This was one of those weeks that I just drudged through…I had a cold, which was my first since the summer of 2019. It wasn’t a bad cold, but I have forgotten how to be sick. I kept wishing we could go back in time to when it was totally acceptable to “take to your bed” at the first sniffle. Fortunately, the literal clouds faded at the end of the week and we are having a lovely weekend. I’m over my cold, but not beset with allergies. But I have meds, so all is good.
I am working on trying to plan our summer vacation. At this point, I’m not even completely sure where we are going to go. I guess that is the first thing I have to pin down. One of my pandemic coping practices was planning road trips. Now that I actually have to plan a road trip, I seem to have lost my mojo!
I had a really good reading week and I had hoped to share a few more books with you all today, but my friend stopped by so I could meet (and cuddle with) her new Boston Terrier, so I’ll have to finish two of my current reads tonight or tomorrow and share them with you next week.
And, with that…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:
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Date finished: April 20, 2022
Star rating: 5 stars!
have a confession: I checked this book out of the library multiple times and never got to it. Then, it was selected for a discussion and I knew it was time. Now, I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.
This book is phenomenal and it’s one that I don’t think gets the attention it deserves (even if it did win the Pulitzer). Erdrich takes something in history that I am guessing very few people know about: the Termination Act of 1953. In one sense, this book is very much in the tradition of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but it is also so much more.
Erdrich brings to life the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. The people who populate this community are fascinating and relatable. I was warned ahead of time that there are a lot of characters here and I prepared by printing out a list of all the characters (google it). While the cast of characters is large, I found I didn’t need the list as I got to know each individual.
I have never been disappointed in a Louise Erdrich, but this is a cut above the rest and in my top tier, along with The Sentence. I can’t recommend this one enough!
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Date finished: April 22, 2022
Star rating: 3.5 stars
This is the epitome of a popcorn thriller–once you start, you can’t stop. But, once you are done, you just sort of move on to something else. Don’t get me wrong, popcorn thrillers definitely have their place and this one was just what I needed after finishing a heavier, 5-star book.
This gothic-ish thriller is about kids growing up in a cult and find me someone who doesn’t want to read that! Told through 3 different characters, I found this story sufficiently creepy and solidly crafted. I did find the plot a tad bit predictable, but it didn’t keep me from turning the pages. The real star of this show is the house, which is sort of the dark, beating heart of the novel.
My one complaint is that I didn’t find the ending fulfilling. I know there is a sequel coming and the end does set that up, but I just felt the book could have concluded with a bang, not a knock.
If you need a book to cure a reading hangover, one to take on a plane, or one to just escape with, this would be a good candidate.
Last week, I started reading:
- The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
Last week, I continued to read:
- Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
- Alone in Wonderland by Christine Reed
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie