April in Review

May already? Wow. First I want to apologize for being MIA lately. I had a computer malfunction last weekend. I’m back up and running, but things are a little tricky and I’m working out some kinks.

That being said, April was a pretty good month. I started doing Soundtrack Saturday and Sunday and hope to continue that. I am such a music lover and the idea from alita.reads is a great one! I got through 6 books, 4 read, 2 audio, and 1 movie based on a book. Here is what I read:

In April I also got to go see Billy Elliot the musical and Ben Folds, my all time favorite musician!

My favorite book of the month was Let the Great World Spin, but Ella Minnow Pea comes in a close second. Very different books, but both great.

I am currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson and Mudbound by Hilary Jordan. I am listening to Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian. All of them are great so far.

May is my last month of school, and I really don’t have much planned for the summer except a one week cruise with the family. I’m hoping to fit in a ton of reading during this summer, maybe fitting in some big ones like Beach Music or Pillars of the Earth. We shall see.

I hope everyone had a great month!

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Soundtrack Sunday: Let the Great World Spin

Following the lead of alita.reads I’ve decided to choose a song I would pick as a soundtrack to a book.

Book: Let the Great World Spin

Author: Colum McCann

One Sentence Summary: On August 7, 1974 a tightrope walker walked a wire between the two towers of the newly built World Trade Center above the city of New York. Below, the residents of the city were looking up in awe while living their lives.

Soundtrack Song: New York, New York by Ryan Adams

Why I chose this song: There are no shortages when it comes to songs about New York (here is a list of a ton), but I felt this song and video really captured the essence of the city. This video shows the chaos of it all, the rush. It shows the world spinning and the people trying to keep up. It is also eery that this was filmed on September 7, 2001, just a few short days before the attack on 9/11/01.

The world won’t wait, so I better shake that thing right out there through the door. Hell, I still love you, New York!

Previous Soundtrack Saturdays/Sundays:
Ella Minnow Pea
Love is a Mixtape (Love and Loss, One Song at a Time)

Let The Great World Spin

Book: Let the Great World Spin

Author: Colum McCann

Short Summary:
On August 7, 1974 a tightrope walker walked a wire between the two towers of the newly built World Trade Center above the city of New York. Below, the residents of the city were looking up in awe while living their lives. As the book unfolds, the characters slowly begin to make unexpected connections to one another, spanning from 1974 all the way to a few years after the fall of the towers.  

My Thoughts:
I can’t stop thinking about this book and its characters. There was just so much in here to soak up. The characters were written with such vivid description and were so complex and interesting. The way they are all connected didn’t feel contrived or unrealistic to me. As vast as New York is, this book showed that it can be made intimate as well. Coincidences do happen.

The city of New York played a huge role in this book. It was almost a character in itself. McCann helped the reader feel the rush of the city, taking us from the fancy apartments of Park Avenue to the seedy and gritty slums and projects. The city was brought together by the rise of the man on the tightrope, just as it was brought together years later by the fall of the towers.

This book had so many levels to peel through and an abundance of themes. The use of the tightrope walker, to me, served as a metaphor for all the characters walking their own tightrope, just trying to keep their balance in life. It also showed the juxtaposition of the fall of the towers years later. Here something was being created, while later something was being destroyed, yet the world keeps spinning.

I would highly recommend this book. It makes an excellent book choice selection, full of great topics of discussion and conversation. This thought-provoking, well written book is one I think I could reread over and over and get something new out of it each time.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

March in Review

I know I will say this every month, but wow March went by fast. Doesn’t it feel like it was just New Year’s Eve? How are we already a quarter of the way through the year?

March had it’s ups and downs in terms of blogging and life. I only read two books this month, and listened to three. Unfortunately, I was pretty distracted due to work related issues which made it difficult to read as much as I would have liked. However, I did write more blog entries than I have in previous months which is a trend I hope to continue.  Here are the books I read/listened to:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Little Bee were my favorites for the month, both being really good reads. I did give up on a book this month, which is rare, although I might go back to it. The book is Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin. It’s non fiction and really interesting, but fiction just kept calling me and putting this book on hold. Maybe I will finish it in April. We shall see.

One of the most interesting literary things done with month was here Lionel Shriver speak. It definitely inspired me to look into hearing more authors speak.

I looking forward to lots of good reading in April. I have spring break coming up next week so hopefully I will have lots of quality reading time. Right now I am reading Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn and next up is Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann. In the audio book world I am going to start with City of Thieves by David Benioff then possibly on to The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

How was your March?