This Week’s Reading Update: March 11th

Hey, friends! Happy Friday to everyone. I’m just posting a quick reading update because writing a review this morning isn’t going to happen. I’m just not in the mood today! 😉

Here’s what I reviewed recently:

Review for: Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Review for Shabby Sunday: The Book of a Thousand Poems


I also finished:

The Babysitter by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan

This book was crazy disturbing. It’s the story of Tony Costas, a serial killer from the 60s. The book is part narrative and part nonfiction, which I loved. The author, Liza Rodman, actually had encounters with him as a child. I’ve aways been a huge true-crime fan, but some of the details in this book did me in. It’s one of those books that you try to stop reading because it’s just too much, but you can’t. It’s thought-provoking.

Blurb:

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s, Liza Rodman was a lonely little girl. During the summers, while her mother worked days in a local motel and danced most nights in the Provincetown bars, her babysitter—the kind, handsome handyman at the motel where her mother worked—took her and her sister on adventures in his truck.

But there was one thing she didn’t know; their babysitter was a serial killer.

Some of his victims were buried—in pieces—right there, in his garden in the woods. Though Tony Costa’s gruesome case made screaming headlines in 1969 and beyond, Liza never made the connection between her friendly babysitter and the infamous killer of numerous women, including four in Massachusetts, until decades later.

Haunted by nightmares and horrified by what she learned, Liza became obsessed with the case. Now, she and cowriter Jennifer Jordan reveal the chilling and unforgettable true story of a charming but brutal psychopath through the eyes of a young girl who once called him her friend.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Ingpen (Illustrator)

This is a book I enjoyed as a child. After many years, I’ve finally reread it with my kids. We loved this illustrated edition along with the audio by Neil Hunt. The story is atmospheric, full of action and adventure, and has interesting characters. The illustrations made this one even better. I’ll review this book later on.

Blurb:

Yo ho ho! Sail off on an exciting high-seas adventure, complete with memorable characters, menacing pirates, a deserted tropical island, and buried treasure! In his latest illustrated classic, award-winning artist Robert Ingpen has crafted a stunning new edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved novel, featuring more than 70 action-packed pictures.


I Am Mine is an audible original which is a combination of live music and commentary by Eddie Vedder himself. It was a fun trip back to the 90s for sure! I loved the history and learned some facts about the songs too. You can listen to this for free with your Audible subscription.

Blurb:

In the summer of 1990, Eddie Vedder left the surf and sun in San Diego to join a group of friends working to put a new band together in the Seattle underground. Within months, they were anything but underground….


Reading Now:

With my youngest daughter-we are reading:

Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz

Blurb:

A story told in alternating perspectives about a down-on-her-luck girl who rescues a baby owl, and how the two set each other free.

Great horned owl Rufus is eight months old and still can’t hunt. When his mother is hit by a car, he discovers just how dangerous the forest can be.

Reenie has given up on adults and learned how to care for herself—a good thing, since she’s sent to live with an aunt she’s never met. Yet this aunt has a wonderful secret: she’s a falconer who agrees to help Reenie catch an injured passage hawk in the wild and rehabilitate it.

When Reenie traps bedraggled Rufus, his eyes lock onto her heart, and they form a powerful friendship. But can Rufus learn to trust in the outside world and fly free? And can Reenie open her heart enough to truly soar?


A World Full of Dickens Stories by Angela McAllister and Janice Hansen (Illustrator)

Blurb:

Uncover the stories from one of the greatest-novelists of all time in this beautiful anthology of tales from Charles Dickens, rewritten and adapted in an accessible way for children.

This book introduces children to eight of Dickens’ greatest works, accompanied by beautiful, colourful illustrations which breathes new life into these timeless classics. Includes favourites such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. A timeline at the back shows when each story was written, and gives facts about Dickens’ life.

Revisit your favourite Dickens stories and introduce his legacy to next generation of readers with this beautiful first introduction to some of the greatest stories all time.  

Includes Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby and A Tale of Two Cities.


My two middle-graders are reading:

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keene

I hope this goes well. If they love it, we’ll be reading the entire series. They received this book for free in their library reading group. This was a favorite series for me as a kid, and I’m excited to read along with them.

Blurb:

Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. To the surprise of many, the Topham family will inherit wealthy Josiah Crowley’s fortune, instead of deserving relatives and friends who were promised inheritances. Nancy determines that a clue to a second will might be found in an old clock Mr. Crowley had owned and she seeks to find the timepiece. Her search not only tests her keen mind, but also leads her into a thrilling adventure.


Finally, for me. I’m finishing up too many books at once (as usual), so this weekend I’m reading:

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul

by Nikita Gill

Blurb:

Poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of fairytales poetically retold for a new generation of women.

Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation. 


I may grab another book and just read all weekend if possible. It’s snowy here again, and I don’t even feel like going out this weekend. I’m hanging on to winter this year like you wouldn’t believe.

Nature writing and poetry seems to be what I’m in the mood for right now, so here’s a few I have in mind after some friend recommendations on Goodreads…

The Twenty-Ninth Day by Alex Messenger

Blurb:

A six-hundred-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old’s dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it’s all about staying alive.

This true-life wilderness survival epic recounts seventeen-year-old Alex Messenger’s near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear during a canoe trip in the Canadian tundra. The story follows Alex and his five companions as they paddle north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a barren-ground grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.

The Twenty-Ninth Day is a coming-of-age story like no other, filled with inspiring subarctic landscapes, thrilling riverine paddling, and a trial by fire of the human spirit.

