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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

On my Nightstand #2

Right now, I am sort of in the middle of some good books - one audiobook in the car, one print at the gym, another print for evening reading. It's nice to be on a reading roll and have multiple distinct books going at the same time.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki: Lately, I have been seeing this book on many blogs. It has been on my TBR since I first heard about it last year, but I picked it up at the library this weekend after reading so many good reviews about it. I have been saving graphic novels for weekday evenings, so I'm hoping to get this one started today and maybe even finished tonight. Another of Mariko Tamaki's books is also on my wishlist - Skim - so I'm hoping to get hold of that one next.

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rose's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. -- Goodreads

The Gift of Rain by Twan Eng Tan: When I saw this book and The Garden of Evening Mists on the Kindle Daily Deal list, I read a couple of passages from both books and thought that the writing was splendid and the premise intriguing. I started this one at the gym and while it is a fascinating read so far, it is also a really huge book. I think I do better with chunksters in ebook format than with print format, so maybe this is a way to read the chunksters I have been avoiding (I'm looking at you The Goldfinch, War and Peace, and Les Misérables).

In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton - the half-Chinese, half-English youngest child of the head of one of Penang's great trading families - feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island, and in return Endo teaches him about Japanese language and culture and trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. When the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor and sensei - to whom he owes absolute loyalty - is a Japanese spy. Young Philip has been an unwitting traitor, and must now work in secret to save as many lives as possible, even as his own family is brought to its knees. -- Goodreads

Expecting Better by Emily Oster: I just finished listening to Stuff this morning, so I will be starting with Expecting Better this evening. I have been excited about this book since I heard about it a year ago, but I wasn't keen on reading it before I got pregnant. Now that I am pregnant, and inundated with tons of do's and don'ts, some of which have made me extremely over-cautious about everything (I went through a phase when I refused to eat sandwiches or salads at any restaurant), I would like to hear someone else's (hopefully well-researched) perspective on all these many customs and hopefully, find out what I don't need to worry about much. And while I am not worried about alcohol (i don't drink) or sushi (I don't eat it) or caffeine (I stopped tea/coffee months ago and haven't gone back to it), I would like to see what she has to say about sleeping positions (my sides hurt every night) and anything else.

Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid — alcohol, caffeine, sushi — without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest from friends and pregnancy books. In Expecting Better, Oster shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing. Expecting Better overturns standard recommendations for alcohol, caffeine, sushi, bed rest, and induction while putting in context the blanket guidelines for fetal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of thirty-five, and nausea, among others. -- Goodreads

A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias: I don't remember where I first heard about this book, but somehow it found its way to my TBR. Goodreads tells me that I TBR'd this book on July 2009, which already feels like eons ago. I do know that I was blogging then, so I may have come across it on a blog somewhere. I have been better lately about adding notes to books I TBR but sometimes I just miss a book or two. I was looking for something different and unhyped to read from my TBR, when I came across this title and was intrigued. I just hope it doesn't get me over-emotional.

Told from the husband’s point of view, A Happy Marriage is the story of Enrique Sabas and his wife Margaret, alternating between the first three weeks of their acquaintance (a comic and romantic misadventure) and the bittersweet final weeks of Margaret’s life as she says goodbye to her family, friends, and children. Laced throughout with intimate recollections of moments of crises and joy from the middle years of their relationship, the novel charts the ebb and flow of marriage, illuminating the mysteries and magic of marital love. -- Goodreads

Have you read any of these books?


Ti Reed said…
I usually read multiple books at once but lately, I've been sticking to one and blowing through it quickly. I just finished a so-so book. Could have been much better but I read it in one sitting (The Bookseller) and I kind of like knocking off a book in one sitting.
bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
This One Summer looks good to me!
Becca said…
This One Summer is on my radar. I'm always in the middle of multiple books!
biblioglobal said…
I loved The Garden of Evening Mists! I also liked The Gift of Rain, but not quite as much. I'm not sure whether it is a difference between the books or just that I read The Garden of Evening Mists first. I'll be interested to hear which one you like better.

I listened to a podcast about Expecting Better and thought it was a really interesting idea to actually dig into the evidence for all the advice out there. Especially thinking about the recent news about a study showing that despite all the advice not to feed young kids peanut products, avoiding peanut products actually makes kids MORE likely to have peanut allergies!
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
This One Summer has been on my radar for a while now. And I definitely agree with you about chunksters working better as ebooks - started Winter of the World this week (900+pages, hardcover) and put it on hold until I can get the ebook.
Belle Wong said…
While I liked This One Summer, I really really liked Skim, so I hope you get a chance to read it! I'm wondering now if The Gift of Rain might be a good "book club of two" read for me and my husband. He's an aikido instructor! So he might like that particular tie-in. Will have to see if my library has this one!
Mystica said…
The Tan book sounds very interesting. Like the story line very much
literaryfeline said…
I haven't read any of the books you mention, although I do have a copy of A Happy Marriage on my bookshelf waiting its turn. I'm really curious about This One Sumner. I've heard mostly good things about it.
iliana said…
I love having a variety of books going on too. I really like the sound of A Happy Marriage. It's probably going to be a sad one right? I look forward to your review!
PB said…
My mother loved A Happy Marriage.