Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

What We’re Reading Open Thread

9780812988406-us-300 I finished the beautiful and moving When Breath Becomes Air on the subway yesterday on my way to an endocrinologist appointment. I could have finished it in a day or two, but I stretched it over five days, which meant I arrived at my doctor’s office, after finishing the epilogue, in tears. The book is a memoir written by the late neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi in his final months of life as he faced his terminal cancer diagnosis and fought to make and find meaning in the limited time he knew he had left. He and his wife, also a doctor, decided to have a baby (a girl) knowing that Paul would likely not see her grow up. He hoped he would at least live long enough that his daughter might remember him. She was eight months old when he died last March. The book is dedicated to her and is meant to be a way for her to get to know him. It is also meant for other people to reflect on their own lives and how they find and make meaning in them and how they think about facing their own deaths one day.

The idea of mortality and making meaning of the life we have is never too far from my thoughts. But in recent years, especially since becoming a mother, I think of these ideas even more deeply. I think about the legacy I want to leave and how the way I’m raising my children is a way to extend my life — or at least my influence — even after I leave this physical plane. I think about my relationships and about whatever impact I might have on others through this site. Connecting with people and being part of a community — or communities — is, to me, the most valuable way, beyond parenthood, of making meaning in my own life.

And then there’s the idea of facing death — like, the actual process of dying — which is not something I’d thought too much about prior to this fall, when, over the course of about a week, I watched my father-in-law die. It was an experience that was stunning in its profoundness, beauty, sadness, and, at times, tedium. Anyone who has sat through someone’s final days of hospice care knows what I’m talking about. And the whole while, baby Joanie was there, her young life overlapping ever-so-briefly with her grandfather’s. The description in When Breath Becomes Air of Kalanithi’s 8-month-old baby being present in his final hours reminded me of those days this past fall. Of course, there was not so much tragic about our experience, sad as it was, and so much tragic about theirs, but the sense of comfort and peace a baby can bring in those moments, I think, is probably pretty universal. And so is the sadness; He won’t get to see her grow up. She won’t remember knowing him.

Anyway, this is a book that stays with you, which is the kind of book I crave. And now I don’t know what to follow it up with. Stay with the same theme or switch gears entirely (this sounds good!)? (I’ll probably continue with a memoir though…). Recommendations welcome, and I’d love to hear what you’re reading these days, too!

102 comments… add one
  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 9:28 am

    Sounds like an amazing book Wendy! I am one of those people that cannot undertake something I know will be this emotionally draining, I just don’t have the ability to separate myself from the story enough, and basically end up a depressed wreck after reading a book like that.
    .
    Ha to that end, I am actually re reading all (some) of the Jane Austen classics- my sister had one of those massive compilation hard backs that I picked up when I was down helping with her newborn and the little ones and I took it home with me, so far in the past month I have read Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and am just starting on Persuasion which I have tried to read a few times and never gotten much in to. I really loved Sense and Sensibility and after I read it I re watched the movie and ugly cried when Marianne and Colonel Brandon got married 🙁 RIP Alan Rickman. Once I finish Persuasion not quite sure what I will move on to next!
    .
    I also just finished Romantic Outlaws which was a biography of both Mary Shelley and her mom Mary Wollstonecraft and it was seriously amazing, but I love them both and that time period is one of my favorites.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    TheRascal January 28, 2016, 9:36 am

    I bought this book the day it published and finished it in one night. Dr. Kalanithi’s way with words is impressive, though I didn’t find myself emotional about his experience until I read the epilogue. Then, oh lordy, those sobs could not be held back.

    Reply Link
  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki January 28, 2016, 9:50 am

    I’ll have to add that to my list. Right now I’m reading The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco. Its Stephen King-esque. I love it. Since having the baby I read less but enjoy it more, so that’s something. I just finished This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Clint Edwards and before that Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). Both were pretty awesome. Furiously Happy was great because she was so open and honest about her mental health issues.

