Tag Archives: The Handmaid’s Tale

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!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:  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!

Book Club Reflection: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

19 Jan

The discussion my book club had on The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the best ones I can remember. This was a very controversial book not because people disliked it, but because the story Atwood gave us had a lot of elements that evoked strong opinions.

Many of us felt that this dystopian story was more timeless than other dystopian classics such as 1984, Brave New World, or A Clockwork Orange which seemed dated. The problems those novels took to an extreme felt more dated but the religious extremism we witness in Offred’s story is still present around the world. With the publishers’ date on this, it’s likely that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was a big influence on Atwood’s plot. She compares the idea of a religious government takeover to the Puritan roots of the US. “You often hear in North America, ‘It can’t happen here,’ but it happened quite early on. The Puritans banished people who didn’t agree with them, so we would be rather smug to assume that the seeds are not there (interview with the NY Times). And as with all of Atwood’s other works, she’s brought something that has happened in history and resurrected it to haunt us again. The frightening thing is that some people, extreme fundamentalists, might want this in our nation’s future.

There was one line a woman pointed out in the book that shocked her. This is from page 174 in my copy, “It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.” This book was first published in 1986, 15 years before the September 11th attacks, this seems ominous.

We found it interesting that Harvard, a liberal place of higher learning, was turned into the halls of the Eyes. Many famous political figures (and even Atwood herself) study at Harvard and it’s a hot bed for influential people. One of our members commented that Boston was one of the most liberal places he’d ever lived and that putting the book there was even more ironic.

The commander reminded a lot of us of a modern conservative politician. Many politicians that preach family values and conservative politics are caught up in sex scandals or other scandals that discredit their messages. Look at how fidelity and marriage came into play in the 2012 Republican primary when candidates such as Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich were brought under the microscope for not following laws or having alternative persona lifestyles. The commander was a high-ranking man who helped form the Republic of Gilead, yet he wasn’t fully in line with what the government was teaching. He thought of himself as above the law, thinking that laws couldn’t touch him because he wrote them.

Offred’s visits with the commander were a clear demonstration of power. The commander slowly let Offred think she had some power when they began meeting alone. Letting her play Scrabble was a terrible trick because it let her remember and think that things could go back to how they had been. The commander knew she wanted something so taboo and was flaunting it in front of her. She would win games of Scrabble and was given small conveniences that made her think she was special to him. Finding out that her predecessor had been given these same privileges made her question any power she had over the commander and her trip to Jezebel’s confirmed that she was at a loss to do anything to defy him.

The woman bore the majority of the oppression in the story, but the men were oppressed in some ways as well. Because of Offred’s narration, we don’t know what the men are doing most of the day, but we can see servants such as Nick who don’t have a lot of power to carry out their own wishes. The men in power, such as the commander, are truly the only ones with any sort of freedom. The Aunts seem to have the most power of any female characters, but their influence is very limited to the Handmaids.

Offred tied herself to a man at every point in the story. We thought about the timeline and she must have been young, in her early 20s, when she and Luke began seeing each other. She was willingly ‘the other woman’ with Luke. She never thought about his wife and was content with their relationship. Then she becomes ‘of-Fred’ and is defined by the commander. This time, she has to think about the man’s wife because she is forced to hold Serena Joy’s hands and walk through her garden each day. And in her ultimate defiance, she defines herself by Nick. She’s waiting for a man to save her.

Moira never defined herself by another person in this way. She wanted to survive by fighting back, not by obeying like Offred did. Granted, Offred had a family to worry about where we see no evidence of Moira’s family. Offred was very passively rebellious because she was worried about how her daughter would be affected. Both were still alive.

There was a similar difference between Ofglen and Offred as well. Ofglen was very involved and passionate about fighting back whereas Offred was interested in fighting back and seemed to want to be a part of the underground movement, but as soon as she started seeing Nick, she almost forgot about the efforts. It’s the difference between signing a petition and leading a march.

