Archive | August, 2018

Off Topic Thursday: Europe Trip

30 Aug

I’ve been building up to this for eight months not but it finally happened! My husband and I took a two-week trip to Europe last month. Some called it a second honeymoon, others a 5-year anniversary trip and I thought of it as an early graduation present to myself. This was my third time traveling in Europe but it was only my husband’s first!

Our first stop was Amsterdam. A friend of mine from high school swimming now lives there so we were able to stay at his place. I really fell in love with the city and if I was going to return to any of our destinations, it would be Amsterdam. Some of our highlights include a bike tour of the countryside, the Anne Frank House, and the MOCO Museum.

Next, we went to Belfast. I planned this stop just to see the Titanic Museum. We spent 7 hours there, completely missing our lunch that day and it was SO WORTH IT! My inner Titanic nerd was well served and I give the museum my highest recommendation. We spent the second day on a Paddywagon tour to see Giant’s Causeway which was beautiful.

From there we moved on to Barcelona and all the paella I could eat. We enjoyed Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia immensely. I wanted to see the church before it’s finished (fingers crossed for 2026!) and I want to see it again when it’s done. We also took a day to relax on the beach and explore the Gothic Quarter.

We went to Belgium and met with a friend of mine from high school. He’s German and had been an exchange student at my high school and we kept in touch since. The last time we saw each other was for our wedding so it really felt like an anniversary trip here. We toured the Parlamentarium building, saw the Antonium and the Mannekin Pis. Really, we drank a lot of good beer and had waffles. The city was really beautiful and I was amazed by the history packed into the center of town that we ended up walking through to get anywhere.

Our last stop was Reykjavik. We got to see puffins and whales which was one of the things I was most looking forward to on that leg of the trip. The city is quite small so we got to see everything we wanted to and more. If you ever go stop in Icelandic Street Food for some amazing soup and the best hospitality I’ve ever experienced.

That’s my quick overview but I have a ton of pictures on Instagram that I haven’t included here. Please consider following me if you don’t already and check out some other great moments from my trip. It was incredible and something I won’t soon forget. I’m already planning something for my next vacation so stay tuned for more!

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, 29-August-2018

29 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. 


Currently reading: I found out that Bel Canto by Ann Patchett is being turned into a movie soon and now I’m even more eager to finish it up. I hope I get the ebook back soon!
I’ve been making a point of moving forward with The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar so I’ll be done when I get my hold on Bel Canto back. I’m enjoying it a lot and I look forward to seeing where Umrigar goes with these characters.
I find myself making up excuses to drive so I can listen to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I love this book. These characters remind me of myself as a teenager and talk about a lot of fears and concerns I have about racial relations in the US. I’m glad this book is getting so much attention, it’s very deserved.
I’m enjoying The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri but it’s not what I expected. The last novel I read by her was focused on familial relationships and traditions and this one seems very political so far. I think that will lessen a bit, but the beginning had a very political feel to it. We’ll see how this one goes.
I followed my plans and picked up The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl from my shelf. This one has mixed reviews but I’m being optimistic and I’m excited to cross off the 1800s from my reading challenge list.

Recently finished: I finished Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger on Thursday and I absolutely loved it! My review went up Monday, the same day my book club met to discuss the book. Look out for a few more posts about this one and know it comes with a strong recommendation!

Reading Next: No plans at this time. I’m in the middle of a lot of these books. I think I’ll need an audiobook next in my car. I created a list of books that will get me through the rest of my reading challenge but I haven’t decided which of them to start 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!

Writers’ Group: Chapters and Editing

28 Aug

We tried a new format in my writing group and I have to say, it went really well! Instead of a single person talking on a topic of their choice for an hour, we had a few people talk about a topic they wanted for about ten minutes. With the discussion that came after, three people filled up our hour! I’m going split this up over two posts because I have so much to say about each one.