    Reply Link
    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:02 am

      I love Jenny Lawson! I repeat her mantra anytime I start getting into a dark place with my own mental health struggles – “Depression Lies” which reminds me to reach out to someone.

      Reply Link
      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki January 28, 2016, 11:42 am

        Its a great mantra 🙂 She reminds me that its ok that I get anxious in new social situations. And that its ok to say no to events when I know its going to push me to far. But also that I need to get out of my comfort zone and explore the world (which is how I made a new friend right after the baby was born!)

        Link
  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:04 am

    I got a couple of books for my birthday that I have been devouring. The first two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I’m on the second one now, and I might honestly re-read them both when I’m done (though I’ll have to wait to get the first one back from the friend I loaned it to when I finished). I also picked up a few more Heinlein books that I haven’t read, so that will probably come next.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 10:10 am

      Love him! I keep stopping in the middle of the second one to read other books, so I’ve been reading it for a while. But, I read In the Name of the Wind in one weekend! Don’t know what my problem is with the second!

      Reply Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:14 am

        Well it is a lot longer, and one of my coworkers was saying she felt like it got really slow in the middle. I’m enjoying it a lot, though. I’m about halfway through and I’ll probably finish this weekend.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 10:17 am

        I thought it was just me, but I feel the same way. Guess I just need to power through. And I need to stop finding other books to read.

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:32 am

        To be honest, I had similar issues with the Song of Ice and Fire Books. I got to the 5th one and just… couldn’t. Like I would start reading it, and then get distracted by something else because it felt like such a slog. I still haven’t ever finished the last one.

        Link
      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 10:44 am

        That is how I got as well, except it started with dance of dragons and I was just like ughhh I tried to read it for over a year and then just gave up. Everyone kept dying and I was just not as in to it as in the beginning.

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:51 am

        Yeah, honestly they just feel painful to read. I really like the story, the mythology, all of that. Frankly I’ve decided to just be a show fan and give up on the books.

        Link
      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 11:08 am

        Yeah I decided that as well at the end of last season when I knew they were going to depart from the books anyways… part of the fun of having read the books was I could one up my boyfriend knowing what was going to happen lol or know like when to look away. I am just way over the books at this point.

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 11:25 am

        It actually was really difficult for me to know about the Red Wedding before everyone I was watching it with. I was emotionally prepared, and no one else was.

        Link
      • othy

        othy January 28, 2016, 11:39 am

        I’m worried I won’t be emotionally prepared for any of season 6, because the story lines are further than the books now. I don’t know if I can handle it!

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover January 28, 2016, 3:10 pm

        I’ve always wanted to read the Song of Ice and Fire books, but decided I wouldn’t do it until they were all written. I got burned before on the Wheel of Time (RIP Robert Jordan) and I don’t want to do it again.
        .
        But now, after watching the show, I don’t even know if I want to anymore. It’s all just so harsh. The amount of horrible things that happen… I feel like it’s enough for me to just watch the show now. I don’t want to have to rehash it all, in even more detail, in the books. It’s just too much for me.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 3:16 pm

        Brandon Sanderson did an amazing job! If you’re not reading them because Jordan didn’t finish them, I wouldn’t let that hold you back. Sanderson kept the tone and content so similar to Jordan that it was eerie. It sounded like Jordan worked with his wife and she worked with Sanderson to keep those last books true to the series. Jordan made no mistakes in picking him! At least in my opinion.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover January 28, 2016, 3:32 pm

        Oh I know, my husband read them and recommended them too. We have them all sitting on the bookshelves, I was the one who bought the first one of Sanderson’s actually.
        .
        It was more how long the whole thing took. I think I got tired of waiting and just sort of gave up. I read the first one in highschool, and I was in my mid-30s when the last one came out! And now it’s been so long since I read the last one I got to, I think it was the 8th or 9th book, that I feel like I need to read the whole series again, which is sooooo long! But I’ll do it someday. 🙂 I just don’t want to go through that whole progression again with ASOIAF.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 3:49 pm

