Well, so far, it doesn’t seem as though my goal to be less sporadic in my Top Ten Tuesday participation is really tracking… but I’m back with an important installment today: My 10 Most Anticipated Books of the Second Half of 2020. This was last week’s topic, but I was a part of a blog tour scheduled for the same day, so I couldn’t participate. I still really wanted to share these amazing-looking books with you — two of which come out today! Get your TBRs ready!
The description of The Lightest Object in the Universe had me at “after a global economic collapse and failure of the electrical grid.” There’s no denying that I love a post-apocalyptic story! Today, I’m really excited to be a part of the Algonquin Books blog tour celebrating the paperback release of Kimi Eisele’s novel.
This post-apocalyptic journey starts like so many others — the world has imploded because of a series of horrible events — but then quickly veers off into a surprisingly pleasant direction of its own. Beatrix is a fair trade advocate, who just traveled for several weeks to get back home from an international work trip to California, only to find her roommates have left for greener pastures. Carson, is a former history teacher turned principal living on the east coast, who decides when things get bad he’s going to take a long walk. Specifically, to find Beatrix. They randomly met in the before and made an instant connection, and his hope of seeing her again propels him across the country on foot.
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A Fletcher was a book that caught my attention primarily because of the title. I love a good dsytopian/post-apocalyptic novel. I also love dogs. Even though this book came out over a year ago, I only just started hearing about it everywhere, and when I was recently able to get an inexpensive digital copy, I scooped it right up.
Right at the upfront, the book kindly requests that you refrain from sharing plot points that may spoil the reading experience for others, so I will diligently do my best to avoid them. It’s the story of Griz, who lives on an island with his family in what is now, essentially, an empty world. A “Gelding” occurred in which humanity becomes mostly sterile, and the population has dwindled to an absurdly small percentage of its current number. Though he hasn’t seen much of the world, Griz has heard stories about it from his parents. Despite his inexperience off the island, when a visitor takes something from Griz, he doesn’t hesitate to leave his family and his home behind to get it back.
Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies has been on my radar for what feels like forever — I’ve owned a copy for at least five years now. But I didn’t read it until recently, and I can’t believe I didn’t pick it up sooner. Alvarez’s novel is based on the true story of three sisters who were murdered in 1960s Dominican Republic, for their part in a plot to overthrow the government.
The story follows all four Mirabal sisters during the 50s and 60s as well as the one who was not murdered in the present (in this case, the 90s). Despite being close in age and obviously growing up in the same household, their very different personalities. Each shines through in her section. Alas, they come together in the end with the goal of bringing down their country’s dictator, Trujillo. They become involved in the resistance and collectively the sisters become known as “las mariposas,” or “the butterflies.”
I really enjoy Katherine Center’s stories. I was a huge fan of How to Walk Away — like finishing-it-in-my-car-before-work huge — and I’m glad to say this one did not disappoint. From what I’ve seen, her novels revolve around a woman who isn’t exactly what you would expect. In Things You Save in a Fire, the main character Cassie is a female firefighter.
She’s tough as nails and extremely career-oriented. Though she’s been estranged from her mother since she was a kid, Cassie softens just a little bit, and ends up agreeing to move across the country to live with her in Boston when her mom reveals she’s having some health issues. At the new firehouse, Cassie is the only woman. As seasoned as she is, Cassie must still constantly prove her worth against the rookie, and while he has no actual experience, he is a guy and therefore more welcome in the old-school environment.
I’m sure many of you have read Andy Weir’s popular novel The Martian. For me, it was a rare re-read. I figured re-reading a book I loved would be a perfect way to guide me gently back into my regular reading life, and I was right. I knew exactly what to expect from Mark Watney and his time on Mars. It was just what I needed.
For those of you who haven’t read The Martian (or seen the movie, which is basically just as good, though a touch different, particularly at the end), I’ll give you a brief synopsis. A crew of astronauts is hanging out on Mars when an unexpected storm arrives, causing them to evacuate. During the evacuation, a man named Mark Watney is separated from the rest of the crew and left on Mars alone. He has to do what he can to survive until help can arrive… hopefully.
Wow! Has it been a while since I’ve sat down to write a book review (and recipe!), but here I am, and I’m excited. I hope you are too 🙂
I actually read Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here last year. It was the first book I read after Henry was born, when I was transitioning into all e-books all the time (much easier one-handed and in the dark, with a sleeping baby), and the last book I read before 2020 showed up. I’ve apparently been a low-key Kevin Wilson fan for a while now — check out my review of Perfect Little World — and though I’ve enjoyed them all, this was by far my favorite.
His style is typically quirky, and this novel was no exception. It follows twenty-something Lillian, who feels like her life is going nowhere until her boarding school roommate Madison reaches out and asks her to move in and be a caretaker for her stepchildren. Knowing nothing about children, she agrees.
Wow, I cannot believe I haven’t done a Show Us Your Books since October of last year! In that time, I’ve had a baby, announced a comeback, and done just a little bit of reading. I’m finally getting back into the swing of things and thought a quick recap of my 2020 reading was the perfect way to re-kick off the blog—for real this time. From here on out, expect a post every Tuesday, and maybe on occasion, a little more often. (If you subscribe to my newsletter, I’ll be popping into your inbox just once a month.)
Hi again. You may wonder where I’ve been after my big “I’m back” announcement earlier this year. Or, if you’re a mom, you may have guessed that motherhood got the best of me — you’d be right.
Being a mom is honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve always been good at the things I set out to accomplish. I do a rockstar job everyday when I go to work. I’ve worked really hard to make this blog what it is today, and almost 4 years from when I started it, it’s still going. I like feeling competent and motherhood is somewhere I have almost never felt competent. Despite all the prep I did before our son was born (and believe me, I prepped like I’ve never prepped before!), once we left the safety of the hospital, I felt like I was barely treading water for weeks…and even sometimes to this day.
Before I continue, I want to just say that I know this is not a mom blog. I don’t intend this to become a mom blog. As always, The Hungry Bookworm will continue to focus on food and books. (Yes, that may mean kids’ books and kid-friendly recipes in the future, but still food and books, I promise.) But I wanted to lay this all out there, just so you know I wasn’t slacking on the blog — I still really love doing it, and have absolutely missed devoting time to my passions these past several months — and also to shed some light on the realities of new motherhood.
It’s not all cuddles and smiles and cuteness. It is definitely that, but it’s also sleepless nights and crippling anxiety and having no idea what’s going on even though you’re trying your best. Sure, no one says having kids is easy, but sometimes they gloss over the truth when talking to first time moms. I wasn’t hidden from the nitty-gritty of everyday parenting, but what was in store for me was nothing I was prepared for. As hard as this is to write, I wanted to share what I’ve been through. If it helps someone, it’s worth it. And then, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled books-and-food programming (in about a month or so…)
Settle in, this is kind of long.