What I’m Reading Now

by jenna on December 13, 2012

It’s about time I share a good book, don’t you think?

Truth is, I was stuck in a rut after my last book and it took me awhile to find something new. So often I feel like it goes like that…we read five wonderful books in a row and then strike out for a period before finding another good one. I had heard about Blue Asylum a few months ago and thought it looked really good but then totally forgot the name of the book and thus, couldn’t find it again. I felt like I was going crazy but for the life of me, just couldn’t remember the name. Until, that is, it was actually recommended to me on my Goodreads list. I was thrilled to have found it and immediately bought it.

I had high hopes for this one and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint! Blue Asylum is set in a mental asylum on Sanibel Island during the Civil War and follows the story of Iris Dunleavy, a woman whose husband had her committed to the asylum for being an “unruly and disobedient” wife.

I was instantly grabbed by the writing, which flows beautifully, and the character development of the three main characters. Growing up, we used to vacation on Sanibel and Captiva Island, and I love reading books set in familiar places. I also love books set in the Civil War era…but you probably know this by now if you’ve been following my book reviews for awhile! I should probably branch out more, but I just have such a heart for historical fiction. I love it.

This book reminded me a little bit of The Kitchen House and The Emancipator’s Wife, two other books set during the Civil War that I love.

There’s absolutely nothing like losing yourself in a good book!


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly @ happy&healthy December 13, 2012 at 3:50 am

Now that I’m on winter break, I need some good books, thanks for the recommendation!


Molly @ RDexposed December 13, 2012 at 4:38 am

We made a few Sanibel Island vacations trip as well!
It’s been a month since reading The Lost Wife and I’m still trying to move on from it. The scene of the sisters searching the clothes has lodged itself into my brain.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 13, 2012 at 4:40 am

Sounds like an interesting read! As soon as the Christmas holidays hit, I fully intend to get wrapped up in a book on the couch with a blanket. It’s been far, far too long since I’ve done that!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape December 13, 2012 at 4:41 am

This sounds so good!! Definitely going on my to-read list!


melissa December 13, 2012 at 5:11 am

You are such a voracious reader. It is inspiring. I was just recently recommended “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.” Not a civil war piece but a recent bestseller. Enjoy your novel!!


Jen December 13, 2012 at 6:04 am

I definitely need to read this — my parents go to Sanibel every year, without fail, and I’ve joined them a few times. It’s one of my favourite places in the world.


Beth December 13, 2012 at 6:14 am

This sounds amazing. I love books that are set in older eras…there’s something so intriguing about the way they describe interiors, clothing, letter-writing and conversation.


joelle (on a pink typewriter) December 13, 2012 at 6:21 am

I just posted a book review on my blog yesterday and said the same thing – there’s nothing like losing yourself in a good book. I love historical fiction too, so I’ll have to add this to my list!


jenn December 13, 2012 at 6:37 am

Pretty, pretty please do a book page! :) :) :)


Caroline L. December 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

Cannot wait for finals to be over so I can do some reading!


Lia December 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

That theme of book, about women who were thought to be crazy when they were just being free or normal, interests me a lot. I’d be so interested to read about what it might have been like then. Thanks for the recommendation.


Diane December 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

Thanks for always recommending good books! I just finished The Girl on the Cliff. Great book, could not put it down. I just finally finished Gone Girl and don’t know what my problem was and why I never finished it months ago – loved it. The Secret Keeper was also very good. I just purchased The 12 Tribes of Hattie per OPRAH and The Replacement Wife.


Naomi December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

This looks like a great idea for a book – I only wish I had the time to relax and read :)


Amber December 13, 2012 at 7:57 am

Thanks for the constant stream of good book recommendations. I just read “The Light Between Oceans” and it was SO good. I think you will love it, too.


Aimee from AL December 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

Just finished finals on Tuesday and I’ve been trying to find one or two or three for the break. Thank you so much for the recommendation- I LOVE HISTORICAL FICTION!!!


Kelly S December 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi- I’m new to your blog (your title WHAT I’M READING NOW snagged me) (from Shut up and Run)

I LOVE historical fiction. I just finished the book 1,000 White Women. It was SO AWSOME AND SO WELL WRITTEN. I highly suggest it. I also loved My Name is Mary Sutter and Two Rings (sorry I don’t have author names).

Keep posting good books. :)


Jen Papaya December 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

My family vacationed on Captiva & Sanibel islands also! And I think we are the same age. I wonder if we ever met on a beach : )


Katie December 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

Love Goodreads for exactly that purpose! Best website for booklovers. Definitely adding that book to my rotation!


Jenn December 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been in a serious book rut too and am desperate for a really good read. You always have great recommendations that I love. Thanks!


morgan December 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I’m a long-time Captiva Island vacationer (this is the first year in many that we won’t be going — a newborn is crimping our style), so will definitely check this out! I, too, love stories set in familiar places, and who doesn’t enjoy a good Civil War era story? :)


Carla December 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Wow this seems like a book totally up my alley! Except…read a description of the book online, and I was just wondering how much the “impossible love” between the main character and the soldier is…explored? Even if her husband committed her to a mental institution…she’s still married (I assume?) and I don’t know how much I’d appreciate the book if it is played up, from my own moral/faith perspective… (Not saying anything against you or anything! Just trying to gauge how much I would personally enjoy it!)


Jenn December 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

BTW, are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect with you so I can see your books. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the books that you’ve recommended. I think we have very similar taste. 😉


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