        I got lucky my husband introduced me to the series so I was already in my 30s when I started reading them. He on the other hand has been reading them forever! I just recently tried to start them over, but there are just so many books. I end up picking at it when nothing else sounds good.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover January 28, 2016, 3:55 pm

        That’s the thing, so many books! And I mean, it’s not like Jordan is the best writer on earth. He’s good, but he spends a lot of time on details that don’t need to be covered, and on “side trips” that lose track of the main story. Actually from what I’ve heard, Sanderson is much better in that regard. So to jump back into it is going to be quite an undertaking, lol. 🙂 Also, even though we already own all the books, maybe I should get the e-book versions actually. Because the other thing is I can’t take them on trips or anything because they’re so big and heavy. If I had them on my reader it would make it a lot easier. Maybe my library’s got them available to download.

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 3:44 pm

        Yeah, to be honest I would have highly recommended the books when I started reading them years ago, but now I just can’t. Books should be enjoyable to read, and those ones just aren’t (for me, anyway).

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover January 28, 2016, 3:51 pm

        Exactly what I’m afraid of. I’m sure they’re fantastic, and if the show had never existed I probably would have gotten to them after they were all written. But now, when I know what happens and really all it will be is a slog through all that awful stuff again… no. I think I’ll skip them.

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 4:26 pm

        Also, they might never be all written. That man takes his damn time.

        Link
      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 4:30 pm

        I agree, when I first started I recommended to everyone, now I tell people not to even start and to just watch the shows. Admittedly I get really emotionally invested in stories though but honestly the books got painful to read after awhile, they were just so unpleasant and made me feel like why did I just spend 800 pages reading that for this to happen. (Kinda spoiler) They made me mad, like really when people got killed off because you invest so much that it feels like the author is kind of just giving a big FU when they kill everyone ha.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover January 28, 2016, 5:39 pm

        Totally agree! Like, there have been some characters I really loved, and then, dead. Or characters who were kind of just starting out, they’re getting really interesting and you’re getting into their story, and then, dead. It’s one thing to kill off, like, one major character in a shocking twist. It’s another thing to kill off a half dozen per book. You kind of get to the point where a new character gets introduced, and you purposely try not to like them because they might get killed off at any time. I just hope Tyrion hangs in there, because supposedly he’s Martin’s favourite. But at this point, who the hell knows?

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 6:04 pm

        Yeah, but he’s everyone else’s favorite too, so GRRM might kill him off just to be a spiteful bastard.
        Here’s hoping that he doesn’t, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        Link
      • othy

        othy January 28, 2016, 7:41 pm

        For the record, his wife said she’d divorce him if he killed off Sansa or Ayra. So here’s hoping they’re safe.

        Link
      • Lianne

        Lianne January 28, 2016, 8:21 pm

        The show is so much worse than the books in my opinion in terms of the horrible things. I actually stopped watching the show because of it. I hate that HBO sexed it up as much as it did.

        Link
    • othy

      othy January 28, 2016, 11:42 am

      I love Patrick Rothfuss. Have you guys read The Slow Regard of Silent Things? It’s in the same world (and features the minor character from the Kingkiller, Auri), but a truly unique story.

      Reply Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 11:47 am

        oooh I love Auri! I haven’t read that, but I’ll definitely have to check it out once I finish the one I’m on. I’d definitely like to learn more about her character

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 12:01 pm

        Well great, another book to add to my growing list! Just what I needed 😉 I love Auri too so I’m pretty excited about this!

        Link
      • othy

        othy January 28, 2016, 12:08 pm

        The good news is that it’s a fast read. But fascinating.

        Link
      • avatar

        _s_ January 28, 2016, 12:26 pm

        Desperately awaiting the next book in the series! At least Rothfuss isn’t like GRRM who might literally die before he finishes his next book. Didn’t know about the Auri one, though – thanks for the heads up!

