Category Archives: General

Disappearing Kids in Fiction

I have a blog post up today at Readerly about the theme of disappearing kids, and why it’s so common in literary fiction. Check it out!

Summer Reading: A Crowdsourced Recommendation List

Summer is already a few weeks in, so I am a little behind, but here is a list of summer reading suggestions collected from my Facebook friends and people who follow the EDIWTB Facebook page. There’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction, new and not-as-new, and even some YA and poetry thrown in. Wherever I’ve read the book that was recommended, I’ve linked to my review too.

Enjoy, and happy summer reading!

Fiction

All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

Big Little Lies and The Hypnotist’s Love Story, Liane Moriarty (see my reviews of other Moriarty books What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret)

The Circle, Dave Eggars

Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

A God In Ruins, Kate Atkinson

Elena Ferrante’s Naples series, starting with My Brilliant Friend

The Sound Of Glass, Karen White

The House of Hawthorne, Erika Robuck

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

The Shore, Sara Taylor

The Collected Stories, Breece D’J Pancake

The Sunlit Night, Rebecca Dinerstein

Movie Star By Lizzie Pepper, Hilary Liftin (on sale 7/21) 

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli 

The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

Some Luck and Early Warning, Jane Smiley (reviewed here and here)

The Girl On The Train, Paula Hawkins (reviewed here)

The Children Act, Ian McEwan (reviewed here)

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

The Narrow Road To The Deep North, Richard Flanagan

Euphoria, Lily King

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (reviewed here)

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Redeployment, Phil Klay (reviewed here)

Fourth Of July Creek, Smith Henderson

Beach Town, Mary Kay Andrews

Summer Secrets, Jane Green

The Daddy Diaries, Joshua Braff

The Cake Therapist, Judith Fertig

Girl Of My Dreams, Peter Davis

The Secret Of Magic, Deborah Johnson

A Court Of Thorns And Roses, Sarah Maas

Star Craving Mad, Elise Miller (out 8/4)

Nonfiction

Destiny Of The Republic: A Tale Of Madness, Medicine And The Murder Of A President, Candice Millard

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing Of The Lusitania, Erik Larson

The Skies Belong To Us: Love And Terror In The Golden Age Of Hijacking, Brendan Koerner

All The Truth Is Out, Matt Bai

The Real Thing: Lessons On Love And Life From A Wedding Reporter’s Notebook, Ellen McCarthy

Paper Love: Searching For The Girl My Grandfather Left Behind: Sarah Wildman – non-fiction

An Invisible Thread: The True Story Of An 11-Year-Old Panhandler, A Busy Sales Executive, And An Unlikely Meeting with Destiny, Laura Schroff

The Wright Brothers, David McCullough

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo (reviewed here)

Devil In The Grove: Thurgood Marshall, The Groveland Boys, And The Dawn Of A New America, Gilbert King

Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip, Peter Hessler

The Three-Day Promise, Donald Chung

Young Adult

I’ll Give You The Sun, Jandy Nelson

The Stellow Project – Shari Becker

One Thing Stolen, Beth Kephart

 

Poetry

The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, Jeannine Hall Gailey

Ohio Violence, Alison Stine

Banned For Life, Arlene Ang

Vessel, Parneshia Jones

Classics

To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Peyton Place, Grace Metalious

The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury

The Age Of Innocence, Edith Wharton

Books About Disappearing Kids

Have you read a bunch of books about kids who disappear? I know I have. I did a roundup of disappearing kids/parent’s worst nightmare books for the current issue of Readerly. Check it out here.

 

BEA 2015

I went to BEA last week, which is always an opportunity for me to re-connect with the book blogging world and get all excited about books again. Reading has fallen way down my priority list the last few months, pushed down by family stuff, Nats baseball, bad reality TV, and work (not necessarily in that order). But once again I’ve returned from NY recommitted to reading and to my blog.

