Last week was a quiet week for me here on Red Shutters, and that’s because I was reading. Reading three books at once. That’s a new one for me; I’m a monogamous reader, a one book at a time kind of a girl. But now that I’ve discovered audio books, I found myself listening to a book on the commute to work, reading e-books on the Kindle app on my phone, and curling up with good old-fashioned paperback each night before bed. Three books at once is enough to make any good reader’s head spin. It’s been hard enough to take all that reading in; I couldn’t manage to share any of my own words. (For another take on this “problem,” check out this post from Sarah at This Here Now.)
Books, books, I love you so! I have so many books to read in 2015. My goal is to read 45 books in this year—in addition to dozens of blogs, magazines, and newspapers. I’m a bit intimidated by the volume, but since I put my reading goal up on Goodreads, I’ve got to follow through. So far, during the first three months of the year, I have read 12 books and have two more in process. So far, so good.
As I sit at my kitchen table, eating way too many of the leftover Easter M&Ms (why are they so delicious?), I thought I’d tell you about what I’ve been reading and what I thought about each story:
- The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant – I read this for my book club, and I had such high hopes (Diamant’s The Red Tent is a favorite of mine). The Boston Girl is a great story, rich is Boston history, with memorable characters, but, overall, I felt it was too short and missed opportunities to get as deep into the main character’s story as I would have liked. I wanted more—which, really, is a compliment to the author.
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – I “read” this as an audio book, which is a great format for this novel. Three different readers narrated, strengthening the storylines and adding an air of unease that served the story very well. I enjoyed this book, and recommend it.
- The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon – Part of my immersion in all things Outlander, this book explores the adventures of one of the series’ secondary characters, Lord John Grey. Several Lord John Grey books have been written, and this one was recommended to me. I liked it, but will stick with the main Outlander series, preferring the storyline of the two main characters, Jamie and Claire Fraser, to that of Lord John.
- Kindred by Octavia Butler – Another book club book, Kindred was written by a female African-American science fiction author, which is very unusual (science fiction is often perceived of a boys’ club). A challenging book, Kindred leaves the reader unsettled by virtue of its rejection of a neat and clear ending.
- The Secret Life of Book Club by Heather Woodhaven – I reviewed this book on Red Shutters; learn more here.
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – Oh, did I love this book! I read it on the plane to our vacation in February, alternating between laughter and tears. And the best part is that a sequel is the works!
- The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison – Another audio book, this sequel to The Rosie Project didn’t grab me as much as the first book did. I might have connected with it better had I read it instead of listened to it; sometimes, audio books aren’t the best fit for every reader (I hated the way the narrated presented the female voices in the story and therefore couldn’t fully embrace the book).
- The Space Between and A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon – These two Outlander novellas (more Outlander, you say?) are offshoots of the main series and fill in gaps of the complicated stories explored in the primary eight books. Super short reads, they are best for those already immersed in the Outlander mythology.
In this post from January, I discussed Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, the first three books I read in 2015, all of which I recommend—especially Crossing to Safety.
What am I reading now? I’m in the middle of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, listening to it on the commute to and from work. It’s a compelling read and made all the more captivating by the excellent narration of Zach Applebaum. At night before I bed, I’m reading Katherine Graham’s biography, Personal History, which I am so appreciating; it’s a dense book, though, and I have a feeling I’ll have it on my nightstand for months to come.
What’s next up? Two book club books are waiting for me: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand and Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. Additionally, my husband is reading the first Harry Potter book to our kids, and I am hoping I to take over for book two. It’s too much fun to experience those books for the first time with the kids, and I want in!
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