Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekly Update: And now it's November...


Hello, friends. It's Sunday morning and it's light outside! Daylight savings time is finally over, but I doubt I'll be as happy this afternoon when it's dark at 5 PM. Halloween was quiet this year with only one group of trick-or-treaters (friend's children). I had my traditional peanut butter cup breakfast on Tuesday, then sent the rest of the candy to my husband's office. Our "grey-b-sitting" stint ended on Tuesday, too. Zelda misses Angus, but I think she's happy to be the lone greyhound in the house again.

trick-or-treat!

Nonfiction November is here. I enjoyed all the "My Year in Fiction" posts and started a new nonfiction TBR list. I've decided to read only nonfiction this month (ramping it up from one or two titles in previous years), so we'll see how that goes. If it's a success, I may carry it over into December.


Finished this week//


The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
To say opinions vary widely is an understatement, but I absolutely loved this book! A solid 5-star read and a contender for my favorite novel this year. Review coming soon.



This short book, recommended by Athira, was my Nonfiction November kick-off. I'll post a review later this week.


Current reading//


Brain on Fire by by Susannah Cahalan 
I ignored this book when it was released (somehow thought it was a reissue of Girl, Interrupted... the author's names are similar), but saw it mention on Sarah's discussion-worthy short books list last week. I clicked over to library website and borrowed the ebook. My hold of Hillbilly Elegy came in the next day, so I may end up saving this for later.



This book has been on my list since it was released last summer. My library hold finally came in Friday and then the audio became available Saturday. I still can't believe the timing! It's off to a strong start.


On the blog//

Book Review: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
Nonfiction November Week 1: My Year in Nonfiction
Nonfiction for Your Book Club


The week ahead//

Claire Messud is speaking at a nearby university this week and I'm going with my book club! We'll have a quick dinner-meeting, too. Should be fun.

We're off to New York again on Friday to celebrate my husband's birthday. No definite plans yet, but plenty of ideas! It will be a quick trip as we'll head back home Sunday morning.

How was your week? What are you reading?


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

47 comments:

  1. I've heard so many great things about Brain on Fire, and it's sitting on my shelf to read, though I don't know when I'm going to get to it. Ten Days in a Madhouse is also sitting on my shelf, and I see a lot of people reading it right now.

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    1. Rachel - Ten Days in a Mad-House was eyeopening... such horrible conditions!

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  2. I'm working on several nonfiction titles this month, including Neurotribes, White Trash, and Nothing to Envy. Like you, I'm hoping to just read nonfiction in November.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/11/im-loving-texas-book-festival.html

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    1. Deb - White Trash and Nothing to Envy are on my list, too.

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  3. I'll look forward to your review of The Emperor's Children. It must be good if it's in contention to be your favorite this year. It sounds like you have exciting things on the reading front. Happy Birthday to husband!

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    1. Pat - After all the mixed reviews, I wasn't sure how I'd react to The Emperor's Children. It was a happy surprise!

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  4. Oh my goodness those greyhounds! Such beautiful dogs.

    Ten Days in a Mad House looks good, as does Hillbilly Elegy ~ I will have to look them up!

    Have a great trip and birthday celebration!

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    1. Erin - These greyhound are just as sweet as they are beautiful... and so happy to finally have a happy life. Ten Days in a Mad-House was an eye-opening read. Conditions were awful there!

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  5. I'm with you on the short days. I want light in the morning and the evenings!

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    1. Kathy - Wish we could have it all ;-)

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  6. I hate time changes! I have way too many clocks in this house...lol. I'm seriously considering taking the batteries out of some of them, and making them purely decorative.

    I enjoyed The Woman Upstairs, and since you loved The Emperor's Children, I must look into this one further.

    Brain on Fire looks tempting.

    Cute dogs at the door! You'll probably miss that second dog, too.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I'm trying to remember if you read The Interestings... but if you did and liked it, chances are good you will like The Emperor's Children, too.

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  7. I kind of like it getting dark early for some reason! I guess it feels like more time to relax and wear PJs? I'm curious about the Nellie Bly book. I read a biography about her years ago and it was fascinating. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - There is definitely something cozy and comforting about long evenings, more relaxing, and PJs... I just have a hard time with transitions. After reading Ten Days in a Mad-House, I'd be interested in reading a Biography about Nellie Bly.

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  8. I hate it getting dark earlier too! I love non fiction and reading only nf for a month is a great idea! Can't wait to see your thoughts.

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    1. Vicki - This is the first time I've limited myself to nonfiction for an entire month, but so far so good...

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  9. I listened to a wonderful book about Nellie B. and her race around the world (Eighty Days, by Matthew Goodman) in case you're interested... Also, I thought of you this morning because I went to an exhibit of paintings by William Merritt Chase and he had a greyhound! I'll tweet it to you if I can find it online...

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    1. Audrey - I remember being interested in that book when you read it. Not sure why it wasn't already on my audible wish list, but it is now! We saw some William Merritt Chase paintings at the Met - in a gallery near Childe Hassam, in fact - but no greyhounds. Thank you for tweeting the link!

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  10. I already miss Daylight Savings, grrrr. Oh how I despise the short days. I like Zelda and Angus together, nice dogs. That's terrific about your book club going to hear Messud; wow how convenient ! You have me curious about her novel.

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    1. Susan - The early darkness is hard to get used to, and we get SO little sunshine here this time of year...November always seems especially dark and gloomy. AT least there are fun activities to look forward to this week. Can't wait to hear Claire Messud!

