- He's only 41 years old yet writes like a man who has already lived a lifetime.
- He appears to have lived his entire life in Sweden yet writes like a man who has studied the world and understands that certain things are universal.
- He's a man. Yes, I know that seems obvious. Until you read his books, particularly this one.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Life: It Goes On - January 29
Last Week I:
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Life: It Goes On - January 22
Last Week I:
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.
This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.
- Corrigan blends her life in the U.S., her time nannying in Australia and Willa Cather's My Antonia! to explore her relationship with her mother. I really enjoyed how she was able to blend the three together to form a cohesive memoir. Plus, I always give high marks when someone works in a book by a Nebraska author.
- The title comes from something Corrigan's mother told Corrigan: "Your father's the glitter but I'm the glue." Which really got me thinking (and then asking my book club) which of my parents was which and who played which role in my marriage.
- I became so emotionally attached to the people in this book, both the Tanners and the Corrigans; Corrigan did such a marvelous job of making me feel what the families felt.
- So many passages that I've highlighted, that really spoke to me and to which I could relate. Some I'll share here. Some I'll save and do a Book Gems post one day.
"The living mother-daughter relationship, you learn over and over again, is a constant choice between adaptation and acceptance."
"...a good mother is required to somehow absorb all this ugliness and find a way to fall back in love with her child the next day."
I so often said, particularly of my challenging bookends, that it was a good thing that they fell asleep at night. It allowed me to recharge and to go in and watch them sleep, so peaceful and sweet.
"I crack open my book, thinking about my mother and the many moments of my childhood when she tucked herself away somewhere, enjoying what she called a party for one."
- This passage made me think of the times that my book club has spoken to authors and, when asked a question about their books, had them admit that they hadn't thought of the book in that way but agreed with the idea.
"I remember a lecture from one of my lit classes about a theory called "Reader Response," which basically says: More often than not, it's the readers - not the writers - who determine what a book means. The idea is that readers don't come blank to books. Consciously and not, we bring all the biases that come with our nationality, gender, race, class, age. Then you layer onto that the status of our health, employment, relationships, not to mention our particular relationship to each book - who gave it to us, where we read it, what books we've already read."
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Life: It Goes On - January 15
Last Week I:
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Life: It Goes On - January 8
Last Week I:
Friday, January 6, 2023
Word Of The Year For 2023
Thursday, January 5, 2023
2022 Reading Recap
Yeah, yeah, I know most bloggers do their recaps in the final week of the year. But I never quite seem to have the time to do that. Plus, I'm usually scrambling to try to finish at least one book. So January 3 it is!
In 2022, I finished 64 books, which is down some for me (and certainly no where near the 152 one of my book blogging friends read!). Still, considering that I felt like I was in a reading slump much of the year, that's not bad.
And how does all of that break down? Here are some stats (although, again, nowhere near as well recorded as many of my blogging friends!):
- Female authors - 46, male authors - 18. This is pretty normal for me.
- Fiction - 50, nonfiction - 14. This might be a bit lower than my usual but kind of essential for me to back off the heavier stuff this year.
- 42 of the books I read this year were checked out from the library, in print, ebooks, and audiobooks.
- 15 of the books I read were through Netgalley, which is fewer than I often read but I was less inclined to put myself in a position where I was obligated to read books by a specific date.
- 12 books were recommended to me by friends this year.
- Only 1 book I read this year was set in Asia and only 4 in Africa. It's rare for me to have numbers that low.
- Genres: 9 historical fiction, 19 literary fiction, 8 women's fiction, 12 mystery/thrillers, 3 science fiction, 1 book of poetry, 4 collections of essays, 5 memoirs, 6 books that included fantasy elements, 1 epistolary novel, 4 classics, and 1 collection of short stories.
- I read 8 books that addressed science in one way or another, 3 humorous books, 9 books that had elements of feminism, 2 books about grief, 6 books about family, 1 book about politics, and 13 books that addressed diversity.
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake
Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men around her.
Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on-staff. Together the two women develop new techniques to improve a groundbreaking surgery: the Cesarean section. It's a highly dangerous procedure and the research is grueling, but even worse is the vitriolic response from men. Most don't trust the findings of women, and many can choose to deny their wives medical care.
Already facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost everything: precious lives, Nora's career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.
This is Blake's follow up to The Girl In His Shadow (my review here). When last we left her, Nora Beady was boarding a ship, headed for Italy to study medicine, eager to be in a place where people allowed women to become doctors.
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Life: It Goes On - January 1
Last Week I: