#FridayReads: June 23

Hello friends!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a Friday Reads…it’s due to a combination of a reading slump and a crazy busy few weeks at work. HOWEVER, my monster fundraising event is over, I’m reading a book I’m enjoying, and I am ready for all the Friday reading!

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364Last time I posted, I was reading Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. If you listen to our podcast, you heard me RAIL against this book. It was like “The Office” but more depressing and intense, and not as funny. It got good blurbs and reviews, but it totally missed the mark for me. It was written in the mid 2000s and focuses on a professional office, a time and experience I cannot relate to on pretty much any level except that I was alive in the mid 2000s, and I think that was a big part of the disconnect for me.

5191ee8mmll-_sy344_bo1204203200_Right now, I’m reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. This is my mom and I’s June Pulitzer pick, and I’m a little over half way through. The story follows a family living on, literally, a thousand acre farm in Iowa, and the book is narrated by the oldest daughter. I am really enjoying it so far, and it feels like a mix between the quiet daily life of Willa Cather and the family saga of Shirley Ann Grau. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend, and will have an update and brief review next week.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

The Game & Read Podcast: Tropes with Lessons

Summer starts tomorrow and we’re back with another episode of the Game & Read podcast! This week we are joined by our good friend Julia to discuss June’s pairing of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and “Gone Home” from the Fullbright Company.

Links:

Game & Read

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Find Julia

-Erin & Peter

#FridayReads: June 2

Welcome to June!! It’s Friday, and it’s June, and it’s basically summer, so things are good. I’m in Texas on this Friday visiting my family (and celebrating my brother’s graduation from high school), and I thought I’d write a Friday Reads/book haul combo post!

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I finished Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and just wasn’t that impressed. The characters weren’t especially gripping and it felt like there were so many threads that I lost track of who went where. It was an interesting concept, and I loved the idea of a traveling freak show with weird supernatural leanings, but there was way too much going on for me to really enjoy the story.

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364This week, I’m reading Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. It’s about a marketing/ad agency experiencing layoffs, and the quirky characters that work there (or used to work there). I’m about 100 pages in and it’s pretty strange so far, but I am intrigued.

Now, onto the book haul! We went to Recycled Reads, a used bookstore run by the Austin Public Library. It’s the best – all paperbacks are $1 and all hardbacks are $2. We really don’t need a ton of books (since our shelves are pretty full already) but I couldn’t resist.

recycledreads_logo_with_tagline_300dpiI picked up…

  • The Expats // Chris Pavone
  • Grotesque // Natsuo Kirino
  • The Panopticon // Jenni Fagan
  • A Thousand Acres // Jane Smiley
  • The Watcher // Charlotte Link

As always, I’m looking forward to ALL these books…along with the handful of books my mom is sending me back with and all the ones on our shelves at home. I’ll get to them all, eventually!

I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on any of the books I picked up, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

 

Erin’s May Reading Wrap Up

Finished in May:
Winter Tide // Ruthanna Emrys
–Rating: 2/5 stars
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books // Azar Nafisi
–Rating: 3/5 stars
Gutshot // Amelia Gray
–Rating: 4/5 stars
Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show // Eric Scott Fischl
–Rating: 2/5 stars
This Beautiful Life // Helen Schulman
–Rating: 1/5 stars
The Devil and Webster // Jean Hanff Korelitz
–Rating: 3/5 stars
The Bridge of San Luis Rey // Thornton Wilder
–Rating: 3/5 stars

Currently Reading:
Penance // Kanae Minato

2017 Goodreads Challenge:
42/115 (added 7 books in May)

2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge:
I completed two tasks this month: Read a book published between 1900 and 1950 (The Bridge of San Luis Rey, 1927) and Read a book about books (Reading Lolita in Tehran). This brings my count up to 8 complete, with 16 more to go (yikes)…but I think I can still finish it!

Erin & Kirsten’s Year of Pulitzers, 2017:
We read The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder this month, and it was an interesting pick. Though the writing felt pretty formal, and kept the reader at a bit of a distance, Wilder wove the stories of Pepita, Esteban, Uncle Pio, and others into a tale of drama and emotion that kept us going. Wilder as an author captured both our attention, and both of us are going to read more Wilder! Our June book is A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, and I’ll let you know what we thought in my June wrap up.

As always, I am a fairly active Goodreads user and you can find me at goodreads.com/emurch (though I will admit I’ve fallen a little behind on reviews). If you have any thoughts about any of the books I’ve read this month leave a comment or tweet me @GameandRead.

If you want more Game & Read, we post pictures on Instagram, you can find us on Facebook, and listen to our weekly podcast available here on the blog and on iTunes and Stitcher.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: May 26

It’s already quitting time, and I’m a little late to the Friday Reads party…but I’m here, it’s raining, it’s a holiday weekend, and I’m ready to read!

amelia-grayI finished Gutshot by Amelia Gray this week, and it was totally crazy banana pants. The stories were creepy and sort of terrifying but utterly intriguing, and there were many stories I read more than once as I tried to really understand Gray’s twisted mind. Gray constructs her stories in such a strange way – some feel like full short stories, others are snippets of something far darker, and still others feel like a macabre stream of consciousness or lucid dream. Gutshot was less of a short story collection and more of a peek into a world we can only hope is far, far from reality. I am really interested in reading Gray’s novels, and I think I’ll be putting at least one of her longer works on hold soon.

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I continue to read Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and I am making it my Friday Reads again this week because I REALLY want to finish this one. I am a little lukewarm on this story thus far. I’m a little more than halfway through, and I have mixed feelings about Fischl’s writing. I am invested in the lives of Potter and Mercy, but I haven’t formed an attachment to Josiah McDaniel or Sol and Ag. I’m intrigued by Hedwith, but there hasn’t been quite enough for me to feel that I’m in his story. I am hoping that the book picks up in the second half, and I really do plan on finishing it this weekend (especially since Monday is a work holiday for me).

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin