Tag Archives: books and reading

Aaack! Where Did Summer GO? #IMWAYR

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Are Labor Day resolutions a thing? They should be. I had to look up my blog password again, because it’s been that long since I posted.

Here’s the pile of books I have from the library, at least some of which I’m hoping to get to this week.

books in a stack
This isn’t counting three other library books I have out – City of Friends by Joanna Trollope, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – all of which I’m at least halfway through on, or my work break-time book, The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers.

For book club next week, I need to read Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon… Any recommendations on other ones from the pile I should try to read first?

I just finished listening to Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young on audio today. I recommend it! It’s seriously light or lightly serious. Thoughtfully funny, maybe? The main character is a young female intern who gets romantically involved with the married congressman she’s working for. I sometimes enjoy hearing about a juicy scandal in the news or a bit of celebrity gossip, but I always feel a little bad about it, too. It’s so much harder to live things down with the Internet, now, and public scrutiny can be so harsh.

This week I’m going to be listening to two of my favorite crime fiction authors on audio. I just started Glass Houses by Louise Penny (still missing Ralph Cosham, but the new narrator, Robert Bathurst, is very good) and I hope to finish the new Michael Connelly book (with a female lead), The Late Show, narrated by Katherine Moennig, soon, because it’s overdue.

I can’t believe that we’re at the unofficial end of summer already, but I like to keep summer going until the official end on Sept. 21st, so we had frozen strawberry-pineapple-coconut rum drinks from the blender tonight.


Fall weather is good for reading, but I didn’t get enough backyard reading time in this summer, so I hope to fit some more in before it gets too cool.

I should join the Stop Premature Pumpkin Spice movement.

Happy Labor Day Monday!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1-9-17 #IMWAYR

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We’re in a brief deep freeze here in Massachusetts after a snowstorm decimated everyone’s plans for Saturday night (and put clearing over a foot of snow on a lot of people’s Sunday morning schedules) and I am deep into Swing Time by Zadie Smith, my First Book of 2017.

Swing Time is an absorbing story of women, race, art, talent, ambition, and coming of age and I am taking my time with it.

Dancing plays a large role in the life of the book’s narrator – a bonus I didn’t expect! Since I developed a late-in-life love of ballroom and line dancing a few years ago, I love to read and talk about dancing.

cover imageTo make sure I got at least some of the references, I watched the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, Swing Time, too. (Thanks for watching it with me, Dad, even though it was your umpteenth time!)

DVD cover imageAlong with letting my blogging go when I started back to work full-time, I stopped keeping good records of what I was reading on LibraryThing, but New Year’s resolutions are currently still holding, so I’ve updated my LT with Swing Time and the other books I’m reading right now:

At Weddings and Wakes by Alice McDermott
(for book club on Wed.)
My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
(for Cookbook Club this month)
IQ by Joe Ide
(to keep up with current crime fiction)
The Fireman by Joe Hill, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
(on audio)
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
(on audio, for Joy’s New Year’s Resolution Challenge)

Here’s a picture of the beautiful ballroom in Rhode Island where we danced on New Year’s Eve and started out the new year.


What are you reading this week? Tell me! Tell me!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in, everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Audio)

cover image of audiobook on CDThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a novel by Gabrielle Zevin, is about a grieving widower named A.J. – old before his time at not even 40 – whose lonely life as a judgmental, cantankerous bookseller on Alice Island (a fictional Massachusetts island much like Martha’s Vineyard) is transformed when a small child named Maya enters his life. Narrated by Scott Brick, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was one of my favorite audiobooks of 2014. Bookish and clever, funny and moving, it’s a wonderful story, even if completely unrealistic.

I started this post back in May, but never wrote up a review, so I thought I’d just share a couple of quotes from the book. Lambiase (pronounced Lamb-bee-ay-zay, as I recall) is the police detective who is investigating the abandonment of Maya in A.J.’s bookstore.

“Lambiase does not miss his wife, although he does miss having somewhere to go after work. He parks himself on the floor and pulls Maya onto his lap. After Maya falls asleep, Lambiase tells A.J. the things he’s learned about the mother.

‘What’s strange to me,’ A.J. says, ‘is why she was on Alice Island in the first place. It’s kind of a pain to get here, you know. My own mother’s visited me once in all the years I’ve lived here. You really believe she wasn’t coming to see someone specific?’

Lambiase shifts Maya in his lap. ‘I’ve been thinking about that. Maybe she didn’t have a plan of where she was going. Maybe she just took the first train, and then the first bus, and then the first boat, and this is where she ended up.’

A.J. nods out of politeness, but he doesn’t believe in random acts. He is a reader, and what he believes in is narrative construction. If a gun appears in Act One, that gun had better go off by Act Three.”

* * *

Lambiase nods, and drinks his wine. “Nobody’s saying you have to keep her.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course. But do you think I could have some sort of say in where she ended up? She’s an awfully smart little thing. Like she already knows the alphabet, and I even got her to understand alphabetical order. I’d hate to see her land with some jerks who didn’t appreciate that. As I was saying before, I don’t believe in fate. But I do feel a sense of responsibility toward her. That young woman did leave her in my care.”

If you like quirky books like Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, or books that are about books and reading, you’ll probably like The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry very much. Listen to an excerpt here.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Zevin, Gabrielle
Brick, Scott (narr.)
Highbridge Audio
April 2014
9781622313532
7 hours on 7 CDs
$29.95

Disclosure: I bought my own copy of this audiobook, which is nice, because I might want to listen to it again sometime.

Other opinions on the audiobook edition:
AudioFile
The Literate Housewife
Words and Peace