Tag Archives: Readalongs

What I’m Reading in April — #TTWIB, #ReadNobels, and a little mystery

9 Apr

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This month, two long-term reading challenges, Travel the World in Books (which I host along with Tanya of Mom’s Small Victories and Aloi of Guiltless Reading) and Read the Nobels hosted by Aloi, are joining forces again for a fun combined reading event. I am so grateful for the abundant creative energies of these women.

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I will be reading The Axe, an epic tale of passion, faith, and moral struggle, set in medieval Norway. It is the first volume of The Master of Hestviken by Sigrid Undset, who is best known for Kristin Lavransdatter. Undset won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1928; she was only 46 years old. For more about The Axe, visit my Northern Lights Reading Project, where I have begun writing about Sigrid Undset’s Other Masterpiece.

The Axe cover

For TuesBookTalk Read-Alongs and for Spring Into Horror Readathon, both of which thrive due to the dedication of Michelle Miller, I am reading My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier.

If possible during the Readathon, I would also like to start The Sun-King Conspiracy by Yves Jégo and Denis Lépée. I was most intrigued by the review of it by Emma at Words and Peace.

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Please join us for any or all of these occasions for more reading (as if we needed a special occasion!). It is great to read with friends, old and new.

April Showers! It’s Raining Reading Challenges, Readalongs, and Readathons!

3 Apr

For most people, “spring fever” suggests the urge to open the windows for some fresh blossom-scented air and head outside for a walk. Bookish people do this too, but usually with one or more books in hand. This year, spring fever among the book obsessed corresponds with a glorious shower of new reading events. Let’s list a few I know about:

Roots Readalong @True Book Addict

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Michelle of the True Book Addict had the idea to host this readalong, in connection with the new televised mini-series adaptation of Alex Haley’s novel, to begin on May 30 at the History Channel. Since Roots is such a long book, this readalong will continue throughout May, so plenty of time to get the schedule and sign up. I am reading the 30th Anniversary edition, with an introduction by Michael Dyson, and looking forward to the discussions Michelle has planned to host at her blog.

Roots cover

 

Spring Into Horror @ Seasons of Reading

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Michelle is also hosting her Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon at her site for recurring seasonal readathons, Seasons of Reading. I have two books picked out for the week: Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard and Broken by Karin Fossum.

Painting the Darkness is a darkly threatening Victorian mystery, about a man confronted by a stranger who claims to be his wife’s first fiancé, long believed to be dead.  Is this man an impostor or the real thing?  What will his wife do, and what does she believe? What secrets has she been keeping? I’ve already started this one, and I really like Robert Goddard’s writing–a new find for me!  In Karin Fossum’s novel, one of her writer-protagonist’s characters has come calling on her at night, angry about the way his life is going.  I plan to review this Norwegian writer’s boundary-breaking story at my Northern Lights Reading Project.

#ReadNobels for Travel the World in Books  in April @ Guiltless Reading

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My esteemed co-host, Aloi of Guiltless Reading, is hosting our Travel the World in Books (#TTWIB) event for April, combining this ongoing challenge–to read our way around the world with diverse books–with her own fabulous challenge to read books by Nobel prize-winning authors. Her announcement post for April’s combined challenge has all the details, including numerous helpful links to reviews and resources for finding books to choose from. The main thing is to pick ONE BOOK for April, something by an author who garnered the Nobel Prize in Literature. I will be reading Independent People, the most important book by Iceland’s 1955 Nobelist, Halldór Laxness. James Anderson Thompson is the translator of this beautiful paperback in English.

Independent People cover

That’s the lovely thing about the Nobel prize–it tends to motivate skilled translators to take up that author’s works and make them available to more readers worldwide. As another example, Emma of Words and Peace, herself a translator, reviewed 2014 Nobelist Patrick Modiano’s So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood (in English translation) last year for our October #TTWIB Readathon.  I’m looking forward to answering Guiltless Reader’s fun and stimulating questions slated to chart each week’s progress and cheer on our exploration of Nobel writers.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

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This overlaps conveniently with Spring Into Horror, so I will probably sign on, though I never go for the full 24 hours. Or keep up with all the mini-challenges. But it is nice to be part of this blogger favorite to see what everyone is reading and how they make room in their lives for our mutual favorite pastime. Signups are open!

