After You

afteryou“When I first moved down here, when it all first hit me hardest, I would sometimes dare myself to walk from one end of my block to the other. When I reached the other end I would laugh into the night air. You see? I am here – staying alive – right out on the edge. I am doing what you told me!”

After You
By Jojo Moyes

Well Louisa Clarke is not really doing what Will Traynor told her to do. Sure after his death she traveled to Paris but her grief was overwhelming and she’s going down a path that is not healthy. She is back in England, London this time. She seems to be cut off from family and friends. The only thing she has going for herself is her job at an airport pub, and that’s not going very well either.

After an accident Lou is forced to stay with her parents while she recovers and to make her parents and herself feel better she joins a grief counseling group. As people go around the room telling their stories, she can relate but still wonders what she is doing.

Finally when a young woman enters her life claiming to be Will’s daughter, Lou thinks she may have found something to live for but it’s not going to be easy getting to know Lily. The teenager is going through a rough time in her life, which unfortunately translates to a very unlikeable character. Why Lou feels so compelled to help her is beyond comprehension.

For most of the book Lou is depressed and just a former shell of her old self. Hard to believe this is the same character of Me Before You. It is understandable that she would be sad but once again I wonder why a sequel was necessary. I’ve enjoyed several of Jojo Moyes books but this was not one of my favorites. The scenes I did enjoy were actually about Lou’s mom in her quest to become a feminist. That led to some cute and humorous scenes of her mom and the rest of the family.

Source: Advance review copy

Shelf Control

shelf-controlIt’s time for another Shelf Control Post. This meme hosted by Lisa of Bookshelf Fantasies “is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers.”

In keeping up with celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought I’d organize some of the books that are on my shelf that are by Hispanic authors. Two of these are in Spanish as they were gifts from one of my aunts. I think she got these when she went to the annual book festival in Monterrey. I would love to go again but not sure if I can make it this year. Anyway, here are my books:

labooksLeonora by Elena Poniatowska. This is a fictionalized account of Leonora Carrington, a woman who lived a grand life among painters and artists. I had never heard of her but am definitely intrigued.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. From the publisher: Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love

Yo! by Julia Alvarez. I don’t know how I missed this but this is actually a sequel to How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. I’ve even had this on my shelf for years.

Las Cartas de Ema Galan by Eladia Gonzalez. This is a collection of letters written by a young woman around the time of Mexico’s independence. She writes these letters to her cousin who lives in the city and talks about the things that matter most to her. This looks so interesting.

Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferre. A lush, transcendent novel, a family saga about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, parents and children.

Have you read any of these books?

I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to pick up one of these books between now and October 15th but I am reading Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero which I would highly recommend. I’m not even done with this and unless it completely changes I would say this is on track to become a favorite read.

This & That

breakfastmuffinI hope you all had a great weekend. Ours started with a visit to B&N on Friday. I found a new historical mystery book, Whispers Beyond the Veil by Jessica Estevao and I also found an easy recipe for veggie frittata muffins that we made the next day. My husband made enough for eight muffins so I was able to save a couple for my breakfast this week. Sorry for the blurry picture but I was hungry and wanted to get to my food. Hee.

We also watched Me Before You based on the book by Jojo Moyes. I really liked the movie. Of course the book was better but I still enjoyed the movie. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Other than that I spent some time dipping into various books and I finally started working through Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces by Jane Davenport. I’ve only started the first exercise which guides you through the steps of drawing a happy face. I particularly enjoyed the suggestion of smile as you draw.

My first attempts were in pencil even though the author suggested to just go with a pen to avoid spending time on perfecting things but after the first few attempts I did switch to a gel pen. I don’t think I picked up the best gel pen for this exercise but trial and error, right?

Anyway, that’s a bit of what I was up to. How about you?

And, this week is Banned Book Week. Are you reading anything “dangerous”? I hope you are! I don’t think I have any challenged books on my nightstand but maybe I’ll manage to add one before the week is out.