Sunday, May 3, 2015

For the Record: April 2015

April has been a very strange month.  We moved out of the rental we'd been living in for the last two years, moved the majority of our belongings into storage, and have been living in a vacation rental all month...trying desperately to get our house finished and signed off so that we can move in before we are actually homeless.  It has been an odd combination of stressful and relaxing. We are living out of suitcases. We are driving farther to work and school every day. We don't have our cat with us (not allowed in the rental).  And yet, we are right by the beach (wonderful regardless of my general feelings about the ocean) which makes for a terrific excuse to relax and read.  We should be able to move back home before the end of May, and regardless of how nice the beach is, home will be infinitely nicer.



6 Books Read in April: [30 books year-to-date]

3 Nonfiction:
  - Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern (3.5) This was an enjoyable, yet fairly standard, approach to organizing.  I'm a pretty organized person but have trouble keeping everything picked up, so the suggestion I appreciated most was to work with your habits rather than trying to change your habits.
  - The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson (5) What an incredible book. I feel like this filled in so many holes in my knowledge of American History, and expanded my understanding of race relations. Growing up in an area and family where race wasn't an issue, I have some catching up to do.
  - The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Michael Booth (4) Half travel memoir and half social history, this was a fantastic way to get an overview of the different Nordic cultures. I was disappointed that it was light on Norway, which is where my dad's family is from, but otherwise loved the book.

1 Classic:
  - The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (3) Read this for book club, which is a good thing because I wouldn't have finished it otherwise. I paused after 100 pages to read the SparkNotes, which made the rest of the book much more enjoyable.  I can see why it was innovative, but didn't enjoy it.

2 Adult Fiction:
  - Funny Girl, Nick Hornby (4) So different from other Nick Hornby books I've read, and yet I still enjoyed it so much. I can't say I liked the characters, but I liked that Hornby let them be who they were, and enjoyed how he told a story that could have been so two-dimensional.
  - The New and Improved Romie Futch, Julia Elliott (4) Review copy from Powell's Books/Tin House, this was like nothing I've read before. Irreverent, Southern, modern, and so entertaining.

          


2 Current Reads:

  - Our Endless Numbered Days, Claire Fuller. Powell's Indiespensable selection...trying to be responsible and get them read instead of letting them pile up like last year. 100+ pages in and it is just beginning to grab my attention.
  - Mary Barton, Elizabeth Gaskell. Still working on this one...about 2/3 through. Enjoyable so far, very Gaskell. :)

  

On My Nightstand:
I'm still wanting to read Wolf Winter, and have added even another Nordic-centric book to my nightstand: My Struggle (Book One)...can't get enough of Scandinavia right now for some strange reason.  I seem to be on a nonfiction swell also, and have Between You & Me on my shortlist.

    

2 comments:

  1. OOoooo! I guess I need to read Mary Barton.I read the Melville House novella by her--and it didn't seem very Gaskell.

    You read a ton for moving with a family. Mercy. The Warmth of Other Suns looks good too. I hope the big move back home goes well at the end of May. It's coming quickly!

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    1. I ended up putting homeschooling on hold until we get settled because it was just too stressful, and I think that my reading is reflecting both an urge to keep learning and the need of stress relief. We'll be doing summer school, but we'll be home so I don't mind so much.

      The Warmth of Other Suns took me a while to read but it didn't feel like it --I was captivated throughout. It wasn't even a topic that I was drawn to necessarily but the writing and the history/sociology was wonderful. Recommended if you're in the mood for some history about Reconstruction onward.

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