What I’ve been reading

There are plenty of books I read to the final page that I am not going to mention in this blog. They are fine but nothing exceptional. Not worth the mention.

Boy, do I have a good book for you this month. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is everything a book should be. I enjoyed the characters, it taught me a little about Russian history, so funny and clever, it held my interest — so much so I can’t wait to read Towles other book, Rules of Civility.

gentleman

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. The story of Rostov’s 30+ years in this hotel has heart, such wit and the subtle back handed humor of a true gentleman. A must read.

Here are other great books I’ve read recently.

12384157The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. This was a hand-me-down from my mom. I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s an easy read. Great for when you want a good story.

Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat.

The story then takes us on the aftermath of the survivors and starting a life on a new continent. Check it out.

27209486Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. I had some issues with this book but it had many positives and I’m glad I read it. It certainly is a book that sticks with you and those are the best kind.

(Straub is also the author of The Vacationers, if you have read that. I haven’t.)

The story involves a tight-knit group of friends and bandmates from college who go on to remain each other’s lives in middle age, but how relationships change and evolve is explored. A splash of the next generation and it’s a nice, thoughtful read.

So curl up on the couch this weekend and read whatever you like. Hope it’s a good one!

— Namaste

Have you ever heard of NaNoWrMo?

I listen to podcasts a lot and sometimes get bored with whatever I’ve been listening to.  So about a year ago, while looking for something new I ran across an obscure podcast that was a quick, easy listen.

In many of the episodes, the host kept mentioning Nano month and how much she was trying to meet this writing goal. It was totally foreign to me but because I’ve been writing a lot more in recent years I tried to find out what I could.

Fast forward to this past Thursday and I’m on a conference call listening to a town hall. I’m skimming my smart phone and notice that trending on Twitter is #NaNoWrMo2018. Hmmm.

I looked into it and decided to join in for the fun of it. No planning. No forethought. I grabbed one of the projects I’ve been working on and I’m off.

NaNoWrMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It appears to have been going onbooks-education-school-literature-51342 for a long time but I didn’t know anything about it. It’s basically an organization that through a website provides motivation to write. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

I know 50,000 probably won’t happen for me but they say that it is an achievable goal for a full-time worker with a family to achieve in a month. So let’s test this. I’ll let you know how many words I write in November. (Not counting blogs or paid projects that is.)

Have you ever heard of NaNoWrMo? Are you doing it this month? Have you ever? I’d love to know.

— Namaste

Best books I’ve read lately

Books are personal. Go to any book club where a group of people read the same book and listen to all the differing opinions.

I used to not like to get suggestions from people about good books because my list of books to read is never ending. But, I’ve found that reading suggestions, brings a variety to the types of books I read that is refreshing.

So whether you want any book suggestions or not, I’m going to put these right here. Up to you. 😉

BeartownBeartown by Fredrik Backman. This author also wrote, ‘A Man Called Ove,’ which I disliked enough to not finish it but this book was the opposite. Insightful. Fast moving. It’s about a town in love with hockey.

 

 

 

beforeWewereYoursBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I really enjoyed this book and not for the sappy story that it certainly is, but for the description of the young families life on the river. Enchanting.

 

 

 

RobertPeaseThe Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs.  This was a great story that I’m glad I read it. I think of it often.

While reading, I thought the story could have been edited by half and it would have been stronger — it repeated itself too much. I hate that.

But if you have a mind, meet Robert Peace and see his life.

 

AnnaKAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. In my attempt to read good books I haven’t read in my lifetime, I occasionally throw in a classic. I was so surprised by the timelessness of his writing and his insights into emotions. Enjoyed this very much.

 

 

 

—Namaste

What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer. Many so-so books but I thought I’d share some of the best.

A Yellow Raft in Blue WaterYellow raft cover by Michael Dorris. This was a nice surprise. Different than any other book I’ve read, this story is fresh and fast moving. The characters are three generations of native American women and the land they travel during the experiences.

 

 

quietgirlThe Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg. This was an excellent book that I should read again because I missed a lot of what was going on. It’s set in Denmark and is an adventurous story of nuns, gambling debt, a mysterious girl, intrigue and mysticism. It’s a book that sticks with you. The touch of humor was wonderful and the story rolled out in such an interesting way. Stick with it — it’s worth it.

 

uglyWonderfulAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. I read this for my book club and the reaction was strong on all sides. I loved it and thought the writing was superb. The topic may be upsetting to some because the main character in the book is a girl who has drug addicted dealers in middle America and not all her experiences are pretty.

 

riverDarknessA River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. This is a free Kindle book and that is why I had this on my list to read. It’s a fast read and an incredible story. I had no idea the history of this area of the world. Well worth your time.
Let me know if you’ve read anything great lately. Happy reading.

— Namaste