"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Salon....WELCOME, IAN edition

Don and Ian. Don was supposed to be watching the Seahawks football game, but was admiring Ian instead.
Weather: Beautiful day. Sunny and warm. It was cool and rainy the past week but we hear that summer-ish weather will be with us this coming week. There is still time to enjoy being outdoors.
Me and Ian, on the day of his birth
Welcome, Ian. Our grandson was born on Sept. 13th to our daughter and son-in law, Rita and Daniel. Ian weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs. 9 oz. after a relatively short labor. The new family is adjusting well. I've been on grandma duty most days...making meals and helping with laundry and offering my limited advice, but mostly doing baby-admiring whenever possible. Right now Ian and his parents are visiting us, their first time since his birth, for brunch and football game viewing (Go Seahawks!) We already love this little guy so much and are so proud of his parents.
Our daughter with her baby. Such a little snuggler.
In addition to baby-admiring, I've been reading. About the only other thing I've been doing these past two weeks is reading and listening to audiobooks. In fact, in the past two weeks, since my last Sunday post, I've finished a record-breaking ten nine books. It helps that almost half of them were audiobooks that I listened to as I drove back and forth from Rita and Dan's home everyday. It helped that I had committed to a reading challenge to read books from my to-be-read (TBR) list, which ends today.

  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles...(Audiobook) Set in Texas during the few years after the Civil War. Two misfits and thrown together by circumstances beyond their control and they come to rely on one another for support. Read my review by clicking on the hyperlinked title. both Don and I really enjoyed this book.
  • The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein...(Print) Set in Scotland in the late 1930s before WWII. It is part historical fiction, part mystery, and part coming-of-age tale. This is the second best YA book I've read all year. Once again click the title (hyperlinked) for my review.
  • The Biography of the Beatles by Bob Spitz...(Audiobook) Feeding my Beatlemania I listened to an abridged version of the 900+ page book. I'm not quite full yet, but getting closer.
  • Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden...(Print, did-not-finish). The plot is set during the Civil War when freed slaves were allowed to drown at Ebenezer Creek by the Yankee soldiers who were supposed to be protecting them. The book was written in a very confusing fashion so I decided to abandon it mid-book, though I am interested in the topic.
  • The Ordering of Love: New and Collected Poems by Madeleine L'Engle...(Print) I started this book over six weeks ago. I found a poem in it which I adapted as An Ode for Ian.
  • The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby...(Print) A quick YA read set in a community on Vancouver island. Two high school students, Charlie and John, vie for the one fashion scholarship to attend an arts school. I liked this book a lot, and I didn't expect that I would. I read it very fast, in one day.
  • H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald...(Audiobook) A memoir. The author's father dies and in an effort to deal with her grief, Helen decides that she should train a goshawk, the largest hawk in Britain. The book isn't just about the training, but also about memories, grief, acceptance of self, and surprisingly, about T.H. White, the author of The Once and Future King, who also trained a goshawk back in his day. I liked this audiobook but I am not sure I would recommend the book to casual readers.
  • Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson...(Audiobook) Sci-Fi, novella, satire. Anderson has a funny, yet depressing novel here about our world when aliens take over. I laughed and moaned. Short. Only 3+ hrs of listening.
  • The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe...(Audiobook) Mary Anne Schwalbe, Will's mother, has cancer. The two decide to start a two-person book club so they can discuss books while they wait for her appointments. This book is so tender and thoughtful. It is an upcoming book club selection, and yes, the irony is not lost on me. I highly recommend it.
  • Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd...(Print) Pattie Boyd was married to both George Harrison AND Eric Clapton. She was the muse for several well-known songs by these famous musicians. This book is about her life and what it was like living with these famous, but troubled men. I've wanted to read this for a long time but selected it now because of my current Beatles-craze.
Currently reading:
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White.  After reading H is for Hawk, I decided I need to read this classic book which has been on my TBR pile for years. (Print, 5%)
  • Cries of the Spirit: More Than 300 Poems In Celebration of Women's Spirituality edited by Mary Sewell. (Print, 9%)
Ian and his dad. Love!
Inside these lines: NFL's response to the Trump speech saying that NFL players who don't stand for the National Anthem are Sons of B**ches and should be fired. I think this is a class act from the NFL---calling for unity and good sportsmanship. Click this link.
Luna, the dog, is not getting the attention she craves.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Friday Quotes: The End of Your Life Book Club

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---


Title: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe


Book Beginning:
We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center. The coffee isn't so good, and the hot chocolate is worse. But if, as Mom and I discovered, you push the "mocha" button, you see how two not-very-good things can come together to make something quite delicious.
Friday 56:
Mom loved Marjorie Morningstar. That much I knew. How much she was or was not Marorie Morningstar herself remained her secret.
Comment: As the title implies Will's mother has cancer. They both love to read so they decide to start a book club of two. While they sit at her many appointments they decide to talk about the books they are reading. Marjorie Morningstar was his mother's favorite book when she was younger. Years ago I gave this book to my mother, even though I hadn't read it. She and I are both in book clubs in our separate towns. We often talk about the books we are reading and those we are discussing on our clubs. She liked this book a lot, though she told me, it isn't as much about the books as it is about the relationship between Will and his mother.

