Tag Archives: The Valley of Amazement

WWW Wednesday, 27-February-2019

27 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: Still moving steadily through Origin by Dan Brown. I haven’t had a lot of lunch reading time to move through it, but I’m finding as much time as I can. It’s nice to have this to turn to when a little time presents itself.
I began listening to  Books for Living by Will Schwalbe in my car. Since I’ve heard him speak, I keep hoping he’ll suddenly start narrating the book, but no luck with that so far. I’m glad this one is short after the last Amy Tan odyssey I was on.
I grabbed the next book off my TBR shelf and started The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. It was serendipitous because I grabbed the next book off my shelf to take on a train trip to Chicago and when I looked at what it was, realized I bought it in Chicago the last time I was there in 2015. Too funny!
I started a new eaudiobook. With all the riding I’m doing, they’re going fast. I found a copy of Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which has been on my TBR for ages. I guess with one of her books being made into a movie, more copies of her past books are available. Fine by me!

Recently finished: I finished The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan late Wednesday last week. It was a bit of a relief to be done with it, I wasn’t enjoying the middle of the book even after I enjoyed the beginning. The end was good, but I wish it had been more consistent throughout. I posted my review yesterday.
I finished Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson over the weekend while traveling back and forth to Chicago for a conference. I think I may take a break from YA for a bit, I feel a bit ‘teenaged out’ after a few YAs in a row. I also have to decide if I’ll finish the series, but I’m honestly thinking of not doing so. My review will be up next week.
I was able to finish You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg with all of the bike time I had. This book was perfect for me to read right now and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy it while training for my 70.3. It was the perfect thing to keep me motivated during the first few hard weeks while my body was adjusting.

Reading Next: Since I’ve been flying through audiobooks on my phone, I have another one on hold: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. I love Larson’s writing and it will be fun to have one of his histories to enchant me while I am riding for hours on end.


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!

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Book Review: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (3/5)

26 Feb

I picked up a copy of this book when it was clearanced at the local big box store. At the time, I hadn’t read anything by Tan. This past summer, I read her for the first time and I was excited to read this one. I guess I thought it would be similar to her other book. Boy, was I wrong.

Cover Image via Goodreads

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

Other books by Tan reviewed on this blog:

The Joy Luck Club (and movie review)

Summary from Goodreads:

A sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

Of course, as always, I didn’t read the book summary. And reading it now, even if I had, I don’t think I would have realized it focused so much on courtesans as it did. Violet grew up living in one, worked in one, and almost owned one at a point. This didn’t bother me too much at first, but it got to be a bit much and it felt grating and tiresome after a while. I felt there were a lot of side plots unnecessary parts of the book. Violet’s marriage to Perpetual is a major one and I grew frustrated during that part of the book. The story was very long and in the end, I felt it could have been shortened.

For the most part, I felt the characters were credible. However, there were times I found them a bit hard to stomach. When Lucretia and Violet lost their children, they seemed very resigned to this fact. I couldn’t buy that. I couldn’t believe that a mother would have her child taken from her and lay in bed for three days and then be OK. It seemed a stretch and not one I was inclined to forgive twice. Other than that, I liked the characters and how they were developed.

Magic Gourd was a great character. I liked her sarcasm and wit and her fragile image of herself and how Violet had to speak to her to keep things going between the two of them. I marveled at her dedication to Violet and the way she was quickly made into a family member wherever Violet went. I was glad she got to tell her story a bit, too, and share how she came to be a courtesan.

These characters weren’t ones I related to well. Their living situation was very different from anything I’ve experienced and the things that motivated them weren’t things I’ve ever experienced or been motivated by. I think this is part of why this book felt like a chore for the majority of the middle. I lost interest in the character’s lives.

Amy Tan
Image via Harper Collins

The flashback to Lucretia’s childhood through the end of the book interested me most. Finding out how much the women’s’ lives parallelled each other was interesting and I liked how we found out about Flora’s life and how things had turned out for her. She was such a major character who we also knew so little about. It was a really interesting way to see a character and I liked her a lot.

I disliked the long advice that Magic Gourd gave Violet about being a courtesan. I feel bad saying this because I think Amy Tan narrated this part and I wonder why she felt that part was what she wanted to narrate. I didn’t feel it was necessary information beyond Magic Gourd’s background and story. It felt like filler, background information that had been found and that was added into the story because it was too painful to cut.

