On Vacation Again!

17 Aug

I’m happy to say I’m on vacation again! I’ll be back next week but I left Tuesday night so I’m skipping today’s post. I’ll be exploring the streets of New Orleans!

If you’re from New Orleans, let me know some local places to hit up. I’ll be at a conference for most of this trip but I’ll try to sneak away. I plan to hit up at least one bookstore, too. Look forward to that.

Hello from the Big Easy and I’ll see you all next week.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 16-August-2017

16 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


**So, it’s worth noting that I am AGAIN out-of-town and writing this quite in advance. Hey, it’s the summer and I’m going to take my vacation while I can! I may be a bit slow in responding but I am around and in the country this time. Send me some love while I explore NEW ORLEANS! I’m going to try to hit up a few bookstores here to report back.

Currently reading: Moderate progress on Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi. Probably some of my best progress in months, actually. It’s nice having time to read during lunch again! I think I’m about 2/3 of the way through and I’ll keep pushing forward.
New books for this list! The first is a new audiobook, The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer. Before I met Meltzer a few years back, I was at a church used book sale and picked up a few of his books, including this one. I’m listening to the audio to get to it sooner than I would my paper copy. So far, he’s delivering on the fast-paced thriller!
I also got to start Chemistry by Weike Wang! I’m really hoping to do an author interview with this book as I knew Wang in high school. If you want to read more about that, check out this post.

Recently finishedI finished I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum while cooking last Wednesday and I’ve been waiting a week to tell you all. I enjoyed it, but not for the reasons I expected to. It was sad but I could have known that if I read book summaries. I’ll have a review up next week. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.
I also finished
 Empire Falls by Richard Russo on Friday. I knew this book was going to come to a quick end and I kind-of saw it coming, but I still gasped out loud near the end! I think I woke my husband up from his nap. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars. I also plan to have this review up next week.

Many of you have commented on it, but I posted a review of Commonwealth by Ann Patchett last Thursday. Please go check it out if you haven’t yet and let me know what you think! I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: As of writing, I think my next book will still be The Sellout by Paul Beatty. This might change just before I leave on my trip, though! I got invited to a conference that would interfere with me attending the book club meeting on this book. As much as I’m looking forward to it, I’ll skip the book if I can’t make the meeting and read something off my TBR instead. If that’s the case, I’ll probably pick My Jesus Year by Benyamin Cohen. It’s at the top of my TBR books that I own. Or I might grab something from the library before I leave. I’ll have to report back next week.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Club Reflection: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

15 Aug

My book club met when I returned from my trip and we talked about a book I greatly enjoyed, Commonwealth. Unfortunately, we were deeply divided on how we felt about the book. There were some who, like me, loved the book, and others who felt the best part was the cover flaps that could serve as bookmarks.

One common complaint we could all agree on was that there were too many characters. This became very obvious in the final chapter but even before then, it was a lot to keep track of. We all agreed some could have been deleted, like Father Mike and Beverly’s sister (whose name we didn’t even remember). Some readers felt that none of the characters were easy to relate to while some of us liked Theresa and Franny. One positive we could all agree on was that the time jumps were well done.

The title had a few meanings. The most obvious was a reference to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The second would be an allusion to the book Leon wrote. We felt that it took another definition, in this case referring to a group coming and working together.

The kids took care of themselves. Theresa was involved in her career and Beverly and Bert were involved in each other or themselves, never really paying attention to the kids. When Cal died, it proved that they’d failed at raising each other.

The two families did end up very close to each other. We found three solid examples of the families caring for each other. First was Albie’s involvement in Franny and Leon’s relationship. He cared for her a lot to point out what he saw as problems in their relationship. The second was Franny, Caroline, and Fix taking care of Theresa. This was the most obvious one to me and I thought it really highlighted their relationship well. The third was the close of the book when Franny went to visit Bert.

I felt so bad for Kumar at Beverly’s party. It must have been so demeaning but he took it like a champ. I was furious when Franny left him alone and went to visit Bert. Someone pointed out that it was paralleled to Franny at the beach house with Leon. Leon’s friends treated her like the help and Leon did next to nothing to help out. I would have liked to see her grow from that experience, but it was ironic to see the repetition.

The book Leon wrote was almost therapeutic for the family. It allowed Albie a way to talk about what had happened, a way for things to come into the open that had been ignored for so long before then I think the title as a reference to the book is appropriate, but I still like the community definition as a reason for it all.

