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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

A look back at April and planning for May | Month in Review

A full month of social distancing and stay at home life with limited time outside — that’s got to be a first for most of us and a first for the entire world to be partaking in at the same time. It’s been an interesting and challenging experience for sure but it’s also been a form of drastic change that took quite a bit of getting used to. 

Life has been insanely busy over the past two months. Not how it used to be when I’m very busy at work, then drive home at a late hour after one of us maybe stops for groceries or to buy dinner, pick the girl from her school, and then start the dinner, family time, and bedtime routines at home. After everyone’s in bed, I may spend an hour or two catching up with reading, blogs, or personal projects, while also super exhausted and fighting sleep. This #stayhome month has been a different kind of busy. I’m spending more time at work and doing “schoolwork” with the girl, but I don’t have to deal with commute anymore and getting dinner on the table is actually easier (though the husband actually does this). The struggle has been more with jumping from task to task without an opportunity to focus on one. This is easier on Mondays, coming out of a weekend than during, mid-week, when all the work starts catching up.

My reading has also been all over the place. I’ve definitely been reading a LOT more children’s books than I did before due to the girl’s lessons having moved home. While during much of March and early part of April, I struggled with finding a book that can stick, by mid-April, the mental block against reading eased out somewhat. I read more after that, but also increased the number of projects I wanted to work on.

Read of the month

I’m still surprised by a lot of things I’ve learned from this book and also still moved by it. I know I will want to reread this book very soon.

The Girl's Favorite

We’ve recently discovered the Epic app and were lucky to score a free temporary subscription through my daughter’s preschool. They have a ton of Read-to-me books and audiobooks as well. The girl’s gotten very good at browsing through the books but she’s also a rereader of previous favorites. The Kitty and Dragon books have been a constant daily companion for almost every day in April.

Books finished

Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

Read with my kids

There's been a lot of reading here - too many to list - so I'll go with some favorites and repeat reads.

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (this edition came from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library)
Making the Moose out of Life by Nicholas Oldland
Doc McStuffins Bella's Big Break by Disney Book Group
We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Morris's Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells (we loved this one)
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino (a favorite reread)
Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed (an excellent multicultural read)

Planning for May

I'm expecting another month of staying home in May, even as parts of the country opens up. So, there wouldn't be many changes in routines this month. Books, some TV, lessons with the girl, blogging, all kinds of house projects if I'm up to it - May is likely going to be busy, though not out of necessity but more of my own invention. May is also the month of the little man's birthday. He is turning 2 this month. We are obviously not going to have a big party, so it will be low-key and with family. 

I do have a reading goal to just read more and spend less time in figuring out what to read. The only planned read I have at the moment is If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, a galley I am very late in starting but am still looking forward to. Other than that, I'm looking forward to browsing the summer booklists. 

How do you choose your next read? Do you already have your reading list planned out ahead of time or do you pick the first book that appeals to you when browsing your stacks or ebook catalog?