Well, hello sloth-like beings! I hope you’re reading this while snuggled up on the couch in your favorite flannel onesie as you (if you’re in the U.S.) scrape that last bit of pumpkin pie off your protruding belly. (Save that good stuff for later!)
You may be looking at the title of this post in great anticipation…
You: “SUPER” Book-Sloth Saturday, you say? Does that mean there are doorbusters or cash and prizes or…!
Me: *yawns, stretches, scratches protruding belly.*
You: Uh, ok…Have you just added “SUPER” to the title because you ate so much on Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) that you are now both super-slothy and super-sized?
You: Did you also add the word “SUPER” to the title because it’s been months since your last “weekly” book-sloth post, and you’re trying to distract people from your many shortcomings, as well as your need to shower?
Me: YES, again! Well done, SUPER sleuth!
AND, most-observant readers, as I’ve read more than a few books since my last lackadaisical posting, I will only pick the most noteworthy to share.
Remember, if I finished the book, I liked the book. Here we go:
Week’s Quarter’s Pick
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey, 2019)
First, some background on the author…Chuck’s earliest book of short stories — Irregular Creatures (2010) — was the first self-published book I ever read AND the first book I ever read on a screen. (I wrote about it here: “How an Irreverent Penmonkey Got a Traditional Girl to Read a Book on a Screen.”) So, Chuck and I have some history.
And he IS the kind of author that his readers call by first name, as if he’s their buddy from down at the corner bar. He’s accessible that way. And hilarious. And highly inappropriate a lot of the time. And since I’m an elementary school teacher and the guardian of many little souls (in addition to the galaxy) and one who only succumbs to mind-swearing on very rare occasions, I can’t elaborate much more.
So, onto the book…
For Readers: “A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes “a magnum opus . . . a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
The story begins when fifteen-year-old, Nessie, “sleepwalks” right out of her home and continues on to a mystery destination in a trancelike state. Hundreds of other sleepwalkers and their “shepherds” (family members who watch over them) eventually join in during the months-long journey, while the rest of society succumbs to a health pandemic and ever-growing fear. What will become of the wanderers and the world? This 800+ page behemoth has been compared to Stephen King’s, The Stand, with many saying that Wanderers is the superior read.
For Writers (Or, Why I Locked This Book in My Car at Night): There have only been 3 books in my reading history that have received car-or-garage-locking status. These have been very different books by very different writers. But the one thing they shared was the ability to elicit the uncomfortable feeling that if their book was physically in my house while I slept, the genius-evil of the story would “get me.” I don’t even know exactly what “get me” means here, but think of something that makes your skin crawl and your mind race, and then add some scary music and maybe someone popping out of your closet, and there you have it.* So, writers…pay attention to the ways that Chuck manipulates language, pacing and the inclusion of side and back story to keep readers on edge.
Note: Since this book holds up a mirror to the discord of current times, it can get a bit overtly political. And there was strong language. And disturbing situations. And that’s all I will say about that here (remember…teacher, little souls and all). But it’s still worth a read — the situation is intriguing and thought-provoking, and the story is entertaining and engaging. Desirable qualities in a book, yes?
Other Books Read: As mentioned above, there have been many over the past few months, so here are just a few favorites:
The Vanderbeekers on 141st by Karina Yan Glaser – A middle grade novel with great characters that reminded me of those from The Penderwicks series.
Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt – Another middle grade read, this was a fantastic story with suspense, humor and heart.
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion – The last in a trilogy that started with the acclaimed, The Rosie Project.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal – As fun as the title sounds!
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – The sequel to the 30-year-old iconic, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Currently Reading: I have a stack of possibilities (and very little time), but I’m always looking for recommendations. Hit me!
Thank you for checking in after my weeks of book-sloth hibernation, and remember to keep your eating pants close at hand during the next month or two of
Festivus festivities. Until next time, my idle friends!
Have you read any of the picks above? What’s on your current TBR shelf? And, finally, how is your belly faring during this beginning-of-the-holiday season? Please share your thoughts and waist measurements in the comments.
*My other two car-or-garage-locking books were House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
Find me on Twitter @amandahoving