Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reading Envy 134: A Pastiche Romp with Ruthiella

Ruth, often known as Ruthiella, returns to the podcast to talk about several long books she has read and enjoyed lately. Jenny joins in with surprising selections. We talk about the pull of book lists for our own reading, and books we need to give a second chance.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 134: A Pastiche Romp with Ruthiella.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher
NEW! Listen through Spotify


Books Discussed:



Possession by A.S. Byatt
Florida by Lauren Groff
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
Annie Muktuk and Other Stories by Norma Dunning


Other Discussion:

Man Booker Prize
National Book Award
Tournament of Books
Possession (film)
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Charles Dickens
Wilkie Collins
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
The Observations by Jane Harris
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Kate Morton
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Rashaman (film)
Arcadia by Iain Pears
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Jonathan Argyll series (art history) by Iain Pears
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
Books on the Nightstand podcast
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Books and Chocolate  blog - Back to Classics challenge
The Tin Drum by Günter Grass


Related episodes:

Episode 033 - An Undulating Thrum with guests Ruth and Elizabeth
Episode 067 - Rain and Readability with Ruth(iella) 
Episode 085 - An Acquired Taste with Thomas Otto  
Episode 105 - Best Reads of 2017 
Episode 131 - Tartan Noir and More with Claire Duffy

Stalk us online:

Ruth at Goodreads
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: Sonora

Sonora Sonora by Hannah Lillith Assadi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've meant to read this for so long and finally did thanks to the publisher, Soho Press, via Netgalley. Assadi was recently honored by the National Book Foundation as one of their "5 Under 35" authors of acclaim.

The settings (Sonora Desert and later New York City) are vivid and the two female friends growing into women are connected to the landscapes in a number of ways. Either one of them or the place might be cursed, because other teens start dying in their community. Ahlam, the daughter of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father, has dreams/visions that feel like clues.

There are elements that to me give away that this is a debut novel from a writer with an MFA program influence - extraordinary drug use for one - but it is stronger and more captivating than most novels in that vein. I liked the multiple timelines and storylines and the focus on the parents at times. The biggest strength is the sensory writing.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Reading Envy 133: To Understand the World with Lauren Weinhold

Just in time for Non-Fiction November, Lauren and Jenny get together to talk about their reads for Science September (#scienceseptember) and the reads we envied from other people. The title of the episode comes from Carl Sagan, referring to taking children to the library to help answer their questions: "Every question is a cry to understand the world."

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 133: To Understand the World.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher
NEW! Listen through Spotify

Pictured: Only some of the fantastic science books read in September


Books Discussed:

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
The Great Quake by Henry Fountain
The Song of Trees by David George Haskell
The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell
The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
1997 article in Nature about mycorrhizal fungal networks
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Berwald
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
Galileo's Middle Finger by Alice Dreger
Darkness in El Dorado by Patrick Tierney (not linking because this has been debunked and should be considered shenanigans)
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
Waking Up Podcast #135: Navigating Sex and Gender (Sam Harris)
Light of the Stars by Adam Frank
How to Tame a Fox by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White
The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One by Sylvia A. Earle
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen J. Prager
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean M. Carroll
The Physics of Everyday Things by James Kakalios
The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics by Susskind
Totally Random: Why Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics by Tanya Bub and Jeffrey Bub
Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
How We’ll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek
Your Kids Might Live on Mars. Here's How They'll Survive. (Stephen Petranek TED Talk)
Mars (tv series on NatGeo)
The Poetic Species by Edward O. Wilson and Robert Haas
Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff
The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Science and Power of Dreams by Matthew Walker
Descartes’ Error by Antonio Damasio
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club by Eileen Pollack
It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs
Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson
Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William Maples
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Seeds by Thor Hanson
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis
The Beauty in the Beast: Britain’s Favourite Creatures and the People Who Love Them by Hugh Warwick (not available in the USA)
The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis


Thanks to the following readers in Instagram for sharing their #scienceseptember reads!

@loreofbooks @reallifereading @rhode_reads @madeoflightandsound @books_and_biology @shatterlings @dinsdalekep @greenteareads @unwildrumpus @books.and.beers @wynreads @dryapyapi @readmorescience

And thanks to @conservio in Litsy


Related episodes:

Episode 093 - Spewing Science with Jeff Koeppen
Episode 097 - Blank Spaces with Lauren Weinhold
Episode 123 - Godlets and Forests with Lauren Weinhold
Episode 131 - Tartan Noir and More with Claire Duffy


Stalk us online:

Lauren at Goodreads
Lauren is @end.notes on Instagram
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Books Read October 2018: 248-268


Pictured: This month's 5-star reads

248. Florida by Lauren Groff ***** (library book; my review)
249. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan **** (library book; my review)
250. The Tattooist of Auschwitz  by Michelle Miller *** (library Hoopla audiobook; my review)
251. In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey **** (eARC; my review)
252. Protest Kitchen by Carol Adams ** (library book; my review)
253. Letters from Max by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo **** (eARC; my review)
254. The Final Voicemails: Poems by Max Ritvo **** (eARC; my review)
255. Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi by Anthony Bourdain *** (library book; my review)
256. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain *** (library book; my review)
257. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh **** (library book; my review)
258. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller *** (eARC; my review)
259. A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Conner *** (library book; my review)
260. Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture ed. Roxane Gay ***** (library book; my review)
261. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway ***** (library book; my review)
262. What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky *** (eARC; my review)
263. The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley *** (personal copy; my review)
264. Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer ***** (borrowed from a friend; my review)
265. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan *** (personal copy; my review)
266. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff *** (library book; my review)
267. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones ***** (personal copy eBook; my review)
268. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing **** (personal copy; my review)

Total Books Read: 21

Audio: 1
eBook: 6
Print: 14

Monday, October 29, 2018

Best Read of 2018?

What was your favorite read of 2018?

It's time to compile the best of 2018! If you want your favorite book of 2018 included on the last Reading Envy Episode of the year, please send me an email at reading envy at gmail.

Please include:
1. Your name as you'd like it included
2. Your location (optional)
3. Your favorite read from 2018. Like all Reading Envy episodes, it does not need to be published in 2018, just something you enjoyed this year.

You may also record this, in fact I prefer it so that episode is not all my voice! It should be less than 5 minutes, and saved as an MP3, and include the same info as above.

Deadline: December 15, 2018. But please do send earlier than that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Reading Envy 132: Whimsy and Density with Anna Baillie-Karas

Anna Baillie-Karas is a reader and podcaster from Adelaide, Australia. She joins Jenny in the Reading Envy pub to talk about book award lists, expanding our range, organizing our home libraries, and books we've read lately!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 132: Whimsy and Density.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher
NEW! Listen through Spotify


Books Discussed:



Milkman by Anna Burns
Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
There There by Tommy Orange

Other Mentions:

Books on the Go (podcast)
The First Tuesday Book Club (Australian tv show)
Man Booker Prize
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Circe by Madeleine Miller
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge
National Book Award (now includes translated literature award)
Disoriental by Negar Djavadi
Tricks by Domenico Starnoni
The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Simon Winchester
Shawn Mooney (Booktube)
Kendra Winchester (Booktube)
Simon Savidge from the Readers (Booktube)
What Kamil Reads (Booktube)
No Bones by Anna Burns
Women's Prize for Fiction
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
ScotiaBank Giller Prize
Get Booked (podcast)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Mythos by Stephen Fry
Heroes by Stephen Fry
Ulysses by James Joyce
Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin #1) by Boris Akunin
Before Sunrise (film)
Before Sunset (film)
Before Midnight (film)
Lost Connections by Johann Hari
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Annie Muktuk & Other Stories by Norma Dunning


Related Episodes:
Episode 002 - Return of the Euthanized Book with guest Bryan Alexander
Episode 006Bailey's Women's Prize 2014
Episode 074 - The Books We Didn't Love in High School with Blaine DeSantis
Episode 086 - The Queen of Bailing with Shawn Mooney 
Episode 098 - Just a Bunch of Stuff that Happened with Bryan Bibb 
Episode 123 - Godlets and Forests with Lauren Weinhold

Stalk us online:

Books on the Go Podcast
Anna is @abailliekaras on Instagram
Anna on Twitter
Anna at Goodreads
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Review: In the Night Wood

In the Night Wood In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now that the weather is finally turning gloomy, you might be looking for an atmospheric read. Look no further! This book blends folklore, English countryside, mysterious books, missing children, and a wood that beckons....

