All of you in the Northern Hemisphere…have you gotten summer yet? Because I’m still waiting for it in the Pacific Northwest. I do remember June being cooler and wetter when I was a kid, but it has been dry and warm for several years…until this year. I keep chanting to myself, “We need the rain…we need the rain…” (and we do) but it is starting to get to be too much. And I’m not crazy. It was NOT this wet and cold when I was a kid. In fact, this is the wettest June we’ve had since 1940!
I am finding ways to rebel against Mother Nature. I’m refusing to wear socks, unless I have my tennis shoes on. I’m also sending my husband out in the rain tonight to grill our dinner. He says he doesn’t mind, but we’ll see. He’s from the Seattle area, while I’m from Oregon, so I think his rain tolerance is a bit higher than mine.
We are finally recovered from Covid and, man, I do NOT want to do that again! Even though I had a “mild” case, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that sick from a respiratory bug before. Folks, please don’t become complacent! Pretending that the pandemic is over (or never existed) is not going to get us out of this mess!
Anyway, most of my week was spent trying to catch up on stuff after a week of being sick. This coming week is the kids’ last week of school, although it sounds like last week was the last week of actual learning stuff. My daughter was able to keep up with most of her classes online in the week she was gone, so she doesn’t have anything to catch up on this coming week. My son, as far as I know, is also all caught up–or as much as anyone is in his class. When he went back to school after his isolation, about half his class was out isolating as well. (Please see note above about not becoming complacent).
So, not much more to report from our life besides that, so 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:
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Date finished: June 6, 2022
Star rating: 4 stars
This book sat on my TBR bookshelf for an embarrassingly long time. The reason (or maybe excuse is a better word) is that I had selected it from Book of the Month way back when without knowing it was a Young Adult title. Young adult tends not to work for me and once I learned about the target audience, my interest waned.
But, as it is summer and I am doing the Big Books of Summer Challenge, I decided to give it a try and I was very pleasantly surprised! There are a lot of things going for this book. I know next to nothing about Franco’s Spain, so learning about a different historical period was a big plus. Sepetys did a phenomenal job creating the world and the time. I did really enjoy the characters and thought they were fairly complex. Sepetys excels at withholding information until just the right moment so you are totally drawn in and desperate to learn more.
The only part that didn’t quite work for me was the section when the characters were adults. To me, they weren’t actual adults but what not-yet-adults think adults are. The story in that section was interesting and fitting, but the characters just seemed unrealistic.
Overall, though, this was a great read and I may have to break my YA-moratorium for Ruth Sepetys in the future.
The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Date finished: June 9, 2022
Star rating: 3.5 stars
Do you remember that scene from The Brady Bunch where Bobby does his laundry when no one is home, puts in an entire box of detergent, and floods the house with suds? That is a very conservative illustration of how soapy this book is.
Honestly, if I recounted every plot thread here–including one that I have seen at least twice in honest-to-God SOAP OPERAS–your mind might just combust. The absolute weirdest part of it all is that…it actually works.
Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely vital that you recognize this book for what it is: a soap opera on paper (or e-ink, or in audio…however you choose to consume it). If you take any part of this book seriously, this book will not work for you. However, if you take this as pure guilty entertainment, you may just be surprised.
I was about to give this 4 stars (which, honestly, is as high as I can go with this sort of book), but there were a few things that led me to knock half a star off. There is one serious-ish storyline that was taken from Weiner’s own life (no, not the flip flops) that isn’t given the due it really needs. There is also one particular storyline (the one that I’ve seen in actual soap operas) that ends up being completely dropped without any resolution.
I know soapy stories are not for everyone. They aren’t always for me, but this one just worked for summer reading and one I would recommend to anyone who knows not to take it too seriously.
Last week, I started reading:
- Vermillion Drift (Cork O’Connor #10) by William Kent Krueger
- The Nowhere Place by Natasha Bell