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End of Summer 2016 Reading/Watching

Summer 2016

Hello friends! I’ve been away for so long, I’ve forgotten how to do this blogging thing.

All of those summer reading plans in my last post went completely out the window. Both Middlemarch and Cecilia proved too much young girls + potential suitors = ensuing drama to hold my interest. And my son could only tolerate 3 pages about Mrs. Lynde in the first chapter of Anne of Green Gables before abandoning our read-along.

I don’t think I completed an entire book this summer except The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman which our puppy dog shredded… Luckily, I was able to finish the book and loved it. Review to come.

Right now I’m reading a lot of Canadian content:

The Hidden Keys by André Alexis – I won this ARC from my local library and it’s the follow-up to the award-winning, Fifteen Dogs. It’s about a Toronto thief on a mission to steal several unique mementos to piece together a family mystery that may or may not lead to riches. It’s not exactly boring, but not quite tweet-worthy either. The mystery has held my attention, but I find all of the characters flat and forgettable.

Birdie by Tracy Lindberg – Birdie was one of the books featured during this year’s Canada Reads that I wanted to read. Unfortunately, I had to return the book to the library before I could finish the last 100 pages (story of my life). I struggled with the way the book trips back and forth in time to different episodes in the character’s life, but I liked the book’s focus on female relationships and that love having the power to heal. I need to read the rest to form a better opinion.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien – Reviews in the media use words like breathtaking and epic to describe this book. It makes me laugh or want to gag. The book tries very hard to be all of these things with a story that weaves through time and place following the lives of several connected characters in Communist China and Canada. I actually still don’t understand who’s who or what’s what, but figure if I keep reading it will make sense (hopefully).  I can’t decide if I actually like the book. Have you ever been in that situation?

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue – You probably know the author from the success of her novel, Room. The author will be visiting my town, so I made it my mission to read at least one of her books before the event. Slammerkin is about a teenage girl who discovers the harsh realities of survival on the streets when she becomes a prostitute in eighteenth century London. She moves on to become a country house maid and discovers what it means to try and live like normal folk. The transformation of poor, innocent Mary Saunders into a young girl trying to rise above gender, class and the life she was born into has had completed hooked.

What books did you fall in love with or DNF this summer?

* * *

What I Binged Over The Summer: House of Cards S4 (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright), Stranger Things S1 (Winona Ryder and several amazing kid actors), 11.22.63 (James Franco).

Special Mention: Me Before You starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Five stars, hands down. If you don’t plan to read the book by Jojo Moyes, watch this movie because it’s just as wonderful. Funny, romantic (without the saccharine) and perfectly cast. This movie gave me the warm and fuzzy feelings I didn’t realize I needed.

 

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17 comments on “End of Summer 2016 Reading/Watching

  1. jessicabookworm
    September 5, 2016

    I enjoyed a lot of books over summer and didn’t DNF any! And, I also binged watched the amazing 11.22.63 😀

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 6, 2016

      You must have read some great books this summer. Have you read 11.22.63? I’m sure I’ll read the book now that’s I’ve seen the adaptation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jessicabookworm
        September 6, 2016

        No, I haven’t read 11.22.63 so the TV show was all a surprise for me – I am tempted to read it now though 🙂

        Like

  2. Brian Joseph
    September 6, 2016

    I find it difficult to get blogs and up myself. Though I have not given up on any books yet my progress through them has been slow.

    I have heard good things about Slammerkin. The main character sounds very interesting.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 6, 2016

      I really enjoyed taking a break and focusing on reading as much as possible, but I often thought about how I wasn’t writing any posts and wondered if I should just quit. But here I am! 🙂

      Like

  3. TJ @ MyBookStrings
    September 6, 2016

    Hi CJ! I’ve been on a blogging hiatus as well, but I think I’ll start up again. I’m finally over my reading slump, and I realized I have lots of books to talk about. I read a bunch of “fluffy” novels over the summer (I abandoned Cecilia as well for now), since I needed an escape. But I am reading/listening to a few Canadian novels that that are leaving my reading slump in the dust: What Is Left the Daughter, Galore, and The Book of Negroes. I don’t want to promise that I’ll participate in your Alias Grace read-along, but I am definitely thinking about joining!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 6, 2016

      Did you find the break helpful? I think it’s a good reminder that the world won’t end if we don’t post, lol. Do you have a favourite out of the books you are reading? I’m trying to finish Do Not Say We Have Nothing because it suddenly has a hold on me.

      Like

      • TJ @ MyBookStrings
        September 6, 2016

        I do feel a bit bad about giving up on my 12 Germans in 2016 project, but you are right, should the world end, then it won’t be because of my blogging break. 🙂 I am currently listening to The Book of Negroes during my commute, and the narration is fabulous. I think it’s my favorite.

        Like

  4. Naomi
    September 6, 2016

    I actually saw Me Before You this summer with my book club – and we all liked it! I agree that the casting was good!
    I think I liked The Hidden Keys better than you did. I thought it was a lot of fun. Maybe that’s just a sign that I don’t read enough mysteries? I enjoyed the puzzle part of it, but I also liked the characters. It’ll be interesting to hear what everyone else thinks once more people have read it.
    It’s good to hear that Thien’s novel picked up for you in the end. I just read Dogs at the Perimeter and thought it was very good! That’s the one I owned and thought it would be good to get in on some Thien, even if it wasn’t the same one everyone else was reading. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 6, 2016

      I’m interested to hear what others think of The Hidden Keys too. I’m invested in finding out what the clues mean, so I’ll keep reading until the end. I keep thinking of your review of Pastoral and I would like to read that book by the author too.

      I haven’t read anything by Madeleine Thien before Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Dogs at the Perimeter sounds like it’s a good book. Although I’m sure a story with the Khmer Rouge must be sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naomi
        September 6, 2016

        It was sad. But good.
        The way Alexis writes in The Hidden Keys reminded me a lot of the way he writes in Pastoral. So, I’m thinking if you find the characters flat in one than you might find the same in the other. But, then again, maybe not. 🙂

        Like

  5. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
    September 8, 2016

    Ooh I’m interested in reading your thoughts on The Light Between Oceans! I’m hoping to watch the film soon, not sure if I’ll make time to read the book beforehand. This is a good reminder for me to finally watch Me Before You too – I missed seeing it in theaters, and am glad to know that it stays true to the book!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 12, 2016

      Me Before You stays very true to the book, but Jojo Moyes wrote the script so that’s probably why. I really enjoyed The Light Between Oceans, so I’m very curious to see how well it translates to the screen.

      Like

  6. buriedinprint
    September 12, 2016

    Sounds like I had a more rewarding reading summer than you did this year, but I’ve certainly had my share of summer slumps. And neither of my girls ever wanted to read AOGG either: too old-fashioned (despite my love of it). Surely autumn will bring you better book matches!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 12, 2016

      I feel like you always have a good number of interesting books on the go, so I’m not surprised you had a great reading summer. Does it bother you that your girls aren’t interested in reading older books? I can’t seem to convince my kids to read classics, no matter how much they enjoy seeing a movie version. Even Roald Dahl books!

      Like

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