Tag Archives: Anchee Min

Book Review: Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min (2/5)

24 Sep

This is one of the last book calendar recommendations I have left to go through. I decided to read it as an ebook even though I own it because I thought it would help me get through the book faster. It took me six months to read this book. I’m not happy with that at all, but at least I got through it. The time it took might have to do with how I felt about it.

Cover image via Goodreads

Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min

Summary from Goodreads:

This is an evocation of the woman who married Chairman Mao and fought to succeed him. The unwanted daughter of a concubine, she refused to have her feet bound, ran away to join an opera troupe and eventually met Mao Zedong in the mountains of Yenan.

The storytelling in this book wasn’t my favorite. It bounced back and forth between first-person and third-person and the formatting in the ebook didn’t make it obvious when the change was taking place. It’s a little more formatted in the book, but still not very easy to understand. I didn’t like the switch back and forth and it would take me out of the story a lot. It was interesting to hear how Jiang Ching maneuvered herself to be where she was and how many lies she told about herself. I did like the details of how art played into Mao’s reign which is a side I hadn’t heard detailed as much before. I also hadn’t known the first lady was involved with it as Jiang Ching was.

Min pained very realistic images of Mao and Jiang Ching. Mao was a good leader but his paranoia and focus outside of leadership lead him astray. Jiang Ching tried very hard to use her talents and passions to guide the country which I felt was something someone in her position could do and do well. They were strong and weak people at the same time. Their rise from a cave to the highest position in the country was long and hard and they fought well for it. It made the reward sweeter and harder to adapt to. Part of me wished they were still in a cave at the end because they were so much happier there.

I didn’t like any of the characters. Jiang Ching, Mao, and Nah were the only three who appeared often enough and for long enough that I kept track of them. Nah was ungrateful and flippant. Jiang Ching and Mao were both too flawed and single-mindedly obsessed with power for me to like them. Maybe I could have respected them, but not liked them. All of the other people seemed to appear just as they were about to fail so I never got too attached to any of them.

I feel like Jiang Ching’s nervousness and paranoia could be described today as a little like imposter syndrome. She always felt like someone was going to come to her and say her time was over, she wasn’t supposed to be there and she needed to go back to the cave she came from. I’ve felt that at times, as I’m sure a lot of other people have. Maybe with friends who are more successful than you or at a job where you’re getting paid a lot. I know I’ve felt that way before and that was a part of Jiang Ching’s story I could relate to.

Anchee Min
Image via the author’s website

I found the story of Jiang Ching’s early romantic life to be the most interesting, but I didn’t like it a lot. The politics at the end dragged for me and I didn’t enjoy them, but the marriages and running away and acting of her early life was really interesting. It was crazy to me that someone with that much uncertainty and change in her life could settle into life as the first lady of China.

All of the conspiracy theories at the end were boring and repetitive to me. They all seemed the same and they all ended the same way. I lost interest and it made the end of the book drag for me and probably contributed to my long read time and why I disliked it.

China’s political system under Mao wasn’t sustainable and the book highlights the deep cracks that existed under his regime. I thought it was an interesting angle to take on the story, highlighting Mao’s wife, but her strong role in the country makes her a great choice to share this story. I don’t know much about that period of history in China and Jiang Ching’s perspective was a good one to take to see multiple sides of it.

Writer’s Takeaway: The perspective switches in this book really hurt my enjoyment of it. I wondered if the parts in first-person were from a diary at first, but I don’t think that was the case. I wish Min had picked one perspective and stuck with it, I may have enjoyed the story more. That is one of the main reasons I’m giving the book such a low rating

Overall, a bit cumbersome and too long-winded at the end. Two 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:
Beyond the White Boned Deamon | Steep Stairs Review
Prepare for the Future by Studying the Past | HL Gibson, Author

WWW Wednesday, 11-September-2019

11 Sep

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’ll be moving faster through The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory now that I’ve started my new job with a longer commute. I’m actually a little excited to have a bit of time for myself and my audiobook each day. It helps me to calm down or get ready for the day, whichever is needed.
Now for all the updates! I started listening to A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab when I went for my ‘last run’ on Friday before my Saturday race. It was just a half-hour but it was enough to get me invested in the story! This one is picking up right where the last left off so it’s all systems go and I’m enjoying that a lot.
Due to availability, I decided to read a physical copy of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I’m enjoying the mix of anecdote and research so far so I’m excited to see how this one develops.
I decided on a shorter book for my next ebook and picked up When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan. McMullan teaches at my alma mater so it seemed like one I should pick up!

