David and Goliath (and a linkup)

David and GoliathDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

While I expected to really enjoy Gladwell’s book, I found it to be a bit of a let-down. Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point were more compelling books, and all felt fresher. It may simply be that I’ve gotten so used to Gladwell’s style that this book was doomed to disappoint, but I felt like he was reaching more with some of his examples.

That said, I did really enjoy some of the sections. The chapter on choosing college was very interesting, and I’ve already had a side chat with someone about it. The dyslexia chapter was fascinating, and I found myself completely amazed at some of the individuals highlighted.

Fortunately, Gladwell’s books are easy to read, so I don’t feel like I ended up spending a lot of reading time on something I ultimately didn’t like enough to justify it. I’d recommend that if it sounds interesting, you give it a try but don’t hesitate to skip chapters that don’t appeal to you.


Looking ahead at next month, we’ll start our discussion of The Hobbit on December 5th.


If you’ve written a post about David and Goliath, you’re welcome to add it to the linkup below.

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about the book. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to The Deliberate Reader – you can use the button below if you鈥檇 like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open for two weeks.

4. Please visit the person鈥檚 blog 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 or comments from your linked post.

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Introducing November’s Book Club Selection: David and Goliath

David and GoliathDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

What It’s About

Description from Goodreads:

In his #1 bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell has explored the ways we understand and change our world. Now he looks at the complex and surprising ways the weak can defeat the strong, the small can match up against the giant, and how our goals (often culturally determined) can make a huge difference in our ultimate sense of success. Drawing upon examples from the world of business, sports, culture, cutting-edge psychology, and an array of unforgettable characters around the world, David and Goliath is in many ways the most practical and provocative book Malcolm Gladwell has ever written.

Why Was This Title Selected

I typically enjoy Gladwell’s books, and they’re usually easy to read. Since November can kick off a busy season, I was looking for that in our final nonfiction selection for the year.

Anything Else to Know About It?

We’ll be starting the discussion about the book today, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in print, for Kindle or Nook, or on Audible.

What’s Coming Up in December?

The HobbitThe HobbitThe Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien by J. R. R. Tolkien

Why did I select it? I had to have a fantasy choice fo the year, and this is one that I’ve been meaning to read for years. I’m also hoping it should be fairly easy to read during a busy season.

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. There are also several versions available, including one that is a dramatization.

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2016 here.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: Wrapping Up 31 More Days of Great Nonfiction
Four years ago: Wrapping Up 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads

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

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (and a linkup)

The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
by Washington Irving

Horror stories are ones I typically avoid, being a total reading wimp. I even questioned whether I wanted to select Irving’s famous tale for October’s book club, because what if it was too much for me?

Then I read it and discovered that it’s not really a horror story, or even particularly scary. If you too are a reading wimp, don’t hesitate to give this a try. It’s super short (the audio is just over an hour), and while the writing is florid, it’s not scary. I listened to most of it late at night in an old farmhouse (i.e., on my book club retreat) and didn’t start jumping at all the bumps and creaks that sort of house makes.

If you’ve never read it, I’d encourage you to give it a try – it’s such a quick read and then you can feel proud of yourself for reading a classic. Oh, wait, maybe that was just me. 馃檪


Looking ahead at next month, we’ll start our discussion of David and Goliath on November 1st..


If you’ve written a post about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, you’re welcome to add it to the linkup below.

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about the book. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to The Deliberate Reader – you can use the button below if you鈥檇 like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open for two weeks.

4. Please visit the person鈥檚 blog 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 or comments from your linked post.

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

Introducing October’s Book Club Selection: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
by Washington Irving

What It’s About

Description from Goodreads:

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story by American author Washington Irving that has become a Halloween and horror classic. Set in 1790 in Tarrytown, New York, Ichabod Crane encounters a mysterious figure who carries his head not on his shoulders, but in his saddle.

Why Was This Title Selected

I wanted something tilting towards horror (it is Halloween this month after all), but I’m much too much of a reading wimp to pick a true horror story. In addition, it’s a classic and it’s short enough to help bring down the overall page count for the year.

Anything Else to Know About It?

There are several Audible versions available. I’ve linked one that’s under $1, but there are others as well.

It’s also available on Librivox for a free audio version, and should be widely available in any library. You may find it combined in a collection of other stories by Irving.

