Tag Archives: The Dutch House

Challenge Update, February 2020

12 Mar

This is a bit late because of my vacation but it’s helping me fill in some posting time before I actually finish a book. That’s not going so well right now. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in February:

The Dutch House // Ann Patchett
Sarah’s Quilt // Nancy E. Turner
Finding Gobi // Dion Leonard
Wild Ink // Victoria Hanley
What the Eyes Don’t See // Mona Hanna Attisha

I’m actually caught up on reviews! This also means I haven’t finished a book in a while. But I’m going to look at it in a positive way.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

4/12
Still going strong! I was able to use The Dutch House to check off 1960-1979 and Sarah’s Quilt to get 1900-1919. What I’m reading now should get me at least one more so I’m sitting pretty in this challenge for a while.

Goodreads Challenge

9/55
Goodreads says I’m one behind. I’ll take it! I think I can catch up quickly, especially if I’m going to start tri training in the next month. That always gives me a lot of audiobook time while I’m on the bike.

Book of the Month

I’ve been dwelling on The Dutch House for a while since I finished it and I’m still in love with it. The characters were great and I had a blast doing a Buddy Read of it with my best friend.

Added to my TBR

I’m down to 62! Though I could be doing better if I wasn’t in book clubs. And my only add this month is because of book clubs.

  • A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. I think this will be a really good book for discussion. Klebold’s son, Dylan, was one of the Columbine High School shooters. I’ve wondered how the parents of criminals deal with the crimes their children commit and this will be very insightful.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: I start training early next month. I’m still coming off some vacation lethargy but my goal is to get a few double days worked into my schedule so I’m ready for six 2-a-days per week when I start.
  • Submit my novel: I’ve submitted to five and been rejected by them all so far. Five more to go before I reevaluate what I’m submitting a bit.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, 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, 12-February-2020

12 Feb

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 think I’m nearing the end of Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. I’ve been having more days I can dedicate to reading during my lunch which has been nice. I’m going to be optimistic and say I have two weeks left on this one.
I’ve really liked what I’ve read so far from What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. I thought this book was going to be a lot of science and politics that would be a drag to get through, but Hanna-Attisha has approached it like a memoir. It’s about her interaction with Flint and the water crisis and how she became active.
I’m already halfway through Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard. This is such a cute story and I love that it involves running! I haven’t ready an endurance sport book in a while and this is getting me ready for tri season starting soon.

Recently finished: After such a rush from last week, I’m not surprised that I don’t have any to add here this week. I think next week will see at least one title, though.

I was able to get some reviews written! I posted my review of The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison on Monday. I gave it Three out of Five Stars. I’ll have another post about it soon because my book club met on Monday to talk about it.
I also reviewed The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I’m so happy I finally finished this one because I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to do another buddy read with this friend because we had a blast. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have to change the plan here a bit due to the library due dates (boo). I’m picking out all the formats of books and I think I’ll need a new audiobook first. I’ve settled on Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It will feel good to be caught up on this series and I’d love to have a little mystery in my life for a bit.
As for an ebook, I’m thinking of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’ve loved his books before and I believe I’m caught up on his fiction after this one.
As for a print book, I think I’ve put off my Spanish read for too long this year. I’m going to dive in with Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago. I found this in a used book store in New Orleans a few years ago and I think it’s about time I opened it 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!

Book Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4/5)

11 Feb

I’d planned to go hear Ann Patchett speak with a good friend of mine but I got the date wrong and in the end, she couldn’t make it. I felt terrible and bought us both signed copies so we could do a Buddy Read. We both loved the setup and hope to do it again. Hopefully, we can find a book we enjoy as much as we both liked The Dutch House. That might be a tall order.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Other books by Patchett reviewed on this blog:
Commonwealth (and book club reflection)
Truth and Beauty
Bel Canto

Summary from Goodreads:

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

I find it hard to put my thumb on what it is about Patchett’s storytelling that’s so wonderful. Part of it is a long, slow burn with a characterization that drives you crazy. Danny and Maeve aren’t so special. Their story is unique but not so outlandish that it seems like an adventure. They’re very real people and their accomplishments are very believable and attainable. Their losses are relatable and realistic. You almost feel like it could happen to you but it’s just far enough away that you know it won’t. It’s a story you get easily swept away in and can’t help but love.

I feel like Maeve and Danny could easily live down the street. They were well developed and you wanted to believe you could meet them. Even the side characters were wonderful. Celeste felt like people I knew. Andrea was one of the best villains I’ve yet encountered. Fluffy was the babysitter you loved and hated growing up. Patchett’s ability to create characters is part of her gift and I really love reading about the people she’s invented.

Maeve was my favorite character and since she’s the main character, it seems like a cheap pick. Danny tells the story, but it always felt like it was about Maeve. I’d forget Danny’s name from time to time. He was the lens through which we see Maeve and her place in the world. Their stories are linked but Maeve is the mastermind. She’s the dominant character and the one who is backing Danny up along the way, no matter what. She pushes him through med school and then supports his real estate business. She acts like a side character, though. She’s smart but never has great ambitions. She is humble and is alone for a lot of her life. She’s not showy or flashy in any way and I think that’s what I liked about her so much.

There wasn’t a lot I could say I had experienced in this book, but the characters were so well drawn that I felt like I knew Maeve and Danny. Their reactions and decisions were so logical and sensical that I would have made them myself and I loved seeing the book play out in a way I could relate to so well.

Ann Patchett
Personal photo taken October 14, 2020 Ann Arbor, MI

Danny’s schooling was my favorite part of the book. I loved how Danny became a doctor just to spite Andrea. I thought Maeve was really smart in how she sent Danny to boarding school and then I laughed when he went to med school and then told Maeve he didn’t want to be a doctor. Of course, she didn’t care if he became a doctor! She just wanted to get back at Andrea. The anger the siblings had at their step-mother was founded yet deeper than I could have anticipated. It was fun to watch.

Spoiler alert so skip to the next paragraph to miss them. I really disliked it when their mother came back. I thought I’d be excited to see what kind of woman she was and where she’d been for so long. I thought I’d react like Maeve. I reacted like Danny. I was mad at her for leaving and for being so kind to everyone else when she failed to be kind to her own children. I never grew to like her.

Family is a tricky thing. As much as their father was their blood family, he was very removed from Danny and Maeve growing up and seemed almost absent from their lives. The times he spends with Danny collecting the rents seemed like the most interaction the two had. In many ways, Sandy and Jocelyn are more parental to Maeve than anyone else and Maeve is Danny’s primary parent. Maeve’s ability to be a parent seems to always be in question. She lives far from Danny and the two have a very close bond. Through Celeste, we see how unusual this bond is and how much it bothers her. It seems like Danny didn’t have much of a parent to speak of but he turns out to be a pretty good dad in the end. Maybe Maeve gave him a better blueprint than I give her credit for.

Writer’s Takeaway: Character development cannot be neglected. Even more so, giving a character his or her own personality and not holding that back. Fluffy is a great example of this. She is a unique character throughout the novel. Andrea is a consistent villain as well. Each of the characters was unique and I think that’s something I struggle with in my books and hope to develop better.

An overall wonderful book and one I’m glad I read. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1960-1979 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:
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett | Books to the Ceiling
‘The Dutch House’ by Ann Patchett – This Old House | Tony’s Book World
“The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett | Leave Me Alone I Am Reading And Reviewing
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett | Clarion-Ledger / Hattiesburg American Mississippi Books Page
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – book review | Wishfully Reading

WWW Wednesday, 5-February-2020

5 Feb

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 still plugging away with Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. The part I’m reading is short interviews with YA authors who are sharing their stories and advice. It’s really encouraging, if I’m being honest, and I’m liking it a lot.
I’m excited to have a lot of new books here! My next book club pick is What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. This book focuses on the Flint Water Crisis. Since I live so close to Flint (less than an hour), this narrative really hits home because I’ve been there and see how differently the people in Flint have to live because of the crisis. And yes, it’s still ongoing.
I’ve decided on my next audiobook being Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard. My husband got me a print copy of this book a few years ago because it combines animals and running and he thought I’d love it. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to pick up the print version yet but I’m excited to experience it in audio.

Recently finished: I finally finished The Dutch House by Ann Patchett! My reading buddy and I were so excited to finish this one that we set a shorter time between our third meeting and this last one because we knew we’d rush to finish it. I’ll be reviewing it in the next week or two. I’m still teetering between four and five stars for this one.
I finally finished Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner. It felt like I read this one very slowly though I’m not sure that’s really true. It was a good enough story, but it wasn’t as fun for me as I thought. I’ll still finish the series, though. Again, I’m teetering. This one is either three or four stars.
The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison never picked up for me. It stayed pretty slow-paced throughout and I wasn’t able to get as invested as I wanted to be in the characters. This will be an interesting book club discussion and I’m curious to see what people think when we meet next week.

