Book of the Month
I usually hesitate to say “this is a book everyone should read,” but with Just Mercy I will. It’s a deeply moving account of the staggering travesties of justice that occur in our country, and of the humanity that nevertheless struggles to survive within the system. I happened to finish it on Martin Luther King Day, a highly appropriate occasion, but don’t wait until then. Just read it as soon as you possibly can.
This month was the start of my Reading New England Challenge, and I’m thrilled that 19 people have signed up so far! There is no deadline, so feel free to join us if you haven’t already. And don’t forget to link up your posts, by state or genre. (For challenge purposes, you’ll have to pick one category.)
So far, representing this month’s focus on New Hampshire I’ve seen two different reviews of A Separate Peace (here and here), as well as my own review linked below; plus A Prayer for Owen Meany; Peyton Place; Light on Snow by Anita Shreve; and The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich.
Other reviews linked were of a forthcoming nonfiction work exploring the history of slavery in the region, New England Bound; a heart-wrenching child’s-eye-view novel set in and around Bar Harbor, Maine, Small as an Elephant; a intriguing new YA mystery, The Mystery of Hollow Places; and a Rhode Island cozy mystery, Murder Most Finicky. Thank you all for participating, and I look forward to more of your discoveries.
- My Family and Other Animals – Gerald Durrell’s memoir provided a welcome break from the winter doldrums.
- The Gipsy in the Parlour – For Margery Sharp Day at Beyond Eden Rock, I reviewed this brief but thoroughly enjoyable novel.
- A Separate Peace – And for Reading New England, I was glad to revisit a book that was required reading in my adolescence, and see it from a more adult perspective.
- Three from the Theater – I love backstage stories, and these were three I enjoyed over the holidays.
Other Books Read
- Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
- If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power
- Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge – Review to come
- Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates – for Reading New England
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – for Woolfalong hosted by Heavenali
- Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley
- The Lexicographer’s Dilemma by Jack Lynch
- The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching series completion
- Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes – Cybils awards finalist
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – Reading New England
- How To Be Alive by Colin Beavan – Blog Tour February 10
- Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
Other Features and Events
- I celebrated two years of blogging with a guessing game and giveaway. Congratulations to winner Kristia, who chose to receive a copy of Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. Thanks to everyone for your good wishes!
- I went to ALA Midwinter and had a terrific time. I also visited Yankee Publishing as part of my quest to learn more about New England publishers. I’ll be featuring more in the coming months.
- Finally, I signed up for the Back to the Classics challenge once more, and started on my second year of the Book Blog Discussion Challenge. My question this month was “Do you write reviews?” and the discussion was fantastic.
Coming Next Month
- I’m trying not to sign up for too many challenges, but The Reluctant Romantic at Doing Dewey sounds like just too much fun. Check it out if you’d like to try out a new or neglected genre in February. (I said I’m going to focus on graphic fiction and nonfiction.)
- I’m pleased to be part of the second round of Falling in Love with Books at Bookish Illuminations. The idea this time is to recommend a book you think would help readers fall in love with a particular genre. Watch for one of my favorite YA/historical fiction/mystery/romance/fantasy titles over at Katie’s blog on February 15. (I figured I might as well cover as many genres as possible.)
- Also coming up is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, February 15-19. I can’t wait to show some love for all the wonderful book bloggers out there!