Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
ReadingEnvy

ReadingEnvy

Joined May 2016

I'll have what you're reading! goodreads.com/user/show/68030 | readingenvy.com for the podcast
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

Whoops this doesn't come out until March but you will want this poetry collection. You think you don't recognize the poet's name but most of the words in Beyonce's Lemonade were penned by Warsan Shire.

Poems in this collection range from the refugee experience to the body to love. She's also well known for the poem "Home," which can be found online and starts with this line:
"no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark"
↘️

ReadingEnvy Shire is British, born to Somali parents in Kenya, so many of her poems ponder belonging and place.

I will recommend the audio, read by the poet. Thanks to Random House Audio for an early listen through the #volumesapp
36m
16 likes1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
Revelator: A novel | Daryl Gregory
post image
Pickpick

I'd let this book slip by on my eARC list and thought I'd try it and maybe abandon it but NO. This was a riveting novel of southern gothic horror centered around an Appalachian community where there is a "god in the mountains." Select women are the revelators and commune with the god while the men are interpreters and getting ready to introduce the god to the world.↘️

ReadingEnvy Also there are moonshiners with far too many distillation jokes (the author really doubled down on those for some reason). This is set in the 1930s and 1940s so the other background issue going on is the same families losing their land due to eminent domain (and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.) ↘️ 3d
ReadingEnvy Most of the people living in this area are very religious (primitive Baptist!) and very white. It's interesting to see a cult-like religion around the god in the mountain be absorbed into such people and how they justify it to themselves. 3d
Pogue One of my Favorite podcasts is Old Gods of Appalachia. This book sounds like the podcast. 3d
See All 8 Comments
ReadingEnvy @Pogue ah I'll have to check that out! The author has family from Cades Cove. 3d
Reggie I thought the book was missing 300 pages in the end. But I loved it up until then. 3d
ReadingEnvy @Reggie missing 300 pages? Were you wanting more than the dynamite and new god reveal? Or a pacing problem? 2d
Reggie Have you ever watched the movie Species? Where the little blond girl who is the alien escapes and jumps on a train and kills the Black lady conductor. Well I feel like we got a very wonderful story of the conductor. But the movie itself keeps going for another 1 1/2 hrs so we can find out what happens to the alien. Lol It was a great book. I‘m just being curmudgeonly. 2d
ReadingEnvy @Reggie I get what you are saying but to me it was enough to know it would continue, whatever that will look like. Except maybe she could have killed her and it's done! 2d
41 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Reparations Now! | Ashley M. Jones
post image
Pickpick

Ashley M. Jones officially became Alabama's Poet Laureate this week!

One poem directly confronts past leadership in Alabama including a governor who promised segregation forever. Her poems demand that racial injustice be addressed (no surprise from the title) in specific ways, and she writes about her own experiences with being black and female and southern and still excluded or attacked or disenfranchised because of it.

42 likes3 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Last Summer in the City: A Novel | Gianfranco Calligarich
post image
Mehso-so

This book was on my radar after Ed discussed it on episode 227 of the podcast.
.
I'm not sure it has aged well. The women are all described body parts first, and the narrator for the audiobook has an old-fashioned voice that made me keep upping the speed. It's like Patricia Highsmith Ripley novels without the high stakes or sociopaths. I'd choose Highsmith first every time!
.
So this was a miss for me

blurb
ReadingEnvy
Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology | Eloisa James, Erica Ridley, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor
post image

It's December! And I read a bunch of seasonal books ahead of time so you didn't have to. Recommendations from this year and a few from previous years are on my blog:
http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2021/12/holiday-reading-recommendations-2021.htm...

Before you @ me, I know Hanukkah and Christmas are not the same. But the protagonist is a romance novelist who loves Christmas until her publisher asks for something different.

MeganAnn Great list! I‘m adding several of these to my TBR📚❤️✨ 7d
ReadingEnvy @MeganAnn it's nice to have feel good reads for the holidays! 7d
45 likes2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
The Women's Coffee Shop | Andriana Ierodiaconou
post image
Mehso-so

Angelou is a single woman in Cyprus who runs a "coffee shop" for women. The story starts with the death of her friend, Avraam Salih, a man born to a Christian and a Muslim and thus widely ostracized on the island.↘️

Lindy @ReadingEnvy Did you intend to write a longer review? 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy ha, yes! I am easily distracted right now. See below. 4d
ReadingEnvy I like that the author is Cypriot but the contents are better suited to a short story. Lines and scenes are repeated frequently for no apparent reason and this made it a bit of a slog to read. I appreciate that she had people along a sex and gender spectrum and navigating religious difference in different ways, and the scene where she confronts a priest is pretty great. 4d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy I‘m glad you added the second part to your review, because now I‘m intrigued, even though you don‘t fully endorse the book. 4d
42 likes4 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 234: Punctuation Marks with Nadine

