Long overdue recap from August. August was a really busy month for me work-wise, so I’m not sure how I managed to get through 19 books, but here we are.
Here’s my easy recap of August:
- When I get desperate for something new to read, my standards slip. A lot.
- I’m bored with the marital-ennui-so-let’s-blame-everyone-but-me trope.
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Chose this one for a few reasons. First, I’ve read Allison Winn Scotch in the past and liked her. It was on Kindle Unlimited. It was a book club selection in one of my Facebook groups. And, the biggest draw, it’s about a group of friends turning 40. Remember when all I talked about was my Forty before Forty list? Oh, it seems like so long ago.
Bonus points: It’s set (mostly) in Philly and that’s my favorite.
Overall, I liked and recommend it. It’s inexpensive if you want to buy it ($1.99) and I’d pay that. (And you know that’s a compliment because I’ll wait for months to get something from the library.) I liked the ending, but I really wish I knew how a few things wrapped up. (Sequel with Catherine?)
I really liked Emily Giffin’s first few books. I looked forward to her new releases. Then, The One & Only happened. I’m honestly not sure why I finished that one. (Probably loyalty to an author that I like and I hoped it would redeem itself.) I really didn’t like that book.
I felt very meh after this book. I liked parts. I liked certain characters. Pieces resonated. But meh… This is a book about two sisters who are about my age. But one of them… Oh, I did not like her one little bit. I am pretty sure I was supposed to feel sympathy toward her and she made me angry.
Here’s what it made me realize: I’m done with the marital ennui trope for a while.
Know what kind of book would draw me in right now? A book about a couple in their 40s who has all of life’s normal stresses and, somehow, they still manage to love one another. No affairs. No blaming the other person for crap that is clearly all their baggage. I dunno, like the real life of a lot of people I actually know.
Overall, not one that I would likely recommend. If you are a diehard Giffin fan, maybe. But if you are only a fan of her earlier work, then I wouldn’t go with this one.
I was on the library waiting list for a ton of recent releases and had nothing to read. (i.e., none of the hundreds of random books on my Kindle looked interesting at the time.) I figured, oh, Debbie Macomber has A LOT of books in Overdrive, so if I could get into her stuff, I could stay occupied for months.
This book was fine. But I felt like I was watching a Lifetime Television for Women movie. Again, fine, but it wasn’t my style for the most part. I don’t think I’ll be binging on her stuff in the future. Pity because there are SO MANY.
Got this one from the library after waiting a couple of months. Quite honestly, it’s not a genre that I would normally select for myself. I don’t even know what this genre is officially called: historical biographical fiction? Let’s go with that.
It’s a fictional account of the relationship between Truman Capote and his swans, a group of socialites in New York in the 50s and 60s. The book focuses heavily on Capote and Babe Paley.
I found myself completely captivated by the story. It was compelling and the characters were richly drawn. It made me want to find out more about the characters behind the story, mostly Babe Paley. I googled her a lot afterward. I need to read the nonfiction book about her and her sisters sometime soon.
Definitely one that I would recommend. This may turn me onto this genre. You know, the genre that I don’t know the name of.
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While chatting with Cat, I mentioned that I hadn’t read this. She told me to go and get it immediately. She knows what I like, so I obeyed.
I cannot do this book a bit of justice in a short space. It was deeply disturbing and hit a little too close to home, particularly given the political climate in our country lately. It left me chilled and startled and hopeful and grateful. So many things that I can’t really put into words.
I will likely need to do a reread sometime soon, but I think this could end up in my top ten favorites of EVER list.
Read it. If you are on Kindle Unlimited, it’s free. Life changing, people.
(And not remotely surprising, Cat’s review is a million times better than this. Read it instead. And get a recipe with it.)
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, indeed.
I wanted something light and found this on Kindle Unlimited. It’s a memoir about Grossman’s relationship and her quest to get her boyfriend to commit. I like Grossman’s writing style a lot. It was light and engaging. It also gave me closet envy.
If you like light memoirs, it’s a good option. Or if you’ve dealt with a commitment-phobe in your personal life, it might resonate with you.
I wanted the equivalent of a pink frosted cupcake in book form. I told Cat. Cat recommended this. It’s $2.99. I said okay.
It’s very sweet and cute. There’s a castle, but no secret prince storyline or anything. It is exactly what I asked for: light, frothy, and didn’t make me feel overly sad or scared.
If you need a cupcake book, it’s a really cute choice. (Also, did I mention $2.99? Even I don’t care about buying that full price.)
You’ve probably figured out that I’m pretty tenacious. Plus, I like to binge read.
I wanted light and fluffy. Cat said that these were decent. I really liked the first three. The fourth and fifth were okay. By the sixth, I was like, eh, maybe it was just this one that I didn’t like. After that, I’m not sure why I kept reading. But I did. I probably wouldn’t have finished the eighth installment or bothered with the ninth, but I’m not a quitter.
These are extremely fast reads. I finished most in one to two days.
Depending on where you are in the series, these are way racier than my usual reads. If I like the rest of the story, I can clutch my pearls and get through it. By the last couple, it no longer seemed germane to the story and I was really losing interest and rolling my eyes quite a bit. (Although kudos for the one that had some scenes in Las Vegas. She did an okay-ish job with the city. As opposed to some other stuff that I’ve read that makes me want to ask if they’ve ever been here.)
All that said, these are extremely light and frothy romance novels. They are definitely on the steamy side, so if you don’t like that, definitely don’t read them. (Particularly as the series matures.) It made me want to visit New Zealand. You’ll also learn a lot about rugby if, like me, you know nothing about the sport. If you have Kindle Unlimited and you are looking to pass the time, give the first one a try.
I was on the library wait list for months to get this one. Big Little Lies was one of my top books of 2014, so this book had a lot to live up to.
I didn’t love it nearly as much as I liked Big Little Lies, but I did enjoy the book. You know there’s a big secret reveal coming and after a while, you’re like, omg, just get on with it already. It’s an interesting study in how people react to a tragic event when everyone feels a sense of responsibility. All of the characters have their flaws, but the relationship between Clementine and Ericka alternated between wildly unrealistic and so unbelievably real at others.
The verdict: it’s on the recommend list, but try to get it from the library. It’s probably not one that you will need to get at full price.
I was waiting for more library books to become available, so I searched my Kindle to see if I had anything I was interested in. (I buy a lot of stuff when it is on super sale for under $2 and then it just sits until I’m in the mood to read it.) Then I saw this one and said, yeah, let’s try it.
The movie is out now, so I am guessing a lot of people know the story. MC’s grandfather dies and he goes on a quest to find out what happened. He lands at a school for peculiar children where they live the same day in 1943 over and over. The first half was filled with great detail, but the second half started to feel rushed. Like the writer just wanted to get to the cliffhanger and go to the next book.
I liked it, but not enough to make me seek out the second in the series.
Amazon kept recommending this, so I got it from the library. It’s part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series and it’s a modern retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Here’s the thing: I’m not into Shakespeare. Not even a little. So I went into this with a hearty dose of skepticism.
It was fine. I don’t love this story, so it was an uphill battle for me. (Also, I liked 10 Things I Hate about You better.) It did, however, make me want to read more Anne Tyler, so I have one of her other books waiting on my Kindle.