Introducing March’s Book Club Selection: Emma

emmaEmma by Jane Austen

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

Why Was This Title Selected

I wanted one classic for the year, and I’m curious to see how this one compares with Pride and Prejudice.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or via Audible. And you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first. You can also listen for free from Librivox.

What’s Coming Up in April?

dark-matterDark Matter by Blake Crouch

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on Your Stack (volume 22)

Some highlights from the books from last month’s linkup:

passengerJill (Days at Home) always has the prettiest book covers in her book hauls. I don’t generally add a lot of her picks to my TBR list as her tastes veer more towards romance (both contemporary and historical), but I am still eyeing Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger, which I was so sure I’d posted about before, but couldn’t find it so apparently I imagined it.


a-portrait-of-emily-priceKate (Opinionated Book Lover) reminds me that Katherine Reay has a new book out – A Portrait of Emily Price. I want to love Reay’s books, and am tentatively thinking of giving this one a try. Reviews are good, although the ones I’m seeing also all gush over Dear Mr. Knightly, and I had some issues with that one.


Thanks to my missing post for December, belgraviaKate also shared a second link-up, and her February reading plans let me know about the novel Belgravia, by Julian Fellowes. I never did watch any of Downton Abbey, but I know enough about it to know that Fellows can tell a good story. Makes me curious to try this.


the-underground-railroadAnd as seems to be usual, Stacie (Sincerely Stacie), has several books on her list that I want to read. One of the ones I’m debating the most is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. The reviews I’ve read on this one are mostly amazing. My hesitation on it has been that I’m not sure if I’m up for the emotional weight of it currently. It’s supposed to be a powerful book, and right now I’m needing lighter reads.


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What I’ve Been Doing (Instead of Finishing Books and Blogging about Them)

the-dark-days-clubAccording to my Kindle, I’m 30 minutes away from finishing the book The Dark Days Club. I’ve been 30 minutes away from finishing it for over a week now.

I’m feeling anxious about something that I expect will happen, so if I don’t read it, it won’t happen, right? No, I don’t know why I care that much, or why I can’t seem to finish anything else while this book has my reading on hold. I’m driving myself crazy with my ridiculousness, and I’m hoping that by admitting it here, I can finish the dang book already.

What have I been doing instead?

  • Watching Westminster with the kids. And by myself once the kids went to bed. My annual dog show viewing party. I’m always amused by the many many many breeds I have zero interest in ever owning.
  • Slowly making progress on the nonfiction book Appetite for America. It’s interesting, but it seems like it is taking me forever to get through it. I’m hoping that there is a long bibliography in the back, because otherwise it really is the neverending book.
  • Bemoaning the menu plan and shopping trip I just finished before my husband got doctor’s orders to try a sort of elimination diet to see if he can pinpoint the source of some issues he’s had. Literally every vegetable I bought is on his “do not eat” list.
  • Lost my voice for two days, which is a problem when you use a literature-based homeschool curriculum. The kids got an unplanned day off from school on the second day, after I couldn’t manage to whisper my way through read alouds again.
  • Waiting ever so impatiently for The Hanging Tree. I’m on hold at the library, and I’m creeping up the holds list, but I want to know what hapens next in the series!
  • Began working on taxes. I haven’t gotten started on taxes this early in years, but it feels great. I’m hoping to have them finished before March, which would be incredibly exciting.
  • Started working through a backlog of Quicken data entry. I’d kept up with YNAB, which was awesome for budget tracking during the year. Then when I started working on taxes I realized how much better Quicken is for that, so … Good thing I started taxes early.
  • Feeling sheepish as I wait to again borrow for Moloka’i. I started and then got mixed up on my due dates and had it vanish off my Kindle right before the discussion on it began in book club. I’ve been avoiding my facebook group where they’re talking about it, because I don’t want to be spoiled as to what happens in the final third of the book.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Homeschool Update: Finished Sonlight’s Level B, moving on to C

Well, more or less moving on to C. We’re trying out the mostly equivalent Bookshark Level 2. There are a handful of differences between them, mostly that Bookshark is secular so it skips the Bible component and missionary stories, and it’s also a 4-day a week schedule.

