All posts tagged: November

Loving Elvis Babbit

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (our November selection) has flown somewhat under the radar. I’d not heard much about it until voting on what to read for Bookly in 2018, and I feel like that’s somewhat the norm. Not many have heard too much about this one, but those who have seem to have really enjoyed it. It’s the story of Elvis Babbit and her family after her mother’s drowning during a routine sleep swimming episodes. Survived by 11-year-old Elvis, her sister, and her dad, the family goes down an odd path of grief involving world record baking, talking birds, seashell jesus sculptures, zoological metaphors, and more sleep-driven chaos. For all its quirks, Elvis, the Babbit family narrator, brings a bright and young perspective of hope to her family’s tragedy. Her voice was entirely unique and a pleasure to read. I will say, this is the type of book/story that isn’t usually my first choice. A character-driven family drama where nothing much happens except a quirky familial arc. However, Harnett didn’t drag it along. The pacing …

November Book

Road trips, shopping, cooking, dishes, gathering around the dinner table, eating, eating, eating – this month hosts a lot of time with family. A lot. And so does this month’s book. Rabbit Cake is a debut novel by Annie Hartnett (released March, 2017). Listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ best books of 2017, it’s the story of Elvis Babbit, and family, after her mother’s suspicious sleep-swimming drowning.Her mother is survived by Elvis, her sister Lizzie (a sleep eater), and her father. As told from the perspective of 12-year-old Elvis, we start to see under the many layers of the Babbit family’s dirty laundry. But there are things yet to be uncovered. There are a few things that don’t seem right to Elvis, so she begins looking into the details of her mother’s life and death. Written with a very original, charmingly young voice, you feel like you’re experiencing all the nitches of this bizarre family through the eyes of Elvis Babbit. “Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in …

The Year in Review

Another year on the books! This month marks two years since we first started The Bookly Club. Thank you to all of you who have joined us here. This year we enjoyed reading a diverse group of books, which we mostly liked. Here’s our year (2016) in review: March: Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church In 2001 a group of reporters for The Boston Globe started a series of reports on the Catholic Church’s management of sexual abuse. This group of journalists methodically and publicly uncovered the church’s decades-long neglect, denial and deliberate coverup of sexual abuse committed by numerous Boston area priests. Our thoughts … “The crimes committed by the abusers are only equalled (if not surpassed) by the Church’s complete and abject failure to protect its children from repeated, horrific, sexual abuse. As grotesque as its subject matter may be, this book is important to read.” April: One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories Novak’s book is a series of fictional short stories born from his creative imagination. Just a few of the short stories include: a boy …

Our First Year of Bookly!

Hooray! We’ve officially completed one year of Bookly. If you’ve been following along since the beginning (thank you!) you might remember we read our very first book last March. The book was Still Alice. And we’ve read a lot of other great ones over this past year (the short and smart We Should All be Feminists, a good tug at the heart strings from Tell The Wolves I’m Home, and the bizarre but fascinating The Handmaid’s Tale, to name a few). This year we’ve also shared some great cover redesigns, newsworthy bulletins, and helpful recommendations! And we hope you’ve enjoyed it all, and maybe learned a little something new. We’ve definitely enjoyed sharing these past 12 months (and 9 books) with you all! With February coming to a close, that means we’re starting a whole new year of Bookly picks and posts. And if you’re new here we hope you’ll join the Bookly club! Here’s a little refresher on how our book club works, AND a few hints at what we’ll be reading this year 🙂 The Bookly Club was started as an …

Don’t know why I couldn’t put it down

Tell The Wolves I’m Home was a really fast read… I think I finished it in about a week (and being 9 months pregnant with a toddler, that’s crazy fast for me). But I’m not sure why. I can’t say I loved the story all that much, or really related to any of the characters. And nothing tremendously dramatic happened during the 355 pages. But I’d sit down to read it and blow through 70 pages at a time. So, there must have been something gripping about it. I think it was the sisters’ relationship that kept me going. Honestly I didn’t really understand the Finn and June history or relationship (it felt a little dramatic for dramatic’s sake). But I liked watching the evolution between Greta and June. Although I wish they’d let us under the veil of what was going on with Greta a little more, but I guess that’s for our imaginations to figure out. And I think the friendship between Toby and June was well developed, and helped push the story along …