What I’m Reading

I have finished a few books out of my Kindle that I thought I would share.  These were finished over the last couple of months with the exception of Ticker, which I finished a long time ago, but never did a review on.


The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

A lot had been written about Ernest Hemingway’s wives and Hadley Richardson is often referred to as the Paris Wife because the majority of their married life was spent in Paris in the 1920s.  I think that does disservice to Hadley. She obviously held a special place in Hemingway’s heart. His autobiography A Moveable Feast was sort of an homage to Hadley and their time together in Paris. Anyway, The Paris Wife is told in Hadley’s voice and was put together through letters and correspondence and interviews.  Of course, the ending is not a surprise, but I think that this really is an interesting look into Hadley’s mind of what it was like to be involved in the life of someone as volatile as Hemingway, particularly as it was on the cusp of his success. I definitely recommend this book.


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book has an interesting format. It is told solely through the viewpoint of the handmaid Ofglen, so you can only discern what is happening by her reactions to what is going on around her.

It takes place in a dystopian society where a strict religious leadership takes over the United States (or at least part of it). The story is told from the point of view of a handmaid, who basically has one purpose in life, which is to provide a child to a prominent childless family in a time when nuclear and past chemical use had left a lot of sterility or the possibility of genetic defects. She is basically a prisoner and she describes what life is like for her and women in general under this regime. It seems like the time period would be about now or may in the early 2000s.  It actually makes you think about if it could be possible for something like this to happen and you realize that it really is not that far fetched.  Scary, in fact.

Note – if you read the ereader version, make sure you read to the end of the book. There was the usual blurb after you finish telling you to tweet/FB that you finished. Then *after* that was an epilogue to the book. So don’t miss that. 



Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

This was a bit of steampunk fluff, so if you like that, you may like this book. This seems like a YA book. Steampunk books are set in the victorian time period with machinery and gadgets inspired by steam powered engines. Really they are fantasy/science fiction and fun.  Anyway, Ticker is about Penny Farthing, who is a girl with a mechanical heart that was made for her by a scientist who started going crazy. Her heart is nearing the end of its useful life and Penny and her friends get involved in trying to locate the scientist and rescue her parents from a kidnapping.  It’s easy to read and while clunky in spots and heavy handed with dialogue, it’s a breezy read.



Serena by Ron Rash.

I seem to have a thing for the 1920s lately in decor, books, and other things (Downton Abbey).  This book is set in 1929 in rural North Carolina. It is the story of a husband and wife team of ruthless timber barons.  It’s fiction, but there is a lot of historical detail in this book and the author does a great job with the atmosphere.  While both Serena and her husband George are both rather unlikeable in the way they are willing to dispose of workers and basically ruin the land, Serena is particularly cold-hearted, pretty much a sociopath, really.  She is willing to do whatever it takes and permanently remove anyone who stands in her way, including the woman who has George’s illegitimate son. The writing is very good and the book moves along at a good pace. In fact, I had some of that “5 more minutes” at bedtime which ended up being 45 minutes. 😀  It’s definitely a dark book, but worth reading. Apparently the movie made from it was terrible, so just read the book.


I find it interesting that my latest books involved strong female protagonists. Just coincidence, but interesting nonetheless.

Currently in my Kindle is Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”.  Reading The Paris Wife made me want to check out his books.  It’s been easy to fall into so far and I do see why he is so revered as an author.

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15 thoughts on “What I’m Reading

  1. deb

    I have not read any of the books in your review. They are not something i would choose to read… bet you knew that already since we’ve talked books before. lol I just finished ‘ The Portrait of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde…. hmmm…. It had interesting parts… then other parts just seem to drone on and on and on… It was interesting to see how the movie people have taken the character and made it their own… I know the story of Dorian Gray from the movies and had never read the book….I have to say this was not a page turner to keep me up late…lol… In this case i have to say i prefer the movies…lol Hugs! deb
    deb´s last blog post ..Art Infusion…………..

  2. Phillis

    I. Just finished reading “Circling The Sun” by Paula McLain. It is the story of Beryll Markham, a record setting aviator in Colonial Kenya during the 1920’s. It is a very good read. I think you will enjoy it.

  3. Helen

    I have had other friends recommend both The Paris Wife and The Handmaid’s Tale. Your review makes me want to read The Paris Wife. I’ll be looking for that to be free or cheap for my Kindle!
    Helen´s last blog post ..I Am a Commitment

  4. Shelley B

    Serena sounds good, and I’m even more interested now that we have a connection to North Carolina. I’ll put this one on my list, although truth be told, I probably won’t get to it.
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..WWU – 10 Miles!

  5. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    Serena (the movie) was absolutely terrible. It was one of those movies where you become so disinterested that you leave it running while you leave the room for a glass of water – just in case somehow something redeeming might pop up on the screen and make the wasted time worthwhile lol.

    I just finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and actually really, really got into it. I heard they have a movie of it now and I’m curious… but I don’t want the book ruined by a horrible movie. 🙂
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..The Start of Post-Season Drama

  6. Lisa

    I enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale also. I also recommend The Grapes of Wrath by Hemmingway, and then the movie with Henry Fonda and also A Farewell to Arms. I’ll have to checkout The Paris Wife.

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