        Link
  • avatar

    Vathena January 28, 2016, 10:17 am

    OMG, I’ve been waiting for a thread like this. Kudos on the Dr. Kalanithi memoir, Wendy- I know I couldn’t handle it. I’ve been psyching myself up for “Room” for two years and still can’t do it! I’ve been really into Kate Atkinson’s novels lately- I read “One Good Turn”, then picked up “Life After Life”, and just started “A God in Ruins”. I also loved “Fates and Furies”. I’ve been trying to find some lighter fare that still feels like Literature, and a friend recommended “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” which I finished over the weekend (great blizzard reading!) For those into thrillers/mysteries, “The Girl on the Train” was excellent. And I thought “The Goldfinch” gave me a lot of bang for my Kindle buck. It’s long, but so engaging all the way through.

    Reply Link
    • Lianne

      Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:23 am

      I LOVED Room. I am excited to see the movie, especially since the actress who played the lead character won the Golden Globe. It’s not as disturbing as I thought it would be, actually.
      .
      I loved Life After Life. I also loved Where’d You Go Bernadette and Girl on the Train. The Goldfinch is my favorite book that I’ve read in the past 5 years. I loved the character of Theo so so much.

      Reply Link
      • Lianne

        Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:24 am

        Haha apparently I love a lot of books!

        Link
      • avatar

        ktfran January 28, 2016, 10:41 am

        I think I’m one of the only people in the world who didn’t like for Girl on the Train. At all. I know people really liked it though.

        I did enjoy Where’d You Go Burnadette.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 10:43 am

        No, I really disliked Girl on the Train. We read it for book club and I spent my discussion time talking about how much I hated all the characters, haha.

        Link
      • avatar

        mcj2012 January 28, 2016, 11:18 am

        I didn’t love “The girl on the train” either it left me wanting something more, something else, something different? Something…. LOL

        I haven’t read anything good lately. I like

        Link
      • avatar

        ktfran January 28, 2016, 11:33 am

        My favorite new author is Liane Moriarty. I enjoyed her newest the most, Big Little Lies. But I also really, really liked What Alice Forgot.

        If you want a good book with a bit of mystery, try The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I LOVED that book.

        Link
      • avatar

        keyblade January 28, 2016, 11:40 am

        I loved the characters in Big Little Lies. They were amusing.

        Link
      • Pamplemousse Rose

        Pamplemousse Rose January 28, 2016, 11:59 am

        I love Lianne Moriarty. The Husband’s Secret is also excellent. I was really glad when Big Little Lies was just as good!! (or even a bit better)

        Link
      • Lianne

        Lianne January 28, 2016, 12:40 pm

        I really liked What Alice Forgot, also. The only other book I read by her is The Husband’s Secret. I usually turn to her when I read something heavy and need something lighter.

        Link
      • Lianne

        Lianne January 28, 2016, 12:52 pm

        Even though some of the themes in her books are a little heavy haha.

        Link
      • avatar

        mcj2012 January 28, 2016, 1:02 pm

        I’ve read The Husband’s Secret, The Three Wishes and What Alice forgot (loved it) I haven’t read Big Little Lies, so i ‘ll order that next. I just ordered room.

        Yay to reading threads!

        Link
      • Lianne

        Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:51 am

        I shouldn’t have said I “loved Girl on the Train.” I think I love talking about books and got overzealous 🙂 I did enjoy the twists, but couldn’t stand the main character.

        Link
      • avatar

        Rangerchic January 28, 2016, 11:10 am

        I also loved Room. Not sure if I’m excited about the movie or not. Mostly, movies disappoint me when they are based off I really liked. I haven’t seen any trailers (are they even out yet?) so I might wait and see a trailer and then make up my mind.
        .
        I love these discussions so I can find more book recommendations to read!! I recently read The Night Circus…it’s a beautifully descriptive book but not one of my favorites.

