This week I finished The White Queen and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Yes, THAT Judy Blume. The one and only Judy Blume.
Oh how I loved her books when I was a pre-teen. From Fudge to Tiger Eyes to Are You There God? It's me Margaret, I lived and breathed Judy Blume in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It came full circle when my two daughters both started reading some of Blume's "tamer" novels like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. And I was so happy to hear that they loved her writing just as much as I had at their age.
I was so excited that I finally got a copy of her newest book (and it's for adults too!!) In the Unlikely Event. I had been on the wait list for quite some time.
What a great story. In The Unlikely Event takes place in the early 1950s when the United States is dealing with the Korean War along with changing social mores. Miri Ammerman is the daughter of a single mother whose father left before she was born. Miri learns to negotiate a difficult adolescence with her loving family as they, and everyone in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, deal with the unexpected and unexplained rash of airplane crashes literally in their backyards.
3 planes fell from the sky over a 2 month period and changed the lives of thousands of people.
This story, while based on factual events is a work of fiction.
The story focuses on how several of the impacted characters deal with this tragedy and then ultimately life as they re-group years later.
The main female protagonist, Miri, is wonderfully developed and you can see the author's gift in creating rich and believable female teenage characters. The story is told from many points of view (over 20) and some of these characters are not as richly developed. One of my biggest challenges was getting engaged in the story early on with the POV continually changing
Many great descriptions of life in the 1950's are included -- from the music to the food to the current events. I really enjoyed reading about life back in the 1950's.
Reading Judy Blume as an adult did not give me the same feelings as when I was a child, but that's ok. I'm not the same person I was 30+ years ago. I grew up, and so did Judy.
Were you a Judy Blume fan as a child? Have you read any of her books as an adult?
I don't know about you all, but my life has been super busy. Lots of library programming, activities with my children, and then of course the things that I like to do for fun, it seems like I am rarely having time to even sleep.
But I always find time to read.
This week I finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
This is the 3rd book I've read by Liane Moriarty, having previously read What Alice Forgot and The Husband's Secret.
I do believe that Big Little Lies has been my favorite book by her. I really liked the characters, and the twist that she always has in her books was GREAT in this book. I honestly didn't see it coming. So good. Highly recommend.
I also recently have become obsessed with the TV Show The Tudors. In 2013 I watched The White Queen and really liked that TV mini-series. During the opening credits I noticed that it was based on a book by Philippa Gregory. I remember watching the movie The Other Boleyn Girl also by Philippa Gregory and I loved that movie, too. So what's a book lover to do that wants to know more about life in 16th century England? Well, read more books by Philippa Gregory.
So that's what I'm doing.
I have started reading The Boylen Inheritance. Just eleven days after King Henry VIII had his second wife Anne beheaded for treason, he married Jane Seymour who gave him a son, Prince Edward, but died soon after his birth. King Henry needed more sons to secure his line and safeguard the House of Tudor, he looked overseas for this next bride and picked Anne of Cleves but would soon be side-tracked by the young, vivacious Katherine Howard. I'm about 3 chapters in and it's quite good. Hopefully I don't get sidetracked by another book but I likely will. I've been waiting for 6 months for All The Light We Cannot See and I am next in line....so, that book might take priority over finishing The Boylen Inheritance.
Have you read anything by Philippa Gregory??
I've been reading a lot and it's been GREAT!! I love a good story and I've got some fantastic ones for you this week!!
I read and totally loved The Martian by Andy Weir.
The story is simple: A manned mission to Mars, Ares 3, has to evacuate the red planet in a big hurry thanks to a dust-storm. Mark Watney, resident smart-ass, botanist and mechanical engineer, gets lost in the ensuing chaos. The rest of the crew makes the tough choice and leaves Mars without him. They think he is dead. Mark, left to fend for himself, deals with life on Mars with no obvious way to survive long enough for NASA to rescue him.
Watney is a Space MacGuyver. No joke.
And his sarcastic sense of humor had me laughing out loud in situations that were really quite dire.
The movie adaptation of The Martian comes out this fall and I'm so excited to see it!!
Okay, so what else have I been reading?
I've been reading Big Little Lies by one of my favorite authors Liane Moriatry.
I'm only 8 chapters in and she's doing one heck of a job setting up what I know will be a huge plot twist. She does a very good job with doing that. We're dealing with a murder, that much I know. And a bunch of Kindergarten moms ranging in age from 24-40. She's working on building character development so I'm learning all about what makes these women tick. Of course secrets are going to come out, and then the shocking truth will be revealed.
The kids and I have also been reading Serafina and the Black Cloak. Actually Haley has already finished it.
The rest of us are about 50% finished with it. It's a quirky story about a girl who lives in the basement of the Biltmore Estate. Serafina finds out that she's not who she thought she was, and she is befriended by George Vanderbilt's nephew Braeden (who is a fictional character.)
It's an okay story. The middle part (which is where we are now) is really dragging on for me, but the kids don't seem to mind, so it's all good.
Have you read The Martian or have you seen the trailer for the movie? Check the trailer out below and let me know your thoughts!