The audiobook had three narrators: Nancy Wu, Joyce Bean, and Amy Tan. I’m not sure between Wu and Bean who narrated Violet and who did Lucretia but both did a great job. I liked how they read with sarcasm and emotion. These were very emotional stories and their emphasis and emotion were well deserved. As I mentioned, Tan read Magic Gourd’s chapter and it was a segment I didn’t particularly like. I’m fairly certain it was her because the part wasn’t as well performed as the professionals, which didn’t surprise me. This isn’t to say it was poorly done, just that she’s not a professional. It’s always nice to hear an author read their own words.

The mother-daughter relationships in this book took center stage. Lucretia and Violet took many years to repair their relationship but were able to repair the damage between them eventually and find a way to connect and be friends. One hopes that Violet and Flora are able to do the same thing given time. Magic Gourd was a strong mother figure for Violet and it was good to see that she was loved and respected throughout the novel. Even with Lucretia off in America, there was someone looking out for Violet and helping her the way a mother would.

Writer’s Takeaway: When I’m writing, I try to be conscious of when I’m writing and when I’m rambling. I try to think about how what I’m writing will affect the story and if it’s important. It seemed to me that Tan didn’t always do this, especially with Perpetual. I wonder if there was a major change to the plot, to which Perpetual was originally important. The amount of sex and time spent in the courtesan houses seemed a bit unnecessary as well. It took away from the mother/daughter stories.

Overall, well written but a bit of a drag in places. Three out of Five Stars

This book fulfills the 1900-1919 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 Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan | FictionFan’s Book Reviews
The Valley of Amazement- Amy Tan | The Home Book Club
The Valley of Amazement and Shifting Identities | American Literature in the World
Book Review: The Valley of Amazement | For the Someday Book
The Valley of Amazement | whatsannereading

WWW Wednesday, 20-February-2019

20 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 getting really close to finishing The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. I think it will be off this list next week and I’m so excited! This one feels like it’s been dragging a bit and I’m excited to start something new.
I keep making steady progress on Origin by Dan Brown. Right now, they’re in Barcelona and it’s bringing up memories of my trip there this summer and it’s helping draw me in more!
I keep moving forward with Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson but I’m feeling more and more that this isn’t a book for me. I might be YA-ed out after reading Green and Levithan. Maybe I should have taken a break before starting this one.
I began listening to You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg and it’s been wonderful while running and biking. I think I’ll get through it pretty fast. The narrator isn’t my favorite (I’ve listened to him before) but the story is great.

Recently finished: I was able to finish Hunger by Roxane Gay and post my review on Monday. I liked the book a lot and I think it will make for a great discussion at my club’s next meeting. It made me a little uncomfortable and I think that was the intention. It’s hard to have your privilege called out and that’s what Gay did. It was eye-opening and I hope I can retain the lessons she taught. I was also excited to learn that she’d studied at Michigan Technological University in my home state. I talk more about this school in my review but if you’re interested and have five minutes, Google it. It’s very different (because of its location) than most schools I know about.

Reading Next: I’m ready for another audiobook in my car (finally) and have decided that it’s going to be Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. I read Schwalbe’s first book, The End of Your Life Book Club, for my book club (ha) and I got to meet him at the Midwest Literary Walk last year where I bought this book. I know it’s going to add to my TBR. I’m bracing myself.


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, 13-February-2019

13 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 finally feel like I’m getting close to finishing The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. There was just a huge change in narration and I’m not sure where it’s going but I’m optimistic that it will wrap up soon!
I got through a bit of Origin by Dan Brown and I’m returning to it as often as I can. I’m enjoying this one a lot and it’s a good one to have on my phone. I might have to stick to thrillers here.
I started Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson over the weekend. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about it yet. I never was a fan of the paranormal romance genre and I’m a bit put off by it already. We’ll see if it gets better.
I started listening to Hunger by Roxane Gay on Sunday and I’m already halfway done with it! I’ll probably have this finished up next week which means I’m way ahead for my book club instead of scraping by. I’ll get to pick something I want to listen to next! I’m way more excited than I should be for this.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan at the beginning of a stressful weekend. It was a fun read and while the ending was a bit much, I enjoyed it. It was a very successful Spanish read as well and I’m really glad I read it. I posted a review for it on Monday so please go take a look!
I was able to finish Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani over the weekend as well. I finished the review hours before my book club meeting on it and I was able to put some original thoughts down before my book club influenced me. Whew! The club discussion should be up tomorrow. My review was posted yesterday.

Reading Next: Oh boy, freedom to choose an audiobook! Next on my TBR is a very appropriate title, You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg. I think this will be particularly motivating as I’m sweating through long runs or bike sessions. I’m really looking forward to this one and seeing how it makes me feel about my own 70.3 in July.


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, 6-February-2019

6 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 readingThe Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan is still plodding along. I’m not a huge fan of this one, honestly. I’m kind of waiting for it to be over. It’s nothing like The Joy Luck Club like I hoped. I’ll keep pushing through.
I barely read any of Origin by Dan Brown last week. Maybe I’ll have more time this week? Lunch at work should be a bit slower so I hope to grab a few minutes to make some headway with this one.
I should finish Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan today or tomorrow, which I’m delighted to share! It’s been a while since my annual Spanish read finished up this quickly.
I didn’t realize how long I’d waited to start Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. I must have it finished by Monday! I’m listening as much as I can during the day, hoping to knock out another seven hours before the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. I hope there are two here next week, though!

Reading Next: I still hope to grab Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson as my next physical read. I should be able to finish Grayson soon and pick this up quickly.
My next book club selection will start as soon as I finish Carlo. Next is Hunger by Roxane Gay which I will listen to. I can’t tell yet from the listing if Gay narrates, but I hope so. I love when memoirs are narrated by the author.


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, 30-January-2019

30 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 made it to the halfway point of The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. I think I got here quicker than expected so I’m happy with that! It’s still rather slow going because I’m not driving as much, but the book’s moved to a point in the main character’s life that I’m enjoying a lot more. I don’t mind the long drives so much right now!
I’m still making my way through Origin by Dan Brown. I haven’t had as many chances to read during lunch as I would like this past week so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for some more opportunities in the coming week. I’m still liking this one a lot!
My progress through Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan is still impressing me! This book is really enjoyable and the two plot lines have finally intertwined and it’s fun to see what the characters think of each other now that they’ve met.
I was finally able to start Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. I’m not too far into it yet, so I can’t say quite what I think of it. It’s not what I expected from the cover, at least not yet. I think it may be going somewhere I don’t expect.

Recently finished: I finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple in what feels like record time. I really enjoyed this one and I’m glad I finally read it! Worth the wait and I highly recommend the audio! I posted my review yesterday so please go take a look. I gave it Five out of Five Stars.

My review for Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird went up on Thursday. This one is a staple in writing circles. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll have some time to pull a book off my TBR instead of worrying about book club selections for a while! I’m going to go ahead and read Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson. Thompson was one of the first bloggers I followed when I started blogging and I’m honored to have a signed copy of her book. I’m also embarrassed it took me so long to get to it! Better late than never?


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, 23-January-2019

23 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 at about 1/3 of the way done with The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. I’m starting to enjoy it a bit more, but this one overall isn’t on a topic I’m enjoying much. That’s what I get for not reading blurbs and blindly buying books by authors I’ve heard positive reviews of or have read one book by. Oh well.
I’m surprised how much of Origin by Dan Brown I’ve been able to read through. My lunch breaks are becoming very productive! Maybe this won’t take me the five months I originally predicted. I’m still less than a third through it, but that’s much faster than I would have predicted.
I’m going to have to stick with YA books for my Spanish annual read because it’s going really well with Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I’m following the plot and I’m already over 100 pages in and I can’t wait to read some more tonight! I might actually finish this one in a reasonable amount of time. Shock!
I’m trying to power through Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple so I can start a book club pick. It’s easy with a book that’s so enjoyable. I like the diary/email/letter format this one follows and it keeps me pressing forward to learn what happens next.

Recently finished: Nothing new finished but I got some book reviews written so I can catch up! Last week I reviewed Before the Fall by Noah Hawley in anticipating of my book club meeting. I really enjoyed this book and my book club loved it, too. Four out of Five Stars.
I also got the review written for my first book of the year, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. This was a great laugh and I really comforting read. Lawson’s humor and resilience are amazing. Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: Both of my book clubs are reading Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani in anticipation of her visiting the area. I found an eaudiobook copy so I’ll start this as soon as I finish Bernadette. It looks like it will help me knock out another time period to be sure.


