This Week – Dog Days of Reading

Sorry this is so long. It’s been a long, trying week and getting anything done, especially reading, has been a struggle.

Do you ever feel seen? I received a 2022 calendar from the Ocean Conservancy, an organization I wasn’t familiar with but is definitely within our donation wheelhouse. Can you guess what else they offered if we gave a donation? Did I make it too
easy for you? Gage and I finished this in less than hour, which seems like it took way longer than it needed to!

Gage is feeling much better today. Mornings have been rough this week, but for the first time this he woke up feeling good. Now we just need to get him eating more.

I have News of the World by Paulette Jiles in one of my TBR stacks and thought that Jason and I could watch the movie before I read it. The movie was…underwhelming? Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel were terrific and I loved the last 10 minutes of the movie. Hanks plays a Civil War soldier who travels town to town reading the news to people who have a dime to hear it (he was a newscaster before tv). When he takes on the responsibility of getting a girl who had been kidnapped by Native Americans home to her aunt and uncle every kind of possible trouble shows it’s face.

It was okay, but not necessarily what I needed to see at the end of this particular week. Not sure if I’ll be reading the book anytime soon now.
When I ‘discovered’ Virginia Hamilton earlier this year I fell in love with folklore and legends and mythical storytelling. This book has all of that. It’s shorter at just over 200 pages and is perfect for a young adult introduction into the genre and the time period in America, mid 1800s. I really liked the book and learning more about the Yemaya and Obatala legend and love how Kopacz imagined a new story for them.

Yemaya is a deity of the sea in the African Yoruba people religion. When she decides to follow her heart and love across the ocean as his slave ship heads to America, she makes the decision to transform from mermaid to woman so she can find him on land. She is welcomed into a Native American tribe, taken as a slave, and saved by a Quaker before finding her special powers and her way north.

I love the beautiful cover and want to thank @atriabooks for sending me a copy. I’m excited to have this one my bookshelf!

I loved this fast paced thriller with its slow reveal and twists and turns! Just what I needed to end this crazy week. Delilah has been missing for 11 years when she is suddenly reunited with her brother and father. What happened all those years ago? Told from more than one point of view and time period this one is a winner for thriller/mystery lovers.

Gage made pumpkin bread with chocolate chips yesterday. Don’t mind if I do 😁. His appetite still isn’t great, but he feels a lot better.

So, I listened to the audio production of this one and loved the performances of the seven so much! I could have picked up the book and finished it quicker, but preferred to listen for 14 hours 😀

I’m mixed on how I feel about this one. It started strong. A small African village was suffering from health problems because an American oil company was depleting their resources and leaving environmental damage in their wake. I loved hearing in first person from different villagers. Their stories drew me in. The plight of those villagers was compelling.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that multi!generational story seems like it could have really happened. If you are in the mood for a story about how the powerful overpower the powerless then this may be for you. The richness of the storytelling made me glad I read this one, but it left me in a melancholy place.
Yesterday’s book left me a little depressed so this whimsical book called to me. This was just what I needed to lift the spirits.

Jess is still physically and mentally recovering from a near death experience when her ailing grandmother asks her to find an old family heirloom, a necklace that find’s true love. What she finds is a journey to knowing her roots and the stories of the women before her. There’s also a choice to be made between the safe and the risky.

This quote made me stop and reflect a bit, “There is is a philosophy that the way of soul mates is to come into our lives to challenge us, move us forward. It’s not the job of a soul mate to accompany us through our entire life or share every detail of our being. Once it’s purpose has been fulfilled, the soul mate is free to disappear.”

This was fun, especially for those who love old things, jewelry, genealogy, or want a story that will transport them to a more magical place for a moment. Loved it.
First, let’s talk about Milo. Milo is taking the subway with his sister and he likes to imagine the lives of the people he sees and draw a picture. He takes the train every Sunday and you find out at the end that it’s to visit his mom in prison. So many things to love ❤️ here and I loved them all, the story, the illustrations, the creativity. Gage and I will be trying something like this tomorrow at the park 😁

We’re learning about a different musician every week and it was Elvis week! Both of these were good, but we did prefer the claymation-like illustrations of the one on the left. Both had additional information and a real photo or two at the end. We’ve had a fun time listening to and watching clips of his performances this week. I wonder if we can still see those old movies he was in? I haven’t seen any of the 30 some odd movies he was in since I was a kid.
This was a fun summer read, that dealt with serous issues in an optimistic way. Letty arrived at her sister’s place in NYC to find her dead with her daughter standing there witness. She grabs her niece and high tails it south away from the bead news ex she suspects of the murder. They arrive at a small beach hotel and find acceptance there, but she’s still a fugitive.

