Weekly Wrap-Up #25-28

Well I’m still around! I just moved 1,000 miles away this past week and haven’t had the time to update y’all on all the books I’ve read and am currently reading. Instead I’ve spent time being back with my boys. And finding out we are having another boy in November whose name will be Vincent. And growing a big belly to accommodate that boy.

So here is what I’ve been reading these past few weeks.

Because June 30th was my last day at my Texas library, I had to return all my items on that day. That meant I had to finish my Adult, Juvenile, and Young Adult Fiction books and my one Audio before or on that day.

I probably could have read more but that last week I got suckered into watching the Hulu Original Series The Handmaid’s Tale which is based on the book by Margaret Atwood. I have only watched the first 6 episodes and it’s really graphic. Like, I highly doubt Atwood wrote the explicit scenes to the degree the show portrays them. I could be wrong, but I’m not finishing the rest of the episodes, even though I’m equally disturbed and intrigued by the story. This dystopian tale, published way back in 1986, will be on my to-be-read list, however.

But more on what I actually finished reading by June 30th and what I’ve been reading in during my stolen minutes in July.

Audio

In the Company of Others by Jan Karon and read by Erik Singer

Finishing this book was like getting my teeth pulled. And after finishing it, I’m not even sure it was worth it.

This story is about a trip retired Reverend Tim and his wife take to Ireland. Someone has been wrecking havoc at the inn the couple has decided to stay in. Things are going missing and people are getting hurt. Meanwhile, this couple is reading the journal of a deceased doctor whose home they tour later on in the story. It turns out {SPOILER} that the wall picture that went missing at the inn was hidden in the castle’s cellar storage owned by the mother of the inn owner. Who put it there? Thanks to the lovely relationship between the accomplice and Tim’s wife, the couple finds out the truth and leave it up to the accomplice to come clean.

In addition, the retired Reverend isn’t as retired as he perhaps thought. He helps an old bitty accept Jesus and counsels many an Irish folk into having more of a personal relationship with Jesus. I think these parts of the story bored me and it’s not because I am anti-salvation! It’s just, these stories are fake. I would be far more inspired and touched if they were real stories based on true accounts.

Beyond that and the lazy speed at which the story develops, I was very disturbed with the discussion over Dooley and his girlfriend’s torrid relationship. Dooley calls his adopted dad, the Reverend, to complain about what recently went on with his girlfriend. After being late, again, Dooley called her an ice sculpture because of her response to him. She proceeded to hit him so hard he fell. The Reverend, and his wife, both believe he needs to stick it out and be there for her because she has had a hard past. I just sat, dumbfounded, and wondered, Would they have given the same advice to an adopted daughter? And the answer we all know would have been NO. However, the abuse given by men and by women is equally wrong and should be treated the same.

So in the end, I had no emotional connection with this story and only paddled through it to finish it.

It by Stephen King

Beginning July 1, I began It. I knew going in that at 44 hours long, my goal in the Audiobook category would be further and further from being met. But oh, well! I was able to get It on Audible so I can take as much time listening to it as I could. I listened to it on my move from Texas to Michigan but haven’t made much progress since then. So I still have 27.5 hours left. I hope to finish it this month. Since I begin my Michigan job tomorrow (07/17: also Ryan’s birthday!), I should get ahead regularly as it takes 25 minutes to and fro the library and my home.

It is about something that terrorizes Dairy, ME every 27 years or so. A group of kids made a pact after destroying “it” back in 1958 that if “it” comes back they would drop what they are doing and meet back in Dairy to defeat “it” again. One of the boys became Dairy Public Library’s head librarian. He contacts the old crew one day in the 1980s when people go missing and end up dead. I’m where everyone (except one) is headed from their adult lives back, essentially, to their childhood. No one is excited about that especially considering their childhood. King interconnects their present day lives to their past so you get snippets about why they don’t want to go back and have no fond memories of their past.

I love it so far and am eagerly waiting for the next 27 or so hours.

Books

Cakewalk by Rita Mae Brown

My Adult book for the month of June! It takes place in 1920 in the town of Runnymeade. It is about life after WWI has ended. Families in this story all interrelate, perhaps because the town is rather small. I think this book would make a good teen read as it largely stars the Hunsenmeir sisters who are upper teens and their similarly aged rivals. Brown is an entertaining writer and the story was just a simple cut from a season in this town, supposedly showing class as something useful to bring people together, not apart. While that can be begged to differ, it was an okay story in how families not blood related are still related.

Code of Honor by Adam Gratz

This book is on the 2017-2018 Lonestar Reading List, a reading list created by some Texan librarians for tweens and teens in 6th-8th grade. Kamran has an Iranian mother and an American dad. They raised their two sons in Phoenix and life for the family has been pretty idyllic. Until the oldest son, Darius, turns out to be a terrorist. Or is he? The CIA gets ahold of Kamran who believes Darius is innocent and uses him to decode Darius’ videos. It was really good, fast-paced and I love the short chapters.

Good Omens by Neil Garman & Terry Pratchett

My Adult book for July! Honestly, I had zero idea what the story was going to be about. It was a free book I snagged last year when I finished my summer reading program back in Denton (Have you signed up yourself? Some libraries have an adult reading program!) This free book had Neil Garman as an author so I figured it would be good. I’m still not sold on it yet; since I’m not a fan of Pratchett, I think that is why I don’t enjoy the writing 100%.

This story has a simple premise: 11 years ago the Antichrist came into the hands of the wrong family via a basic switch-a-roo at birth. A demon and an angel are loving their lives as “humans” and aren’t looking forward to the coming Apocalypse. However they are supposed to be helping the end come and so far haven’t been able to even locate the missing Antichrist. The 4 Horsemen make an appearance and are rather funny. I am half way finished with it.

Theo’s Books

These are the books Theo and I read when I was still in Texas over FaceTime (please note we have read more here but I’m going to do a special write-up on one specific book later):

Theo enjoying The Three Billy Goats Gruff–sorry for the lame shot; he moves around a lot when I read!

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Jerry Pinkney

Theo LOVED this book. It’s hard not to; it’s my favorite folk tale. He especially liked the Troll. Pinkney is a gift to children’s literature. If you haven’t read his books, then please do. His artwork is a delight.

The Grumpy Pets by Kristine A. Lombardi

This book, on the 2×2 Reading List, is about a grumpy boy whose mother and sister take him to a pet shop with hopes that the boy will find a pet. Amidst all of the pets, there is only one that is perfect for him: an equally grumpy dog. Can these two grumps turn into happy ones?

Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward and illustrated by Tomie DePaola

Another book Theo adored. Perhaps it is because Cookie is an innocent yet naughty cat…like Gizmo, his Mimi’s cat, or himself minus the whole species change. But he wanted me to read it over and over again. This book was a personal favorite growing up so it’s a pleasure to share it with Theo. It’s all about mischievous Cookie the cat who gets into trouble each day of the week. After the fiasco that occurred on Saturday, will Cookie rest on Sunday? It is doubtful when a bee decides to taunt her.

La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Ninos by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Another 2×2 Book. This is a bilingual book and I was sure Theo would have responded well to it. Elya uses the nursery rhymes us Americans are familiar with and simply changes some of the words into Spanish. Nope. Theo didn’t want anything to do with it. I’m not sure why certain bilingual books he can stand and others he can’t. He loved Gazpacho for Nacho. Perhaps he prefers Spanish from Spain rather than Latin America? Haha. Joke.


What have y’all been reading?

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