Reading Next: I’m not optimistic about starting it soon, but I still have The Running Man by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) waiting in the wings. I really hope I can start it before my vacation abroad, but we’ll see how it plays out.


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, 29-January-2020

29 Jan

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 still moving slowly through Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. Though, I think I’m further than I give myself credit for. The progress bar a the bottom looks like I’m less than halfway but I believe there’s a long index at the end and I’m probably a lot closer to the end than I think. I’ll soldier on!
I can’t wait to read more of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. We’re having dinner tonight to discuss the third quarter and then I can hurry on to the end!
I got about halfway through Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner. I really like Sarah as a character and knowing she’s based on a real person makes me like her even more. I hope to have this finished next week but we’ll see.
I feel like The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison is going to be slow for me. There’s some great humor in the writing, but it’s moving slower than I’d like. I’ll keep pressing on.

Recently finished: Nothing new finished, just a new review up. I posted my review of Colombiano by Rusty Young on Monday. This was a heck of a book and really got me to think a lot about problems in other parts of the world and how little I understand about them. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I picked up The Running Man by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) and it’s patiently waiting on my bedside table. A friend told me she owns a copy so if I don’t finish in time, I have a backup option. I hope I can finish, though!


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, 22-January-2020

22 Jan

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: Not much with Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. This will be here for a while and I’m OK with that, I’ve just got to keep moving forward with it.
I wrapped up the next segment of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett for my Buddy Read. It’s really hard not to put through to the end but I’m determined to make it!
I finally started Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner as an audiobook. I had a long drive for a swim meet this weekend and was glad to have a long book to keep me company for the two-hour drive (each way!).
I also started The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison. I’m still early on but I think that it will be a quick read so far. I hope so because I’ve got a lot of other books I want to read!

Recently finished: It feels like forever, but I’ve finally finished Colombiano by Rusty Young. This one was exhausting. Young wanted to give his readers an idea of the lives of child soldiers in Colombia and I’d say he did that and then some. Pedro’s story is tragic and engrossing at the same time. It was quite a haul to get through it, but this book was worth it. Four out of Five Stars.

I posted two reviews this week! I think I’m finally caught up from November when I didn’t review anything. I hated being that far behind. I posted a review of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee on Monday. I absolutely loved this book and I can’t recommend it highly enough to everyone. A full Five out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed American by Day by Derek B. Miller. This was really powerful in the wake of recent American racial violence and I’m glad Miller offered a foreigner’s perspective because I felt it was powerful. Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: The Running Man by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) came in at the library so I hope to start that as soon as I finish Frank Derrick. It will be quite a different pace but I look 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, 15-January-2020

15 Jan

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: This was a slow week for Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. I kept having people join me at lunch even though I eat really early. It’s not a bad sign, right? But maybe I need to find someone else to eat and read if I want to get through an ebook in a reasonable amount of time.
I’m onto the next segment of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. My buddy reader and I had a great discussion last week and I’m excited to go even further with these characters. The hard part is going to be stopping when I’m so close to the end!
I’ve reached the halfway mark in Colombiano by Rusty Young. This book is quite the epic and while I know a normal-length book would be over by now, I feel like this one is still ramping up. I’m not sure how this can end because there is so much that needs to be tied up before I feel I can leave Pedro and not be worried about him.

Recently finished: I sped through American by Day by Derek B. Miller. We had some bad weather here in the Midwest so I was happy to stay indoors with some tea and finish this. I had a few hard swims over the weekend that made me ready to fall asleep in my favorite nap chair while reading and this book was just perfect for that. I really enjoy Miller and what he can do with a story. I hope to read more from him soon.

I did finish a review of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I enjoyed the story enough, but it didn’t really work for me as a novel. I ended up giving it Three out of Five Stars. I’ll have to try another Sepetys book because I adored the first one of hers that I read and I do love historical fiction.

Reading Next: I’ll keep planning on Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner as an audiobook. Eventually.
I haven’t received my copy of The Running Man by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) through ILL yet. I’m a bit nervous about it coming in now because I’m not sure I’ll have to get to it.
My book club met on Monday and our next book is The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison. I know absolutely nothing about this book and I’ve never heard of the author so who knows how this one will turn out. I think I’ll have to do this one in print, too.


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, 8-January-2020

8 Jan

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 moving forward steadily with Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley but no major jumps. I like having one book on the craft of writing going so I’ll keep pushing forward with this one to keep me motivated to write and submit.
My buddy-reader and I are having dinner tonight to talk about the next chunk of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I’m excited to move forward with this one again, I’m really enjoying it and it’s killing me to keep stopping before I find out what’s happened.
I’ve made better progress with Colombiano by Rusty Young than I thought I would. This is a long one to be sure and it will stay on this list for a long time. It’s given me goosebumps a few times already but I like where it’s going and I think Young has created a great character with Pedro.
I ran around the library on Saturday looking for my next book and finally decided on American by Day by Derek B. Miller. I adored Norwegian by Night and I’m excited to revisit Sigrid for a new adventure. I’m hoping to speed through this one as I’m excited for some book club selections and interlibrary loans!

Recently finished: I just adored Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I kept staying up late and ignoring responsibilities and social obligations to read this wonderful novel. I’m so glad I got to hear Lee speak last year because having her conversation in my head when I was reading this was incredible and I wish I could hear her speak again because I would get more out of the conversation. Five out of Five Stars, a great way to start 2020!

Reading Next: I’m still planning on Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner for an audiobook but it might be a while until I get there.
I put in an interlibrary loan request for The Running Man by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King). This was recommended to me years ago and I’ve put it off because it needed an ILL but I’m still working to catch up on my reading list and this will be a great next step.


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, 1-January-2020 (Happy New Year!)

1 Jan

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: A lot of unusual lunches last week so I’m still making slow progress with Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. I’ll be fine taking this one through the new year.
I’m still in love with Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I’m picking it up every second I get because I’m just adoring every second of it. I didn’t know it was possible to make a 600-page book move so fast but wow. I’m really in awe.
Nothing further with my buddy read of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett yet. We’re meeting next week to talk so more to come soon.
I had yet another change of plans for my audiobook. I was offered a free audiobook for review of Colombiano by Rusty Young and downloaded it to my phone, figuring I’d get to it eventually. I didn’t realize how long the book was. At almost 700 pages, the file size is slowing down my phone! I’m deleting the files as I go (there are 164) to hopefully give my phone some more battery life.

Recently finished: I flew through Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys which was welcome with so many other long books on the go. I liked my first Sepetys book first but this was still enjoyable. It will be a while before I get to a review just because I’m so backlogged but I look forward to putting more thought into how this book made me feel.

A few book reviews to round out the year! On Monday I reviewed The Maximum Security Book Club by Mikita Brottman. I enjoyed the book a lot and appreciated Brottman’s focus on the men instead of the books. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I absolutely adored this book. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for something I would enjoy that much. I was just looking to fulfill a time period for my reading challenge. This was a welcome surprise and I gave it a full Five out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: It almost seems silly, but I’m going to keep saying I plan to listen to Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner next. I’m in the middle of so many books right now that it almost feels like bad luck to guess what I’ll finish first but I always seem to move quickly on audio so I’ll put my bets here.


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, 25-December-2019 (Merry Christmas!)

25 Dec

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: I’ll continue to move through Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley at my slow pace. I’m getting some good advice as I go but nothing earth-shattering so far.
I’m adoring Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and I’m getting as much as possible in between sections of The Dutch House. This is a book club pick for me and I’m getting a little nervous about finishing it in time. I’m not going to complain about the length, though, because I’m adoring it so much.
I finished the second part of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett for my buddy read. We’re doing four sections and we already met to talk about the first part. We’ll meet in early January to discuss the second part. It’s so tempting to speed ahead!
Change of plans for my audiobook. I had a long-term hold on Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys that came in unexpectedly. I started it and should finish it this week; it’s a rather short one. I’m not liking it as much as the last Sepetys book I read, but I still like it.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward on audio. It was good, but I didn’t connect with it as much as I’d hoped to. The language was beautiful but I kept thinking about what everything in the book could mean symbolically and it kept me from enjoying the story. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

A few more book reviews are done! I got a review of Derek Palacio’s The Mortifications posted last week. I liked the book enough, but wasn’t blown away by it. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody this week. Again, I liked it, but it came off as very biased and I couldn’t connect with it. Another Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I still think I’ll listen to Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner next. This might be my first book for the 2020 When Are You Reading? Challenge (more to come on that soon!). I don’t have any more books waiting to come in so this should be a safe bet.


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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