October 2022–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Excuse Me While I Disappear by Laurie Notaro (Length: 246 pages.)  I have been a fan of this author’s writing since she was a columnist in our local newspaper. Her writing style is straightforward, not whiny and absolutely witty. This book contains Erma Bombeck-style humorous essays that are fun and easy to read. With this type of book I find it better to sample the essays here and there, rather than sitting down and reading it straight through. This would be the perfect book to read during a lunch hour. The target audience for this one is definitely women ages 40 and older. Any younger wouldn’t think it’s as funny as the rest of us do!

Book #2:

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipps Sendker (Length: 337 pages).  My mom recommended this novel on audio so of course I checked it out via the Libby app via my local library. I loved it! (It is pretty slow-going in the beginning so be patient and just push through). This is the story of the protagonist’s father’s childhood in Burma. Blind as a young boy, he falls in love with a girl who is unable to walk due to legs and feet that didn’t fully form before birth. He carries her everywhere around their village while she is the boy’s “eyes” and narrates to him over his shoulder. This is a love story, pure and simple, and it’s beautifully written. I made the mistake of finishing this while on a long hike and found myself sobbing openly, scaring a few fellow hikers. So perhaps read or listen to the ending of this one in private? This is an excellent novel! After I finished, I discovered it’s the first in a trilogy so if you’re a fan too, there’s more where this came from.

Book #3:

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (Length: 510 pages).  I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but I’m definitely a Kate Quinn fan so I was excited to finally pick this one up. Quinn bases all of her historical novels on female war heroines and this one is my favorite of hers that I’ve read thus far. Here, the focus is a trio of female spies in World War I (and II). The character development is top-notch (as always with Kate Quinn), the plot is propulsive . . . even with 500 pages it never lags for a minute which is incredible. I read this one in a day and a half and I was sad when it was over. It’s the type of book that you’ll think about when you’re not reading it, and those are my favorite.

Book #4:

True Biz by Sara Novic (Length: 388 pages).  This novel is one that will educate you AND entertain you, which is always a bonus. The author bases this novel in a deaf boarding school, featuring 3 major protagonists: February, the school’s headmistress, Charlie, a CI (cochlear implant) kid who is new to ASL (American Sign Language) and Austin, a fully deaf ASL kid from a legacy deaf family. I was fascinated to learn about the current deaf culture, as well as how deaf children have historically been educated and treated in schools. The plot goes a bit off the rails toward the end, but I found the ultimate resolution of the various plot points to be believable and satisfying. I absolutely recommend this gem!

Book #5:

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E Smith (Length: 292 pages).  I grabbed this book on a whim during a bookstore sale and I’m so glad I did! Think Daisy Jones and the Six plus The Floating Feldmans and you’ve got a fun read. Greta James is a legit rockstar who accompanies her father and 4 of his friends on an Alaskan cruise, taking the place of her mom who recently passed before the cruise. The novel takes place over the 8 days of the cruise and it’s really fun to read, but the depth of the characters (especially the father/daughter relationship) is what made it better than average. Having said that, this is a perfect vacation/travel read.

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