Monday, September 19, 2016

Reading Update

Back in January when I wrote this list, I was pretty convinced I’d get through it in about 6 months. And while I’ve definitely read a whole bunch of books since the start of the year, I didn’t exactly stick to the syllabus.

So here's a look at what I did read. (Just a quick aside, I'm trying out the Amazon affiliate program, so there are affiliate links to all the books in this post, which just means that if you click and buy it, I get a small commission.) 

All Joy and No Fun: This book was so good. I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I found myself totally engrossed with the subject matter. It’s more about parenthood than parenting—less “here’s how to sleep train your kid” and “here’s how to get them to eat broccoli at every meal and totally love it” and more about concepts like scheduling and burnt out and what parenting looks like now. I found myself nodding through the beginning, which focuses on early parenting and my current stage.  

The Stories Life of AJ Fikry: We read this book for our bi-monthly book club, which has, as you might imagine, morphed into our bi-monthly lets hang out and maybe talk about books we’re reading that the others are totally not club. That’s totally ok with me. So it’s been awhile since I read this one, but I remember thinking how the beginning threw me off a little bit—at first I couldn’t tell if AJ, who owns a bookstore and whose wife had passed away, was imagining things happening (like the baby being left in the store) or if it was actually happening. I’m happy I stuck with it though, because it definitely gets better—the story centers around the bookstore and his raising of his daughter, as well as a relationship that develops with a new love interest. I particularly liked going back and reading the book reviews written from AJ’s perspective at the start of each chapter.

All the Light We Cannot See: This is a story in the true sense of the word: the writing is amazing, the characters are developed and it takes place in a time and setting most of us haven’t experienced. There are so many books about World War II out there, but this one takes it from a totally different perspective—a young German orphan turned soldier and a blind French girl living with her reclusive uncle. It weaves the stories together in a seamless way, and since the characters are younger than in many other war stories, I found the perspective to be a different one as well.

My Antonia: Ok, I got to the second chapter—I think?—and abandoned it. I’m still determined to get back to it one of these days, so….

So, while I only got three on the main list, I did read a whole bunch more. Some other recent books I’ve read and liked:

Modern Lovers: This book was everywhere this summer and it had be totally engrossed. I think I read it in just a few days. It’s also happens to be the exact kind of story I like to read: character driven, generationally driven, and about every day life, which to me, can be the most interesting subject of all. It’s basically about college friends who went on to live near each other and whose kids have grown up together—and the relationships that have developed. I totally recommend this one.

Homegoing: The structure of this book might have been my favorite part: it jumped from generation to generation with each chapter, so that before you know it you’ve gone from the 1700’s to the 1900’s. The story focuses on the start of the American slave trade in Africa and traces the family lines of two half-sisters through the centuries. It’s ambitious, for sure but I found it completely mesmerizing. I loved, in particular, the role of motherhood in the stories and what it meant throughout those years.

A Window Opens: I recognized so much of my own daily life in this book, which is about a mother who goes to work for a tech company. I don’t work for a tech company or anything, but just the whole daily juggle of working and parenting and marriage. There was so much of what I imagine life will be like when Luca is a bit older. There were parts that I wish were a bit more developed, but overall, it was a quick, good read.

Well, based on the original list, I still have a few more books to tackle before December. Here’s to lots more reading in the coming months.

(And just one more time: I'm trying out the Amazon affiliate program, so there are affiliate links to all the books in this post, which just means that if you click and buy it, I get a small commission.) 

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