In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

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The latest installment from my Indiespensable subscription and I couldn’t wait to start!

A husband and wife move to the land between the lake and the woods to start their own life, across the lake from the city where they were raised.  There they build their home and wish to build a family, but multiple failed pregnancies chips away at their hope, their marriage, and their sanity.  That alone makes for an interesting concept for a book, but this one is wrapped in fable, a fairy tale, a fantasy world, and a nightmare.

I really wanted to love this book.  I have thoroughly enjoyed each of my previous Indiespensable selections and had no reason to believe this experience would be any different.  I know that this novel has received a great deal of critical acclaim.  The writing style is certainly beautiful, lyrical, haunting.  But, for me, the story is just too strange and unreal to truly enjoy.  I understand fiction and fantasy involve the strange and unreal at times, but this just went too far for me, and when combined with the writing style, made the book seem overdone, too long, and frankly, painful.  I don’t think I have ever given up on a book, but I was really tempted.  I did finish, hoping that it would come around to something that touched me, but it just never got there.

Title:  In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods
Author:  Matt Bell
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 312
Publication: Soho Press, June 2013

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Tuesday Top Ten

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten list of books that I want to read this summer.  There are WAY more than ten, there are always way more than ten books on my TBR list, and I am probably forgetting some or there are some that will hop to the top of the list later this summer when I realize they are coming out, but here’s what I’m looking forward to right now…

  1. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny – Most anticipated book for me is definitely this one, I cannot say enough wonderful things about her Inspector Gamache series of books and have even managed to hook my husband!  The last book left me hanging and I have waited nearly a year and can hardly wait any longer!
  2. Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz – I’m a big fan of the Odd Thomas series and just getting started on the latest installment!
  3. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I love Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book was one of my family’s favorites for story time, and I am looking forward to his latest adult novel.
  4. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt BellNext in my Indiespensables subscription!  They haven’t steered me wrong yet!
  5. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver – This thriller is getting a lot of positive press, and I’m hoping it will live up to the hype.
  6. The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel – Behind every great man… I just can’t imagine sending my husband into space (of course, there ARE days…), and I think it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of these women who share that bond.
  7. Silver Starr by Jeanette Walls I really enjoyed her memoir and the novel based on her grandmother’s life.  I’m hoping that her fiction work is as engrossing!
  8. City of Hope by Kate Kerrigan – Having read and enjoyed Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, I am looking forward to reading this follow-up story of the characters.
  9. Cozy Mysteries – A bunch of my favorite mystery series have new books coming out this summer –  Angora Alibi by Sally Goldenbaum, Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle, Body in the Piazza by Katherine Hall Page, …  easy, quick, fun summer reading!
  10. Summer Reads! – There are a bunch of authors who come out with books each summer that are perfect quick reads for sitting on the back deck or the beach with an iced tea – Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews, The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Last Original Wifeby Dorothea Benton Frank, Island Girls by Nancy Thayer, Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand, …