September 12, 2017

August Book(s) 2017

I had a weekend recap more or less ready to mainly involved Scott taking the dogs hunting and me watching hurricane coverage..but then I woke up to an internet outage yesterday so I scrapped it.

I taught a somewhat brilliant 9/11 lesson yesterday (I'm sure I'll get a phone call or something) and put more into it this year than I have in the past. These kids were born in 2008 (...). They really just wanted to know about the specifics of the towers, both Twin and the new one, and the planes. We also got into a conversation about how the subway works. We read some great non-fiction kid-friendly articles and watched the BrainPop video, as well as listened to President Bush's speech from that day. I will #primarysource forever.

And then they referred to # as a hashtag when they saw it in front of a number.

I can't do everything.


Happy wedding anniversary day to us! 

Someone said to me a few weeks ago, "Oh you've been married what? 4 years?". No, 8 years today. It's been a VERY full 8 years at that. 
^This was exactly one week before we packed up and moved from Pennsylvania to Alaska.


As a rule, or pattern that I've noticed anyway, I don't read in August. I don't have time. Which is a cliche excuse but I don't have the headspace to read. Headspace is equal to time, I've often found.

That being said...I had plenty of time to watch Bachelor in Paradise lately. It takes very little mental effort, that show. But it also takes an enormous amount to physical time.

Also, I suspended my Audible account but I wasn't enjoying audiobooks the way I used to. I have one if I get desperate, but otherwise, I'm okay for now with podcasts on my commute.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman C-
My thoughts are many: This is probably the most popular book out there. I was on the wait list for 3 months.
I felt that I had trouble connecting with the story because of the vague, prosy writing. This, for example, is the last page. Don't worry, it gives nothing away.

To me, this makes about as much sense as "pizza....garage.....couch".

This kind of writing makes me feel like I'm reading or watching or visualizing through some sort of filmy material. I couldn't get the clear picture of what was happening. I heard one or two reviewers say that it's a book about hockey that's not about hockey. No. It was entirely about hockey. I found myself skimming all the locker room and practice scenes. Even the game scenes, really. The big game was told in snippets of metaphors from different POVs and it was exhausting. I skimmed ahead. I found I did like the end, though I skipped from 70% to 96% in order to get there and I feel like I didn't miss a thing. The only reason, I'm convinced, I even got to the end is because I had 11 hours left on my library loan and I'd waited 3 months for the book and, darn it, I was going to get to the last page.
I didn't like A Man Called Ove either and this could very well be a translation issue because the books are originally written in Swedish. However, I think Britt-Marie was Here sounds interesting. I don't think it's the author alone; I think it's a translation problem and these Swedish books just aren't for me OR it's because Backman is put up on this pedestal and maybe I expected too much.
But, then again, it is the vagueness that got me; both of the Megan Miranda books I've read were written the same way and I'll never pick up another of hers again because I found I just couldn't connect and didn't care. Beartown was much better, as a story, than either of those, though.
But I do think Beartown had too many characters. For the ones who were introduced mid-book, I just didn't care.

Did you read it?

I really think I like the method of reading one or two books and doing deep-dive reviews, rather than reading a bunch and not being able to talk about them.

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. Replies
    1. I think I feel almost exactly the opposite about Beartown, haha! We all have different tastes though and your feelings about it make sense. I loved the prose and I was hanging on every word. There were definitely a few parts that I had to re-read a bit but overall it was a much more powerful book than I was expecting and I think I read it before it was extremely hyped up so maybe I didn't have as high expectations.

      I feel like I didn't have the headspace to read as much in August as usual either.

      Happy anniversary!!! Hope your September & back to school routine is all going well :)

  2. Happy Anniversary!
    We just had our nine year dating anniversary in August(which we don't celebrate, I just say how did we start dating X years ago???!!!) Anyway, I asked my husband what dating anniversary number this was(because it's almost always incorrect and entertaining) and he was like,"7? 8? No, 7, final answer." And I'm like, we literally just had our five year wedding anniversary a month ago...and he was like, so it's more than 7? lol! Yes dear, it's nine, which is almost a decade. And like one third of my life.
    Also, am I the only one who is like, wow it kinda does feel like it's been this many years and at the same time, how has it all gone by so fast??

  3. Awww happy anniversary! When my nieces were in town (17 and 9), I was asking them how they learned about 9/11 and then read an article yesterday about how it is poorly taught in many places because getting into Islamaphobia, anthrax, and a war among so many other things that followed is a lot to try to explain. Glad you are showing them evidence of what actually happened. Have you read Ari Fleisher's tweets on 9/11? Highly recommend. Every year, he goes through what was happening throughout the day since he was with Bush the entire time and it's fascinating.

  4. Happy Anniversary!

    Had to laugh at your review- I actually just picked Beartown up from the library this weekend due to a RAVE review last month :-p Haven't started it yet, but now I'm curious as to which camp I'll fall in.

  5. happy anniversary!
    such a bummer about beartown. i don't remember the hockey stuff at all, don't remember it being a big part of the book. just goes to show different strokes for different folks and all that. i haven't read any of his other books and i'm not sure if i will or not, they are definitely super hyped. i feel like i got to beartown before the hype so that's why i had no expectations.

  6. So sad you didn't like Beartown, I was definitely one of the people that felt like it really wasn't about hockey because the relationships and the dynamics of the town were what stuck out to me more than anything else, but that's what's nice about reading-- everyone enjoys something different! Happy anniversary!!

  7. haha - your word connection to that last page made me laugh.
    I actually LOVED Ove & wanted to try more of that author & see if its a one hit wonder for me

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!

  8. I have not read Beartown. I start to get hesitant about books that hit "superstar" status. I always feel like the likelihood of a let down is greater for those books. I have to be hearing consistently good things to read after that point. For the record, I do like Backman's writing style and quirky characters. I think Beartown was a step away from his norm though, right?

  9. Happy Anniversary!
    I never watch Bachelor stuff but stupid Paradise has been sucking me in.
    I've heard mixed reviews on Beartown, though I haven't read it yet. It sounds like it's a very love it or hate it kind of book.

  10. Happy anniversary!! That is the cutest photo!
    At my sister's wedding this summer, my Grandma said, "You and Angel got married 3 years ago, right?" I was like...actually, we'll have our 7th anniversary this year. The next day, my uncle said the same thing--3 years, right?
    Considering that we've literally lived overseas for 3+ years and had been married 3.5 years before we moved...and that these relatives were AT and IN my wedding...I'm somewhat concerned about my own family's perception of passing time.
    I've really liked the two translated-from-Swedish books I've read: "The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden" and the "The 100-Year-Old Man..." but Beartown doesn't sound like my type.

  11. Happy Anniversary!!! I hope you guys have had a wonderful day!

  12. What a bummer about Beartown. I hate when I have such high expectations for a book and it falls short. Happy anniversary though!

  13. The writing style of Beartown did mess with me a little bit. It did seem a little to halting, but I still enjoyed the book. If you haven't read any other Backman books, still them give them another try!

  14. Happy Anniversary!

    This doesn't sound like my kind of book either, I will admit, I don't like to work hard when I'm reading so if I can't get into a book then I'm ditching it. I like to read for fun, to relax in the evening before bed, I don't like to tax my brain with unnecessarily complicated prose.

  15. Happy Anniversary! It's always a bummer when books fall a little short of our expectations.

  16. hmm intrigue! I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this one, but I have not read it yet. I hope to this winter. We'll see what I think then. :) Happy anniversary! Here from SUYB. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


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