Progress: Notes From A Reading Life ~ July 12

An Acqauintance With Darkness, by Ann Rinaldi

Last year I practiced monogamy in books.  I read one book at a time until I was finished.  It wasn’t a habit that I had before and I decided that I would try it out.  I think I read less last year because of it.  If I didn’t like a book or got stuck in a rut then I just wouldn’t read until I was re-inspired by whatever it was hat I had been reading.  This year I have slowly reverted back to my old promiscuous reading habits- back to having a few books going at a time, at least.  Old habits die-hard.

An Acquaintance With Darkness, by Ann Rinaldi:  I am really hooked on her work.  She specializes in YA historical fiction, but An Acqauintance With Darkness, by Ann RinaldiI am finding that the stories work very well for an older audience as well.  The stories are interesting, well written and researched, and thought provoking; a good way to learn about the culture, every day  and extraordinary events in historical United States/colonies (whatever the US was and became).  This one is about body snatchers and the death of Abraham Lincoln and has a plucky heroine whose mom has just died.  Emily has gone to live with her uncle, who is a doctor, but he has some mysterious dealings going on in a little laboratory he has built in his back yard.

Even though I bought this one first, this is the second Rinaldi book that I am reading (really the third, read on).  I also picked up a copy of Hang A Thousand Trees with Ribbon. I finished that one already.  It was the story of Phillis Wheatley.  So good!  I had thought Ann Rinaldi was a new-to-me author, but she’s not; and now I know why I love her so much.  The Last Silk Dress is one of my favorites that I read as a child and she’s the author!  I am so excited.  She has written a ton of books and I am excited about that as well.  Lot’s of good stuff for me to read.

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie JamesThe Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James:  I just finished this book- like last night just finished.  I loved it!  I’m still thinking up all the ways that I can gush over this book.  I loved it so much that after reading the first chapter I had to look up all the other books that Syrie James has written (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), and then I had to talk myself out of running out to buy it before I could finish the one that I already had. Ask me if I was successful.  What do you think?  This book just came out this month and already I want the next female classic author whose memoir/journal she wants to bring to life.  More please!

The Likeness, by Tana French: I’ve read a chapter so far and I am hooked.   I loved Cassie in In The Woods, and I am glad to be The Likeness, by Tana Frenchgetting more of her story in this book.  So far this one is going back to her roots and exploring when she got her first start going undercover to bust a college drug ring.  Eventually this case links back up to the mystery of a woman who looks exactly like Cassie and who has been using the name of the original undercover agent that Cassie created back when she first started with the police force.  I love having a go-to literary mystery author in Tana French, and I am hoping that this book doesn’t disappoint.  I have heard that this one is even better than In The Woods, which I liked despite its cliffhanger ending. I have to admit that I think I am hoping that I will get more answers at the end of this one.  You can only leave me hanging for so long.

Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, by Jeff GuinnGo Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, by Jeff Guinn: I have been listening to this one on audio.  The narrator is a little dry but the story is so interesting that it makes up for it.  The story with these outlaws is so different from the glamour of the legend that it makes you wonder why they are so celebrated and revered.  Bonnie and Clyde were basically very small time crooks and didn’t make a lot of money from their exploits.  They were so poor and used to so little that maybe it was enough for them to just get by, but they were always putting themselves in such danger to get so little that it’s a little baffling, and they weren’t very smart about the things that they did either. Clyde seriously injured Bonnie by driving recklessly, and they were often really flashy in calling attention to themselves in situations where it would have made more sense to be cool and lay low.  You really want to take them side and smack them around a little.  The cops who are after them are no better, and there was so little communication between the different states and their police forces that it was easy for crooks to escape and pretty much do whatever they wanted.  It’s all very interesting though.

I have a feeling that I will be getting many more books by Ann Rinaldi, Tana French and Syrie James.  Have you read anything lately that has sent you running immediately to see what other books the author has written?  What authors do you collect?

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    1. I saw Public Enemies too. I was a little disappointed in it story wise but and the mvie was just pkay to me, but it did prompt me to go and do more research to see hpw things really happened.

    1. The number 1 spot? Oh, I am so excited to hear that. I really would like to ask Bonnie and Clyde and a lot of other people who they were running around who me they were being chased by “WTF” among other things?

