Thursday, February 18, 2016

And We Stay

And We StayAnd We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I woke up ridiculously early on Saturday morning and didn't want to while away the time playing on my phone in the dark. Instead for the first time, I voluntarily searched through the iBook selection and chose Jenny Hubbard's "And We Stay". I chose it because the premise was compelling and topical since I had just read about one of the Columbine shooter's mother finally opening up about her experience of having her son perpetuate such horrible crimes. I chose it too because it won prestigious honors and seemed like one of those classically angsty that my students could potentially enjoy....By the time Seth woke up, I was halfway through the book.

I can't say I loved the book, but I was captivated. The choice to include poetry throughout was fascinating. I disliked the random tense shift and overuse of present tense writing, but I, in true English teacher style, enjoyed all the references to Emily Dickinson and her life and poetry. This book held more "high flyer" issues than I anticipated - suicide, depression, sex, abandonment, and abortion just to name a few of them, but Hubbard neither glamorized or tried to sell one view versus another. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book unless you're just dying to read a modern connection to Dickinson and her writing....but I'm glad I read it, and I'm glad I have more to show for my hours on my phone than another dozen Pinterest pins because let's be honest. I'm not going to cook 97% of those recipes I've pinned.

Happy reading!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Paris Architect

The Paris ArchitectThe Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

That cliche of "never judge a book by its cover" apparently hasn't sunk in for me. I totally bought this book because of the cover. I loved the title (hello - I love Paris and an architect. It had to be perfect.), and I loved the premise. I loved the street maps of Paris on the inside of the cover. And the love stops there. I only give it two stars because it was compelling enough for me to try and finish it for over two years. The writing is like bad traffic - sometimes you get this brief reprieve where you really get moving and then you slam on the breaks and just sit there. The characters are very Gatsby-esque in that they are, for the most part, unlikeable. Only the rest of the book isn't good enough to carry you on. I'm mostly just thrilled to be finished, though in fairness, I have to say I liked how the book ended. Mostly, I wish I hadn't seen this tantalizing cover sitting on the stacks at the Lahaina Barnes & Noble when I was hunting for a new book after pouring through everything I'd brought to Maui two years ago...but at least I can say I bought it in Hawaii. How's that for cliche? :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

We did what?!

Sometimes I look over at Seth and cannot believe that we got married. I mean, I waited, hoped, and prayed for it. Then in a whirlwind, we got engaged and got married. And now I'm Mrs. Mann. How great is that?