Monthly Archives: July 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mom’s birthday. Mom, I am thinking of you… as I do every day.

Gone Girl Is Everywhere

Gone GirlA few weeks ago I started noticing the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn everywhere I looked on the Internet. Bloggers were talking about it, Twitterers were talking about it, and so on. I read up on it and decided to add it to my TBR list.

Now Gone Girl is everywhere I look in real life. My friends are reading it, my coworkers are reading it, and so on. I like to think it’s because I talked it up, but I know that’s hardly it. They probably heard about it the million places that I heard about it.

The problem is now I feel behind. I want to read it! I want to know what everyone else knows! I think it might just have to be my next read after No Time To Wave Goodbye.

The Age of Miracles Complete

The Age of MiraclesWell, that didn’t take long. Credit two plane rides and a nice relaxing weekend for the fact that I have already finished Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles.

Of course, it should be noted that perhaps the biggest reason I finished so quickly is that I really enjoyed it! The Age of Miracles tells of a time when the earth’s rotation mysteriously begins to slow. Days and nights get progressively longer and the effects are felt across the globe. Animals start to die out, crops are threatened, and life changes bit by bit. All of this upheaval is detailed from the perspective of 11-year-old Julia. Her observations about the disaster are interwoven with preteen crushes and friend dramas. It creates a great point of view and humanizes the story.

I should have known going in that this would not be a story that was all rainbows and puppies. The world is falling apart after all. However, Walker does a good job of making the story more than just one depressing anecdote after the other. It may not be lighthearted, but I highly recommend this novel.

And now I am jumping back to the saga of the Cappadoras. I am starting No Time To Wave Goodbye, the sequel to Jacqueline Mitchard’s The Deep End of the Ocean, which I finished last week. Perhaps I should have given myself a longer break. It is an emotionally draining story, but I might as well read it while the plot is still fresh in my mind.

I originally bought No Time To Wave Goodbye for my Kindle back on July 11, 2010. That was before I realized it was a sequel. Just over two years later and I’m finally getting to it.

The Age of Miracles Based In Reality?

The Age of MiraclesAfter finishing The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacqueline Mitchard in the Louisville airport last weekend, I still had two plane rides to fill before I made it home. That’s where Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles came in. I recently added the new novel to my TBR list, but I made the executive decision to let it jump the queue.

As per the book’s website, here’s the summary:

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

Cool concept, right?

While I don’t normally care for books with science fiction type elements, this one caught my eye because it is mostly the story of an 11-year-old girl. The 11-year-old girl just happens to live in a world that’s going haywire.

And it turns out the book isn’t that science fiction-y. Walker got the idea from current events. In an interview with Vogue, she says:

Literally the most surprising thing was when I read about the 2004 earthquake [that caused the tsunami in Indonesia], and came across this fact: that one of the aftereffects was that it shortened our days by a few microseconds. There was something so unsettling and stunning about that, so unexpected and eerie.

I believe I read that the same thing happened with the Japanese earthquake. Granted both of these events only changed the length of our days by a few microseconds, but still… It is really interesting to see how this concept can be spun out into something much larger. Hopefully the book will live up to the concept. So far so good!

New Audio In My Ears

The ChaperoneBelow is a post I wrote last week and just now realized that I forgot to publish. Let’s travel back in time and read past Sam’s thoughts…

When it rains, it pours. Not only did I finish my print book this week, I also finished the audiobook I was listening to. I really enjoyed Born to Run (if I didn’t live in gross New York City I might even be a tiny bit convinced to forgo my sneakers… yeah, right). I recommend it, particularly in audio, for anyone with even the slightest interest in running, or even in just good narrative non-fiction.

Still, I’m ready to move on. I’ve been on a bit of a non-fiction kick when it comes to audiobooks, but I’m going back to fiction for the next one. This morning Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone was on my iPod and accompanying me to work. Does that title sound familiar? Could it be because I haven’t stopped talking about it for weeks? I don’t know, perhaps. If you haven’t been lucky enough to hear me droning on about it, here’s the quick synopsis:

A captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both.

The audiobook is narrated by Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora on my newest obsession: Downton Abbey. Coincidentally (or not? hmm) the main character of The Chaperone is also named Cora.

Anyway, if Downton Abbey isn’t coming back to American television for quite a few months, I figured I might as well soothe myself with Elizabeth McGovern’s voice. And it doesn’t hurt that the book has gotten heaps of praise.

Getting Unlucky in Kentucky

KentuckyYou know how normally when I travel I complain about having to fly but then extol the good reading time I will get? Well this past weekend I think I got over that frame of mind. There is such a thing as too much reading time.

Andrew and I spent the weekend at a wedding in Kentucky. We had a great time… until it came time to leave. After getting to the airport way too early (not my choice) it turned out our flight was delayed. Then delayed some more. And then finally canceled. We had to get a room at the airport hotel and then head back out for a 6am flight connecting through Atlanta. Good times. I think after 6 hours in the airport and a few more for the flights, even I got sick of reading time.

However, the silver lining in the travel delays was that I did in fact read a lot. I even finished The Deep End of the Ocean. It was pretty depressing and I tried hard not to sob in public. Fortunately, I knew there was a sequel so I was reasonably assured that the conclusion wouldn’t be completely devastating. I did get sucked in, which is good since I had some time to kill, but it may have been a little more emotionally draining than I would have chosen. Nevertheless, I am kind of looking forward to reading the sequel.

Jumping Into The Deep End Of The Ocean

The Deep End of the OceanThe time has finally come. I am taking the plunge and jumping into The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. And yes all of those puns were indeed intended.

Here’s a little taste of what I’m getting myself into the book is about (courtesy of Amazon):

Few first novels receive the kind of attention and acclaim showered on this powerful story—a nationwide bestseller, a critical success, and the first title chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, The Deep End of the Ocean imagines every mother’s worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child—as it explores a family’s struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds. Filled with compassion, humor, and brilliant observations about the texture of real life, here is a story of rare power, one that will touch readers’ hearts and make them celebrate the emotions that make us all one.

Like I’ve said before, it’s a sobfest in the making.

But seeing as I get weirdly obsessed by real life kidnapping cases (Jaycee Dugard, anyone?), I’m more than a little interested in this fictional version. Let’s see if I still feel that way when there are too many tears running down my face for me to even blog about it again.