How to Take on the Winter Blues?: #Sol15 #writingintotheday

I just finished, Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng, that was on every Best of 2014 I read. The book blurb and reviews on Goodreads engaged me.  So, I downloaded a sample to my trusty Kindle reader and started it as I finished the very satisfying, All the Light We Cannot See. 

All the Light We Cannot See,  was not an easy read.  Two unique characters living through WW II on opposite sides- a blind French girl and young German orphan boy with great technical passion and talent. Interesting characters but war is never a romp in the park and that one in particular is never easy.  But we were at the beach and it was well written and the characters, from their interesting vantage points carried me on a cloud of mystery. I forced myself to slow down and take digestive breaks.

As I finished I wanted a new book to continue to enlighten me and even though Ng begins her book sharing that a teenage girl will be found dead just as we begin the story, I didn’t hesitate to commit to the journey as the first sample chapter ended.  But now I was home from the beach with lots of time, given the continuing snow falls and the deep freeze to keep reading.  So I took my Kindle with me from room to room, to the gym and coffee spots and I was ready to slit my wrists( not really).   By the mid point I was so down, I wondered if I could continue.

This book moves in a way I have come to love- from past to present, from character to character. I think it would drive Tuvia crazy, but I love the confusion, the challenges, the complexity of that non-linear view of life- telling the story in jigsaw style.  But there’s so much sadness in this white/Asian family living in Ohio in the 1970’s.  When James and Marilyn meet and marry in the late 50s in Boston, they believe that they can leave their sad pasts behind as they create a fresh, new family. But as readers we can’t be satisfied with a rosy road, right?


No, I kept reading and crying and thanks Celeste, for a resolution I could live with.

So I say on a morning with a fresh blanket of snow and a bit of sunshine, that  it’s worth it and yes, I agree with those who have put this book on so many who applaud Ng’s first novel. We shouldn’t settle for the easy read for ourselves or for our students.  I can’t get the images of these characters out of my mind and I don’t want to.

Okay, so what’s next for me?  Recommendations?

Something different?  I’m thinking maybe a political thriller?  This one below, is inspired by Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  and that series had me going for months.



21 thoughts

  1. I love it when book characters continue to live in my mind and heart after I have finished a book. Sometimes the difficulties within a novel help us realize that life is pretty sweet. I will write both of these down, so that when I have free reading time, I will have something to fall back on.

  2. Books – I would be lost without them. Although I love the feel of a book in my hands, I do enjoy my Kindle. I am currently reading Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (book) and I just downloaded The Girl on the Train to my Kindle.

    • And I’m downloading Anne Tyler because of your rave. I almost stop the sad one because of your comments on the book you stopped reading. I’m glad though I pushed through the down feelings. Worthwhile. Now it’s thriller all the way!

  3. I don’t have a political thriller recommendation (though I have been known to enjoy Vince Flynn books). I’m about 3/4 of the way through with Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl right now. I’m really enjoying it. Check it out and see if you might be interested.

  4. I have All The Light… but still haven’t touched it. Have also bought The Girl On The Train-may do that first. Your review has made me put Everything I Never Told You right up there on the list-I may have to stop sleeping to get them all read… Thanks, Bonnie, keep warm!

    • So cold for sure Linda. Can’t wait to be traveling back to the beach on March 11 with a full Kindle. I wish I could stay up later reading but I fall asleep quickly in bed.

  5. Lately I’ve been listening to books from when I walk or drive. I have been listening to All The Light We Cannot See and am finding it hard to keep track of. I think I would do better to read this one. I listened to The Significance of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and really enjoyed it. And I listened to ( after reading it several years ago) The History of Love. Loved the listen. I bet you’ve read that one. My other two recent listens were What She Left Behind (Great!) and Boston Girl (Not as good as Diamant’s others but okay. I love to hear what you’re reading!

    • I can’t listen to books on tape. I need to read the words and yes, I think I’d been confused listening to All the Light … What She Left Behind… sounds cool… Diamant, I’m not a fan. Thanks Friend. Get those blog posts going again. Miss them.

      • Thanks for y our reply Bonnie. I know what you mean about listening to books on tape. Sometimes I find my mind wandering and I have to go back and relisten to a part of the book. Then I question the efficacy of listening to books for me. But then sometimes you listen to a book like The History of Love where the readers are so great that they enhance the experience and deepen the meaning of the book for me. Let’s see if I get going on the blog again now that I’m off Facebook. And Instagram, I think. More reading and writing for me…and more photos! Miss you.

  6. I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade fiction lately. Now after reading your blog and all the comments, I’ve got some more books to add to my list of want to reads. Good luck on finding that next read Bonnie.

  7. I think Ng’s book is also a 2015 Alex Award winner (the award for adult fiction that is also appealing to young adults). So is All the Light You Cannot See! You definitely have me wanting to read it! Our book club just picked Kristen Hannah’s new book, The Nightingale, this month. I’m looking forward to it!

  8. Bonnie, our book club just read The Family: A Journey Into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin. He’s a local author and his book was nominated for a Washington State Book Award. It was a fascinating read, shedding light on history and especially interesting because I’m currently listening to The Romanovs on audio. I find there’s so much that I still need to learn about the world. Many people in my book club prefer NF. It’s definitely not my favorite genre, but this one was a great read because it’s all about families and their stories. I’m starting Code Name Verity for my google chat book club that meets with two friends who have moved away. All the Light We Cannot See is on my WTR (want to read) list.

    • Thanks for your suggestions Ramona. This has been a very fruitful post. I got to write out my reflections and learn about lots of other possibilities from readers I respect. 🙂

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