Musings From A Bookmammal

WWW Wednesday–10/1/14

13 Comments

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To participate in this meme hosted by MizB, simply answer the following three questions:

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

9.16.14Sarah Waters has never been on my radar before, but her latest, The Paying Guests, is one of the hot titles this season. I finally got to the top of the library list and picked it up late last week—I had no idea that it was nearly 600 pages! I started reading it on Sunday morning and I’ve hardly put it down since. I’d heard that this is one of those books that’s best read with no preconceived notions, so I purposefully didn’t read any lengthy reviews beforehand—and I’m so glad that I stayed away from anything that hinted about the plot! All I’ll say here is that it’s a psychological drama taking place in early post-WWI London, and it focuses on a young women and her mother who are forced by lack of finances to take a boarding couple (“paying guests”) into their home. I’m about half-way through and had to stop reading at a pretty pivotal plot-point, so as soon as I’m done writing this post I’ll be digging into it again!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

17830123We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas has been described as a family saga, and when I hear that term I usually think of plots spanning multiple generations and packed with lots of family members. That’s not the case with this novel—it mainly focuses on one woman, her husband, their son, and the changes each goes through over the course of a lifetime. That’s not to say it’s not a good book—it just wasn’t what I was expecting. This novel is getting a lot of buzz this fall and I can see why. The writing is masterful and although the characters are not necessarily likeable all the time, their actions and feelings rang true to me. Parts of this book were almost unbearably sad and I cried more than once while reading it. It’s hard for me to say that I enjoyed this book—in fact, I felt rather depressed when I finished it—but it takes a powerful, talented writer to bring out those feelings. If you’re looking for a light, breezy novel—this isn’t it! But if you’re looking for a good character study with lots to think about—this would be a great book club selection—consider giving this title a try.

9.30.14 BI’ve always been interested in behind-the-scenes books and I’m also interested in journalism, so when I was offered an ARC of The News Sorority (published on 9/30/14) by Sheila Weller I jumped at the chance. It’s a nonfiction account of the careers of three female television journalists—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christine Amanpour—and it was a fascinating story of how the roles of females in hard television news have changed over the years. Although the author didn’t interview any of her three subjects for this book, she did talk with dozens of others and the result seems to be a pretty well-rounded view of their careers. Yes, there’s some gossip, but not so much that it felt tabloid-ish. I particularly thought that the accounts of how each woman dealt with reporting the events of 9/11 was interesting. If you’re a news junkie (like I am!) and/or enjoy reading about how news is reported, I’d recommend this book.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As usual, I have absolutely no idea—it’ll all depend on what I’m in the mood for at the time!

How about you? Have you read any of these? What are you reading this week? Please share!

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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.

13 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday–10/1/14

  1. Had no idea The Paying Guests was so long, but I can’t wait to read it! We Are Not Ourselves packed an emotional punch that literally took me weeks to recover from… quite an accomplishment for a debut author, I think. The News Sorority is on my wish list.

    • I agree with you–I’m still thinking about We Are Not Ourselves. I think I wish that I’d been a little more prepared. I’ll be very interested to read more by Matthew Thomas!

  2. I need to get my hands on The Paying Guests and I was all for We Are Not Ourselves because of the buzz, but now not sure…The News Sorority sounds great but it always makes me wonder how tabloid-y the book will be when the author doesn’t interview the subjects. Good to know that’s not the case! Here’s mine http://hollykerr.ca/www-wednesday-im-reading-9/ Happy Reading!

    • I was literally reading The Paying Guests at stoplights this morning on my way to work!
      I was worried when I wrote about We Are Not Ourselves-I don’t want to turn anyone off from a really good book–but I really wasn’t prepared for the emotions it evoked when I read it. It’s a good book–but it was difficult emotionally for me.

  3. I bought We Are Not Ourselves shortly after its release, and now I think I’ve chickened out a little. I think epic character studies might be my fictional bailiwick. But I really need to psych myself up for a 600-page read that might leave me depressed in the end. Thanks for the review.

  4. I’m reading a 500+ pager right now so I’ll probably wait to tackle The Paying Guests, although I did add it to my TBR. 😉

    • It is SO GOOD so far! But I agree–I usually need to balance those huge reads with something a little less daunting. However–I will say that for a huge book, it goes pretty fast.

  5. We are not ourselves seems really interesting. Have a great reading week! 😀

  6. I’ve heard a lot of good things about We Are Not Ourselves. The Paying Guests looks really intriguing.

  7. Oh I do so want to read The Paying Guests, your snippet has got me even more keen to find time for this one, the only downside is a hardback book is so much harder on the fingers to read in bed! A great WWW – here is mine http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/www-wednesday-october-1/

    • The Paying Guests is a hefty book, that’s for sure–but well worth the weight! I’m hoping to read quite a bit more this evening–I have no idea how all that is happening is going to get resolved. I was reading it on my lunch break today and was quite annoyed when I had to get back to work!

  8. I always love your book choices!

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