First, Rachel talked about chapters. A chapter is a narrative unit of a larger story. It helps to facilitate the transitions in the story. Historically, chapters divided up non-fiction works so they could be referenced for particular subjects without having to read the whole book. Later, they were used to show a change in time or place.

Now, chapters move stories along in many ways. They help with pacing, point of view changes, time jumps, location changes, dividing events, and moving to different storylines. Chapters are only one way of dividing a story. Writers can also use volumes, parts, and sections.

Rachel presented some tips about chapters as well. Some that stood out to me were:

  • Chapters don’t have the be the same length
  • Ending chapters with cliffhangers keeps a reader’s attention but don’t do it too often.
  • Numbering chapters is not mandatory

Our next mini topic was editing types. There are three major types: developmental (also called structural), copy, and proof. Developmental focuses on the story arc and contents and should be pursued before the other two. Copy edit deals more with accuracy and readability of the material, also looking for consistency of things such as tense and characters. Finally, a proof edit is a grammatical read-through to make small changes for linguistic accuracy.

Clearly, doing a proof edit before a developmental edit isn’t going to help anyone. Doing edits in this order is important or else you’ve erased the impact of earlier edits which will have to be repeated. There are several places online one can find editors such as Fiverr and Upwork. Be sure you understand fees and the type of edit you’re going to get from a freelance editor before working with them.

We had one more topic to discuss but I’ll save it for next week to keep this post a reasonable length. Besides, I’ve got something special saved for Thursday!

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: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (5/5)

27 Aug

Here is another reason I’m in a book club. I’d never heard of this book and never would have picked it up before my book club selected it for this month. The author is new to me and I’m so excited to have found him. I loved the story and the characters, not to mention the amazing writing.

Cover image via Goodreads

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Summary from Goodreads:

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson’s Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.

When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

This book knocked me off my feet a bit. I wasn’t ready to dive into it and enjoy it as much as I did. I had no expectations going in and, as is normal for me, I didn’t read the summary of it before I jumped in. I love finding books this way because I feel sometimes the summary on the back takes away a lot of the suspense depending on how soon major events happen. Knowing nothing and going in blind made this book all the better.

I thought the characters were true to life and I loved how different they all were and how they had their own struggles. Every character was well-rounded.

Jake was easily my favorite character. He was so devoted to his older brother that he was around and involved in much of the book. He was also a very moral character and obviously loved his family fiercely. He went through a major event in his life during the course of the book, much as Frank did. The loss that their family suffered change people and I felt Jake had a really realistic way of dealing with that trauma. I also enjoyed how he and Frank were able to hear things and tag along to many things in the town because they were good kids and how much that served them over the course of the summer.

I most closely related to Frank and Jake. I feel closer to childhood than adulthood despite my age and I could remember the feeling of being young and feeling like you’re old enough for something and finally being given the benefit of the doubt and trusted. I think the summer of the novel is the beginning of that for Frank and he feels like he’s an adult at the beginning of the summer. By the end of it, he’s gone through the emotional maturity to go along with it and is more of an adult than would have happened without the events of the summer.

William Kent Krueger
Image via Goodreads

I’m going to be a bit vague about this so as not to ruin it. I thought the events after the third death were the most interesting. The way Frank, Jake, and their family dealt with it were very raw and felt real to me. I’ve never gone through something like that but can understand how difficult it would be to process that kind of loss. It wasn’t a happy moment by any means, but well written and a time that jumped off the page and sucked me into the story.

Of the deaths in this book, it was really the third and fourth I felt were significant. The other three seemed a bit superfluous and seemed a bit like filler to me. It set a tone and a mood, but maybe one could have done that? Another three was a bit much.

Krueger was able to address a lot of themes in such a short book. The ideas of family, growing up, and faith all make their ways into Frank’s summer. His family seems fractured at times, especially with his mother. She sometimes feels like she settled in her marriage like she could have done better and married someone of a higher caliber. The children sometimes feel like they’re not as loved because of it. Frank and Jake are forced to grow up as the summer forces them to confront that there are bad things in the world after all and those bad things can happen to them. The struggle with faith that their mother has contrasts well against the rock-hard faith of Jake and their father.

