Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Books Read March 2020: 51-76

March was a month where some reading goals (The Odyssey) came to fruition while other reading goals (Faulkner) had to be gently let go of, with the world and its circumstances, not being able to meet in person to discuss a difficult author made me call it at 5 Faulkner novels for the year. Some day I may return to finish the pile, but I still feel I accomplished a goal!

Some of this month's five-star reads are surprising - two were The Odyssey, one because of the narration by Claire Danes. Two were novels with queer themes, published this year, both great reads for different reasons. Two were found in Hoopla at the end of the month as I grasped for the right read for my tired and anxious brain. Hoopla provided bonus downloads (not a paid advertisement) that led me to the Neil Gaiman retelling with the most gorgeous art, and a small quiet science/memoir book that I've been meaning to read for a while now.

You'll see so many four-star reads this month, and that's really the sweet spot. And while they may not be breathtakingly perfect books, anything with four stars is well worth reading. I'd check out my reviews, linked for each book, to learn more about any particular title of interest.

Pictured: March's 5-star Reads

51. Weather by Jenny Offill ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library copy, my review)
52. Light in August by William Faulkner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
53. Truth or Beard by Penny Reid, narrated by Joy Nash & Chris Brinkley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
54. Writers & Lovers by Lily King ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
55. b, Book, and Me by Kim Sagwa, translated by Sunhee Jeong ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
56. Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
57. The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
58. Knitting the Fog by Claudia D. Hernandez ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla eBook; my review)
59. The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library copy; my review)
60. The Deep by Alma Katsu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
61. Mustard, Milk, and Gin by Megan Denton Ray ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
62. Overthrow by Caleb Crain ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
63. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
64. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson, narrated by Claire Danes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Audible audiobook; my review)
65. Real Life by Brandon Taylor ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (review copy; my review)
66. The Seep by Chana Porter ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from publisher; my review)
67. Hull by Xandria Phillips ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from publisher; my review)
68. How to Be Fine by Jolenta Greenburg and Kristen Meinzer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
69. My Year of Living Spiritually by Anne Bokma ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
70. We Inherit What the Fires Left by William Evans ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
71. The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
72. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (ARC from publisher; my review)
73. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla bonus download; my review)
74. #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE by Nicole Byer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
75. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla eBook; my review)
76. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)

Total Books Read: 26
DNF: 2 (not in this list)

Audiobook: 2
eBook: 15
Print: 9

ARC/Review copy: 14
Library: 6
Personal: 6

ErdrichMedicineReadalong: 1
Faulkner class: 1
Middle East 2020: 0
TBR Explode: 0
Tournament of Books: 1

Reading Envy 185: Loyal Swineherd (The Odyssey Readalong)

Jeff, Nadine, Robin, Nikki, Lindy, and Elizabeth joined me on a Saturday afternoon to discuss the most recent Reading Envy Readalong - The Odyssey by Homer, most of us reading the translation by Emily Wilson, some reading the translation by Wilson as narrated by Claire Danes. We reflected on favorite moments, memorable characters, and our own experiences with this (literally) epic work. Did you readalong or have more to share? Please leave a comment!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 185: Loyal Swineherd

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Other mentions:

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Samuel Butler
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Alexander Pope
The Odyssey by Homer, graphic novel adaptation by Gareth Hinds
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
House of Names by Colm Toibin
Ulysses by James Joyce
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Orfeo ed Euridice by Wilhelm Gluck (opera)
Hadestown (musical)
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
ODY-C by Matt Fraction
Memorial by Alice Oswald
Black Odyssey by Marcus Gardley (play)
Ransom by David Malouf


Related Episodes:
 
Episode 090 - Reading Envy Readalong: East of Eden with Ellie and Jeff
Episode 099 - Readalong: The Secret History
Episode 118 - Reading Envy Readalong: To the Bright Edge of the World
Episode 137 - Reading Envy Readalong: The Golden Notebook
Episode 157 - Joint Readalong of Gone with the Wind with Book Cougars
Book Cougars - Joint Readalong of Sapphira and the Slave Girl


Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
All readalongs are #readingenvyreadalong on all social media

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Reading Envy 184: Theme Night at Book Club with Kala

Kala returns and this time she just started a new book club, so we chat about that before moving on to other reads we've experienced lately. A little romance, a little comedy, a little history, a little reading in translation.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 184: Theme Night at Book Club with Kala

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Listen via Stitcher
NEW! Listen through Spotify


Books discussed:



If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card
b, Book, and Me by Kim Sagwa, translated by Sunhee Jeong
Don't Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon


Other mentions:

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Mina by Kim Sagwa
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Loving Donovan by Bernice McFadden
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee
Knitting the Fog by Claudia D. Hernandez

 
Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Kala on Twitter
Jenny on Twitter
Kala on Facebook
Kala's blog, Reader then Blogger
Kala is @ReaderthenBlogger on Instagram
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Reading Envy 183: Birthing Rabbits with Jessica (ToB2020)

Jessica and I are superfans of the Morning News Tournament of Books, and have participated as readers for several years. We are not official partners of the Tournament, nor does it belong to us, but we are hopeful that all involved will take this as a fancast and that readers who haven't heard of it will participate next time. Both of us have encountered books through the Tournament we would never have read otherwise. In this bonus episode, we focus on the books from this year's Tournament (both the long and shortlist) but also end up talking about some highlights from previous years. Ready your brackets, this is the only madness happening in March!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 183: Birthing Rabbits with Jessica.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
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Listen via Stitcher
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Books discussed:

Most books will be best viewed here on the Tournament of Books site
2020 bracket
ToB 2020 Shortlist
ToB 2020 Longlist (this is your 2020 reading list!)


Other mentions:

Cantoras by Carolina di Robertis
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
Hill William by Scott McClanahan
Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan
The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
A Girl Returned by Donatella di Pietrantonio
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kaji Fajardo-Anstine
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky
Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett


Related episodes:

Episode 110 - The Accidental Love Episode with Casey Stepaniuk
Episode 150 - Rife with Storytelling with Sara
Episode 163 - Fainting Goats with Lauren
Episode 166 - On Brand with Karen
Episode 167 - Book Pendulum with Reggie
Episode 175 - Reading on Impulse with Marion Hill
Episode 178 - Precarious Pile with Ruth(iella)


Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jessica at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Jessica is @the bluestocking on Litsy

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Reading Envy 182: Reading Slump with Ellie

Ellie is back and we get honest about reading slumps. We all have them, and it's a pretty bad feeling when books betray you. What can you do? We talk about how we have found our way out of reading slumps (or hope to) and then talk about some books we've read and liked recently.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 182: Reading Slump with Ellie.

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Listen via Stitcher
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Books discussed:



Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson
Virtuoso by Yelena Moskovich
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey


Other mentions:

Black Wave by Michelle Tea
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
Mary Higgins Clark
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Slade House by David Mitchell
Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Why Be Happy, When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
2020 Tournament of Books


Related episodes:

Episode 046 - Books for Your Kitty Party with Libby Young and many other guests
Episode 090 - Reading Envy Readalong: East of Eden with Ellie and Jeff
Episode 099 - Readalong: The Secret History
Episode 112 - Reset Button with Eleanor Thoele
Episode 121 - Love, Lust, Loss, and Longing with Casey Hampton


Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Ellie at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Ellie is @elliedottie on Litsy

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Books Read February 2020: 31-50

This year of reading so far has felt a bit slower, what with the Faulkner class, the Erdrich readalong, and the Odyssey readalong. Some of that reading is not represented here because I'm still making progress. A third of this month's reading came from the Tournament of Books because I recorded a podcast episode (coming soon) focused on the list, but found myself more interested in some of the books on the longlist than the shortlist. Two of my five-star reads come from the longlist, actually.

Pictured: February's 5-star Reads

31. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (personal copy; my review)
32. The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert, narrated by Cornell Collins ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
33. Woman Last Seen in her Thirties by Camille Pagain ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kindle eBook; my review)
34. Saudade by Suneeta Peres de Costa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla eBook; my review)
35. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library book; my review)
36. Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library book; my review)
37. After Atlas by Emma Newman, narrated by Andrew Kingston ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
38. No Hard Feelings by Liz Fosslien ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (interlibrary loan; my review)
39. Track Changes by Sayed Kashua ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
40. Virtuoso by Yelena Moskovich ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (galley from publisher; my review)
41. Good Boys by Megan Ferndandes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
42. Sanctuary by William Faulkner ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
43. Golden State by Ben H. Winters, narrated by Kiff VandenHeuvel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Audible audiobook; my review)
44. A Brief History of Time by Shaindel Beers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (interlibrary loan; my review)
45. Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, translated by Leri Price ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library book; my review)
46. Unformed Landscape by Peter Stamm, translated by Michael Hofmann ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (interlibrary loan; my review)
47. A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated by Ann Goldstein ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla eBook; my review)
48. Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)
49. Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn, narrated by Sharon Gordon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
50. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (personal copy; my review)

Total Books Read: 20

Audiobook: 4
eBook: 5
Print: 11

ARC: 3
Library: 11
Personal Copy: 5

Erdrich project: 1
Faulkner project: 3
Middle East 2020: 1
TBR Explode: 1
Tournament of Books: 7

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Reading Envy 181: An Awkward Woman with Yanira Ramirez

Yanira is back and we are talking reading goals, especially the classics, and reading our backlists. We talk about books we've read and liked recently, with a brief interlude tribute to interlibrary loan. Make sure to check out Yanira's previous appearances on the podcast, since this is number five.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 181: An Awkward Woman with Yanira.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
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Books discussed:



Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Planetfall by Emma Newman
Anti-Social by Andrew Marantz
Tracks by Louise Erdrich
Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante


Other mentions:

#erdrichmedicinereadalong sponsored by @erins_library and @thunderbirdwomanreads in Instagram
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
After Atlas by Emma Newman
Four Souls by Louise Erdrich
Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner


Related episodes:

Episode 070 - Words Like Weapons with Yanira Ramirez
Episode 096 - Not Without Hope with Yanira Ramirez
Episode 108 - Venn Diagram with Yanira Ramirez 
Episode 127 - The Sadness Between Books with Bianca Escalante 
Episode 141 - Profound and Tedious Work with Yanira Ramirez


Stalk us online:

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