It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (4/4/16)

Hosted by The Book Date.

A DNF and a failed sample caused my reading to detour last week. I sampled Lilac Girls, but realized I wasn’t excited about the prospect of a 500 page WWII novel when I’m already kind of burned out of WWII books.

I’m now over halfway through my online defensive driving school and, I gotta tell you, they shockingly figured out how to put together a non-cheesy drunk driving video that really strikes an emotional chord. Let me rephrase: it left me sobbing.

I finished reading…

Tsar of Love and Techno, Anthony Marra

The Tsar of Love and Techno
 by Anthony Marra (October 6, 2015)

I mostly loved this linked short story collection about life in the USSR/Russian Federation/Russia from 1937 through present day. Mini review to come.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Shelter, Jung Yun
Shelter by Jung Yun (March 15, 2016)
I’ve only read one chapter of this debut novel about a young, struggling family facing the prospect of caring for the husband’s parents, but it was quite an intense chapter. I’m hooked.

I tried, but wasn’t feeling…

Sunday's on the Phone to Monday, Christine Reilly

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday
 by Christine Reilly (April 5, 2016)
The writing was a bit uneven (some brilliant sections, but also some nonsensical ones) and I started to get annoyed with the characters by the 25% mark. There is a small chance I pick it up again, but probably only if my upcoming reading falls flat.

Upcoming reading plans…

I’ll be doing a bit of sampling and free range reading before I pick up some April 12 releases I’m waiting on. Here are some possibilities…

Jane Steele, Relief Map, Why We Came to the City

Jane Steele
 by Lyndsay Faye (March 22, 2016)
The first line (Reader, I murdered him.) of this re-imagining of Jane Eyre has been getting plenty of attention and I’ve heard it’s a well-done thriller independent of its Jane Eyre origins.

Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht (March 28, 2016)
One of the All the Books podcast ladies had good things to say about this debut coming of age story about what happens when a fugitive is suspected to be hiding out in sixteen year-old Livy’s Pennsylvania town.

Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma (February 16, 2016)
This New York City friendship book about a group of twenty-somethings navigating NYC in 2008 got rave reviews from a couple bloggers I trust (including Katie at Doing Dewey) and I was a twenty-something (actually, young thirty-something) living in NYC at that same time.

If anyone has read any of these, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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  1. I’m sorry you had some DNFs, but I’ve been having them more recently… and I chalk it up to having more of a selection of books than ever, between my own buys, increased library time, and more Netgalley. I know that there are better books waiting for me, so I don’t feel I “have to” read a particular book. Unless I expressly promised an author I would (which I rarely do) I don’t have to read anything I don’t want to. Kim @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer said she would never read as many books as she does (and she does read quickly and many more than I do) if she didn’t DNF without feeling badly about it and moving on- paraphrasing here.

    Hope this month finds you enjoying more books and having fun reads!

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  2. Ugh, this was supposed to be posted under your post about DNFs, though I suppose it applies here too. I’m reposting it there, sorry.

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  3. Patty wrote:

    Sorry about Lilac Girls…I absolutely was spell bound by that book. I read Shelter…it was so deliciously dysfunctional…loved it, too!

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’m really loving Shelter…am closing in on the end!

      Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  4. Lisa D wrote:

    OH Lilac Girls is sooo wonderful! You’ll have to give it another try 🙂

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  5. Finished Dana Spiotta’s Innocent and Others Sunday night. Wow! I love her novels.
    Monday I started Autumn Quail by Naguib Mahfouz. I just had to get out of America after the Spiotta plus it is the next book on my 1962 reading list. And guess what? It is about the revolutions in Egypt in 1952 and 1960. Sometimes things are just too similar, the world over. I am about to read Shelter. It has such mixed reviews so I will have to see where I land.

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’m almost finished Shelter and love it!

      Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  6. Amanda wrote:

    What am I missing about Lilac Girls based on the other comments? I am not spellbound. I am not even drawn in all that much. I walked away almost 2 weeks ago and haven’t really looked back!

    Shelter scared me for some reason – I am looking forward to your thoughts. I was completely entertained by Jane Steele though! Who wouldn’t get into “Reader, I murdered him”? I thought it was amazingly delightful in the end – will review asap!

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I really can’t say b/c I only read the first probably 10 pages, but nothing in those pages made me want to keep reading. Although I keep hearing raves…but I also keep hearing it’s great for fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, neither of which did it for me.

      Posted 4.6.16 Reply
      • Amanda wrote:

        hmm. and those are two I still haven’t gotten two. I am having massive guilt over DNFing Lilac Girls yet still don’t want to pick it back up. Such a weirdo.

        Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  7. I think I already said this and my comment just hasn’t shown up yet, but just in case…

    I loved The Tsar of Love and Techno and I’m glad you mostly enjoyed it too. I also enjoyed Jane Steel, which was fantastically fun, and Why We Came to the City is one of my favorite books ever. Especially since my review is part of why you picked it up, I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

    Posted 4.6.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I just changed hosts, so some of the comments on that post were lost during the migration 🙁 But I remember reading yours! I think I might try Why We Came to the City next!

      Posted 4.6.16 Reply

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