Archive | December, 2017

Are You In? The 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge!

28 Dec

It’s starting soon! There’s still plenty of time to decide you want to do the 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge. Isn’t the image my husband designed so cute?! That’s only one of the advantages of joining. Another perk is there are very few ‘rules.’ I hesitate to even call them that.

12 books read during any part of 2018
Each book falls into one of 12 time periods, beginning with pre-1500 and ending with the future
That’s it!

I have more information listed here if you want some more details. It’s a very simple challenge and I’m now in the 5th year of it and I think I’ve worked out a lot of the kinks.

If you want to participate, let me know and I’ll add you at the bottom of the challenge page here. You can set up a progress tracking page like I’ve done here if you want. Any way you want to track is fine, even if it’s on a napkin that you use as a bookmark!

I hope you’ll consider giving this a try, it’s been very fun for me in the past.

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!

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WWW Wednesday, 27-December-2017

27 Dec

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.


Currently reading: I made some good progress on The Color Purple by Alice Walker during lunch last week. There was no one in the office to talk to me so I took a little longer reading and wasn’t sidetracked as often. Yay for the holiday slow down!
I’m flying with The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. This plot is a great slow burn and it has me seriously hooked. Eugenides is a great writer and I love the small nods to Detroit he adds.
My husband said I came home mad when I listened to NPR in the car so to counteract that, I got an audiobook on CD. It’s one I’ve wanted to read for a while, A Widow for One Year by John Irving. Irving is a favorite author of mine and I’m always excited to read one of his books. It’s slow going during the holidays when I’m not driving a lot, but I’ll get through it.
I just started Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. It’s still too early to tell if this one is going to be as heartbreaking as the title and cover make me think!

Recently finished: I wrapped up The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester on Sunday morning. It feels so good to have another book finished before the end of the year. I didn’t think I’d finish this one before I left for vacation so I’m really glad to see it wrapped up and counting toward my 2017 total. I probably won’t have a review for it up until next week. I’m a bit bogged down with the holidays and party hosting at the moment.

Reading Next: I always pick a book to read in Spanish each year and for 2018 I’m returning to the world of Harry and I’ll be reading Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. I’m really looking forward to finishing my Spanish read-through of the series. I may have to start over at the beginning!


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!

Currently Reading Book Tag

26 Dec

It’s been such a long time since I did a tag! I can’t even remember the last one I did. Priyasha tagged me in this one a few weeks ago and I have the time (aka I’m a bit short on material) now so it’s a great time to share! If you haven’t been to her page before, check it out! She’s a faithful WWW Wednesday follower as well.

This tag is originally created by Charly Reynhorse and you can watch the video here.

How many books do you usually read at once?
I’m a big fan of reading multiple books at once. I usually have a minimum of three going. However, I use different formats. I’ll have a physical book, an audiobook, and an ebook. I sometimes have up to five. I often have an audiobook on CD for the car and a different one on my phone for running and house chores. I also might have two physical books going if I have to stop reading one to finish a book club pick. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than five.

If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?
Like I said, it depends on where I am. If I have the physical book, I’ll read that over an ebook but I don’t really have to decide other than that.

Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book?
No. I cycle through my bookmarks in a stack and I take whatever’s on the top of the stack.

Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading?
On my bedside table.

How long do you typically read in one setting?
For an ebook, it’s usually my lunch break or the wait at the doctor’s office. An audiobook could be a long time, depending on how far I’m running or how many cookies I’m baking. For a physical book, it’s usually pretty short, about a half hour at most. I get bad back pain for anything longer.

Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?
I used to leave them on but now I religiously take them off.

What position do you mainly use to read?
Supine. It’s most comfortable for my neck. If I get uncomfortable, I’ll lay on my side to keep reading.

Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere?
No, that’s what I have the ebook for. My physical book stays at home.

How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?
I used to do it daily! At my old job, I’d read a physical book during lunch and update Goodreads when I got back to my desk. That’s been over two years. Now I’m bad about it and really only update when I start and finish.

Woo! There we are. I’ve decided to tag the last few people who commented on WWW Wednesday last week but anyone is welcome to join! I couldn’t tag all of you. 🙂

Amber (Step Into a Book World)
Emily (A Keyboard and an Open Mind)
Wolly Muses
Ryan (Muse with Me)
Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)
Jenn (Bound to Writing)
Keeana (Keeana’s Korner)

That’s all, folks. Thanks for learning more about me. 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!