Writer’s Takeaway: Krueger drew me in with the tension he built. I kept waiting for something bad to happen and I didn’t have to wait long but when I found out something worse was coming, I was hooked. I loved how he paced the story and how he kept it going over the whole novel. While there was a lot of external tension, the character-driven plot was amazing and I think I need to look into more Krueger books.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. 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:
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger | addyfran
Review of “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger | Rhapsody in Books Weblog

Impact

23 Aug

I had a really cool moment over the weekend that I felt needed to be shared with my readers.

Many times, I feel like I’m writing into a void. Some of my posts get a lot of traction and generate conversations but there are some (fewer than there were) where I get no reaction and no response. It can be a struggle sometimes to keep writing and think that there is a reason I’m doing this, a reason I sit at my computer every weekend and plan out the week.

This weekend I went to a family birthday party. Due to late-in-life births and large differences in age, my dad’s cousin’s husband (my cousin-once-removed-in-law) turned 90 and we celebrated by gathering at a local restaurant. My husband and I arrived late due to another commitment but excited to see the birthday boy, who we haven’t seen in almost five years.

I know that’s how long it’s been because the last time I visited Tom I wrote about it. Tom published his memoir a number of years ago and is working on a second one. He is Armenian and repatriated to Armenia to help with nation building only to be trapped behind the Iron Curtain. I wrote a post about visiting him at his home in Northern Michigan and talking with him about his career. Again, it felt like writing into a void, even more so then than now with my blog has gained some traction.

At the party, Tom took me aside. He said that he’d been contacted by someone who read my blog post. This woman was Turkish and wanted to apologize to him, an Armenian, for what her countrymen had done to the Armenians as part of the Armenian Genocide. Tom was very moved and reassured this woman that she did not owe him an apology for something her grandparents’ generation had done. He wanted to let me know that my post had given this woman a way of contacting him and expressing such profound sorrow.

I’ve been reflecting on this interaction for a few days now. I feel so touched that someone was able to find Tom through my blog. It’s good to know that what I do on this site can impact people and can have a meaning in the physical world. Even if it feels like I’m writing into a void, it’s one that can mean something as profound as an apology.

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, 22-August-2018

22 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. 


Currently reading: Nothing with Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I hope I can get this back soon!
I’m making decent progress in The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar considering it’s an ebook and I move through those so slowly. I bet it’s still another month before I finish, though.
I’m in love with Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. I honestly thought I might have it finished but I’ll say next week now. I might even finish it today!
I adore The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book is so powerful but so approachable and it’s really making me think. It will be great for our book club discussion and I’m excited to see how the movie adaptation comes out.
I’ve moved surprisingly slowly through The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I haven’t run as much as I normally do and I’m not cooking as much as I’d like, both of which could explain it. I hope to make some more progress soon because I think it’s about to get interesting.

Recently finished: Nothing new. I saw this coming but it’s always hard not to finish something. I did manage to post my review of Dreams of Joy by Lisa See on Monday.  Please stop by and take a look when you can.

Reading Next: I made some plans for finishing up my challenge this year so I think my next book will be The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. This will give me my 1800s time period and move me one step closer to finishing!


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!

What’s the Fastest You’ve Finished a Book?

21 Aug

I saw a post on Instagram from a college friend who was raving about a book she read in 24 hours and I was utterly blown away. I was trying to think if I’ve ever accomplished something like that and I think the last I can remember was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I read that within 24 hours of it being released.

I tend to read 250-300 page books and for me, it’s hard to sit still long enough to read one that long in a 24 hour period. I think it’s doable, but it’s not something I really want to do or can see myself doing often. Maybe if I was sick or injured and needed to be on the couch a lot. But as is, that’s not something I particularly want to do.

