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It's Monday 11/6! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date


We had a quiet week here, catching up after our wonderful vacation in Virginia. We were thrilled and shocked to get a bunch of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. It’s just been 2-3 kids each year for the past decade or so. Turns out some new families moved into our neighborhood and brought friends along. We loved seeing the kids in their costumes and miss the days of such huge excitement and anticipation with our own sons and their friends.

Ready for trick-or-treaters

On my way home from a doctor’s appointment Wednesday, I couldn’t resist such a beautiful fall day, so I stopped at a local state park and enjoyed the last fall colors here.

Unfortunately, I “crashed” later in the week (a sudden flare-up of my chronic illness). No idea why this time, but I had to just lie low and rest a lot. Luckily, the weather was nice, so I spent several afternoons after my nap out on the deck, enjoying those last late sunny days. I went out on the deck Sunday afternoon, but the sun was behind the trees by 4 pm!


On the Blog

 Fiction Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan – outstanding dystopian thriller by the award-winning author


On Video

Virginia Fall Camping Vlog – Come along on our recent vacation, with hiking, kayaking, and vibrant fall foliage!

 October Reading Wrap-Up – I read/listened to 9 books last month and enjoyed them all, including mystery, suspense, thrillers, fantasy, YA, and middle-grade


 What We’re Reading
Last week, I finished up my reading for the R.I.P. Challenge and jumped into Nonfiction November!


I finished Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley, an author I always enjoy. I read the first book of his Easy Rawlins mystery series, Devil in a Blue Dress, and absolutely loved The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, a moving, powerful novel about memory and family. This novel is a mystery/thriller about an ex-cop named Joe King Oliver who, ten years ago, was falsely accused of sexual assault and removed from the NYPD. The 90 days he spent in Rikers prison forever changed him, but time with his daughter and working cases as a PI is helping him to heal, slowly. When a letter from his past arrives and he gets a new case possibly exposing recent police corruption, his past and the present begin to come together. He might even have a chance to clear his name. This was a dark, gritty thriller with lots of action and surprising twists.

I finished a middle-grade graphic novel, Bea Wolf, which I plan to review because I want to shout from the rooftops how great this book is! It’s a retelling of the ancient classic poem Beowulf, about a grumpy man named Grendel who wants to ruin the neighborhood kids’ fun and wreck their treehouse. It uses the same kinds of rhyming and alliteration as in the original. It is so clever, smart, and funny! 


Now, I have–embarrassingly–picked up a book I started back in January! Sigh … this is why I read only one book at a time. This one was my attempt to read both fiction and nonfiction at the same time, and it didn’t work. So, I am now about halfway through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a book I bought years ago (another problem of mine!). I’m a huge fan of her podcast, Happier, and am enjoying the book very much. Lots of food for thought.

I also started another graphic “novel” (memoir)–those I can read at the same time since I can read them in little 10-minute increments. I am very much enjoying Layers by Pénélope Bagieu, a YA graphic memoir. It’s made up of 15 short stories, based on her diary entries from childhood through her teen years and into young adulthood. The result is a warm, funny, poignant coming-of-age memoir with lots of relatable stories.

On audio, I finished The Stars Did Wander Darkling by Colin Meloy, a middle-grade fantasy/horror novel that was perfect for the end of October. Four friends in the 1980′s encounter strange happenings in their quiet seaside Oregon town. Even their parents seem different, as an ancient, long-buried evil is unleashed. I really enjoyed this suspenseful horror thriller that feels like a cross between GooniesStranger Thing, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.


My first nonfiction audio for November is 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. This one might get tough for me, 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 so far, and she reads it herself in that familiar voice. 


My husband, Ken finished November Road by Lou Berney, a road trip thriller set in the 1960′s around Kennedy’s assassination. It starts in New Orleans (where we used to live) and Stephen King gave it a rave review, so I knew Ken would enjoy it. He loved it! Normally, the most I can get out of him about a book is “it was good.” This time, he smiled and said, “It was good–really, really, really good!”

He is now also reading for Nonfiction November, starting with a book I gave him for Father’s Day, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. This is a big one (obviously), and he is already enjoying it, reading interesting facts out loud to me.

Our son, 29, finished reading The Helm of Midnight by Marina Holstetter, book one in The Five Penalties series, which he enjoyed. For his birthday last year, I signed him up for Brandon Sanderson’s big Kickstarter, so he just received the fourth book from that, The Sunlight Man, which he is very much looking forward to. But first–him being him–he is rereading Sanderson’s Mistborn series, to get back into that world.


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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