Top 10 Books of 2017

25 Dec

I like to wrap up the year looking back on the awesome books I read and let you know which ones you should really take a look at. I do not base this solely on ratings, though those do play a big factor. There are some 5 Star reads that did not make this list. There is one 3 Star read. Let me know if you agree and what you would have added.

Title: Rules of Civility
Author: Amor Towles
Rating: 5
Goodreads Average: 4
Format: Physical book
Date Read: 27-Oct
This book grabbed me from the beginning. Yes, the characters were a bit too modern for the time period, but that made them relatable and fun. The writing was beautiful and all loose ends were tied up nicely by the end. I loved his style and I’m considering reading his other books.

Title: South of Broad
Author: Pat Conroy
Rating: 5
Goodreads Average: 3.78
Format: Audiobook
Date Read: 20-Jan
I loved these characters. The writing may have been a bit flowery, but the characters were raw and lovable. They were all flawed in their own unique ways and they really spoke to the issues of the city and of their time. I loved listening to this story and it was a wonderful introduction to Pat Conroy.

Title: World Without End
Author: Ken Follett
Rating: 5
Goodreads Average: 4.24
Format: Audiobook
Date Read: 25-Jan
This was great. Yes, it was long and yes, there were a lot of characters and yes, it took forever for Follett to write it but it was all SO WORTH IT! I’m  looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy now.

Title: Commonwealth
Author: Ann Patchett
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.83
Format: Physical book/Audiobook
Date Read: 23-Jul
I’ve only read one other Patchett book and that was a memoir so I was nervous how I would like her fiction. I shouldn’t have been, this was wonderful. I switched to an audiobook to finish this one on vacation and the audio was even better. The family relations in this one blew me away and I applaud Patchett for writing such an intricate story.

Titles: Terra Incognita and Persona Non Grata
Author: Ruth Downie
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.91 and 3.99
Format: Audiobooks
Date Read: 8-May and 11-Dec
This may be cheating, but I’m counting both as one. These books were fun. Downie’s writing is funny and informative and she weaves a good mystery. I adore Ruso and Tilla and I’m going to continue this series soon.

Title: This Beautiful Life
Author: Helen Schulman
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.04
Format: eBook
Date Read: 6-Dec
I was not prepared for how much I’d enjoy this story. It was something that could happen to almost anyone almost anywhere and it was devastating to see how the family fell apart. I felt bad for every single one of them and the way Schulman set up their lives, it was hard not to. The writing was beautiful.

Title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Díaz
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.89
Format: Audiobook
Date Read: 9-Sep
I adored the way Diaz wove in family history, folklore, and the timeline. I loved that Oscar was a total nerd, very relatable to me. I was cheering for him the whole time.

Title: The Book of Speculation
Author: Erika Swyler
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.59
Format: eBook, Physical Book
Date Read: 5-May
The pacing in this one sucked me in. I was waiting for my eye doctor for an hour and didn’t even realize it. I was devastated when the eBook was returned and I had 20 pages remaining. Physical book to the rescue!

Title: Empire Falls
Author: Richard Russo
Rating: 4
Goodreads Average: 3.91
Format: Physical Book
Date Read: 11-Aug
I was in the right mood for this slow novel. It crept up on me and sucked me in. I wasn’t ready for the ending at all and it was a very strong ending. I’m glad you all picked this one for me to take on vacation!

Title: Armada
Author: Ernest Cline
Rating: 3
Goodreads Average: 3.49
Format: eBook
Date Read: 30-Sep
Talk about fast paced! This book hit the ground running from page one and didn’t stop. It was a little overwhelming and hard to completely understand the world it was set in. I think I rated this low because it’s hard to compare anything to his first book.

That about does it! I hope you read some good books in 2017 and I hope we continue to enjoy some in 2018. Happy Holidays and Happy New Years!

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!

 

It’s Time! The 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge

21 Dec

It’s that time again!

I’m gearing up for the 2018 edition of the When Are You Reading? Challenge. If you haven’t heard about this one before, here’s the quick and dirty of it:

12 books read during any part of 2018
Each book falls into one of 12 time periods, beginning with pre-1500 and ending with the future
That’s it!

I have more information listed here if you want some more details. It’s a very simple challenge and I’m now in the 5th year of it and I think I’ve worked out a lot of the kinks.

If you want to participate, let me know and I’ll add you at the bottom of the challenge page here. You can set up a progress tracking page like I’ve done here if you want. Any way you want to track is fine, even if it’s on a napkin that you use as a bookmark!

I hope you’ll consider giving this a try, it’s been very fun for me in the past.

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, 20-December-2017

20 Dec

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.