Jenny and Nadine reconvene to talk about reasons not to set reading goals, look back on the year, and discuss which books we've read and enjoyed lately.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy234

Suet624 Can‘t wait to listen! 1w
Lindy Jenny, I was so happy to hear you talk about 5d
Lindy Also, I do the same thing as Nadine: towards the end of the year, I look at reading challenges from various sources (Read Harder, Reading Women) for the first time, just to see if I happened to read books that would fit their prompts over the past year. 5d
See All 8 Comments
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I don't think it got nearly enough attention in the US. 4d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I vaguely track them but don't go out of my way to meet a category. Most of the time I find I've covered most of them! 4d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy I looked at the Reading Women challenge and have nothing for the first category: a book longlisted for the JCB Prize. But it did get me to look at those titles (none of which are available to me). 4d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I wonder if you could count previous years because I do see some familiar titles - The Far Field and Djinn Patrol... Both of which I haven't read but I've heard good things about! 4d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Ah! I only thought to look at the current year. Silly me. 4d
37 likes8 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Mehso-so

When I started this book, I was so confused, I had to go back once I had a better handle on the characters. Chapters alternate between narration of events and emails about the same events, but it always takes a while to figure out which female character is writing, because, I'll say it, they sound so much the same. Probably not so much different from the author's own voice.↘️

ReadingEnvy I liked the idea of friends staying connected with long, philosophical emails, like back in early email days or when everyone had a Livejournal. But in this case their forms of communication almost serve to isolate them from one another, to excuse their introversion, and this does lead to some pretty significant misunderstandings and hurt feelings.↘️ 1w
ReadingEnvy I'm one of the people who loved Normal People and didn't care about all the people who hated it. Still I waited a good bit of time before reading this one so I could enjoy it in my own corner. But then I didn't really enjoy it that much. There are a lot of pieces here but not really a structured plot.↘️ 1w
ReadingEnvy Events happen but they aren't the central events of their lives, although we do get a hint of those. I also feel like Eileen reads like a variation of Marianne from Normal People. Marianne is actually more social!

Still, it's not often I find a book about friendship between people in their 30s and 40s and at least that's part of it. There is also an epilogue of sorts that places the characters during the pandemic. Was that needed?
1w
47 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Damnation Spring | Ash Davidson
post image
Pickpick

This novel took me a long time to read..I first started it while I was reading Barkskins and the subject matter was too similar. And then the emphasis on miscarriage was a lot. I finally pushed through and felt like it was worth it, and overall it has a strong ending.
.
It takes place along the Klamath River, a river that ends at the Pacific Ocean, and the forests that were so heavily logged in the 1960s and 1970s on both sides, ↘️

ReadingEnvy so southern Oregon and northern California..the novel looks at the effects of overloading and herbicides before those things were better regulated. The two central characters - Rich and Colleen - have had hard lives, but it's what they know, and they come to it through several generations. 2w
38 likes1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
The Santa Suit: A Novella | Mary Kay Andrews
post image
Pickpick

This is my last pre-holiday read! It is a much more expected romance with the storyline trope of a woman, freshly single, moving to a small (NC) town to restart her life. And as with most small town romances, there are quirky townspeople, blue-collar love interests, and a bit of holiday magic. #romantsy

48 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Panpan

Um, how should I put this, it's kind of a spoiler. Don't call a book a romance if it doesn't have an HEA. If you go in looking for a light feel-good read but leave it sobbing, what has been accomplished? I didn't sob, I was just disgusted. I outgrew the Lurlene McDaniel bullsh!t as a teen.

Strong opinions but that's how I roll.

Prairiegirl_reading With no happy ending it‘s absolutely NOT a romance!!! 2w
StayCurious Boo. With no HEA what‘s the point? Thanks for the warning 2w
ReadingEnvy @Prairiegirl_reading exactly!! It's against the contract! 2w
See All 9 Comments
ReadingEnvy @StayCurious I was so mad, lok 2w
EvieBee Okay, I had to google HEA. And now that I have, I‘d be just as mad! I still haven‘t fully recovered from Crash Landing on You. Ugh. 2w
ReadingEnvy @EvieBee when something is marketed as romance it's only requirement is that happily ever after, so I was annoyed, clearly. 2w
CarolynM I don't mind a HFN, but if there's no H it's no #romantsy 😆 2w
CoffeeAndABook Ha! Love this review 😂 I saw the cover and was about to hit „stack“ when I read the review. Pooh! No HEA - that‘s no good at all!!! 2w
ReadingEnvy @CarolynM precisely 2w
55 likes2 stack adds9 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Embers | Sandor Marai
post image
Panpan

Oof, well this novel is a very slow burn, about two men in their 70s meeting again after 40 years apart. The meeting is in 1942 but they were soldiers together for the Austro-Hungarian empire until something happens, something which the author takes the entire book to excruciatingly reveal.

