Tag Archives: Silver Sparrow

WWW Wednesday, 4-May-2016

4 May

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?

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.


ClashofKingsCurrently reading: I hope to get back to Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling soon. It’s sitting on my bedside tale for now.
I’m making great progress with A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. I’m about four hours from the end and in the midst of the final battle. I got the eaudio back and the battle is great listening during my long runs!
I got through a bit of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson but nothing to brag about. I’ll be working on this one for a while!
I’m really enjoying The Virgin Blue by Tracey Chevalier. I always love her books so no surprise to me here. I’m hoping I can tear through this one and get back to Harry!

 

Child44Recently finished: I finished two books! The first was Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith which I got through just a few days after my book club meeting last week. I was so close to finishing in time, but it slipped past me. Oh well. I wasn’t a big fan of the book. My review went up yesterday where I explained why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. I’ve still got a book-to-movie review and a book club reflection to write on this one so it will be around for a bit.
The other book I finished was Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones which I loved! The book was really well written and I loved the characters. A full 5 out of 5 stars. My review is already up for this one so check it out.

AskingReading Next: I’ll be grabbing my next book club selection, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I haven’t decided if I’ll do the physical or audio copy yet, but I’m leaning toward audio so I can fee myself up to finish Harry and work on some other books I’ve been waiting to read.


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!

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Book Review: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (5/5)

28 Apr

It’s been a long time since I ticked one of my ‘book calendar books’ off of my TBR. I had a page-a-day book calendar in 2013 and it made my TBR swell for the first time. This book made the list, others were not as successful. I was looking for something to keep me occupied while I wait for GoT to come back and this was an option so I snatched it up.

Sparrow

Cover image via Goodreads.

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Summary from Goodreads:

With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode. This is the third stunning novel from an author deemed “one of the most important writers of her generation” (the Atlanta Journal Constitution).

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. To be honest, I’d forgotten the premise of it when I started listening but as the summary says, the opening line is gripping. Dana, the ‘illegitimate’ daughter, narrates the first half of the book. Through her eyes, we see Chaurisse and Laverne as ‘the other women’ and we develop a dislike for these two women who are taking everything away from Dana and Gwen. Then it’s flipped. Chaurisse gets to finish the story and we see how much love there is in the Witherspoon family and I started to feel bad for Chaurisse. At the same time, we see Dana through Chaurisse’s eyes and feel bad for her and Gwen. It was expertly done, in my opinion. Jones is a great story-teller.

Dana and Chaurisse were both products of their environment and it showed well in their personalities. Dana is taught to believe she’s better than others because her mother thinks her daughter is better than Chaurisse. Chaurisse is taught that she’s a blessing and acts like everyone’s guardian angel. I could see these people growing up on different sides of the city, both girls having the same father and being so different from each other. The parallelism was really great.

It’s hard to say who my favorite character was. At first, I liked Dana while she told the story. Then I liked Chaurisse. The one person I liked consistently was Raleigh. I felt bad for him after we learned how much he loved Gwen but I loved that he was always there for all of the characters, even James, when they really needed him.

I felt the most for Laverne. I’m not sure I share much of a history with her, but she was a good woman. She worked hard and was very loving, something I see in my mother and hope to be myself one day. It was hard to see James hurt her like he did, especially the way Gwen broke the news. I wasn’t surprised Laverne took James back, though I don’t know if I could have. I wasn’t surprised he wanted to be back with her. She was a comfort to him while Gwen was an escape. If  you can only have bread or chocolate for the rest of your life, you’re better off picking bread.

Tayari Jones Image via Wikipedia

Tayari Jones
Image via Wikipedia

I liked Dana’s narration best. It was more exciting, to say the least. And it had a lot more emotion. There was a lot more to be had, really. She had perpetual anger and judgment where Chaurisse had no reason to have those feelings every day. It was more charged. I’m still trying to figure out who I feel bad for.

I hated how we saw Gwen after the big reveal. I liked Gwen. She was rough and angry, but she was likable. The way Chaurisse saw her made her really hard to like. She wasn’t a loving mother; she was a home wrecker. That was hard to rationalize in my mind.

The audiobook was really well done. There were two narrators, Rosalyn Coleman-Williams and Heather Alicia Simms. I’m not sure which is which, honestly, but both were wonderful. I wasn’t expecting the second narrator but I liked that the producer used two voice actresses.

James challenged what Chaurisse and Dana defined as family. To Dana, it was her and her mother; that was it. James wasn’t a permanent part of her family. Arguably, Raleigh was more a part of her family than her father was. For Chaurisse, her mother and father were constants and Raleigh was a bit more fringe because she had a solid male figure in her life. When James was found out, both girls questioned everything. Did they really have a sister? I don’t think either felt like they did.

Writer’s Takeaway: The duly narrated storyline was great. I loved that tool to set up the story through Dana’s eyes and finish it with Chaurisse. I liked how Jones kept perspectives and ideas of how things worked for Dana out of Chaurisse’s eyes and vice verse. Each felt like a separate story but the connections made them a novel. It was a great tool to use in the story.

I loved this book and couldn’t find a fault in it. A full 5 out of 5 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:
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones | Book Club Mom
23. Silver Sparrow | Brown Girl Reading

WWW Wednesday, 27-April-2016

27 Apr

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?

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.


VirginCurrently reading: I’ve just put aside Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling so I can start a new book. I hope to get back to it soon, I was getting to the meat of it!
I’m really hoping to start back with A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin very soon! Maybe on disk, but it will take me a while to find where I am. We’ll see.
I was so embarrassed about my minimal progress with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson that I made a point of reading it this week. I’m at 13% now, so much better but still behind.
I wasn’t able to finish Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith before my book club met. I was close, one disk left, but I watched the movie in order to see how it ended. I’ll still finish it, though. I’m looking forward to comparing the book and movie.
It’s not the ideal running book, but I’ve made good progress with Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones while running this past week. I’m getting toward the end so I hope to finish it soon.
I started  The Virgin Blue by Tracey Chevalier on Monday night. Not too far into it yet so no comment but I do love this author! Yes, I realize I have WAY too many books going at once. I hope to clear this list up really soon.

Recently finished: Just one. I finished the quick read of The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling and wrote a review which I posted Monday. It’s not much, but it’s something!

Reading Next: No plans again. I’m going to try to get through my massive list before I take on anything new!


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, 20-April-2016

20 Apr

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!

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.


PrincipeCurrently reading: I’ still making my way through Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling and thoroughly enjoying it. There’s so much I’d forgotten about and I’m having a great time reading it all again.
Unfortunately, still on hold with A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. I’m not happy about it. Urg.
I think I read three pages of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. This is just the nature of me and ebooks, we’ll see how it goes.
I’m getting worried about finishing Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith before my book club meets. It’s really not a book for me, I’m not a fan of the thriller genre and this narrator is still grating on me with terrible Russian accents. Blah.
I’m enjoying Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones while I wait to get Martin back. I was hoping to put this one aside and finish Martin if I got the hold back quickly, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Sigh.

Recently finished: I’m sad to say I haven’t finished anything! I need to buckle down and focus on some of these books but my semester will be over in another two weeks and I’ll be a lot more available then… until the next semester starts. Ugh.

I posted my review of Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. A lot of you were asking about that so go check it out!

VirginReading Next: I’m still planning on The Virgin Blue by Tracey Chevalier. I’ll put Potter aside for this one so my ‘currently reading’ list is only going to grow, much to my chagrin. I put too many things on hold. Ugh.


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, 13-April-2016

13 Apr

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!

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.


SparrowCurrently reading: It’s been great to work on Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling lately. I love this story and there’s so much I’ve forgotten since I last read it. I’m half way through now!
I wasn’t doing too well with A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin and then I lost the hold! I still have the physical audiobook but I have to finish Child 44 first so as of now, this one is unfortunately on hold.
I don’t think I’ve read any of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson since last week. Being on vacation slowed that down a lot. If you’ve been here a while, you know I’m slow on ebooks anyway. This one will take a while.
Slow progress still on Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. I’m still not enjoying it much at all. The narrator does a terrible Russian accent for each character and I can’t see any semblance of a plot yet. It’s very meandering and there were two prologues which turned me off right away.
While I’m waiting to get A Clash of Kings back (again), I started listening to Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. This is a book that appeared on the book calendar I had in 2013 that grew my list exponentially. I’m glad I found it on eaudio.

Texts from JaneRecently finished: Hoping my loss of Martin would only be 24 hours while the system reset, I took Mallory Ortberg’s Texts from Jane Eyre with me on a business trip. It was really fun and passed the hour drive quickly. Review to come next week.

Two reviews to share! I posted my thoughts on Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut on Friday. I liked it enough though I probably would have liked it more had I read it in a shorter time-span. Three out of Five stars.
I also reviewed Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller while I loved. I’m excited to talk to my book club about this one in a few weeks and see if anyone else felt the same.

VirginReading Next: Next will likely be The Virgin Blue by Tracey Chevalier for my book club. This is one I’ve had on my shelf for a while because I’m a fan of Chevalier’s books. I suggested it for the book club and they said yes! Hahaha! I’m hoping to finish Potter before I start this, but no promises with how long it takes me to get through one of those in Spanish.


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!