Monday, September 18, 2017

TTT: YA books I want to read this fall in prep for YMA

Top Ten Tuesday: YA books I still want to read this fall before the YMA in January.
(If you have read any of these titles, please let me know what you thought of it.)
1. Landscape with Invisible Hand
by M.T. Anderson
(Five starred reviews; amazing author, Sci-Fi; 
likely the first on the list I will get to since I just bought a copy on Audible)
2. A Face Like Glass
by Frances Hardinge
(Another five starred review book; this author is always winning awards in UK. 
Will this be the year she wins one in the US?)
3. Long Way Down 
by Jason Reynolds
(This book has five starred reviews and it won't be published until mid-October; 
it is about the effects of pulling the trigger on a gun and is written in free verse.)
4. Genuine Fraud
by E. Lockhart
(With four starred reviews this psychological thriller is calling my name.)
5. They Both Die At the End
by Adam Silvera
(Another four starred review book. Silvera is on a roll. This is his second YA publish in 2017.)
6. You Bring the Distant Near
by Mitali Perkins
(An immigrant's story. This one has already earned four starred reviews.)
7. The 57 Bus
by Dashka Slater
(A true story about two teens who got together because of a crime. 
This will be published in October and has eared three starred reviews so far.)
8. Borne
by Jeff VanderMeer
(This is the book I am most excited about on my whole list. One reviewer said this, "A dystopia novel written with impeccable weirdness." I can't tell from my records if it has three or four starred reviews, either way, this book has been getting a lot of national press and I look forward to reading it. Oh, guess what, I just figured out that this book isn't a YA title. I still want to read it, but not for the YMA books.)
9. Spinning
by Tillie Walden
(A graphic memoir about a dancer who also has to come to terms with her sexuality. So far it has earned three starred reviews.)
10. Wild Beauty
by Anna-Marie McLemore
(This three starred review book is set to come out in October and is filled with magical realism. I loved her last book, When the Moon Was Ours.)

((The publications which review YA books and award starred reviews for their favorites are: Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, and VOYA.))

***So far the only book I know of which has earned the complete seven starred reviews this year is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is not on my list because I've already read it.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

News of the World...a wonderful audiobook

Title: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Setting: Post Civil War, Reconstruction Texas in 1870.

Main Characters: 
  • Captain Jefferson Kidd, an elderly widower who participated and fought in three wars, is now an itinerant who makes a living by traveling around Northern Texas, reading the news to people hungry for a connection to the rest of the world.
  • Johanna, a rescued ten-year-old girl who was captured four years ago by Kiowa raiders after they killed her family. She no longer speaks English and is completely wild.
Plot:
     The plot is remarkably simple. Captain Kidd is asked to deliver Johanna to her only living relatives 400 miles over rough and dangerous terrain, one filled with natural barriers (rivers, deserts) and man-made obstacles (political and financial.) Johanna, who completely embraced the Kiowa culture, does not want to go. She wants to return to "her people", her Indian father and mother. She is wild by many standards: eating with her hands, throwing away her shoes, preferring the floor to a bed. But she is smart about nature, knows how to handle a revolver, and is a good problem solver. Nevertheless, as the miles pass, Capt. Kidd and Johanna form a bond of friendship and comradery. 

Themes: What makes a family? How is trust developed? How far does responsibility go? What does honor look like? The importance of balanced news. And historically, what was life like in Texas in the 1870s

Awards: National Book Finalist 2016. Spur Nominee 2017 (Western writing.)

About the author: Paulette Jiles is also a poet. She researches her topics extensively and picks her words carefully. When asked, at the National Book Award ceremony, who she writes her books for, Jiles said she writes for herself. In fact, she said, she enjoys rereading her books and looking for typos.

