Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi


“Expertly depicting the anxiety and excitement that accompanies a new life, Hashimi’s gripping page-turner is perfect for book clubs.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.

Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.

Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by William Morrow (first published June 30th 2015)
ISBN 0062369571 (ISBN13: 9780062369574)

About the Author

Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician of Afghan descent. Both her parents left Afghanistan in the early 1970s and settled in the United States to chase the American dream. Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was an international bestseller. She lives with her family in Maryland.

Check out the author's website
Connect with the author on Facebook
Follow the author on Twitter

My Thoughts
Though I love to see my children resting soundly, in the quiet of their slumber my uneasy mind retraces our journey. 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Readathon (April 2016): End of Event Survey

Photo credit: Chris Wieland via / CC BY-NC-ND (modified) 

Hello, Readathoners! The end is here! I did not do well this year, but I did finish my book and start a second one. So there's that.
End of Event Survey
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I gave in shortly after 1 AM and went to bed with a throbbing headache and aching legs from sitting. Getting old sucks.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I think a collection of short stories could be good to break things up. I had The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, but didn't read enough to need a break from longer stories.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? Nope
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything. The website has gotten easier to navigate over the years and find information. It continues to improve.
  5. How many books did you read? Finished one
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Finished When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi, and began Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I've enjoyed both
  8. Which did you enjoy least? n/a
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I did my first readathon back in 2009. I'll always try to participate, and I'll always be a reader.
And that, my friends, is it for this readathon. I hope you enjoyed yourselves, and I'll see you right back here again in October.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Readathon (April 2016): Mid-Event Survey

Photo credit: Chris Wieland via / CC BY-NC-ND (modified) 

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
2. How many books have you read so far? Zero
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I want to finish this one and get started on Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I've had tons of interruptions, and I've just given into them this year.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How little I've been able to participate this year. *sigh* I hope to be more involved this second half.

Readathon (April 2016): Our Bookish Childhoods Mini-Challenge

Photo credit: Chris Wieland via / CC BY-NC-ND (modified) 

How's it going with everyone? I've gotten nothing accomplished yet, as I've been stuck on the phone and had a puppy playing with me. It's time to grab some breakfast, and settle down with my book!

Over at Readage, bookgirl1987 is asking people to share their childhood literary memories. This got me thinking about mine. What are some of my top memories?
  1. I can't remember whether it was Christmas or for my birthday, but my mother gave me a copy of Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and I found it was a great introduction to poetry. What a wonderful way to feed a child's imagination!
  2. As a child I had a couple of bookshelves over the head of my bed (the shelves fell down more than once, and I'm lucky that they never did so while I was laying under them!) One of my earliest memories is of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, which had a place on my shelves. It was read regularly (I think it had an orange book cover).
  3. And one Christmas I got the Judy Blume collection. Who can forget how groundbreaking Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was?
  4. There was a book that I read about Frederick Douglass when I was about 9 years old. I don't remember the name of the book, but it started a love for books about slavery and the underground, and I was equally fascinated by a book about Harriet Tubman read around this time.
  5. It's not exactly a children's book, but I read The Stand by Stephen King for the first time around the age of 12, and it became a favorite. It also started a love for post-apocalyptic literature, and I have read the book many times since.
I want to thank bookgirl1987 for making me sit down and think back on what helped start my love of books!

Readathon (April 2016): Intro Meme

Photo credit: Chris Wieland via / CC BY-NC-ND (modified)

Greetings from Southwest Florida! We're starting this morning curled up in bed, where the old woman is curled up on the pillow next to me...

...the middle child is nestled under the covers as usual...

...and the puppy is squeaking her toy incessantly.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southwest Florida, down near the Everglades

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Finishing the one I'm already reading, which is When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Mango-Key Lime Pie

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! A divorced woman who works in the tech industry, I live with three dogs and four cats. I don't read enough, because I'm tethered to a computer and phone.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I don't think I'll do anything differently. My goal is simply to read all I can over the next 24 hours and relax and enjoy the time. If I sleep, I sleep. If I decide I need to go out for something, I will. But mostly I'll try to read.

Time to get to it. Happy reading everyone!