Tag Archives: Read Along With Me

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!

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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?

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!

WWW Wednesday, 4-February-2015

4 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?

Currently reading:  My husband and I got through a bit of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and we have two disks left. Yes, that’s still a lot. Stay tuned.
Audio for The Diviners by Libba Bray is almost over! This book has really wowed me, especially because I’m not normally into paranormal stories. But wow.
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. No progress this week, sadly. Stay tuned.
Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and I’m in the middle of Part 5 (out of 6). I hope to finish this in the next week or so.
My book club book of the moment is Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. It’s a really moving (sad) story but I’m loving it so far. It’s a fast read so it might be off this list soon.

Recently finished: Finally! Two books finished this past week. I knew it would catch up with me sooner or later. I finished California by Eden Lepucki last Friday in my determination to finish at least one book in January. I’ll be reviewing it soon but be warned, I was not a fan.
And after months and months I finished The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. This one was a winner for me. I’ll also be reviewing soon.

Reading Next:  I’ve picked my next eBook, which will be Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. A friend told me a while back that this was the only series he remembered reading while in school so I added it to the growing list. We’ll see how it goes.

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!

WWW Wednesday, 28-January-2015

28 Jan

After speaking with MizB at Should be Reading, I’m going to take over as host of the WWW Wednesday meme! The image has changed but everything else is the same. 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?

Currently reading:  I used National Readathon Day to make progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. It’s getting really good and the stakes are getting high. I might power through this one soon. I renewed it this weekend and my goal is to finish it before it has to be returned.
I listened to California by Eden Lepucki on my phone while cooking during the Readathon. Less than an hour left on this one and I’m glad it’s almost over. This really failed to keep my attention.
My husband and I got through a bit of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway this weekend but not enough to brag about. I hope we can get through the last three disks some time soon.
Audio for The Diviners by Libba Bray is going well. I’m over halfway and I’m looking forward to long drives so I can keep listening to this one.
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 read a good amount of it during the Readathon (I’m saying 50 pages is a good amount when you’re reading in a foreign language) but I’m still only a quarter of the way done. This may take a bit.
And finally, Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and I’m almost half way done with the book, at the end of the second stopping point. We’ll see how soon I can get questions from Nicole and get the post about it published.
My book club met on Monday and I got a copy of our next book, Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. I’m not far into it yet so stay tuned to see how this one goes!

Recently finished: Aaaand I still haven’t finished anything! I’m getting close to the end on so many that it’s frustrating but sadly, nothing to report here.

Reading Next:  None on the radar now. I’ve got to finish the ones I’ve started first! Once there’s an end in sight, I’ll think about what’s next.

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!

WWW Wednesday, 21-January-2015 (It’s back!)

21 Jan

It’s back! I’m excited to announce that after speaking with MizB at Should be Reading, I’m going to take over as host of the WWW Wednesday meme! The image has changed but everything else is the same. 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?

Currently reading:  I’m making forward progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. I hope I can keep it checked out for a while!
The audiobook on my phone is still California by Eden Lepucki. I’m getting toward the end and losing interest, so this is a bit slow. I hope to get some progress on it soon and just finish it up!
My husband and I are still listening to The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway but it’s slow going when we can only listen to it on weekends when we remember to bring it into the car with us. Oh well.
My audiobook in my car is The Diviners by Libba Bray which I’m really enjoying so far. I’m about half way through now and I hope to finish it 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. It’s about 550 pages and I’m about 100 in. Expect this book to be here a while.
And finally, Read-Along 3 has begun! The book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and we’re about 80 pages in at the first stopping point. If you’re interested, you can learn more here and send me an email to join in!

Recently finished: This is embarrassing. I haven’t finished anything lately! I finished so many right at the end of the year and as you can see, I’ve started a good number so I haven’t finished any titles yet.

I’ve done a few reviews! Okay, more than a few. Check out my reviews for The Handmaid’s Tale, Ready Player One, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Attachments. And for once, I’m caught up on reviews. Winning!

