Tag Archives: Rainbow Rowell

WWW Wednesday, 24-May-2017

24 May

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

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The Three Ws are:

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

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


Currently reading: I made a push to work on A Son of the Circus by John Irving over the weekend and got maybe 40 pages in. I’m over page 400 now but I’m thinking this might have to go on hold for a bit so I can get through some book club selections in time for the meetings. I hate doing that, but sometimes social pressure get the best of my reading schedule!
I had some technical difficulties with Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi over the weekend but they’ve now been solved and I’m back at this one. I’ve had a bit of lunch reading time but not too much. Hope to make some steady progress going forward.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell has been fun. I’m not as engaged as I have been with other Rowell books, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s great for runs and cooking time!
I’m making slow progress with Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris only because I don’t drive a lot. Having this one limited to my car is a bit slow but I’m still liking the humor. I’ll keep enjoying it. The short essays help with my short drives!

Recently finished: Nothing new finished but two book reviews posted! The first is for Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie. This is the second in the series and I really enjoyed both so far. I hope to keep going with these as they’re all on mobile audio. Yay! I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.
My second review is for Ellen DeGeneres’s Seriously… I’m Kidding. I listened to this on audio and my review may have been different if I’d read the book but I gave the audio 4 out of 5 stars.

Reading Next: Unfortunately, it’s going to have to be Tigerman by Nick Harkaway. I really wanted to get to The Circle but school has been more crazy than expected. I don’t think I’ll make it to the theaters to see the movie anyway. Sad day!


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!

WWW Wednesday, 17-May-2017

17 May

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 wish I had more time to read A Son of the Circus by John Irving now that I’m enjoying it. School is very fast-paced for this 6-week course and I’m spending a lot of my free time reading for that class. I hate to push books off, but school does, unfortunately, come first.
I’m finding more time to read at work during lunch than I’m getting at home. As such, I’m making decent progress with Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi. It’s a little slow, but I’m still enjoying the story of Kathleen’s time in the circus and her time with the elephants.
I started two new audiobooks. The first is Landline by Rainbow Rowell. It was the next eaudio I could download. I picked up a physical copy of this book at a library sale and I’m been wanting to read it for a while. I’ll get to it much sooner as an audiobook than if I’d waited to read the physical book.
I picked up an audiobook for my car, too. I want to get to some of those that have long hold times. I decided to go with Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I tried reading a Sedaris book in college and couldn’t stand it but when I listened to it, I was in love. I’m hoping this is the same.

Recently finishedSeriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres was a quick, fun read. I’m glad I listened to this one because, like Sedaris, having the author read it added a lot of fun and humor that reading the words on the page couldn’t add. My review will be up next week so look forward to that.
No reviews this week! I’ll have another one up tomorrow, though, so don’t fret!

Reading Next: I know I’ve had The Circle on here for a few weeks but I got another book club book I have to read first! Unfortunately, I’m going to replace my next up with Tigerman by Nick Harkaway. I’m hoping this is a quick read so I can get to Eggers soon! I’m putting off seeing the movie until I can read this book.


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: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (5/5)

8 Feb

I read Fangirl. It made me so angry at the end that I almost threw it across my bedroom, but I read it. I imagine I’m not alone when I thought that Simon Snow sounded suspiciously similar to Harry Potter. As in it could have been the same with changed names in a lot of the snippets we read of it. So when Rowell announced she was writing a Simon Snow book, how could I resist? I got the ebook copy (out of luck, I swear) and flew through it, ignoring book reviews for a weekend which put me behind. Sad face.

Book cover via Goodreads

Book cover via Goodreads

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Other books by Rainbow Rowell reviewed on my blog:
Eleanor & Park
Attachments (and a Book Club Reflection)
Fangirl

Summary from Goodreads:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

So yes, it started off sounding way too much like Harry Potter. An average-Joe chosen one who’s orphaned at a young age is being mentored by his school’s headmaster to fight the greatest evil of the age. I may or may not have read seven books about this already. His best friend is a fiendishly smart girl and the person who takes care of animals around campus is an unlikely friend of his. Sounding more and more like a set of eight movies I own. But there’s the internet. And a girlfriend. And a vampire roommate. Okay, somethings are different. The more I got into the plot, the more different it was. I do believe Rowell was inspired by HP fics, but she did a great job of twisting the world into something completely her own. (Side note, there are as of writing this 99 Fan Fics on fanfiction.net about Carry On. Just think about that.) Baz was a great character, but this is coming from a Malfoy fangirl. I liked Agatha because she didn’t have a direct parallel in the cannon (and yes, I’m thinking of it that way). Is this getting too Fangirl now? I’ll move on.

