Bookish Chatter | Prize Reading and 2 Readalouds

Happy Wednesday! We are in the middle of another very rainy week; we even had thunderstorms yesterday! A good thunderstorm is one of the things I miss about living in Texas so it’s always exciting when I hear the rumbling. The flowers I planted a few weeks ago are extraordinarily happy with all of this rain so I’m not going to complain at all, especially since our school vacation is over and we have plenty of good things to occupy our time inside.

My time reading has dipped over the last few weeks, so I don’t have too much to share with you today. Luckily I managed to finish a title longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and two readalouds with the kids, so at least we have something to talk about! As always, you can see everything I’ve read in 2023 on my Goodreads shelf.

Finished this week:

The Dog of the North, longlisted for the Women’s Prize, was a hilarious ride! There’s a lot going on in this book and it has a complicated plot to describe: Penny is recently separated and grieving the sudden disappearance of her mother and stepfather in Australia. Penny takes us from California, to Texas, to Australia, and then on a long, winding road back again, while finding a motley crew of kindred spirits along the way. The writing is full of witty dialogue that made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed this book and thought that Penny could probably be a friend. This book tried to unpack a lot of hard things: elder care, grief, and overcoming childhood trauma, while holding on to its humor.

I can see why it wasn’t shortlisted: some bits felt stuck in as an afterthought, such as Penny’s description of time with her father as a child. It was as if that section was pasted in during the editing process to help explain Penny’s current situation. Despite some of the disjoint, this book is absolutely worth reading when you’re looking for something to make you laugh and feel good about your own life choices.

Bronwyn and I finished Ivy and Bean: No News is Good News and it was hilarious. Ivy & Bean need to make some money so they can buy a special kind of cheese for their school lunches. Bean’s father suggests selling subscriptions to a newspaper that reports on the news of their neighborhood. Once the subscriptions are sold, the hard part starts: now they have to get out there and find the news. Of course, shenanigans ensue.

I’m still enjoying these Ivy & Bean books. As soon as you think they become predictable, something bizarre happens that makes me laugh out loud. There is a TV series on Netflix that Bronwyn and I need to check out on a quiet afternoon!

Bryce and I finished the sixth Captain Underpants: The Big Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part I: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets. Sound familiar? We also finished it in February of this year so I’m sure you’re pretty familiar with the plot by now. I feel like I say it almost every week, but I’m happy to read anything to my kids before bed, so I will keep reading Captain Underpants if that’s what Bryce wants to hear. I’m also relieved to know that he does a ton of independent reading that’s more challenging for him and we do other readalouds together throughout the week!

(And yes, there’s also a TV series on Netflix for Captain Underpants. Don’t worry — Bryce has watched them all. Many times.)

Friends, the book cart beside my desk floweth over and I am desperate to settle in with something. I have started 5-6 books in the last week or so, trying to find something that will completely transport me but have been struggling. Luckily I’ve spent the last few days getting all of my ducks in a row for this term’s homeschooling activities, which is so enjoyable. If I can’t be caught up in a book for myself, then this is the perfect bookish substitute. Book lists, filling in our school planner, pulling out the laminator, checking our art supplies, planning trips to the art museum: it’s all good stuff and keeping me very busy right now.

I hope to be back on Friday with another update. I’m not sure what I’ll update you on because I haven’t made a single stitch in the last two weeks! We’ll just have to see what floats to the top this week. Until Friday – take good care!


5 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | Prize Reading and 2 Readalouds

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  1. I hope some time opens up to allow you to find a book that you can get lost in. I have been so busy with work this week that I’ve had barely any reading time and that has only been right before bed, so needless to say, I’m not getting much read at all. It is fun to plan out all the books I want to read when things do quiet down!


  2. seems like many of us are in the same situation…finding a book to engage us is sometimes difficult. I am into Shrines of Gaiety now and enjoying. The Dog of the North sounds great and I just requested it from m library! Hope your week goes smoothly.


  3. Ooh, I haven’t heard of the Currier museum before, but they have Frank Lloyd Wright houses! I’d love to visit some day. I know what you mean about wanting a book to transport you. I just finished two books, but they both felt like they were floating on the surface. I’m still looking for something that I can really dive into.


  4. I’ve wanted to try Elizabeth McKenzie but just haven’t gotten to her yet. One day!

    I’m currently reading an Ian Rankin mystery (#19 in the Rebus series) and I’m totally engrossed. Lately I’ve been enjoying my mysteries so much I just want to read nothing but the genre! Which is odd for me, because I do like to mix it up normally. But I’m trying to just let my reading whims carry me away. 🙂 I hope you find something totally engrossing soon.


  5. There are times when it is just difficult to sink into a book. I hope some time opens up soon and the right book comes along. I also love a good thunderstorm. Our son lives in Texas and they have had their share lately.


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