It was fun to talk about this book with my club. Our next book is a title I read and reviewed a few years ago so I’m not going to re-read it. Get ready for a surprise and give me your best guess. I’ll give you one clue, it was a controversy when it came out.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Gem in Portland, OR for the Traveling Bookworm

14 Aug

I can’t even pretend I stumbled across this one. I practically planned my vacation around this. Guys, I WENT TO POWELL’S!

If you’re not familiar with Powell’s, it’s the largest independent bookstore in the world. It takes up an entire city block in downtown Portland and has three floors of books. It sells new and used books and I can’t tell you how close to crying I was when I finally walked in.

I wanted to see EVERYTHING and I think I was pretty darn close! We started in the lobby which featured a ton of well-curated tables and best-seller walls. There was a bunch of souvenirs as well and I picked up a postcard to add to my collection. From there, we hit the fiction shelves. Eek! I’m a total sucker for staff recommendations so while I looked through many of the books there, I knew I’d end up getting a staff recommendation and I did. I picked up Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. It sounds like a cross between Station Eleven and The Martian and honestly, that sounds too amazing for words. It might be a while before I get to this on my TBR, but it will be a good time when I do.

Because I’m an Instagram nerd, I knew Powell’s had an autograph pillar and we found it! I saw Neil Gaiman’s autograph and got really excited. A lot of the names I didn’t recognize but this one sure stood out!

We spent some time in SciFi looking at the games collection but my husband wouldn’t bite and buy one. We kind of skipped through a lot of non-fiction and children’s, too. I know myself and I know I’m going to buy fiction, but it was still fun to explore.

I did stop myself in the language section. One advantage of a lot of floor space is having a great collection of foreign language books! I know I’m running low on books in Spanish and my husband recommended picking another one up here. I still have the 7th Harry Potter book to read next year, but nothing after that. Powell’s to the rescue! I picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. YA is a good reading level for my Spanish skills and I’m super excited knowing that I’ll get to this one in 2019.

An awesome addition to this store is the Espresso Book Machine. I’ve read about these machines before but this was the first time I saw one. These machines can print books, either hard-to-find books or copies for aspiring writers. Powell’s sells a few by local authors in the store. We wandered around for a while, hoping they would print one while we were there. Luckily, I found the world’s best Nalgene while we waited. This is my new favorite thing in the world. And we did wander around long enough! It was great to see the machine in action, printing a local author’s book (I believe it was on bike routes but I was too focused on watching the process). It printed, bound, and trimmed the book before it slid out the slot on the bottom center you can see in the picture. I thought this would be great for anyone printing out a proof copy for Beta readers. I wonder if there’s one near me…

The last stop was something we were told not to miss, the Rare Book Room! There were some signed first-editions, most notably the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka Game of Thrones) and some Dan Browns. There were also some old books from the settlement of the US and some presidential books, too. My favorite was a few large illustrated editions of classics. I was allowed to touch them which made me really excited to look through the pages.

Me in the Rare Book Room with my Rare Book Room pass.

My husband talked me into leaving due to hunger. He did agree to let me come back for a while later that day and I found a book for him! It’s called DC Trip by Sara Benincasa and is about a teacher chaperoning the annual Washington DC trip at her school. My husband has done this two years in a row now for the middle school where he teaches so it seemed too perfect. I hope he laughs when he reads it.

So that was my trip to the amazing Powell’s. I’ll leave you with a picture of the pillar out front. There are four sides that have the Latin phrases “buy the book, read the book, enjoy the book, sell the book.” I didn’t plan it, but this is the “read the book” side.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (4/5)

10 Aug

My only other exposure to Ann Patchett had been nonfiction so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I liked the nonfiction, don’t get me wrong, but writers are very different when telling stories versus recounting them. It was a book club pick so I knew I was going to read it anyway!

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Other books by Ann Patchett reviewed on this blog:

Truth and Beauty (4/5)

Summary from Goodreads:

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

This book was a fast read for me. I was in the middle of it when it came time to leave for my Pacific Northwest vacation so I quickly got the book on CD, burned it to my phone, and let myself enjoy it while running in Seattle. The switch from reading a paper copy to listening to someone else read to me was a bit jarring at first, but I grew to really enjoy the story and how it was read to me. I liked the story, it didn’t bother me that it was a character-driven novel, and I thought the time jumps were well done. It’s a book where it’s hard to put your finger on exactly why you enjoyed it, but it’s easy to say that you loved it.

The characters were well-developed and I liked them. Well, not all of them, but a lot of them. These were people I could have a drink with, people who could explain their lives to me and I would be touched and believe them. These were real people and I applaud Patchett for creating them when they felt real enough to touch.

I liked Franny. She made mistakes like the rest of her siblings, but she also owned up to them. She was very much a mother figure, even to her older sister at times, and for sure to all the Cousins kids. I’m glad so much of the book focused on her and I think her relationship with her father was one of the best in the book. She was the bookends of this book: her christening started it and her visit to Bert ended it.

I think Albie’s experiences are very relatable. As kids, there’s a lot that intentionally goes over our heads. There are things parents don’t tell us and things we don’t know to ask about. I think Albie felt like this through much of his life. He knew that he was somehow involved in Cal’s death but didn’t understand what had happened and was too confused to ask.

Ann Patchett
Image via Alchetron

I loved the opening scene of the book. The first chapter set up the rest of the story and it made for a great read. Figuring out the adult characters before moving to the children was a great introduction to this book and a great way of feeling out how the adults were going to act the rest of the book. You got a great sense of Fix and an immediate dislike for Bert. Theresa was purposefully left out of the scene which is telling for later in life.

The ending bothered me. It was the first time I really thought about a relationship between Bert and Franny. He is her ex-step-father so visiting him as a way of getting away from your mother and husband seemed odd to me at first. But, I had to realize, that man raised her. Or rather, was a ‘Bert’ version of a father, meaning he was probably absent a lot of the time. It didn’t seem to jive with the rest of the book to me.

I only listened to the last 1/3 of this book on audio, having read the first part. The audiobook was narrated by Hope Davis and it took some adjusting for me only because I wasn’t ready for another voice to read me that story. It had been the voice in my head so it was a jarring change. After about a half hour, I adjusted fine and enjoyed the reading. Davis reads like she’s telling her best friend the story and this book did well in that style.

The Keatings and Cousins had to redefine family. Beverly and Bert were absent parents. Theresa was fighting to survive while Fix was desperate to be a father. The children had to raise each other and in the case of Albie, they failed for a long time. Later in life, the families are further complicated by distance, marriage, separation, and children so that some people seem to fall away and some fall into the fold. Franny experiences this with her latest stepfather’s family at the end, but she’s been through it as well.

Writer’s Takeaway: The only thing this book was lacking for me was some direction. It’s the story of a family, to be sure, but what happens to that family is unclear. They drift apart, but not all of them. Some of them come together. But others leave. And some are pushed out. It’s really unclear what the ending of this book wraps up. It’s beautifully written and I enjoyed the ride, I just wish I knew where I got off.

This book is a high precedent for Patchett’s fiction. I’m looking forward to others. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett | Fictionophile
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett | the book stop
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett | Book Addiction

WWW Wednesday, 9-August-2017

9 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Another slow week on Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi. I think I read a chapter? Maybe? Whatever it was, it’s not that impressive. If I have a big week with this one, you’ll all hear about it!
I had a lot of running time with I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum which I’ve enjoyed. I don’t always turn it on in the car if it’s a short drive so I’m sure I could get through more of this but my pace is working well for me!
I’m getting close to the end of Empire Falls by Richard Russo. I really hope I can add this one to my ‘finished’ list next week because I’m itching to pick up my next read!

Recently finished: Another week of not finishing anything for me. I think I’ll knock down two before next week, though!

I am making progress with reviews, though! You can check out my review of A Son of the Circus by John Irving which went up Monday. I have another review coming at y’all tomorrow!

 

Reading Next: I’m determined to pick up Chemistry by Weike Wang before I read my next book club selection,  The Sellout by Paul Beatty. I think I’ll have time due to the short book and my eagerness to get to it!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Gem in Vancouver, BC For the Traveling Bookworm

8 Aug

I hadn’t picked out a bookstore in Vancouver to visit but it was recommended to me that I check out MacLeod’s Books. I would normally link to the site here, but they don’t really have a website. I’m sad to say this was my least favorite of the three bookstores I visited, but it’s hard to compete with the other two!

MacLeod’s is a used bookstore located downtown. Because of its location, it’s not that large and as a used bookstore, it’s in a state of disarray. Now, this is nothing unusual for those of us who like to wander through used bookstores but after running across a number that were impeccably organized lately, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

I walked in and tried to sell my copy of A Son of the Circus to the man behind the counter but was informed that the buy-back person wasn’t in but would be back shortly. I decided to take a look around while I waited and see what I could find.

Like many used bookstores, the history sections were huge! I took a walk through because I feel the non-fiction in a store talks a lot about the area it’s located. This store focused heavily on First Nation (that’s Native American to us Americans) and war history. Sometimes this reflects the owner so that might be a part of it, too.

I was very happy to find a book that had been on my ‘going to have to buy it’ list on Goodreads! I picked up Singing Him My Song by Malachy McCourt. I added this to my list after reading Angela’s Ashes because Malachy is Frank McCourt’s younger brother! Malachy has a few books out but this was one I could never find. It felt like finding buried treasure!

My husband wanted to leave and I was about done with my explorations so I headed to the counter and was lucky that the buy-back guy (I think he was the owner) was there. I handed him my copy of A Son of the Circus and told him I wanted to sell it. He told me that they don’t move that title well in hardcover and that it wasn’t a popular one so he could only give me $5 CAD for it. I was kind of impressed he knew all of this without looking anything up! On the other hand, he could have been making it up and I wouldn’t have known, haha. The book I wanted was $15 CAD so I was happy to get out for $10 CAD.

It was a quick visit and not my favorite place, but I still came out with a book I’ve been searching for ages so I think that’s a win. Especially when you see how many books were packed into this place! And I was happy to lighten my load back, swapping a 600 page hardcover for a 300 page one.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: A Son of the Circus by John Irving (2/5)

7 Aug

This book should have been perfect for me. It’s by John Irving and it’s about circuses, two things I love. Unfortunately, in Irving fashion, the book’s separate story lines didn’t start intersecting until halfway through (300 pages in for this book) and the Circus in the title was not a big focus of the book. Combine those with me taking a hiatus from reading it half way through, and this book was kind of disappointing to me.

Cover image via Goodreads

A Son of the Circus by John Irving

Other books by John Irving reviewed on this blog:

In One Person (4/5)

Summary from Goodreads:

Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a 59-year-old orthopedic surgeon and a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto. Periodically, the doctor returns to Bombay, where most of his patients are crippled children.

Once, 20 years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa. Now, 20 years later, he will be reacquainted with the murderer.

I think there were some basic problems with this book that kept me from enjoying it. The first is how long it is. At 600+ pages, this wasn’t a quick read. The entire first half of the book is told in flash backs that Farrokh goes through during one day. The timeline will progress thirty minutes before we’re thrust back 30 years to John D’s childhood or the history of the Duckworth Club or something else that seems inconsequential to the plot, which is dragging along. In the second half of the book, some of these things start to come full circle, but many of them are never brought back up. Farrokh’s relationship with the Catholic Church is mentioned several times, but there’s no definitive conclusion. The central plot, which really begins in the last quarter of the book, is compelling and I thought Rahul was a great character. I wish side plots, even the circus involved one, had been left out. Irving tried to do far too much with this book and I think it failed as a result.

John Irving characters are hard to believe and there were several in this novel I didn’t believe. Nancy was a contradiction, both too nervous to do anything and very bold in how she attracted her husband. John D lacked a personality completely as the man never seemed to stop acting. I struggled to connect with any characters; perhaps Police Inspector Patel and Julia were the most understandable to me. Veronica Rose was hard to like (I doubt anyone reading this does) to the point where I didn’t believe her. This is usually my chief complaint about Irving novels, but I still read them anyway.

Farrokh was a good narrator for this story. He had a strong connection with all the main players: Rahul, John D, Martin Mills, and Vinod. Without switching narrators, we were given the story from several angles. I stand by my earlier complaint that there were too many plot lines, though. There could have easily been less about Nancy, Martin Mills, and even Inspector Dhar. Farrokh seemed to be a reasonable person, though, and recognized when there was something ridiculous going on in his life and react to it the way I would. I appreciated this with all of the radical events.

Police Inspector Patel seemed one of the most relatable characters in the story. He realized how ridiculous the people around him were and how his life was made more complicated by people’s insistence on following traditions and inability to do basic things. His constant frustration with his clerical staff was something I could appreciate. His love for Nancy was really admirable, too. Overall, I think he was the most likable character in the story.

John Irving
Image via the author’s website

My favorite plotline was Rahul. They mystery, murder, and the slow reveal of Rahul’s personality was fun to read and follow. The twists were good and it had a solid ending to it. I still wish this had been the only major plotline.

My least favorite plot line was John D and Martin Mills. I didn’t see how it contributed to the story at all. Martin was a caricature of a Jesuit and as a Catholic, I found most of the priests in this book a bit insulting. The story of the twins, them meeting, and all Martin’s shenanigans were completely pointless in the book and even the end of the twins’ stories didn’t contribute much to the book. I really wish this had been left completely out.