Currently reading: I haven’t had much time to read The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I usually read my ebooks during lunch at work but with the holidays coming up, we’ve been having a lot of office lunches or lunches out so I haven’t read much.
I’m really enjoying The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester but, again, my reading has slowed down a bit. I’ve been so tired before bed that I spent four days on a single chapter. I’ll keep pushing on and I hope this is finished before the new year.
I have made some good progress on The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’ve been baking a lot and wrapping presents and there’s nothing better than having a book in your ear to make those things feel like they’re flying by.

Recently finished: Little surprise, but nothing finished this week. After finishing three last week, I didn’t expect much from myself.
On the bright side, I got all three book reviews written! Last Thursday was This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman. I really enjoyed this one and gave it Four out of Five Stars. Pick it up if you can, it’s short and poignant.
This week I wrote about Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie on Monday. I really enjoy the series and I plan to continue on with the fourth one. I gave this one Four out of Five Stars
Yesterday I posted about Singing My Him Song by Malachy McCourt. It wasn’t my favorite, but I still liked it. Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: My plan is still to read Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. I’ll be starting as soon as I finish Madman.
I also picked out a book for my road trip to Ohio with my husband Christmas morning. We’re going to listen to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’ve seen really good things about this one and with a movie coming out soon, I want to read/listen to it before I see the film.


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 Review: Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie (4/5)

19 Dec

I knew after I read the second book in this series that I would continue with it. These books are too fun to pass up. I’d gotten a copy of this one from a library book sale and it looks like not many people borrowed it before it was withdrawn. I’m lucky there are copies of all books in this series on Goodreads so I can enjoy them so readily!

Cover image via Goodreads

Persona Non Grata (Medicus Investigation #3) by Ruth Downie

Other books by Ruth Downie reviewed on this blog:

Terra Incognita (Medicus Investigation #2)

Summary from Goodreads:

At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home—to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words “COME HOME!” Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family.

But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he’ll leave. With Tilla getting icy greetings from his relatives, Lucius’s brother-in-law mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso family teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it’s hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the family’s chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins…

The comedy in these books is what keeps bringing me back. I love the sarcasm and backhanded way Downie insults her characters. Ruso builds himself up and tears himself down all the time and it’s so amusing to watch. I’ve also enjoyed the evolution of Tilla and I look forward to seeing what comes next from the pair. I liked the change in setting for this one. Seeing Ruso in Gaul and how uncomfortable he is in his own home made me long for Britania like Tilla. The mystery was well done and I liked all the subplots that kept this story going.

Ruso’s step-mother, Arria, and his sisters seemed unrealistic to me. Well, to be more precise, I could see how Marcia turned out the way she is if she was raised by Arria. I don’t understand how Arria became the way she is. With the fighting described between Ruso and her when he was younger, I don’t see how that led her down a path to turn into such a self-absorbed woman reliant on her step-sons. She made for some funny scenes, but she had me scratching my head, too.

Tilla is an easy favorite character in this series. She’s very modern though she’s set in ancient Rome. Her ideas of independence and a woman’s ability to speak up and do things for herself make her relatable. She’s funny and smart and it’s easy to see why Ruso likes her. I wish she’d had a bigger role in this book, it wasn’t as much as she was involved in the last mystery.

Ruso’s narration is so relatable. He expresses exasperation and disgust at the same things I do as a reader so I’m always laughing or groaning or smirking along with him. I really want to meet Downie and see if she’s this funny in real life or if it comes out when she edits. I hope it’s genuine.

Ruth Downie
Image via the author’s website

I thought the gladiator section was really interesting. It shared a lot of different opinions on the sport and the role Ruso played in it was rather neutral so we could see all of those sides. The descriptions were, of course, gruesome but also showed the reasons some of those men volunteered to go into the arena.

There wasn’t a part I enjoyed less than the rest of the book, but I wish Tilla had a bigger role. This book had a major focus on Ruso because his family was so involved in the plot. I hope when they return to Britania that Tilla can take on a bigger role.

The audiobook was narrated by Simon Vance and I thought he was perfect. He did a good variety of voices for the characters and I never felt his female voice was at all offensive, grating, or annoying. He had a wide variety of voices, too, and his inflection for Ruso’s internal thoughts was great.

These books don’t have much in terms of themes or morals to take away. If anything, it would be that you can always go home, but you might not want to. Poor Ruso. I bet he can’t wait to get back to the army.

Writer’s Takeaway: Downie has a strong understanding of her time period and she weaves it into the story so well that it barely sticks out. It’s a pleasure to read. Her humor is what always brings me back. She keeps me laughing along with Ruso and Tilla and rolling my eyes at Arria and moaning when Marcia rushes in. I just love it!