We’ve started the discussion about the book, but you’re welcome to join in when you can, and it’s short enough that you should be able to catch up with us.

The title is available in print, for Kindle or Nook, or on Audible.

What’s Coming Up in November?

David and GoliathDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

Why did I select it? Gladwell’s books are always thought-provoking, and at a busy time of year an easier read seems like a good fit. It also helps balance the year’s reading schedule with a final nonfiction selection.

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

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2016 here.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: No Way Down
Four years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 4} 84, Charing Cross Road

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

Burial Rites (and a linkup)

Burial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent

An amazing book, but one that was much more emotionally wrenching than I expected. It’s based on the true story of the last person executed in Iceland, and Kent does a phenomenal job of bringing the setting to life and presents a plausible scenario for the events.

My only real complaint with the book is that the author’s note doesn’t give as much detail as I’d like as to what the known facts were, and where she expounded. She states that “most” of the historical documents quoted throughout the text were real, but doesn’t clarify which ones were not.

Highly recommended, if you feel up to the emotionally charged nature of it.


Looking ahead at next month, we’ll start our discussion of The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving on October 3rd.


If you’ve written a post about Burial Rites, you’re welcome to add it to the linkup below.

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about the book. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to The Deliberate Reader – you can use the button below if you鈥檇 like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open for two weeks.

4. Please visit the person鈥檚 blog 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 or comments from your linked post.

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: New On Your Stack (volume 8)
Four years ago: Introducing 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads

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

Introducing September’s Book Club Selection: Burial Rites

Burial RitesBurial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent by Hannah Kent

What It’s About

Description from Goodreads:

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only T贸ti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Why Was This Title Selected

I love historical fiction that’s inspired by real events. Add to that an unfamiliar time period and location – I’ve been intrigued by this title since I first heard about it. Top it off with stellar reviews (including glowing reviews for the Audible version – apparently the narrator is amazing) and it was an easy pick for the year.

Anything Else to Know About It?

Kent’s debut novel has won multiple awards, including the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year and the Victorian Premier’s People’s Choice Award. It was also nominated for numerous other awards.

We’ve started the discussion about the book, but you’re welcome to join in when you can.

The title is available in print, for Kindle or Nook, or on Audible.

What’s Coming Up in October?

The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
by Washington Irving

Why did I select it? I wanted something that gave a bit of a nod to Halloween, but I’m too much of a reading wimp to pick a true horror story. And at just over 100 pages, this helps bring down the average page count for the year.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: there are several audible versions available. I’ve linked to the cheapest one – it’s under $1, but there are others as well.


See all the books we’ll be reading in 2016 here.

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


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago:
Two years ago: Bookworm Problems: Impatiently Waiting for the Next Book in a Series
Three years ago: Series Review: Graceling Realm (Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue)

Climbing the Mango Trees (and a linkup)

Climbing the Mango TreesThe hardest reviews for me to write are always the ones where I don’t have strong feelings about a book, and Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey is a prime example of that sort of book.

It’s fine. The writing is nice, and there are some good stories, but it’s not as engaging as I wanted it to be. It always felt very surface-level, and even after finishing it I didn’t feel like I had a great sense of who she is. I wanted more from the book – more emotion, more depth, more details.

I’m still glad I read it, both because it is such a different life and background than other memoirs I’ve read, and because I kept running across it on “great food memoir” lists. I side-eye it’s inclusion there a bit, as I don’t think it’s truly a great food memoir like some are. However, not every book can be amazing, and this one was still enjoyable enough.

Recommended for devoted memoir fans – this is unlike to convert anyone to the genre.


Looking ahead at next month, we’ll start our discussion of Burial Rites on September 1st.


If you’ve written a post about Climbing the Mango Trees, you’re welcome to add it to the linkup below.

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about the book. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to The Deliberate Reader – you can use the button below if you鈥檇 like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open for two weeks.

4. Please visit the person鈥檚 blog 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 or comments from your linked post.

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

Introducing August’s Book Club Selection: Climbing the Mango Trees

Climbing the Mango TreesClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in IndiaClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey

What It’s About

Description from Goodreads:

Today’s most highly regarded writer on Indian food gives us an enchanting memoir of her childhood in Delhi in an age and a society that has since disappeared.

Madhur (meaning “sweet as honey”) Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound, where her grandfather often presided over dinners at which forty or more members of his extended family would savor together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur’s palate.

