I remember when Golden State was offered up as a Book of the Month selection earlier this year. I didn’t choose it, since my friend Deanna did (and we like to share books), but then I sort of forgot about it again until I saw it on my library’s new releases shelf recently. I scooped it up and asked her if she wanted to do a buddy read. Of course, she immediately said yes. It was the first buddy read experience for both of us, and honestly, it couldn’t have gone better! It also helped that the story was pretty much a page-turner from beginning to end.
Ben H. Winters’s novel takes place in a dystopian future in a California that is now separated from the rest of the country, where residents retreated when lies overtook the world as they knew it. The Golden State is its own nation where truth is valued above all else and the primary functions of society revolve around maintaining the Objectively So. Unlike in the movie The Invention of Lying, lying is definitely possible — it’s just punishable.
This last month ended up being another successful reading month (though not so much for cooking and recipes… we’ll get there!). I gobbled up three 4-star reads and am currently working my way through a library stack. I have a vacation coming up next week, and although I’m traveling for some of it and working on the nursery for another some of it, I’m hoping to sneak some extra reading in as well! Wish me luck 🙂
I’m happy to report that I definitely feel back on track with my reading and was able to finish six books over the last month, including one re-read (a real rarity)! I have quite a few have-to-read books coming up — complete with deadlines — so I’m glad things are moving along nicely.
I excitedly picked Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie as my Book of the Month in March, but since life gets in the way, I didn’t get a chance to read it until recently. I was so looking forward to it that I chose it as a part of a reading challenge I’m doing with Deanna (who you’ll remember from Gilmore week) now that she’s moved away. It fit perfectly in the “book with a one word title” category.
Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, where she works at a newspaper. After a recent breakup with her long-term white boyfriend, she’s struggling to cope in a healthy way. She can’t concentrate on her job, and her “getting back out there” has disastrous results.
I recently joined a group of women in my town who were interested in starting a book club. With my other local book club disbanded (due to most of the members moving away), I was excited to have the opportunity to join another, and to be one of the founding members! The woman who brought us all together, Alissa, chose our first book, The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.
My Meetup-based book club really enjoyed Lisa See’s previous novel The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lanewhen we read it last year, so I was looking forward to this one as well! Unfortunately, most of us didn’t finish it in time for the discussion (including me), but I made sure to finish it up afterward. I thought the story was very intriguing.
As you may recall, Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter was one of my favorite books the year I read it. So, naturally, when I heard he was releasing a new similarly thrilling sci-fi novel, I was looking forward to it. I was lucky enough to get a copy of Recursionthrough NetGalley before its release (though it’s available now; it came out June 11th). And, most importantly, I am so happy to report it lived up to my high expectations!
Just like with Dark Matter, it’s hard to describe Recursion without giving too much away. But here’s what I can tell you: Barry Sutton is a New York City cop who stumbles into an investigation on something called False Memory Syndrome, in which those affected suddenly have a whole set of real, vivid memories from another lifetime; one they haven’t actually lived. Helena Smith is a researcher obsessed with memory. She has dedicated her life to trying to preserve those memories most precious to us, so they never get lost.
Hello again! For those of you who are avid followers of my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been missing these past few months… and you would be right. My posts have been few and far between, and there are a couple reasons for that:
I went through a period of AMAZING books and then abruptly hit a whole lot of lackluster reads. I started slogging through these 3-star books, missing the glory days of back-to-back-to-back 4- and 5-star reads. And it’s hard to blog about books you’re not interested in, especially when they don’t have any food mentions (which are sort of integral to most of my posts…)
I found out I’m pregnant. Basically right after SUYB April (the last one I posted), my husband and I got the news and it was a lot to take in. We’re both super excited — and, at this point, have had some time to process and tell people — but in the beginning, I could not concentrate on books. There were a bajillion thoughts running through my head constantly. I was always tired (I kept falling asleep with a book in my lap… or on my face), and I was often nauseated, which made it hard to read (or cook). When I did dive into a book, it was usually a pregnancy-related one, and since I had to keep it all a secret, I could hardly post about those reads. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, here’s what our little announcement looked like:
And, and now that I’m safely in the second trimester, I’m starting to feel much better and am getting back into reading (and cooking). So yay! Without further ado, let’s get into a long-awaited Show Us Your Books!
Valencia and Valentine is a contemporary fiction debut from Suzy Krause that came out just a few days ago. The novel is described as quirky and charming and perfect for fans of Maria Semple, Graeme Simsion, Fredrik Backman and even Gail Honeyman — all of whom I’ve enjoyed. Naturally, with those comparisons, I was excited to have the opportunity to join the blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours!
Ana Johns’ debut novel The Woman in the White Kimono is historical fiction inspired by true stories. It spans decades and continents, taking place in post-WWII Japan and the modern-day United States. I was intrigued by the description and excited to participate in this blog tour.
In the late 1950s in Japan, Naoko has been promised to the son of her father’s business associate but she is in love with another—an American sailor. Though she attempts to get their approval of their relationship, Naoko knows it would bring shame on the family if she decided to marry him. Still, she can’t help but follow her heart. Will the consequences of her decision be something she can live with?
For those of you who don’t know—and I didn’t—Barbara Pym was an English novelist, popular in the 1950s for her social comedies. She is the fifth woman Laura Shapiro discusses in What She Ate, and as such, this is the fifth post in my series about the nonfiction book about food.
Though her novels were not considered highbrow, they developed quite a following and have a beloved place in English culture. Pym wrote about relationships, about village life, and often about the church. She also included a lot of food in her writing, certainly mentioning the bad but more often celebrating the good of English cooking (when no one else was really talking about its positives).