The audiobooks: You know, if you are a reader of this blog, that I like listening to audiobooks, so it won't surprise you that I selected to listen rather then read News of the World. But actually my decision to choose the audiobook was even more calculating than usual. I first read about ten pages of the print version and was frustrated by the lack of quotation marks. I like the fiction I read to use proper punctuation and will often get frustrated without it. I'm not saying I was frustrated by the print edition of News of the World, it just had that potential so I decided to switch to the audiobook. And the decision was a good one. First, I got to share the book experience with Don. We listened to it as we drove to Oregon and back last weekend. Don loves Western fiction and knows much more about the history of the US Army than me. Secondly, the audiobook narrator, Grover Gardner, had a perfect voice for the book. He has a real folksy style that comes across as authentic for the time and the setting. Thirdly, since the book is short (213 pages) the audiobook isn't prohibitive in terms of time. It is only 6 hours long, perfect for a short road trip.

Review: I really, really enjoyed this book. Capt. Kidd was a complex character. The peeks at historical events: War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Reconstruction Texas, were fascinating but not overwhelming. Both Captain Kidd and Johanna were misfits in a world where they no longer fit. I found myself cheering for these underdogs and for their unlikely triumphs.

What I learned: In addition to the peeks at historical events I learned that Johanna's difficulty assimilating back into life after the time she spent with Kiowa tribe was not unique. Research done by Jiles on the topic revealed that children who were captured and raised by Indians then rescued and returned to their original culture, did not assimilate well. Even if they only lived in the Native-American culture for just a year, they felt like misfits for the rest of their lives once they were returned to their families. One of the characters in book explained it this way, "In their minds they went. When they came back they were unfinished. They are forever falling." The book has a lot of heart and it touched mine.

Rating: 5 stars.
Edition: News of the World, Paulette Jiles, Brilliance Audio. 2016.



Friday, September 15, 2017

Welcome, Ian!

Welcome to our family, Ian.


Ian Bennett Adams born September 13, 2017
Parents, Dan and Rita Adams.
Grandparents: Rick and Nancy Adams / Don and Anne Bennett (us)

For I.B.A., 13th September, 2017

Ian Bennett Adams is here,
Sing joy, rejoice and celebrate!
For perfect love doth cast out fear;
All heaven laughs to mark this date,
Rejoice, rejoice,
With merry voice,
A guardian angel takes his place
To help this darling grow in grace.

Ian Bennett Adams has come!
His rosy lips move: taste and see!
He makes this groping world his home;
He curls his fingers, sucks with glee,
Is here, is here,
Beloved and dear
To all he made to watch and wait.
Rejoice! Rejoice! and celebrate!

(Adapted from the poem:
For M.S.J., 20th June, 1968
by Madeleine L'Engle)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein---a review and Book Beginnings quote

The year is 1938, right before the outbreak of WWII. The setting is an estate near Perth, Scotland, which is a bit northwest of Edinburgh. The main character is Julie Beaufort-Stuart, the fifteen year old granddaughter of the Earl of Strathfearn. Julie is home from school on a summer holiday to help her mother and grandmother close-up the estate after her grandfather's death. It will be her last summer on the estate and she wants to make the most of it. But the very first day she is home, while idling alongside the river which meanders near the estate, Julie is clobbered over the head and left for dead. If not for the assistance of some Travellers, camping on the estate with prearranged permission, Julie might very well have died. Because no one knew her identity, Julie was treated very poorly at the hospital, showing the level of prejudice against Travellers in the community at large. Eventually Julie regains consciousness and she is returned to her family, but she has no memory of her attacker or the circumstances leading up to being bludgeoned. In an oddly coincidental turn, just as Julie is returned home, the archivist working on her grandfather's estate disappears. Everyone fears that he is dead.

Thus begins a story which is part murder mystery and part coming-of-age tale. Julie and her brother Jamie meet and befriend the twins, Travellers who saved her life, Ellen and Euan. They all work to prove to the police that the twins did not murder the archivist and attempt to murder Julie. In the process they uncover a mystery which involves river pearls from the Earl's estate, pearls which can be traced back to Mary Queen of Scots.

In case you think you recognize the name Julie Beaufort-Stuart, if you read Code Name Verity, a Printz Honor book published in 2012, she was the protagonist of that book who was working as a British spy and was captured by the Nazis. The Pearl Thief is considered a prequel of Code Name Verity, but it very easily reads as a stand alone, though we do see the beginnings of Julie's skills as a first rate snoop and the makings of a spy. It is a very different book from CNV, in a lot of ways I liked it better, and that is saying a lot. In The Pearl Thief we meet a girl who is just coming into her own. She is trying to figure out issues related to friendship and prejudice, class and privilege, sexuality and manipulation. In a lot of ways Julie is an unreliable narrator but as she learns things, we do too. I loved her voice and seeing things through her eyes. The climax, which comes very late in the story, was a shocker to me, one I didn't see coming at all. Amal El-Mohtar, writing a review of PT for NPR said this about the two books, "It's an enormously different book from Code Name Verity — but across time, space, and genres, they slip off their gloves and hold hands." Isn't that a lovely description?

