Thursday’s Bookish Thoughts – Tana for the win!

Thursday I have more time to post so here I am! We’ll see if the day sticks. Since last update I’ve read 5 books and watched one bookish movie. I’m at 84 books and 3 bookish movies for the year. Honestly, not the best reading week so far. I’d only recommend the first two!

The images and thoughts (added to or sliced up) are from my daily Instagram (follow me there @stacybuckeye)

Faithful Place. Mystery, 400 pages.

This was the third book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, but I’d only read the first and didn’t feel like I missed anything, even though the main character, Frank, first appeared in #2. The complex characters, historic Dublin setting, and slow build mystery, all made this a page-turner.

Frank, an undercover cop from a neighborhood who viewed him as a turncoat because of it, had never come to grips with the disappearance of his first love. He viewed his family as poison and went on to marry and have a daughter and kept them as far away from the madness as possible. But when his first love’s old suitcase is found, he must head back home and face the music.

So, so good. I loved Frank for all his flaws and getting to understand him in relation to where he grew up, which felt like a character of its own. The resolution was both real and heartbreaking. I love gritty thrillers like this. Highly recommend!

The Call of the Wild, 2020 film starring Harrison Ford

Chipotle and movie night, the one night a month Gage gets to stay up as late as he wants watching movies with us.

My one request was The Call of the Wild with Harrison Ford so that it would count for my bookish movie of the day. I haven’t read the Jack London classic in a few years, but I still consider it a favorite. The computer generated Buck gave him (and the other dogs) a more human feel, which is opposite of Buck’s story, but I see why they did it 🤷🏻‍♀️ I really liked the movie and had no problem falling in love with the fake Buck, maybe because I already knew his journey. I may have also been the only one who shed tears at the end, even though I knew what was coming!

Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champion. Picture book biography, 40 pages.

Known for his boxing skills, his colorful personality, his conversion to Islam and his new name, his objection to being drafted that ended his career for a time, his activism for civil rights and the Rumble in the Jungle, this book did an excellent job of including it all. This book was written before his death, but it does include his thoughts on having Parkinson’s disease.

Gage had never heard of Muhammad Ali 😮 so this was fun for him. He wanted to know more about the Sportsman of the Century. It was also fun reading some of his more famous quotes as poetry.

Hamnet. Fiction, 308 pages.

Our book club pick this month was Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. There were nine of us Zooming last night and I was in the minority on this one. It’s ultimately the story of of Anne ‘Agnes’ Hathaway from the time she met and married William Shakespeare through her grief of losing their son.

Little is known of Shakespeare’s life, but he did marry a woman older than him and they did have three children. We know that the son Hamnet died when he was 11. Shakespeare wrote the play Hamlet four years later.

This is a quiet, thoughtful book about the time (late 1500s) and of grief. While I did like parts of it, shedding tears when Agnes prepared her son for burial and appreciating the concluding last scene, I didn’t really care for the book. Much of it felt like a slog. But 6 of the 9 loved it and it’s gotten rave reviews everywhere.

The Pinballs. Kids fiction, 144 pages.

The Pinballs by Betsy Byars was first published in 1977 and it shows, especially in the first third of the book. Three kids show up at the Mason home as first time foster kids. Carlie, the TV obsessed tough girl, Harvey, the boy with two broken legs thanks to his father, and Thomas J, raised by 82 year twins after he was abandoned by his parents.

Gage was curious about foster homes and this helped explain how some kids ended up in the system. The kids are sad, but the Masons were loving and patient. I loved how the kids came to support each other.

Go To Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons From the Fog of New Parenthood. 178 pages

Unfortunately, this one was a little bit of a letdown after my love for Knisley’s graphic memoir about pregnancy. This is different because it’s a collection of comics from her first year of having a baby. It actually felt like the first year of motherhood with its random, but honestly funny, observations. It was short and didn’t take long to read, but I missed the story aspect of her other books.

6 thoughts on “Thursday’s Bookish Thoughts – Tana for the win!

  1. Les in OR says:

    I loved Tana French’s early books and Faithful Place is one of my favorites. I like how she takes a minor character from a previous book and makes them the main character in the next book in the series. I hope to reread most of those early books someday!

    My book group is reading Hamnet later this year. I hope we have a good discussion.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      I’ve only read the first, and now the third, so I’m looking forward to more Murder Squad goodness. Hamnet did lead to good discussion, and even a spirited group text discussion the next morning 🙂

  2. Gofita says:

    I love the kitties! I’m reading the Likeness the second one in the DUblin Murder squad series and I like it but…not as good as the first. I may enjoy the third one better. Glad you enjoyed it so much. I’m also glad that she picks different characters to focus on each book.

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