Tag Archives: Where’d You Go Bernadette

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!

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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!

Book Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (5/5)

29 Jan

This book was everywhere a few years ago. Of course, I’m terrible at reading books when they’re popular so I’m only getting to it now. I remember at the time that it was billed as an early ‘New Adult’ book so that tinted what I thought it would be about. I’m happy to say it didn’t meet those ideas and ended up being more enjoyable than I thought.

Cover image via Goodreads

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Summary from Goodreads:

Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades.

This book wasn’t what I was expecting, but in a good way. I heard it billed as ‘New Adult’ which I thought meant it would be about people in their 20s having moderate amounts of sex (more than is appropriate for YA) and swearing a lot. I guess I missed the boat on New Adult. Yet again, I struggle with my policy of not reading summaries from time to time. I was happy to see this book focusing on adults in their 40s but written with the same easy-reading style of a YA book. This is the perfect combination, in my opinion. I may have to seek out some more New Adult books. I loved the characters and it all seemed very real to me even though it was far-fetched beyond belief. I think I’m a convert.

Bee seemed a little unbelievable to me. She was fifteen but her actions seemed more like a nine or ten-year-old to me. I’m basing this off of my niece and maybe she’s mature for her age and Bee was spot on. Just my opinion. The other characters were wonderful and I loved them all. Bernadette was depressed, Elgin was oblivious, Audrey was a Stepford Wife, and Soo-Lin was waiting for her prince to come. They were all the people we know in some aspect of our lives and it was great to see them play out. At first, I thought Audrey was going to be a bit of a stereotype, but she grew on me as the book went on and in the end, I really liked her.

Bernadette was my favorite character. She would be a fun mom but it was also plain that she expected a lot of her daughter. Her balance of understanding and teaching was well done. The way the book was written showed that she was, on the inside, very different from how she projected herself on the outside. It was great to see how stark the difference is between what a person projects and what they mean to project. Those things can be very different.

Bernadette was easy to relate to. I think everyone feels they’re misrepresented at times or that their actions are misunderstood or misinterpreted. Her frustration was relatable. Bee gave her the benefit of the doubt, believing her and trusting in her, while others weren’t so gracious. It was interesting to see how she reacted to this.

Maria Semple
Photo via Goodreads

I loved hearing about the 20-Mile House. I thought that was fascinating and very cool to hear about the ways she used materials. I could see how infectious her work could be and why people were so interested in it. The story was wonderfully told, too, and I wanted that part to go on longer. But I understood it wasn’t a focus of the book, just some background.

Bee and boarding school was my least favorite plotline, especially with how it played out. I thought her going away was going to have something to do with Bernadette leaving, but it ended up being a dead-end and I don’t think it added anything to Bernadette nor Bee’s plot lines. I wish that part had been edited out.

My audiobook was narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite. She was amazing. I adored her. Her voices for everyone were great and her inflection made me want to turn this book on every chance I got. Maybe she made Bee sound a little younger than she is, but that’s minor. I would seek books narrated by her, it was that good. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the print version of this book as much as I enjoyed Wilhoite’s narration of it. I highly recommend the audio.

There was a lot of judging and presumptions in this book that led to bad decisions and a lot of drama. Audrey and Bernadette started out as enemies and ended up as allies. Soo-Lin was a sweet supporter at first and ended up being an annoying dreamer. Everyone had their own idea of Bernadette and what she needed and only one person was right. The book was about being who you needed and wanted to be, and not assuming things about other people, taking the time to ask them and talk about it instead.

Writer’s Takeaway: The letter format of this book was a great choice. I liked hearing the back-and-forth that went on and figuring out what happened in the time between letters. It also built tension because sometimes you didn’t know what happened and it would be a while before you found out more. I’m not sure it would work for my story, but it was great for this one and I think Semple applied it well.

This book was enjoyable. I originally gave it Four Stars, but I couldn’t think of anything I disliked about it as I wrote this review and changed my rating to Five 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:
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple | Blogging for a Good Book
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple | Reviewing Shelf
Where’d You Go, Bernadette | EmilyBooks
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple | Book Snob
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple | Larael’s Blog

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!