for a Catholic to read.  This is a Janice Holt Giles novel, posthumously published because it was considered too controversial at the time it was written.  In these times, it seems quaint.

Yes, I really did read the whole opinion in the Hobby Lobby matter.  I did not want to weigh in on the debate based on either personal belief on the underlying issue or headlines I read on the internet.  It’s about 90 pages long and I encourage you to read it too if you want to have an informed opinion.

I’m still making my way slowly through all the Anne of Green Gables books, in whatever order strikes my fancy.  This is one I did not discover until I was grown up (although some of the events are alluded to in Anne of Ingleside, which was actually written later).  I’m glad I didn’t.  This is a story of the World War I years for those left behind in Canada–the only such account told from a woman’s perspective, or so I read recently.  It’s an interesting bit of history as well as a good story, but of course it’s very sad and I doubt it would have appealed to me as a child when I still believed people could live happily ever after. (It does have a happy ending, however!)
Finally, I just finished reading Michelle van Loon’s book on regret.  Please read my reflection on it here, and you can also enter my giveaway for you own copy by commenting on that post.  The giveaway ends tomorrow, and entries have been few so your chances are really good!
Looking for more great reads?  Check out the rest of the linkup here!

What We're Reading Wednesday #2

It may be Hump Day to the rest of the world, but to me it’s What We’re Reading Wednesday hosted by Housewife Spice.
what we're reading
Y’all, I am so boring.  Whenever I look at anyone else’s reading posts, they are either reading theology or the latest literary best seller.  Me, I’m still re-reading Anne of Green Gables books.

If you could see my stack of books-to-be-read (well, you CAN see it, because I’m going to share a picture below!) you would think I was crazy to keep reading things I’ve already read a million times.  My husband certainly thinks I am.  But 1) I find it comforting and relaxing and 2) I always, always find something new when I re-read a book.  In fact, this time I am finding so many new things that I have a sneaking suspicion that some things in this particular edition actually ARE new to me.  There’s no way to check that though, since the copies I read almost to pieces are gone.  Seriously, though, there is nothing like the thrill of reading the unabridged version of a book you originally read abridged.  It’s so delightful to read new things about your favorite characters!  Here’s my stack:
This is actually an old picture but the stack has gotten bigger, not smaller.  The afghans had to be put away to make more room.   How can this be? you ask.  Well, a couple of friends gave me boxes and boxes of books because they knew how sad I was about mine all burning up.  Then my church has an awesome book swap once a month.  Father Ron actually suggested to me last week that maybe I shouldn’t take more books home until I read the ones I already had but that’s not going to happen!
Anyway, I am going to START reading something interesting this week:

I’m participating in a blog tour for the release of the above book in my capacity as one of Beacon Hill Press’s Off the Shelf bloggers.  I’m very excited about reading it and writing a reflection on it.  I’ve also got to read this:
act of contrition
Because, you see, it’s a library book and I’ve already endangered Emily’s library card by forgetting to return the movie we checked out for the little kids last week.  This one is on Lorelei’s card and if I mess her card up I will not be able to go to the library any more until I pay some massive fines. I mean, I’m going to tell them the missing books burned up in a house fire, which is true, but they were already way overdue before that happened so I’m not sure the fire card will work this time.
Finally, here is something I read a couple of weeks ago, that I loved, and am going to review just because I want to when I have a free half hour or so:

I am so proud to know the author of this amazing book.  Maggie writes about marriage like no one else.  I mean, everything she writes is beautiful but her posts on marriage are my favorite.  More on this one later for sure.
I’m not sure whether I will be able to link this post today or not as the hostess is over 40 weeks pregnant, has not put up the post today, and may well be in labor!  So I am going to go ahead and put this up since I’ve written it, and I will add the link later if possible.  If you want to tell me what you are reading, please share in the comments!