I enjoyed Bailey's short stories that I also read this year, and I may have a slight preference for those because they were more along the lines of dark fantasy and sometimes humorous, always full of humanity. Sometimes I felt trapped in this book because it gets a bit circular, and you know that the characters are doing dangerous things and the author is just going to make you watch it happen! But that's part of the overall tone of the novel that is so effective. Some of the characters feel more like archetypes than individuals, but again, that suits the book too since there is a layer in it of another book, also called In the Night Wood.

At the heart of the story is a damaged marriage, with both people destroyed by grief with an added undercurrent of infidelity that hasn't even started to be dealt with. That may be the greater horror in the end.

(I marked this little part:)
"They were silent then, listening to the sound of their marriage calve around them, like a glacier, like sea ice, as fragile and as cold.
'Pass the salt, please,' he said."

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Reading Envy 131: Tartan Noir and More with Claire Duffy

Claire Duffy is a crime writer in Glasgow, and overall interesting person who came on the Reading Envy podcast to chat books. We talk about how tartan noir has very little to do with tartans, the crime community in Scotland, and how classics change as we get older.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 131: Tartan Noir and More.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher
NEW! Listen through Spotify


Books Discussed:



Garnethill by Denise Mina
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Finding Peggy by Meg Henderson
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell


Other Mentions: 

Dark of Night, Episode One by C.S. Duffy
The Bridge (tv show)
Mary Higgins Clark
Bloody Scotland Festival
Mark Billingham
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Trainspotting (film)
Ian Rankin
Val McDermid
Noir at the Bar, Edinburgh
Noir at the Bar: An Oral History
National Book Award (USA)
Man Booker Prize
Not the Booker Prize
I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell
Downton Abbey (tv series)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (film)
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

Related Episodes (those with crime):
Episode 058 - Wishing for a Sequel with Scott D. Danielson
Episode 060 - A Good Era for Communists with Rose Davis
Episode 062 - Olfactory Stimuli with David Galloway
Episode 072 - Books Are My Bag with Sarah K
Episode 074 - The Books We Didn't Love in High School with Blaine DeSantis
Episode 108 - Venn Diagram with Yanira Ramirez 
Episode 110 - The Accidental Love Episode with Casey Stepaniuk
Episode 114 - Raised by Wolves with Karen Acosta
Episode 115 - Quote, Unquote with Scott Eaton 

Stalk us online:

Claire is @csduffywriter on Instagram
Claire is also @writer.on.the.go on Instagram if you want to check out her dictating while exercising project
Claire on Twitter
Claire on Facebook
Claire on the internet
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Books Read September 2018: 219 - 247


Pictured: This month's 5-star reads

219. The Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons ***** (print galley; my review)
220. Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer *** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
221. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ***** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
222. Ohio by Stephen Markley **** (eARC; my review)
223. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman *** (postal book swap; my review)
224. Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen by Mary-Ann Kirkby **** (interlibrary loan; my review)
225. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben **** (Hoopla eBook; my review)
226. Rodeo in Reverse by Lindsay Alexander **** (eARC; my review)
227. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy **** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
228. Solo by Kwame Alexander *** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
229. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell **** (eARC; my review)
230. Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush ***** (Hoopla eBook; my review)
231. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan *** (eARC; my review)
232. Sabrina by Nick Drnaso ** (library book; my review)
233. The End of the Moment We Had by Toshiki Okada **** (eARC; my review)
234. The Best American Poetry 2018 ed. Dana Gioia **** (eARC; my review)
235. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh **** (eARC and library book; my review)
236. Normal People by Sally Rooney ***** (eARC; my review)
237. A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler **** (postal book swap; my review)
238. Baking as Biography by Diane Tye **** (interlibrary loan; my review)
239. The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan **** (Audible audiobook; my review)
240. In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne **** (library book; my review)
241. Premonitions by Elizabeth Schmul **** (eARC; my review)
242. Milkman by Anna Burns ** (eARC; my review)
243. There There by Tommy Orange **** (library book; my review)
244. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper ***** (library book; my review)
245. Girls and Boys by Dennis Kelly **** (Audible exclusive; my review)
246. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories by Norma Dunning ***** (personal copy; my review)
247. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah *** (library eBook; my review)

Total books read: 29
Review copies: 12

Audio: 6
eBook: 12
Print:11

Canada/Alaska 2018: 5
Postal Book Swaps: 2
Newest Literary Fiction Group: YA Theme: 4
Science September: 2

Giller Prize Longlist: 1

Man Booker Prize Longlist: 5
Man Booker Prize Shortlist: 1

National Book Award Longlist: 2