bookshark-level-2In Sonlight’s level B, G covered the first half of world history – emphasizing Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. It was a really fun year, which makes me that much more excited to move onto the second half of world history. Vikings! Knights and Castles! I love Medieval history and I can’t wait to try and get G to love it too. 🙂

We’ll be doing Sonlight’s LA 3 (I already had it on hand), and I have the Bookshark Level 2 Advanced/Sonlight 4/5 Readers on hand if we need additional readers. So far I’ve used library books or a few I’ve bought for him as extra readers.

I do plan to continue adding on Story of the World Volume 2 (it worked very well adding Volume 1 to level B), and I’m also adding back in three books that were in C in previous years – Explorer’s News, Maps and Globes, and The Awesome Book of Bible Facts.

I was not planning on using Window on the World (that’s part of why I went with Bookshark – it doesn’t include it), but my son saw it online, and specifically asked for it. It’s hard to say no to a request for a book, so ok kid, I’ll add it back in.

This isn’t a full planning-for-third-grade post, just a quick look at the big changes going on with us for school. He’s now finished his first week with the new level, so at some point I’ll share my thoughts on the full comparison between Sonlight and Bookshark.

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When Ignorance is (Still Not) Bliss: The Enola Holmes Books

Last November I went through a mini-binge on the children’s mystery series by Nancy Springer featuring Enola Holmes, reading the first three of the (currently) six-book series,.

enola-holmes-series

I’m not entirely sure why I read three of them, as they weren’t that good. The writing wasn’t great, the plotting was weak, and the characters were mostly unappealing, if not unbelievable.

I think I *wanted* to like the series so much that I kept trying, hoping they would pick up. It helped that they were super quick to read, so three books still wasn’t a large reading investment. Ok, so I also liked the covers and kept wanting the books to live up to them.

On the bright side, I wasn’t annoyed by liberties Springer apparently takes with the Holmes cannon. I don’t know the Holmes books well, so nothing jumped out at me, as it would have if I was well versed in it.

How do I know this? Recently I noticed someone I follow on Instagram commented about being super disappointed in the books because of how the author isn’t true to the original characters.

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery {photo by #thegeekbug} 📚🎻🔬📚🎻🔬📚🎻🔬📚 ⚠️️WARNING SHERLOCKIANS ⚠️I had a unfortunate experience reading the Enola Holmes series, which l had impatiently anticipated but was disappointed to discover that the author, Nancy Springer, was not true to the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writings. Listen, if you're going to build your story on someone else's foundation the least you could do is stay true to the characters. Don't mess with my Sherlock! A mistake worthy of Anderson himself. 😩~ The Geek Bug #livingbooksnook #booknerdissues . . . . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Day 13 unfortunate #ampersandjan17 #sherlock #sherlockholmes #dontmesswithmysherlock #sherlockian #book #books #bookish #booknerd #joyfulandbookish #booknerdigans #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #instabook #fantasticbooksreviews

A photo posted by Heather Mac (@livingbooksnook) on

So while I did have some (ok, many) issues with the book, there are advantages to not being a major Sherlockian – I was oblivious to the issues Heather spotted. And that’s usually not the case for me – I tend to be the one getting annoyed at movies when they take liberties with historical facts (one of the reasons I don’t watch a lot of them).

And an extra disclaimer: I linked to the series in the first paragraph and via the picture, because I’m always curious about books and if I were reading this post I’d probably want to click through and see what the books were about. But I want to be clear that if you’re thinking that they’re juvenile mysteries, and so weaknesses in the writing and plot might be ok, I’d still say pick other titles.

There were references to prostitution and alcoholism in the first two books and some fairly gruesome stuff in the third. Definitely yuckier than I’d want in a juvenile title, and so I do not recommend them for younger readers. Or anyone really, but if you’re an adult I’m not worried about the content for you. Just your reading time. 😉

If you want a juvenile mystery that I do recommend, try Detectives in Togas. It kept my second grader’s interest (even the kindergartener listened to most of it) and solving it involved some details of Roman history, which were given to the reader as the story unfolded. Fun!