        Link
      • avatar

        ktfran January 28, 2016, 11:14 am

        Oh good! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Nearly every person I’ve talked to said they really liked the book. I couldn’t stand any of the characters, so I have a hard time saying I liked the book. I did like the author’s writing style. But that’s about it.

        Link
      • avatar

        Vathena January 28, 2016, 11:38 am

        Okay, you guys have convinced me to pick up “Room”. It’s on the list! I agree that the characters in “Girl on the Train” sucked as people, but the plot twists were compelling. I was also reading it on the beach, which may have contributed to my enjoyment. 🙂

        Link
    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 28, 2016, 1:06 pm

      I think I must be one of very few people who didn’t like Room. I actually kind of hated it although I did read it all the way through which is more than I can say for the Kate Atkinson book, “Life After Life,” and Lianne Moriarty’s “The Husband’s Secret,” both of which everyone else seems so love but I couldn’t get finish. I’m sort of scared to try “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” or “The Girl on the Train” or “The Goldfinch” for the reason that if most people really liked them, I wonder if that means I won’t? I may also just be in an anti-fiction phase since it seems in the last few years the only books I’ve enjoyed have been memoirs. This wasn’t always the case. I guess tastes can change, but it’s still kind of weird that all of a sudden I don’t seem to enjoy any fiction anymore.

      Reply Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 28, 2016, 1:08 pm

        Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have enjoyed all of Jonathan Tropper’s novels, and those are all ones I’ve read in the last few years. And I enjoyed re-reading a few old favorites, like Catcher in the Rye, a couple years ago.

        Link
      • avatar

        MissDre January 28, 2016, 1:11 pm

        The Husband’s Secret and The Girl on the Train weren’t all that great (in my opinion). Where’d You Go, Bernadette? was decent (but I wouldn’t read it again), and I really enjoyed The Goldfinch (I’ve read it twice).

        Link
      • avatar

        ktfran January 28, 2016, 1:17 pm

        I liked her other books, Moriarty’s, better than the Husband’s Secret. And I agree with MissDre’s assessment of Burnadette. I liked it fine, but it’s not something I loved. I gave the later a 3 out of 5 on my goodreads page. I gave the former a 4, but her other books a 5.

        I can honestly say the Secret Keeper was one of the best fiction books I read in the last two years.

        Link
      • avatar

        Vathena January 28, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Fiction is my jam. Nonfiction just doesn’t engross me unless I have a lot of time to kill or the subject matter is really interesting. The last nonfiction book I read was “The Emperor of all Maladies”- also mentioned below (good for science nerds!) It sounds like a well-written memoir might bridge the gap for me, though. I’m going to keep an open mind!

        Link
      • othy

        othy January 28, 2016, 3:13 pm

        I’ve been reading it for a few months, and I keep picking it up and putting it down. It’s good, but it doesn’t engross me. Maybe it’s because I work in cancer research, so it’s too similar to my work day.

        Link
      • avatar

        Vathena January 28, 2016, 3:19 pm

        Yeah, I think one of the reasons I got through it was because I had a few long flights/airport delays so I could sit still and read for more than 20 minutes at a time. If I don’t have a good story to keep me interested, it can be slow going. I need to have my eyeballs pulled across the page for me, rather than pushing them myself!

        Link
      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 3:58 pm

        I’m the same. I just can’t get into non-fiction most of the time. I started reading Bonk, which I enjoyed well enough, but I never finished it. Mostly I stick to fantasy/sci-fi/comedy (love me some Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett)

        Link
      • avatar

        mertlej January 28, 2016, 4:12 pm

        I actually really didn’t like the Goldfinch. I slogged my way through, but under protest. I felt like the story meandered for quite a while, and the characters weren’t very compelling.