I thought the characters were alright. One of the things that make writing Fan Fiction a gateway to writing original fiction is that you can play with plot and not worry about developing characters to start. It’s hard for me to think of Rowell’s characters in this novel as truly original because of that. I like Agatha, as I said, but the others had a parallel strong enough to recognize and it’s hard to say she developed them well or not. I stand neutral on this topic.

Baz was my favorite character by far. He had to put up with a lot of crap from everyone around him and his wall of sarcastic superiority made sense. His family life was heart-wrenching and every time his mother was brought up, I was sad for him. I thought it was very telling of his upbringing when he said his father was more comfortable with his vampirism than his homosexuality. (Side note, vampirism being a real word makes me love English.) I knew this was going to be a slash story so I wasn’t surprised by his inner monologue or the direction of the story, but if kissing between two men is something you don’t want to read, then I would skip this story as it’s prominent.

As I’ve felt before, it’s hard to relate to the characters in fantastical novels such as Carry On. I can relate to Baz having a crush on someone very close to him and not being able to say something. I can relate to Simon and Agatha being in a relationship because they felt like they had to (one from high school, not currently). There were other small things, but fighting a gigantic power that’s threatening to end the subculture that I live in is not something I’ve encountered.

Rainbow Rowell Image via the author's website

Rainbow Rowell
Image via the author’s website

I enjoyed the relationship between Baz and Simon more than I thought I would. They were much more mature than the eighteen-year-olds they were written to be and I could relate to that ‘finally’ feeling of being with someone you’ve thought about for years (on Baz’s end) and the rush of not knowing what you’re getting into from Simon’s end. They balanced each other well in a way I could relate to. My husband and I are much the same way.

I disliked the Mage with a passion. From the beginning, when I was supposed to see him as a leader and ally, I disliked him. His story upset me the most when it would come up. I’ll try to avoid spoiling it here, but I’m upset Simon never knew the full story. I wish there had been a way for him to know about the Mage’s past in the end because I think it would have given him peace.

 

There are two obvious themes from this book, the first of which is sacrifice. Simon is forced to give up something dear to him that defines who he is for the greater good. Losing it makes him feel damaged and lacking and it becomes hard for him to be happy about what he did because of his personal loss.Even with his sacrifice, there are gains in his life that he overlooks. Sacrificing something doesn’t mean losing everything and Simon still has that journey to go. (I hope I didn’t ruin anything there, I tried not to.) The second is being true to yourself. Baz and Simon struggled with this the most, but Agatha and Nick had to fight it as well. Agatha disliked everything about her magickal life. She loved the summers with her Normal friends and horses and knew returning to that would make her happy. Nick had gone against logic to become what he wanted to be (again, being vague) and had to live with consequences he didn’t foresee. If he’d been happy with who he was in the first place, the drama he had to put up with and the pain and isolation he surely felt would have been nonexistent.

 

Writer’s Takeaway: What a fun book. Honestly, I read it so fast because it was fun. This is Rowell’s strength more than anything else. She writes books that I enjoy reading because the journey is worth it. This isn’t serious literature by any means and that’s okay. There’s an audience for a book like this and I’m glad she published it because I think it could pave a path for other ‘slash’ stories to become popular. Rowell put her neck out there with this book, breaking from her usual genres and I’m glad she was brave enough to do that.

I gobbled up this fun book in eight days. I loved it. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

 

PS- This song was stuck in my head the whole time I was reading the book.

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:
“Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell | Miriam Joy Reads
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Bookmark | 24hryabookblog
7 Reasons Carry On is Going to Be Awesome | Twist in the Taile

Challenge Update, January 2016

1 Feb

January went a lot better than expected. Being off of school afforded me a lot of time to read and I took it! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in January:

Yes Please // Amy Poehler
I Am Malala // Malala Yousafzai
One Hundred Years of Solitude // Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Darker Shade of Magic // V.E. Schwab
Carry On // Rainbow Rowell
Dead Wake // Erik Larson

I’ve written all the remaining reviews and you’ll see them come up over the next two weeks.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
This is my challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. I’m off to a good start but I’m not getting cocky about it. My first few books of the year tend to fill in a couple different categories. I know I’ve got a 1920-1939 book and a 1980-1999 book coming up, but I’m not sure about the rest of them. It’s way too early to plan but I’m feeling really confident about this challenge this year.