There’s also a second by the same author, Mystery of the Roman Ransom, although we haven’t read that one yet.

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January 2017 Recap

January RecapThis is actually going to be more of a December & January recap, since last month’s anticipated post didn’t happen. Kids were sick, we had visitors, then I was sick with the cough that would. not. end.

I’m slowly digging out from everything else that got ignored both during the sickness that struck, and my adulting slump that’s been happening the past couple of months. One of my oldest friends died suddenly in November and I don’t think I’d realized right away how much it’s been weighing on me. Now I’m having to play catchup from when I was doing the bare minimum to get by.

December 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 18
Books Read For The Year: 109

January 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 10

Things That Happened
  • Christmas with R’s parents, brother & niece
  • In the Facebook book club we should have discussed The Hobbit, but didn’t really because I was MIA for most of December. But we had a great discussion on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in January!
  • G received his senior red belt in taekwondo, and H received her senior purple belt.
  • My in-person book club had our annual Christmas party, and we played Bring Your Own Book. It was lots of fun, and I would recommend it for bookish gatherings
What’s Cooking
  • After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I’m ready to try making bread more frequently, and I’d love to try making fresh mozzarella at least once.
  • I don’t think I’ve really tried anything new or especially interesting in the kitchen recently. Too much survival mode around here for that I suppose.
What I’m Anticipating in February
  • Book club – The Year of Living Danishly for my in-person book club and Moloka’i in the Facebook group.
  • Belt testing. G is testing for BLACK BELT. Ok, so it’s just provisional black belt but still. Black belt! And H is testing for blue.
  • G will be finished with part one of world history, and moving onto part two. I’ve got (almost all) of the books and materials ready to go but I still want to finalize the list of “extra” library books I want to look for. I didn’t always manage it last year, but I liked having the list ready to go for each week, so if it worked to add things in it was easy to know what to request. I also need to pay attention to when he’ll be finishing up his current science curriculum, so that I have the next one ready to go. He’s bounced around in the schedule in that one, so it isn’t quite as obvious how much more he has left.
Books I Read in December
  1. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar
  4. The Hangman by Louise Penny
  5. A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber
  6. Alton Brown: EveryDayCook by Alton Brown
  7. A Pressing Engagement by Anna Lee Huber
  8. The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
  9. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
  10. A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
  11. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
  12. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  13. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  14. The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year by Kelsey Banfield
  15. A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
  16. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingolver, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver
  17. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell
  18. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Books I Read in January
  1. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  2. Lost in Shangri-La A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff
  3. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
  4. A Quiet Life in the Country by E. E. Kinsey
  5. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
  6. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  7. Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee
  8. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
  9. Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
  10. What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton

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New on the Stack in December 2016 & January 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. Join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your new books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to your “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Super late, but I did want to make sure I shared what books I added to my reading stack in December, so I just combined it with January.

Nonfiction

the-year-of-living-danishlyThe Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s February’s pick for my in-person book club.

Lost in Shangra-LaLost in Shangra-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been on my TBR for ages – I love these sorts of nonfiction books, and World War II is a favorite time period.

take-good-care-of-the-garden-and-the-dogsTake Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles by Heather Lende
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I’ve enjoyed her other books, If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name and Find the Good.

everydaycookAlton Brown: EveryDayCook by Alton Brown

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I’m a huge Alton Brown fan.

the-family-calendar-cookbookThe Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year by Kelsey Banfield
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It popped up as a “recommended for you” suggestion.

smoke-picklesSmoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It showed up as available from the library when I put something else on hold, and I recognized his name from Top Chef.

