Wednesday, November 30, 2022

"The Girl in His Shadow " by Audrey Blake - Book Review and Discussion

My most recent three-star read that had the potential to be so much more! Want to hear me explain where I think this book went off the rails? Do you enjoy reading historical fiction that features a strong female lead? Interested in reading about the history of medicine? Check out my book review of "The Girl in His Shadow" by Audrey Blake.

Monday, November 28, 2022

"The Daughter of Auschwitz" by Tova Friedman - Book Review and Discussion

Trying to decide what to read next? If you enjoy historical nonfiction and stories of survival, check out my review of "The Daughter of Auschwitz" by Tova Friedman.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

"The Pale Blue Eye" by Louis Bayard - Book Review and Discussion

Book Review of "The Pale Blue Eye" by Louis Bayard
Trying to decide what to read next? If you enjoy historical fiction or mysteries check out my review of "The Pale Blue Eye" by Louis Bayard.

Monday, October 17, 2022

"Now Is Not The Time to Panic" by Kevin Wilson - Book Review and Discussion


Considering reading Kevin Wilson's newest novel, "Now Is Not the Time to Panic"? Keep reading to hear my thoughts on the book!

Monday, October 3, 2022

"The Prisoner" by B.A. Paris - Book Review and Discussion


Book Review of "The Prisoner" by B.A. Paris

Looking for a new thriller to read? Check out my review of B.A. Paris's newest novel, "The Prisoner".

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ten Profound Quotes from "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

Ten Book Quotes from "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

"But people - the ordinary, the decent and basically honest - couldn't get through the day without one indispensable bit of programming that allowed you to say one thing and mean, feel, even do, another." - Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

There is nothing better to me as a reader than a book that leaves me with little nuggets of wisdom that I want to share, tattoo on my body, and scribble in a notebook. "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin is packed with insightful quotes and today I'm sharing my top ten from the book. Keep reading to check them out or watch the video below!

Monday, September 19, 2022

14 Book Club Discussion Starting Questions and Answers for "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

Discussion Starters : 13 Book Club Discussion Questions for "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" ( w/ Answers)

Did your book club choose "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Kevin to read this month? Then congratulations on the excellent book choice! "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" has a ton of potential as a book club pick! This book covers so many emotional and important issues and there are definitely plenty of easy discussion-starting moments in the novel. Haven't read the book yet and need to catch up quickly? Think of this post as your "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" SparkNotes - I promise, you'll catch up quickly! Keep reading this post for some "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" book club discussion starters as well as how I would answer to help get the conversation started!

Book Club Discussion Starters for 
"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

1. Some books are easier to describe than others. How would you describe "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" to another potential reader? What would feel like too much info to give away because of spoilers?

I think this one is fairly easy to describe, but a lot happens in the book so it feels like just barely scraping the surface, especially emotionally! A good place to start in "pitching" "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,  and Tomorrow" to another reader would be explaining the start of the relationship between Sadie and Sam. I think the tug and pull between those two characters and their artistic lives( and day-to-day lives) really sum up the book. But, I think my biggest challenge in describing this book to another reader is how much to emphasize the technology. I know that that could be a huge turnoff and might scare away someone who would really enjoy it. But I also think it is important to be honest that most of the plot is in the tech and gaming world. 

2. How much information about "gaming" and computers do you think is needed to enjoy this book? Were there any moments where that element of the book made it more difficult to follow?

Were I reading this book in a real-life book club, this is honestly one of the questions I would be most interested to hear others answer! I take a lot of my familiarity for granted, and I had also totally forgotten that I learned BASIC in middle school, one of the computer languages used in the novel. It's easy for me to say, oh you don't need much - but for another reader, the gap could be much larger. Reading through those technology and computer science heavy scenes wouldn't necessarily be "too complicated" but they could definitely feel like boring drudgery. And I get it - personally, I can't stand novels with lots of geography/ maps, elaborate fight or car chase scenes, really anything with complicated moving parts or directions. I either skip over them or completely make up the scene with my best effort because I am severally directionally challenged.

3. Did you feel a sense of nostalgia for  any of the "old tech" references when the timeline for the book was set in the 1990s?

Oregon Trail! What a super fun throwback. And also so interesting to see it influence one of their created games as well. I remember spending hours playing that in late elementary and middle school. There were also mentions of the first Harvest Moon and Sims games which were super nostalgic for me as well!

4. Do you have a favorite quote from "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" that you kept?

SO many! In fact, I made a YouTube video and a blog post with all of my favorites. Check out the video below or the image below for the post!

5. "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" has been picked up as a potential future film! What actors do you think would be best to fill the main roles? Do you think that the book will translate well to film?

I wish I was good at these questions, but alas, I'm not - they do make really fun discussions for book clubs though! I think one of the casting elements that would be essential is making sure that the nationalities of the characters are accurate - important in its own right but also something that is discussed in the book, being half Chinese, being Japanese, etc. I tried to find Chinese American actors for Sam's part and definitely came up short just through my own lack of exposure. Also, casting for the main character parts would be difficult because the characters know each other from middle school onwards so multiple Sam and Sadie actors would be needed. 

6. Some readers hesitate before reading a book this long. Did you feel like "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" was too long or just right? What parts would you have removed/ made shorter if needed?