Janine was the only Handmaid who had a name. Offred never referred to her as Ofwarren and always used her real name. We figured that this was because Offred knew her before she was Ofwarren, before names were gone and they could whisper them in the night to each other. But it helped make her more human. We could sympathize with her because she could be identified.

Okay, so that historical note. If you read the book and didn’t read that part, go back now. The speaker is still really sexist and makes very demeaning comments about Gilead and it’s culture. However, we’ve seen that whoever wins the war writes the history books so this isn’t very surprising. He seems very dismissive of the transcript because it’s an unidentified woman’s story and he doesn’t even know if it’s true. I pointed out that it’s as valid of an account of life in Gilead as Anne Frank’s diary is of the Nazi prosecution. Just because it only happened to one person doesn’t mean it’s not valid and it’s important because it did happen to that one person. You can’t look for a ‘catch all’ story and anything out of the ‘normal’ can’t be written off because it’s true and did happen. Many times, it’s the exceptions we get to hear about.

So the big question is if Offred made it out. A bigger question to me is where and when her tapes were recorded. Was she on her way out and recorded it as a record for those working on the ‘Underground Railroad,’ or was it even a recording that was made after she was captured and was a form of punishment? Was this a testimony that was meant to be destroyed when the regime ended and it somehow escaped? I kind of like that we don’t know what happened to her because it means I can hope for good things.

The book talked about how there are two types of freedom; freedom to do something and freedom (protection) from a thing. The women gave up the freedom to do many things, but received a lot of freedom from things (pornography, rape, etc.).

Freedom from and freedom to. No longer have freedom to but do have freedom from.

Could this ever happen in the US? There are a lot of topics in Atwood’s book that have been debated for years. Abortion, birth control, rape victim’s rights, sexism, slut shaming, women’s rights in general and a million others. Maybe there are those out there who think Gilead would solve all these problems. There are examples of tragedies that have already taken place throughout Atwood’s book. This book was scary to some of our members who read it upon its release almost 30 years ago and reading it today, it still gave me shivers.

This was a great book for a book club discussion and I hope others can enjoy it as well!

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!

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (4/5)

5 Jan

This book was one of those happy circumstances where I wanted to read the book and it appeared on a book club list. I swear, this is like winning the book-nerd lottery.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Summary from Goodreads:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Talk about creepy. This book is a worst-case scenario for a lot of political problems that faced Western culture when it was originally published and continue to influence political decisions today. This touched on women in power, abortion, religion, government control, capital punishment, and tons of other things I’m forgetting now. Atwood did a great job of telling the reader enough about the world Offred lived in without telling you too much. It was good to be kept as far at bay as Offred from the truth but it was good to know as much as she did about the situation.

It’s hard to say if the characters were realistically portrayed because there’s no comparable circumstance I can imagine to what the characters went through. I think that I would react in a similar way if I was ever thrown into that situation, but it’s hard to say. How would you feel if you were taken away from your husband and family and forced to try to give birth to another man’s child while his wife watched? How would it feel to have all of your rights stripped away and have no one to talk to about what you’re going through? There’s no way to know how I’d react, but I think I would feel a lot like Offred. She was afraid to rebel, but saw no other way forward.

Nick was my favorite character. He seemed simple enough, but for that reason alone, I thought there was more to him. He had to sit by and be an aid to Fred sneaking around with Offred and to Offred getting pregnant by any means possible. He played both sides and I loved that he was playing a third side (and even a fourth!) the whole time. I liked his ‘relationship’ with Offred, whatever you could call that. He was much more complex than he seemed on thee surface and I enjoyed all parts of the story that he appeared in.

I think of all the characters, I related best to Nick. He was trying to please everyone and still be true to himself. The other characters did have many qualities that I could relate to. Serena was out for herself, Fred had a mix of loyalties between his government and himself, and Offred only wanted her daughter. So Nick was the only one I felt was trying to help anyone around him and the only one I could relate to.

