This Week in Books: Late Night Porch Talks with the Dead, Depression-Era West Virginia, and an End-of-Life Alaskan Cruise

This week’s books, despite their very different styles, settings, and plots, share a common trait:

First, you’ve got Thomas, a well-respected neurosurgeon, who has taken to spending his nights having long conversations with his dead mother. Then there’s Jottie, who lives for the brief and precious moments she spends with her long-dead love, Vaughan. Finally, there’s Harriet Chance, who frequently hangs out with her recently deceased husband Bernard.

The books aren’t all about talking to dead people. But it is an odd coincidence that all three of the books I read this week share that common characteristic (especially considering how different they are from one another). Continue reading

Advertisements

This Week in Books: a Colorless Man, Orgasmic Childbirth, and a Secret Society of Bibliophiles 

In an effort to keep the blog going (at least sporadically), I’m going to try something new. Rather than writing individual posts about each of the books I read, I am going to write condensed reviews of all the books I read in any given week (or perhaps month . . . we’ll see how much reading I’m actually doing once baby finally decides to arrive). Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the new format in the comments below!

This week features a very diverse selection: a book by one of my favorite Japanese authors, a nonfiction book on childbirth, and a bestseller of the standard-book-club-selection variety.

Continue reading

The Turner House

22827551The Turner House
Angela Flournoy
Published April 14, 2015
341 pages (hardcover)

Now that my bundle-of-joy’s arrival is imminent, I’m in full-on nesting mode. My freezer has more food in it than ever before. The house is cleaner than ever (even the basement is spotless). Our bags are packed for the hospital and waiting patiently by the door. Needless to say, reading and blogging are falling by the wayside.

I have started and abandoned a couple of books lately (no time for sub-par books!). And even decent books, like this one, are taking me a ridiculously long time to get through. The Turner House is not long, nor is it particularly complex, but it took me weeks to finish. I don’t think that speaks to the quality of the writing or the story itself. Instead, that speaks to my current, very distracted state-of-mind . . . which is why I’ve concluded that it’s time for a break.

I will still try to post sporadically, but, in light of this whole baby adventure I am undertaking, I have a sneaking suspicion that I won’t have the time or energy to devote to reading and blogging so frequently. If I read a particularly good book, I will try to post about it (but it might take me a while). Or I may try to post a weekly (biweekly? monthly?) round-up of the books I’ve read with short reviews of each. We shall see. But, regardless of what I end up doing, this is my last regular post for the time being. Without further ado . . .

Continue reading