Saturday, March 18, 2017

Books Read - Week in Review - W/E 3/18/2017

It's been another one of those weeks that I'm happy to see behind us.  Between the Nor'easter, 17" of snow here and, the frigid temps which followed, I'm definitely suffering from some cabin fever. We also had a loved one with pneumonia which resulted in a 2 day hospital stay in the midst of Storm Stella (home now and doing well). Enough of winter already.  

I did manage to finish (3) books last week and enjoyed them all. 2 out of 3 were audio books


What I Know for Sure; Oprah Winfrey
(read by author - so awesome)
Macmillan Audio - 2014

(My Thoughts) - This audio book was just what I needed this week.  The book is read by Oprah herself and she does a marvelous job. It's very heartfelt and inspirational.  Told as a short series of essays on a variety of topics, organized by theme: joy, resilience, connection, gratitude possibility, awe, clarity and power,  I found myself nodding my head and surprised by many of the things that Oprah struggled with had been issues for me as well throughout my adult life. There were a few parts that really resonated with me and made me tear up because it hit so close to home. No there is nothing earth shattering that we all have not heard at some point in our lives but, her words are powerful and inspirational.  I may need to purchase the print version and reread this one at the beginning of each new year --- loved it.  (5/5 stars)



Books for Living; Will Schwalbe
Random House Audio - 2016
(Jeff Harding -Narrator)

(My Thoughts)  - This is another audio book that was amazing. My first experience with this author was his audio version of, The End of Your Life Book Club, a non fiction offering, which I loved, where Schwalbe and his mother, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, read and discussed  various books during her illness. It was a way to share their love of books and briefly escape from the reality of impending death.  In Books for the Living, the author shares his love of reading and the books that made a difference in his life. He asks the reader, Why is it That We Read? Is it to Pass Time? To Learn Something New? To Escape From Reality? For the author he states, It is a form of entertainment, to become a better person and to help make sense of the world.  He discusses some 27 books (20 of which I've read) and what they meant to him.  Of course since my reading taste seemed to mesh with his, I found myself adding (3) new books to my must read list: The Importance of Living; Lin Yutang (which he mentions over and over again); Bird by Bird; Anne Lamott and A Tale for the Time Being; Ruth Ozeki. A must read for book lovers who understand the magical power of books. (5/5 stars)



Every Living Thing; Cynthia Rylant
Modern Curriculum Press - 1988

(My Thoughts) - This book is targeted at the middle grade student and I know a blogger (?) had recommended it years back so I purchased it.  It is a lovely collection of (12) very short stories in which an animal has made a profound effect on a human being. I can see how this book would be a great teaching tool in the classroom. Quick read for adults but, very thought provoking.  (4/5/5 stars)


(4) new book arrivals came by mail last week.





  • The Futures; Ana Pitoniak (ARC - from Amazon Vine) (Lee Bourdeaux Books) (good)
  • lll Will; Dan Chaon (eGalley - Ballantine Books) (very good but, a challenge)
  • Swing Time; Zadie Smith (the audio is good but, put me to sleep several nights - think I need the print version)
Enjoy Your Weekend!

22 comments:

  1. And here we were complaining because of the cold. I'm glad your loved one is back home. I listened to What I Know For Sure a few years ago and thought it was great too.

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    1. Kathy, I think Oprah's voice seemed so genuine and really made the audio listen so excellent.

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  2. The audiobooks sound great and I can see why you'd want Oprah's in print. We "only" got a foot of snow in my area and it's already melting from the rain that fell a couple of days later. Spring is on the way :) Glad to hear the patient is home and doing well.

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    1. It's nearing 50 degrees today so hopefully so melting will occur. Thanks Mary, my DIL is doing pretty well.

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  3. Sounds like some good ones. We hope winter is headed out down here!

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    1. Yes, we are looking forward to Spring flowers in a few months LOL

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  4. Thanks for your reading summary and that of your week. Sounds like a tough one but that is what books are for, right? Bird by Bird is my favorite book about the writing life. Tale for a Time Being is just great, in my opinion. Happy reading and hopefully spring will come for you this week!

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    1. I'm glad that you liked Bird by Bird and A Take for the Time Being, Judy.

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  5. I am glad you enjoyed all of your books that you read this week!

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  6. I just listened to Books for Living too and also added a couple new books to my TBR - only one of which overlapped with yours (Bird by Bird)! I now want to go back and listen to The End of Your Life Book Club, which I missed when it came out.

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    1. Sarah, you must listen to The End of Your Life Book Club ---so good.

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  7. I hope the weather continues to improve. Your books are all new to me so I liked reading about them.

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    1. Getting warmer for a few days and then cold again unfortunately.

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  8. Your weather has been crazy. I am so sorry to hear a loved one was in the hospital for a couple of days. Hopefully he or she is doing much better now. Pneumonia can be so terrible. I hope you have a better week this week, Diane!

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  9. I've seen the book by Oprah around but it hasn't really grabbed me until I saw your thoughts on it. It sounds like a book I'd enjoy and my library just added it to their audio collection so I'll have to get on the wait list. I had seen Books for Living and added it to my TBR. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it! Enjoy your new books and have a great week!

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    1. Katherine, I hope you will read ir listen to both of these books - so good.

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  10. You had cold and we had heat. Over 90 degrees last week. We are supposed to get a 30 degree temp drop tomorrow along with rain. My system is all messed up. So sorry a member of your family had to go to the hospital for pneumonia!

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  11. I loved The Futures...and I would like to read the Oprah book. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  12. Wow Diane, I had the same reaction to the Oprah book. I also listened to it. There were some spots that I had to go back and re-listen because I wanted to think about it some more. I agree that it was very touching. It made me raise my already high opinion of Oprah.

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  13. Books for Living is high on my TBR list--I loved End of Your Life Book Club too, and books about books my a thoughtful, skilled writer are among my favorites. Bird by Bird is my favorite book on the writing life--I've read it at least three times, and is the best thing Anne Lamott has written, imo. FYI, for me, reading is truly relaxes me (even when the book is a thriller)--there's something about reading that stills me at the core and aligns me. It's physical as much as mental.

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