Bookish Chatter | Reading in Mid-August 2022

We have passed the halfway point of August — my most dreaded month. Last week’s reading report was a big one and I’m happy to say that I’ve calmed down a bit and have a more modest helping to share. And that’s a good thing because I don’t have a ton of time to write a post this morning!

FINISHED THIS WEEK:

Thank you to Cindy for reminding me that there was a new Matthew Venn mystery published last year! The Heron’s Cry is the second in this series and is set in North Devon (I googled it to learn where North Devon is — it’s right near Cornwall and has its own rocky coast). Matthew Venn is such an interesting investigator with a hodgepodge crew working with him. In this one, they’re investigating murders taking place at a home that’s full of artists. The ending was a surprise, as most of Anne Cleeves’ books are for me. I love it when that happens! In summary: beautiful setting, interesting characters, and complicated mystery. What’s not to love?

I picked up The Colony because it’s on the Booker Longlist. Set in Ireland in 1979 just as The Troubles are beginning, an artist named Lloyd spends the summer with a family who lives on an island and practices the old way of life. Also on the island that summer: a Frenchmen named Masson who has been visiting for years and is writing a dissertation on the loss of their language. This was a complicated and beautiful book about colonization and what it means to belong — and so much else that’s difficult for me to put into words. I also learned a lot about the early days of The Troubles and how frightening it all must have been. I was touched by the Great-Grandmother’s interviews with Masson and her thoughts about why people no longer live that lifestyle. It gave me plenty of food for thought.

And Bronwyn and I finished another Josefina book last night! As her tenth birthday approaches, Josefina starts helping Tía Magdalena in her workshop and learns that she would like to become a healer as well. Her gifts are put to the test when she and her father visit a neighboring pueblo and her friend Mariana is attacked by a rattlesnake when they are out playing together.

There’s only one more book in the Josefina series for us to read and then it’s on to the next American Girl. I think Kirsten is next.


Our librarians have been cleaning off the shelves this summer and are giving away the books that haven’t been checked out in a very long time. They started with Adult Fiction and have now moved to Juvenile Fiction. When I saw what they were doing, I mentioned to the head librarian that Bronwyn and I were working our way through the American Girl books on their shelves and I was nervous that she was going to give them all away. So she very kindly put aside all of the AG books that’s she’s decided to discard (for now) and gave them to us! And now we have a small stack of our own and I expect it might grow as time goes on. Life Lesson: always become friends with your librarian!

And that’s it for me today! Things are quiet on the reading front because my attention has been elsewhere and I hope to share more about that soon. But I am so happy to have a few more finishes to share with you because there’s nothing better than sharing good books with good friends. I hope to be back on Friday with a few pictures from the gardens and some moments of joy. Until then — take good care.

(Please note that the opening picture in this post is not my own. I didn’t have time to set up a picture this morning! But this one of my favorite free pictures — I love that plant.)

19 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | Reading in Mid-August 2022

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  1. I love Anne Cleeves, in fact I am taking The Crow Trap with me to read on our vacation. That is so awesome that your librarian gave you the AG books, I’m sure you and your daughter are very excited about that. I haven’t been to a library in many years, ours is too far, but always loved going.

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    1. I don’t know what I’d do without the library! I feel so lucky to have one just a couple of minutes away. It’s the highlight of our week! Enjoy your Anne Cleeves on vacation — she is so wonderful!

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      1. When I was kid we went to the library all the time. You very fortunate to have one close by. Thank you so much Katie, we are looking forward to our vacation 😊

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  2. I’m glad you enjoyed The Colony. I think it would make a great choice for a book club or even an English class because there’s so much to talk about. I think I probably have to read it again on the page; the audio was really helpful for the bits in Irish and with the pronunciation of names, but Mary and Margene both talked about the impact of how some of the text appears on the page, and I’d like to see that.

    How lucky you are that the librarian set aside those books for you! Aren’t librarians the best?

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  3. Wonderful to get so many discarded books from your library. Too bad they have to cull, but shelf space is limited. I’ve never read Anne Cleeves and will add one of her books to my TBR list.

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    1. I wouldn’t want to be the person to decide what to cull at a library. It’s heart breaking! I think you’ll enjoy Anne Cleeves – she has several series. I devoured her Shetland series a few years ago but haven’t read any of the Vera Stanhopes yet. I hope to change that soon!

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  4. happy sigh. wasn’t The Colony amazing??!! woohoo for that stack of AG books. and *smile* about that opening photo. Three titles I hadn’t heard of made me wonder if maybe you’d been to a used book sale?

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    1. Ha! I used to use that stock photo often but haven’t in a long time. I had the feeling that there might be questions about it 😉 And yes — I loved The Colony and can’t wait to get through more of these Booker lists. I’m about 2/3 of the way through Glory. “I Can’t Breath” was… breathtaking.

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  5. Ann Cleeves… just brilliant writing, every single book!

    I am on hold for The Colony. Thank you for your thoughtful (and inspiring) review!

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    1. I still haven’t read any of the Veras! I like these books on audio and I don’t have access to any of the Vera titles on audio. Boo. I hope you enjoy The Colony!!

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  6. I’m on hold for The Colony, but have moved up to #1 on the list, so I hope to get it soon. After reading your review and so many other good reviews, I’m really looking forward to reading it!

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  7. I would love to read The Colony. It sounds like a book that would be hard to put down. I haven’t started The She’ll Seekers. I have a couple on my Libby online app to finish first. I keep promising myself that I won’t buy another book until I have finished a couple from my unread stack or stacks I should say. But then an interesting one or two comes along and what can I do? I love that you got all of those free books from the library. Periodically our library does that and they have a big sell and sell the books really cheap. I guess they may give them away, or what they have left of them, afterwards.

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    1. Oh goodness — I hear you on how hard it can be to pass up a good book! But I think you’re going to love The Shell Seekers when you get there – it’s so good! My library is almost always culling books and putting them out on a “free” shelf. But they are really working hard this summer and have carts and carts of books to give away. It’s kinda fun 🙂

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      1. Wow that’s awesome that they give those books away. A win win for everyone. I wish our local library did this. They usually have a sale and then I really don’t know what happens to them. I think I will check. Have a wonderful week.

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  8. I’m currently reading A People’s History of the United States alongside Marrying the Ketchups, which is a fun balance of intense history and a light beachy read!

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  9. I have Colony on my TBR list. So many books and so little time!! Not a bad problem to have, but still… Lucky you (and your daughter) that your librarian saved all those American Girl books for you – that is just so sweet. I’m glad you explained about the picture…I noticed that all the books were in a foreign language!

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