Reading Next:  To be honest, I’m in the middle of so many that I haven’t thought about what to read next for a while. I’ll get a new book club book next week, Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat. I have high hopes.

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!

Read-Along #3 has begun!

12 Jan

In case you missed it before, I’m beginning the third installment of my Read-Along With Me series here on Taking on a World of Words. Our book this time is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

Read Along 3

There are two other lovely ladies besides myself participating so far and we’d enjoy more company if you’re interested. The reading has only just begun so you wouldn’t be behind much at all. Please send me an email so I can include you in our notes. You can read more about my Read Alongs and see the budding hub page for this event if you’d like more information.

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, 31-December-2014

31 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! Everyone getting ready for that new year? I’ve got progress and it’s looking like a good push into 2015.

www_wednesdays4The 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 progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. On hold.
The audiobook on my phone is still California by Eden Lepucki. I made a small bit of progress on this but I think I’m going to put it aside for the audiobook I checked out from the library. It’s really failed to grab my attention.
My husband and I started listening to The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway during our car trip, but we had so much to talk about that we didn’t even get through the third disk. I’m thinking this one might take a while.
I got a new phone-book as well, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This has been the top book on my TBR for a long time so I was excited to snag it, but the first few pages haven’t grabbed my attention yet. I’m without a physical book at the moment so I might invest some time in this to see how I like it.

Recently finished: Would you even believe I finished three books this week?! Yes! Three. I’m so proud of myself. I finished Ready Player One by Earnest Cline on Christmas Eve before leaving for my in-laws. I was so geeked to finish this one, I really enjoyed it. I also finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I sneaked away to finish this Christmas day, more to get it over with than anything. Because I was so excited to start Attachments by Rainbow Rowell which I finished yesterday. What a great week for reading!

And reviews! I’ve posted a review for John Green’s Paper Towns so check that out, too!

Reading Next:  My hold for The Diviners by Libba Bray came in and it’s in my car. If I’m ever driving alone I’ll start it, but that might not happen before I go back to work!
The book for my next ‘Read Along With Me’ has been chosen! We’ll be reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you’re interested in reading this book along with an on-line book club, send me an email and I’ll count you in! You can read more about my Read Alongs here. We’ll start in early January.
I’m deciding if I want to pick the next book off of my pile. It’s in Spanish and will take me a while to get through, but I think it will be worth it. It’s La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Luiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind) which I’ve heard wonderful things about. Let’s see if I’m brave enough!

I’ve got half a week left of vacation and I wonder if I’ll get through anything else. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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-December-2014

24 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! And a very merry book Christmas to you all! Unfortunately, there’s no change here for books this week. Reading fail.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:  I’m still on hold to renew The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. This will take a while…
I’ve been working through Ready Player One by Earnest Cline at a good pace. I’m enjoying the story, though there’s a bit more info dump than I would like, but it’s good.
The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki though I’m thinking of putting it aside again because my next audiobook just came in at the library and this one is really boring me.
I’m trudging through The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I feel like my progress through this book is as slow as a retired man walking the length of England but without any kind of adventure whatsoever. I’ll fight to the finish!

Recently finished: Well, this is awkward. Nothing. But I did put up two reviews (go me) so check out These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Reading Next:  I was handed a copy of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell on Monday. I hope to devour it over the Christmas holiday!
My hold for The Diviners by Libba Bray came in and I picked it up yesterday. I’m trying to determine if this book is worth abandoning California for a little bit longer.
I’m also in possession of the audiobook for The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve been wanting to read this one since I read The Paris Wife and the road trip my husband and I are making to Cincinnati for the holidays is the perfect excuse.
The book for my next ‘Read Along With Me’ has been chosen! We’ll be reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you’re interested in reading this book along with an on-line book club, send me an email and I’ll count you in! You can read more about my Read Alongs here.

I’m off work for the year and it’s time to power through my big pile of books. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

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!

Read Along #3 Will Be…

20 Dec

The deadline has come and passed and it’s time to announce the book for Read Along With Me #3! The voices have spoken and the winner is…

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera!

