Reading Lately

An Amazon Fire sits on a white patio table on a wraparound porch with a white railing and tall green bushes

I’m joining this month’s Show Us Your Books link up with Steph & Jana. Though for me, it should really be called “Show Us Your Book” since I’ve only finished one book lately. I’ve read a few pages of a few different books here and there, but I haven’t really settled down to read anything for a long time. I honestly cannot remember what book I read last before reading the book that I’ll be talking about today. Oh wait, I made it halfway through the last book of a trilogy about a young witch in Russia — name to be remembered later. I’m not in love with that series, but I do want to finish it. I had to return the last book in the series in the middle of reading it because somebody had a hold and there weren’t enough copies. Despite the fact that I haven’t been reading much at all lately, I think I’m still on track to finish my Goodreads goal for this year — I set it low enough to accomplish even with one or two vast swaths of time without reading.

Last year when I started planning for my long, solo drive from Denver, Colorado to Bellingham, Washington, I decided to purchase an Amazon Fire and download some books from Audible. I only listened to one book for the entire three-day trip and that was “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”. When I made it to Bellingham, I wanted to finish the other books that I had also purchased but I just never seemed to find myself in the mood to listen to an audiobook. I found that listening while cleaning was too noisy and I would lose chunks of what was going on or find my mind drifting as I let the book settle into background noise. I got antsy while listening in bed. Maybe if I get a pair of wireless headphones, I’ll eventually be able to listen to audiobooks while cleaning or crocheting or gardening. I would actually really love to do that. I would enjoy doing two things at the same time, and I’m sure I would read so much more that way.

This last weekend we drove down to Newport, Oregon for a beach trip with my parents, cousins, and nephew. I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to pick “Little Fires Everywhere” back up again. Listening to an audiobook made my 10 hour drive alone bearable, so I thought it would be great for a road trip with Brian. We ended up getting really into it and gasping, laughing and generally exclaiming at the same time. This was the first time that I had listened to an audiobook with someone (and the second time I’d ever listened to an audiobook). It was probably the first time I’d ever listened to a book aloud with someone else since elementary school. I don’t recall that we listened to much reading aloud in high school and beyond unless it was just a quick story or excerpt. It was a neat experience to be listening to the same story at the same time. It came alive in my mind in the same way that a movie or TV show would. We quickly started talking about the characters as though they were real people and giving our advice about what they should or should not have done or said in the story. We would even make little exclamations here and there like, “Don’t say that!” or “Nooooo!” or “What are you doing?!”

Listening to “Little Fires Everywhere” definitely made the drive from Bellingham (nearly Canada) to Newport (somewhere on the Oregon coast) much more pleasurable and it didn’t seem to drag on the way that road trips usually do. I was finally sucked into the story. There’s something about staring out at the passing landscape that helps me to focus on what is happening in my ears. The characters started to show themselves and the story began to unwind. It was a very entertaining story with ups and downs that left us guessing. There was a flashback that I couldn’t quite grasp the purpose of or why it was being relayed to us, but I let it pass and kind of zoned out for a bit. Other than that it was pretty intriguing the whole way through and introduced us to some interesting characters and situations. The ending wasn’t what I expected. I definitely thought it was a bit rushed or something else, but maybe that’s because I was enjoying the story so much that I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to find out exactly what happened to each character. I guess that’s why it’s so easy to get addicted to new TV shows, they keep you coming back for more and more and more…

Overall, I would recommend “Little Fires Anywhere”. It’s an entertaining and thoughtful read. What books have you read lately? What books would you recommend?