Why, the rather staid young cellist Sarah wonders, should her aunt rent their spare room to the perhaps unstable Kari Zilke? Like the nephew in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, Sarah finds herself taking an unexpected interest in the lodger, but she is unable to stop at providing a mere introduction to Kari’s narrative of mid-life crisis and self-discovery, and develops her own more troubled tale of personal angst and growth, entwined with the account Kari herself purportedly left behind. Generational tensions, artistic collaborations, and even a romance steeped in Greek myth follow as Kari and Sarah pursue their very different creative paths in theater and music. And while Kari seems to blossom post-divorce, Sarah must grapple with the question of what the role of mothers, fathers, aunts, mentors, and male collaborators should be in her life as a young musician. from Goodreads
In Search of the Magic Theater 🎭 is a sophisticated story of two women, both creatives, whose lives change because of one person. Kari, a recent mid-life divorcée, rents a room from Sarah, a young repressed cellist, and her aunt. As Kari tries to find her way back to her passion, experimental theater, Sarah tries to find any passion at all.
Set sometime in the 1990s and told with alternating chapters between the women, it surprised me by having me more interested in one at the beginning and the other near the end. It’s heavy in mythology, art, and theater, as well as music. I felt educated and entertained.
I enjoyed the story of these women and the different ways that each approached life and found their own happiness. Anyone interested in mythology or theater should definitely pick this one up.
I want to thank TLC Book Tours for getting this book to me and for the author for sending a sweet card and additional information.
A week into April and I’m having a nice reading month so far. I’ve read 11 books: 4 picture books (all black folklore), 2 kids biographies, 1 thriller, 1 romantic mystery, 1 fiction, 1 poetry, 1 inspirational.
Posted in the order I liked them best. These pics are from my Instagram account, so let’s connect there as well! @stacybuckeye
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)
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
It’s 8 am and here in Cleveland, Ohio and here I am with my coffee, my stack of books and 24 hours to read. I’ll be reading books, a few magazines, books with my son, audio books for when I need to move or cook, and even blogs for a change of pace.
This is somewhere around a dozen Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thons for me and it will be my last one. When I did my first one 11 years ago, well, I was 11 years younger and without child. I loved the challenge of trying to stay awake 24 to devote time to my favorite activity. And I LOVED the mini-challenges. I loved checking in on the blog each hour or two and trying a fun bookish challenge and seeing everyone giving it a try too. Over the years I hosted mini-challenges probably as many times as I read. I think one of my mini-challenges is still my most viewed post ever and it’s from years ago. The whole 24 hours I felt like I was part of a community and it was a blast.
So why is this the last one? Well, I see that Andi and Heather are passing the reins on to someone else after all these years and thought it would be a fitting time to bow out. You can, of course, participate just reading when you can, no stress, but that’s rarely the way I roll 🙂 I like the idea of staying up 24 hours, but now the day after is really not my best day and I hate not being fully present for 2 whole days when I have a kid who needs me. Although, with this quarantine business I’m re-thinking that. We’ve been able to spend lots of quality time together lately, lol.
Anyway, if you are reading in the read-a-thon today too leave me a message and I’ll stop by to say hi. I’ll be updating on Instagram (@stacybuckeye) and the Facebook group. Stay home and read on!