Monday, May 30, 2016

Weekly Update: Memorial Day

Hudson River sunset

We are in the midst of a long holiday weekend, and it's been big one for our family. Twin A graduated from college last December, but the official ceremony was on Saturday and we were all back on campus for the festivities.  Afterwards, we gathered for dinner overlooking the Hudson River... a beautiful day despite temperatures well into the 90s. Sunday we had brunch and wandered around Rhinebeck, NY, then dodged thunderstorms all the way home. Today we're putting in the docks and hosting a barbecue. Summer is here!

Unfortunately, there hasn't been much reading. This update represents the past two weeks.

Finished last week//



West With the Night by Beryl Markham
This was a follow-up to the fictionalized biography Circling the Sun. In retrospect, I wish I'd read it first. A post on both books is in my draft folder.




Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
I read this last weekend and loved it. Now I'm on a mission to read all of Graham Swift's novels.


Current reading//


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This began as a read/listen combination, but I'm just listening now. At the 50% mark, it's good but I'm not seeing what all the fuss is about just yet. We'll see how the second half goes.



The Children by Ann Leary
I'm still 'meeting' the main characters, but this one seems promising. Leary's novel The Good House was a favorite a few years ago, so my expectations are high.


On the blog//

Review: When Breath Becomes Air  by Paul Kalanithi
Pages From the Past: My 2005 Reading Journal
Tuesday Intro: Tuesday Nights in 1980  by Molly Prentiss
Review: The Nest  by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney


What are you reading this holiday weekend?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

42 comments:

  1. Congratulations to your daughter! That is a beautiful sunset photo! i enjoyed The Nightingale. The first half was a little slow though. I hope you enjoy the rest of it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. Pat - Several people have mentioned that The Nightingale gets better in the second half. I'm almost there!

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  2. I read Nightingale in Jan and it is my book club's choice this month also. What I appreciated the most is that I am not a historic genre fan, I do love Kristin Hannah and I was amazed that she kept me engaged. It was a 4 1/2star for me. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Marce - I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction either, so we'll see if the second half wins me over :)

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  3. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I loved The Children!

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    1. Kathy - Your review mad me even more excited to get started reading The Children. It feels like it's going to be a winner!

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  4. It sounds like you're having a great weekend and I love that sunset photo! We are finally enjoying some dry weather after a week of storms (and over 6 inches of rain!).

    As I recall, it took me a while to understand what all the fuss was about when I started reading The Nightingale. I think by the halfway point, it starts to shine. Hope you enjoy it.

    This weekend, I'm engrossed in Her by Harriet Lane. The alternating POV by the two women reminds me a little bit of The Girl on the Train. It's definitely grabbing my attention and I'm eager to get back out to the porch later this afternoon and finish it.

    Have a good week, JoAnn!

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    1. Les - I'm almost at the halfway mark now, so hope The Nightingale picks up soon. I'm enjoying it well enough now, just can;t understand why it gets so much love yet. We'll see.

      Saw your comments on finishing Her on goodreads. Not sure I'll reach for it anytime soon ;-)

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  5. What a beautiful place you have! I will have to check out Ann Leary's works. Happy reading :)

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    1. Bina - The photo is from our hotel room's balcony. Such a beautiful spot... it was perfect for a post-graduation reception!

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  6. I loved The Children...hope you do, too, and I'm curious about Mothering Sunday.

    Your sunset is gorgeous! Congrats on all your celebrations, and enjoy the day...and the week.

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - The Children is off to such a strong start. I'm loving it after just a few pages... can't wait to pick it up tonight!

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  7. The Good House by Ann Leary is on my TBR so I've been curious about The Children. That's interesting about the Beryl Markham books. I'll have to remember to read her book first before reading the fictional account. Sounds like a busy and lovely weekend! Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - The Good House is AMAZING on audio... one of the best narrations ever in my opinion. I highly recommend going that route if you can find a copy. Beryl Markham was such an interesting person, though she doesn't reveal much in her memoir. I guess that's why there is a place for the novel... it sort of fills in the blanks.

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  8. I didn't really get the fuss over The Nightingale either...was decent, but nowhere close to earth shattering. And - I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on The Children. I enjoyed The Good House as well.

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    1. Sarah - I've heard from a few people that The Nightingale really picks up in the second half. I'm just about there and curious to see if that will be the case for me. Have a feeling I may fall more in line with your reaction though...

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  9. Beautiful sunset! Hope you guys are having a great Memorial Day. Congrats on the graduation and enjoy the barbecue!

    The Children looks like an interesting read.

