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It's Monday 2/26! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date

 I’ve got a two-week catch-up today, since we were traveling last week. We flew to College Station, Texas, to attend our great-niece’s wedding. We had a wonderful time, enjoyed spending time with family, and managed a couple of short hikes while there. I am so grateful to be feeling so much better this year! I even handled the long days in airports without “crashing” afterward.

We enjoyed catching up with our nephew!

Our nephew walking his daughter down the aisle

Our whole family!
It warmed up for a nice walk in a local park!

Back home, last week was busy, with a doctor’s appointment, lunch out with my elderly Book Buddy (a library program), and a fun game night with my closest friends–lots of laughs!


On the Blog

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Home - while the holiday is now past for this year, my updated post includes some great books to enjoy any time of year!

TV Tuesday: The Irrational – a unique crime show featuring a behavioral scientist that we’re really enjoying.

Fiction Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – stunning, powerful historical novel, covering eight generations of two branches of a family, from 1700′s Ghana to U.S. plantations to modern day.


On Video

Kindness Book Tag - a fun tag video, about kindness in books … and in life!

Texas Travel Vlog – videos and photos from our trip

Friday Reads 2-23-24 – quick weekly update on what I am currently reading 


 What We’re Reading

I had the perfect book for our trip, New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith, a suspenseful mystery (and a lightweight paperback!). This was a readalong book for the Mardi Gras Readathon on Booktube, and it was one I already owned. I first read it back in 1992, shortly after we moved from New Orleans. It’s about a New Orleans policewoman named Skip Langdon, and the murder of the King of Carnival in the middle of a parade on Mardi Gras Day. You can hear more about it in my Friday Reads video. It was a twisty mystery that kept my attention on two long flights, and it’s also a love letter to New Orleans, with wonderful details about the city, its culture, people, social strata, food, architecture, and more. I loved it again my second time through and would love to read more in this series (I don’t know why I didn’t back then).

Now, I am reading Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane, a buddy read with my friend Nikki of the Red Dot Reads YouTube channel. It focuses on two families whose lives are intertwined and begins in 1973 when Francis, a recent Irish immigrant, and Brian, an Irish immigrant who’s been in the U.S. longer, meet as trainees and then rookies on the NYPD. They end up buying houses next to each other in a small town outside of the city, where their children grow up together, until a tragedy changes the lives of both families. It’s excellent so far, and I just found out that Keane will be one of the featured authors at Booktopia at the end of April! I can’t wait to meet her and read her latest book. Nikki and I are both enjoying this one, and I’m intrigued to see what happens next.

On audio, I listened to Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions by Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi. This unique, captivating book is a novel told in interlocking stories, of four Nigerian girls who meet in boarding school when they are eleven years old and become lifelong friends. Through the separate stories, we learn about their family history, coming-of-age, the many changes they experience through adulthood, and even a glimpse into the future. It’s beautifully written and engrossing, with the stories woven together in clever ways. The final story, set in 2050, even features a (scary) dystopian future that has its roots in our real-life present. It was outstanding on audio and kept me rapt.

I returned home last week to realize my book group meets on February 29, and I didn’t even know what the book was! Most versions of Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall had a wait list at the library (even though it’s a 2013 release), but I was able to borrow the audio CDs and transfer them to my iPod. In 1963 Mississippi, nine-year-old Starla lives with her grandmother, Mamie, who doesn’t seem to like her much. When she gets in trouble on the 4th of July and fears Mamie’s punishment, she decides to run away to Nashville to find her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her mother since she was very young, though she sends her birthday cards and says she is going to be a famous singer. Starla starts hitchhiking and is picked up by a Black woman named Eula, and the two of them head off on a journey neither could have predicted. Since I only have a few days to finish, I listened to it a lot this weekend, and I’m really enjoying it.

My husband, Ken, finished Dark Ride by Lou Berney, author of November Road, which I gave him last year and he loved (it’s now on my side of the TBR bookcase!). This new one is a thriller, and it sounds great. I know it’s got a good sense of humor because my husband was laughing out loud while reading it! Now, he is reading a book I gave him for Christmas, Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton, a nonfiction memoir. He was reading me passages out loud (we are both huge National Park fans), but he stopped because he said I will want to read this one myself!


Our son, 29, finished reading The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buelhman, a gift from us! I heard about this one from Todd’s Booktube, a channel that I follow by  young man who has very similar tastes in fantasy as my son. Our son said it had a unique style and voice and is very well-written–another winner! Now, he is reading Soulkeeper by David Dalglish, book one in The Keepers series, and enjoying it so far.


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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