I mostly listened, but did read the last 75 pages. I loved seeing Letty find a home, even if it took awhile with everyone, especially the ex, trying to track her down. Some twists and turns keep the action moving and make this a satisfying story.
This week has been the first real week of struggle in my 2021 book a day challenge. I sat down to start my book yesterday and just couldn’t do it. So, I picked up these two instead and my day was saved. So far this year I’ve read 275 books and watched 10 bookish movies.

Fatima’s Great Outdoors was released earlier this year and I loved it. Fatima is excited when her Indian family plans to do something as All-American as camping. She leaves her struggles at school behind and gets to have new experiences and learn things like how to put up a tent and start a fire. I love the memories that she cherished of that time with her family. Traditional Indian words and food are included into the story, which I love, but I might have loved it even more if a short page with definitions were included at the end. Big thumbs up from this non camping enthusiast.

The Great Bridge-Building Contest is a books for the older elementary child who is interested in American history, engineering, or West Virginia (our state this week). It’s taken from stories passed down in Lemberg Chenoweth’s family about how he, a furniture maker with a third grade education, beat out countless others to build what would become the bridge that would become the site of the first land battle of the Civil War. This full of interesting information.

Last month I read the novel Perfume and really didn’t like it. But when I was looking for a movie of a book I’d read this year this tempted me, so I suffered through the story once again. BUT, it turned out to be a better movie than book. Having Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman in the two big secondary roles helped. And not being inside the murderer’s head as much made it better too. I wasn’t sure if they’d go for the town square orgy at the end, BUT THEY DID. All I kept thinking about was how many hours and days those hundreds of naked people hade to lay on the ground and each other.

I’ll do a comparison of the movie and book soon.

13 thoughts on “This Week – Dog Days of Reading

  1. Les in OR says:

    Ooh, I love that puzzle! How many pieces?

    I’m glad Gage is feeling better and hope you all are catching up on your sleep.

    I agree that News of the World was underwhelming. Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel were wonderful, but the book was much better, in my opinion.

    I hope you have a good week, Stacy.

  2. Diane says:

    So happy Gage seems to have made progress. I have only read the Newcomer (fun audio) but, I do have the audio of How Beautiful We Were,

  3. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    Our book club, including me, loved reading News of the World, but a lot of people were very disappointed with the movie. The book is much better than the movie, I think.

    So glad your son is feeling better. That was a rough time for him.

    Nonfiction picture books are the best. I’d almost rather read them than grownup nonfiction sometimes.

    Your book-a-day challenge is amazing! Congratulations, Stacy, for keeping it up.

  4. Gofita says:

    I’m glad Gage is feeling better! So tough. Big hugs from my neck of the woods! Premonition by Michael Lewis has been leaving me in quite the melancholy moods the last few weeks as well. Important to know and read about but only in small doses.
    I’ve heard similar things about that Tom Hanks movie. I’m not sure if I’ll see it or read the book now.
    You’re amazing still keeping up with your book a day challenge! Awesome.
    I now need to see Perfume with Alan Rickman. Maybe I will watch that tonight. Looking forward to that orgy scene! lol.
    I hope you all have a better week! Big hugs.

  5. gulfsidemusing says:

    I’m glad to hear Gage is feeling better… it’s been a long week or two for you both! Your thoughts on How Beautiful We Were seem to align with most of reviews I’ve seen. I will keep this on my audio list (especially since I loved her first novel so much), but will be sure to make sure I listen at a time where I can handle the melancholy feeling it leaves,

  6. Mary says:

    I enjoyed News of the World (book) when it was first published. I might watch it at some point. So glad to hear Gage is feeling better. Great puzzle!

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