Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last 2 books of 2018 - A Spool of Blue Thread; Anne Tyler and I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life; Anne Bogel

AUTHOR: Anne Tyler
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2015
SETTING:  Baltimore, MD
FORMAT:  - library audio
RATING: 4/5 stars

Set in Baltimore, Maryland, this Anne Tyler novel introduces us to some (4) generations of the Whitshank family. The story opens up with Red and Abby Whitshank, married in 1959 and parents to (4 ) offspring which includes 19 y/o Denny, the problem child of sorts. Beginning with Red receiving a surprising, brief phone call from Denny, a college student. He's a young adult that just can't find his niche. He can't find the right job and he's not very dependable. 

The family home, built in 1936, which belonged to Red's father, takes on a life of its own in this novel. The house with it's large from porch has been a gathering place for the siblings over the years. As the story progresses, Abby and Red, married 48 years and slowly going down hill: Red's hearing is failing and Abby's memory is slipping, so the siblings must sort out best options.

This was a slow moving family drama, but, it's the type of novel that made me glad it was slow moving.  The characters are slowly explored, often quirky and offered great moments of reflection for me.  It's a sweet story about an average family with feel good moments, sadder moments and bits of love and loss. Kimberly Farr narrated the audio version and does a great job.  

AUTHOR: Anne Bogel
PUBLISHER: Baker Books
PUB. YEAR: 2018
FORMAT:  - library print
RATING: 3.5/5 stars

A short book which of some 21 essays in which the author reflects on her love of books and reading. It's a book that will make most book lovers think about the books and reading experiences that made us fall in love with reading. I found myself recalling the books I loved and remembering what island or beach I was on while I read them.

I saw several bloggers review this book and thought I'd like to try it.   I found it easy to relate to a few of the essays, but overall there wasn't anything that stood out or would make me want to have a copy for my shelves. I guess I was expecting to add many more books to my lengthy TBR list but that didn't happen after finishing this one.  Overall, the book was a quick read and I think most book lovers will find something in this collection that will make them happy they tried this one.  The author has a blog called, The Modern Mrs. Darcy and a podcast called, What Should I Read Next.


  1. That Anne Tyler book sounds good.

  2. I've had a Spool Of Blue Thread on my list for a few years and haven't gotten to it. I think I'll pass on the other one.

  3. I enjoyed both of these books on audio, especially A Spool of Blue Thread.

  4. I was a big fan of I'd Rather Be Reading, but no, one doesn't get a lot of book suggestions from it. More a pondering and thinking about a life of reading. It spoke very strongly to me, but it was a perfect time for me to read it. Her podcast is good.

  5. The first one sounds like a nice casual read. Happy New Year from all of us!

  6. I have read A Spool of Blue Thread, I think, but can't remember the plot! Must see if I have it on my shelves for a revisit! I like your blog layout and may copy! Have a Happy New Year!

  7. I have found that I am usually disappointed in "book" books. I find they are lists of someone else's books or someone else's feelings about the books THEY read rather than ideas about books I'VE read.

  8. I do love Anne Tyler and have had A Spool of Blue Thread on my shelves for far too long.

  9. I have a little picture of Anne Tyler on my sidebar - next year I plan to be my AT year. I've read quite a few, but would like to read more, and reread some. She is such a good writer.

  10. I love all of Anne Tyler's books that I have read so far. A Spool of Blue Thread was no exception. Nice review! A book about reading that I enjoyed was Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan of NPR (
    The title has become a saying in our house!

  11. I love Anne Tyler for all the reasons you liked this book :)


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