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It's Monday 8/14! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date


Happy Monday, Reading Friends! 

It was a quiet week mostly at home here. I haven’t seen any friends in weeks, so I tried mightily to invite friends for dinner this past weekend. Unfortunately, everyone I texted or called was either traveling, about to travel, or wrapped up in other stuff. So, it was just my husband and I most of the week, with our son running in and out. We lost power Monday night in a terrible storm. Our power was out for 10 hours, and we were the lucky ones! There are still trees down and roads closed in our area. We also got lucky that the storm cooled things down, so it wasn’t too bad sleeping that night. Our son is a sales manager for a company that makes battery-powered tools, lawn & garden tools, and other stuff, so we made use of his many battery-powered lights and fans. And pro tip: always get a grill with a side burner! We were in the middle of making dinner when the power went out.

Finishing dinner on the grill’s burner

Freaky orange sky just after the storm

I don’t know if you were aware but last Thursday was National Lazy Day! We both had pretty busy, productive days, but when my husband suggested getting take-out instead of cooking and cleaning up, I agreed. We splurged on huge burgers and delicious fries. I’ve been on a very restrictive diet due to chronic illness issues for the past two months, so this was a treat!

Celebrating National Lazy Day, August 10!


This weekend, we wanted to do something fun on Sunday. It was too hot and humid for a hike, so we went to the movies! I talked my husband into seeing the Barbie movie with me. He was a very good sport, especially since his name is Ken! We relaxed in recliner seats with popcorn in the cool theater, and we both enjoyed it. It’s smart, sharp, funny, and a whole lot of fun. And it is definitely aimed more at adults than kids!

Sunday morning movie!


On the Blog

Fiction Review: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – this outstanding classic was even better than I remembered from high school! Gripping, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, and even humorous.


On Video

July Reading Wrap-Up – not a lot of quantity last month, with Big Book Summer, but a whole lot of quality! What I read and listened to last month (and what my husband read, too).

Friday Reads 8-11-23 – my brief weekly update


 What We’re Reading
We are still all reading Big Books for the last stretch of the #BigBookSummer Challenge

I am still reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles and loving it! His previous novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, tied for my #1 book of the year in 2021, and this one is entirely different but also excellent. It’s the story of two brothers in Nebraska in 1954: 18-year-old Emmett and eight-year-old Billy. Emmett was just released from a juvenile work farm after accidentally killing someone, and their father has just died. Their mother left when Billy was just a baby, so they are on their own now. Since their small town has a long memory and many still blame Emmett for the death of the other boy, they decide to take Emmett’s Studebaker and drive to California. Billy is a precocious kid who reads a lot, and he wants to drive the Lincoln Highway. As you might expect, things don’t go quite according to plan. I am fully immersed in their world, and the characters all feel real. This is my very first Buddy Read with a Booktube friend, Nikki of Red Dot Reads, and I am loving this approach! We’re leaving voicemail messages for each other after each of the ten sections, and we both agree this is enhancing our experience and enjoyment of the novel. It’s like a book group for two … with a friend who lives on the opposite side of the globe!


I finished listening to The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar, a sequel to the best-selling The Space Between Us, and it was just as wonderful as the first book. Now, I am listening to a middle-grade historical novel, Lines of Courage by Jennifer Nielsen. I enjoyed Nielsen’s excellent novel, A Night Divided, about the Berlin Wall, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. Lines of Courage takes place in Europe during WWI and focuses on five young people, ages 12-15, each struggling with different aspects of the war in different countries, whose lives cross in unexpected ways. It’s excellent so far, very good on audio, and I am learning a lot. I’ve read so many books–fiction and nonfiction–about WWII but almost nothing about WWI.


My husband, Ken, is reading the much-anticipated new novel from Justin Cronin (author of The Passage and its sequels), The Ferryman. It is about a utopian island in the midst of a deteriorating world. Island residents live a long life, but when their health drops to a certain point, they board a ferry to a separate island known as the Nursery, where their bodies are renewed, memories wiped clean, and they start life fresh. The focus here is on one ferryman who is himself beginning to decline, must accompany his own father to the Nursery, and worries about what is next for himself. It sounds fascinating, and I know what a great writer Cronin is. Ken’s enjoying it so far.


Our son has been very busy with work, but reading is how he relaxes. He finished reading book 11, Thaumaturge, of the Spellmonger series by Terry Mancour, and immediately jumped into book 12, Arcanist. This one is a mere 845 pages! He’s loving this series and has been reading nothing else for months. It’s a great escape from the stresses of work.


What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog’s page.

What are you and your family reading this week?


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