Archive | March, 2018

Off Topic Thursday: Swimming

29 Mar

Welcome to yet another Off Topic Thursday! I’ve enjoyed using the last Thursday of the month to delve into things (besides reading, writing, and books) that I enjoy. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

This month, I wanted to concentrate on something that’s been a part of my life since I was 9: swimming! I swam competitively from age 9 to age 18. I decided not to swim in college but I picked it up again when I started doing triathlons in 2014. Though, wetsuit open water swimming is a bit different from what I was used to.

My secret identity: triathlon girl!

A post shared by Sam Ann Elizabeth (@samannelizabeth) on

I love swimming in a triathlon. It’s the one part of the race where I’m confident. I don’t do dry land well. When I did my first triathlon, all the beginner advice I found was to go on the outside for the swim or hang back. Clearly, this advice was not written for someone who used to be a competitive swimmer! I jumped out in front and I continue to post swim splits among the top in my races. However, I fall apart on the rest of it. We’ll get to that in the next few months.

I’ve tried different kinds of swimming, too. Last summer, I tried a 5K swim, something equivalent to a swimming half marathon. It was exhausting and terrible and I hated it and I signed up for another one this year. It was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever done and I can’t wait to show myself how much I’ve grown and do it again. Besides, I got to meet Rowdy Gains last time! If this means nothing to you, he’s a gold medalist from the 1984 Olympics. He is currently a commentator for the sport. If you’ve watched NBC swimming coverage, you’ve heard his voice.

Just this year, I’ve gotten back to my swimming roots and started Masters swimming. Masters swimming is more like the format many are used to in the Olympics. All four strokes and individual medley races are available at various distances. At some meets, there are team relays. Masters swimming is for anyone over 18 and I swam against a woman in her 60s in my last race. I’ve loved Masters swimming so far. I’ve only had one meet but it went well and I was happy with my times. There were very few other women in my age group so I ended up with some ribbons! I’m signed up for State Meet next month and we’ll see if that goes as well!

I don’t think I’ll ever stop swimming. I plan to do triathlons for a while and when/if that ends, I’ll fall back on just swimming. It’s been a love of mine for a long time and I’m glad to be racing again. It doesn’t hurt that any given Saturday if I do one length butterfly at the gym, someone asks me if I’ve been to the Olympics. Talk about a confidence booster!

Any other swimmers out there? Anyone else in Masters? Until next time, swim 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!

Advertisements

WWW Wednesday, 28-March-2018

28 Mar

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’m still on hold with Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling but not for much longer! I’m speeding through my other books and I think I’ll be back to this one next week.
I’m much further into The Circle by Dave Eggers than I’d thought! I pulled out my physical copy to see and I’m in the last third of it for sure. I’ve been making an effort to pull it out more often in the past week and I think I can wrap it up pretty soon.
Still holding on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp though I think I’ll start again soon!
I’m loving History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. It’s creepy enough to keep me reading but not so much that I’m afraid to read it before bed. The perfect mix. This will be a fun one to discuss.
As much as I complain about being in the middle of two books, I’ve started two more. The first is, as expected, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I started it during my long run on Sunday and got through a fair chunk. I’m really looking forward to seeing why so many of you loved this book!
The second is an audiobook for the car and this time around it’s The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is available as a CD audio so I’m starting it in the car. I heard Ishiguro read a chapter from it a while back and I know it’s going to be a bit more fantastical than I’m used to with him, but we’ll see how this goes.

Recently finished: The tidal wave is starting and I finished two books! The first was, as expected, Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. I took a homework break on Friday and finished up the last 20 minutes. I adored this book and I posted my review yesterday if you want to check it out. I gave it 5 out of 5 Stars.
The second was Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire which I finished Sunday. I honestly couldn’t wait for this book to be over. It wasn’t what I expected and I found the plot meandering and without a focus. I got sick of the politics because I wasn’t invested in the characters. I think it’s safe to say I’m done with this series.

Reading Next: It seems strange to think of more books to read with so many going already! I guess I’ll need a physical book next and it’s time for me to start chipping at the physical TBR in my living room. The next one there will be Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs. I adore Jacobs and consider him one of my favorite non-fiction writers. I found this book at a B&N sale a few years ago and I’m sad I haven’t read it sooner!


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: Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver (5/5)

27 Mar

I read the first book in this duet a few years ago with some ladies from work and I ended up loving it. I was a bit skeptical going in, but I came out gushing about Kingsolver’s writing. I saw the sequel at a used book sale and picked it up with no idea when I’d read it. I finally got around to it on audio and I’m so glad I have.