Goodreads Challenge

6/45
Maybe going down was a bad idea. I’m still doing awesome with these and am currently three books ahead of schedule. It’s true I have less commuting time to listen to audio and it’s very likely this will change when school starts up again. We’ll see how this goes.

Book of the Month

Carry OnI have to pick Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. By all logic, I shouldn’t have finished this book as quickly as I did but it was so fun! I love Rowell’s books and I should stop hesitating from reading the copy of Landline on my shelf.

Added to my TBR

I’m down to 141 books! This is great progress for me (1 book fewer) and I’m going to bask in this accomplishment for a while. Woo! But of course, I added some things.

  • Norwegian by Night // Derek Miller (a book club selection coming up in a few months. I think in the summer)
  • The Art of Asking // Amanda Palmer (another book club selection, also for the summer)
  • The Golden Rules // Bob Bowman (Bob Bowman is a legendary swim coach best known for coaching Michael Phelps. I’m a big swimming fan and so, obviously, I want to read this book.)

I’m glad I’m finally getting better at keeping this under control! Maybe I’ll get below 100 some day. (Yes, that was a joke.)

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re doing better than me! If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge, it’s fun!

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, 27-January-2016

27 Jan

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

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The Three Ws are:

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


BellwetherCurrently reading:  A lot of changes this week! I’m super close to the ending of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I’m on the last disk and I’m tempted to sit in my car for a while just to finish it!
I grabbed a new audiobook this week, Bellwether by Connie Willis. I read Willis’s novel The Doomsday Book a while back and another blogger (and I, unfortunately, do not remember who) recommended this novella. It’s a short one, only five hours on audio, and I’m looking forward to it.
I’m finally picking up Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. This will be my Spanish language book for the year and I’ll come and go with it for a while so I’m expecting this book to be on here long-term.
I picked up a new ebook as well. I decided on Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s another classic book I’ve never read and I’m in the mood for a few more before I get over this kick.

A Darker Shade final for IreneRecently finished: Such a good week for finishing books! I finished A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab while cooking and working out early this week. I liked it a lot and I’m not on the bandwagon of those excited about the sequel. Turns out Schwab was in Michigan over the weekend for a con and my friend Rachel met her. Lucky girl.
It was a big push and I feel asleep once or twice in the process, but I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez! My book club met on it on Monday so I cut it close. Phew.
I bunkered down on Sunday and finished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I might have avoided some blog writing and chores, but it was totally worth it! I was never a slash fangirl, but I still enjoyed the story and know it must have made a lot of other Fangirls really excited.

ShanghaiReading Next: Hm, not anything major lined up now. I’ll probably be starting Shanghai Girls by Lisa See not too long from now. My book club is reading this for March so I’ll pick it up in the middle of April. See is coming to Detroit and I’m excited to meet her!


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: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (4/5)

26 Feb

A well written YA book is a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve read a lot of heavy adult fiction lately and having something light, conversational and a bit romantic is great to cleanse all the sadness. Eleanor & Park came at the perfect time for that and I flew through this wonderful story. Rowell is quickly becoming a favorite author.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Summary from Goodreads:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

How does Rowell write characters that are so much like me and every other person who reads her books? Honestly, I see myself in Eleanor and Park and I know I’m not the only one saying that. We’re all a bit red-headed misfit and half-Korean punk. I kept reading as fast as I could to see if the characters would have the ending I thought they deserved. In some ways I was happy with it, but in other ways I was disappointed. (SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH) I wanted more from the ending, but that’s not how Rowell writes. I know what I’m supposed to think the three words were, “I love you.” By I’m a cynic. What if they were “Forget about me?” Do we really know? I wanted something more conclusive.

Of her books, I think Attachments had the most conclusive ending and Fangirl had the most vague. This sat in the middle but on the Fangirl end of the spectrum.