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    1. Greg - We had such a wonderful weekend - graduation, barbecues, and summer-like weather made it all perfect! The Children is shaping up to be a great read!

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  10. College graduations are always bittersweet. When my son graduated college, it was like a big billboard telling me that my baby is no longer my baby. Enjoy the barbecue and your day!

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    1. Kathy - They sure are! I am very thankful she has a job lined up to start this summer... not many of her friends have been that lucky.

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  11. Congratulations on the graduation. Just brought home The Children. The sunset picture is gorgeous.

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    1. Nise' - Thanks, it was such a wonderful weekend. We'll have to compare notes on The Children.

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  12. I've heard really great things about Ann Leary's books and I'm intrigued--although I'll admit that I'm also intrigued because that's my sister-in-law's name (although she is an Anne with an "e"!)

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    1. Melinda - I'd say it's a sign if her books sound interesting AND it's your SIL's name! The Children is off to a very strong start.

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  13. Did you ever see the movie of Graham Swift's Last Orders?

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    1. Nan - You always have the best movie suggestions - thank you!! I did not even know it had been made into a movie.

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  14. You now have me intrigued by Graham Swift, that is. A high recommendation. I also didn't see what the fuss was over The Nightingale. I think I stopped after a while, it did not grab me,.
    Congrats on the graduation!

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    1. Tina - I should have a review ready for Mothering Sunday by next week, but am so intrigued with Swift's style. Can't wait to read more. As for The Nightingale, the jury is still out. But I am enjoying the audio production.

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  15. Loved seeing you photos on Instagram over the weekend. I loved "West With the Night". I did read it first; I think it is the reason I didn't enjoy "Circling the Sun" so much. "The Nightingale was okay. I found it a little slow. I'm reading "Dead Wake" now. I adore everything Erik Larson writes. Hoping to find more reading time now that school is out.

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    1. Bonnie - I'm working on a post about Circling the Sun, West With the Night, and my book club now. I was hoping West With the Night would add more details to Circling the Sun. It did in some areas, but left out all of her personal relationships. Dead Wake is on my wish list. I enjoyed Devil in the White City very much and hope to listen/read his latest soon!

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  16. Tuesday Nights in 1980 didn't pass the Nancy Pearl test; the 80's NY art scene not my cup of tea. The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild is an entirely different ballgame. The contemporary London art scene and folks with millions to blow on old 18th century art is a real hoot, something most of us can only read about and get a good laugh. I'm really enjoying this one. Fast paced and extremely well written. Highly recommend.

    Enjoyed the grad pic. I'm sure you are very proud!

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    1. JudyMac - I guess it didn't pass the Nancy Pearl test for me either, because I just glanced at The Children and never wanted to go back to Tuesday Nights. Oh well... The Improbability of Love has been on my radar. Sounds like I should see if there's a copy at the library.

      We are so proud of our daughter... especially since she has a job waiting for her in NYC! She and our oldest daughter are looking for an apartment this week. Good timing since big sister's lease is up next month.

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  17. I didn't understand the fuss about the The Nightingale either. I'm currently enjoying Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving. Sounds like you are officially bringing in summer if you are putting in the docks. Enjoy.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - Those docks definitely signal the arrival of summer! They're much too awkward and heavy to handle without help, so it's always an excuse to throw a party. I was a huge John Irving fan for years, but got turned off by Until I Find You and haven't even tried his last couple of novels. Still trying to decide if I should give give Avenue of Mysteries a shot. Your enjoyment is encouraging.

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  18. Sounds like a wonderful holiday weekend, we also had a bank holiday here in the UK. Plus the school's have broken up for a week's holiday so I am looking forward on catching up on my reading. I am currently reading The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris.

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    1. Jessicabookworm - Sounds like you have a wonderful week ahead! I've enjoyed at least a couple of Joanne Harris novels.

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  19. It's so much more fun to step into summer! You can read the rest of your summer away!

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    1. Patty - I sure hope it works out that way!!

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  20. JoAnn--
    Oh yes! I loved The Good House! What a great read, but I don't think it received the notice it should have. I'll look for her newest one. But I so many books I want to read this summer, but it seems my free time is being spent outdoors and the rest working. I do have high hopes, though!!

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    1. Judith - You're right! The Good House didn't receive nearly the attention it deserved, and it was such a good book. It seems I always have way too many books on my list every summer, too. I actually read more during the winter.

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  21. Just downloaded The Nightingale this morning - kind of wishing I had read your thoughts before I dropped any money on it!

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    1. Lisa - The second half of The Nightingale got much better!! By the end of the book, I'd forgotten the slow start. I'm not in a hurry to read any more WWII books right away though.

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