Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Monday...What are you Reading?

What am I reading?   Sheila from Book Journey asks this question every Monday, in her   "It's Monday, What are  you Reading" meme.

I am having trouble this week---or I am IN trouble this week.
I have been chosen as a book giver for World Book Night, and I chose the book "Mudbound" by Hillary Jordan.  Then a few days after I was chosen my daughter-in-law informed me that I was supposed to choose a book I had already read and wanted to share.   HA!  Oops.  (please don't tell on me), because,
I'm reading it now!!

So, for this week:

Mudbound---I just started it and I'm loving it. So, I will have no problem sharing my love of  this book.

Goodreads says:
In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm--a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not--charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still."    
  I am doing a monthly read-along with Jill at Fizzy Thoughts, and we are doing the classic,  "Little Women".  (anyone can do this read along---just check out her blog).   I have read Little Women  2 or 3 times in the past, so why---WHY is it such a struggle this time?  I always thought I loved the book.  But...I.  Am. Struggling.  Ugh.   I don't know what to say about it.  But I'll carry on.  (I'll start to feel the feeling again, won't I?  Or have I gone beyond wanting to be Jo?  Loving sweet little sickly Beth and annoying Amy? ) Stay tuned.      
I am listening to  Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingslover.  Just listened this morning on my walk.  And rudely the Handyman wanted to talk to me.  He never wants to talk when we walk in the morning.  We roll out of bed and just walk.  We talk later. Anyway---I am loving this audio book.  It's a great story and I'm almost done.  I'll need another audio book soon.   from Goodreads: Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest        
For my library book club I am supposed to be reading this,  The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  I love her. She's funny and smart and a great writer.  Everyone loves her.  Everyone had glowing reviews for this book--at least the people whose opinions I trust.  So.... I am feeling badly that it is just  so-so for me. I hope it's just  my mood, because I so want to love this one.   from Goodreads: The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoe making and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.

From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk.

This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker's Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come

So, in the midst of my needing to read and finish up all 4 of these great books---what do I do?  I pick up the Newberry Award Book  "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead yesterday afternoon.
It's very good.  I know I'll finish this one first!

From Goodreads:
Winner of the 2010 John Newbery Medal

Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.

I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late

And that is what I'm reading this week.


Heather said...

I wasn't a big fan of The Shoemaker's Wife either.

Susan Lindquist said...

I am amazed at the number of books you go through in a week! And these look to be a good crop ... am particularly drawn to Mudbound. Right now, I'm reading Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and I'm listening to The Memory Keeper's Daughter audio. Still plugging away at David Copperfield too ... a chapter or two every night before bed.

... and I really liked The Shoemaker's Daughter. It is what it is, though. It has its foot firmly in the chick lit genre - sorry, had to be punny.

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