Recently finished: All of the updates! I realized I only had a chapter left in Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min so I finished it up while I was at my parents’ cottage and had time to relax. I’m so glad I’m finally done with this one! I was reading it for far too long.
I was able to wrap up Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian on Thursday morning and I was a little disappointed with the ending. It just could have been a bit more conclusive, it kind of left off with not much closure. My book club just met to talk about it so I’m sure I’ll have more to share about it soon.
I sped through The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie. It was a very short and sweet book and I’m glad I read it, though there wasn’t too much of a story to it. I’ll get into that more in my review. I’m curious to see how a movie and a TV show came out of this small little book!

Two book reviews up as well! I reviewed The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma on Friday. It was a fun read and I really enjoyed it! Four out of Five stars.
I also reviewed An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. My book club already met about this book so there’s more coming on it in the near future. I also gave it Four out of Five stars.

Reading Next: I put in an interlibrary loan request for The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli. It’s been a while since I read some non-fiction so I think this will be a welcome break. I’m not sure when it will come in but I hope I’m close to finishing Vance when it does!


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 4-September-2019

4 Sep

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: No progress with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min, as predicted. Once I figure out my new work routine, I’ll have a better idea of when I can expect to finish this book. I’m hesitant to focus on it because reading on a device before bed will probably make it harder for me to sleep.
I need to finish Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian before Monday so I’m focusing on it a little more than I normally would. I’m thinking of going for a walk after I write this post where I listen to it (and play Wizards Unite) just to get some time in listening. It’s not a chore by any means, but a much more compressed time frame than I was hoping for.
I’ve made decent progress with The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory though I think I’ll be getting through it faster once I start my new job and have a longer commute. I’m not sure what the main action is that I should focus on yet, but I’m sure it will become clear soon.
I was able to pick up a new book from the library last night, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie. This is one a fellow writer recommended to me years ago at a writers’ group meeting. I’ve only just started it so no telling yet how I feel about it.

Recently finished: I finished up Writing and Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going yesterday. It’s probably a bad idea to keep reading books on writing while I’m trying to finish editing my book. It keeps me wanting to make more and more changes so I feel like I’ll never be done! There was some good advice in this book, but I felt it could have used some more details. A review might take a while because I’m very behind on them right now!

Reading Next: I still plan to get to A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab soon but it’s not ‘next up’ anymore. I’ve given that spot to Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. This is an upcoming book club selection and I’ll need to get through the audiobook pretty quickly. Some upcoming half-marathon training should help with that!


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 28-August-2019

28 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’m probably going to slow down on Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min for a few weeks. I’m sad because I’m finally getting close to finishing it, but there’s not a lot of good time to work on reading it without work lunches to keep my structured. I’m sure I’ll find my groove again soon.
Time for a lot of new books! I picked up a new physical book, Writing and Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going. I’m really pushing myself to finish my edits and it seemed like a good time to have a craft book fresh in my mind. I’m hoping this is a pretty fast read and that I can learn from it.
I started in on Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian on Monday so I’m still at the early stages. I have two weeks to finish it so I’m not worried and I think I’ll be able to take my time and enjoy it.
Because I’m not in such a rush to finish my eaduiobook, I picked up a CD audiobook for the car. I’ll be reading The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory, a favorite author. Gregory is also helpful when trying to fill in rogue time periods from the When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’m excited for more Tudor England.

Recently finished: I was desperate to finish The Map of Time by Félix Palma and lugged it to a wedding weekend with me only to not finish it until I got home. Oh well, I tried. I adored this book but I’m wondering about the other two in the series. There wasn’t much left that needed to be wrapped up. Right now, I’m not sure I’ll keep reading the series. I did love the writing, though, so that has me tempted. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.
I sped through An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and finished it the morning of my book club meeting! I really liked it which made the speed-listening no trouble at all. I’ve read Jones before so I knew the emotional journey I was about to jump in on and I adored it. The narration was great, all of it. I’ll have a full review coming soon. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I posted two reviews this week. The first was for 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. This was a delightful little book and I’m so glad I read it. It was the perfect vacation book, too. Four out of Five Stars.
The second went up yesterday. I reviewed A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab and I can’t describe how excited I am to finish this series soon. This was a great second novel in the trilogy. I also gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: It seems odd to talk about my next books when I’ve just started so many. I do expect to get to A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab soon. I so often leave series unfinished and it would feel really good to wrap this one up.