Cover image via Goodreads

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

Other books by Kingsolver reviewed on this blog:

The Bean Trees (and Book Club Discussion)

Summary from Goodreads:

Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam during a tour of the Grand Canyon with her guardian, Taylor. Her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother’s belief in her, lead to a man’s dramatic rescue. The mother and adopted daughter duo soon become nationwide heroes – even landing themselves a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. But Turtle’s moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions stemming right back to her Cherokee roots. The crisis quickly envelops not only Turtle and her guardian, but everyone else who touches their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past.

Embark on a unforgettable road trip from rural Kentucky and the urban Southwest to Heaven, Oklahoma, and the Cherokee Nation, testing the boundaries of family and the many separate truths about the ties that bind.

Kingsolver has an amazing gift to write. She makes me want to go back to Arizona in a heartbeat, to start with. She also creates characters you can see so clearly you’d think you met them. Jax is just incredible. Her dialogue is so realistic it’s scary and her descriptions are simply breathtaking. The plot in this one was a perfect continuation of the first book in the series and I’m glad Kingsolver revisited these characters and their unique relationships.

Barbie was the only character who didn’t feel believable to me. I’m sure there are people like Barbie, but she stuck out too much against these down-to-Earth characters who were so gritty and true and real. Alice, Taylor, and Jax were so easy to picture and relate to, I loved it. I wish Jax had played a bigger part in the book, but the Greer women didn’t need men to be happy so he wasn’t a big part of the change going on in Turtle’s life. Kingsolver’s ability to create a character is commendable and I really enjoyed seeing these people again.

I liked Alice best. I felt Taylor didn’t get a chance to shine in this book like she did before because her circumstances were so dire that she was scrambling and not reflecting her character. Alice, on the other hand, really shared her personality and her strength. She struck out on her own with a secret mission that was dear to her and she fell in love along the way. I loved that part of the story and learning about Alice was a wonderful time.

Even though I’ve never been in similar circumstances to these characters, they were so human that I felt I related to them well. They were well-rounded and their ways of thinking weren’t distorted to make the story work or build tension. They were logical. They made the same decisions I would have made if I were in their places. I also appreciated that there wasn’t anything they didn’t guess at that I saw coming as a reader. That sometimes makes me think poorly of a character and I’m glad I didn’t see the big twist coming in this book.

Barbara Kingsolver
Image via Appalachian Heritage.

I appreciated the time Taylor spent on the run most. It was a nice nod toward Kingsolver’s views of poverty in America without being heavy-handed. It was nice to see Taylor miss Jax, too. It was subtle, but it kept Jax in the picture and develop their relationship. Taylor was really creative in how she made ends meet and I applauded her for it. I thought the contrast between the two men she dated was a great subtlety, too.

I didn’t like what Jax did. I understand that it made them closer in the end, but it bothered me that he would fall into bed with someone else so quickly and be thinking of Taylor while it happened. It would have been easier to read if he’d been mad at her, which he might have been, but never thought or said. He clearly felt abandoned but never talked about it. I’m glad to know things will work out in the end, but I wish they didn’t have to get so messy first.

My audiobook was narrated by C.J. Critt. I liked her narration a lot but the voice she used for Turtle bothered me. If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have a bad thing to say. She was able to use a lot of different voices for the characters and I didn’t think any of them were particularly offensive (which I have before). The one for Alice made me smile.

The definition of family is put to the test in this book. Turtle says at one point that she doesn’t have a real family. She has their friends back in Tuscon, her grandma, and Barbie but she doesn’t see that as a family. When we find out about her family, the decision on who she belongs with is really murky. I liked the ending we got, but it was a bit convenient.

Writer’s Takeaway: There was nothing particularly memorable about the plot of this book. What made it so good and so memorable was the characters and the way Kingsolver writes. I love Taylor and Alice. Jax and Barbie made me smile. And the way Kingsolver described the setting, emotions, and the small moments people shared was incredible. Taking time to get the right metaphor is worth it if you can get an output anywhere close to Kingsolver.

I adored this book and these awesome characters. Five 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:
Pigs in Heaven – by Barbara Kingsolver (1993) | alwaysreading1
Barbara Kingsolver: Her Life, Her Works & Her Words | Learn More Every Day
Let’s Discuss – Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver | A Morose Bookshelf
BONUS BOOK: Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver | The Banned Book Brigade
Book Review: Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver | redheaded wolf

Library Writers’ Group: Rules for Writing

26 Mar

Our writers’ group has seen a lot of people come and go in the time we’ve been together. Because of that, we revisited an old topic in our last meeting that I won’t re-blog about. However, we have a new idea.