Sorry for the short post, but I’m so curious to talk to you all about this in the comments. Do you read books in a day? How often and what books have driven you to complete that?

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: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (4/5)

20 Aug

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Shanghai Girls, and enjoyed hearing the author speak. It seemed about time to read another Lisa See book and picking up Dreams of Joy was an easy choice. I listened to this one on audio on my phone and ended up taking a two-week break for my trip before I came back and finished it up.

Cover image via Wikipedia

Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2) by Lisa See

Other books by See reviewed on this blog:

Shanghai Girls (Book Club Reflection [twice], meeting the author)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (movie review)

Summary from Goodreads:

In her most powerful novel yet, acclaimed author Lisa See returns to the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy. Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the Communist regime. Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

This book picked up right where Shanghai Girls left off so I’m glad I remembered that ending. I liked that there was something after because the ending of the first book was so abrupt and open-ended. I felt this one had a better ending. I liked the way the story unfolded. It really highlighted Joy and how much she changed during the book. She grew up a lot and had to learn lessons the hard way, the way Pearl had learned them, even though Pearl tried to protect her from that.

I thought Pearl’s reactions to what happened were very realistic but I felt Joy was a bit too oblivious to what was happening around her. I understand that she was young and a bit idealistic, but it was a bit too much for me. By the end, she was more realistic but it was only to be expected after what happened to her in the village. I thought her ‘youthful optimism’ was a bit over the top.

Pearl was such a good mother, I really loved her character, what she did, and what she was willing to endure to make sure her family was safe. Even though Joy’s story was more dramatic, I loved Pearl’s struggles to return home to China, it felt much more realistic and showed the huge change in Shanghai between this book and the first one.

I don’t share a lot in common with these characters but I was still able to connect with them. Joy’s excitement at contributing to a new idea was relatable as was Pearl’s concern for her family and taking care of her child. See did a good job of developing characters in an environment I’ll never encounter whose shoes I could see myself in. I really commend her for the women in this book.

Lisa See and I

I thought the second half after Joy gets married, was more interesting than the first. Her idealism around communist China disintegrates quickly and her panic, fear, and desperation made me read faster. It was hard to read about some of the suffering going on in the rural parts of the country, though. I found myself clutching my hand to my heart on several occasions.

I thought the speed at which Joy found ZG was too unrealistic. Honestly, it a city that size, it should have taken some time. Even with his fame, it should have been more difficult to locate him. It started the book out on a rough note for me and it took a while to recover from that.

This audiobook was narrated by Janet Song. If I’d listened to audio of the first one, I would have heard her read that, too. I heard Song before when she narrated another See book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I guess she has the corner on the See audiobook market! She did a great job before and I enjoyed her narration again. She’s good at putting emotion into the characters and showing their fear, joy, and frustration. If I read more See, I bet I listen to more Song.

Mother-daughter love was a theme of Shanghai Girls and See brings it back in this book. What Pearl does for her daughter is almost unimaginable. The danger she puts herself into and the risks she takes would only be taken by a mother for a child. Daughters are reflections of their mothers and Joy grows to be more and more like her mother as the book goes on.

Writer’s Takeaway: I think See balanced the two stories well. There was a potential for Joy’s story to overtake the narrative because it was more dramatic than Pearl’s. See balanced the chapter lengths and gave a good plot line to Pearl to keep her story interesting and progressing. I think this balance could have been poorly managed by a less experienced writer but See did it wonderfully.

This book kept me engaged and reading (listening) and I really enjoyed listening to 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:
The Surprise Sequel: Dreams of Joy | The Paperback Princess
Lisa See Explores the Concept of Love in Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy | cultcrumbs

‘The Joy Luck Club’ Movie Review

16 Aug

Movie Poster via Pinterest

I was really excited to finish this book and immediately start on the movie. It was a book I read over a few weeks and seeing all that time culminate in two hours was really rewarding. I always try to watch the movie right away. Though I often fail. Oh well.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Visualizing the characters. I had a lot of trouble connecting the characters when I read. I would forget who had which childhood and who’s mother was who. Seeing the characters and the actors made it a lot easier for me. I could connect Lindo and Waverly, An-Mihn and Rose. I could remember the childhood one mother had and see why she felt a certain way about her daughter’s decisions. It helped to connect the stories for me.