Margaret Atwood Image from Goodreads.com

Margaret Atwood
Image from Goodreads.com

I liked the section where the Commander took Offred to the Jezebeles. It was good to see a thriving sub-culture where you knew one must be. There’s no way a cultural shift like the one described could happen uncontested. It made the book less upsetting to me to know that people were still themselves, no matter how oppressed their government had made them.

I felt like this book dragged a bit at the beginning. I can’t really put my finger on where it did this, but the pace at the beginning was good because it made me ask questions and continue reading to find out what the heck was going on. And the end was very quick-moving and had me rushing to see what happened to Offred with all the rules she was breaking, but somewhere in the middle it was slow and lost my interest a bit.

There are so many messages in this book that it’s hard to put my finger on one. I’ll focus on the oppression of women. The handmaid’s might be the most oppressed in terms of the government, but I think all women in this book, the Econowives, the Jezebeles, the Wives, the Daughters, and the Marthas, were all incredibly oppressed. All the ‘freedoms’ they were given were only freedoms in the new world. The Wives could have gardens and that was a privileged. The Handmaid’s were allowed to do the shopping and leave the premises. I became very aware of all the freedoms I take for granted like being able to drive and wear what I want and I know that women in all parts of this world don’t have those freedoms and I should be glad for the freedoms I do have because there might be someone somewhere who fought long and hard just to have a garden.

Writer’s Takeaway: I think my favorite writing trick Atwood used was the historical note at the end. Our book club coordinator sent a note to make sure we all read it because it wasn’t instantly obvious that this was part of the story and not a historical note about the accuracy of the facts found in the story. I liked how she made the reader instantly distrust the narrator and brought to the forefront the danger that the Handmaid had been placed in to do what she did and how her fate is unknown. I really loved this as an ending.

Great story even though it dragged a bit. Four out of Five 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:
Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | John R. Ford
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale | Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | Scraps and Fragments
Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | Nicole’s Adventures in Science Fiction

WWW Wednesday, 17-December-2014

17 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! My book finishing rush is continuing with TWO again this week! Woosh.

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:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. It’s still on hold… and will be for a while… so…
I checked out another one, Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. So far, so good. I’m only a bit into it, but I’m enjoying the story a lot.
One audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki and I’m back to it with a vengeance, trying to get it done this year. I should be able to, especially with all the time I spend cooking/listening to audio this time of the year.
I’ve just started The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce which is a book club selection for January. I’ve heard good things but I don’t have really high expectations.

Recently finished: Two! Last night I finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and man, was it engrossing. I’m really glad I got to read this book and I’m looking forward to the discussion.
I finished Paper Towns by John Green while making cookies on Tuesday and I’m sad to say it wasn’t for me. I’ve read two of John Green’s other books (TFiOS and Alaska) and this one just didn’t cut it for me. Look for a review soon.

I’ve been able to put up a review of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver so please check that out and let me know what you thought of the book.

Reading Next:  I’m waiting for the work book club selection, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I should have it over Christmas to devour it.
I also have a new audiobook on hold at the library, The Diviners by Libba Bray. My book-club moderator recommended this to me about a year ago and I’m excited to finally get my hands on it.
There’s one more book, TBD, that I’ll be reading soon with my on-line Read-Along book club. We’re currently picking a book to read next. If you want to join in, send me an email and vote below for the book we’ll read!

I can see the finish line of the year and it looks like a 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!

Friday 56, 12-December-2014

12 Dec

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

Friday 56

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

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

I’m currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and I’m really enjoying it. It’s the right mix of creepy and scary and entertaining. Pretty much, it’s amazing. Here’s a quote from the 56th page:

Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.

Wow. I think this really speaks to the story. Offred and her contemporaries ignored the violence and oppression happening around them because it wasn’t happening to them. They knew about it, just choose not to worry about it. By the time it was happening to them, there was nothing they could do. They were being ignored. She was trying to ignore the things she knew were happening around her and it took an effort to continue on as if nothing was wrong. Wow. Yay Margaret Atwood.

