Happy May, everyone! May is normally a stressful month for me. Most of this is due to the fact that we are nearing the end of the school year and, at least at the school the kids used to attend, all the events tended to be in May. Under normal circumstances, it is slightly less busy in the public school system, but there are still a fair amount of end-of-year activities. This year, however, is not normal. I think we’re just trying to get to make it to June 17th (the last day of school).
The big event was Pat’s birthday, and it was a big one! He’s reached half a century. Of course, our celebrations were pretty low key. The NFL draft was going on, so he was able to enjoy that. I offered up every one of meals I thought might qualify as his favorite, but he wanted to cook his own meal so he made us Swedish Meatballs. We did end up buying a Tres Leches cake and the kids loved it. I’ll have to figure out a recipe because the kids have already requested it for their birthdays. (Or, I guess, I could just buy one again).
This coming Thursday I’ll be 2 weeks past my 2nd dose and “fully immune.” I doubt that will change my life much at this point, but it is another level of reassurance. I am hoping that kids, at least 12 an up, will be able to be vaccinated soon. Once Lillie is fully vaccinated, I’ll probably take her down to Arizona to see my Dad (in the middle of summer, when it is oh-so-pleasant in Tucson. Oh well, maybe we’ll get to see a monsoon).
Now, onto the books!
As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.
Last week, I finished reading:
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
(3 stars, Goodreads Review)
I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Weiner’s since I read her first book right after it was released and I’ve read all of her books since then. While she calls herself a chick lit writer, I’ve always felt that she sells herself short and that her books are deeper than that term would apply.
That being said, I can’t say that I’ve loved all of her books–I may have liked them all, but not loved them all. Unfortunately, this one definitely falls more into the “like” category. It’s noticeably fluffier than most of her other books, which I suppose is fine if that is what you are looking for. This is clearly meant to be a beach read and I would say it falls into that category. However, as a Weiner fan, I was expecting more.
My other issue here was the mystery element. I love a good mystery novel–in fact, it is probably my preferred genre right now. Because of that, I may have had set my expectations too high here. Weiner isn’t a mystery writer, but rather a writer who is writing a mystery. I just didn’t feel like the mystery plot worked here and it ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied.
Would I still recommend Jennifer Weiner? Of course! I didn’t hate this book–I just felt it fell short of her usual work. I just don’t know if I would recommend this particular title.
Oh Danny Boy (Molly Murphy #5) by Rhys Bowen
(3.5 stars, no Goodreads review)
I’ve been enjoying the Molly Murphy series, although I have to admit that it is among my lighter reading. This book is very much along the lines of the previous books and a good addition to the series.
That being said, there were a few things that bothered me. There is, um, a certain plot point that just seems weirdly unnecessary, especially in how it stands at the end of the book (if you’ve read the book, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). I truly don’t know why this feature was even in this book other than, maybe, to lengthen the story. I also found the set up of the book, Molly’s sometime love interest, in jail just a bit too eye-rolly.
I didn’t NOT enjoy this book, but I do think I’m going to give Molly Murphy a little rest. I completely intend to go back to this series, but I’d like to finish up a couple of the other series I’m reading at the moment first. Unfortunately, Molly stands tall on her own, but she’s a little dwarfed by the likes of Armand Gamache and Cork O’Connor.
This week, I started:
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
This is for one of my in-person (or, more accurately, on-zoom) book clubs. That particular book club has some very interesting selections for the year and this one is no exception. It tells the story of Wyatt and Jonas, born identical twin boys. However, almost from infancy, it was apparent that Wyatt’s gender didn’t match his body.
There is a lot with this book and I’m really interesting in reading how the family dynamics play out as Nicole (formerly Wyatt) comes into her own. The book is written in a very journalistic style, which doesn’t actually suit my interest in it well, but at least it is readable.
Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) by B.B. Alston (audiobook, narrated by Imani Parks)
I’m not even sure I should add this here. My daughter recently read this book in her class book club and absolutely loved it. Then I heard it being praised on a number of book podcasts, so I decided to get the audiobook with my next Libro credit.
As soon as I got it, my daughter wanted me to play it (even though I’m still working through Caste). So I started it…and then she walked out of the room. I thought she wanted to listen to it with me, but apparently not! So, I started it…but I probably won’t go back to it until I finish Caste.
A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #4) by Louise Penny
Ah, back to Three Pines. At least I assume so–I only started this book last night and Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are at some lodge, hoping for a relaxing holiday but surrounded by spoiled rich people.
I do really love this series and I’ve heard that this is the book where the series gets good (according to the people who, unlike me, didn’t like the earlier books). As I said, I’m barely into it so I have no opinions yet, but I am so glad to be reading another Louise Penny. I also need to catch up to a friend who really needs to talk about the 10th book with someone!
I’m still reading:
Caste: The Origin of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (audio)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug
Monument by Natasha Trethewey