        I liked Donna Tartt’s other book, The Secret History, more than The Goldfinch. BUT, if you like The Secret History, I’d really recommend Tana French’s The Likeness. And hey, if you like The Likeness, I’d go ahead and read all of her other books, too.

        Link
      • avatar

        Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 5:42 pm

        I love Tana French! She’s definitely one of my favorite living authors right now.

        Link
  • Lianne

    Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:21 am

    I totally want to read that memoir now. I am currently reading Without You There is No Us, which is a memoir a woman wrote about her experience as a teacher in North Korea. It is interesting, but I am not riveted the way I thought I would be. I also downloaded the 2nd book J.K. Rowling wrote as Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm. The first, The Cuckoo’s Calling was so so good. This is the second in the series. I’ve also been reading some parenting/pregnancy books, Expecting Better and Bringing up Bebe. I loved the idea of so many of the concepts in Bringing Up Bebe. My husband is reading it now and fortunately, he feels the same way. I know many of the things we try will not work when we welcome this babe, but our main objective is to just be flexible. If something works, great. If it doesn’t, let’s change it up.

    Reply Link
    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy January 28, 2016, 10:30 am

      Ohhh I really want to read the books she wrote as Robert Galbraith. I’ve heard really good things, and I’ve always enjoyed her writing style. My to-read list is so long!

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 10:41 am

      I love the Robert Galbraith books! And anything by Donna Tartt

      Reply Link
    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 11:17 am

      I haven’t read Robert Gailbraith yet because I just love Harry Potter so much I am usually rereading at least one of the books at any given time and it is hard for me to imagine JK writing anything else, but I think it may be time to give them a shot.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        MissDre January 28, 2016, 1:13 pm

        I am absolutely addicted to the Robert Galbraith books!!! (and I also love Harry Potter and am usually re-reading one of the books). The second wasn’t as good as the first, but the third makes up for the second (in my opinion).

        Link
      • avatar

        Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 5:43 pm

        I concur with this assessment.

        Link
  • avatar

    jlyfsh January 28, 2016, 10:33 am

    I joined a book club last year so this year so far we have Joy Fielding’s See Jane Run, The Night Circus and A Little Life for the first few meetings. I haven’t started any of them yet!

    I started re-reading the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan but I got distracted by a few super quick free books from Pixel of Ink. Then I saw that the Magicians the tv show on Syfy was based on books so I decided to buy them and I’ve started that trilogy. And I am still in the middle of the second Kingkiller Chronicles book as mentioned above. I have a lot of partially read books on my Kindle and my Library Ebook app. I must learn to focus.

    Reply Link
    • Lianne

      Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:37 am

      The Night Circus is in my overall top ten. I absolutely love that book, the imagery, the slow-building love story, all of it.

      Reply Link
    • Lianne

      Lianne January 28, 2016, 10:37 am

      I also really liked the Magicians series. Some of it was slow for me, but overall really enjoyed it.

      Reply Link
    • othy

      othy January 28, 2016, 11:44 am

      Loved The Night Circus. The Magicians is on my list, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 30, 2016, 4:26 pm

      Loved the Night Circus. I keep hoping to see a new book from that author. I just started A Little Life last night. I’m interested in the Magician series, too. Sounds like you have a good book club!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    keyblade January 28, 2016, 10:34 am

    I definitely need to read this immediately. I’d love to have a discussion here afterwards. One of my favorite parts of this site is the sense of community. It is unique for me because the anonymity allows me to pop in whenever I feel like it. I don’t have to worry about how I’m dressed, or my grammar being a lasting impression which follows me back into real life. I can choose to disagree with the majority or say something in a rude or outrageous way that I wouldn’t say in real life. I love that.

