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November 2017: Reading List

December 5, 2017

I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the fact that it is the last month of 2017. This year has been probably the fastest year I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think I’ve really caught my breath all year and now it’s time to start thinking about a new one! I will say that of anything I’ve accomplished, staying on top of my reading list has been my proudest. I entered this year with the goal of keeping track of the books I’ve read and trying to start writing some reviews has been so awesome. I’m hoping to continue this next year and the years to come. So here goes the list for November.

Currently

Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark by G.L. Karwoski
This one I am pre-reading for my chick. I don’t know a lot about Lewis and Clark, other than the fact that my dad is obsessed with them and I have been to their last spot out in Oregon. I thought that this book would be more like the dog “talking” about the explorers, but really it’s a biography of their dog Seaman. He’s the focus, but there is plenty of other action going on that tells the story of their journey. So far, so good.

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by N. Carr
This book is beyond fascinating to me. It really is the story of what is happening to our brains because of our time on screens. It starts out with a history lesson really going all the way back to how just the mere fact of moving from an oral tradition, to scrolls, to a codex (otherwise known as a bound book), to a society that had access to printed material because of the printing press and all the way up till now. All of these changes in “technological” advances changed how our society related with each other and with knowledge. Then enters the computer and the smartphone and google. I’m about 3 chapters from the end and I almost want to read it again because I’m sure there’s a million things I’ve missed. This book has definitely explained how I know I’ve changed in my ability to focus on things and while it doesn’t make me want to throw my computer or phone away, it definitely encourages me to take way more time to step away and pursue knowledge and learning in other ways too.

Johnny Tremain by E. Forbes
The chick and I are reading this at night and it’s eh. I swear it’s the book on every American History reading list and always with rave reviews. It’s been a good story, but her writing style is not my favorite. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about it that I’m not loving. It could just be that this is not a great read aloud. We are just about done with it, but so far the chick has really enjoyed it.

Beauty in the Word by S. Caldecott
Still reading this one and I’ve sort of stepped away for a few weeks, so I need to pick it up again.

Home Education by C. Mason
I’m putting this one on my list, but I honestly haven’t picked it up much in the last months. I feel like my head just can’t focus on it right now.

Finished

Ross Poldark (Poldark #1) by. W. Graham (AUDIO)
This is the first adult audio fiction book I’ve ever listened to all the way through. I’ve watched the first 2 seasons of the PBS show and love, love them. A friend recommended the audio books to me and this one was awesome. The show follows the books so well, with just enough additional stuff to make it absolutely perfect. It’s truly the best story and honestly I think I love it more that Downton Abbey (the t.v. show at least). The story is filled with such awesome characters and the development of them is perfectly done. You’ve got the ones you love and the ones you hate and all the things that happen between them is filled with just enough drama to make the whole story so perfect you never want it to end. Which thankfully, there are like a million books in this series so it’s going to take me forever to get through them. I’m in line for book 2 on Libby Audio so I can’t wait to start it.

An Echo of Murder by A. Perry
I’ve been reading Anne Perry since I was in my 20s and I’m always eager to read one of her mysteries. This is book #23 in her series about William Monk, which is probably my favorite of her series, but I really feel like her writing is getting tired. This one had so many weird plot changes and gaps that was sort of frustrating. The development of the story was sort of haphazard in some ways and there were a handful of things that just didn’t connect very well. She’s developed the characters of Monk and his wife Hester so well that it’s a joy to read about them, but all the extraneous things that happen around them just didn’t connect. Then the ending was super quick and strange. Totally not a believable thing, because of the lack of development. I think that if she had taken that part and just moved it back a few chapters and developed it more, this book would have been rescued from a so-so read.

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by D. Hellingman
This is actually a young adult book, but it was so good. It’s based off the letters that the brothers wrote to each other and much of the book was written in quotes” from these letters. This book was absolutely fascinating. I loved it and honestly I learned so much that I had no idea. Did you know that Paul Gauguin is sort of historically who is “accused” of cutting off Vincent’s ear? Not himself? And Vincent was absolutely bonkers. I’m not 100% sure how much of this was liberty and how much was truth, but the story overall was excellent.

The Awakening of Mrs. Prim by N. S. Fenollera
This book was honestly just weird. I liked it and couldn’t put it down, but it was almost like I was mesmerized by the whole thing. It was a little bit slow and had some parts that were just a little off.

What’s Next?

I’m not sure what I’m reading next. I’m hoping to take the break from school to catch up on some of these I haven’t read. I need to figure out what fiction (aka: before bed book) I want to start next. I also have a stack of pre-reading I need to start on for next semester for both kids.

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