The author was born in what is now Slovakia so I'll either count the book for there or Hungary for my Europe 2021 reading project.

Prairiegirl_reading I know a lot of people are hesitant to post negative reviews but I honestly really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing! 3w
ReadingEnvy @Prairiegirl_reading oh sure. Plus the authors been dead for a while! 3w
Prairiegirl_reading @ReadingEnvy lol! I didn‘t know that but also I think some people don‘t want to insult other readers either. 3w
46 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Meet Me in London | Georgia Toffolo
post image
Pickpick

Another one in my holiday pre-reading, but this is set during the holidays without really being about them.

If You've Got Mail were about clothing/fabrics rather than books, that would be the first part of this book. Add a fake relationship and a reluctant love interest and that's the rest!

An enjoyable HEA light read!

#romantay

33 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Afterparties: Stories | Anthony Veasna So
post image
Pickpick

Here is my first read from the Tournament of Books 2022 long list!

Afterparties is very strong in voice, stories flitting between Cambodian American characters in Stockton, CA. A lot about family, identity, sexuality, and generational difference (one coming from a genocide, one being lazy in the suburbs.) ↘️

BeckyRoy I have this book and am waiting for the perfect time to read it….looks like it might be now:) (edited) 3w
BarbaraBB I love this cover so much. Now that it made it to the ToB longlist I think I must read it! 3w
49 likes3 stack adds3 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
Bewilderment | Richard Powers
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 233: Get Into Trouble with Ruth @Ruthiella

Jenny starts off the episode by announcing a big project for 2022! Ruth teaches her a new word and we discuss a recent Tournament of Favorites, plus as always, books we've read and liked lately.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy233

Reggie @Ruthiella methinks you did so great!😜And Jenny it was so nice to hear you laugh so much and have so much fun. The Love Hypothesis is high on my radar. And now I can go in with my Star Wars eyes open. Lol 3w
Ruthiella @Reggie Thank you for saying so Reggie. I find the experience fun but also nerve wracking. 😰 3w
ReadingEnvy @Reggie It's a fun read! (Most of the time I edit out most of my laughter haha!) 3w
BeckyRoy @ReadingEnvy I can‘t wait to listen to hear what the big project is. I was surprised at how much I loved The Love Hypothesis, but it was so good. 3w
ReadingEnvy @BeckyRoy it was good! I gave it five stars for sure. 3w
35 likes5 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships | Sarah Grunder Ruiz
post image
Pickpick

This is a fun read that is half "women's fiction" (ie: Jo has her own issues and relationships that aren't romantic) and half romance. It would have made a great beach read if it came out a bit earlier in the year! #romantsy

50 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Matrix | Lauren Groff
post image
Mehso-so

Lauren Groff writes in many different genres and suddenly her most recent novel, on the National Book Award finalists list and the ToB long list, is historical fiction. Marie de France is removed from her parents' court to go join and run an impoverished abbey. Most of the story focuses on the 12th century and the characters found there, with some threads of mysticism, romance between women, and feminism. ↘️

ReadingEnvy These sound like themes I would enjoy but I felt disconnected or maybe underwhelmed by the book itself. Or maybe I was distracted by the audio. Either way, it wasn't really for me, but it can be for you. 4w
Ruthiella I‘m definitely going to wait to see if this makes the TOB 2022 shortlist before I take the plunge. 3rd time might be the charm...🤔? 4w
ReadingEnvy @Ruthiella that's how I feel about that random 700+ page book that seems to be in almost no libraries.... 4w
See All 6 Comments
Chelsea.Poole Your review sums it up well. I felt the same, pretty much! 3w
ReadingEnvy @Chelsea.Poole it's not how I wanted to feel! 3w
Chelsea.Poole @ReadingEnvy same here! I loved fates & furies, was hoping to love this one too 3w
49 likes6 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Once There Were Wolves | Charlotte McConaghy
post image
Pickpick

This book has a density to it because there isn't a lot of dialogue and the narrator spends a lot of time describing how others' touch feels because of her mirror-touch synesthesia. All while she is leading a team to rewild a group of wolves in Scotland.

Where this author's previous book Migrations was depressing from an environmental perspective, it was more about isolation. This book has a more violent streak and also a bit of a murder mystery.

EvieBee You had me at murder. 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review.. stacked 👍🏻 me too @EvieBee .. Murder & violent streak (edited) 1mo
51 likes2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

I didn't catch this book when it was on the International Booker list, but when it was named a finalist for the translated lit category of the National Book Award, I finally decided to give it a go, especially once I found the audio in Hoopla and it was under 6 hours.↘️

ReadingEnvy At first, it feels like non-fiction, well researched information about science and math, death and destruction, the usual. It slowly morphs to include details about the characters that might be true, I guess, but would he unlikely to be known without a detailed journal or analysis records. And as it nears the end, the stories start linking and it feels more like a fictional experience.↘️ 1mo
ReadingEnvy I always enjoy books that take me on a journey. The characters do not have to be on a journey, but I like the author to have a clear goal in mind even if I don't know what it is... It's one of those undefinable things that I like and is present here. I also am a sucker for books about math and mathematicians and boy did this qualify. I wish it had won the International Booker and I hope it wins the National Book Award for translation. 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ 1mo
49 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
The Legend of the Christmas Witch | Dan Murphy, Aubrey Plaza
post image
Pickpick

This was under an hour in audio, the long forgotten tale of Kris Kringle's sister, known as the Christmas Witch. Written by and read by Aubrey Plaza.

47 likes4 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology | Eloisa James, Erica Ridley, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor
post image
Mehso-so

Currently alternating reads with holiday fare for a roundup I hope to offer early December. These four interlocking stories all take place during the same holiday revelry, in 1815.
#romantsy

38 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Mehso-so

This is the second book I've read by someone who grew up in Children of God aka The Family, forced into questionable practices because of decisions their parents made. Faith Jones' grandfather is actually the founder, Mo, of this one.

CW for sexual abuse, religious brainwashing, psychological harm, etc.↘️

ReadingEnvy For such a vibrant title, the book is a bit dry. Most of it is just sad, knowing how many years Faith and her family suppressed their own desires to try to follow all the crazy rules. If you've never had an inside view, there's nothing like a child who suffered through it for a chilling perspective. Another interesting component is a childhood lived almost entirely outside the United States.
1mo
43 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
ReadingEnvy
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
post image

Books Read October 2021: 215-236

Total Books Read: 22

audio: 3
eBook: 15
print: 4

Library: 4
TBR: 1
Purchased 2021: 3
Review copy: 14

Around the World: 10
Booker Prize Long or shortlist: 1
Europe 2021: 2
National Book Award finalist (long or short): 3
Read the World 21 (Western Europe): 1

Memoir: 2
Poetry: 2
Romance: 3
Sci-fi/fantasy: 3
Translated: 6
Women in Translation: 4

42 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

"There is a city in the south that is full of beasts— beasts who rage and love, gather and leave, just as humans do."

That's the last line of this book, but not really a spoiler. A fantastical creation of beasts in a Chinese city through the eyes of a writer working with a scientist. The beasts blend in with humans and come in a variety of types. ↘️

ReadingEnvy I read two sections of this book through two lines press and I'm so glad the entire work has been translated. They were intriguing as standalone but the through thread of the narrator adds another angle I enjoyed. 1mo
51 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
ReadingEnvy
Barkskins: A Novel | Annie Proulx
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 232: Barkskins Readalong

I am joined by Nadine, Vinny, Laurie, and Bryn to discuss Barkskins by Annie Proulx. We bring in some of the discussion from Goodreads as well as coming with fresh eyes to the text.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy232

@Billypar @Bryn1 @Booksndogs

andrew61 I'm looking forward to listening jenny. 1mo
Lindy I enjoyed listening to your discussion even though I bailed early when I was actually reading the book. I now have a good sense of the book‘s scope (without having to suffer through it). In film critic Jesse Wente‘s memoir, he tells of his Anishinaabe great grandfather‘s experience: he had to quit trapping after he went to his traditional northern Ontario trapline and discovered the entire area had been clearcut. 1mo
Lindy Also, Proulx is a name with mysteriously silent letters. It‘s pronounced Proo. 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy that book sounds good! 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy it was my bad for not looking it up ahead of time. French is a thorn in my side. 1mo
38 likes5 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Book of Magic | Alice Hoffman
post image
Pickpick

I wanted something witchy for Halloween and this book was of course the perfect thing. It is technically book #2 of the four Practical Magic books but published last and pulls all the women together - from the very first Owens woman to be called a witch!

It makes me wish for a Practical Magic cookbook!

I'm not sure this book is as good if you haven't read the others but satisfying for me!

31 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
post image
Pickpick

Okay this is one of the best books I've read this year and I'm not sure why I haven't heard about it from more people. It's a relationship novel - not a romance - absorbed in the emotions and internal dialogue of intense connection. It's also about Blackness - specifically in London - and creating art. Loved it, and read it in #hoopla

charl08 Sold! 1mo
ReadingEnvy @charl08 it's so good! 1mo
Smrloomis I just started this and wonder how I completely missed it earlier. It‘s great so far! 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Smrloomis I felt the same way. 1mo
41 likes6 stack adds4 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
MUD SWEETER THAN HONEY | MARGO REJMER
post image
Pickpick

Albania doesn't get a lot of attention and I didn't know much about it - it turns out that was intentional as the country was cut off from the rest of the world for so long. Scholars consider it the harshest Communist regime. The author conducted years of oral history interviews and used them to tell a larger story of a country under the heaviest heel. She includes a wide range of experiences.