    And I love books that strike a chord and inspire me. I’m a little weary of reading about abuse memoirs or polygamist families. That kind of stuff triggers a lot of anxiety and dark feelings. I can see why people would find them compelling and a worthwhile read, though. It’s just not for me right now.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 10:53 am

    I recently finished reading “The Executioners Song,” by Norman Mailer. It’s about the first execution in Utah after the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s. I think it was reccomended to me after watching “Making a Murderer.” Has anyone ever read it? I forced myself to read it. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, and it was so excruciatingly researched and presented…which in a way was interesting, especially seeing all the steps of the legal system, but it was a tough and long read.
    I also recently finished “Fates and Furies.” I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected to.
    And my most recent read was, “The English Patient.” That was a beautiful read. The film with Ralph Fiennes when he was twenty years younger….just yes.

    Reply Link
  • mylaray

    Mylaray January 28, 2016, 11:07 am

    Wow, I think I need to read that book too. It sounds pretty timely for me.

    I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’m really engrossed with Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a fascinating letter to his son about race and growing up black in America. I had read his very in depth article, The Case for Reparations, previously. He has a beautiful way with words.

    Reply Link
    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 11:18 am

      I love listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates speak as well, I have listened to countless interviews he has given and the way that he talks as well as writes is just really indescribable. It is quite moving and stupidly beautiful.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 5:44 pm

      Between othe world is on my to read list.

      Reply Link
  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja January 28, 2016, 11:13 am

    i’m finally getting to Gone Girl after watching the movie. which stunned me, and that’s hard to do. after that i’ve got the Sword of Shannara 🙂

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray January 28, 2016, 11:26 am

    Your review of the book as me in tears! I should read it. I like a good cathartic cry from time to time. I routinely watch “Ordinary People,” one of my favorite movies of all time, when I need a good cry.

    Reply Link
    • MaterialsGirl

      MaterialsGirl January 28, 2016, 1:26 pm

      oh I loved ordinary people! I was babysitting for some neighbors when I was younger (who happened to be Mike and Bridgette Nelson from Mystery Science Theater 3000) and they told me when the kids went to bed that I MUST watch that movie on LaserDisc. I think that I wasn’t quite finished with it when they got home and we all ended up finishing it together. Great movie

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        MissDre January 28, 2016, 1:35 pm

        LoL @ laser disk hahaha

        Link
      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl January 28, 2016, 2:09 pm

        hahah i know right? but their home theater was SO AWESOME (for the 90s)

        Link
      • othy

        othy January 29, 2016, 11:09 am

        As a huge MST3K fan, I’m quite jealous.

        Link
  • avatar

    K January 28, 2016, 11:29 am

    I’m reading A Thousand Splendid Suns at the moment and will be reading The Secret Keeper next, for book club with friends.

    Reply Link
    • Lianne

      Lianne January 28, 2016, 12:54 pm

      A Thousand Splendid Suns was such a thought provoking book to me. The main character was born in the same year that I was and reading the experiences she had versus mine were so interesting and eye opening. It made me realize how charmed the US can be (I know we have our own issues, for sure) in so many ways. Anyway, I really liked that one too. Much more so than the Kite Runner.

      Reply Link
  • othy

    othy January 28, 2016, 11:51 am

    I’m currently reading Death by Cosmos for my science-book club. We’re finishing that up tomorrow, and we’re looking for ideas for the next one. So this is quite timely!

    My stack of books to read right now is huge. I just finished Trigger Warning, a short story collection by Neil Gaiman. I’m currently reading Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (which is about the history of cancer research) and The King of Thrones (the second book in a three book fantasy series) and Matilda (in Spanish, to practice my Spanish skills). In my coming up queue, I’ve promised a friend of mine I’d finally read a Terry Pratchett book, probably starting with Guards! Guards! I also plan on reading some more Ray Bradbury and adult Roald Dahl.