And There’s More!

Besides books I am reading for upcoming reviews, I am also looking forward to my Goodreads book club reads:

Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte cover

  • Three books by Jane Smiley are set for our Lit Collective: An Online Reading Retreat. Beginning in April, this will run through August when Michelle (that generous, and very busy girl!) will help get us going with Discussion Board questions on this author.

 

Will I get all this reading done in April? Probably not! But I love trying, and I love making a start on great books that carry over into the coming months. The best ones bear tremendous fruit–not just another review (although I love writing them!), but something new to think about or understand better about the multifaceted human life all around us.

If you know of other April Reading events you’d like to share, please leave a comment about them!

#TTWIB MARCH 2016 READALONG–An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie

28 Feb

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Our March Readalong selection is a travel memoir, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie. He tells an amazing tale of his youth in western Africa and his bold decision to travel on his own to the northern reaches of Greenland, a place he had only read about by happenstance.  This cold country, linked by history to Denmark, and its people, the hardy Greenlandic Inuit, fascinated the young man from Togo. Many of us have experienced such a longing and fascination, but this story is amazing for the initiative Kpomassie took, his resourcefulness in traveling north to Europe on his own and then booking passage to Greenland, and his determination to visit the main outposts on the way to Greenland’s northernmost point. Furthermore, he turned out to be a gifted journal keeper and writer, and his frank and perceptive memoir of his time among the Greenlanders is unforgettable. This book won the Prix Littéraire Francophone in 1981.

Here are pictures of Kpomassie, then (in 1959) and more recently (at a reading in 2011).

 

We will have three Twitter chats, tagged #TTWIB :

  • Wednesday March 9 @ 9 pm EST.  This one will probably touch on Kpomassie’s early life in Togo and his motivation for making the trip to Greenland.
  • Wednesday March 23 @ 9pm EDT. (Daylight Savings Time/US begins March 13.)
  • Sunday March 27 @ at 3 pm EDT. These last two chats (evening or afternoon) will focus on the author’s travels and his time in Greenland, and wrap up our book chat.

Questions for the Discussion Boards will be posted around the time of the first Twitter chat at our Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge group page at Goodreads, and you can post your thoughts there anytime!

If you would like more information about the book, or are just curious, my detailed review appears at my other blog, Northern Lights Reading Project.  I’d love to have visitors there too, since I started that blog in conjunction with my first Travel the World in Books Readathon in 2014. Looking forward to savoring Kpomassie’s wonderfully unique travel memoir again and, especially, hearing (or reading) what you all think about it.

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#TTWIB February Readalong: “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

31 Jan

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Our February readalong is about to begin! Becca of I’m Lost in Books is hosting a readalong of Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, and you can find more details on her blog and at our Goodreads group page.

And the Mountains Echoed cover

If you loved The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, you already know about the experience of reading Khaled Hosseini. Or, if you are like me, and haven’t read his novels yet, this is a great place to get started. Becca writes, “Hosseini is a beautiful writer who captures the images and feelings and humanity of Afghanistan like no other writer I have encountered.” This novel of an extended family in Kabul, Afghanistan also ranges to California, Paris, and Tinos, Greece. I am excited to travel with them and enter into their lives through Hosseini’s eyes.

I also look forward to the Twitter chats Becca has set up for people’s convenience on WEDNESDAY February 10th @ 9pm EST and SUNDAY February 28th @ 3pm EST.  Stop by and tweet chat, with hashtags #TTWIB or #TraveltheWorldinBooks! Questions will also be posted on a discussion board at our Goodreads group page as the month goes along, and you can read or add to the discussion there anytime.

This readalong is an event in the ongoing Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge. Visit and check it out!

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