Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Mini Reviews: A Coronavirus Edition

With an entire week away from school, I should be able to get through books quickly. That is not really the case. The first problem is my inability to concentrate on anything.  That's become slightly better to manage this week, but it's still not great. The second problem is that being home isn't really translating into more time.  I am still working on school stuff every single day.  And since my girls are also home I have been making lunches for them and doing some other things around the house.  I've also started watching Jane the Virgin with my youngest daughter and she is intent on us getting through all one hundred episodes as quickly as possible.  

So, I'm feeling pretty good about getting through three books. They are all so different from each other, but I enjoyed them all.

The Shallows by Matt Goldman is the third installment of the Nils Shapiro mystery series. I love that they are set in Minneapolis which is a location I have some knowledge of.  With each mystery I am getting to know the main character a little better and can't wait to see where this series goes (the fourth is scheduled for release this summer).  In this story, Shapiro is called in to help prove a woman did not kill her husband.  There are lots of twists and turns I didn't necessarily see coming, and enough going on in Shap's life that I want to know more.

The Lovely War by Julie Berry has been on my TBR for a while.  Janssen over at Everyday Reading hosts an Instagram book club and this was her March selection. I'm notoriously bad at participating in book clubs, but beause we had no school the past two weeks and I had this book sitting around, I actually read it and then listened to her Wednesday chats about the Lovely War.  While she raved about it, I won't go quite that far. It's a good historical fiction book.  It opens with a conversation between the Greek gods who narrate this story.  I knew that part would confuse me, but once I got through that, it really didn't take away from the rest of the book.  This is a love story of sorts set during WWI and I appreciated the connections between the stories even more when I had finished reading.  I think this is one of those books where I might like it more as time passes after I finish it.  Janssen's comments made me think I could re-read this (although really? Who has time?) and get a lot out of it on a re-read as well.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is a debut novel and this might be the first social distancing novel that totally absorbed my attention. It is so well written I just couldn't put it down, yet it is disturbing.  Vanessa attended a boarding school where, at age 15, she enters into a relationship with her 42 year old English teacher.  The story moves back and forth in time, and we see Vanessa at 32 when other girls come forward accusing the same teacher of touching them inappropriately.  Vanessa's feelings about what happened and the way it has shaped who she is are so interesting, and unexpected to the few people she tries to talk to about it.  This was one of Book Expo's six books to watch for last year and it is an incredible read.  I hope to see more from Russell and want to talk to someone about this book sometime.

I hope you are hanging in there, remaining healthy, practicing social distancing, and finding some time for a good book or two.


Kay said...

My Dark Vanessa sounds a bit disturbing. I noticed it a while back, but I wasn't sure I wanted to try it. Maybe. Glad you are getting a bit of reading done. Isn't it curious how so many of us are struggling with one of the things that gives us the most pleasure? I've had that happen to me at other times of my life, but this feels different - probably because I keep wanting to check for updates on the news. Take care and enjoy Jane the Virgin! LOL

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

My Dark Vanessa intrigues me; I've found it hard to concentrate but, have started listening to The Red Lotus. said...

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