This is a great book and I really recommend this series. 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:
Persona Non Grata | S.J.A Turney’s Books & More
Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie | searchingmysoulon2wheels
Persona Non Grata a Review | A View from Sari’s World

Book Review: Singing My Him Song by Malachy McCourt (3/5)

18 Dec

Oh my gosh, I’ve been using the wrong title for this book since I started reading it! It’s Singing MY HIM Song, not Singing HIM MY Song! I feel so silly. Well, it’s all straightened out now so please enjoy and I’ve corrected everything before posing. Phew!

I wanted to read this book when I found out Malachy was the brother of Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes. I wonder how many other readers picked it up for the same reason. While Frank is a character in Malachy’s book, it’s not at all about growing up with Frank or any kind of companion to Angela’s Ashes, which I was kind of hoping for. It’s a memoir of Malachy’s adult life and, to be honest, he’s not very likable.

Cover image via Goodreads

Singing My Him Song by Malachy McCourt

Summary from Goodreads:

Malachy McCourt, bestselling author of A Monk Swimming, shares the extraordinary story of how he went from living the headlong and heedless life of a world-class drunk to becoming a sober, loving father and grandfather, still happily married after thirty-five years.

Bawdy and funny, naked and moving, told in the same inimitable voice that left readers all over the world wondering what happened next in A Monk Swimming, Singing My Him Song is “told with the frankness and honesty for which McCourt has become renowned.”

Maybe it was McCourt’s previous novel I really wanted to read, but I ended up with this one instead. It started with him in New York as a young man and moved through his relationships, career, family, and ended in his older years. I never would have guessed that he had been through so much and achieved what he did, but I also had trouble reading about it. The book jumped around a lot and plot threads were dropped and then picked up again 50 pages later which made it a hard one to read. McCourt tried to stick to one thread at a time, like his acting career, but that made his journey to sobriety seem jumpy. When he focused on that, his familiar relationships confused me. I wish it had been a bit more organized.

I felt McCourt was very fair to the people he portrayed in the book. I’m not sure how true he was to himself, but I didn’t like him and he seemed like a pretty unlikable guy for most of his life. If that’s true, then he covered it pretty well. I felt bad for Diana and his children and I thought Diana was really strong to put up with Malachy’s spotty career and absences. She was easily my favorite character and I’m glad he included her and didn’t skimp on how poor a husband he was for many years. Seeing that she was hard on him made me like her even more.

Malachy is so different from me that it was hard to relate to him. I would have a hard time coping with the spotty work he had and all the moving he did. Traveling for work would be fine, but I’d need it to be consistent. I’ve also never struggled with addiction which I think shaped a lot of McCourt’s personality so that was hard to relate to as well.

Malachy McCourt
Image via NJ.com

I thought the parts about Nina were really sweet. He cared a lot for her and I thought the extent he went to make sure she was happy was admirable. Even if they went without, Nina was cared for. He always includes her on his list of children (final paragraphs and about the author section). I thought the political campaigning they did for the care of the mentally handicapped could have been highlighted even more. During a time I didn’t like Malachy in the book, this was the one thing I held onto, thinking he really wasn’t that bad.

I almost put the book down at the beginning when Malachy was talking about opening and running bars. I thought it was really dull and it made the book hard to get into. Thankfully I was on a plane and had little choice. I’m glad I got through that but I would have preferred he started with his addiction. It’s clear he was addicted to alcohol during that time of his life and I think it would have drawn me in more as a reader rather than a list of bars he worked at.

 

Even someone who screwed up as much as Malachy was forgiven in the end. Diana had to think about it for a long time and I don’t think anyone would have blamed her if she didn’t want to be with him anymore. But he repented, gave up his bad habits, and was finally accepted back and became a part of his children’s’ lives. I think seeing his father toward the end of his life helped put this in perspective for Malachy. I would hope it doesn’t take that much for everyone in his position.

Writer’s Takeaway: I read this whole book with an Irish accent and right now, I’m thinking in one as I try to write about it. The sentence structure led me to this, but there were a few words Malachy used that were informal and made this easy as well. Instead of ‘said’ he used ‘sez’ and refers to his mother as ‘the Angela.’ These were small colloquialisms but they really set the mood of the book and I really enjoyed them.

The book was good but the organization made it hard to like. Three 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!

Book Review: This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman (4/5)

14 Dec

It was right after I read We Need to Talk About Kevin and Defending Jacob that I decided I wanted to read this book. I think the relationship between parent and child when something goes terribly wrong is a unique look at familial relationships.

