Saturday, February 4, 2017

What I'm Reading

Hello, there. I had the best of intentions last week to share a new recipe for spinach-artichoke dip pre-Super Bowl, but work was brutal last week and I didn't have the energy or time to create a new food post. 

So instead, I'll share with you a couple of books I'm reading. One of my 2017 goals is to read more. This can be a challenging goal for me because reading in the afternoon or evening typically puts me to sleep. Reading in the morning doesn't (except for the fact that my eyes can't focus yet!), but only the weekends are conducive for morning reading and even then, I have too many things on my to-do list to lounge around reading.

I frequently borrow books from the library, so there's the pressure to finish a book by the due date. One of the books I'm currently reading, America's First Daughter, is a popular best seller and I had to put my name on the waiting list for it. This also means I cannot renew it. I figure if I read about 40 pages each night, I should finish it by the due date. 

Only recently have I come to the realization that my favorite genre is historical fiction. America's First Daughter is about Martha "Patsy" Jefferson and the relationship with her father, Thomas Jefferson. During his lifetime, Jefferson wrote more than 18,000 letters -- that's hard to imagine! Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, the authors of the novel, framed the story through these letters.    

Other works of historical fiction I've enjoyed reading include All the Light We Cannot See, Year of Wonders and Girl with a Pearl Earring. What type of book do you most enjoy reading?

For my birthday in January, a friend gave me a copy of A Man Called Ove written by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. I started reading it, but put it on hold when America's First Daughter came available through the library. It's the story of a grumpy man who lives a life of routine until some new neighbors move in. I'm only in the beginning of the book, and will get back to it once I've finished the other. I just learned it was made into a movie that is up for an Academy award for best foreign language film (clearly I don't keep up with popular culture). I watched the trailer and it looks great. I suspect there are nuances to the characters that come across better on screen than in the pages of the book. Usually I prefer the book over the movie version of a story, but every now and then I find the opposite to be true. I've added it to my Netflix queue. 

Speaking of films, have you seen Fences? My husband and I were blown away by it. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis gave amazing performances, and I am pulling for them to win Oscars. The supporting cast was fantastic too, and the way it was filmed ... I could go on and on. I'm glad the movie has received many nominations.

Another movie I hope to see in the theater is La La Land. I am a fan of both Ryan Gosling (what a cutie!) and Emma Stone. The film looks like fun.

Have you read any great books or seen any great movies lately you'd like to recommend? I love hearing why people like (or don't like) a work of art, so feel free to share your suggestions here.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for visiting My Little Bungalow!


  1. I'm not big on historical fiction, but thanks for the recommendation of America's First Daughter. It does look interesting and I will look for it. A Man Called Ove looks good as well. I am also a library user. I am not one to read fiction over and over so I just can't see buying novels. I know what you mean about the due date deadlines, though. I enjoy reading mysteries and some of my favorites are the Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny. Interesting characters, a compelling storyline and always good for thought.

  2. A friend highly recommended 'Hidden Figures' to me this morning. I hope we can get out and see it this week.

  3. I have been a bookworm since I was six years old - 45 years ago! I love reading about history, but my favorite way to learn history is to read a work of fiction written contemporaneously to the era. For instance, right now I'm reading William Makepeace Thackeray's The Newcomes, which had been serialized in 1901 (I found a leather bound copy in an antique store for about $3.00!). I learn so much about the times because Thackeray didn't have to research the period, he was living it. This book is so thoroughly enjoyable, and once you get into the cadence of the text you don't realize you're reading a 100 year old book. It's like reading Shakespeare - a little awkward at the start, but then you get into that Elizabethan style.

    Happy reading,

  4. I just finished reading a Man called Ove and LOVED it. My book club read it as well and unanimously we all loved it. We cannot wait to see the movie now. Most of us agreed that the book started out a bit slow and a little frustrating (can we tolerate an entire book of this grumpy old man) but the book, just like the character Ove, unfolds and evolves. You will laugh and you will cry. Enjoy!


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