READING REPORT

I have until about mid-May to report back on my reading commitments checklist posted on April 15. And mid-May has arrived!

Several blog readers wondered how I did with my reading goals shared in mid April. Publishing the goal did help motivate me to more reading and to sticking with books I hoped to finish. Thanks for egging me on.

Here’s the list of spring reading for the April/May month that I announced as a goal.
1. Walt Whitman’s long poem “When Lilacs In the Dooryard Bloomed” Yes. I read this. I usually love Whitman but this one did not especially speak to me, historically or personally.
2. The Cross, third volume of the classic Kristin Lavransdatter. Such a great read. You know how I feel about this one if you read the Book Comment posted on the home page on May 3, 2017.
3. The Age of Grief, a novella by Jane Smiley. This story is apparently set in a dentist’s office. Since I am spending plenty of time in that place this year, I set this one aside.
4. Frog and Toad are Friends. By Arnold Lobel – Oh this is a breath of spring. I was reminded just how special Frog and Toad books are! Instead of sending this to my young granddaughter for her birthday, I’m saving it so I can read it to her when I see her. I expect both of us to be delighted anew at the tales of these two friends.

In addition I listed several books I expected to finish.
The novel Idaho by Emily Ruskovich. I hope to finish this novel soon. It is dense and difficult read; but the only fiction I am presently reading. You will hear more about this one.
On My Own, a memoir by Diane Rehm on going forward after the death of her husband. I finished this one which was overshadowed by Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B.
Also on the list: Evicted by Matthew Desmond. Actually, I have finished this nonfiction book about housing in an American city. I had planned to read a section at the end of the book in which the author explains how he conducted the project that produced this book. It has been highly praised by many and I think with good reason.
And Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. So far I have read only half of this book. It examines the justice system in America and was named one of the 100 notable books in 2014 by the New York Times Book Review. At present it will stay in the non-fiction basket of books to be finished or not yet read.

During these past four weeks I also read The Dinner by Herman Koch, a novel on the list for one of my upcoming book club meetings. And as I said above, I was entirely captured by Option B. Also I read and commented on for the blog, the novel The River of Kings. Currently I have started reading two memoirs: Cork Dork and The Return. More about those in an upcoming post.

With one or two notable exceptions, this has been some rather heavy reading. I’m looking for recommendations for lighter reading. I hope to hear from you!

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