In the notes at the end of the book, Elizabeth Wein explains the research she conducted for this book centering on two unknown issues to me: the lives of Travellers (gypsies) and the difficulties that have befallen them since modern technology has altered the way people live today; and the plight of the river mussels, the makers of the beautiful river pearls. Pollution and population growth have led to a situation most dire and now the few remaining mussels are protected against harvesting and it is illegal to sell the pearls, even ones that have been in families for years. I enjoy learning something new when I read a book and The Pearl Thief sure fit that bill. Plus, and this is always a bonus for me, the book was filled with poetry, especially poems by the famous Scots poet, Robert Burns. Loved it!

Book Beginnings quote:
'You're a brave lassie.' That was what my grandfather told me as he gave me his shotgun.
Friday 56 quote:
And then among the piles of paper on the desk I was startled to see something I recognized.
Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Edition: Print
Challenge: Read Books from Your TBR pile, Sept. 11-24.
Mock Printz recommendation: Yes




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Short YA Book Reviews

Once again I find myself falling behind on my book reviews. I am miraculously keeping up on reading goals but can't seem to say the same about blogging goals. In an effort to catch up I offer shorter reviews of several recently read YA books.

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner is an adventure story set in the fantasy land of Attolia and Mede, The book is heralded as the fifth book in the Queen's Thief series but also works as a stand-alone book with characters introduced in earlier books but whose stories are flushed out much more in this book. Kamet, a slave of a master in Mede, is whisked out of his country and his safe life by an Attolian soldier who is sent by his king to capture Kamet and bring him to Attolia. The two embark on a very long and dangerous journey, one filled with all kinds of adventures, near misses, and narrow escapes. It is a fun and exciting read from start to finish.

I haven't read the other four books in the series and I did fine with Thick as Thieves without knowing much about the world and the characters from the other books. But I confess I now want to go back and read them. Turner's writing is strong and the imagery is strong. I liked everything about this book and the reading experience and wouldn't mind repeating it again with the earlier books. In fact, this is the first book I've read all summer which had that wonderful can't-put-down quality.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Target Audience: Middle School and up


Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld is a new graphic novel series by a well-known author of several popular YA series (Uglies; Leviathan). Addison and her young sister live in New York near a Spill Zone which destroyed her old town and killed her parents. To support her sister and herself, Addison illegally enters the Spill Zone to take photographs which she sells for money. When her benefactor approached Addison with an offer of even more money she has to decide if she will risk another trip into the zone, this time on a much more difficult assignment.

I found myself to be quite captivated by the story in the Spill Zone and got totally caught up in the tension in this book, the first in a series. I am not the hugest fan of graphic novels but was really charmed by this book and will wait with expectation for the second installment in the series. I think that teens will become fans of this book (series) and hope it will win wide distribution with them.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Target audience: Grade 8 and up


In Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia we meet Eliza who is a shy and friendless girl in real life. She is also an amazing artist and the creator of a wildly popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea published anonymously online. Eliza has several very close friends online, none in real life. She is powerful and determined online, characteristics she does not convey in her day-to-day life. When she meets a new boy in her school, Wallace, she is shocked that he actually wants to spend time with her and she is shocked to learn that he is a huge fan of Monstrous Sea, even an excellent writer of some of the M.S. best fan fiction. Eliza knows she should tell him who she is, that she is the creator of his favorite webcomic but she just can't figure out how to do it. Each day she delays drives a wedge in their potential relationship and soon things snowball out of control.

In my estimation this book is a partial graphic novel with occasional drawings of characters from the Monstrous Sea webcomic included. I like illustrated books if the illustrations advance the story or help explain some concept more succinctly than words. I didn't find this to be the case in Eliza and Her Monsters. The illustrations seemed to be randomly placed and did little to enhance the story except to give us an idea about Eliza's drawing skills. I also found the relationship between Eliza and Wallace to be on a fairly predictable trajectory right down to the inevitable breakup. For these two reasons I don't think this book will be seriously considered by award committees. I predict, however, that the book will be quite popular with teen readers.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Target Audience: Grades 9-12



Monday, September 11, 2017

TTT: Throwback Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite books published every five years since the year of my birth, 1957.

I turned 60 this past birthday. This TTT is a celebration of books which have been published in my lifetime. I've read all of them, but I didn't necessarily read them in the year listed, obviously.



