Tag Archives: The Dutch House

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?

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


Currently reading: I’ll 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.

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, 18-December-2019

18 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?

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 keep trucking through Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. This is about the pace I thought I’d read this book so I’m not upset it’s taking this long. I like the steady drip of YA writing advice and I think it’s helping me keep my books in mind.
I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and The Dutch House. I’m loving Pachinko and I know it’s going to be a slow burn. The characters and the setting are wonderful so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of this epic unfolds.
Today is the first buddy-read meeting I have for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. We read the first five chapters and are having dinner tonight to talk about it. It’s fun to read a book this way with a close friend. I hope we can do more of these in the future.
I should finish Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward this week. Audiobooks going quickly for me now with my commute. I’m still unsure how to feel about this one. The writing is really good and the plot is engaging, but I’m not connecting with it for some reason. I’ll see how it’s going next week.

Recently finished: No books finished this week, but I think that will change next week with how fast I get through audio right now. Stay tuned.

I was able to post three book reviews since last week! I first shared my thoughts on Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie. I adore this series and the characters in it. I can’t wait to get to the next one soon. Four out of Five Stars.
I also posted my review for My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart. I had some issues with this book, honestly. I think I had too high of expectations because I adore Hannah’s YouTube channel so much. Three out of Five Stars.
I also posted a review for Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine. This was my first ARC in a while and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I’m hopefully going to do an interview with the author in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I plan to pick up Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner still. I think this will be a good audiobook to wrap up the year. Reading about a quilt sounds nice when it’s so cold outside.


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, 11-December-2019

11 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?

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’ve made good progress with Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. I realized I get an hour for lunch instead of 30 minutes so I’m spending more time reading each day and it’s been really fun. I like using the time in the middle of the day for myself.
I’m adoring Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I can already tell it’s a lovely slow burn that I’ll be happy to be going through for the next few months. With how long it is, I think it will be a close one to have it finished by January.
Part of the reason it will be tight to have it finished in time is that I’m doing a Buddy Read with a good friend of mine for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. She and I were supposed to see Patchett speak in October but I ended up giving her the wrong date and she wasn’t available on the right one. Doh! I bought her a copy of the book and we’re going to read it in four chunks and discuss it throughout.
I’ve just started Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I’m doing quick work on audiobooks lately so I’m optimistic that this one will be finished very quickly!

Recently finished: I absolutely flew through The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Montey was an amazing example of character voice and the plot was so fun that I was making time to listen to it in even the smallest chunks so I could get further and further through the story. I haven’t had that much fun with a book in a while and it was a very welcome break.

Now that I’m writing real blog posts again, I have at least one book review posted for you all! I reviewed Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins on Monday. I have a lot more reviews to catch up on so expect an outpouring of those over the next few weeks.

Reading Next: It’s been a while since I started the series, but I think my next book would be Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner. This is a fun frontier series that is loosely based on a relative of the author. I think I’ll need an audiobook next so this seems the way to go.


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!

Author Ann Pathcett

28 Oct

It’s been a long time since I went to an author event so big that I didn’t get to meet the author. Tickets for this event were $35 and included a signed book and a seat. It was $80 for a chance to meet her and have books signed individually. That seemed like a bit much so I decided hearing Patchett talk was enough. I was supposed to go with a friend of mine but I had the date wrong and when we figured it out, it was too late for her to change plans. Luckily, my mom was free that night so we went together and had a grand old time.

I’m often surprised by how funny authors can be and Patchett was no exception. She had us laughing constantly and I adored her dramatic pauses and quips. She set up her presentation in three parts. The first was to talk ‘around’ (not about) her novel, The Dutch House, which this was part of the tour for. She was on a deadline for this book and ended up having to write it quickly. When she read it over for revisions, she realized she didn’t like it. She was so frustrated, she did what all authors are told never to do, she deleted all the files and copies she had of it and started over. She wrote the first thirty pages twice more and realized it still wasn’t working. Being a famous author, she has many famous author friends and was able to talk through some of her issues with amazing women like Barbara Kingsolver and Donna Tartt. She was able to meet her extended deadline and is happy with the results but recognizes it was a bit rushed to finish in time with something she’s proud of. Patchett recommended always being specific about what goes on the cover of a book. She did not want a house on her cover and reached out to a friend to paint the cover she ended up with and is very happy with the result. She also was brave enough to ask Tom Hanks to do the audiobook and was surprised and elated when he agreed.

The second thing Ptchett talked about was interviewing other writers. As the owner of a bookstore, she’s expected to interview authors when they’re on a book tour in her city. Her store has been open for eight years so she’s done this a few times. On top of that, she’s asked to do interviews with other authors who are putting out major book releases. She joked that every book published in America seems to make its way to her store or her house. She even received J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy as a manuscript so she could do an interview with her. Unlike me, she loved it. She agreed to interview Melinda Gates when her book, The Moment of Lift, came out. She wasn’t going to but heard that for their wedding anniversary, Bill and Melinda had read Patchett’s book This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage out loud to each other. She said her favorite interview was Harlan Coben. She’s not a big reader of his genre but agreed to interview him because she’d dated two guys who lived on his floor at Amhurst but hadn’t met him.

The third thing Patchett wanted to do was recommend books. Luckily, she lists all of the ones in her book tour presentation on her website and you can see the link here.

Patchett was wonderful and mom and I really enjoyed getting to hear her talk. I’m hoping to do a buddy read of The Dutch House with the friend I was supposed to see her with. I bought a signed copy as an ‘I’m sorry I’m terrible at dates’ present.

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!