    Reply Link
  • Pamplemousse Rose

    Pamplemousse Rose January 28, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot of books while nursing my newborn. On New Years Eve, I finished Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. I’ve read 2 of hers so far (also the Husband’s Secret – I think on Wendy’s recommendation) and she’s become a favourite author. I also read Spinster by Kate Bolick. It was okay – part memoir, part social/literary history about what being a spinster means through the lives of 5 particular authors who struck a chord with Bolick in her own life. Some parts were interesting but it was also a bit overly self-indulgent. And I just finished The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. I really enjoyed this one – it’s an historical novel 1920s where the main character becomes Louise Brooks’ chaperone to NYC in 1922. I’m going to pick up a hold from the library today – Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    GertietheDino January 28, 2016, 12:42 pm

    I’m reading “The Shipping News,” I’m not enjoying it so far, but I’d like to read it before I watch the movie, which is now on Netflix, so yeah.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray January 28, 2016, 3:15 pm

    You guys read so much. How do you do it? I read a Vanity Fair issue cover to cover…. about 8 months ago, and it took me 2 months.

    Reply Link
    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray January 28, 2016, 3:16 pm

      But while I was pregnant and during maternity leave, I did find time to watch the entire series from start to finish of: Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, The Sopranos…. and I think a couple other shows but I can’t remember.

      Reply Link
      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 28, 2016, 3:50 pm

        those are some damn solid choices. GILMORE GIRLS REBOOT FOR THE WIN!!

        Link
      • Classic

        Classic January 28, 2016, 9:57 pm

        Gilmore Girls was so good. My son and I watched the whole thing while it was on 🙂

        Link
      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray January 29, 2016, 6:51 pm

        Oh, and Friday Night Lights! I binge-watched that, too.

        Link
    • avatar

      Vathena January 28, 2016, 3:23 pm

      I have read 4x as many books since getting a Kindle. In a perfect world, I’d have plenty of time to spend thoughtfully perusing the library shelves, but right now it really works for me to have reading material instantly delivered to a hand-held device!

      Reply Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 28, 2016, 4:29 pm

        Here here!

        Link
      • avatar

        Anonymousse January 28, 2016, 5:48 pm

        Absolutely!
        This morning I calculated what I’ve spent on books for my kindle in the last six months…I’m thinking about revisiting the library!

        Link
      • avatar

        keyblade January 28, 2016, 10:28 pm

        At many libraries you can check out e-books on your kindle device.

        Link
      • avatar

        Vathena January 29, 2016, 9:34 am

        I have done a few at my library, but unfortunately most of the books I want to read either aren’t available or have 50+ holds on them! So I permit myself the luxury of the Kindle purchase.

        Link
  • Classic

    Classic January 28, 2016, 10:05 pm

    I have been reading so many library books– about five per week. So– library books are not the newest ones– lucky if 2013 or older? I copy/pasted everyone’s comments– thank you!
    I have been reading authors: Sci-Fi from Stephen Baxter, Barbara Kingsolver novels (so detailed!) and for some reason one library did have 2015 novel The Girl on the Train, which was good.
    Anyone who reads or remembers the few-years-older good books that would be in public libraries, I hope you will post those.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 30, 2016, 4:28 pm

      Barbara Kingsolver is one thing f my all time favorites. I reread and relish her books.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 30, 2016, 4:32 pm

      Look for “Swamplandia!” By Karen Russell, 2011. Really engrossing, similiar to Barbara Kingsolver. I actually lent my copy to an acquaintance and ended up buying it again because I needed to be able to share it. Her other stories and books are good, but Swamplandia is the best, IMO.

      Reply Link
  • kare

    kare January 28, 2016, 11:01 pm

    An older book that really stayed with me for days is In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. It’s a nonfiction novel – she had access to the sisters’ diaries, letters, and things like that and fleshed out their story. I really recommend it, but with the disclaimer that it is really sad.

    Reply Link
    • Classic

      Classic January 28, 2016, 11:18 pm

      I will look for this one. Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Thanks, Kare.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Elizabeth February 1, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Absolutely recommend “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by Caitlin Doughty. A female mortician gives an amazing study of death, death practices and discussion of all that surround it in a lighthearted and engrossing way.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment