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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The week that was, and is

I didn't really mean to disappear for a week. It was busy, yes, and I expected it to be, but I did expect to have time to make a virtual appearance too. Didn't happen. As things are wont to be, life goes for a toss right when you are looking at a wonderful vacation. I was in NY this past weekend, and had a fairly good weekend. There was an emergency, because of which I had to extend my 'vacation' by a couple more days, but things are okay now. I am also moving this coming weekend, and I have only just begun my packing, so my next 2-3 days are going to be unenviably busy.

But I've been reading too, a lot in fact. I wonder if the fact that the end of the year is near has anything to do with it or whether being busy is making me churn out non-existent time to spend on reading, but I'm glad either way.

Before starting on my vacation, I read Before I go to Sleep (engrossing, but not as good as I hoped) and the sixth book in the Wimpy Kid series, Cabin Fever (yeah, call me a middle-grader, if you wish, but I just cannot get enough of these books).

At the beginning of my vacation, while half crazed with sleep in the Amtrak train at 6 in the morning, I read a couple of pages of The Night Circus, intending to go back to sleep afterwards. Reading early in the morning is usually my lullaby. But after the couple of pages, I decided that sleep was overrated and went to buy a cup of coffee, because there was no way I could put The Night Circus down. There was just so much awesome magic, thrill, excitement and wonder in this book that I really would happily reread it right away. I finished this book by the next night.

On a whim, I decided to read something relatively unknown next. I found The Silent Land in the Overdrive link on my library's page. This was another book that held my attention all throughout. The idea of two people facing an avalanche, surviving it, and appearing to be the only two people left in the world sounded very intriguing. Were they dead or alive? Were they dreaming or living it fully? Needless to say, I enjoyed this read too, and can't wait to review this one.

By the end of the trip, I was in mood for some nonfiction, and picked up The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser. Not only is this book entertaining, it also calls out to the technogeek in me. I came across this book couple of months back at Amy's blog, so I was thrilled when I saw this one in my library's catalog.

As if that wasn't enough, I had to visit The Strand before I left NY. Last year, when I first visited this store, I loved every corner of it - 18 miles of books stretched out before you, isn't that heavenly? Besides, the stacks were so high, that you needed to climb on ladders just to get a book on the top shelf. After a lot of difficult decision-making, I finally bought these four books:

1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
2. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
3. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
4. The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

What all this reading means is that I have a ton of reviewing to do. That'll have to wait until next week, until I have moved - books, clothes and moi - into my new apartment, which is just down the road. With my upcoming vacation, and the end-of-the-year busyness, there's just a lot of things to do. Worse, work isn't any less busy.


Brooks said…
I agree that The Night Circus was good, but the more I think about it, the less I like Before I Go To Sleep.  A good book hangs around in your consciousness long after the last page is turned.  BIGTOS got tossed into the mental trash can as soon as I finished it.  I didn't even bother reviewing it.
Helen Murdoch said…
Great list of books! I keep hearing such good things about the Night Circus, but haven't quite decided to read it yet
c b said…
I didn't think Before I Go To Sleep lives up to my expectation either - It was good but not great. Here's my review: I have Night Circus reserved, can't wait to give it a try though I have a feeling it may not be for me given some other reviews I'd read... we'll see! Ha, I still have A LOT of reviews to do even though I did like 15 in early Nov... christa @ mental foodie
I so want to feel the same about The Night Circus as you td. It's been on the TBR for a few months, waiting for the dust to settle down and for me to read it without being influence by all the other reviews (good and bad).
bermudaonion (Kathy) said…
I'm sorry you had to face an emergency on your trip but I'm glad to see you're okay now. 

I'm right there with you on those Wimpy Kid books - I just love Greg!
I peeked in The Night Circus and I can see where you would be willing to give up sleep to read it. I was in the middle of two books at the time and reading three would have made me crazy! I can't wait to see your review on it. Good luck on your move!
Jackie said…
You are the first person I've seen who hasn't raved about Before I go to Sleep. I plan to read it next week so I'm quite glad you've lowered my expecations a little bit.
Juju at Tales of said…
Yay! So glad to hear Night Circus is a sleep robber.
Lenasledge said…
Glad you had a great vacation. Sometimes it's just necessary. :-) I'm reading Night Circus too, adding it to my giveaway tomorrow, so I need to read fast. It's really good so far. I have Blind Assassin on the shelf as well, but  I have yet to read it. Maybe I'll get to it in the New Year, especially if your review is positive, it may move to the top of the list. 
Ti said…
So glad you liked The Night Circus. Most people like it, but not everyone is wowed by it. I was impressed at how visually stunning it was. 

I am a bit backlogged on my reviews too. I've been reading quite a bit but if I don't write the review up right away, the details tend to leave me. I am going to try to get two written up today, but I'm not holding myself to it. I am more in the mood to read, than write as I have been fighting a head cold and it seems to be winning. 
zibilee said…
I am going to be reading Before I Go to Sleep for book club this month, and I am excited about it, but have tempered my excitement a little after reading your comments. I also really enjoyed The Night Circus, and have to agree with Ti that it was rather visually stunning. I will also be anxious to hear what you think of The Blind Assassin. Aarti and I read that one together, and it was a very unique and different sort of book. Atwood is brilliant, but strange! Good luck with the move!
softdrink said…
Yay for The Night Circus being a hit. I know a lot of people were disappointed, but I just loved the atmosphere of the circus!
Busy times! I started The Night Circus last night and am enjoying it so far.  Good luck with your move!
J.G. said…
Can't wait to hear what you think of the Atwood. It's very unusual and good.  Hope your move goes well!  
Lomaurice111 said…
I'm so glad you loved THE NIGHT CIRCUS. I did too! And that you visited my favorite book store in the whole world, The Strand. It is amazing. It is a must for any visit to NYC.