The Chosen Maiden

Turns out I really liked The Chosen Maiden even though I almost quit it twice. In fact, I meant to quit it and return it on the way to Orlando because it was going to come due while we were gone, and it couldn’t be renewed. But, I forgot to put it in the library bag and didn’t realize it until I was dumping the books into the return bin.

Since I forgot to return it, and it was already late, I thought I should try again to finish it… and that’s when I got hooked. I have no idea why it took more than 100 pages for me to really get into the story, but it did. I stayed up way too late one night reading it and had only about 50 pages left when I realized how late it was and finally put it down. (And now, I kind of want to go to the ballet.)

Tuesday Night Miracles

Awhile back, TW asked me to name some books about women’s journeys — where they go on a trip and find themselves or learn some lesson or bond with other women and I immediately said Kris Radish has written a lot of those books, hasn’t she? Which led me to see if she’s written any books we haven’t read (since we haven’t read any of her books in years, I figured it was likely) and whether any of her books were available in large print for TW’s mom because I wasn’t sure she’d read them…

Which is how Tuesday Night Miracles made it onto our shelf.

Typical Radish — women facing huge issues come together and get their lives together, mostly. It was a nice book to read in between some of the longer or more complex things on my shelf.

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about The Second Mrs. Hockaday since it was told through diary entries/letters AND it was set in a somewhat fictional South Carolina.

(When the author talks about Traveler’s Joy, I think Traveler’s Rest… when the author uses some real city names but not all real city names, there’s a confusion in my head that almost ruined the story for me. What was the point of the not real places? I don’t get that… I never understand why writers do this… whatever…)

Turns out I really liked it. The diary entries helped with a feeling of suspense, (though I was pretty sure I knew what happened from the first 20 pages, I didn’t know the details), and the writing was wonderful.

Lucky Boy

Ugh.

Lucky Boy, so depressing. SO depressing. Well written, good characters — so depressing.

Young woman, illegal immigrant gives birth to a baby — loves her baby, is doing a great job with him — gets picked up by police and then thrown into a detention center. She’s abused, she’s raped, she’s moved to another detention center, rinse and repeat. All she wants to do is get out and get her baby back.

Indian American couple in Berkley want a baby, can’t make/carry/deliver a baby and so… they foster. (Gah.)

Everyone loves the baby. Everyone wants what is best for him.

Painful story. Very painful.

Dragon Springs Road

(I actually read this about a week ago, I’m just way behind on book blogging. Again. Always.)

Dragon Springs Road was good. I really liked the Fox animal spirit who protected and guided Jialing (and other women in the house.) I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I mean it was fine and expected because everyone wants a happy ending (except probably me, lol.)

#Readathon Book Four: The Abyss Surrounds Us

Liz Henry talked about The Abyss Surrounds us a few weeks ago on Facebook and I decided we needed to read it. It was excellent! Totally awesome for #readathon. Trained killer sea creatures, a female pirate captain, a couple of lesbians. Really excellent. And, even better — it ended perfectly. I like that.

It’s getting late, I’m getting tired and since I don’t have a bunch of picture books and early readers this time around, it’s time to move to the world of cookbooks and over-sized coffee table books to carry me through the next couple of hours.

#Readathon Book Three: Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story

I bought Fire!! when I was in DC in February and saved it specially for #readathon. It was very good but it felt … rushed, maybe? I mean it’s hard to tell someone’s life story in the span of one relatively short graphic novel, I get that. But Hurston’s story is so… interesting. I almost felt let down. Almost. It’s still a great graphic novel and I highly recommend it. I just wanted MORE.

The Wild Girls

We needed an audiobook so I wandered around the library shelves until Wild Girls jumped into my bag.

It was a really quick audiobook and really enjoyable to listen to. It also didn’t end badly, and it had the potential to end badly. I was really impressed that the author didn’t take the easy way to a happily ever after ending. I liked that a lot.

I also liked Joan & Sarah (Fox & Newt) and I liked every single one of the characters. All of them.

Fun read. Let’s all be wild girls!

Hidden Figures

Oops. I finished Hidden Figures awhile back and thought I already wrote about it. Apparently not.

Anyway.

Totally enjoyed it. Really enjoyed seeing how the movie combined bits and pieces of womens’ stories and tweaked the timeline a little and the ages of characters and the relationships of characters. That was pretty interesting to think about, in terms of book to movie stuff.

I also really enjoyed learning more about the work these women did. And loved how much time was spent on Dorothy Vaughan’s story. She’s my favorite. The only complaint I have is that there wasn’t quite enough about Christine Darden.

The Road to Enchantment

I have a total love/hate with The Road to Enchantment. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the setting. I enjoyed the writing. What I did not enjoy was the language around the main characters decisions regarding her pregnancy. Then again, I have this same angst around a whole lot of books that feature characters who are CHOOSING whatever it is they ultimately end up choosing. Whatever.