Category Archives: Book recommendation

What I Will Be Reading #42: Nonfiction variety pack

I’ve managed to collect several nonfiction books from a variety of sources to add to my TBR list. They include two science books, a book about your money, and a memoir. (As a side note, what’s with the super long titles for nonfiction books lately? Titles tends to be quite descriptive, and yet there’s always a giant subtitle to go along.) Here’s what I’ve found lately:

First off is The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little. Gretchen Rubin interviewed Little about happiness, habits and productivity, and a bit about her new book. The book is all about how our food resources will have to change with climate change. That fits into two of my interests – where our food comes from and climate change.

I also picked up an economics book from Gretchen Rubin. She interviewed Jill Schlesinger about her newest book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs. I consider myself a smart person, but I don’t really know what to do with my money, besides put it in the bank and maybe a 401k plan. The book sounded like a good place to start to learn about some better long-term options.

The memoir is Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge by Jill Fredston. I saw this on a Wandering Scientist summer reading post. It seems to be a memoir about a woman leading the life she wants to live. I’m at the age where I’m taking stock of my life and trying to decide what to do next. Do I continue in my current path, which I’m enjoying, or make changes? Reading about someone else who’s gone through that self-examination is helpful.

I’ll end on another science book. In this case, it’s The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser from a 99% Invisible interview with author. I wouldn’t think a book about the importance of sand would be interesting, but the interview certainly made it sound that way. Did you know that people are being killed for sand? It’s a limited resource in some areas and necessary for construction (it’s used in making cement). There are sand mafias! I need to read more.

And those are the newest books I’m adding to my TBR list. Anything sound good to you? Anything I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing a book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #41: Scifi and Fantasy

I’ve managed to acquire a number of new books that looked interesting, so I thought I’d share my new additions to my TBR list.

First up is an option for a read aloud (once we start school back up full time): The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty. I read a GeekMom post that reviewed books they had read recently, and this one stood out to me. It’s a middle grade book that promises lots of magical adventures and travels. Bronte’s parents have been killed by pirates, and now she must deliver a series of packages to her aunts, or her hometown will be destroyed. Might be the perfect way to start the school year off.

Keeping with the pirate theme, Tor had a post of their favorite fantasy pirate books. I’ve read a couple of them (like Stardust and Kushiel Legacy series), but many of the others sound like they’d be worth reading. Wired had a list of new fiction out this summer that had some excellent books on it. I’m most excited about Neal Stephenson’s new book, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.

Finally, I’ve got The Emissary by Yoko Tawada. I heard about this one from a What Should I Read Next podcast (where I hear about lots of great books), episode 187. It’s a post-apocalyptic Japanese book. I’m not sure I’ve had the chance to read Japanese post-apocalyptic fiction. I’m trying to read more books set outside the U.S., so this is an easy add to my TBR.

And those are the books for this time. Anything else I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing a book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #40: Not from The Modern Mrs. Darcy

I’ve been reading down my TBR list fairly quickly, which means I get to add new books to my list. Isn’t that how it works? Just to show that I can do get book recommendations from a variety of sources, none of these come from Modern Mrs. Darcy. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out her blog or podcast, you totally should. She’s a great source for a variety of books.

Let’s start with a recommendation from a friend – I was talking books with another homeschooling mom, and she recommended anything by Elly Griffiths. The Ruth Galloway series is about an archeologist who solves mysteries. I’m not huge into mysteries, but I do like a strong female protagonist and I like scientists. I’m willing to try it. The first book in the series is The Crossing Places.

The next addition is Barbara Kingsolver’s newest book – Unsheltered. I will read it without knowing anything about it, just because it’s by Kingsolver. But, if you need more information, the book is about two families who live in the same house, a century apart. We read about the troubles the families have. As a bonus, it will give me a U in my alphabet reading challenge.

Then, I’ll finish with two nonfiction books. First, I found a book on breast cancer called Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer by Catherine Guthrie from a Last Word on Nothing post. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, I’m always interested in how other people have dealt with the diagnosis. Guthrie was also diagnosed before age 40, so she has a similar experience to me. Finally, a homeschooling book to finish things off. I’d like to read The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life Julie Bogart. I saw this on a Simple Homeschool post about new books. Bogart shares her experiences graduating five homeschooled kids. My kids are into middle school and high school, and I like to read success stories for reinforcement.

And those are the books I’m adding to my reading list. Anything else I should add?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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What I Will Be Reading #39: The Modern Mrs. Darcy Additions

I’ve been working hard at reducing my TBR list, which means it’s time to add some new books to it. Today, I’m going to put together all the books that have caught my eye (or ear) either reading the Modern Mrs. Darcy or listening to What Should I Read Next, her podcast.