Climbing mango trees in the orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground chilies, and roasted cumin; picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint and tucked into freshly fried pooris; sampling the heady flavors in the lunch boxes of Muslim friends; sneaking tastes of exotic street fare–these are the food memories Madhur Jaffrey draws on as a way of telling her story. Independent, sensitive, and ever curious, as a young girl she loved uncovering her family’s many-layered history, and she was deeply affected by their personal trials and by the devastating consequences of Partition, which ripped their world apart.

Climbing the Mango Trees is both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food to evoke memory. And, at the end, this treasure of a book contains a secret ingredient–more than thirty family recipes recovered from Madhur’s childhood, which she now shares with us.

Why Was This Title Selected

I was looking for a memoir with a non-US focus. This one had been languishing on my TBR list for several years, and it seemed like it would provide some good discussion fodder. Why this one in particular? I almost always love food memoirs, and hoped others would enjoy that element as well.

Anything Else to Know About It?

Madhur Jaffrey is credited for being the one to introduce Indian cuisine to the West through her 1973 cookbook, An Introduction to Indian Cookery. She’s also an award-winning actress.

Discussion about the book is starting today, but if you’d like to join in the first few questions will be very general, and you’ll have time to catch up by the time we get into anything substantive. It’s available in print, for Kindle, or Nook, or on Audible. And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

What’s Coming Up in August?

Burial RitesBurial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent by Hannah Kent

Why did I select it? I’ve been eyeing it, and then Audible included it on a list as one of their titles that has near perfect narration ratings. That seemed like an extra bonus to choosing it from my list of possible historical fiction titles. Two additional reasons: Iceland is not my usual sort of setting, and I always love reading fiction that’s been inspired by real events.

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

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.


See all the books we’ll be reading in 2016 here.

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

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (and a linkup)

Cuckoo's CallingThe Cuckoo’s CallingThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J. K. Rowling by Robert Galbraith

While I found this mystery just a tiny bit slow to start, once I got pulled into the story, I was hooked. Galbraith (a.k.a. J. K. Rowling) is excellent at creating compelling characters, and I fell hard for Cormoran Strike and especially Robin.

The plot was fairly weak, but I didn’t mind that much as I enjoyed the characters so much. The ending was the worst part – somewhat contrived and confusing and yet I ended the book and immediately put #2 on hold from the library. I forgive a book a lot when I care about the personalities in it.

I know of at least one person who was unable to finish this book because she couldn’t get past it not being more like Harry Potter. If you think that would be an issue for you, I’d say pretend you don’t know that it’s Rowling writing under an pseudonym, and read this on its own merits only. It’s a solid start to a mystery series, and I’m eagerly anticipating reading more.

No, it’s not perfect, but it was a very satisfying read. There is a fair amount of language in it, so if that’s a concern to you consider yourself warned. Recommended for mystery fans.


Looking ahead at next month, we’ll start our discussion of Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey on August 1st.


If you’ve written a post about The Cuckoo’s Calling, you’re welcome to add it to the linkup below.

Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share a post about the book. Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to The Deliberate Reader – you can use the button below if you鈥檇 like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open for two weeks.

4. Please visit the person鈥檚 blog 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 or comments from your linked post.

 Loading InLinkz ...

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

Introducing July’s Book Club Selection: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Cuckoo's CallingJuly’s book for the Facebook book club is The Cuckoo’s CallingThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J. K. Rowling by Robert Galbraith

What It’s About

Description from Goodreads:

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Why Was This Title Selected

I wanted a mystery for the year, and I’ve heard some really great things about this as a series. Plus I’ve been wanting to get to it since the fact that Robert Galbraith was really J. K. Rowling became news, and this was a way to prioritize it.

Anything Else to Know About It?

There are two more books in the series (so far) if you enjoy the first.

Discussion about the book is starting today, but if you’d like to join in the first few questions will be very general, and you’ll have time to catch up by the time we get into anything substantive. It’s available in print, for Kindle, or on Audible.

What’s Coming Up in August?

Climbing the Mango TreesClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in IndiaClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey

Why did I select it? I wanted a memoir, and one with a non-US focus. Plus I am a complete fan of food memoirs, so any excuse to read another one of those is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.


See all the books we’ll be reading in 2016 here.

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