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August Wrap-Up

Finally, I actually celebrate Women in Translation (WIT) Month (#WITMonth)! Wild Ginger was first published in English, but when I heard Anchee Min describe her process several years ago, she writes in her native Chinese language and her daughter and son-in-law translate to English, so it's kind of an unofficial translation. The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury is also translated, from French, although it's written by a man. It was available as a free Kindle download from Amazon on World Literature Day, and a bunch of members of one of my book club downloaded it and we picked it for this month. I bought Ru as a #WIT read a few years ago, but never got into it until now. It's a slim book filled with lyrical vignettes about the fictional character's life as a child refugee from Vietnam who emigrates to Canada; similar to the author's background. I enjoyed it this time around. It's translated from French. Books Read This Month Wild Ginger by Anchee Min  The Stra
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Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

 First reading experiences are truly special, but I find that for books I really enjoy, re-readings can be equally or more amazing, as I gain more insight into the writing and characters. However, sometimes books are tied to certain moments in time or certain ages or the nature of the book is such that knowing what happens ahead makes it a little bit less interesting. All the books listed below are books I would happily read again, but there was something special about the first time. Happy Top Ten Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl ! Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield We Are Okay by Nina LaCour The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Favorite Places to Read

 This one feels a little ironic since I've rarely left my house in the past year and a half, and in all that time, not to go somewhere and read. In my house, I mostly read on the couch, occasionally in the armchair or in bed. I wouldn't really describe any of those as "favorite" so much as convenient though. There's one place I can think of in my house to read that I do regard as special, and I've written about it below. Otherwise, I've come up with some places from my past or imagined future :-) Favorite Places to Read Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at that Artsy Reader Girl! 1. Outside on my back steps, at night 2. Outside on a picnic table at camp 3. By the pool/lake/ocean 4. By myself in a coffee shop or restaurant 5. Window seat in a back stairwell 6. My future awesome window seat (Left, image from Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/358388082839001478/) 7. At a carrel in the library 8. In an armchair at the library or bookstore 9. In a hotel room 10.

Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve More Love

 I absolutely love this topic! I often find myself interested and wishing to learn more about secondary and/or minor characters, especially those I feel were shortchanged; poor Ismene from Antigone  always comes to mind.  Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl! Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve More Love 1. Ismene from Antigone 2. Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia 3. Persephone, Maura, and Calla from The Raven Boys-- I would love a prequel (or three) about Blue's mother Maura and her psychic friends. Aunt Jimi and Cousin Orla too. 4. Zoya from the Grishaverse books--we don't know much about her family or how she became involved with the Darkling. But she puts her grievances aside to do what is right when she doesn't need to. 5. Death (pronounced Deeth) and his cat, the librarian with a Graced memory in Bitterblue 6. Teddy and Saf's sisters Tilda and Bren, also in Bitterblue, always felt like they could have been more part of the story, with how they

July Wrap-Up

I got a fair amount of reading done this month! I finished rereading Call Down the Hawk and reading Mister Impossible ; very glad I did the reread, since there was a lot I had forgotten that was relevant in the next book. Looking forward to the finale! I'm actually surprised by how much nonfiction I read; although, it ended up being pretty even. I also finally read It's a Whole Spiel, which I've wanted to read for a while. Happy Sunday! Books Read This Month Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (reread) Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball (book club read) Anxious People by Fredrik Backman Heartland by Sarah Smarsh It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Stories ed. Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman In An Instant by Lee and Bob Woodruff

Books I'd Want With Me While Stranded on a Desert Island

 Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl! I feel like we've done a lot of similar ones before, but I'll try to include some fresher favorites. Also, what a lap of luxury, to have TEN books on my proverbial desert island :-) 1. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore 2. Middlemarch by George Eliot 3. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders 4. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers 5. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers 6. The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich 7. Devotions by Mary Oliver 8. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott 9. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson 10. The Ultimate Survival Guide by John Lofty Wiseman

Books I Read in One Sitting

 There are many amazing kinds of books out there, but there is a special magic in a certain kind of book or sometimes a special uninterrupted block of time, which for me often comes during the High Holidays or a vacation or even just a weekend with nothing to do (aka nearly every pandemic weekend), when you can just sit and read and read until you're done. As a result, a lot of these books have very specific place memories for me, like when I was given my copy of The Outsiders in English class, proceeded to read while walking to, at, and from a pep rally, and did not stop reading until I was finished. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour reminds me very specifically of how I used to read in my desk chair in my freshman dorm, with my knees propped up against the desk, because I couldn't sit up in my bed, which was lofted above the desk and dresser, the only way all the furniture could fit in my triple. The most amazing part?  That book wasn't even published when I was a freshman. I

June Wrap-Up

It's been a busy summer, so I am just getting around to posting my assorted fiction reads for June. Two Jennifer Weiner reads, and I don't regret it! I'm also probably going to read another Fredrik Backman novel in July, and I've already read two more Maggie Stiefvater. There's comfort in finding an author you know you'll like or that you can just trust to immerse you in a world besides your own.  Books I Read This Month 1. The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (Book club read: finally, a modern work of historical fiction with only ONE plot, time period, and cast of characters! Hallelujah!) 2. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner (I am officially a Weiner fan).  3. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Oof. An emotional whopper, like all his books. Also, like the ensemble point-of-view. I aspire to this.) 4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde 5. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (Book club read. Didn't love it as much as Good in Bed but represents an interesting foray