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 21-August-2019

21 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: Despite good goals, I got through very little of Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min while on vacation. I’m going to happily blame it on having too much fun! Maybe this week will bode better for me.
I’m very excited to get back to The Map of Time by Félix Palma. I picked it up as soon as I got home and I’m hoping to power through and have it finished in the next week or so. The story is really fun.
I finally started An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and I’m focusing on it as much as possible. I realized the book club meeting for this one is Monday and it’s a nine-hour audiobook. That’s doable, but will require a lot of concentration!

Recently finished: I wrapped up A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab while I was getting ready for the formal dinner at my conference! It was great timing and now I’m super excited about getting to the final book in the series. Talk about a cliffhanger. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.
I decided to take a book with me for the trip and picked the slim volume of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. It was a perfect light read while I was on the pool deck and I had some purchased books and magazines to tide me over when I finished it. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars as well.

I posted my review for Burial Rites by Hannah Kent on Monday. I’m back to blogging this week after taking last week off. It feels good to be back and I’m feeling confident I can keep up going forward. I’m glad this busy summer is starting to wind down.

Reading Next: I have another book club pick that’s going to be ‘all hands on deck.’ Assuming I finish Jones on time, I’ll jump right into Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian. All I know about this one is it has a Detroit connection. I look forward to learning more about it.


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 14-August-2019

14 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 have some time on an airplane and a long trip coming up where I can read some of Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I’m really hoping that this means I can finish it soon!
I made the hard decision not to take The Map of Time by Félix Palma on my trip with me. I was super tight on space and it’s a very long book! I’ll pick it up when I get back home and hope I can power through next week.
I should be finishing A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab any day now. I’m very close to the end and excited to see what the final book holds! Hopefully, I don’t take as long to get to the final book. I’m going to make this my main audiobook, even if I’m still listening when I get home from my trip. I need to get through it so I can start some book club selections.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Burial Rites by Hannah Kent on the day I left! I’m glad I was able to finish something eventually. The story was really well written and I’m glad I read it. I wish I’d gotten to it before I visited Iceland, but I think after was still OK. I wish I’d gotten out of the capital a bit more, now. I would love to see the countryside described in this book.

No reviews this week. I’ve been busier than I can describe and I’m hoping to take this week ‘off’ and then get back to blogging next week when life has calmed down.

Reading Next: I hope to have downloaded An American Marriage by Tayari Jones before I get home from my trip and have it going ASAP. I can’t wait to listen to this one and get to a few others as soon as I can! I don’t like feeling behind with reading.


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 7-August-2019

7 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 had a few lunch breaks to read Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min last week. I can feel I’m getting toward the end of it, but I still have a long way to go. I need to pick shorter ebooks.
I’m about halfway through The Map of Time by Félix Palma which is more than I’d hoped for. The plot is really engaging for this one and I’m liking the narrative style a lot. I keep reading it instead of doing other things I should.
I started running again and listening to A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I hope I’m able to listen to the third in this series soon because I’d hate to forget all of the amazing details I’m hearing in this one. Schwab’s writing is amazing.
I’m over halfway through Burial Rites by Hannah Kent already and I’m really liking it. Agnes is becoming more developed and I’m looking forward to where her character will end up. I have an inkling of what will happen and I can’t wait to see it played out!

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. I did post my review of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton yesterday so please check that out when you can. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I still hope to get a copy of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones next. It’s available as an eaudio so that shouldn’t be too hard. Though I have yet another audiobook to get to soon for my other book club so I hope I can power through this one!


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 31-July-2019

31 Jul

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: Well, I read some of Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. That’s a start, right? I’ll keep moving forward with this but it feels like it’s never-ending. But it has to at some point. I just feel like I’ve stalled.
I’m really enjoying The Map of Time by Félix Palma. I’m moving through it as fast as my schedule allows but I’ve already had to renew it once at the library. I’ll make it through eventually but I know this thick book is a long haul. I’m hanging on tight for the ride!
I’m at a lull with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Now that my race is over, I’m taking a short break from running and biking to concentrate on a 2-mile swim I’m doing this weekend. It’s hard to listen while I swim so I’ll get back to this soon. I’m really liking it so I can’t wait to dive back in.
I’ve enjoyed Burial Rites by Hannah Kent so far. I’m amazed at the narrator attempting (successfully?) to pronounce all the Icelandic names and locations in this book. They sound impossible to pronounce. When we were in Iceland, I didn’t even try.

