Tag: fiction

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR

Reading Update!

sesame

Good morning, Blog Readers! It’s the week before Winter Break, and I couldn’t help but kick it off by catching you up on what I’ve been reading, and what I’m planning for the blog this week.

First, I received an ARC of PASSENGER, one of my most anticipated releases for 2016, from my Secret Sister this last month. I’ve been swept up into it–my train journeys in the morning have just flown by as I have been completely immersed in this story of time travel, danger, and intrigue!

passenger

Then, I owe a big thank you to SCHOLASTIC for the ARC of THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by one of my new favorite Middle Grade authors, Natalie Lloyd, that I received in the mail! You’ll remember that I adored A SNICKER OF MAGIC so I’m really excited about this 2016 release from Natalie.

key natalie lloyd

I’m hoping to finish both titles this week, and maybe even read at least one more book before I have to decide which titles I’m going to tackle over Winter Break. Since the week before Winter Break always seems a little busy, especially when working in a School Library, I thought I would start one of my 2016 ARCs that I’ve heard is a fast and compelling read: THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS. I met the author at a Middle Grade signing event in Wellsley last spring and she is lovely! I was very excited to pick up a copy of this at ALA in San Francisco this past summer.

this is where it ends book

As you can see from the Goodreads summary, the story sounds pretty intense: “Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.” I’ve seen some positive reviews from readers so far, and plan to share with your my own thoughts about it here on the blog!

So, what are you reading this Monday in the midst of this Holiday season?!?

What Katie Read

It Begins!! Bout of Books 14 Sign-Up & Goals

Be excited!! It’s time for another BOUT OF BOOKS!!

belle and books

bout of books 14

As many of you know, Bout of Books is a focused week of reading and you can set any or no goals at all! I’m finished with two of my three classes I ‘m teaching this summer, so I have a little more reading time freed up. I have some lofty goals, because I would rather they be lofty than low. I have several books to finish up this week (World After, Trixie Belden, and Maybe In Another Life) as well as a few from the library I want to tackle in addition to an ALA ARC. I have a long plane flight on Thursday and I’ve specifically set aside several books for that! Here’s my proposed stack that I will pull from:

bout of books 14 stack

If you’re not familiar with Bout of Books, here’s more info:

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team.”

I’m hoping to participate in some challenges, as well as at least one of #boutofbooks chats. What about you? Are you taking part? What titles do you have planned to read?

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What Katie Read

Mini Review: The Bookseller (2015) by Cynthia Swanson

Mini Review: The Bookseller (2015) by Cynthia SwansonThe Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Published by Harper Collins on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Psychological, Adult, Historical
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-stars

A mesmerizingly powerful debut novel about the ways in which past choices can irrevocably define the present—and the bittersweet confrontation of what might have been
1962: It may be the Swinging Sixties in New York, but in Denver it's different: being a single gal over thirty in this city is almost bohemian. Still, thirty-eight-year-old Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She was involved, once—with a doctor named Kevin—but when things didn't work out the way she had hoped, she decided to chart her own path. Now she dedicates herself to the bookstore she runs with her best friend, Frieda, returning home each evening to her cozy apartment. Without a husband expecting dinner, she can enjoy last-minute drinks after work with her friends; without children who need to get ready for school, she can stay up all night reading with her beloved cat, Aslan, by her side.
Then the dreams begin.
1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They live in a picture-perfect home in a suburban area of Denver, close to their circle of friends. It's the ideal place in which to raise their children. Katharyn's world is exactly what Kitty once believed she wanted . . . but it exists only when she sleeps.
At first, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. Even though there is no Frieda, no bookstore, no other familiar face, Kitty becomes increasingly reluctant to open her eyes and abandon Katharyn's alluring life.
But with each visit to her dreamworld, it grows more real. As the lines between the two worlds begin to blur, Kitty faces an uncertain future. What price must she pay to stay? What is the cost of letting go?

I was first drawn to The Bookseller because of its premise. Kitty is in her 30s, managing a bookstore with her best friend, and she leads a contented life with her work as a bookseller and her cozy home and cat. And plenty of time to read.

Then, things start to get a little strange.

She begins to dream of a parallel life: in it, she’s married with three children and her life is entirely different than the one she knows as a bookseller. In fact, the bookstore doesn’t even make up a part of her life in this alternate reality. Her best friend and she aren’t really best friends anymore, and a guy she only talked to once on the phone in her single life reality has become her husband! 

WHAT IS GOING ON?

overwhelmed

The book takes place in both 1962 and 1963, and bounces back and forth between the two realities. The pace of the book trips along and this was a delightful read for me earlier in the spring of this year. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at what happened to Kitty at the end, and I suppose I applauded the author for that.

I found The Bookseller to be an interesting exploration of the perspective of a single woman living a fulfilled life, considering if she’s missing anything in the way of marriage and family. At the same time, it’s thought-provoking to consider the other side—what freedom and opportunities does a married woman with children miss?

This is a “Sliding Doors” type book and I definitely enjoyed it. This garnered a solid 4 stars from me and I would  recommend it for those of you who enjoy a lighter read situated in the earlier time period of the 60s. 

four-stars
What Katie Read
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