A book from a celebrity book club: An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (Oprah book club) (contemporary): This was a fantastic book! I enjoyed the exploration of marriage, fidelity, and how love can change over time. There are so many moral shades of gray in this book that I wasn’t sure who or what to root for. As with life, there were no right answers.
While I Was Reading Challenge
A self-published book: All The Little Lights, by Jamie McGuire (YA romance): If I need a romance with characters who speak to me, I know that I should pick up a Jamie McGuire book. I loved all the little moments in this book and the “big secret” the main character was hiding made it even better.
The Unread Shelf
Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell (romance): Like Jamie McGuire, Rainbow Rowell is on my list of authors who I know won’t let me down. Attachments is a sweet (but improbable) love story about a guy who falls in love with a girl while monitoring her work email. (It’s his job, though he takes it too far.) Honestly, I love improbable romances. If I wanted real life, I’d do… reality things. Instead, I read books and watch movies. Don’t judge me!
Hush, Hush; Cresendo; Silence; Finale, by Becca Fitzpatrick (YA paranormal romance): I’m not entirely sure what to say about this series. I had the first one, Hush, Hush, on my shelf forever. Then a friend told me I had to read it, especially with Becca Fitzpatrick announcing that they’re making a movie based on the book! And then my friend said she only made it partway through the second book.
I read all of them and I don’t regret it, but the others, while being rated increasingly higher on Goodreads, were not as good as the first. I’m not entirely sure why, and I don’t think it had anything to do with the writing. I think I just got the ride I wanted to out of the first book and that I should have stopped there. Just to be clear, the others weren’t bad, but it’s the difference between like and love.
Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler (contemporary): I bought this for the pretty cover and the cool illustrations. This book was okay. It’s a YA book about a breakup, and I suspect I would have liked it more if I were still a teenager. Some YA books are wonderful for all ages, and some aren’t. This one, with it’s teen angst over a first love, just didn’t speak to me.
The Dinner List, by Rebecca Serle (magical realism): This was a fun book from the Book of the Month Club. I was intrigued by the premise, because we probably all have made a list of the 5 people (living or dead) we’d like to have dinner with. For my list and a full review, you can go to the blog I wrote about this one.
Running Total: 28
5 Classic Books
(2/5) The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald- Maybe I’m just not a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I liked this one better than better than Tender is the Night, but I still didn’t think there was anything great about it. It’s a somewhat typical love story told from an unusual perspective. And then everyone lives sadly ever after.
I guess I’m glad I read it from a cultural reference standpoint, but I don’t understand how it became this ensconced in culture to begin with. It’s got some good lines, but other than that, I’m glad I borrowed it from the library.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, by Cassandra Rose Clarke (science fiction/ romance): A friend just got married, and I was making conversation with her sister (who was visiting). We got to talking about books (I know you’re shocked) and she mentioned that this book is her favorite. Of course I had to run right out and get it from the library.
It’s set in a future where we have the technology to make androids, but we don’t treat them as sentient beings or recognize they have rights. The mad scientist’s daughter grows up with one such android and falls in love with him. There’s lots of interesting exploration of the morality of the situation, both what it means to consider a sentient being human, and what it means not to.
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done, by Laura Vanderkam (non-fiction/ self-help): I’m looking for a magical solution to make me more organized and efficient. I haven’t found it yet, but this is a good book. It gave me some new perspectives on how to consider time and to use it better. So much so that I borrowed it from the library, then went ahead and bought it.
Not if I Save You First, by Ally Carter (YA romance): I picked this book up at the library based on the back cover copy.
Seriously, how can you not be hooked by murderers and a bejeweled hatchet?
I loved that the main character is a girly girl who saves the day using mostly her brains. I love a girl who kicks some ass too, but it seems like the ones who paint their nails aren’t supposed to be heroes. This was fun and delivered on all the promises it made.
The Summer of Broken Things, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (YA contemporary): This is a sweet and sad coming of age novel about two girls with nothing in common but the secret their parents share.
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss, by Jason Fung, MD: I’ve watched Dr. Fung’s videos online, so when I saw he had a book, I had to get it. It’s interesting stuff backed by science. Dr. Fung makes the science (mostly) accessible and explains things in a way that makes them seem like common sense. He also talks about the studies he cites, along with their limitations.
Lie, Lay, Lain, by Bryn Greenwood (contemporary): First off, there may never be another book I love as much as All The Ugly and Wonderful Things. So when I say this one wasn’t as good, that’s to be expected. I did like this book though. It had an interesting premise and great characters. The dual point of views worked for me, and I looked forward to following both Jennifer and Olivia. Plus, this has what I think may be the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever seen!
None this month.
2018 Running Total: 101
Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges?
The Dinner List sounds awesome! I hadn’t heard of it so I’m adding it to my TBR right now. I’m happy to see you liked American Marriage so much. It’s still the best novel I’ve read this year. The Book of Essie is a close second so you might like that one too! I really need to hone in on my challenge lists and make sure I can get them all done, lol
The Dinner List was entertaining. I’ll check out The Book of Essie. I think this is the time of year when we all start scrambling, trying to figure out how to finish our TBRs.