This week of reading included a quick vacation with lots of bookstores, my book club pick, and of course, audiobook impulse-buying. I’ve been reading a lot of children’s lit lately, and as usual, a lot of my reading has happened in audio. It’s been a busy year with a lot of transition for me, so it’s pretty helpful that when I do have some time at home, I can both get my laundry folded and keep up on my stories. I did manage to throw in some books that require sitting still and giving them my full attention, though.
INBOX (BOOKS ACQUIRED)
The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen
I found this one on the tippy-top floor of a combined bookstore and clothing store on my trip to Michigan. It has all my wheelhouse signifiers: the Midwest, food, great writing. I don’t usually impulse buy cookbooks, but I couldn’t leave without this one. It has not disappointed. The writing, as I said, is great. The author, Amy Theilen, travels around the Midwest and writes about her favorite eateries. They’re not fancy hot spots, they’re the cheese makers and sausage makers, places to get tater tots and gravy, and she writes about the people and the food with care. If this doesn’t sounds perfectly Midwestern enough, there’s a whole chapter just for dips.
My Antonia by Willa Cather
I will not buy the Audible Daily Deal. I will not buy the Audible Daily Deal. I will not…okay I did. I bought the Audible Daily Deal. But I had very good intentions! Also, I’ve been meaning to re-read My Antonia. It was one of my favorite books I was assigned in high school, and did I mention that I’m a sucker for Midwestern culture?
OUTBOX (BOOKS FINISHED)
Sunset Song by Louis Grassic Gibbon
This was my book club’s pick for this month. I am going to make a full confession: I had no intention of finishing this book. It’s called the Scottish book of the century, and goodness, the thick Scottish dialect is not easy to get through for this very American Midwestern girl who has lived on a strict diet of children’s books for the last year. I felt a little like I was exercising muscles I hadn’t worked since college. But, after I started to feel bad about ditching my book club, and decided to make it through the book or bust, the gorgeous prose pulled me in. It was definitely worth the work.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Last year I moved into children’s publishing, and I’ve been working on catching up with all the big-deal books of the last ten years or so. When I picked up the audiobook of Wonder, I really only had a vague idea of what it was about. I was delighted that the audio featured several different voice actors for the different narrators. I was even more delighted at the book. It’s a lovely book about caring for those around you, and it was quite inspiring as I move forward in children’s publishing.
IN THE QUEUE (WHAT I’M READING NEXT)
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
I’m a sucker for YA novels that explore faith, especially ones that talk about evangelical culture in an interesting, compassionate way. The Names They Gave Us was recommended to me (by rioter Christine) as one of those novels, and I’m super excited about it.
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
I was discussing dreamy graphic novels with rioter Ashley this past week, and she was shocked (shocked) that I hadn’t heard of This One Summer. I put it on hold at my library and picked it up today.
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
I love British mythology, and I’ve always wanted to read T.H. White’s novel about King Arthur. When I read H is for Hawk a few years ago, it moved the book farther up my list, but I never pulled the trigger on the purchase until Audible had one of their big sales. (Can you tell Audible sales are a serious problem for me? They are a serious problem for me.) The one clocks in at 33 hours, so I’ll be busy for a while.