Musings From A Bookmammal

WWW Wednesday–1/22/14


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To join this weekly meme hosted by MizB, just answer these three questions:


burning airIf you enjoy psychological thrillers, deep, dark family secrets, tales of obsession, and plots with lots of twists and turns, you should give The Burning Air by Erin Kelly a try! It’s the story of a family that comes together after the death of the matriarch. They gather to scatter the ashes of their mother, but instead are forced to confront the dire consequences of long-ago actions. Told in narrative that switches back and forth between the past and present day, this story is deliciously creepy with  lots of unpredictable plot twists. My only issue with the book is that I felt the ending got wrapped up a little too quickly for my taste–but I enjoyed the book and will probably read more by this author.

roomiesOne of my informal reading goals this year–inspired by my love last year for Eleanor & Park–is to read more Young Adult novels. To balance out the suspense and intense plot of the book described above, this week I also read the YA novel Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. It’s the story of two recent high school graduates–one from New Jersey, the other from California–who learn that they’ve been assigned to be roommates for their first year of college. Through a series of emails over the summer, the two girls get to know each other and also learn a lot about themselves. There’s also the challenges of beginning to let go of family ties as well as the changing relationships with longtime friends and new boyfriends. This was a nice, easy read that also had some meat to it–I’d recommend this to anyone facing the challenges of leaving home to start their journey through college.


woman upstairsI’ve been listening to The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud on my way to and from work for the last several days, and have really been enjoying it. That being said, the main character in this novel is one of the ANGRIEST characters I’ve read  in ages. There is so much simmering rage and resentment hiding under the surface (written in a very understated, effective way) that it’s almost overwhelming at times. I’m almost finished with this book and I’m very curious to see how the author is going to end it–I really have no idea how the story is going to wrap up.

boys in the boatI was feeling a bit of nonfiction withdrawal, so I also started reading The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown over the weekend. This is the story of the 1936 US rowing team who won the Gold medal at that year’s Summer Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin. I love reading about sports–as long as I don’t actually have to participate in them–and I kept hearing about how wonderful this book was. So far, it’s  definitely living up to the hype! I knew virtually nothing about the sport of rowing before I started this book, and I’m now pretty fascinated by it. The author paints such a vivid picture of the young men on the team as well as the skill required to excel at this sport–I had no idea! There’s also a lot of anecdotal information about the Depression era that’s very interesting. I’m loving this book so far.


As usual, I have absolutely no idea! I know that I’ll be borrowing another audiobook from the library in the next day or two–but who knows what I’ll be in the mood to read then.

How about you? Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? What are you reading this week? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

11 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday–1/22/14

  1. Finally finished The Book Thief. I made a slow start but it was a brilliant story. Now I can see the film. Have just started Grisham’s Sycamore Row.

  2. What a wonderful post, I love that each one has a synopsis of your thoughts. I haven’t heard of The Woman Upstairs but I think I need to move away from quite so much crime 😉

  3. Roomies sounds like something my students and I could share. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

    • I think it would be great to share with your students–if these types of things are important to you, there is some sex but nothing blatant or graphic at all–and if there was any graphic language it doesn’t stand out to me.
      Not sure how many boys would like it, but it definitely has teen girl appeal!

  4. I’m about Galway through The Woman Upstairs. I agree with your assessment. I adored Eleanor and Park. Will have to check out Roomies.

  5. I just finished “The Round Table” by Louise Edrich and right before that — “The Death of Bees” by Lisa O’Donnell. Both pretty sad but great writing. I am debating starting “The Orphan Master’s Son” or “The Bone Season”. Any thoughts on any of these books?

    • Louise Erdrich is one of those author’s that I’ve always meant to read–but for some reason never have. I’m going to have to do something about that!
      Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the other books or authors you’ve named . . . so I can’t give you any meaningful thoughts on either! 😦

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