-OR-

The Wild Isles by Patrick Barkham (Editor)

Blurb:

The landscapes of Britain and Ireland, together with the creatures and plants that inhabit them, have penetrated deep in our collective imagination. From Gilbert White and Dorothy Wordsworth to Laurie Lee and Nan Shepherd, literature inspired by the natural world has become an integral part of our shared identity, and shaped our relationship with the islands we call home.

In The Wild Isles, Patrick Barkham has gathered together a wide array of the very best of British and Irish nature writing, characterized by an arresting diversity of moods and voices. His choices are arranged under themes that range from birds, woods and coastlines to childhood, the seasons and urban nature, and juxtapose extracts from much-loved classics with passages by contemporary writers such as Robert Macfarlane, James Rebanks and Helen Macdonald. Here the reader will find joyful celebrations of landscape and the wildlife it nurtures, probing explorations of the environmental problems facing us today, as well as the fresh and vital perspectives of writers from underrepresented backgrounds. ‘If British and Irish nature writing is to grow and endure,’ writes Barkham in his introduction, ‘it must be diverse, complex, multi-faceted and dynamic, and relevant to everyone who lives on this land.’

Encompassing the bleak heights of the Cairngorms, the ancient woodlands of Essex, the storm-lashed islands of Ireland’s west coast and the lush fields of Devon, The Wild Isles highlights nature’s capacity to terrify and to delight, to soothe and to heal, to surprise, inspire and bring wonder.


What do you have going on this weekend? Are you reading anything you’d like to share? Let’s chat!

Mischenko

24 thoughts on “This Week’s Reading Update: March 11th

  1. Awesome that you received a free Nancy Drew, that’s a great way to get a kid to read something they might not otherwise choose to read. It gives me some ideas for my own lad, haha. I bought him a set of Hardy Boys for Christmas and he is quite enjoying them, although I was a bit nervous that he would not be impressed when I made the purchase. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, they were excited to get it. It’s hardcover too and looks just like the vintage edition. Up until now, we haven’t read that much mystery.

      How exciting! I’m glad he’s enjoying Hardy Boys. That’s an awesome Christmas gift! I’m inspired to read those because I’ve only read a few. Next time I see some at a rummage sale, I’m grabbing them. 😉 Have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mystery’s are fun, especially when you haven’t read all of the tropes yet, and are experiencing them for the first time. The set I got was a box set of the classic looking hardcovers, I was so excited, haha. You have a great weekend too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It gets pretty gruesome, Cathy, at least in the non-fiction parts where it describes what he did. There’s abuse, and it just made me question the book choice for right now. I’m such a mood reader. 😉

      Like

    1. I hope you like it, Jo. If I rated it now, I’d have no choice but to give it five stars. The authors did an amazing job on it. I wasn’t sure about the narrative and non-fiction structure, but it worked out great. I do love true crime, but the content was a bit much for me right now. He was an extremely disturbing human being. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you about not wanting to write reviews. I’ve got a backlog of 5 or 6 and they’re just staring me in the face, taunting me to actually write them and not do some sort of “I read this, the end” kind of fake review 🙂

    Mrs B and I are hoping to head over to my brother and sister-in-law’s tomorrow for make our own pizza and game night. We’ll probably play Dominion, as its one of the few we all enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Good to know I’m not the only one! 😆 My plan is to still (hopefully) review those next week. Letting them go for too long becomes a nightmare trying to remember everything.

      That sounds like so much fun! I’ve actually never tried that one. Is that card-based? Enjoy yourselves. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, Dominion is card based. It’s unlike most other games I’ve tried so that probably explains why I like it so much. One of the expansions has little gold coins and that explains why Mrs B likes it 😀

        Like

  3. I’d never be able to read The Babysitter. I can only do true crime if it’s centuries old, and even then I often can’t read it. The Twenty-Ninth Day intrigues me, and Of a Feather looks very sweet for children. Finally, you can’t go wrong with Nancy Drew (or the Hardy Boys), which brings back fun memories of my younger days. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very interesting that you say that, Mae. Honestly, if Tony Costas was still alive, I wouldn’t even consider reviewing the book. He’s that disturbing. As much true crime as I’ve read, I know what you mean. It’s not as easy to digest anymore, even though it used to be one of my favorite genres.

      Of A Feather is good so far, but it nearly brought me to tears already. I didn’t realize Rufus (owl) and Reenie were going to have such sad histories. Something tells me it’s going to turn out lovely though.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Nancy Drew too! Have a good weekend, Mae. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. starjustin

    The covers on all these books seem to reach out at you. I’m always pleased that the kids love reading just as you always have Jen. I hope you get to relax this weekend. 📚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a nice selection! I have a high school friend who still reads Nancy Drew mysteries. I’m pretty sure she’s read them all and re-reads them – I remember them when I was a girl. I think I would like to read The Babysitter. Thanks for sharing your reads, Mischenko 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love to see what you and your kids are reading. I loved Treasure Island as a kid and just before Covid, my sister and I went to see a live performance of it. I don’t think I could read The Babysitter, it sounds a bit too emotional and descriptive for me. I spent most of today writing reviews, so now I need to get back to reading. Have a great week, Jenn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A live performance sounds like fun, Carla. I’d love that. It’s nice that you were able to experience that with your sister too.

      The Babysitter was descriptive and might not be for you. I’ve always enjoyed true crime, but the way he did things was extremely disturbing. Perhaps now that I’m in my early 40s I can’t read these types of stories like I used to?

      Thanks, Carla! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: March Wrap-up 2022 – Five-Year Anniversary! #books #bookreviews #music – ReadRantRock&Roll

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