Cover image via Goodreads

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

Summary from Goodreads:

The events of a single night shatter one family’s sense of security and identity in this provocative and deeply affecting domestic drama from Helen Schulman, the acclaimed author of A Day at the Beach and Out of Time. In the tradition of Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, and Laura Moriarty, Schulman crafts a brilliantly observed portrait of parenting and modern life, cunningly exploring our most deeply-held convictions and revealing the enduring strengths that emerge in the face of crisis.

It sounds weird to say I really enjoyed this book, but I did. I didn’t enjoy what happened to them because it was terrible, but the way it was writing about was really engaging for me. I liked how Schulman explored each character, letting Jake, Liz, and Richard all share how they were dealing with their tragedy. I liked all the bad, dirty details about how Liz felt drawn to a stranger more than her family, how Richard took solace in running, and how Jake was betrayed by friends and family.

I thought the reactions were very credible. I’ve never been in a similar situation or known someone who was (thankfully) but I have to imagine it would be a different experience for each person. I thought the ways they each dealt with the pain and loneliness of the situation was realistic and I thought the situation itself was very believable. I could see it happening in my hometown.

Jake was my favorite character. Probably because I’ve been a teenager in a petty school, I could understand what was happening to him. High school always blows the smallest things out of proportion so that people do dumb things. Being perceived as older was always important, feeling that being sexually active was important, all of these things were part of high school and, in retrospect, are so stupid. I understood why it happened, I understood why he did what he did, and I could feel his pain.

Helen Schulman
Image via the New York Times

I thought the final chapter was very telling. I don’t think this ruins the book much, so if you plan to read it, this paragraph should still be safe. Daisy’s reaction was missing from most of this book so ending with her seemed appropriate. I thought it was so perfect how little she seemed to care about the privilege she was currently living and how much she wrote off genuine care from another person. She was so self-centered. The reader got a peek at that when she was signing autographs, but the fact that it stuck with her until she was in college, the fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her behavior, that was so telling.

Liz’s downward spiral was the hardest for me to read and understand. She felt like she’d failed as a parent and at her goals, I get that. Why she fixated on an ex-boyfriend and why she neglected Coco, that I don’t understand. She tried to turn things around at the end of the book, but it was a bit too late then and something was going to give.

Everyone responds differently when faced with challenges. This book talked about the different ways we deal with grief and how much a small decision can affect so many lives. Daisy wasn’t really affected but Jake and his family were devastated. Maybe Coco would escape, but Jake, Richard, and Liz’s lives were changed forever.

Writer’s Takeaway: I’m not normally a fan of jumping between characters but I loved it in this book. I thought it was a lot more impactful that we got to see inside so many people’s heads. I’m glad Schulman waited until the end to have Daisy speak, though. That would have been a bit much. I’m glad she kept it to the core family, the consistency helped and didn’t make this tactic overwhelming.

This was a great book and I’m so glad I read it. 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:
Book Review: This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman | Leeswammes’ Blog
Helen Schulman on This Beautiful Life | InTheMoment
Book Review: This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman | Overflowing Heart Reviews
Book Review: This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman | Of Books and Reading

WWW Wednesday, 13-December-2017

13 Dec

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: What a week! I started three new books this week! The first was The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This book was recommended to me a while back and I was excited to grab a copy as an ebook and start reading it. This is a short one and those seem to make better ebooks for me because I read them so slowly. We’ll see how long this one takes.
The second was The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. I’m really enjoying this one so far! It’s been a while since I read some non-fiction that read like fiction. This one is keeping me up at night already and I think I’ll finish it quickly.
My next audiobook is The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I really enjoyed Middlesex and I hope this one is equally engaging. It will help if it’s also set in Michigan! So far, that’s not looking likely, but I’ll press on.

Recently finished: Three new reads and three books finished! The first was This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman which I finished while waiting at the chiropractor’s office. I enjoyed this one a lot and I thought it was a really great angle on a big problem. Plus, the ending wasn’t predictable which was a huge plus! Look for my review tomorrow.
The second was Singing My Him Song by Malachy McCourt. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as Schulman’s book but it was still a good read. I had some problems with the pacing and change in topics. My review will be up next week so take a look then at my reasoning.
I also finished Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie! That’s right, I finished all my books from last week. This is my mini celebration of finishing my class and it feels wonderful. I really liked this historical fiction book and I plan to continue with the series.

Reading Next: The next physical book will be Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. I wish I could start it sooner but I can’t find an ebook or audiobook of this one so it will have to wait.


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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