Fiction

jasper-and-the-riddle-of-rileys-mine-coverJasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine by Caroline Starr Rose
How did I get it: Was sent a review copy from the publisher
Why did I get it: I JUMPED at the chance to receive this one – I *loved* Caroline Starr Rose’s novel May B, and am excited to read this one set in the Alaskan Gold Rush.

and-then-there-were-noneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Reading it before it was finalized as March’s selection for my in-person book club. We try to have all of our choices be read by one of the regular attendees, who can then vouch for them as a good fit for our book club. We haven’t always done that, and sometimes we’ve regretted it.

a-study-in-deathA Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Binging on the series.

the-uncommon-readerThe Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Book club’s selection for December.

navigating-earlyNavigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I mostly enjoyed Vanderpool’s first novel, Moon Over Manifest, and my issues with it were ones that I thought might be improved by experience.

a-pressing-engagementA Pressing Engagement by Anna Lee Huber

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I got hooked on the series

as-death-draws-nearAs Death Draws Near by Anna Huber

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Binging on the series. It was a good fit for when I wasn’t feeling well.

the-mapping-of-love-and-deathThe Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the series.

a-lesson-in-secretsA Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the series.

the-thousand-dollar-tan-lineThe Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t know why it’s been on my TBR list. I never watched the Veronica Mars show, and I think that probably kept me from enjoying the book as much as I would have otherwise. I had no previous connection with the characters, and some of the backstory allusions were lost on me.

elegy-for-eddieElegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the series.

a-quiet-life-in-the-countryA Quiet Life in the Country by E. E. Kinsey

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Advertisement on my library website. I thought it sounded fairly ridiculous, but I was hopeful (I do love that time period)

the-body-in-the-libraryThe Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Miss Marple series, and it was time for my semi-regular Christie fix. 😉

the-curious-charms-of-arthur-pepperThe Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Considering it for a future book club pick.

molokaiMoloka’i by Alan Brennert

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s February’s book club pick and I need to get moving on reading it!

the-beautiful-mysteryThe Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Armand Gamache series.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)




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Introducing February’s Book Club Selection: Moloka’i

molokaiMoloka’i by Alan Brennert

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place—and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. Here her life is supposed to end—but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.

Why Was This Title Selected

Rave reviews from trusted sources, and an unusual setting made this my historical fiction pick for the year. I’ve been excited to dive into it!

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or via Audible. And if you buy the Kindle version first, you can get the Audible version for only $3.99.

What’s Coming Up in March?

emmaEmma by Jane Austen

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first. You can also listen for free from Librivox.

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Introducing January’s Book Club Selection

animal-vegetable-miracleAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingolver, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

Why Was This Title Selected

I wanted a non-history, non-biography/memoir nonfiction selection, and I’d heard good things about this, especially as a choice to start the year. Plus it’d been on my TBR list for ages.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion is just getting underway in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, forKindle or Nook, or via Audible.

What’s Coming Up in February?

molokaiMoloka’i by Alan Brennert

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Four years ago: Book Review: Faith Girlz! Whatever

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Magical Reads with The Sisters Grimm & Pip Bartlett

I haven’t been participating in the discussion much about them, but I did read both of the chapter books for November and December’s Family Book Club.

the-sisters-grimm-fairy-tale-detectivesThe Sisters Grimm is the first book in The Fairy Tale Detectives series, where all the fairy tale characters we know from stories turn out to actually live in a town in New York. They’re trapped under a spell and have had to make lives for themselves there, and it’s very funny learning what the various characters do. Snow White as a Kindergarten teacher was one of my favorites.

It’s a cute story, and while I wasn’t motivated to read more in the series for myself, I can imagine giving it to my kids to read for themselves when they get older. At least in the first book, there wasn’t anything I’d object to content-wise, and it was a fun re-imagining of familiar fairy tale stories.

pip-bartletts-guide-to-magical-creaturesPip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures was really amusing – I loved Pip and was so entertained by her Unicorn mishap. I loved how Pip’s world was so recognizable as ours, with just the added element of oh, yeah, there are magical creatures. I will be looking for the next in this series when it releases next year.

This is one where I think the print version is preferred to the electronic version – I read it via Kindle, and there are some illustrations that were either hard or all but impossible to see. It wasn’t essential, but they are fun, and when I have my kids read this, they’ll be reading it in print.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: November 2014 Recap

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!