Hello Readers! I’m going strong on reading this year and I’m hoping I can keep the momentum going, especially as we are approaching a 3-day weekend.
Goal for the week: Finish In the Garden of Spite. It is publishing soon and I want to get the review posted before then.
Mon 1/11: Today I made a little progress with In the Garden of Spite, making it from the 40% mark to the 45% mark. I also listened to about 2 hours of the Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke. I’m stalled on A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. It is a good book, but I’m just not feeling motivated to pick it up for some reason.
Tue 1/12: I went from the 45% mark to the 53% mark today with In the Garden of Spite. It’s still a really dark book and it is getting a little bit repetitive. I’m hoping to see a little more development in the second half of the book.
I also listened to another 2 hours of the Key Lime Pie murder. This one definitely has the feel of a more traditional Hannah Swensen mystery as compared to the last one that I listened to. The body dropped within the first few chapters and the motives seem pretty clear, although the suspects seem a little weak. I appreciate that Swensen always has a spot on the suspect list for the unknown killer with the unknown motivation. Maybe this will be the book where that suspect is the actual killer?
Wed 1/13: Today was a weird day at work which made for a low-level reading day. I finished listening to Key Lime Pie Murder. The ending was satisfying and I hadn’t pegged the killer exactly. The breadcrumbs were there, but the backstory didn’t slot into place until Fluke was ready to clue the reader in. These mysteries are all super satisfying because I keep my engagement level low and don’t worry too much about trying to solve it ahead of time. I’ve read/listened to enough of Fluke’s books now to feel fairly competent that I will be satisfied by the ending.
Thu 1/14: I made a teeny tiny bit of progress with In the Garden of Spite today. I went from 53% to 55%. I’m a little worried that I won’t have time to finish it and review it at this pace. It’s still a little repetitive at the moment. I have a good sense of who the main character is, but not a lot of sense for where the story is going. There’s still a lot of story left to go.
I started the next Hannah Swensen mystery this morning on audiobook. I made it almost 2 hours into Carrot Cake Murder. It’s off to a slower start, but it seems fairly predictable at the moment. It may be stretching believability a bit more than previous entries have been, with a character who left home years before but is instantly recognized when he returns. We’ll see.
Fri 1/15: I began reading Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. I picked this one up specifically to meet the PopSugar Reading Challenge category: “A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list”. I can’t say that I would have picked this one up otherwise, as I am not generally a fan of poetry. I made it about 40 pages in so far.
Sat 1/16: I finished reading Citizen: An American Lyric first thing this morning. It was a short book to get through, and I can’t say that I really understood all of it. The parts that I did understand however, felt very impactful. It’s a very emotional collection and the internalized nature of some of the entries hit me really hard. The parts that read like the voice in her head just rocked me since I felt like that was how the voice in my head sounded, but at the same time she was discussing scenarios that are completely different from anything that I have ever faced. It’s just a lot to process. It made me think, which is a gift that I am grateful for.
I also finished In the Garden of Spite today. The ending was both expected and a little bit of a surprise. From early on in the book, you can sense that some very bad things are going to have to happen and the trajectory seems pretty clear, but there was at least one large twist that caught me by surprise. I ended up rating this one 4 stars and I’ll be writing a full review pretty soon. This one is going to stick with me for a while.
I also started and finished a short story from Blake Crouch called Summer Frost. It’s part of a 6-book collection on Kindle Unlimited called the Forward Collection. I read the first book, Ark by Veronica Roth a few weeks back. They were both speculative science fiction pieces that highlight the potential paths that humanity might take with current scientific developments. Although they are both short, they pack quite a punch. I’m looking forward to continuing on with the series. The first two are not connected in any obvious way, so I’m curious to see if there will be something that ties all the stories together or if they will remain standalones going forward.
Lastly, I started Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark today, but I only read about 22 pages. It’s a short book, so I look forward to finishing it in the next few days.
Sun 1/17: I only ended up reading about 10 pages in Ring Shout today. I had a pleasant day spent on other activities, and after a pretty productive reading day Saturday, I gave myself a little break. I also watched a lot of booktube. It just sucks you in. 🙂
2021 Reading Goals:
I made some goals for this year and you can check my ongoing progress on those here. I’m off to a pretty good start with these. I’m hoping to convert some of the sections into more visually-friendly charts pretty soon.
From the Library: This week I got a ton of books from the two libraries that I frequent. I need to work on impulse control a little bit, because it’s not reasonable that I will finish all of these before they are due…but in any case, here are the titles.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Dust by Kara Swanson
The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James
I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (I picked this one up for a reading challenge)
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (I picked this one up for a read-a-long)
Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark (I picked this one up to help with a 2021 reading goal)
The Map of Stories by Anna James