Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Week in Books





What I Read Last Week

  

I lived Friendswood. From the minute I first saw this book on the Coming Soon section of blogs, as soon as I saw it dealt in part with the Superfund toxic waste site just outside the real town of Friendswood, Texas, I knew I had to read it. In the early eighties, I was a teacher at the school right in the middle of the subdivision built on top of the toxic waste site. Yep. And I was pregnant. So this was a have-to-read book for me. How did I like it? It was uneven, I thought. More like a weak attempt to throw together several loosely connected short stories. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It may have just been me, but I'd really like to ask the author a few questions. Why, for example, did she keep the names of some places and change the names of others? Did she really need to change the name of Beamer Road, where the toxic waste site was located? Odd, I thought. The Friendswood she depicts is a more redneck view than the one I experienced, and I'm curious about that. All in all, a solid story, and one you should definitely read if you have any connection to this area.



Why are the Freak books so refreshing? Maybe they tap into that part of us as humans that reminds us that we really don't have everything all figured out, that sometimes people and things act in unexpected ways. Maybe we like that. I don't know, but I do know that I loved reading this book.



Biggles? I hated the first couple of pages; I didn't get what was happening in the story. Then I decided to back up and just read it and go with it, not trying to figure out every little anachronistic aviation term. I got it. I flew with these very, very young pilots in World War I. It is a ride. A real ride in the air and a ride through time. It's full of all the things that the book police would hate today: shooting, killing others with a sense of triumph, hatred for other peoples. But, nevertheless, a fabulous adventure book.
      



What I'm Reading Now




I'm pretty close to the midpoint, and the plot is pulling me along. Our main characters are Irish immigrant parents and their daughter. The daughter is driven as a teen to rise above her drunken parents, but somehow ends up marrying a fellow with origins much like her own.



Let's see where this one goes.







What are you reading today?! Anything I need to go out and get today?




What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 

33 comments:

  1. You've had another interesting week. I can see why you were so drawn to the Friendswood book. And glad you enjoyed Biggles- you're quite right about approaching it, we can't obsess over every little word in this one.

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    1. I found I had to go at Biggles by setting aside the prudish Book Police that have come to dominate our world today. It's a different time.

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  2. I always love the Freakanomics books, too, so I'll definitely have to check out the newest one (I'm a sucker for the podcast!). I didn't love We Are Not Ourselves, but I think everyone else did...so I hope it works out for you!

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    1. I am not one, in general, for long books, and We Are Not Ourselves is very long. We shall see.

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  3. I don't know any of these, but they sound great. I'm in the midst of The Vampire Academy books, which are fun and a nice change of pace from the stress of my day to day life at the moment. :)

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    1. Yes, there are times we can't read books that merely add to our stress.

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  4. Think Like a Freak sounds great, I read the article on it over at Forbes and now I want to read it!

    Hope you are having a nice weekend.

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  5. I've been hearing SO much about We Are Not Ourselves lately. Hope you enjoy it!

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  6. I LOVED We Are Not Ourselves....and Friendswood is heading my way from Amazon Vine. I am trying not to have high expectations, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  7. I like the term Book Police. I wonder if the rise in the Book Police correlates with the drop of reading by boys. I just finished The Ariadne Objective, a nonfiction book about the British war effort on Crete. These were swashbuckling spies who drank hard and fought hard...and read and discussed books.

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  8. Friendswood sounds interesting and I would be curious if the author answered your questions. That does seem odd to make those changes. Hope you enjoy We Are Not Ourselves and thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great week!

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  9. I would like to read Friendswood. Didn't know it was based on fact. Too bad it wasn't a winner for you, but at least it got you thinking. Have a good week at work and home, and hopefully reading a lot.

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  10. I haven't read any of these but hope you enjoy We are Not Ourselves this week. I need to check out the Freak books.

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  11. I have Friendswood on my shelf, waiting to be read soon! I graduated from Dobie and the Brios site was a common topic discussed. I remember years later driving down Dixie Farm Rd and seeing the houses boarded up, only later for the subdivision and school to be torn down and a fence built around it. It still has an eerie presence. I wonder if those of us who know the area may read the book differently, because of the details, as opposed to someone not tied so closely to the area. I had no idea you lived and worked there! I know there were many settlements given to the families,whose children had health issues. We had our own Erin Brocovich situation in Houston, for sure. I'm bummed to read about the redneck stereotypes, considering Friendswood was founded by Quakers and is an affluent, and very "friendly" city. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Yes, the depiction of Friendswood in this novel is not the depiction I have of the town. But the author is apparently from Friendswood, so perhaps she saw a different side to it.

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  12. The Friendswood book sounds interesting especially since you have such a personal tie to it. I love the freakenomics books. So interesting and yes refreshing. I've read some amazing reviews for We Are Not Ourselves so I hope you love it!

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  13. I have heard We Are Not Ourselves is a good read.

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  14. I used to read a lot about Irish history and immigration, I hope that one will be good. Have a great week !

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  15. We Are Not Ourselves was an odd one for me--I thought it was very gripping as I was reading it, but in the end I was bothered by a few things. I definitely thought it could've used some editing and restructuring. Hope you find it a good read. YIKES about the toxic waste dump in Friendswood while you were pregnant! Too bad the book seemed uneven. Reading a novelist's version of an event you experienced yourself may not always be satisfying, I suppose . . .

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  16. Think Like a Freak sounds like something different to read. I'll look it up :)

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  17. A Biggles book takes me back to childhood reading! I think the British do sneak more into their books than the USA - I know they have some writers that write adventure - without though the hatred - but still shooting and sometimes killing. Thinking of Robert Muchamore. Don't recognise any of your other books, but they sound good.

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  18. Oh my ... Biggles, my dad loved them and it was something I could share with him. Have a great week and enjoy your new reads :)

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  19. Nice mixed selection of reads. Always the best kind.

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  20. Friendswoods is the one that caught my eye just by looking at the three covers. :)

    We Are Not Ourselves is so popular. I have it, but just haven't been able to get to it.

    ENJOY your week. Hope school is going well.

    Giveaway going on at my blog until Thursday for Accidents of Marriage if anyone wants to stop by.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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