Showing posts from January, 2015

Joy Street by Laura Foley

Title:Joy Street
Author: Laura Foley

Genre: Poetry (Relationships / LGBTQ / Motherhood / Parents / On Writing)
Publisher/Publication Date: Headmistress Press (7/8/2014)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: More than thirty brief, but powerful, poems on love, life, everyday joy and everyday loss.

Do I like the cover?: I'm not sure -- it captures some of the feel of the volume, but just isn't a favorite of mine.

I'm reminded of...: Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Yuko Taniguchi

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy.

Why did I get this book?: I like poetry now and then, and poetry is good for me right now.

Review: This slender collection of poems -- about 33 -- is a deceptively quick read, but Foley's pieces invite rereading and ruminating. In plain, straightforward language, Foley shares the joy of partnership and everyday bliss, the bite of remembered pain, the anxiety of social situations.

I have complicated feelings about poetry: I like the idea…

From the Fifteenth District by Mavis Gallant

Title:From the Fifteenth District
Author: Mavis Gallant

Genre: Fiction (Short Stories / Europe / World War II / Italy / France / Marriage / Ex-Pats)
Publisher/Publication Date:
Source:France Book Tours

Rating: Liked a good deal.
Did I finish?: Yes.
One-sentence summary: Nine short stories of individuals outside of their own communities -- due to war, love, work, or health -- who find their identities challenged

Do I like the cover?: I do --I'm a sucker for this kind of styling.

I'm reminded of...: A.S. Byatt, Tessa Hadley, Katherine Mansfield

First line: In the south of France, in the business room of a hotel quite near ot the house where Katherine Mansfield (whom no one in this hotel had ever heard of) was writing "The Daughters of the Late Colonel," Netta Asher's father announced that there would never be a man-made catastrophe in Europe again., from 'The Moslem Wife'

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy.

Why did I get this book?: I'm a big Gallant fan.


2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

This is one of my favorite reading challenges, mostly because hist fic is among my favorite genres, and until 2014, was a challenge I easily beat. (Thus, I suppose, negating the "challenge" part of it, but whatever.)

This year the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is being hosted at Passages to the Past!

I'm going to commit to Renaissance Reader - 10 books since my goal is to read 25 books this year. Here's hoping I can reach both goals!

Books Read

Jeannine Atkins, Little Woman in Blue
Kate Forsyth, The Wild Girl
Anna Freeman, The Fair Fight
C.W. Gortner, Mademoiselle Chanel
Rashad Harrison, The Abduction of Smith and Smith
Marci Jefferson, Enchantress of Paris
Gregory Maguire, After Alice
David Morrell, Inspector of the Dead
Alex Myers, Revolutionary
Nuala O’Connor, Miss Emily
Sophie Perinot, M├ędicis Daughter
Laura Purcell, Mistress of the Court
Donna Thorland, Mistress Firebrand
Stephanie Thornton, The Conqueror's Wife
Various, A Year of Ravens
Kris Waldher…

Weekend reads and Moby Dick...

We're about to get on the road for a little weekend getaway, the first since having our Little Reader.

We're heading to New Bedford on the Cape for the 19th annual Moby Dick Marathon, hosted by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (You might recall that my wife adores Moby Dick; it's our nursery theme and for our babymoon, we went to Arrowhead where Melville wrote the book.)

Needless to say, my wife is over the moon. We're signed up to be back up readers should one of the scheduled readers bail (fingers crossed!) We've got Little Reader covered, too: lots of nautical-themed clothes for the weekend, and two board books inspired by Moby Dick.

My weekend read is essentially Moby Dick although I am bringing Alex Myers' Revolutionary in case!  What are you reading this weekend?

Be sure to check out my top ten reads of 2014 and let me know what yours were!

Top Ten Reads of 2014

And here's my legit top ten reads for 2014!

I read about 50 books for 2014, which is a huge drop from my typical year (almost by half!). Pregnancy, and the resulting baby, are to blame, and while I'm a little disappointed, the aforementioned baby -- our Little Reader -- is so frickin' cute, I kind of can't care.

I still walked away with some stellar reads for 2014, and once again, had a challenging time identifying the top ten of this year.  In the end, I picked the books I still talk about obsessively, that I purchased (for myself and/or others), and that I want to reread or force others to read.

Seven of the ten novels are historical fiction. Four are penned by men and two are collaborative efforts, which is fascinating -- I've never had novels with multiple authors make my top ten before, and now two have! In terms of other diversity, I did badly, and it's a 2015 goal of mine to read more authors of color and non-US/UK/CA-based authors.

Here they are!

Sally B…