42 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Em: A Novel | Kim Thuy
post image
Pickpick

I saw this on the Giller Prize longlist and decided to give it a try - it is a fragmentary portrayal of some of the events near the end of the Vietnamese-American war from the perspective of children who are displaced in the process. There were beautiful turns of phrase but if you weren't already pretty familiar with those events it might have been difficult to read, not sure. I liked the author and will try the next book they write!

50 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

I've been requesting eARCs of holiday books since July so this is your first warning. This is an actual Hanukkah romance with a heroine who also has a chronic illness.

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is the daughter of a prominent rabbi but has secretly made a living from a career based on loving Christmas and writing Christmas romance novels and rom-coms. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Her publisher wants her to use her lived experience to write a "more diverse" romance and in the process she reconnects with a boy from Jewish summer camp, her first kiss, of course.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy At first I was a bit skeptical, was this author just throwing a bunch of Jewish stuff in to a typical romance? But I think she pulls it off for reasons I'll leave for the reader to discover. It went deeper and was more personal to the author than I might have expected, and that makes a difference. #romantsy 2mo
56 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Intimacies | Katie Kitamura
post image
Mehso-so

I felt ambivalent about it... there is something about the writing where if you know the plot of the book, and I knew this one's plot because I've heard several interviews with the author, the book doesn't add much to that somehow. The writing is very straightforward and there aren't any surprises. So I can just take it or leave it! Definitely a style preference that will work for some readers.

ReadingEnvy This book was on two most anticipated lists for the second half of 2021, LitHub and The Millions. It was longlisted for the National Book Award. 2mo
Hooked_on_books Yeah, I kind felt the same way. It‘s surprisingly forgettable for all the accolades. 2mo
40 likes2 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
The Good House: A Novel | Tananarive Due
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 231: Psychological Terrorism with Reggie
(Yes our Reggie! @Reggie )

Reggie is back for a horror-specific episode, just in time for the second half of October. We discuss what works for us in horror (and what doesn't) and share a few books that have gotten under our skin .

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy231

Lindy Love the fade-out while still talking about books! And @Reggie you have totally sold me on Laura Mauro. 2mo
Suet624 Reggie! Yippee! 2mo
Ruthiella More #Reggimendation ! 😃 (edited) 2mo
See All 21 Comments
Bookzombie Great episode! @Reggie I‘m going to bump Infested up and read it before the first in the Rewind or Die series. (edited) 2mo
Billypar Deciding what to listen to while I was cooking tonight was an easy call 🙂 This episode was awesome - so many TBR additions were made. Thank you both! @Reggie 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy haha that fadeout fit how much we talked before and after that nobody gets to hear 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Bookzombie I've still blocked the mosquito bite info out 🤯 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Billypar no, thank YOU 🥴 2mo
Reggie Thanks so much for having me on, Jenny! It was a lot of fun. 2mo
Reggie @Lindy Me too! It sounded like the camera was backing out into a wide shot as pub filled up and started getting rowdy at the end of a movie. I hope you like the Mauro, Lindy. 2mo
Reggie @Suet624 yippee!!! 😁 2mo
Reggie @Ruthiella Gretchen, quit trying to make fetch happen. Lol but secretly I love hearing reggiemendation. 2mo
Reggie @Bookzombie Thanks, Margie! You could actually skip the first and still be ok. There are other really good ones to get to unless you‘re a completist. But have a can of OFF nearby. Lol 2mo
Reggie @Billypar Yay, glad you liked it, Vinnie. 2mo
Ruthiella @Reggie 🤣🤣🤣 I‘ll never stop trying Regina! (edited) 2mo
Centique Oh lord I knew this was going to be great to listen to but I never expected to get that lovely shout out at the end. I‘m just sitting in lockdown here with happy tears 💕 What a joy you are @Reggie 2mo
Reggie I was gonna send you a postcard from the Denver Art Museum but our circumstances suck right now so the shoutout is the least, THE LEAST, I could do, Paula. ❤️ 2mo
Christine OMG this episode was so great!! I didn't even have to scroll down your feed to find this post, though; got here via searching for this book to immediately add to the TBR! @Reggie is of course the perfect guest and I loved every second of this conversation. And Reggie: now that I know you secretly love #Reggimendation I will be using it with abandon!! 😜❤ (@Ruthiella 😁) (edited) 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Christine thanks for listening !!! 💃 2mo
Reggie @Christine Lol, thanks, it was a lot of fun. ❤️ 2mo
34 likes21 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Red Crosses | Sasha Filipenko
post image
Pickpick

This novel starts out with a man moving home to Minsk (Belarus) and meets his elderly neighbor, who slowly tells him her story of living through the 1930s through the Soviet era in Russia. The author is Belarusian who writes in Russian.

I was initially worried by the translator note because they had to juggle and translate many formats and fonts but I felt the reading experience was smooth, and I liked how the pieces broke up the narrative.

44 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
Barkskins: A Novel | Annie Proulx
post image
Mehso-so

It is unlikely this will replace The Shipping News on my love list for this author because she does so much with less in that one, and Barkskins is just a lot - so many characters, so many places, difficult to keep it all straight in my head.

I am likely to give the book four stars and myself five for finishing it.

ReadingEnvy I spent the last few days reading the last four sections of this book, because I was woefully behind on my own readalong! Discussion is ongoing in the Reading Envy Readers group in Goodreads (link in my profile) but we also will have a synchronous discussion of it Saturday at 2:30 EST. Contact me if you don't know how to access the Goodreads group, where the link will be posted 2mo
Graywacke I love that you gave yourself stars for reading! (And kudos 🙂) I‘m actually now thinking about how I might rate my own reading… (eek, strange typo. Somehow had “finding” instead of “reading”. How? Anyway, fixed.) (edited) 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Graywacke I always give myself five stars when I tackle and finish a big book, that way I can separate that feeling from how I actually feel about the book. I think sometimes we feel pressured to give books high ratings when that's not how we feel about them. 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Lindy I like that you‘ve given yourself 5 stars for finishing it! I bailed quite early on and have no regrets. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I may have without the readalong element, although I'm also pretty heavily committed to reading all the massive tree novels for some reason 2mo
Reggie Hey, way to go. After what you said this is great news! 2mo
49 likes6 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
GHOSTS. | DOLLY. ALDERTON
post image
Mehso-so

The easiest way to explain this one is if Bridget Jones was in her 30s with social media and dating apps.

review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

I wasn't sure I was ready to read *about* the pandemic since we are still in it, but this is a compelling close account from an emergency room doctor (and colleagues) who works at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. ↘️

ReadingEnvy He details the quick adaptability of medical professionals as information changed and cases grew, and even as covid changed in how it presented. I didn't realize the gastrointestinal symptoms had become so prevalent, and ...↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy I also didn't know that paranoia and confusion were so common. (I knew there were patients that continued to "not believe" they had the virus, but assumed that was more political than virological.) I hadn't heard that flipping patients on their stomachs saved so many from having to be intubated. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy There is also a lot about the emotional toll, on emergency medicine as its own specialty, and historical context for medical training in this region. (Learning from HIV/AIDS and 9/11 still didn't prepare them for scenarios where every facility was overloaded and supplies ran out.) 2mo
50 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
The Paris Connection | Lorraine Brown
post image
Pickpick

Before Sunrise (1995) is one of my favorite films so I'm always a sucker for books about strangers meeting on a train. In this case Hannah gets separated from her boyfriend when she ends up on the wrong train car, ending up in Paris instead of Amsterdam. She trips over Leo, literally, and he stops to make sure she is okay.... ❤️

This came out August 24 but I like it for the fall.

#romantsy

KristiAhlers I just finished this one a week or so ago. I truly enjoyed it. 2mo
58 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Velvet Was the Night | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
post image
Mehso-so

First of all, this is an amazing cover. The novel is set in Mexico City in the 1970s and the author has gone to great lengths to make sure we talk about this book as noir, but while there are crime elements I felt the book focused overly much on Maite's insecurities and troubles with her mother to make it feel very noir. Then again I'm not an expert.↘️

ReadingEnvy And Maite does get pulled into a crime situation when she agrees to feed her neighbor's cat, and then Leonora disappears. There is another character named Elvis who gets pulled into one of the many groups working unofficially for the government and their paths cross. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy The author has a few more pet storylines in there like a 70s romance comic series and the way the Mexican government cracked down on music, believing it to be a vessel for subversion and Communism.

The audiobook is read by Gisela Chípe, and she does fine, but this might have been a good book for a male narrator too, for the Elvis parts. Plus I kind of missed a "noir voice," all things considered.
2mo
SamAnne This one was a so-so for me too.I just finished Certain Dark Things which I enjoyed much better. Vampire crime thriller set in Mexico City. 2mo
See All 7 Comments
ReadingEnvy @SamAnne that was the first book I read by this author and it was a bit uneven but I liked it more as well. I think it's being republished! 2mo
Lindy I bailed on this one. I think I would need to be in a very specific mood to appreciate it… and that didn‘t happen. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I wanted to like it! 2mo
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Yeah, me too. I have enjoyed a couple of her earlier books and I will continue to pick up her work in the future. She likes to shift genres so it‘s always a surprise. 2mo
48 likes7 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 230: Iron Bubble with Ross O'Brien

Living in Hong Kong has given Ross a different pandemic perspective, and has shifted his reading life in ways we discuss during this episode, as well as discussing books we've read recently. I'm just a bot, though.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy230

Lindy I‘ve just listened to this episode plus your most recent one; glad to hear you are feeling better! Enjoyed hearing Ross‘s experience of pandemic life in Hong Kong. He articulated something I‘ve noticed about my own reading: I want interpretations of the big picture. The bigger the better. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I think doubly so for him since he's feeling trapped in his country! Can you think of any books that do this for you? 2mo
Lindy @ReadingEnvy There are so many! A few: Galgut‘s The Promise; Simpson‘s Noopiming; Winch‘s The Yield; Cabezon Camara‘s Adventures of China Iron; Erdrich‘s Night Watchman; Ali Smith‘s seasonal quartet; Millet‘s Children‘s Bible; Kellough‘s Dominoes at the Crossroads; Swarup‘s Latitudes of Longing 2mo
52 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Bewilderment | Richard Powers
post image
Pickpick

"Which is bigger, outer space or inner?"
-Richard Powers, Bewilderment

Pay no attention to the NY Times Book Review - this book is shortlisted for the Booker and longlisted for the National Book Award, and is as worthy of a read as Powers' previous works.

Read more about why in the comments.↘️

ReadingEnvy Theo is an astrobiologist in a near future world where schools are banned from teaching evolution and science is even less in favor from the powers that be than ever despite the climate collapsing around them. In the wake of the loss of his wife, his world collapses to the size of his research and his son. Robin is 9 and the schools see him as a problem to be medicated, but Theo takes him in another direction.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy The book is rather meditative even for Powers, and it seems from what I've gleaned from interviews that perhaps it was a journey to explore his younger self in a way he was never allowed to. It has the hopeful dystopian feel of The Road or Good Morning, Midnight, where the end seems obvious but there are still relationships that move us forward and ideas to explore. I actually think Powers finally wrote a true science fiction book this time.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy I listened to the audio as read by Edoardo Ballerini, and felt he was embodying the voice of the author, and this just solidified my feelings of how much the author put into this novel. The Overstory felt environmentally conscious and maybe didactic but to me, Bewilderment feels personal. 2mo
See All 8 Comments
DivineDiana Wonderful review! 2mo
ReadingEnvy @DivineDiana thank you! 2mo
Cathythoughts Nice review! It‘s good to hear that it feels personal … 👍🏻❤️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Cathythoughts It makes a difference, especially since the major critique of the book is that it is trying to prove a point. 2mo
SamAnne I am not a fan of that NYT reviewer. Dwight whomever. The NYT ran a second review that was really good. I‘m looking forward to reading this one in November. 2mo
53 likes1 stack add8 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
post image

Be my guest! I'm looking for two more guests for the Reading Envy Podcast for 2021. I'm also ready to start building the list for 2022! The lines in white are what are open.

More info here:
http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2021/06/so-you-want-to-appear-on-podcast-v2.html

Centique Hi Jenny - I forgot to respond when you asked earlier in the year. I‘m happy to jump in at some point if you want to have me again 💕 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Centique that'd be great! Have we not done one with you in 2021? 2mo
Centique @ReadingEnvy nope, can you believe it was April 2020 last time we talked. Crazy world has kept on being crazy. 😬 2mo
See All 10 Comments
ReadingEnvy @Centique which of the two dates in 2021 would work better for you? 2mo
Centique I‘ll email you but probably the second one. 2mo
Reggie @Centique yayyy, can‘t wait to hear your episode. 2mo
andrew61 I'd love to do another one jenny. if you can't get anyone else but I may struggle next week as I have reading group wed and i am away Thursday and Friday so if no one else is around let me know otherwise I'd love to go in queue for 2022. 2mo
LauraBeth I just responded to the link you posted above. I'd love to chat books with you!
2mo
ReadingEnvy @andrew61 I was able to find the two I needed for this year but 2022 is wide open! 2mo
ReadingEnvy @LauraBeth oh thanks for letting me know as I don't get alerted for comments! It will probably be 2022 but we will make it happen; 2mo
37 likes10 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Maybe Esther: A Family Story | Katja Petrowskaja
post image
Mehso-so

I enjoy a good research narrative and that's really what this is - more than a memoir, as the author is only barely present in the book, it's the story of Katja's family members, as she traces them through the historical events that forced relocation. Most of her family members were Jewish and lived in Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, with forced moves into Austria and Germany for some. ↘️

ReadingEnvy The research takes her to Soviet archives, concentration camp historians, an old rabbi who knew a family member, a former student of the "deaf-mute" schools her family members were known for establishing, and even a former landlord. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy There is some reflection by the author on places that do not seem to acknowledge the atrocities that occured where they are. Kiev really stood out this way, where 13k+ Jewish people were killed in two days but the statues of commemoration of that period are about local war heroes instead.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy While I found the contents and approach unique, the book took a while to get through, largely due to its fragmentary nature and problematic formatting in the Kindle eBook version (which I paid for, not an ARC.) 2mo
54 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

The Lighthouse Witches takes place on an island off the west coast of Scotland (for some reason it's never called the Hebrides in this book.) A mother moves there to paint a mural inside a lighthouse and uproots her daughters to do so, but then they disappear. The island has a long sordid history including witchhunts and missing children, and the author has used a lot from Scottish folklore and history.