I love Rowell’s characters. Almost as much as I love John Green’s. Well, maybe more. I think Rowell taps into that book-nerd past many readers share and makes you remember the beauty of it. I loved that they read Alan Moore comics together. I liked that they listened to U2. It was cool and nerdy all at once.

I liked Park best. Eleanor was too much like me in some ways. It’s the parts of me I didn’t like: over-analytical, concerned about appearance, quick to anger. But Park was cool, some things I wanted to be: bold, independent, strong. They were both likable but if I had to pick one, the choice is easy. Plus, who didn’t want an eyeliner-wearing comic-dork ninja for a boyfriend at 16? I know I did.

Eleanor’s social situation reminded me of grade school. Luckily, I couldn’t relate to her home life, but dreading gym class, being friends with people because they were nice to you, being shunned by the ‘cool’ kids and dressing in cheap clothes reminded me of myself. I never wanted to ‘fit in’ and do the ‘cool’ things, much like Eleanor. I had my friends and we were happy. It was cool to see a character who was the same way.

Rainbow Rowell Image via the author's website

Rainbow Rowell
Image via the author’s website

I loved the date that Eleanor and Park went on together. It was so reminiscent of dating in high school, the freedom of a drivers’ license. I liked Eleanor exploring a city she lived in for the first time and how much Park wanted to show it to her. She was finally awarded some level of freedom and the ability to enjoy the world around her. It was really beautiful.

It was hard to read about Eleanor feeling accepted by Park’s family because I’ve had similar problems. My in-laws express their affection in very different ways than my parents always have and even after five years of being around them, I still don’t think they like me and have trouble figuring out if they’re upset. It hit really close to home to see Eleanor struggle with this and I understood what she was feeling very intensely. I think going into someone else’s home for the first time is uncomfortable no matter the circumstances. We all expect the world around us to work the same way but within our personal sanctuaries, we have rules. For example, we are a lid-closed toilet household. If I go somewhere and the lid is up (we won’t even go to the seat being up), I get really uncomfortable. They’ve broken my rule but it’s their house. This is how I saw Eleanor feeling in Park’s house.

I listened to the Listening Library edition of this book narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra for Eleanor and Park respectfully. I think Lowman did an amazing job and I adored her parts of the story. She gave Eleanor a strong voice and didn’t make Park sound too feminine. Malhotra did a good job, but there were some parts of his narration I wasn’t a big fan of. His voice for Eleanor was really squeaky and annoying and I didn’t think it fit her character. His female characters in general feel a bit flat to me, except for Park’s mom. I think he did a great job of bringing her to life.

As someone who met her husband at age 14, it’s hard for me to ignore the message of this book. You can fall in love at 16. You can fall in love any time. As much as you try to run away from it, it can chase you even if you’re in Minnesota. I thought the way they talked to each other was very real and I liked the slow development of the relationship. They were scared of what they felt for each other, like Romeo and Juliet. (Yes, I caught the parallelism. It was awesome.) Society shouldn’t dismiss people who get married young or who marry their high school sweethearts as naive or stupid. We can meet people when we’re young who we want to keep with us forever and that should be embraced.

Writer’s Takeaway: I adored the narrators and their distinct ways of thinking. I also think Rowell did a great job of bouncing back and forth between the two to keep the story flowing. I liked the short little parts about what the two were thinking while they were together, that was adorable. Great way to pace the book.

Overall really enjoyable and well-developed characters. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfills the 1980-1999 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

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

Related Posts:
Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | prettybooks
Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell |Pages and Tea
A Chat with Rainbow Rowell about Love and Censorship | The Toast

WWW Wednesday, 18-February-2015

18 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, 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. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

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

Sun Also RisesCurrently reading:  No movement on The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. We had house guests this weekend so the hubby and I didn’t have much lone driving time. I’m antsy to finish this so I hope to soon. I think we only have one disk left!
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I might have read five pages, so slow-going is an understatement here. It’s a good story, I just don’t have the time to really devote to the book and get through it.
I’m working on my new eBook, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I’ve read four chapters so it’s slow, but the book’s keeping my interest well. I’ll be interested to see how the movie adaptation is because this one is quite religious and I’m not sure they’d keep that for a mass-release movie but I hope they kept to the book.
My book club book for March is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. I’ve read two Eggers books before and loved both of them. I really like this one so far and I’m reading it faster than expected. I’ve heard that there’s some controversy about the main subject, but I’m avoiding it until I finish the book and can form my own opinions.
My new audiobook is The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. The book is mostly written from the point of view of a man with dementia so it’s a bit hard to follow at times but it’s really interesting to follow his train of thought. I’ll have to see how I feel when I get farther into this one.

