Reading Wednesday: April 5, 2023

I had good intentions last week to get more blog posts written, but since I didn’t… you get a double-dose of bookish info this week instead!

Two finished books to talk about first:

  1. The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams: This debut novel is a charmingly bittersweet story about found family, and how books and reading can impact your life. The two main characters are Mukesh, a lonely, elderly widower, and Alisha, a 17-year-old who is working in her local library over the summer holidays. Alisha and Mukesh form an unlikely friendship over a list of books Alisha has found. The two wind up discussing the books, and we learn how each of the titles affect them, how they think about themes and characters in the books, both shared and different perspectives. Over the book, Mukesh winds up finding books are a way to remember his late wife as well as connect with his granddaughter, who is a big reader. Alisha comes to find the books are a way to connect to her mother and brother in a way she didn’t expect. I really enjoyed this one, a recommendation from my book buddy, Katie, rating it 4 stars. (Note: There are several triggers in this book so please check that out online if you think you’d like to read this one.)
  2. The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley: I have read several other historical fiction books by this author. This one strays a bit from the author’s normal pattern, which usually includes a contemporary storyline and one in the past, with a time-jump aspect. This one is set firmly in the 1680s through 1710, and is set in Scotland. It is sort of a prequel to The Slains series that follows this family into the 20th century. While I was very interested in the time period and I really enjoyed the character development, I struggled a bit with the beginning of the book, which was really slow and had a lot of historical back story that needed to be provided to understand the context of the characters’ stories. While I think most readers would be confused about what’s going on without that back story/information, it was tedious to slog through to get to the main story about the characters themselves, which, for me, was the more engaging part of this one. 3-1/2 star rating for me; die-hard Kearsley fans will likely want to read this one but I wouldn’t recommend it as a first choice if you want to try this author out.

Currently, I’ve got 3 books on the go:

  1. Power and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages by Dan Jones. This is a nonfiction history of (no surprise) the Middle Ages. I’m listening to this one on audiobook.
  2. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Wesley Chu and Cassandra Clare. This is a YA fantasy and I’m tackling this one as a re-read/buddy read with my friend, Tash, so we can continue on with this branch of the Shadowhunters series.
  3. Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings by Neil Price. I’m also reading this one as a buddy read. I am planning on doing a deep dive of some books that center around Arctic travel and this will be the first in that group.

2 thoughts on “Reading Wednesday: April 5, 2023

    1. It was quite good. I normally don’t like a lot of contemporary fiction but I really appreciated how the author pulled in book titles I knew that supported the characters’ story lines.

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