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For the Love of Reading: October 2021

Here’s what I read last month:

The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“But you need to make a commitment to yourself that when the people around you let you down, you will not believe you are a person who deserves to be let down, that you will not in turn let yourself down.”
This book is absolutely wonderful. There are parts that are heartbreaking, there are parts that are infuriating, and there are parts that are so full of love and hope you might have to just put the book down and absorb them before you can continue. Every character is real and flawed and searching for a place to be loved and whole. Read it.

Matrix by Lauren Groff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
For, I saw, it was from Eve’s taste of the forbidden fruit that knowledge came, and with knowledge the ability to understand the perfection of the fruit of Mary’s womb and the gift given to the world. And without the flaw of Eve there could be no purity of Mary. And without the womb of Eve, which is the House of Death, there could be no womb of Mary, which is the House of Life. Without the first matrix, there could be no salvatrix, the greatest matrix of all.
The writing is exceptional, and if I were rating that alone, this would be a 4 star book. The story, however, never really grabbed me and I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I’m looking forward to discussing this with my book group and hoping that will enlighten me on what I missed.

The Great Witches Baking Show by Nancy Warren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An entertaining cozy mystery, combining not just the common element of cooking but also paranormal activity. The setting is fun and the pace is lively and it has the promise of being a good series. I look forward to reading the next one.

Writers & Lovers by Lily King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don’t write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don’t, everything feels even worse.
I loved this book on writing and love and loss and personal growth. The main character’s voice is authentic and her struggle with anxiety and panic attacks rings very true as well. The minor characters are portrayed carefully and add so much to the story. Highly recommended.

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is charming and delightful and full of quirky and interesting characters. It is all about second chances and the value of friendship and embracing the unexpected. Highly recommended.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a heartbreaking book but, given the title, you know that when you start. The author does a beautiful job of revealing Vivek’s life through the eyes of those who loved him and those revelations help the reader to understand just how difficult his circumstances were. The ending is poignant and not unexpected. Highly recommended.

Only 5 books as I hit a bit of a reading slump mid-month. I’m still on target to finish 75 books by the end of the year, so it’s all good . . . and even if I wasn’t on track it would still be all good because reading is important but not something to check off on my to-do list.

What have you been reading lately?

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Also, these seem to have almost all been good books. A good book is > 2 mediocre books. I see at least one here for my reading list. Sadly, my time lately has been about seriously paring down my bookshelf in preparation for change. It’s hard to let my little friends on the shelf go sometimes.

  2. You know I love these posts! I think there are a couple of books on this list that I will have to read. It’s always so satisfying to find a new book. I have been reading P. F. Chisholm’s Sir Robert Carey series and enjoying it very much. It’s a good time of the year for me to read some fun books.

  3. I should be getting Matrix soon, in the next day or two, and I’m mainly looking forward to it because I know we’ll be discussing it! I finished the novel part of The Huntress before bed last night (I have a handful of pages of the author’s note still to read), and I’m also in the middle of the newest Louise Penny Gamache.

  4. I am putting Five Wounds on my “read soon” list! Thank you 🙂

    I just started Oh William! and again Strout has crafted a fascinating, compelling story (I stayed up too late reading! Such a lovely problem to have!)

  5. I loved The Five Wounds also, and now that I’ve got Matrix back from the library, that’s what I’m reading currently. I had to start from the beginning because I forgot everything that I read. I wonder where my concentration and focus went?!

  6. I want to check out The Five Wounds too. I enjoyed The Narrowboat Summer and, in fact, am now reading a mystery by Deborah Crombie that has Narrowboats in it! I’ve been primarily sticking with mysteries as they are what is currently appealing to me. I am on the list for Matrix and hope to have it before too long.

  7. Thank you as always for your recommendations! As I told you privately, I found Unsettled Grounds to be the most powerful book I have read in a long time and it will stay with me for many years I think. I have just started the Matrix, so I will let you know. ??

  8. I felt the same way about Matrix, but I loved The Death of Vivek Oji. As you know, reading isn’t a competitive sport, but a way to gain knowledge and find joy. Sometimes the mind and body need to go in a different direction and reading takes a backseat.

  9. oh thank you for that review of Five Wounds; adding to my list. Matrix is up shortly on my TBR; I’m always so interested to pick up a book with widely mixed reviews. and I just adored Narrowboat Summer … I’m glad you did, too!

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