This book was recommended to me by one of my best friends a few years ago so I’m excited to read it along with you! If you haven’t already, please send me an email and let me know you are interested. Even though it’s in the signature block of every one of my emails, I’ll put it here again:

SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com

Just give me your name and let me know you’re interested! My lovely husband will be working on an image for us to read which I’ll begin including in posts soon. If you haven’t done a Read Along With Me before, here’s a brief sense of how it goes:

  1. I’ll distribute a reading schedule where we’ll read 80-100 pages of the book every two weeks.
  2. Each person will submit 1-2 questions for the other readers to answer about the section we’ve read
  3. One person will volunteer to choose a topic for us to think about in light of the last set of chapters
  4. We for lasting and wonderful friendships over books!

In short, it’s awesome. I hope you join in! I’ve already had three women join in so if you want to Read Along with me, Claudia, Nicole, and Mari, please join!

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!

Read Along With Me #2: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar Chapters 22 – END

4 Dec

Read Along 2

Here is the final installment of my Second Read Along! I’m sad it’s over, but I’ve really enjoyed the ride. The book this time was ‘The Space Between Us’ by Thrity Umrigar which was very different from our last choice, but a great book for discussion. You can look at all of our posts on the hub page. I hope to have a new one start in January so keep on eye here if you think this is something you’d like to do in the future. Here we go!

Question from AshleeIn chapter 24, Sera comments that women live for so much more than themselves and men can take more risks because they always have suicide as an option. This comment caught me off guard. How did you ladies take this?

I didn’t like this comment and at the same time understood it. Women are hardwired to be caretakers; we want to help stray puppies and play with orphans. These feelings are only magnified for our families, especially children. Women live for their children and while many men do as well, it’s not as natural for some of them. I think Sera’s point is that a man is more likely to see suicide as an option because he doesn’t see as much duty to those around him whereas a woman wouldn’t consider it because she would be scared of what would happen to her family if she weren’t around.

 

Question from Claudia“Will Serabai ever be able to forget those words, to bury them under the protective layers of forgetfulness and denial?” More secrets! I cannot help but wonder what Sera will do now that she has discovered the truth behind Viraf’s cruel undertaking on Maya. What do you think is the “right” thing to do? As a mother, friend, sister, daughter, would you open up about the truth on something as unsettling as this?

I’m still wondering if Sera believed Bhima’s story about Viraf. I’d like to think she completely believed her and knows that her son-in-law is a sorry excuse for a man. I’d like to think she knows Bhima better than anyone else and knows that she’d never lie or steal. However, I’m afraid that she’s been conditioned by those around her to distrust her friendship. her neighbors and friends have been telling her that she can’t trust Bhima because, in the end, she can turn on Sera, stealing and killing if she needs to. I think it’s easier for Sera to believe Viraf. It fits in more with her friend’s ideal and keeps her family together. By simply rejecting the words of her servant, she doesn’t disgrace her son-in-law and saves her daughter from loads of pain. I think this will always haunt Sera but it’s something she’ll have to live with.

 

What a wonderful book! I won’t write a full summary of it because I think it’s been discussed enough here, but I’m so glad I got to read this title with these two wonderful ladies. I’ll be announcing the next read-along after my semester ends next week. I’m not really able to think of anything else until then.

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!

Read Along With Me #2: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar Chapters 17-21

20 Nov

Read Along 2

The fifth installment of my second Read Along With Me book club. The book this time is ‘The Space Between Us’ by Thrity Umrigar which is absolutely amazing so far. We stopped at a total cliffhanger! You can look at all of our posts on the hub page. We’re almost done with this book but I hope to have a new one start in January so keep on eye here if you think this is something you’d like to do in the future. Here we go!

Question from AshleeI had a suspicion that things would go sour for Viraf and Dinaz simply because no one has a happy marriage in this novel. Do you think this is Umrigar’s personal beef with the idea of marriage? How she views Indian marriages? Or just the stuff that good heartbreaking novels are made of?

