This is my symphony

What I read & what I lived …

What I read For the past several years, the best sellers lists have been heavy with World War II fiction. Think The Tatooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale, The Book Thief, All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve read and reviewed plenty on this blog. But when you read a lot there’s a kind of weariness …

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What I read Friend Mary all but shoved this book into my hands: “You’ve got to read this so we can talk about it.” Not a bad recommendation, I’d say. And Sarah Blake’s The Guest Book gave me much to think about. There’s racism, for one. And bias, ethnic discrimination, and privilege. Which, I’ve got …

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What I read This month’s book club read is Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People and it will stay with me for quite some time. Imagine a bank robber at the end of their rope–no job, no apartment, worried about losing custody of their kids. Imagine a motley assortment of lonely hearts and misfits, held hostage after …

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What I read I’ve had some pretty good luck lately waiting out Amazon emails for Kindle deals. Day after day they show up in my inbox. And day after day I drag them to the trash. But those algorithms must snoop around in my Wishlist because every now and then they throw out an amazing …

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What I read A Pulitzer Prize is given “For distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.” But I’ve found in the past ten years that the writing is often too … what? … for my taste. Too bleak? Too outre? Too “matter of the …

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What I read … and lived I just finished Hazel Prior’s novel How the Penguins Saved Veronica–a sweet (but fairly predictable) tale of how Veronica McCreedy finds purpose and healing after a lifetime of sorrow and rejection. After watching a documentary titled Earth Matters, Veronica travels to Antarctica to observe the scientists studying Adelie penguins–with …

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What I read Catherine Ryan Hyde is a good read no matter what–the plots are simple, yet compelling; the characters, rich; the resolution, straightforward. (I wrote about two other titles here and here.) Her novel Walk Me Home didn’t disappoint. The story opens with sisters Carly and Jen running away from home in the dead …

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What I read In this time and place–a New Year, the raging pandemic, my own struggles– Rachel Joyce’s Miss Benson’s Beetle was the perfect read, what with its story of an unlikely sisterhood, adventure and derring-do, following a dream deferred. Margery Benson is a a spinster lady in post-war England. She teaches (in a quite …

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