EleanorRecently finished:I finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell on audio. I LOVED IT but had a problem with the ending (typical Rowell reaction from me). I’ll go over it in my review so look forward to that one.

I’ve published two reviews, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, which was Read Along #3. Look for Read-Along #4, probably in March or April!

Atomic CityReading Next:  On Monday I’ll get my next book club selection, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. We usually do one non-fiction every six months and this one looks like a great choice!

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). 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, 11-February-2015

11 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, 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. 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?

Currently reading:  No movement on The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. It’s hard being so close to the end but not moving forward. I hope I can keep pushing this one soon.
One of my resolutions this year was to read a book in Spanish and I’ve picked La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was able to get through a bit this week, but nothing to be proud of. This one will be here for a while.
I started a new audiobook that I’m really enjoying, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I read another of Rowell’s books at the end of last year and really enjoyed it. She has such a natural flow with characters and this is no exception. I’m really liking it.
I got a new eBook, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. This one is slow so far and that’s how I usually am with eBooks so no surprise. I saw that this was made into a Nick Cage movie recently so I’ll have to compare the two once I finish it.

Recently finished: The snowfall of finished books continues! I finished the audiobook of The Diviners by Libba Bray last Wednesday. I almost changed my post but decided to keep it for this week. Woo hoo!
Thursday night I finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera for Read Along #3. My post will probably go up next week to finish off the discussion. I’ll be starting up another Read Along soon so stay tuned for that! I’d love to have you all join in.
I finished Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat early this week. It was a lot faster of a read than I thought it would be and I enjoyed it a lot.

One review finished this week as well. You can read my review of California by Eden Lepucki but I’ll warn you, I wasn’t a fan.

Reading Next:  I’ll be going to my book club tonight and our next book is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. I’ve read two Eggers books before and really enjoyed them so I’m excited to start this one tonight!

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Spread the word, WWW Wednesday is back!

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: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

20 Jan

The lovely ladies I work with and I sat down over lunch to have a discussion on our latest cute little book, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I was fortunate to find a list of discussion questions on the Penguin website so I’m going to follow that format to tell you about our discussion. We reserve the rights to skip questions we didn’t like.

