Category Archives: General

I Have Returned… With Big News!

Bottomless Belly ButtonOops, it seems Reading for Robin went on an unplanned summer vacation. It wasn’t my intention to stay away all summer long, but a few things got in the way. Those things include, but are not limited to, work, Chicago (x2), Memphis, New Jersey, Shelter Island, a bachelorette party, a wedding, good weather, and lots of dinners out.

While I was away from the internet these last few months, I regret to say I didn’t read as much as I should have. I’m not sure what I was doing instead (besides watching all of Orange is the New Black), but hopefully the fall will be different. However, I did read here and there and some of those books were great. My two favorites of the summer are probably Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (warning: keep tissues nearby) and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I’m currently listening to The Astronaut Wives Club, which just happens to be this month’s book club pick, but I’m finding it only okay.

As for what’s next, I have a few new books on my list. I’m eyeing Jojo Moyes’ latest The Girl You Left Behind, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman. I’m leaving for London and Barcelona in a week so I’m looking for something really good to read. Suggestions are welcome.

But my big news is that I finished Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw which means that I have now completed my mom’s list. Three and a half years and 58 books later, I’m done. It feels… weird. I started this project days after my mom died as a way to stay connected to her and so much has changed since then. I still miss her every day and it’s been nice having this project despite my recent neglect. Now that it’s over, I know I’ll still be connected to my mom in hundreds of other ways (her love of reading being just one) and I will find ways to honor her memory.

For the record, Bottomless Belly Button was strange and my mom never would have read it. It was, in fact, a “graphic” graphic novel with some explicit drawings and I only sort of knew what was going on most of the time. I still can’t imagine how this landed on her list.

With the list complete, I’m sure I’ll be on here even more sporadically than it’s been in the last year. However, I do hope to check in from time to time to share what I’ve been reading and hopefully hear about your books as well.

Thanks for following me on this journey. It’s been quite the experience!

Walking to Defeat ALS

Walk to Defeat ALSThis Saturday, I will be participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.A good friend of the family has ALS and I have seen these devastating effects firsthand.

This will be the third year that Robin’s Walkers, named for my mom, will be a part of the race. The money raised from the event goes towards ALS research. I would really appreciate any donation to this great cause. To donate just visit:
http://webgny.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/GreaterNewYork?px=2986102&pg=personal&fr_id=9205#.UVrZBqJOSOx

My Name in a Book!

Beer ManI typically don’t talk about the manuscripts I read for work, but I am going to make a tiny exception and that’s only to mention one small detail in the book I just read…

A character has the last name of Beerman! That’s my last name! Well, that was my last name up until very recently and I will always be a Beerman at heart.

Anyway, I was really excited to see the name because I’ve never met a Beerman I wasn’t related to that spelled it the same way. And I’ve certainly never read a book with a character with the name spelled the same way.

We Beermans are entering the pop culture realm I guess.

It’s the little things that make me happy.

(That is the first picture that came up when I Google image searched “Beerman.”)

I Won! I Won!

The Silver StarI won a book! It’s no vacation or car, but since I never win anything I’ll take a free book.

Through Goodreads’ giveaway  program, I was randomly selected to receive a copy of Jeannette Walls’ The Silver Star: A Novel. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

It is 1970. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister Liz is fifteen when their artistic mother Charlotte, a woman “who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble,” takes off to “find herself.” She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.

An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.

I’m really looking forward to the book because I’ve read and liked Walls memoir The Glass Castle about her very dysfunctional family. In fact, it was so nice I read it twice. (Okay, that was an accident because I didn’t remember I’d already read it but still.)

This is Walls first novel so I’m interested to see how she does with material that doesn’t come directly from her life. Then again, the description indicates that Walls’ odd childhood maybe be at least a little bit of an inspiration. We shall see…

Awesome Fahrenheit 451 Cover

I read Fahrenheit 451 in middle school? High school? I can’t remember when, but I can remember really liking it.

Today I stumbled upon this very cool cover of the book, which turns the novel into a matchbook, created by graphic designer Elizabeth Perez. See how cool:

fahrenheit451bookcover-980x730It exploded on Reddit and now I am spreading it to the far reaches of the internet thanks to Reading for Robin. Enjoy!

(via Elizabeth Perez via GalleyCat)

“What Good Books Have You Read Lately?”

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime WalkWhen you work in publishing and have a book blog, people think you know a thing or two about books. Weird, right?

Since I love talking about books I appreciate this assumption, but it does bring a certain amount of pressure. By now, I really should be more prepared.

Out at a bar on a Saturday night two different people asked me what good books I’d read lately. Not a hard question, especially for someone who reads as much as I do. And yet, I struggled. I pretty much answered both with an “Oh, um, hmm, let me think… uh, well, I’m listening to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk now and it’s, uh, pretty good.”

Perhaps because I’ve been reading a lot of manuscripts for work lately, I don’t have that many current books to recommend. Plus I am horrible at remembering what I’ve read recently. Still, I should be able to come through with an answer.

I think from now on at any given time I should have a list of the top books I’ve read in the past few months assembled in my head for when the situation arises. My current one would probably include Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (well, it’s true), The Middlesteins, Game Change, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and Beautiful Ruins. Give me a few months and I’m sure it will change.

Marisa De Los Santos Binge

Falling TogetherI’ve been neglecting the blog a little these days but it’s because I’ve been on a Marisa de los Santos binge. As I mentioned, I recently read Love Walked In and then I immediately picked up the sequel, Belong to Me. While I initially expressed reluctance towards the books, I quickly found myself absorbed.

By the time I finished Belong to Me, I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. Because they took up residence in my brain, it took a while for me to move on. Almost a week went by before I picked up another book. Nothing else was calling out to me. Now I’m eyeing de los Santos’ newest novel Falling Together. It appears to be about a completely new set of characters, though, so there’s less urgency to pick it up. I’ll add it to the list.

In the meantime, I’m checking out a few books for work. More on those later. And suggestions for new books to read are always welcome!