Our group is a bit different from others I’ve been a part of in that we do not do critiques. Well, we do, some, but it’s nowhere near the focus of the group. Each month, a different member will present on some topic related to writing. I’ve talked about blogging in the past as well as lit mag publication. Next month, I’ll be talking about cultures in writing. One member had the idea to start a list of ‘rules’ we discover as we go through our material that will help those who are new or miss our meetings.

Here are the first four rules we came up with.

  1. Never use a phrase or clause when a single word will suffice.
  2. Be concise all the time, be precise when necessary.
  3. “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” -Stephen King
  4. Beware of colloquialisms and when used, try to contain them to dialogue.

What do you think of these rules? The third is a quote, but I think it serves well as a rule as well. We’ll end up sorting our list by category, but here’s where we start. What else should we consider adding?

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!

Too Many Books?

22 Mar

I rarely feel this way, but I’m starting to feel like I’m reading too many books.

I usually keep it to three books, one print, one audio, and one digital. Recently, I’ve tried to do two audiobooks with one in my car on CD because there are audiobooks I can’t find digitally. Honestly, it’s not my favorite and I’m going to try to get through books only available on CD quickly so I can return to doing them on my phone as much as possible. There’s an extra audiobook in my life right now for that reason.

Every year, I try to read a book in Spanish. I try to start it as close to January 1 as possible and finish as soon as I’m able to. Because they take me a long time to read, I often have to take a break from them before I finish to read a book club selection before the meeting date. While I’m getting close to finishing my Spanish read for the year, I have to put it aside for a book club right now. That gave me an extra print book in my life.

The digital book I’m trying to read is really long and I’ve lost the library hold on it before. Because I didn’t want to be caught with no book to read, I started another. However, when the long book became available again, I got back to it and put the second book aside. I’m about to lose the hold on the long one again so it will be back to the second book. There’s the final extra book in my life right now.

So there are three extra books, doubling my ideal number of three all the way to six. The issue is also that I’ve got a lot of similar genres going on. Both ebooks, one print, and one audio are contemporary fiction and the remaining two are fantasy. I usually have at least one historical fiction book going on which gives me more variety of settings, but no such luck now.

It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m not making progress on any of them. I haven’t finished a book since February 22nd, a month ago. I’m three books behind schedule for my Goodreads challenge! I know I’ll go through a week of finishing a ton of books, but it’s hard to see when that date will come.

Does anyone else read like me? Has anyone else felt this discouragement?

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, 21-March-2018

21 Mar

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 hate to say this, but I put Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling on hold for a little bit. Book club books call! I really hope I can get back to it soon. The ending was modified a lot to be more easily fit in the film’s constrictions so it’s like a brand new book.
I’m still plodding forward with The Circle by Dave Eggers. I hope I can renew it when my hold runs out this week. Maybe I’m going back-and-forth with someone else who’s trying to tackle this massive book. If that’s the case, I’ll switch to my other ebook.
I’ll get there with Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire, though maybe not this week. I’m not having good luck with any of my books! I wish I could report some positive progress with at least one of them.
Of all my books, I think I’ll finish Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver next. I’m still enjoying it a lot on long runs but my runs are shorter with the weather refusing to warm up.
Still holding on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. I might return to it soon if The Circle returns.
I started History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund and I can’t complain so far. I’m trying to finish this one quick so I can get back to Potter, though! I hope I don’t read so fast I don’t enjoy it.

Recently finished: Again, nothing! I think this is three weeks in a row? What a drought, the whole month of March. This has to end soon, right?

Reading Next: My next book club pick is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’ve seen this book around for years and heard good things so I’m excited. I think this will be one I regret waiting so long to read. It’s available as an audio download so I’ll start it when I finish up Kingsolver. As long as it doesn’t delay me from finishing Potter, I’m happy.


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: X by Ilyasha Shabazz

20 Mar

Here is the first of my two book club discussions that focused on Ilyasah Shabazz’s novel X about her father, Malcolm X. I think it’s worth noting that my two book clubs are a bit different in focus. This club tends to focus a bit more on ‘strange’ books, ones that make you think and take a very different point of view. The other is a much more traditional book club. I think it will be interesting to see how the two different groups perceive the book.