  • Who is Lincoln O’Neill? How would you describe his character when we first meet him? What is your opinion of the status of his life?
    • We thought the best word to describe Lincoln was ‘shmuck.’ (Spell-check doesn’t agree.) He was a very unfocused person who didn’t know what he wanted to study in school or what he wanted to do with his life. He was a very over-grown teenager and reminded me of some of the characters in the movie Failure to Launch with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. He never saw a reason to grow up.
  • Much of what we learn about Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner–Snyder comes from their email exchanges. What impression do you get of these two women? What draws you to Beth’s character?
    • We liked the story of Beth and Chris. It was cute that she was attached to this rock star she was still in awe of after so long. Though most of their emails were really short, we liked the long ones that really moved the story. The problem we had with the emails was that the two voices were really similar. Both were well spoken and witty, which isn’t a bad thing, but it made it hard to tell them apart some times.
  • Lincoln’s job, among other things, is to monitor company email. How would you have acted given the same position and why?
    • We work in a highly competitive industry where we know our emails are being read and could be pulled up in a court of law if it were ever necessary. That being said, I will still send an email to my mom from work if I want to ask her a quick question. Would Lincoln flag it? Maybe. One of the women in our group would have flagged Beth and Jen’s emails. I’m not sure if I would have flagged the first one because I think one or two aren’t killing productivity, but there’s a threshold when he should have done it.
  • When we first meet Beth through her correspondence, we hear about her relationship with Chris. How would you describe their relationship? What draws Beth to Chris?
    • Chris is the opposite of Lincoln at the beginning of the book: not a shmuck. They’ve been together so long they don’t really know how to be apart. Beth is drawn to the ‘cool’ factor of Chris. And hey, he’s been faithful and never given her a reason to doubt him. It’s his bandmates she doesn’t like.
  • How would you describe the fate of Lincoln’s college relationship with Sam? How does that relationship inform his actions throughout the book?
    • He clung to Sam. It was hard to read about the time leading up to the beginning of college for them. It was something we’d all  seen before and knew it was going to end badly. It was bad of her to string him along so far. She seemed to know before they left for California that it wasn’t going to last. But Lincoln needed a woman to guide him. After Sam, it was his mother, and then it was Christine from the D&D group, and then his sister, Eve.
  • Beth’s longest email to Jennifer recounts the events of attending her sister’s wedding. What do we learn in that email? What does that email reveal about Beth and what she wants? What effect does this email have on Lincoln?
    • Even though Beth claims that she’s happy with Chris, it’s obvious that she wants a wedding and a marriage. Being in the state of limbo she was in with Chris wasn’t making her happy. She needed the next stage of commitment from him. Lincoln had been waiting for something to be wrong with Chris; something Beth couldn’t stand and he could provide better than Chris had. Maybe it was a little much for him to have walked by her desk, but this finally gave him something that made him a better choice.
  • What impact does his brief reunion with Sam have on Lincoln? What significance does the timing of this reunion carry within the story?
    • Lincoln was just starting to make a change in his life. He seemed reluctant to do it for a long time because he seemed to think that Sam was going to come home and they could pick up right where they’d left off. He thought if he stayed the same, she would too. Seeing her confirmed for him that it was time to move on. She’d obviously changed and it was time for him to keep going as well. It reinforced for him that he was no longer in love with her and that he could like Beth. Woo!
  • Jennifer is dealt a devastating blow late in the novel. How does this event change her? What is your opinion of Beth’s reaction to the news? How do you feel about Lincoln’s knowledge of this event?
    • It really bothered us that Lincoln ‘figured it out.’ It didn’t seem like something that was intuitive based on a lack of emails between the women and there wasn’t something about the way Jennifer looked or acted that should have let Lincoln sniff it out of her. To us, that was one of the flaws of the book. We felt bad for Jen because she did want to talk about what happened to her, but Beth wasn’t there for her when she needed it. She ignored it because she didn’t know what to say. It was sad that Jennifer had to lose a baby to realize how much she wanted one.
  • Describe your reaction to the moment between Lincoln and Beth in the movie theater. What strikes you about this moment? Knowing what Beth knows at that point, would you have acted as Beth did?
    • All three of us were a little bothered by then ending. It seemed to ‘clean,’ very forced by the author. There were a million ways they could have gotten together and this one wasn’t a favorite of ours. It went too far and kissing in the theater was a little too out of character for both of them. She was angry with him, why would she have done that?
  • Attachments brings up the interesting notion of “love before love at first sight.” Do you believe in this idea? Is it possible? What do you see in Beth and Lincoln’s future?
    • In today’s world, Internet relationships can be ‘love before love at first sight.’ It’s interesting that Rowell set this novel in 1999, right at the cusp of the Internet boom and the beginning of on-line dating. The only difference is that in Internet dating profiles, you don’t know what’s true and what is someone trying to put on a good face. What Lincoln saw of Beth was only the truth. We hoped that they would stay together.

Well that’s it! We haven’t picked a new book yet but there’s been an idea of a mystery being thrown around. We’ll see if we find something we like!

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!

Friday 56, 16-January-2015

16 Jan

Welcome to the three day weekend edition of The Friday 56 hosted by Freda on Freda’s Voice. Head on over there and check out the other participating blogs.

Friday 56

The way this meme works is pretty simple. If you want to join in, head over to Freda’s blog and add your link.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book (I grab the one I’m currently reading)
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

I guess I read this book so fast it didn’t have a chance to be part of my Friday 56, so I’ll be featuring Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which I reviewed yesterday. Go check that out if you think this one sounds good.

I know you devour the Sports section, so you’ve probably already read how the North High Vikings trounced the Southeast Bunnies Friday night. The only thing missing from our coverage was the way the Viking defense rallied when the band played “Whoomp! (There it is).”

Yay Rainbow Rowell. I love her lighthearted humor and the way the characters have sarcastic conversations that actually happen between people. It’s very refreshing. Anyway, this is a great little book, a very light and fun read that I think could appeal to all audiences.

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!