Auntie Lindo. She was great! I loved the actress and all the enthusiasm she had for her role and the emotion she poured into it. I would watch an entire movie of just Auntie Lindo’s stories.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

June’s father not coming to China. It seemed a bit incongruous to me when I read the book. The whole thing to that point had been about mothers and daughters and how they’re connected across generations and cultures. By having her father along, the relationship she develops with her half-sisters is a bit off and the meeting with her Aunt in the book is much less personal. I wish the book had followed this.

Time in China. The time with her aunt in the book seemed like filler to me. It didn’t build anticipation or develop the characters so I felt it could have been cut. June also makes a few comments about communist China which seemed tacked on to me. I liked it better in the movie where those things were left out.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Rose and Lena’s childhoods. Did I miss something? We got the story of June playing the piano and Waverly playing chess, but what about Lena and Rose? I don’t remember the exact stories they had in the book, so maybe there’s nothing missing. It just seems off for there to be nothing about those two.

Things That Changed Too Much

June speaking Chinese. She makes a point earlier of telling her Aunties that she can’t understand Chinese. Then at the end, she has a conversation with her half-sisters in Chinese and understands the questions they ask her. How long was the time in between that she could learn another language? Not long enough!

The ending. I was angry with the end. I couldn’t believe that no one would tell the twins their mother was dead before June arrived! That was so much to place on June and ask her to communicate to women she was meeting for the first time. It was building up the twins’ hope as well. Of course, they’re excited to meet their half-sister, but it’s not the same excitement you’d feel when meeting your mother.

This was a really great movie and I’m glad I was able to watch it so soon after reading the book. They compliment each other well. Reader, have you seen the Joy Luck Club 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, 15-August-2018

15 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. 


Currently reading: Still on hold with Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I’ll have to see about finding this in another format so I can wrap it up soon.
I’ve made slight progress in The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar. I’m reading it slowly during lunches but while the weather is nice, I’m eating outside with my mom a few times a week which takes away at my reading time. I’m enjoying the story and I hope to get back into it soon.
I was able to start Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and I’m loving it so far. The writing is lyrical and fun and I’m very interested in the focus family!
I’m so fortunate that I’m the first person at the library to get the audiobook copy of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while and it was recently picked as my book club selection for September and I’m beyond excited to start reading it.
I started a new book on my phone and this time around it’s The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I read another of Lahiri’s novels a few years ago and adored it so I’m excited to see what else she’s got!

Recently finished: I finished The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan on Thursday. I’m really excited to have finished another book, especially one I was working on for a while. I enjoyed this in both audio and print forms so that I could keep it up while on vacation. My review went up yesterday. I gave it Three out of Five Stars and I’ll be reviewing the movie tomorrow!
I wrapped up Dreams of Joy by Lisa See on Monday. I’ll tell you a secret. I usually write these the Sunday before just to make sure I have it scheduled and I’m usually 99% correct. This week, I was so far off that I had to re-write this Monday night! It changed so fast. I didn’t think I’d finish this one but I powered through because the end was so good. I’ll have a review up next week. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

My review for The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver went up on Thursday. This was a big winner for me and I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan on Monday. Many of you saw this on my list for weeks and weeks but it’s thankfully wrapped up and I’m so excited to have moved on! I gave the book Two out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ve just started so many books that I’m really not sure. I think it will be a physical book and I’m leaning toward starting something to help me finish my historical fiction challenge. I’m getting a bit anxious about finishing that. I have the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s to go. I’ve got to start some planning!


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!