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  11. I've really wanted to read Brain on Fire so I'm curious what you'll think of it. I loved getting an extra hour of sleep but I admit I don't like it getting dark so early. Hope you and your husband have a wonderful time in NY!

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    1. Iliana - I've decided to go with Hillbilly Elegy this week instead of Brain on Fire. It was reminding me of Girl, Interrupted and I wasn't in the mood for that type of book right now.

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  12. We had 3 trick or treaters this year even though it was beautiful weather. I like the extra hour of sleep but it gets dark too early! Have a great week.

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    1. Nise' - I hated turning on the outdoor lights before 5PM today... ugh.

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  13. I read Brain on Fire earlier this year as I have an interest in how the brain works anyway, so I found some of the things mentioned in the book "stranger than fiction. I never read Girl, Interrupted. Was that fiction or non? Hillbilly Elegy looks like a good read. My last nonfiction read was Just Mercy, which I really enjoyed. I also read Missoula by Krakauer this year and a few others, such as The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, plus a few memoirs.

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    1. Rita - Girl, Interrupted is nonfiction and seems to be a similar story to Brain on Fire. I've decided to save the latter for another time and finish Hillbilly Elegy. Did you likeThe Short Tragic Life of Robert Peace? It's on my wish list, but I can't remember why...

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  14. Will look forward to hearing about laire Messud. I have just started Jerome K Jeromes Three Men in a Boat for book club. So far very entertaining. Have a fun weekend. At least the election will be over for better or worse.

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    1. Pam - Several bloggers loved the humor of Three Men in a Boat... I'd like to try it sometime. This election cannot be over soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

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  15. I love November but it comes so fast! And then there is December!

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    1. Patty - Oh, no! Definitely not ready for December!! ;-)

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  16. HillBilly Elegy is great! Very eye-opening. Glad it's come through. I'm curious about Brain on Fire.

    Your dogs are darling.

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    1. Susie - I'm hoping to finish Hillbilly Elegy tonight... eye-opening is the perfect word! In some ways it reminds me of The Glass Castle. I've put aside Brain on Fire for now, just not what I want to read at the moment.

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  17. Good luck on reading only nonfiction this month. I don't think I've read even one nonfiction book this year. There are not any in my plans for the rest of the year either. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - Nonfiction isn't everyone cup of tea, but I've been enjoying it more and more in recent years.

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  18. Enjoy your trip to NY! Hillbilly Elegy is definitely on my radar so I am interested to see how you like it.

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    1. Stephanie - I hope to finish Hillbilly Elegy tonight. As Susie said above, it is eye-opening. In some ways, I'm reminded of The Glass Castle, but Vance is trying to add some factual social commentary... I'm trying t figure out his intent, but still enjoying it very much.

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  19. What fabulous reads! I'm in the middle of Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive. I'm excited about focusing on non-fiction this month!

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    1. Amanda R. - I'm loving the focus on nonfiction this month! I've participated before, but never read exclusively nonfiction for so long. Reasons to Stay Alive looks good.

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  20. Beautiful dogs! Love the pic... and your autumn intro pic too! I'm with you- it's nice to have light in the morning but these 5:00 dark times are for the birds. Oh well. Halloween here was nice, we got more kids for a change but still not a lot, but the weather was nice. In recent past years we've had rainy/ windy conditions and even light snow one year, so this time it was absolutely balmy in the 50's!

    Enjoy your book club event and your weekend plans. And happy reading! :)

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    1. Greg - The early darkness really hit today... pitch black by the time I got home. Ugh! At least there will be Christmas lights soon;-)

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  21. I'm torn about the time change. I'm going to miss sharing a cocktail with my hubby out on the porch after work, but I do like getting changed into sweats and curling up on the couch with candles burning and soup simmering on the stove. What I'm not looking forward to it scraping ice off my windshield or walking Annie in subzero temps, wading through huge drifts of snow. But for now, we're in the 60s (and will be for at least another week) with a gentle drizzle. I can handle that!

    I'm planning to read nonfiction this month, but I'm in the middle of a novel that I don't want to set aside, so we'll see just how much I actually get to read! I've started Just Mercy (on audio) and it's already making me very angry. It would make a great book club choice! Thanks for the recommendation.

    Have a great time in NYC! It's been years since I was there, but I can still remember a lot of the delicious meals. :)

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    1. Les - I know Just Mercy must be a tough read for you, but I hope it will be worth it. Can't believe I've finished two nonfiction titles this month... the pace may slow as I try to make sense of the election though.

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    2. I think my reading just ground to a complete halt. I may go quiet for a week or so. Can't seem to gather any enthusiasm to read or write. I'll be back...

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  22. What a beautiful autumnal scene you shared. I hope you enjoy your month of non fiction reads :-)

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    1. Thanks, Jade. The rest of the leaves will probably be gone by the end of the week, so I'm trying to enjoy the beauty while it lasts.

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  23. I hate the end of Daylight Savings Time - it's dark when I get up on weekdays and almost dark when I get home from work. Trying to make time to get outside over lunch so I can get some sun, but you know that will be over soon when it's too cold. Love your traditional post-Halloween breakfast!

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  24. Ha! I own all three of your nonfiction books, so I can tell you have great taste. I will read Hillbilly Elegy next year as part of a (so far 1-person) group read. lol Well, some people on LibraryThing are joining me, I have less luck pulling people in from the blogging world. But I don't try very hard.

    10 Days in a Madhouse and Brain on Fire are probably not books I'll get to soon, but I longingly look at them on my shelves sometimes.

    You have good taste! ;)

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