For my Q author this year, Anne Bogel gave me a new option. Instead of reading Amanda Quick, I’m going to switch things up and read something by Anna Quindlen. Anne Bogel mentioned Quindlen on episode 151 of What Should I Read Next.

Beartown is another book I’m adding from the podcast. Anne has mentioned it multiple times. I’m adding it because it’s about playing hockey in a small town. I play hockey in an adult beer league, but I’m not sure I’ve read a book about hockey. This book sounds interesting enough to fill that gap.

The latest episode I listened two have me two books. The The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan because it’s a book about books, one of my favorite subgenre. The second book is Secondborn, by Amy A. BartolThis is the first book in a series based around the premise that the first-born child gets everything. The second born child goes into service for the government. This book is told from the point of view of the second child.

Finally, a book from the website. It’s another book about books, but this time it’s a nonfiction book. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is all about a Scottish bookseller who lives in Wigtown, selling books to anyone who stops by.

And those are my new books this week. Anything else I should add to my reading list?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will be Reading #38: For the Younger Audiences

First off, I’m adding Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi to my list, the first book in a new YA series. I like the interesting magic and West African setting. I’m trying to read more books set outside the U.S. and this would definitely fit the bill. It was reviewed on a books episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

The next three books came from a friend who is a school librarian. We traded book recommendations at a gymnastics meet (our daughters compete together). She recommended The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock as a middle grade book set in the Middle Ages. The main character is a bit different from the other in the village, which sets him apart. He gets taken around Europe, looking for relics of St. Peter, which makes it a bit of a treasure hunt.

She also recommended Front Desk by Kelly Yang. The book is set in a motel and touches on immigration issues. That’s a tricky issue to discuss with kids, but the setting makes it a more natural fit.

Finally, there’s Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This is a WWII book told from the perspective of four characters whose stories slowly intertwine.

Anything sound good to you?

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Class suggested reading list

I am an adjunct at a nearby college and I usually teach 60-80 students. Trying to learn everyone’s name is difficult, but something I try to do. I find it works to make a seating chart (since everyone sits in the same seat). To strike up a conversation with everyone, I ask them to recommend a book to me. It serves two purposes – it’s a good conversation starter because nearly everyone can come up with a book, and I get new books for my TBR list. All good.

So, here’s the book recommendations from my fall geography class. All links go to my reviews (if I have one).

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Best and Worst of 2018

I finally finished writing up 2018’s books, so it’s time to look back on the best and worst of the year. I’m going to list all the reviews I tagged as “highly recommended” and put them in a bit of logical order. Apparently I didn’t love any fiction books this year, but I only didn’t finish one book this year so it evens out. Links go back to my original review.

Short fiction:

The Tea Dragon Society is a short graphic novel. The images and the story are both sweet and gentle and I want a tea dragon for myself.

The Smoke Job was a fun short story about a dragon thief and a vampire trying to trap the dragon.

All the Colors You Thought Were Kings is another short story, but this time about space opera and an assassination attempt. It’s available free online, so if you’re into space opera, you should check it out.

Tattoo is a novella whose premise is your life is tattooed on your body. When someone shows up without tattoos, she forms the start of a new religion. A quick read that sticks with you and makes you think what would show up in your tattoos.

Here’s the Deal is another novella. This one is a humorous retelling of Exodus (the book of the Bible), emphasis on the humor. Having grown up in a strongly Christian family and moved away from the faith, I loved the irreverent take on the Bible.

Middle grade or YA:

Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series. I loved the first book (Scythe), and the second didn’t disappoint. We get some character growth and a major confrontation between the good guys and the bad guys. I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a fun middle grade romp through books and puzzles

Scifi/fantasy:

Skin Game is currently the last book in the Dresden Files. I love the whole series – the big battles, Dresden’s moral challenges, the side characters. Such a great urban fantasy series.

The Broken Earth trilogy duly deserved the Hugo awards three years in a row. I liked the first two slightly better than the last one, but I read them all in a month, which is high marks for me. It’s all about life in a geologically unstable Earth with some people who can control geological energy.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is my favorite Memoir of Lady Trent book so far. They journey to a Middle Eastern-equivalent country and add a bit of romance and archeology to the ongoing biology of dragons.

Didn’t finish:

The only book I didn’t finish was a book of short stories, Dancing After Hours, recommended by a friend that I just found boring and depressing. I don’t read to be depressed by humanity. There’s enough of that in real life.

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