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, 10-December-2014

10 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! And I’ve finally hit that rush of finishing books I’ve been anticipating for a while. Two this week! TWO!

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:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. And to make my life more awesome, I don’t have it checked out any more. It’s going to be a while before I get to read it again, so this is on hold.
One audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki and which I’ve put on hold. I need to stop making that a habit! It’s okay and I intend to finish it… soonish.
I’ve begun The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for a book club and I’m really enjoying it so far! It’s a great dystopian conversation that’s scary and unbelievable yet realistic. Creepy is probably a good way to say it.
I’m activly listening to Paper Towns by John Green checked out as an e-audiobook. I’m not super far into it yet, but I’m hoping to get through it fast as this is now my main audiobook.

Recently finished: I finished Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio yesterday. It. Was. Amazing! I’m so glad I made it through this story though it might be a while before I’m brave enough to pick up the sequel!
I’ve also finished These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. And with that I’ve finished my own When Are You Reading? Challenge. Yay! Nothing like fulfilling your own standards to pump you up.

I’ve also put up a review of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri which was amazing and you should all read immediately.

Reading Next:  I’ve got two in the queue now: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. This is for a book club that meets in January so I’m feeling a slow read of this one. The other is for my free-form work book club and we’re reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t know how to describe how excited I am about this. One woman finished it in less than a week, which is quick for us! We might be talking about this before Christmas holiday!

School ends on Friday and I plan to drive home and read all evening with a glass of wine to celebrate. 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, 3-December-2014

3 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! I’m still at the tipping point for many of my books so expect a bunch of updates to come in a rush. It’s more fun that way, right?

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:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. As always, it’s progressing slowly though I’ve been able to read a few good chunks of it in the last few days which has been great.
I’m getting close to the end of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio but haven’t made much progress since I’ve been out-of-town. I’m getting antsy to finish it soon, though!
The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki and I’ve finally made it to Chapter 10. I’m going to put this on hold, though, so I can concentrate on an e-audiobook from the library. Darn due dates.
I’m in the middle of my last book for the When Are You Reading? Challenge, These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. I really disliked this book at the beginning, but I’ve since been sucked into it and I hope to finish soon!

Recently finished: I finished The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver last Wednesday and I loved it! I’m excited to have my book discussion with the work girls tomorrow.

Reading Next:   My next physical book will be The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for a book club. I’ve also got Paper Towns by John Green checked out as an e-audiobook which I’ll be starting on ASAP. I’ve only got 18 days to finish it up and I’m super excited.

The school semester ends next week and I hope to get some quality reading time once it’s done. That will be my Christmas present. 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, 26-November-2014

26 Nov

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! And moderate progress again! I think it will all come at once, a big wave of books being finished to share with you. But until then, bear with me.

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:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. As always, it’s progressing slowly yet steadily. I hope to make some more progress as life slows down a bit. It’s a great story and I’m really enjoying it
I’m getting close to the end of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. I just popped in disk 27 of 32 so the end is in sight. It’s just a manner of getting across that finish line
The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki. The narrator is getting on my nerves a bit but I”m enjoying it. This will become my main audiobook when I finish ‘Pillars.’ When that miracle finally occurs.
I got my copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver from the ladies at work and I’m flying through it. I’m really enjoying the story and adore that the little girl’s name is Turtle. So awesome!

Recently finished: I finished The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri this past week and LOVED it! You’ll see a lot of posts about this one coming up soon because I have a book review, a book v. movie post and a book club reflection to do on it. And I promise, it’s all worth it.

Reading Next:   I’m still planning to read the last book for my When Are You Reading? Challenge, These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. AND I have a book club book for January, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The other book club’s selection for January is TBD, but I have that looming over my head as well. I’ll add it here when we find out what it will be!