Recently finished: In a weird twist, the library e-copy of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton my husband and I had been listening to is no longer available. I guess we were the only ones using it and it was removed from the collection. I dug out my physical copy and we took turns reading it out loud to each other on the drive home from Ohio. We had one chapter left when we got home and finished it that night! Review to come.

I posted my review of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin yesterday. It feels so good to have finally finished that book! Please go check it out. I hope I don’t wait as long before I start the fourth book. I gave it Five out of Five Stars, my highest rating in the series so far!

Reading Next: The plan is still to get an e-copy of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones next. While I’m taking a break from running, I’m still doing a half marathon in the fall so I’ll be back at it soon enough and I’ll get to this after Schwab.


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 24-July-2019

24 Jul

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: It’s been even slower with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I’ve been having lunch with a friend a lot the past few weeks since it’s nice out. We can’t do this as much come winter so we’re enjoying the sun and I’m reading less. Oh well.
My husband and I haven’t moved forward with Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. We have a drive coming up this weekend (more on that tomorrow) so we’ll get a bit more in then. This one might be a long time running.
I was finally able to start The Map of Time by Félix Palma! It’s been really interesting so far, though I’m not far into it. The narration style is reminding me a bit of Marcus Zusak. We’ll see if that continues.
I’ve already made great progress with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab due to some longer training sessions last week. I’m optimistic that I’ll finish this in two weeks, but we’ll see. Optimism!
I start Burial Rites by Hannah Kent in my car. Not too far into it yet, so no real opinion. I added this to my TBR when I planned my trip to Iceland but I’m a year late on reading it. Oh well, better late than never!

Recently finished: Finally, there is so much to report! I wrapped up The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman which was a great one to listen to while training for a Half Ironman. It was really inspiring to push toward your goals. It helps that I’m an avid swimmer and swim fan and this focused on Bowman’s most famous athlete, Michael Phelps. My review went up last Thursday and I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I was glad to finish A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers late last week. It was dragging on more than I wanted and I was eager to start something new. My review went up yesterday so you can check that out. I gave it Two out of Five Stars.
I finally finished A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin! 39 disks and over 47 hours completed. It feels amazing to be done. I’ll have a review up next week I expect. I hope I can remember it all.

Reading Next: I’ve got one more book club pick coming up soon that I need to start so I’ll be listening to Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage next. I’ve read Jones before and liked her and this one has had a lot of good press so I’m looking forward to it.


Leave a comment with your link and 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!

WWW Wednesday, 17-July-2019

17 Jul

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: Still going slow with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I keep pecking away. Slowly but surely. I’ll get there.
I think I’ll finish A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin this week. I’ve made some really good forward progress and I’m prioritizing it when I’m in my car. Maybe wishful thinking, but I’ll stay positive.
I really wanted to say that I’d finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I guess the style has started to grate on me and I’m not reading it as quickly as I’d like to. At this point, I just want to finish it so I can move on.
We haven’t had a chance to listen to more of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. It might be a few weeks before we have a substantial car ride together again. We’ll be driving to Ohio at the end of the month for my Half Ironman so I know we’ll have some time then.
I’ve been listening to The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman while I workout. I’m not sure if anyone outside of the competitive swimming world is familiar with Bowman, Michael Phelps’ and Allison Schmidt’s coach, also named head coach of the Olympic Men’s USA Swim Team. This book seems like it’s trying to appeal to non-swimmers, but swimming is a huge focus of it just due to Bowman’s job. I’m enjoying it, though.

Recently finished: I finished Being Mortal by Atul Gawande quickly after I got back to running and biking. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and was able to post my review on Monday. Please go check it out! I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.
It’s more of a short story than a book, but I listened to Ajax Penumbra, 1969 by Robin Sloan. This is a short prequel to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and it was really fun to revisit the world Sloan created for that one. The review for this one posted yesterday and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Not a bad week for reading!

Reading Next: I can’t wait to start The Map of Time by Félix Palma. It’s taunting me from my bedside table and intimidating me with its length. I really want to start soon!
I’ve decided on my next eaudiobook since I’ve been flying through them so fast. I want it to be A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. It’s been more than three years since I read the first one but I think I remember it pretty well and I can’t wait to jump into the world again!


Leave a comment with your link and 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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