Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Before the Fall

I snagged Before the Fall from my book of the month subscription a couple of months ago.  This is one of those books that generates a lot of buzz.  It seemed to be everywhere: on the blogs I read, featured in Barnes and Noble's window, and on my favorite podcast.  

I was not disappointed.  

rocking, reading, drinking coffee, and sunshine: #winning

This book begins with a plane crash.  A private plane, on a short trip, with important passengers.  The majority of the book is spent uncovering the mysteries generated by the plane crash and learning about the people who were on it.  If you like novels where a pivotal event changes everything, this book is for you.  

Because of the title, I was searching for Biblical allusions.  Instead of references to Adam and Eve, I found myself remembering War and Peace (which I just finished this spring).  Not only does much of the description seem reminiscent of Tolstoy's work, but there is even a direct reference to him.  However, this book is much less daunting and much shorter.

The themes were well developed and made me stop and think.  I certainly didn't plow through this one.  I would read a paragraph that made me consider just how much humanity has been altered by the 24 hour news cycle and stop to give it some actual thought.  Money, Art, power, work life/home life, childhood experiences shaping adulthood.  All great fodder for your next book club.  

Hawley's dialogue was so close to modern American speech that I wanted to read it out loud.  The staggered sentence fragments and subtle exchanges gave an air of reality to the characters that is missing from so much pop fiction.

The only thing that got a little tedious was Hawley's use of similes and metaphors.  At first, I was marveling and then, because there were just so many, I got a little bored with that particular form of descriptive language.

Have you read it?  What did you think?  

I'm totally anticipating the movie now.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Hello there!

I'm so glad you stopped by.  

My name is Noelle and I love to read.  I have always been a reader, since I was a child.  Growing up, my mom owned a little bookstore in our tiny town in New York state.  Each morning she would pack me up after my brothers and sister got on the bus and we would head to the store.  As a baby I've been surrounded by books, and it has made me a bit obsessive.

The smell of a bookstore puts my mind at ease, even now.  When I'm stressed, my preferred form of therapy is book shopping.  

<------Also Therapy------>

I surprised even my parents with how much I loved to read.  For fun, I would pick up books like Little Women or Gone with the Wind and devour them.  Whenever my parents introduced me to new people my name became, "Noelle, the reader."  

As an adult my love of reading has not wavered.  I graduated with an English degree with a focus on Literature (with a capital "L," of course).  After school, I found myself married and living in Maryland.  

My husband and I are raising four kids and discovering all the challenges and joys that come with having a big family.  I have been determined about giving my kids as much access to books as they want (and then, sometimes, more).  Over the years, I have refined my ideas about childhood literacy and ways to get my kids to chose books over screens--no easy task.  I've been at this mothering-gig for twelve years now and I'm still learning and adapting to each new season with my kids.

One of the constants in my life is books.  Before kids, after kids, late night, early morning, travelling, staying at home, in the line at target, I am reading.  

As I prepare to send my baby to kindergarten this fall I thought it would be fun to start a blog dedicated to tracking and sharing all the books I'm reading.  I'm also hoping to improve my writing, so bear with me!

You should know that I'm pretty open about giving any book a try.  Children's Lit and Middle Grade novels are what my kids are into now, so I'm hitting those hard.  But I always have a novel or two going for myself and I throw in some non-fiction here and there.  I'll keep you posted on what I think of the books I'm reading and I hope you'll share your reading lists.
audio books are fun while folding laundry

kindle reading is great for at the pool or waiting rooms
I love hearing new recommendations and having book discussions so please don't be shy about commenting or asking questions.  

I'll be back soon with my first post on Before the Fall.

Happy reading!

even our new puppy is encouraged to read...but then she eats the book so nevermind