I listened to this debut book of short stories all over the course of a couple of days.  I listened compulsively because I enjoyed them so much. 

 Some of the characters appear in more than one story, some of them only appear in one.   Each of the 12 stories is smart, witty, and deals with young women navigating the complexities of love.  None of the stories contain a lot of action, but are rife with explorations of relationships between people. I would highly recommend it!

I really like how this book started and the premise of it. I enjoy running and wanting a motivational piece to inspire me to continue running, take it to a new level, etc. 

The book started out like that, but it didn't follow through and it took me a really long time to finish it, even though it was relatively short. It was braggy and I wouldn't recommend it. 

“There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” 

Quiet  is an intriguing look at introversion.  By looking at the research about introversion, Cain builds a convincing case for what we miss as a society when we discount introversion. She posits that we live in a world where extroversion is idealized. She does not argue that extroversion is bad, merely that we all benefit when it is tempered by introversion. 

I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed thinking about all the ideas that Cain shared. I have found myself considering what she says in light of my relationships at work, at home, and in the world at large.  I think we'd all benefit from a little balance. 

This slim volume of short stories is utterly bewitching.  It's delightful from the beguiling title to the beautiful passages contained therein. Skibsrud reads like the best storytellers out there. 

The longer I write this blog, the more that I realize how much I enjoy short stories.  I love reading just parts of a persons life, getting just a glimpse of what their reality is.  It also allows one to audition an author to see if you want to commit the to a longer story.  I definitely would like to commit to Skibsrud's other works. 

One particularly haunting piece that I've thought about since putting the book down is called "The Limit" and it's about a divorced man and his teenage daughter. The difficulty that they have connecting feels palpable and made me feel that I knew what it would be like to be a divorced man with a teenage daughter. 

"In the summer of 1917 Robert Grainier took part in an attempt on the life of a Chinese laborer caught, or anyway accused of, stealing from the company stores of the Spokane International Railway in the Idaho Panhandle". 

Train Dreams is a short book that I've thought of many times since I finished it. The writing is beautiful; clear and concise. The story begins with an attempted murder and then centers on the life of one of the men involved in the attempted murder.  Robert Grainier's wife and young child die shortly following this and then tragedy after tragedy befalls him.  The reader is left to wonder is it because of the attempted murder. What exactly are the consequences of our actions? 

Train Dreams also contains vivid depictions of the Northern Idaho mining camps and the men who lived in them. It was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and I think it would have been an excellent choice.   I would recommend this one!

"Watch your topknot
Watch your'n."

I love the movie Jeremiah Johnson with Robert Redford.  I've watched it multiple times and it strikes me as independent, daring, and fills me with a desire to live on my own on a mountain.  So, when I realized that Jeremiah Johnson is actually based on the book Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher, you can imagine my excitement. I couldn't believe my luck, I could read one of the possibilities for next years Read Me and relive my favorite moments from the movie. 

I was sorely disappointed in Mountain Man.  The depictions of Native Americans are racist and contain sweeping generalizations.  I found the descriptions to be somewhat boring and cliched. 

Maybe it was because I had gone into it with such high expectations, but the book was definitely a let down.  I'm glad I read it because I've always felt that I needed to read a Vardis Fisher since I'm from Idaho, but I don't feel like I need to read another one of his books. Life's too short. 

"Hens will be 19-20 weeks before they begin laying eggs."

This book is an interesting look at how chickens are regulated throughout the United States as well as a good beginner's guide to hen-keeping. Anderson is a local Boise author and chicken farmer.  Since we've decided to get some chickens this seemed to be the perfect book to read and blog about. 

First, we learned that they need to be in a brooder box with easily accessible food and water. Then we learned that they didn't really like going outside when they are little.  Now that they are 9 weeks old, we've discovered that they like their coop and that we still have awhile before they will be laying eggs. 

Then we learned that the didn't really like to go outside when they were little. They preferred the dog kennel!

So far, the experience has been fun and I'm looking forward to getting an egg of my own:)

"I'm in America, I say, and America is me". 

Sometimes people come in to the library looking for a particular book, but they can't remember the title or the author or anything but that fact that it was blue.  "America" is one such book. The customer who wanted "America" could only remember that the book have eyes on it. After some more discussion he remembered that it was a young adult novel and thought that it was called "Belonging". We still couldn't find it and resorted to using Novelist and typing in a half-plot. Eventually, we look through enough pictures that we were able to discover it.  We found another library that had the book and I put it on hold for the customer.  At that point I was so invested in the book that I put it on hold for myself as well. 

"America" is a tough book. It takes place in a rehab facility  and flashes back over the course of America's life. America is a bi-racial teenager who has grown up with an unstable mother, a variety of foster care placements, and kind, but elderly adoptive mother. All of these lead him to a place of great confusion and a desire to belong, but not the skills to know how to belong. The library customer's mis-rememberance of the library as "Belonging" was very apt. Much of the book centers around his relationship with his therapist who he eventually comes to trust.   

I felt a lot of compassion for America and it was a very eye-opening book. I would definitely recommend it!