#spooktober #scaretober

38 likes5 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
post image
Pickpick

Even though I should be reading Barkskins, this could not be renewed at the library so it was now or never. The story is 90% a female pilot in the 20th century with enough dips into other storylines to want to go back to Marian. Do I think it will win the Booker? I'd be surprised, but I enjoyed the read.

review
ReadingEnvy
Voices in the Evening | Natalia Ginzburg
post image
Pickpick

This is one of those novels where you have to get into the routine of it, to read between the lines, to really understand everything going on. It takes place in a small Italian town after World War II, with everyone dealing with losing family members, wondering who to trust, and still needing to move forward. I liked the examination of happiness in relationships vs societal expectations as well.

review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Mehso-so

My focus on reading Europe this year and finishing my checklist sent me looking for a specific read for Vatican City, and what could be better than a deep look into (many) archives to examine what the Catholic church and Pope Pius XII were really up to regarding Hitler.

(My so-so rating is more of not being a huge fan of non-fiction as much as I try.)↘️

ReadingEnvy The author clearly did a lot of research - his list of citations is 100 pages - and the perspective is very much in defense of what appeared outwardly to be not enough of a response. I know even more Vatican archives have been opened to the public since this book came out, so it would be interesting to know how many of those details align.↘️
2mo
ReadingEnvy I was interested in reading the historical views of the Church on espionage and tyrannicide, to learn more about how it functions inside wider communities of diplomacy, and why it can be useful to separate the Vatican from the Pope. 2mo
BarbaraBB I am kind of curious of the conclusion of the book but am sure I‘ll never pick it up myself! 2mo
53 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Cackle | Rachel Harrison
post image
Mehso-so

A lighter witchy read that borrows from romance tropes but isn't a romance - after a bad breakup Annie moves to a small town for a teaching job and starts noticing spiders and other strange occurrences and an entire town that seems afraid of her new friend Sophie.
.
This comes out October 5th and I found it in NetGalley, liked the title.

46 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
Summer Sons | Lee Mandelo
post image
Pickpick

"Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost." (Publisher summary)

I found out about this book on an August Tor.com article, "The Hills are Haunted; the Mountains are Hungry: Digging Into Appalachian SFF," and went looking for it immediately. It comes out September 28, 2021.↘️

ReadingEnvy Andrew and Eddie were inseparable from childhood until Eddie decided to go to grad school early and kept making up excuses for Andrew to wait, then Eddie died by apparent suicide. Eddie is left to clean up the pieces and try to figure out the truth, but from when he first arrives in Nashville and picks up Eddie's car, he finds Eddie isn't *completely* gone.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy There is some fun juxtaposition here between south and north, rich and not, academics and country (and some who seem to bridge the gaps - I've been in a Folklore PhD program and it's hard to picture those students racing cars and doing drugs but that is the world of this novel.) It also has a found family element that is pleasing! A great read for October if you're spooky. 3mo
AkashaVampie That cover looks amazing! 3mo
41 likes6 stack adds3 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
post image

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 229: Second Contact with Tom Merritt

Author and podcaster Tom Merritt joins Jenny to talk about books, mostly science fiction and fantasy, and Tom shares about his newest book, Project V.E.R.A. Jenny knows Tom from the Sword and Laser Book Club and Podcast, but it's not his only project!

https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy229

Centique A week late listening to this but Tom was a great guest! I‘m excited to read all of these (of course I‘ve already read the Murderbot 💕) 2mo
ReadingEnvy He could podcast in his sleep! 2mo
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Winter in Sokcho | ELISA. SHUA DUSAPIN
post image
Pickpick

I saw this book on the longlist for the (USA) National Book Award for translated literature. It is translated from the French by an author who was raised in various countries, including France and South Korea.↘️

ReadingEnvy After I saw it on the long list, I found it in #Hoopla, and realized it was a 93 page book that I could probably read quickly. It is in fragments and vignettes as well, about a young woman who works in a seasonal hotel, out of season on the border with North Korea. A French comic book artist comes for a visit and the story goes from there.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy There is a lot about the body and how it is seen by the self and others. I would have liked a longer story but perhaps the mood of it works best in its shortness. 3mo
41 likes2 comments