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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 Sunday Salon: A Month of Two Readalongs

The Sunday

You know a pregnant woman is nesting when she signs up for too many reading projects/reviews, especially when she is very close to her due date. Yep, that's just what I did.

Back when I was just newly pregnant and delivery/baby was a distant idea, I decided that I wouldn't make any commitments in reading or blogging, starting from May to some unknown month. The way I saw it then, I was likely going to have a ton of things to do and it didn't make sense to add more to my plate. Now that May is here, and I was right - there is a ton of things to do - I am more desperate than ever for life and work to be more normal than it is. I don't want to pause the things that have been a constant in my life. Instead, signing up for readathons, readalongs, and book reviews seem to be just what I want to distract myself from the ongoing chaos that is preparing for a baby. If I didn't have reading as a hobby, I'd probably be fretting about trying to get things done, even though, let's be honest, what is the point of all this prep work? It's not like we are moving house.

Anyways, the point of all that rambling is to say this - I'm doing two readalongs this month (and super excited about them). I also have four books to review this month (gulp!). Oh, and Armchair BEA is also towards the end of this month, and although right now I'm undecided about whether to participate, I know very well that I WILL end up participating, so might as well get that planned out.

I haven't done a readalong in forever, so I am excited about the two I'm doing this month.

Flowers for Algernon readalong

Care of Care's Online Book Club and I somehow got talking about reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes when I mentioned purchasing this book last month. I'll admit not really knowing much about this book except that it comes much-recommended. It is later that I learned that this book is on several school lists (of course, it is) and banned at several too (of course, it is) and that it is some kind of science fiction book. So this month, we are doing a completely casual no-rules readalong and may post about the book when we are halfway through it. I think Care is probably already past that point so I need to catch up. Trish of Love, Laughter, and Insanity has also joined in - she has also started reading the book couple of days ago, so at this point, I'm the only one yet to turn a page. I promise - that's happening today. We will be tweeting about this book using #MayFFA.

A Visit from the Goon Squad readalong

The other book I'm reading along is A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan with Alex of The Sleepless Reader. She had just bought the book last month and I had always been eyeing this title for a while. I had given this book a try when it first came out but for some reason, I never got past two chapters - I don't remember why. I started this book yesterday and it is turning out to be wonderful so far and hard to put down. I've only finished one chapter so I'm not too far in, plus I probably won't be rushing it anyway - I'm enjoying the writing a lot. I had suggested tweeting about this book using #goonsquad but I don't think that hashtag was well thought out because umm.. well you can search for that hashtag and find out why. So we'll have to find another one.

So, if you are interested in any or both of these books, jump right in and let one of us know. Both are going to be low-pressure - we aren't doing any discussion posts, which always makes the actual reading suffer for me, because then I am trying to just meet that deadline. You can post often about the book if you wish, or none at all.

In other matters, the husband and I are heading for the early morning show of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I loved the first movie and have been waiting for this second one for a while, so I'm quite excited. Have you seen this movie yet? Or planning to?


bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
Yeah, we're always frantic to prepare for a baby but the baby doesn't care about anything except food, snuggling, and a clean diaper. Have fun with the read-a-longs.
My wife and I are planning to go to see the movie tonight. Can't wait to see it.

We'll have to compare notes later. :)
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
Readalongs are always so tempting, aren't they? I really enjoyed A Visit from the Goon Squad on audio and remember reading Flowers for Algernon in junior high. If they have a copy at the library, I may try to squeeze it in this month.
Care said…
Don't worry! I have a distraction - (The Luminaries is a complicated long book I am whispersyncing) so that I won't Algernon too fast. I am still on page 54 (haven't read any further since last Friday) and I wrote up my "Quarterly Thoughts" which I will combine and post with my "Half Way Thoughts" once you let me know you are also at that point. IN fact, let's set half way to be Progress Rpt 14 which for me is on page 115.
Jackie Bailey said…
Flowers for Algernon is one of my all-time favourites so I hope you get around to reading it at some point. Enjoy your readalongs!
Deepika Ramesh said…
Hi Athira, I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on your readalongs. :)

Also, I watched 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' a week ago. I liked it. Let us know what you thought of it too.
Ti Reed said…
The Teen saw Avengers and thought it was good.

Hey, you can join my read along for Atlas Shrugged in July. You know, with all the spare time you'll have. I jest. When is your due date? My worker is due at the end of the month and already left for leave.
Exciting! I've read both of the readalong books already (but, a while ago), so I'm interested to see what y'all think of them as you're going through.

I saw Avengers today! It was not as explosion-heavy as I feared it would be! There was more Jeremy Renner than I'd maybe have liked (he's never been my fave), but there were also plenty of jokes and good quiet dialogue bits between all the characters.
Oh, and, Elizabeth Olsen was excellent. I would re-up on her character in another movie. Totally.
Nishita said…
I just saw Flowers for Algernon in my library. I would so totally have joined the readalong if I'd known about it before.
Athira / Aths said…
I hope you liked it! We loved it and I liked that there was so much action plus all that background on Hawkeye was a nice touch.
Athira / Aths said…
Hope you are able to join us! It will be fun comparing how the book fared now compared to your thoughts from when you first read it.
Athira / Aths said…
I still didn't get to start the book yet - so much stuff going on yesterday. But I am hoping to get some time to curl up with it later tonight.
Athira / Aths said…
Thank you! I can't wait to start Flowers for Algernon.
Athira / Aths said…
I loved the movie. I thought there was plenty of action to keep the pacing going and loved all the backstory they included about Hawkeye.
Athira / Aths said…
Ha! You know, I may still have joined in if I enjoyed Ayn Rand AND if my family wasn't going to come over in late-June. So I'll bail out. :P I'm due mid-July so not that long now.
Athira / Aths said…
You can still join in! I haven not yet started the book and may only get to start it tonight or tomorrow.
Athira / Aths said…
Elizabeth Olsen was amazing! I am glad they are training her on the Avengers team so I hope she gets a major role in the next movie.

I actually loved all that Hawkeye background. He wasn't one of my favorites either but I always felt he was kind of an underdog surrounded by the biggie players so it felt nice to learn more about him. At the same time, with all that extra focus on him, I worried they were writing him off from the show so I loved how Joss Whedon made it look like he was going to die but then completely changed the tune.
literaryfeline said…
I'm looking forward to seeing the new Avengers movie. :-) It's been ages since I last read Flowers for Algernon. I hope you like it. I haven't read Egan's book. I hope you enjoy them!
Lisa Sheppard said…
I passed on the Flowers for Algernon readalong because I really don't have time. But...I've been meaning to get to Goon Squad for a very long time. I might just have to squeeze that one in!
Belle Wong said…
I would go for the Flowers for Algernon readalong, only I'm failing miserably on the three readalongs I'm supposed to be doing right now :( Hope you had fun at the Avengers!