I just spent twenty minutes searching for any comment in interviews or factoid about Umrigar and a marriage or relationship or a deliberate addition to failed marriages in this book. All I found is that infidelity and broken marriages are a part of a lot of her books but nothing about her personal life. When I heard her speak last year, it wasn’t brought up. I remember her mentioning that her parents had a strained relationship in her memoir, First Darling of the Morning which I read before meeting her. I’m not sure if there’s something in her past that’s left a bad taste of marriages in her mouth, but reading the book it would seem there might be. I’m not sure if it’s a comment in Indian courtship customs or a lifestyle that’s destructive to loving relationships or a comment on previously arranged marriages or none of the above. I think it could easily not be about marriage in the Indian culture at all and more about how Umrigar feels. Though I do think that Ashlee has a point about broken marriages being the spark to a good novel. Bhima and Sera both share in a broken marriage and Dinaz and Maya are pregnant by the same man. It draws great parallels. I only wish one of the marriages featuring prominently in the book could have been positive! A good friend of mine at work was born in India and was part of an arranged marriage. A friend of my parents in college went home to India for the summer and came back with a wife. I went to high school with their children and they’re still happily together. My experience with marriages in the Indian culture has been completely different from how Umrigar describes the relationships in this book.

The closest thing I found to a comment on marriage was from this interview on Umrigar’s website (the 4th question). She comments on how difficult communication is and I think we can see that a break in communication could be blamed for some (but not all) of the marriage problems in her book.

 

Question from ClaudiaThe one part of this section that left a memorable aftertaste was Bhima’s and Gopal’s back story; in fact, I was completely engrossed. Having said that however, I was completely take back by bar scene with Bhima’s response in light of Gopal’s abuse of alcohol! I mean, in a sense I was 100% supporting her rage and outburst, but then I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t think she would have the nerve to explode the way she did. With that in mind, do you think that Gopal’s decision would have differed if things did not play out the way they did? Do you feel that Gopal’s decision is justified? 

I’d been anxious to get to this part because I wanted to see how a relationship that seemed so strong and loving could turn sour and literally tear a family in two. Reading it broke my heart as well. However I don’t think I was as appalled by Bhima’s behavior in the bar as you, Claudia. I was rooting her on and I was proud of her for finding her inner strength because it seemed like she never would. I’d been hoping for it since Gopal started turning bitter after his accident.

I think Gopal and Bhima’s relationship was heading toward destruction before she exploded at him in the bar. I think her reaction only speed up the inevitable. His dependence on alcohol had severed his relationship with his family and what Bhima did was only an impotence for him to formally end it all. He might have left her later or under different circumstances or he might have drunk himself to death, but I think the chances of them growing old together were gone. I don’t think he was justified to leave her because of her behavior in the bar, but I understand why it pushed him.

He’d separated himself from his family and his friends from the bar were his new family and he was ashamed in front of them. He’d already lost his wife and children, losing his friends was too much.

 

Ashlee chose the musing topic for us this week and here’s her selection:

Discuss the secrets that are being kept in this novel. All of the main characters, just like all of us in the world, are carrying secrets around with them. Some secrets are to protect others (Sera hoping to protect her daughter by keeping the violence a secret) and some are to protect themselves (Viraf – you jerk!).

Oh the power of secrets. They’ve made quite the impact on this little book. I want to take this in a slightly different direction than what Ashlee proposed though. It’s easy to find secrets between any number of the characters; Dinaz and Viraf, Maya and Bhima, Sera and Dinaz, etc. But I can’t think of a single secret between Sera and Bhima. Bhima knows about the abuse that Sera suffered and Sera knows about Gopal’s difficulty finding work after his accident as well as the circumstances of Pooja’s death. These two women are very open with each other. They keep secrets from others and for others, but ‘the space between’ them is clear of secrets. I think that’s a kind of cool way to look at such destructive forces.

 

 

There’s only one more installment of this book! I read it already and wow, are we going to have a great discussion on the last bit. Be sure to tune in for that one and keep your eyes peeled for the next Read Along, which will begin after the holidays.

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!