We’re flying out to California this weekend for Thanksgiving so I should have plenty of time to read on the plane. If I’m not bogged down finishing NaNoWriMo of course! 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, 19-November-2014

19 Nov

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! AND I FINISHED A BOOK! WOOOOOO.

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:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and it’s finally back in! I make a point to read at least a little every day so hopefully I’m progressing well. I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. It’s so good and it will be weird to not be with these characters anymore when I’m finally through with it. I think this is how Follett is getting me to buy his next book. Damn him. The audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki. My goal was to make some progress on this one and I did. Yay me. I still have a lot to go, but something is better than nothing. I’m working through my next book club selection, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and I’m only two chapters from the end. It’s torture to stop, but I keep getting so mad at a character that I have to put it down and breath. Ugh.

Recently finished: I rushed to the finish line of Read Along #2 and finished The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar on Sunday. It was so good! I’m excited to see how the end of the discussion goes on this exciting read.

I got one book review written but it’s a doozy! I posted my review of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl yesterday. Warning, there are MASSIVE spoilers. Read if you dare!

Reading Next:  I got the copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver that my work book club was passing around so it’s time for that next. I also grabbed the last book for my When Are You Reading? Challenge, These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. AND I have a book club book for January, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’m really pumped to read all of these!

There’s so much upcoming but I can’t wait to get started on all of them in time for the holidays. 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!

Recently Added to my To-Read Shelf

4 Apr

Having realized that my ‘Recently Added’ feature is very similar to MizB’s Friday Finds, I’m trying to time my posts up with hers. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so let’s delve in!

  1. Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell. My mom is the first person to recommend a book to me on Goodreads and I can’t deny my first recommendation! We’re both fans of historical fiction and I expect the highest quality from her recommendations. The book covers ritual sacrifice and the building of Stonehenge.
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. This came out of my post about Amazon’s Book list. I was told if I’m going to write Young Adult literature, I should read it’s classics. Touche. I’m excited to read about young Mr. Caulfield’s journeys.
  3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Is it bad I’m reading this because I want to see the movie? Maybe? I’m still reading. My husband purchased this for a YA Lit class in college and then devoured the entire series on our honeymoon. The stories follow Thomas and the other teens that are living inside a terrifying maze. Watch the trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64-iSYVmMVY
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood. This is another off of the Amazon list. I didn’t realize this was a dystopian book and now that I know I’m excited to read it! The women in a world of declining birth rates are only valued if they can have children. Yikes!
  5. Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson. Shannon is another WordPress blogger I’ve been following since I started here. I attended her virtual release party (even though I didn’t think I could!) and was lucky enough to win a copy of one of her titles. I chose the first in the trilogy she’s publishing now and I’m super excited to read about Eric and Jess’s journey!
  6. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. We got our next round of books for one of my book clubs. This is the true story of Will and his mother and the books they read as she battles cancer.
  7. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. Another book club selection and another memoir. Cahalan was unfortunate enough to develop a rare autoimmune that had her almost declared insane. She wakes up a month after her last memory without knowing what’s happened to her.
  8. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. The co-worker who recommended Life After Life recommended this book to me as well. She said it was one of her favorites in the past fives years, years in which I missed a lot of good literature being a college student. It’s about two women growing up in 19th century China.
  9. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. The local libraries pulled together to bring Bohjalian to the area for some speaking engagements. This is the same program that brought Bruce Feiler to town last year. In an effort to save money, Nicole and I went to a used book store on Tuesday and I bought Midwives to have him sign when we hear him speak later this month. So financially sound.
  10. Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie. I lent my friend the first in this series (Medicus) and she enjoyed it so much she went out and bought the next three! To celebrate my birthday (which was Monday if you want to say something…) she gave me the second installment in the series. I love that these books cover Roman England, which is something I think is frequently overlooked in historical fiction.

That’s it! Yes, it’s a big haul but it’s been about a month since I’ve done this for you all so it makes (a little) sense. Do I have any duds? Any winners? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Until next time, write on.