Showing posts from 2020

A Year in Reading: A Brief Overview of 2020

As the Plague Year wraps up, many of us are looking at our reading lists and shaking our heads. We either didn't read enough, read too much, or read books that typically would not have found their way to our TBR. I started out in the first group, wandered oh so briefly into the second group, then settled comfortably in the third group. Not all of the books I picked up made it on to my reading list — if I finished less than half, it didn't count.  The "Don't Mention It List" is short, and just a tad surprising. First of all, I got about 40 pages into the latest Stephanie Plum novel and discovered her antics were just plain annoying. Maybe it was that this was a direct sequel, picking up where the last one left off, or that I didn't need to read about how Morelli was out so Ranger could be, er, in. At any rate, after 27 novels, I am breaking up with Stephanie Plum. I will miss Lula. I may miss Grandma Mazur (but only a little). I will miss Connie's no-nonsen

Summer Reading 2020: A Review

Reading in 2020 started out a little rocky, but picked up by summertime — and summer reading was saved! Okay, a little dramatic, but summer reading is a joy I look forward to every year. In 2012, I launched a summer reading program for adults, encouraging them to read as much as they liked, and rewarding program participants who read the most with a free book. Well, local libraries caught up with adult readers, so my program is no longer needed — but I still encourage summer reading for everyone, especially adults. In 2020, that may have been a little harder to achieve. Many readers confessed to having less time or initiative to read due to mental or emotional fatigue, fear, overworking, job searches, or other various reasons.  Myself, I had a windfall in the shape of a new co-worker who saved my vegetarian bacon, so to speak, and my mind. I was able to relax and pick up books for pleasure and relaxation again, finally. I read a wide variety of books, from cookbooks (yes, cookbooks!) t

Book Review: Then She Was Gone

It’s always worse than you can imagine, because horror and grief are tricky and pliable. They take shapes you didn’t know existed, and they're impossible to contain, or even manage. In Then She Was Gone , author Lisa Jewell knows how to describe horror. Tangible horror. The kind of thing that lurks at the back of your mind: what would happen if [terrible thing] occurred?  We've all seen the movies and read the books, but they're not what we can imagine.What's in our heads is awful, simply and utterly awful — and  what Jewell has in her head is even worse than awful, if that's possible. She takes it to unimaginable, etching it into our brains with precise language and specific, and devastating, details.   If you don't want to envision the reality of your own fears, skip this book. At a certain point, I knew what we would learn about the characters and the storyline —  but that didn't dim my enthusiasm one bit. I liked the author's writing. I understood an

Summer Reading 2020: How's it Going?

This is not your typical summer. (In fact, it's so atypical that I'm posting in August.) Are you treating your summer reading the same?  I'm not. First of all, I nearly missed out on My Library's Summer Reading Program. Between my work schedule and My Library's schedule, I was thrown off my own schedule, and I didn't find the program information until recently. When My Library began offering curbside pickup service, however,  librarians kindly included the flyer for the program. Was I relieved!  Last year's adult summer reading program was a blast, and I stepped off with them at the program launch (and ended the program with cake and Good Omens .) But this year... Work kept me hopping by half again, and I was still feeling the effects of COVID Reading Blahs until after Memorial Day, the traditional launch of my personal summer reading program. I've had reading slumps before, but rarely in the summer.  What's a reader to do? I listened to myself, and

Summer Reading Message: A Rockin' and Readin' 2020

How has "stay-at-home" treated you, my fellow readers?  My bookish friends: Have you haunted Little Free Libraries?  Have you discovered every curbside bookstore pickup in your area, or maybe  mail-ordered more than your fair share? My e-readers: Have you checked out every ebook you Library offers, or been sucked in to amazing sales from your ebook suppliers? My listeners: Are you catching up on your already-ample collection? Have you discovered just how many audiobook services your Library offers?  Or are you a newbie, discovering the world of audiobooks — and are you a fan?  I wish I could say I've been able to find comfort and distraction in books, but the truth of the matter is that the pandemic has reduced my reading time and energy. A week ago I didn't even realize it was May, let alone almost Memorial Day. By the end of the very long workdays — because every day is a workday right now — my brain is full. But all is not lost. I surrendered my exercis