Sunday, March 27, 2022

March Got Away From Me...

Hello, friends. March has been a little crazy around here. Our daughter and her boyfriend were here for a couple of weeks (working remotely) at the beginning of the month. We enjoyed a visit from an old friend mid-month and my cousin was here for a long weekend last week. And now the month is just about over...

I've finished several books, but know I won't get around to reviewing them any time soon. Instead, I'll give you my quick takes:

by Sarah. M. Broom, narrated by Bahni Turpin

Broom is a good writer with an interesting family history, but I was hoping for more from the 2019 National Book Award Winner. I was looking for bigger picture insights into how social and economic policies/programs impacted families in post-Katrina New Orleans East. 
Bahni Turpin's narration, as always, was excellent. 

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

I discovered Mary Lawson earlier this year through her new novel, A Town Called Solace. Now I'm diving into her backlist. Crow Lake, written two decades ago, is a novel about four orphaned siblings, their relationships with one another, and how youthful choices shape their adult lives. Beautifully written, with exceptional character development and remarkable insight into sibling relationships, this quiet novel left me feeling a little blue. I will likely raise my rating to 4.5 stars with time.

by Erik Larson, narrated by Stephen Hoye

Given what's happening in the world today, this book about William E. Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Hitler's Germany in the 1930s, seemed very timely. In addition to the Ambassador, Larson also includes the experiences of  his wife, adult son, and adult daughter as Hitler's power and influence continued to grow. Fascinating reading and listening.

by Eleanor Morse, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

This character-driven family novel set in 1960s coastal Maine didn't get a lot of buzz when it was published last year, so I'm glad I discovered it on the library's new release shelf. The audio was also available to download, so I experienced it as a read/listen combination. Magreete Bright is showing increasing signs of dementia and her situation becomes a crisis when she accidentally starts a fire in her kitchen. At that point, Magreete's daughter, Liddie, her husband, and their three children leave Michigan and move into Magreete's Maine home. While subject matter may be depressing, Morse handles it all so tenderly. The audio added to my overall experience.

by Sara Manning Peskin, narrated by Ann Richardson

Surprisingly engaging for a such scientific topic, I primarily listened to this book. Cognitive neurology, molecular science, actual patient profiles, and interesting accounts of scientists involved in making the discoveries held my interest throughout the entire book. I couldn't get enough.

Current Reading//

by R.C. Sherriff, narrated by Jilly Bond

After a slow start, I'm about a third of the way into this book and finding it to be a delight.

Favorite puzzle of the month//

I love New York Puzzle Company puzzles! This is one of their new designs.

Coming up//

Tomorrow we have tickets for Beyond Van Gogh in Sarasota. I've been looking forward to it all month.

Next weekend we're off to Connecticut. We'll spend most of April setting up our condo so we're ready to live there this summer. We're also planning to visit my family in NY for Easter.

With all of that, my plan is to take a blogging break for the month of April. I'll (hopefully) keep up with your blogs, but doubt I'll post again until early May.

How did March treat you? What was your favorite book of the month?
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 6, 2022

February Wrap-Up and Plans for March


So February was kind of crazy, but in a mostly good way. Much of the month was spent dealing with real estate transactions. In fact, this post probably reads more like a real estate round-up than a reading wrap-up... sorry.

 We had a few hiccups selling the condo here, but that finally closed on schedule as planned. (The condo used to be our vacation place, but when we decided to move here full time we bought a house instead.)

The next step was to find a condo in Connecticut where we can go to escape the heat, humidity, and hurricanes of Florida summers. That was a slightly wilder process, but the closing happened on Friday. My husband flew up for a few days and one of our NYC daughters and boyfriend took the train up for a day to check things out and be supportive.


The highlight of the month was a visit from my sister and BIL. We also had a short visit from a NY friend, and now Twin B and her boyfriend are in the midst of a two week visit. They still have the ability to work remotely and are taking full advantage while they can.

February Reading//  Yes, there was a little of that, too. I managed to read a grand total of two books last month.

The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami
Mostly a disappointment, reviewed here.

I never got around to reviewing this book, but there's still hope. A 5-star read/listen combination for me, it's easy to understand why it won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

March Reading Possibilities//

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom -  *finished, nonfiction, review coming soon

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - nonfiction, current read/listen combination

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - backlist fiction from a favorite author, currently reading

Honor by Thrity Umrigar - new fiction by a favorite author

French Braid by Anne Tyler - new fiction by a favorite author

Other March Plans//

We got tickets to see Beyond Van Gogh in Sarasota at the end of the month! Several friends have recommended this experience - I can't wait!

We're looking forward to more visitors this month... my cousin, then my brother and his fiancĂ©. With any luck, we'll take in a baseball spring training game. It's not looking hopeful right now.

Car shopping is no fun even in the best of times. Our current vehicle will 'retire' to our condo in CT, so we'll need something else down here that we'll eventually drive up and down the coast. I'm not looking forward to this at all. Wish us luck!

My favorite February puzzle

That's it for my month... how was your February? What have you been reading?


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