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, 16-January-2019

16 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: It’s a little depressing to think about how long The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan will be on this list. I’m going through it very slowly in my car. I’m about 20% done at this point and it’s already been on my list the longest. Get settled in, folks!
I’m enjoying Origin by Dan Brown and I’ve made lunch reading time so I can keep working my way through it. I’m about 20% done, which is fast for me with an ebook! It helps that I’ve had a lot of time alone at home to work on it, too. I’m trying to keep the TV off when I’m home alone and I’ll read a few pages on my phone instead.
I feel like I’ve forgotten Spanish completely when I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. There are a lot of slang words I don’t know and I’m having to look them up. When I find how colloquial they are, I usually feel a bit better about not knowing them, but I still feel like I need a refresher course.
I’ve only just started Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I’m sure I’ll get some more of this under my belt soon but it’s too early to make a call on it.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Before the Fall by Noah Hawley on Saturday, just in time for my Monday book club! I liked this one a lot and my husband and I had some good discussion on it. I wrote my book review, which will be up tomorrow, before my book club met in order to keep my opinions separate from theirs. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I managed to get two book reviews up already this week. The first was People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I liked this one a lot (ignoring the last few paragraphs) and I hope my review explains my rating. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars even though I enjoyed it so much. Read the review to see why!
I also reviewed Henry VIII by William Shakespeare. This was the last book I needed for the 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge and I finished it just in time! Unfortunately, the review is quite delayed. I also gave this one Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: Book club on Monday means I got a new book to read. This time it’s Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. Trigiani will be coming to my area to speak early this year so our club is reading this in anticipation. Look for several more posts about it as the year goes on!


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, 9-January-2019

9 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 steadily through The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan and I’m on the third disc now. That doesn’t feel that great when I look at how long this book is, though! I hope I can renew this one a few times.
My husband and I have split our listening to Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. He’s on his own now and I’m heading through by myself as well. I’m still enjoying it and I’m curious what kind of conclusions will come from this book.
I started a new ebook, Origin by Dan Brown. I’ve read and moderately enjoyed the other Langdon books in this series so I’m excited to see what else he can discover and defeat. I expect I’m in this for the long haul.
I’ve only just started Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, my Spanish read for the year. No word yet on how I feel about it, I’m less than a chapter in!

Recently finished: I’m sad to have finished Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson because I enjoyed it so much. This book made household chores and working out so much better. Lawson talks about mental illness in a very real way but also with humor and love. I love her books and I hope there are more to come.
I finished Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott Sunday night. I would have finished it sooner if I hadn’t been sick and too tired to read. I wish I could have squeezed it into last year, but it’s still a solid book finished.

I wrote reviews, too! Well, one, which I’m considering a major win since I’m rather far behind. I posted a review of Sara Donati’s The Gilded Hour. I didn’t like it in the ending as much as I did at the beginning. I’m having mixed feelings about it now because I’ve heard this is the first in a series, not a stand-alone book. That changes how I felt about a lot of things being left unfinished. I’m going to stick with my original rating, though, of Three out of Five stars.

Reading Next: I know I’m a bit late on this one, but I’m going to listen to Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple next. This one had such hype a few years ago and I’d like to read it before it becomes the movie it’s likely to be. Unless that’s already announced. Then it’s very likely to happen.


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, 2-January-2019

2 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?

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Currently reading: I’ve been moving slowly through Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott because of the holidays. With no work, my days are much less structured and I’m not getting anything done. Oh well. This has wonderfully short chapters that make it far too easy to put down and take a nap.
Without work, I’m not driving much so The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan has been slow to start. I’m still on the first disk and I know I’ll get into it soon but I’m enjoying the exposition and not rushing it for now.
Bad weather means more indoor workouts and that’s helping me move through Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson quickly. I’m also getting an added ab workout by listening to this while doing other things. It’s kind of wonderful.
My husband and I started Before the Fall by Noah Hawley on the 26th and we made some pretty good progress driving to and from Christmas. I don’t know how much more of it we’ll listen to together before we go our separate ways, but we’re enjoying it for now.

Recently finished: I pushed through and finished Henry VIII by William Shakespeare so I could wrap up my 2018 When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’m so glad I’m done! I’m also glad I rearranged the time periods so I don’t have to squeeze in a late Shakespeare in December to finish it again. It was interesting to get yet another take on the Henry VIII/Katherine of Aragon/Anne Boleyn time. I read a lot about that period already.

No reviews this week though I owe you a few. I’ll work on them and get them out to you next week, promise!

Reading Next: I’ll start my annual Spanish read as soon as I finish Lamott. It’s going to be Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I bought a Spanish copy last summer when I visited Powell’s and I’m so excited to finally read it!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

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