I primarily read loaned library books on my Kindle, so I had no idea going into "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" that it would be so long! I know the length is definitely on many readers' minds. One of the book clubs I have been in asked that book suggestions not be longer than 350 pages. While I enjoyed reading the section of the book where Sadie plays the pioneer game, I can definitely see how that section could be cut. The whole middle of the book moves *very* slowly but that's also when a lot of character development happens so it's hard to say cut it.

7. During the book, we frequently see Sam's actions through Sadie's eyes and vice versa. Did you feel like their versions of the story were accurate or fair to the other character? Who did you side with?

This is one of my absolute favorite writing "tricks" that Gabrielle Kevin used in the book. I constantly felt myself being pulled between Sam and Sadie. I still don't know who I trust when it comes to whether Sam knew that Sadie had previously been in a ( very unhealthy) relationship with Dov. One of my favorite things about Marx's character, and one of the reasons I missed him, was he really gave a fresh and fair perspective to the Sadie Sam squabbles.

8. Did you enjoy reading "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"? Why or why not? 

I did! It's been a while since I was so sucked into a book but also my absolute favorite things about books are those quotes that stick with you, and this book is FULL of them. I did start to get burned out towards the end of reading it because it is a longer read, but that almost always happens to me because as much as I love reading, I'm not an especially fast reader.

9. Some novels stick with readers for a long time because of a theme or idea in the book. What messages and ideas did you take away from reading "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"?

I think the way Gabrielle Zevin shows the reader how differently Sam and Sadie experienced the exact same moments in their relationship will definitely stick with me. Not only does every story have a million different ways that it can go, but their struggles are definitely proof that every story has two sides. for example, when Sadie sees that Sam shaved his head she assumes he is trying to make a statement about her relationship with Marx. Later on, the author revisits that moment from Marx and Sam's side and you find that it's actually a far more complex event than just a childish cry for attention. I love that dynamic story complexity as a reader.

10. After reading "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow", who would you recommend this book to? Who would you not recommend the book to?

I would recommend this book to most fiction readers! I definitely think it is one to give a shot even if technology might not be your thing. I read a few comments on Goodreads from other readers who had written off the book because of the technology plot and really loved it. However, I wouldn't recommend it to fans of romance. I just don't think there's enough there, or really any steam, to keep reading it.

11. This novel had several "will they/ won't they" potential romances. Who were you rooting for? Did any take you by surprise?

I was more conflicted than I expected when Marx and Sadie got together. I think that the author could have built that up a little better before their trip to Japan to make it not feel quite so unexpected! I love them together, but that is also a difficult triangle to be a part of, particularly for Sam.

12. Which game that they created did you think would be the most fun to play in real life?

The pioneer role play, an updated version of Oregon Trail, would definitely suck me in!

13. What books, movies, or TV shows does "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" remind you of? How are they similar or different?

Pretty sure Oregon Trail will always remind me of this book now. There were a couple of other books that I thought of while reading - Sam's precarious health, physical and mental, reminded me of Jude from "A Little Life" and also the behind the scenes rise to fame and fighting reminded me of "Daisy Jones and the Six".

Good luck with your book club discussion! Comment below and let me know what questions helped generate the most conversation. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Why ( & How) To Get Outside with Kids - Five Things I Learned from "Outdoor Kids in an Inside World" by Steven Rinella

Cover of "Outdoor Kids in an Inside World" by Steven Rinella

I'm not outdoorsy by nature. For a large chunk of my life I really leaned into the "indoors" aesthetic, and then - then I had kids. Sure, there are a lot of easy excuses and a million ways for me to reason my way out of being outside - I'm allergic to everything definitely being at the top of the list! But over the last seven years of parenting,  I have also been surprised by my strong desire for my kids to be outdoors as often as possible. I love seeing them outside and I can clearly see the value in their time spent there. But in a world that feels set to keep you and your kids engaged inside, how do you overcome this conflict?

In an effort to motivate myself, I recently picked up "Outdoor Kids in an Inside World" by Steven Rinella and I learned a lot. Not only was I inspired by Steven Rinella's attitude and the situations he described in the book, but he also sprinkled lots of nuggets of wisdom that I want to share with you. Keep reading for my top five takeaways after reading “Outdoor Kids in an Inside World”

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Review : "We Are The Light" by Matthew Quick - Book Review and Discussion

Trying to decide what to read next? What did I think of Matthew Quick's newest novel? Keep reading to check out my review of "We Are The Light" by Matthew Quick.

Monday, August 29, 2022

How Did "Rock Paper Scissors" by Alice Feeney End? What was the Twist? Spoilers

Plot Twists and Spoilers for Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Fennel

How did "Rock Paper Scissors" by Alice Feeney end? Looking for an explanation for all those twists and turns because this thriller was super twisty! "Rock Paper Scissors" by Alice Feeney had more twists than most and if like me you have a hard time a week later remembering all of those twists and turns - or maybe you just want to skip straight to the twists, keep reading - but remember - - spoilers ahead!

Monday, January 31, 2022

Five Things I ( A Die Hard Office Fan) Learned from "Welcome to Dunder Mifflin" by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman

Five Things I ( A Die Hard Office Fan) Learned from "Welcome to Dunder Mifflin" by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman

Just when I thought I knew everything there is to know about "The Office". Keep reading to learn the five things I learned from "Welcome to Dunder Mifflin" by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman.