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It's Monday 11/20! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date


I am still living life mostly horizontal, thanks to a continuing flare-up of my chronic illness. Continuing my program of “aggressive rest,”  I spent most of last week right here on the couch, lying down, with time out on our back deck in the reclining chair each afternoon. I’ve been fortunate that it’s been at least 50 degrees and sunny almost every day!

Lovely time on the deck


I did get some good news this weekend. The one time I left the house last week was for a long-postponed biopsy. It was always a “just to be on the safe side” sort of thing, with little chance of finding a problem, but it was still a huge relief to get the all clear results back this weekend … and to have the painful procedure behind me.

Now, we are turning our attention to Thanksgiving, getting ready for a trip to Rochester, NY, to visit my family. It’s about a 7-hour drive each way. Our son is coming come tomorrow to ride up with us–I can’t wait to see him! It’s been about two months, which is much too long. There are various family gatherings planned for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, plus my 40th (!!) high school reunion Friday night. As you might have guessed, I’m in no shape for all of this, but I’m just accepting that it is what it is. I don’t have much control over my health, so I’ll just take it a small step at a time and rest as much as I need to (and maybe have to miss some things). I’m looking forward to the time with our sons and seeing family … and hopefully friends, too!


On the Blog

 Movie Monday: Barbie – my husband and I both enjoyed this fun, clever, funny movie

National Book Awards 2023 Announced! – One of the books that won was a wonderful middle-grade/teen graphic memoir I reviewed earlier this year

Teen/YA Review: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick – I enjoyed this thriller about Witness Protection with plenty of heart.


On Video

Friday Reads 11-17-23 - my weekly update about the books I am reading


 What We’re Reading
 I’m enjoying Nonfiction November!


I’m completely immersed in The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, a book I’ve been meaning to read since its release in 2007. I’d heard great things about this nonfiction book back then, so when I spotted it in a Little Free Library last year, I grabbed it.  It’s the true story of a husband and wife who ran a zoo in Warsaw, Poland, and saved hundreds of people from the Nazis during WWII. The author used a lot of primary sources like diaries and letters, and it is a very moving, powerful narrative. The horrors of the Holocaust are even more stunning when described by people who were there, in the thick of it. And the bravery, compassion, and strength of the people in the resistance is truly inspiring.

I finished a teen/YA graphic memoir, Dreamer by Akim Alui, Greg Anderson Elysee, and Karen de la Vega (illustrator). Akim is one of very few Black professional hockey players, and this is his memoir of his childhood and early years in hockey. His mother is Ukrainian, his father is Nigerian, and they lived in both places but neither was very welcoming to a biracial family. They moved to Canada to provide better opportunities for Akim and his brother. Akim loved hockey from the moment he saw it and was a natural on the ice, but he endured horrible abuse and racism from other players, spectators, and even coaches. It’s wonderful that Akim wrote this book to bring these problems to light, and he has also founded organizations to provide all kids with the opportunity to enjoy hockey and to help abolish racism in the sport.

I’ve almost finished listening to the memoir How to Forget by Kate Mulgrew, an actress famous for her roles as Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager and as Red in Orange is the New Black. This is her second memoir, this one focusing on being with and caring for her parents, as her father died of cancer and her mother was lost in dementia. It has been a very moving, powerful memoir and has been tough for me at times, as my dad died of cancer eight years ago, and we cared for my father-in-law with dementia until he died last year. It’s excellent, though, and beautifully written. I pulled out the earbuds and played part of it for my husband yesterday, to show him how perfectly she captured these experiences. While it is a difficult subject matter, it is also warm and funny–and she reads it herself in that familiar voice. 

My husband, Ken, is still reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, and he said it was fascinating, but he needed a break from the dense onslaught of interesting facts! So, he has turned back to fiction briefly, reading one of the books I gave him for his birthday, The Last Ranger by Peter Heller. We both enjoy Heller’s outdoor thrillers (Celine, The River, and The Guide), so this one should be great!


Our son, 29, has been rereading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. He finished book 2, The Well of Ascension, and is now rereading book 3 The Hero of Ages. For his birthday last year, I signed him up for Sanderson’s big Kickstarter, so he just received the fourth book from that, The Sunlight Man, which is set in the Mistborn world. He is very much looking forward to diving into the new book and will have lots of reading time in the car!


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 pag

What are you and your family reading this week? 



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