  1. I am mostly a monogamous reader, although recently I’ve taken up reading a short story book alongside my main novel. This weekend doesn’t count in which I’m also reading a third book–it’s a friend’s fault and that will be over soon so I can revert back to my usual habits. I tend to like to stick to one book at a time. I get interested in the story and characters and would rather continue on with them, finish their story before moving on to another. The short story book experiment is working well though–if only I’d stop falling asleep before I have a chance to read my novel in the evenings. 🙂

    I will be reading In the Woods soon. I can’t wait. My list of authors that I collect could go on forever. Often times, if I read something by an author that I really like, I’ll want to read most everything else they’ve written. There are exceptions though. A lot depends on the types of books the author writes.
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: Short Stories, Peer Pressure & My Wedding Anniversary =-.

    1. You just reminded me Wendi that I forgot to mention the book of short stories that I am reading by Melanie Haney. She is really good and I am enjoying her stories so much.

  2. You’re such a naughty girl!!! 🙂 I love Rinaldi, she’s one of my ultimate favorite YA historical fiction writers. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte is going on my request list at the library right now!!!!!! I must read French’s books too. I checked out In The Woods but never got to it before it was due back. Now I must get it again!!!! You may turn me into a multiple-book reading hussy after all!! 🙂
    .-= Staci´s last blog ..YA Review: Wings by Aprilynne Pike =-.

    1. It’s not that I don’t like the stories and get into them. It’s just that a new book will come and I will start reading the first chapter and want to continue, and before I know it I am reading more than one book. It’s so not purposeful.

  3. I do much better as a monogamous reader! I have ended up reading several books together lately and it bugs me a little. I read more when I can just go through a book at a time, I’m not sure why.

    I read only one of Ann Rinaldi’s books as a kid but I really loved it. I wonder if I should try more by her. I know that I’ve had authors who have inspired me to seek out their entire backlist, but I can’t remember any recent ones at the moment.
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..Review: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and six more, Roald Dahl =-.

    1. I think it probably depends on the book. I wonder of The Last Silk Dress would hold up. I have to give it a re-read at some point. I though the Phillis Wheatley was better than Acquaintance, but I also think too that I am learning a little more of her style and lie some things better than others.

  4. Oh gosh — I’m such a sucker for series that I couldn’t mention all the authors I follow.

    I can listen to one book and read (in print) a second, but beyond that I’m lost. Of course I’m also reading for work. It’s amazing I can keep anything straight!
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Giveaway! The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand =-.

    1. Beth you are my go-to point person for series, you read so many! I find that if the stories are different enough I’m okay.

  5. I can typically read more than one book at a time, but their storylines have to be different otherwise I’d get them confused.

    I recently read Michael Connelly’s THE POET and now I’m hooked on his writing!
    .-= Jenn’s Bookshelf´s last blog ..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? =-.

    1. I’m the same way. The story lines have to be different. If I start reading something that is too similar in feel or characterization to something I am already reading then I will put it aside.

  6. I’m mostly a monogamous reader but can sometimes balance a nonfiction book with fiction. I can NOT do more than one fiction at a time. Usually, though, I put something aside half way through and never pick it up again or have to start over.
    .-= Care´s last blog ..Chocolat by Joanne Harris =-.

    1. There are some that i have put aside to go back to. Not that it means I’m not enjoying them necessarily but something a little more dynamic or fit my mood better probably caught my attention.

  7. I love that phrase – yes, I’m a promiscuous reader, too. I go with my mood, and usually have not only three or four current books on the go, but lots of DNFs that I end up going back to finish when I’m in the right mood for them.

    And Nicole, I love your ringing endorsements of the books in this post. Your enthusiasm is very contagious. You’ve just added several titles to my own list!
    .-= Belle´s last blog ..Back from Holidays! =-.

    1. I aim to add titles to people’s lists. I’m bad that way! I have been reading some really good stuff lately so I can’t complain. I hope the trend holds. And welcome back! I missed your blog posts and your visits!

  8. Monogamy is over-rated! I love reading several different books at once. I was happy to discover that Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite authors, is coming out with a new book in September, and it’s related to Oryx and Crake (I reviewed the ARC of it today).
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..The Year of the Flood =-.

  9. I do much better when I remain a monogamous reader, I never could juggle two things at once very well :D. Isn’t Rinaldi a fabulous author? Love her books. I feel the same about Cynthia Rylant. I have yet to read Tana French, I think the books sound great but they are always put on the back burner. I need to commit!
    .-= Icedream´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday 7/13/09 =-.

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