Books I’ve read and enjoyed over the course of my lifetime;
 published 1957-2017
A=Adult titles; C=Children’s or YA titles

1957
A-On the Beach by Nevil Shute
C-Little Bear by Elise Holmelund, ill. By M. Sendak
1993
A- The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1962
C- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
1997
A-The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
C- Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stoneby JK Rowling (first pub. in UK, series complete 2007.)
1967
A-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
C-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
2002
C- Feed by M.T. Anderson
1972
A-All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
C-My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
2007
A- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
1977
A-The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

2012
C- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
1982
A- The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
A-Schindler’s List by Thomas Kenneally (tied)
C-Jamberry by Bruce Degen
2017
C- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
1987
A-Beloved by Toni Morrison (tied)
A-The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and Bookish

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Salon---September 10th

Weather: Overcast and cooler. Yesterday it rained here, but we were gone so we didn't witness it ourselves. Please more rain, please, please, please. Our state is on fire. We need more rain.

Football: Yesterday was the first UO Duck football game of the season with us in attendance. If you are a Nebraska fan, you totally deserved to win...the second half. We, UO fans, on the other hand, deserved to win the first half. In my mind the game was a draw, we just had more points. The game was dedicated to Stomping Out Cancer and everything related to that aspect of the day was completely precious.

First Day of School and I wasn't there: But I did go out to breakfast with two friends, on two different days. Never before have I been able to eat out the first week of school. Both of my companions are educators who are retired so they had good advice for me. I also counted these events as two more 60 for my 60th celebrations. Thanks, Carol and Jane!


Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon: Will join in the fun and attempt to knock off a few more books from my To-Be-Read list. The read-a-thon is from September 11-24. Look for my posts which mark my progress. Thanks for Wishful Endings for hosting this event. You don't have to be a blogger to join in. Check out the link for the details. I currently have 52 books in my 'to-read' category on my Goodreads account and I am working on four books (which were on my TBR pile), my goal is to knock six to eight books off the list in the next two weeks that the read-a-thon is going.

Speaking of Goodreads, this past week was their 10th anniversary. This is a link to a list of the most popular books in a variety of categories over the past ten years. I've read all but one of the books in the YA category. Guess you can tell what I've mainly been reading over the past ten years.

Books completed this week:

  • Thick As Thieves by Megan Whelan Turner. The fifth book in the Queen's Thief series, which I haven't read, but I enjoyed this book very much. It was almost non-stop action. I think I will be forced to go back and read the earlier books in the series.
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death In a Storm Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. Horrifying details about what happened during and after Hurricane Katriana in a New Orleans hospital. This is a book club selection. I think it will generate a good discussion.
Currently reading:
  • The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein. A prequel to Code Name Verity. I love her writing. 80%, print.
  • The Biography of The Beatles by Bob Spitz. My Beatles obsession continues. This book is abridged, which is good since the original book is over 900 pages, but just think about all the details I am missing. 60%, audio.
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles. The writing sparkles. Set in Reconstruction Texas in 1870. 85%, audio.
On deck (three more YA books, which all arrived at the same time):
  • The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby
  • Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden
  • A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
Baby Watch: We are still waiting on pins and needles to meet our grandson. No action, yet.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TTT: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Through (Or Didn't Get Through at All!)

Top Ten Tuesday: 

Ten Books I Struggled to Get Through (Or Didn't Finish)


















DID NOT FINISH
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
(I quickly read 100 pages and then stalled out)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
(I read this on a plane flight home from somewhere and I can't remember a thing.)
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
(It is too depressing what the Internet is doing to our brains. Sigh)
Gulp by Mary Roach
(I actually think I will get back to this one, someday. I enjoy this author a lot.)
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
(This is a tome weighing in at over 500 pages. I am currently reading it right now and wonder if I will finish it.)
Romeo and/Juliet: a Chooseable Path Adventure by Ryan North
(I read several of the adventures and all of them were stupid. I gave up or didn't know how to actually read the whole book.)

FINISHED, BUT IT WAS A CHORE
Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy
(A book club selection. I thought I would never finish the book. Ugh.)
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
(I was disappointed that this book wasn't anything like the movie. The middle part was especially draggy. It was a miracle that I finished it.)
Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
(I had heard this was a hilarious book, written in the late 1800s. I am not sure if I laughed once.)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
(What a weird book. WEIRD. I finished it because it, too, was a book club selection.)
The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar Mazzeo
(Everyone was disappointed by this book which had so much potential to tell real WWII stories.)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
(I had a lot of trouble reading this book, even though the story was good. I don't like reading plays.)