Monday Morning Musings

What’s on my mind this morning?  The same thing that’s on my mind almost all the time-BOOKS.

Sunday’s newspaper was full of lists of “The Year’s Best “, but the one I read every word of was the one titled, “A Look Back at the Year’s Best Titles.” In her introduction, Alyson Wood, the writer, said, “What did you miss?  What should you buy now with that bookstore gift card? It’s impossible to read every worthy book published last year, but don’t leave 2016 without at least one or two of these titles.”

Well, I have read one, The After Party by Anton DISciafani, and I loved every moment I spent reading it.  I purchased it in hardback as soon as it came out and will enjoy lending it to friends for a long time to come.  Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth also made the list, and it is sitting on my dresser, borrowed from the local library, ready for me to start.  I am a bit hesitant because another blogging friend, who is a personal friend as well, said it was “all right.”  Faint praise from someone who seems to enjoy the same type books I do quite often makes me wonder if I want to just send it back.  Have any of you read it and really liked it?

Some of the others that made the list I have read ABOUT, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to invest my reading time in them: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iaian Reid, the title alone turns me off; The Mothers by Brit Bennett deals with abortion, and although praised strongly would be brutal reading for me.

The YA read, aimed at middle schoolers sounds worth putting on my TBR list.  It is Raymie by Kate DeCamillo, and it deals with girlfriend friendships as well as a dad who has exited his daughter’s life.  I enjoy stories about women’s friendships regardless of the women’s ages. Perhaps this is because I have so many special “girlfriends” whom I travel through vicariously, are my support group ,and keep my  life interesting.

Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong was selected as the poetry book to read, and because it is described as a “slim volume”, that  places it on my TBR list.  I’m overdue to read a collection of poetry,  Definitely to be added to the list as well are: Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee; a possible consideration is the memoir included on the list, Please Enjoy Your Happiness by Paul Brinkley-Rogers and the non=fiction, March by Andrew Aydin.  Ones I will have to read about on Goodreads or Amazon before putting on my list round out the Best of 2016  List: What is Not Yours Is Not Yours,  and Truevine, a memoir or something like one and a true-crime story, respectively.

What are some of the best books you’ve read that were published in 2016 ?  Maybe you couldn’t list ten you read that you really liked and would recommend to me, but give me five or three or one, anyway.  I am making up my Published in 2016 To Be Read list soon.  Let me know.

And, as a recommendation as the best book published in 2016 I’ve read is Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles (reviewed her a while ago).  It is a large book, but worth reading even if you pick it up and put it down and read other books in between for a year!


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

3 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings”

    1. Have you ever thought that novels that are researched and are fiction-based-on-fact (like Dead Wake or Issacs Storm) could be your new favorite genre. By the way, I am reading Commonwealth from the library and LOVING it! I know you thought it was “ok.” Funny how many things we agree on makes me marvel at how differently we can feel about the same book!


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