I also have tons of books coming en route from NY. I picked up a bunch of ARCs, some signed books that I am excited about, and lots of stuff for my kids. I’ll post some pictures once the books arrive. I also went to some interesting panels, like Hot Fall Fiction, Editor’s Picks: Literary Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction Buzz Books, and more. There is a lot of exciting fiction coming out this year.

One great event I went to was a publicist speed dating session. I sat a table with a number of other bloggers/book people and every ten minutes, a new publicist would appear and tell us about 6 or so new titles. Pretty cool. Got a lot of promising books out of that one too.

I also went to the annual audiobook narrator/blogger meetup, which is one of my favorite parts of BEA. I LOVE talking to narrators about audiobooks and the process that goes into making them. Such a cool group of people.

As far as reading goes, I finally finished the second Jane Smiley installment in her new trilogy – Early Warning. I will review it this week. I’ve started the new Judy Blume novel In The Unlikely Event on audio, and picked up a new BEA book last night. So, I’m back!

Here are some pics of the middle grade and kids’ authors I met at BEA, which I took for my kids.

Wendy Mass and her husband Michael Brawer:

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Stuart Gibbs:

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Louis Sachar:

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Rebecca Stead:

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Sandra Boynton:

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Rosemary Wells:

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Introducing… Readerly Magazine

For the last few years, I have worked on a publication called Bloggers Recommend. I manage its Facebook page and have written a number of reviews of new releases and audiobooks over the years.

Readerly_FB2Bloggers Recommend has just been rebranded as Readerly Magazine. Readerly is a “thrice-monthly email magazine featuring articles, interviews, and new release book picks from a community of dedicated readers”. In other words, it’s a magazine about books by people who love them.

Please give Readerly a look and subscribe if you’d like more book-related news in your inbox every month!

Also, I have an article in the current issue of Readerly about Three Depressing Books That Are Totally Worth It. Click through to see what they are…

GIRL ON THE TRAIN Audiobook Giveaway

Congrats to the winner of the audiobook of Girl on the Train – Lauren Thomson! (She’s also known as the person who designed this blog.) Enjoy!

2014: Reading Year in Review

So this is kind of depressing: I just re-read my Reading Year in Review post for 2013, and it’s pretty much exactly what I was going to write this year. I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to, and I didn’t love a lot of the books I did read. Same thing, different year. Last year, I said that “wasn’t blown away by a lot of what I read”, and resolved to be more selective this year. I think I was pretty selective this year, but I still didn’t love a lot of the books I chose. As I said last year, I think I am too picky, or grumpy, or both.

Last year, I read 49 books, which I was bummed about because I wanted to hit 50. In 2014, I fell short again. November and December were particularly slow for me, due to being really busy and getting mired in The Art of Fielding. I managed to get to 48 books, which is one shy of last year. 2015: I will reach 52! A book a week!

Here are my standout reads from 2014:

Best audiobooks were Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris (read by the author) and The Blessings by Elise Juska (read by Therese Plummer).

Most disappointing books: To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and Lucky Us by Amy Bloom.

Most creative read goes to One More Thing by BJ Novak.

For the last three years, I have tracked the Depressing Themes of the books I read, and the lists have been impressive. Here are the depressing subjects covered by the books I read in 2014: infertility, loss of a child (three times), giving up a child for adoption (twice), agoraphobia, infidelity, loss of a spouse in Iraq, being a widower, latchkey childhood, Japanese internment, PTSD, untimely death of a spouse, grief in general, abusive parents, arson (twice!), Brooklyn parenting, Iraq war casualties, dystopia, Holocaust reparations, loss of a parent, Puritanism, cerebral palsy, death from AIDS, suicide. That was actually a lighter year than 2013…

The breakdown:

  • 43 fiction, 5 non-fiction
  • 8 repeat authors during 2014: Maria Semple, Maggie Shipstead, Ann Hood, Sarah Pekkanen, Sue Miller, Joshua Ferris, Jojo Moyes, Jane Smiley
  • 16 audiobooks
  • 11 male authors, 37 female authors

How was your 2014 in reading? What were the highlights?