I struggled to find a continuous theme in this book. At first, I thought it would be Farrokh reflecting on his past mistakes but, half way through, the flashbacks stopped. Then I thought it would be about catching Rahul, but the two orphans were a big part of the plot. I was really confused what all of this had to do with each other besides Farrokh being involved in it all. His screenplays seemed to have something to do with it. He wanted to mature as a writer, to write about something that ‘mattered’ and wasn’t meant to upset people. Farrokh was growing into someone who was considerate and wanted to say something ‘real.’ To be honest, that’s all I got out of this one.

Writer’s Takeaway: I think this could easily have been split into multiple books. Each would have been more impactful (and easier to fit in my carry-on luggage) than all of these plotlines combined into one. It’s important to have a book focus. While subplots can be fun and make the story more interesting, too many are distracting and need to be cut. This could have done with a lot of cutting.

Too much going on to really enjoy this one. Two out of Five Stars. As an Irving fan, this makes me sad. I ended up selling this book at a used book store for credit. I’ll post more about that tomorrow.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
A Son of the Circus by John Irving | Diddy’s Diary

Book Gem in Seattle, Washington For the Traveling Bibliophile

3 Aug

I described this vacation as ‘Books, beer, and hiking.’ I think I delivered on all three! I want to spend a post talking about the shops I visited, one in each city. My first stop was Seattle and I visited Elliot Bay Book Company. This amazing store was located only three blocks from my host’s house. He’d never heard of it! Gosh, darn Computer Engineers not reading! If you work for Amazon, you should know about the stores you’re eradicating, haha. I had him meet us there after work and it was hard not to be blown away by this place.

The front door was beautiful and things only got better as I went further inside. I quickly found the store’s “Summer Booknotes 2017” which had a ton of books I’ve seen positively reviewed on other blogs, notable authors with new releases, and recommendations from their employees, all sorted by genre. I also found the July calendar of events including book clubs, story time for children, and author appearances. I just missed Jonathan Safran Foer! The groups and recommendations reminded me of my local indy bookstore, Literati, and I was so excited to continue exploring.

The shelves and display in this place were beautiful! The store was well-lit, well-organized, and had a lot of personal touches in terms of staff recommendations. I always love recommendations and they’ve directed me toward some amazing reads! The store had a coffee shop in the back (where my husband escaped to trying to chase off jet lag while I explored) and an upstairs section with travel and bargain non-fiction titles. But that fiction section, though! I was blown away.

I’ve added a few more pictures below and I want to call attention to one in particular. One of the featured books was Chemistry by Weike Wang. As I said, I’m always attracted to a recommendation. I saw this book facing outward with a staff recommendation below it. (I later realized it was featured in the Booknotes I’d already picked up.) I said to my husband, “Oh, wow! I knew a girl named Weike Want in high school. We were on the swim team together. She got a perfect score on her ACT and went on to Harvard to study some science or something.” I thought that there was no way the Weike I knew was the same person. There was no way she wrote a book that I then held in a bookstore across the country. Well, guess what? I opened to the back flap and was greeted with a picture that looked a lot like the girl I knew from my swim team and a blurb that mentioned the author had gone to Harvard to study (shock) Chemistry. I confirmed it later by contacting her on Facebook, but the author of this book swam with me in high school! She’s agreed to do an author Q&A with me and I plan to read her book right away so I can get it reviewed and get you all some more info about Weike and her book. I’m so excited!

 

The other two images featured here are the stained glass over the entry door and the book my husband decided to buy. He loves Shakespeare parodies.

I highly recommend this store to anyone visiting Seattle! It was a gem to be sure.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 2-August-2017

2 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently reading: I made a lot less progress with Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi than I’d hoped for. We didn’t have a lot of down time and I was always trying to save phone battery for navigating the public transportation systems! Oh well. I’m still steadily picking at this one and will be for a while.
I enjoyed the part of I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum that I’ve gotten through so far. I did a fair amount of running while I was on vacation (no pool or bike needed!) so this came along with me to keep me entertained.
You all picked my physical book and it ended up being Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This book is a nice, slow burn that I’m really liking so thank you, everyone, who voted for it and picked it. I’m about half way through but I’ll slow down now that I don’t have 5-hour plane rides to devote to it.

Recently finished: All of my projections from last week were correct (yay) but I didn’t finish anything else for this past week. Boo!

I did post a review for Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) on Monday which you can go check out. I’ve got two more I owe you all over the next week or so. Expect a steady stream of them going forward.

Reading Next: Hm, trick question. My book club meets in September to read The Sellout by Paul Beatty so I might pick that up. Alternatively, I’m thinking of reading Chemistry by Weike Wang next. I have a crazy story about this book I’ll be sharing tomorrow when I talk about the Elliot Bay Book Company so come back and check that out!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

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