Our leader told us that people in other discussion groups had a hard time with reading a fictionalized account of an actual person. Like the last book our group read, The Paris Wife, this book had to take great liberties as to exact dialogue and fill-in action to account for what’s not known. No one in our group had specific complaints about this, but some in different discussion groups believed that without accurate details, the whole thing was too fictionalized to be taken as fact. I can see that, but I feel that it’s the overall truth, where and who and when, that tells the story, not the specific words that tell the story. The book is aimed at a YA audience and children of this age may be slightly more inclined to believe that every word was true. We thought to call out that the book is a novel on the cover may have been aimed at that age cohort.

I mentioned my opinion that the end of the book seemed rushed and another reader felt that it was more like a teaser for learning about the rest of Malcolm’s life. A few recommended his biography to continue learning about him. The conversion he experienced in prison is true, but we felt the men who pushed him on that path were a bit too convenient, saying things exactly when he was ready to hear them. It was a return to his roots and probably a more gradual process than the book had time for.

Louise Little’s institutionalization was a catalyst in Malcolm’s life. We questioned if she really should have been institutionalized but it’s hard to tell from this novel. She could have been an activist who was deemed a threat to public stability. Or, if she really did need to be institutionalized, she could have suffered from post-partem depression or even PTSD. Given the time period of the depression, it’s easy to see how taking care of eight children would be hard. We questioned the fine line between being too proud to accept public handouts and having hungry children at home. We did notice the comments about the vegetable garden and chicken coop having fallen apart since their father died so maybe she really was neglectful.

There were so many times that Malcolm made the wrong decision when you felt things were finally going to turn around for him. Like many young people, he thought he was invincible. He would never be the one to be lynched or go to jail. That happened to other people, but not him.

The comment Malcolm’s teacher made to him destroyed him and set him on a poor path into the future. He had a very high opinion of that teacher and until that moment he hadn’t experienced much racism in the classroom. He felt like what his father and mother had preached was true, that he could raise himself up on merit. When his teacher said that to him, he internalized it as his father lying to him, not as the teacher pushing him down. When he saw the pride Ella had, he felt like she wasn’t being truthful either and that being pushed down in the dirt was where he was going to end up. It’s so disheartening to see how the comments of one man could steer a boy’s life onto such a destructive path. It really makes you think about what you say and how you can hurt another person.

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!

‘The Glass Castle’ Movie Review

19 Mar

Movie Poster via IMDb

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I read this book a looooong time ago. I know it was 2015 because I remember reading it at a conference in Chicago. I told myself I’d see the movie when it came out but I’m terrible at seeing movies in a timely fashion. I was on my way home from California when I started watching it on the in-plane entertainment app. We landed before I could finish it so I wrapped it up over the weekend. I don’t have a great memory of the book, so please comment with more if you can.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Woody Harrelson. I feel like he gets a bad reputation for being a bad actor, but I don’t agree. He’s very good at playing a drunk or a drug addict! Rex seems like a role made for him and he did a great job with it. The emotional highs and lows were believable and I felt like Woody might have really experienced those emotions.

If you only watch one part of this movie, watch the credits. There are interviews with the Walls kids and video clips of Rose Mary and Rex from the time they were living homeless in New York. It was amazing to see Rex and how well Harrelson embodied him. The interviews were great because the kids shared their memories of getting a star and it mirrored that scene in the movie so well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

More of the movie concentrated on Jeannette’s time in the present, with David, than I remember from the book. It was fine by me, interesting enough, but I felt like it was just to give Brie Larson more screen time. I wanted to be with the Walls family in Welsh or traveling across the country in a van more, but the writers found a way to keep it interesting and I liked it well enough.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Not taken out, but shortened. Her time in college! I was amazed that Jeannette went through school with no family support the way she did. That was the most empowering part of her story for me because it overlapped with my life. I was really amazed by her strength there.

Things That Changed Too Much

Rose Mary’s problems. It was clear in the book that both of Jeannette’s parents contributed to her challenging upbringing. While Rex had problems with drinking, Rose Mary would hide food from her children and couldn’t hold a job. Her issues were really downplayed in the movie to focus on Rex and I think it took away from the book as a whole.

I’d have a lot more to say if it hadn’t been so long between when I read the book and seeing the film. I liked the movie but I’m sure there were parts left out that I would have liked to see. Reader, have you seen The Glass Castle movie? What did you think?

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!

‘The Door In the Floor’ Movie Review (Based on John Irving’s ‘A Widow for One Year’)

15 Mar

Poster image via Amazon

I’m making more of an effort to see the movies based on the books I read soon after I finish them. I’d say this one was a pretty solid success as I finished the book less than a month ago and it took a while to find time with how busy I’ve been! It took me a bit to realize the movie had a different title from the book. I gathered from reading the plot description that the movie only covered the first half of the book which surprised me a bit. I was pleasantly surprised by what resulted.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The dialogue. It was so true to the book that it was almost comical at times. I wasn’t expecting so many lines directly from the book to make their way out of the actor’s mouths but it was really great how true to the book they were able to keep.

Seeing Ted in action. It was a bit hard to understand how Ted could be so attractive to so many women, but seeing him played out made it a bit easier to understand. He was charming and Jeff Bridges did a great job of bringing him to life and making him believable.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Focusing on only the first third of the novel. I thought this would bother me a lot, but it didn’t. The movie set up the relationships between the characters that carried them on their ways through the last half of the book. Marion, Ruth, Ted, and Eddie are the backbone of the book and it was great to see them established so strongly.

Cover image via Goodreads

The time period. The summer in question in the book was in the early 1950s. The movie moved it to the release date, 2005. It seemed a bit incongruous when Ted was typing away at a typewriter and we’re supposed to believe it’s 2005. I’m not sure why they’d change it because the story is universal and except when it was said what year it was and when Timmy’s show was an Air Jordan instead of a high-top, I never would have questioned it.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The picture Marion left for Eddie. That made an impact on me in the book. She leaves the picture of Tommy and Timmy at Exeter and says it’s for Eddie but Ted takes it from him. She left it for Eddie because it was after looking at it that they were together for the first time. It had nothing to do with her sons, it was about their relationship.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything else. The movie kept really close to the book! Well, if you’re only considering the first third that is.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. I’m not talking about the last 2/3 of the book missing, I’m talking about how it was wrapped up. It’s stated in the film, and implied in the reading, that a door in the floor represents death. With Ted crawling into the door at the end, it’s implied that he’s committed suicide. I hated this. There’s no way Ted (book or movie) would abandon Ruth by leaving her. Ruth is the one thing he stays focused on and is devoted to. I was really mad at the end when I saw that, it’s not like him.

Marion’s plan. In the book, she planned it perfectly. Ted got back too late to see her again before she drove away. It bothered me that Ted got to see her and knew she was leaving in the movie. Him acting like he didn’t know she was leaving confused me when he talked to Eddie. He’d seen her driving away!

I loved it right up until the end and then I got mad. At least there were extras with an Irving interview that cheered me right up. Reader, have you seen The Door in the Floor movie? What did you think?

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, 14-March-2018

14 Mar

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: Still moving forward with Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. If I keep at it, I could finish next week, but I’m not going to hold my breath. My class has picked up and isn’t leaving a lot of time for reading. I’m hoping to watch both of the movies soon after I finish it.
I feel like I’m making great progress on The Circle by Dave Eggers but it’s such a long book that I’m really inching along. I have the hold for another few weeks and I hope that I can keep it going with another check-out.
I feel like I’m making progress on Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire though it’s a bit slower than I’d like. I still don’t see where this book is going. The arc seems to be weak so I’m wondering if I haven’t gotten to the true arc yet and I’m still wandering through the exposition. If so, it’s too long.
I’m halfway through Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. Her writing is amazing and I’m glad I’m getting to experience this one in audio. It’s almost better that way! Hearing her turns of phrase out loud is great and I can’t wait to see where this one ends up.
Still holding on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. If I lose The Circle hold again, I’ll try to go back to it.

Recently finished: Nothing again! It will likely come as an avalanche of books finished and reviews to write again. I can’s say I particularly look forward to that but it is what it is.

I posted two reviews so at least I’m finally catching up there. I posted about John Irving’s A Widow for One Year on Thursday. I gave the book 4 out of 5 Stars. I watched the movie over the weekend and I’ll be posting about that tomorrow.
I also reviewed X by Ilyasah Shabazz and posted that yesterday. I’ll have two book club discussions and hopefully an author presentation to share for that one! I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars as well.

Reading Next: I found out I can’t get an audio copy of History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. Drats! I’ll try to finish Potter soon and pick it up then. If not, I’ll start it when I go to my next book club meeting and the issue is forced a bit more. Either way, I’ll get this one next!


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!